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ogden

Jim Roche: Cultural Mechanic at the Ogden

Last summer, I was lucky enough to see the Jim Roche: Cultural Mechanic exhibit at the Ogden. Jim Roche retired as Professor of Art at Florida State in 2011. His works have been included at the Whitney, the Venice Biennale, and Paris Biennale, and has been reviewed by Art Forum, Time, the NYT, and The New Yorker.

This is his 'Loch Ness Mama Playing'
Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Via Daily Serving: “The Lochness was something I had thought about for a long time. I guess I saw myself as this creature that no one new about. But I knew I existed.”

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

His Dr. Curve motorcycle legend cartography:
Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

This series was described as "inspired equally by W.C. Rice's Cross Garden (a self-taught environment in Prattville, Alabama), the vernacular cross memorials found throughout the back roads of the South, and what Roche describes as "those fire-and-brimstone preachers on the low-watt radio stations."
Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

I have a set of images from several visits to W.C. Rice's Cross Garden here on Flickr.

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

In this same vein, Jim Roche actually had a part in Silence of the Lambs -- he was the televangelist broadcasting on the television outside Hannibal Lecter's cell. The full performance is here:



Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

From his series, 'Some Americans Feel Like This':
Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Jim Roche : Cultural Mechanic Exhibit at the Ogden

Gambit has it:
There's a distinctly ad hoc, gonzo, radical outsider vibe going on in this big retrospective going back to the 1960s, an era that permeates much of his oeuvre.

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Most looking forward to at the Ogden: the Maude Schuyler Clay exhibit that opens October 1, 2016.
museum

El Anatsui's Metal Cloth at the High, Last Days to See Green Pastures Dial Exhibit

El Anatsui's 'Taago' 2006 made of aluminum and copper wire, at the High in Atlanta:

El Anatsui, Taago at High Museum Atlanta

El Anatsui is Ghanaian, and based in Nigeria. He makes these metal cloth sculptures by joining the aluminum bits that are discarded from the necks and tops of liquor bottles (from the museum label:) 'to form a glittering textile in the tradition of the strip-woven cloth made by men in West Africa for more than one thousand years. Anatsui describes how, for him, the dynamic, fluid forms of these works suggest a universal yearning for liberty and freedom.'


El Anatsui, Taago at High Museum Atlanta

El Anatsui, Taago at High Museum Atlanta

El Anatsui, Taago at High Museum Atlanta

El Anatsui, Taago at High Museum Atlanta

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Thornton Dial's 'Old Projects' 1994 at the High in Atlanta
Above, Dial's 'Old Projects' at the High

The High's Green Pastures: In Memory of Thornton Dial, Sr. is finishing next week as it runs through May 1.

From the High's exhibit description:

“Art is like a bright star up ahead in the darkness of the world…. [It] is a guide for every person who is looking for something. That’s how I can describe myself: Mr. Dial is a man looking for something.”
—Thornton Dial

When the internationally renowned Alabama artist Thornton Dial, Sr., passed away at the age of eighty-seven in late January, he left behind a body of work that has transformed American art. Despite his lack of formal training, Dial took the art world by storm with his deft fusion of painting and sculpture, leading one art critic to declare that his work marked the end of so-called “outsider” art when it was shown at the Whitney Biennial in 2000. The courageous manner in which Dial confronts oppression and records perseverance inspired the title of his critically acclaimed retrospective Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial, which the High exhibited in 2013.

The High’s memorial exhibition, on view February 13 to May 1, 2016, presents a selection of Dial’s exuberant drawings and symbolically rich paintings that the Museum has collected over the past twenty years. Today, Dial is represented in museum collections across the country, including those of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
fannielouhamer

Fannie Lou Hamer

We drove down to Ruleville, Mississippi to see the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden with the statue they dedicated in 2012:

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

Fannie Lou Hamer Voting and Civil Rights Pioneer
1962 - Joined the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and became a field secretary
1963 - Severely beaten while in Winona, Mississippi when she and other civil rights workers were returning from a SCLC Citizenship Training Conference
Became one of first black persons to register to vote in Sunflower county
Ran for Congress in the Second Congressional District
1964 - Founding member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) and led the MFDP challenge before the National Democratic Party Credentials Committee in Atlantic City, New Jersey
1968 - Founder of the Freedom Farms Corporation (FFC)
1970 - Founder of the Fannie Lou Hamer Day Care Center, Ruleville, MS
1971 - Became a member of the Policy Council of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. and a member of the Women's Political Caucas 

1974 - She was named to the Board of Trustees of the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change
Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

This sign was placed in 2011 during the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders:

In 1962 at age 44, Hamer tried to register to vote; the next day she was fired from her job on the plantation east of here. She became a civil rights activist, opening her Ruleville home to Freedom Summer workers and other activists. She earned a reputation as an electrifying speaker, especially as a delegate of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party at the 1964 Democratic National Convention. She fought racism, injustice, and poverty until her death in 1977.

