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March 26, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Celebrating Whimsy

Dr. Seuss’ stories are hopping off their pages to grace the walls of a museum in his birthplace, Springfield, Massachusetts. Set to open in June of 2016, the museum dedicated solely to Theodor Geisel’s — the man behind the pseudonym — work came out of the popularity of the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden, according to The Boston Globe. The Springfield Museums group has taken on this project to celebrate the local celebrity and help increase literacy in the region by including many interactive reading exhibits.

SPRINGFIELD MUSEUMS
A rendering of the Neighborhood section of the main exhibit space.

While the stories are vivid in many minds, so are the pictures. The thematic pop-art illustration in Dr. Seuss stories is iconic and cherished by generations. This style of whimsical, colorful art has caught wind since stories like The Lorax and One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish Blue Fish nationalized it. Now this style is finally being celebrated on a large scale. The bright dreamy art sometimes gets characterized as childish, but many artists also employ this style in elegant and powerful ways.

Paranoid Pareidolia by Cheryl Frey

Cheryl Frey’s colorful painting depicts the contrast between the beauty and destruction people choose to see. In her description of the painting Frey says, “We all… see our own visions in the clouds. We all see only what we want to see.” This pop art uses fluorescent tones and dark outlines to make ideas real to society in fluid, dreamy thoughts.

Transistor Radio’s by Patrick Edgeley

Adding a retro feel to his pop-art style, Patrick Edgeley uses his graphic design background to instill a clean archetype to his prints. His hand drawn screenprints capture a playful memory of material items. The color and textures create nearly tangible radios in the print above. The print has a similar whimsical, yet relatable feel that Theodore Geisel used so frequently.

Magic Fingers by Hal Mayforth

Magic Fingers uses words and opacity to translate topics like pop culture, literature and music into imagery. Hal Mayforth said, “This series combines my love of words with a layered matrix that evokes mystery, obscurity and ambiguity.” This conceptual piece is high-spirited and lively. The twists and turns of phrase and color reveal a lighthearted feeling from the painting’s layers. The themes and art of Dr. Suess books are a wonderful addition to the museum world. Artists that invoke fantasy with vibrant shades now have a gateway to be appreciated. Just sit back, relax  and browse art by our Zatista artists who utilize these themes and see the fantastical art they have produced!

March 24, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Art in a Small Apartment

Living in a small apartment becomes problematic when you try to decorate. Things look crowded and overbearing if not placed well. Whether it’s a small kitchen, bathroom, bedroom or laundry room, decorating a small space takes a delicate touch. Here are a few ways to decorate without suffocated the room.

Image from Domaine Home.

Use a gallery shelf. Layer your artwork on the shelf above your bed or living room couch. By mixing larger and smaller pieces on a shelf, you add character to the room without losing much space. If you have a large wall, you can add multiple shelves and include vases or mirrors. Another option is adding a thin table with layered art. This works for a living room or hallway.

Photographed by Julia Robbs

If you don’t have enough space on your wall, pick some unexpected spaces to display art. Hang art on a mirror or door. Hanging an image without a frame will give a clean aesthetic to the room, and keep both the door and the mirror functional.

image via bhg.com

Hang art as a high boarder around your room using matching frames for the pieces. If you have colorful walls, try black and white art – this will help the room appear more spacious. This trick works in different spaces like the kitchen and the bathroom.

image via West Elm

Use large pieces of art in small spaces. Larger pieces are great for rooms that are predominantly white. Either over your desk or your bed, large art adds color and activity to the wall. If hanging a large piece is not an option, leaning a piece on a headrest or desk can add character and depth to a room as well.

Don’t forgo art, just get creative. Use these tips to help bring art into your space, and enjoy the new additions to your walls!

 

March 19, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

The Art of Breakfast

BUONGIORNO by Lucia Bergamini on Zatista.com

This is my favorite time of year for breakfast – daylight savings time makes the sunrise later, warmer weather teases the east coast, and vacation is on the horizon. The mornings are softer and brighter than they have been in months. So, wake up a little earlier and enjoy your coffee for a little longer. These breakfast themed pieces can help you keep the warm morning theme in your kitchen all year long.

Full English Breakfast by Andy Mercer on Zatista.com

 When I was young —  and every time I come home —  my dad made pancakes and bacon for breakfast every Sunday. We experimented with chocolate chips, sprinkles and peanut butter. What better way to include art in a child’s room that having the subject be something they love: food.

Nine A.M. by Marie Sequens on Zatista.com

What is breakfast without coffee? This piece would be great  for a room with lots of natural light. A warm kitchen with yellow walls will be balanced by the temperate blues. The soft strokes keep it comfy and cozy to enjoy your breakfast.

My First Time by Lorenzo Laiken on Zatista.com

Go out for brunch in your kitchen. Everyone loves to go out to eat, and I think the best meal to eat out is brunch. Bring some of that good food and relaxation to your home by adding a photo of a classic breakfast. The delicate flatware can bring a refinement to the kitchen, especially in a room with darker walls.

Retro Kitchen by Patrick Edgeley on Zatista.com

If you have a more modern kitchen, add something with a little character. This piece would be perfect above a coffee station, or over a sink. It will bring a pop of color to the room as well. Enjoy the nice weather and bright mornings with a few pieces of art celebrating the best meal of the day: breakfast!

 

March 17, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Gender Inequality In Art

Hopes and Dreams by Amy Bernays on Zatista.com

Gender inequality is a hot topic in just about every industry in the world, including the Arts. It’s widely known that women have be underrepresented in history and literature, but it’s less widely known that female artists have been treated the same way. If you ask someone to recall famous artists, they usually say the same white males: Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and so on. Why is it that women are more likely to be featured nude in art than be the featured artists?

Source Guerrilla Girls: http://www.guerrillagirls.com

Established in 1985, the Guerrilla Girls have been exposing discrimination in all areas of the arts including film, pop culture and fine art. Reported by Truth-out.org, their survey of the most influential galleries and museums showed women were vastly underrepresented. At MoMA, only 13 of the 169 artist on display were women, and, “Even worse, the modern art section of New York’s Metropolitan Museum was 97 percent male; on the flip side, 83 percent of the nudes were – you guessed it – girls and women.” This survey was done 27 years ago, but the 2012 study found that less than 4% of artists in the modern art section were women, but 75% of the nudes were women.

Source Guerrilla Girls: http://www.guerrillagirls.com

In 2014, Guerrilla Girls revamped their poster showing that bus companies have more equal gender distribution than art galleries. The edit showed New York was not the only city of art galleries discriminating; Paris is too. According to the group’s website, “Right now there is decent representation of women and artists of color at the beginning and emerging levels of the art world. At the institutional level however – in museums, major collections and auctions sales – things are still pretty dismal for all but white guys.”

Other groups like the Guerilla Girls have arisen. One group posted a report card— as a follow up to the Guerrilla Girls 1986 report card on women featured in art galleries— showing the percentages of women artists represented in galleries in 2015. Timeout New York’s article on the findings said, “According to Pussy Galore (whose membership, like Guerilla Girls, remains anonymous), only five out of 34 galleries selected have achieved anything like gender parity with 50 percent female artists or more; another three galleries weigh in at 40 percent. The rest ranged from 30 percent to a dubious low of 10 percent shared by three of the city’s largest galleries: Marlborough, Tony Shafrazi, and Sperone Westwater.”

Lutes by Valerie Vescovi on Zatista.com

In the 2014 Artnews article, “We Asked 20 Women “Is the Art World Biased?” Here’s What They Said,” there were mix feelings about the progress of women in the art world. Lisa Dennison, Chairman of Sotheby’s North and South America, said “The fact that we are still having this conversation is a strong indicator that women are discriminated against in the art world, as they are in many other sectors of our society.” She believes women are underrepresented, but poses the question of whether they have had the time and support to build their careers. Naomi Beckwith, Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago said, “Unsavory personal experiences aside, sexism, I think, is made most visible in some statistical details: Over 50 percent of art school graduates are women but far less than 50 percent of monographic exhibition subjects are women.”

I Couldn’t Save Him by Cheryl Frey on Zatista.com

So, how will things change? Some argue that more female museum directors will show more female artists. SMU’s National Center for Arts Research did a study on the gender gap in art museum directorship showing this may be true of museums with budgets under $15 million of which 48% of the museum directors are women. But, in museums with budgets over $15 million, only 24% of museum directors are female and those females make 71 cents for every dollar a male art director makes. Out of the four museums in the U.S. with a budget over $100 million, there were no female directors. Males still dominate the industry even at a managerial level.

Why? by Anyes Galleani

One positive step forward is the push to inform the public on important female Artists. Art+Feminism had its annual—two years running— Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at the Museum of Modern Art in New York on March, 7th. The 200 volunteers came together to make Wikipedia pages for female artists. Forty-one new entries were created at the MoMA event and 102 articles were improved. Art+Feminism has also had many events globally, attracting 1,300 participants total. A few of the artists added were: Elise Forrest Harleston, Amy Maria Sacker, Janet Payne Bowles, Lisl Steiner, and LaToya Ruby Frazier.

Sky-escape by Liza Cassidy

Unfortunately, there is little evidence of progress for women in the art industry. With the push to inform the public of the problem and get these female artist recognized at a grassroots level, women could be represented in more museums across the country, but based on statistics taken from the last thirty years, it’s going to take decades before they are anywhere near equal to men.

 

March 12, 2015 | Posted by | No Comments

Warming Up To Spring

Swinging Buds (Cherry Blossom Series) by Pam Lostracco

I can’t speak for those in the northeast or the way up north, but down here in the south, things are heating up. On a walk yesterday I saw buds on the trees that were almost in bloom! How do the seasons come upon us so quickly, without our even noticing? With only 8 days left until the vernal equinox, I guess it’s no surprise. Although, spring always feels like a bit of a miracle to me and therefore I enjoy relishing in its newness.

Seedling by Stephen Neil Gill

From “Spring is like a perhaps hand” by E. E. Cummings:

Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

Spring motive by Irjan Moussin

I’ve already gotten the urge to do some spring cleaning after what seems like a long and dormant winter of low productivity. I plan to find a little bit of time this spring to follow through on cleaning out the old – whether it’s dust, unused items around the house, or tired images on the wall. A little bit of attention given to these items once is year is worth the effort!

Spring Cleaning by Lorrie Boydston

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