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

"I am sick and tired of being sick and tired."
Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden, Ruleville MS

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Fannie Lou Hamer Museum (I think we were there when they weren't open)
Fannie Lou Hamer Museum, Ruleville MS

Fannie Lou Hamer U.S. Post Office
Fannie Lou Hamer Post Office, Ruleville MS

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Transcript of her testimony here.
clarksdale

The Blue And White House, Clarksdale

The blue and white house in Clarksdale, Mississippi


The Blue and White House, Clarksdale MS

The Blue and White House, Clarksdale MS

The mailbox has a 'Love Gd' message
The Blue and White House, Clarksdale MS

These pics we took in 2011 show the front of the home better
Blue House In Clarksdale

Blue House In Clarksdale

Including the driveway, which reads:
Mad About Gd
Treat Everbidy Right
Falling in love with Jesus
Blue House In Clarksdale
museum

Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art

While we stayed at the Peabody in Memphis, we walked over to the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art at Peabody Place.

Qing Dynasty ivory horses
Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, Memphis

Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, Memphis

Ivory and bone Qing Dynasty dragon with pearl boat
Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, Memphis

The Belz has the largest collection (over 900 objects) of Asian art has the largest and most comprehensive collection of Chinese art in the South.

Here, the Judaic section, with the largest collection of Daniel Kafri pieces outside Israel.
Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, Memphis

Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, Memphis

Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, Memphis

The Lox and Grits: The Jewish Communities of Memphis and the Mid-South exhibit is now housed here as well.
Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, Memphis

laurel

Laurel

Welcome to Historic Downtown Laurel, Mississippi Mural

Laurel has been putting up nice murals around downtown -- but what the town has most been in the news for lately (well, in the art world, it's likely first considered as being the home of Mark Landis and what he's been up to) is that it is the setting for the new HGTV show Home Town (which was *wonderful*!). If you saw the pilot back in January, it did get picked up by the network for a season, and I understand they are filming now.
montgomery

Louis, A Joint Session, And Schoolhouse Rock

Last week, I had the honor of going to Montgomery to meet Lt Gov Kay Ivey and watch the special joint session she called for Hilik Bar (Deputy Speaker of the Knesset) to speak.

I was just tagging along, really. Av knew everyone and was doing his thing, and I was thinking ohmygosh this is so exciting because I've never seen government do its thing in person beyond that one time I was a juror for a case set around a car wreck that happened at a blistering 3MPH, and the other time I was a bit-player in a case between the company I worked for and another in Flowery Branch, Georgia. 

There's a crazy story about that case in Georgia. The company I worked for was owned by a corp in Canada. One of the lawyers, sent down from D.C., for the company I worked for noticed that I had a Louis Vuitton bag and requested that I not wear it up to the stand because they didn't want the jurors to think that our corporate was big-city, as the lawyers for the other company were local, had nice thick accents, and wore seersucker suits. They actually said that. Seriously. Weak. Weak. Weak. I did giggle to myself, though, when I got on the stand and saw that the other lawyers did have great accents and did indeed, as forecasted, wear beautiful seersucker suits, just as my own husband does. How simple the company lawyers sent down were for thinking that the jurors would be swayed in some small way by a LV of all things.

Sigh. Oh, deep, deep, heavy sigh.

I felt a little out-of-place on this trip to Montgomery because I'm not political and don't have that kind of interest really...but I made fast friends with someone new to me -- a lobbyist from Mobile who spends much of her year in Washington. She had lots of interesting stories and was filling me in on what was going on. This was all second nature to her and I was just enthralled with seeing it all in action and hearing stories of other things going on in both cities.

Here in her office, Lt Gov Kay Ivey was presented with a specially crafted wooden box. My friend Sulynn who directs Black Belt Treasures in Camden was so happy when I sent her a pic of the print Ms Ivey has hanging in her office.
Lt Gov Kay Ivey and Hilik Bar

We then went to the special viewing area, the balcony, of the House to watch the speech
Lt Gov Kay Ivey and Hilik Bar

Later on we had a nice little lunch at the Capital Club downtown, where we took this pic. Also at our table was one of the state supreme court justices, and he was interesting too. I loved his sweet wife!

This is Hilik Bar, the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, with me:
Ginger and Hilik Bar

Here, the view of downtown from our dining room on the 21st floor of the RSA Tower (if you know, or are a member of ClubCorp, the Capital Club is one of its properties. We've been members of its Summit Club in Birmingham). It was such a pretty day and a thrill to get to see everything in action.
Capital City Club, Montgomery AL

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For all the government classes I had in high school and college, I admit it's Schoolhouse Rock that's probably retained the most effortlessly:

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