Monday, March 29, 2010

Crusade against shyness leads intern to DW

This week, we'd thought we'd let our interns blog. So here's what one of our interns, Abi Semtner, has to say.

So I’m sitting here trying to think of what to write because I’ve never done one of these things. Ridiculous…I know.

Being an artist is hard work. Recently I’ve been struggling with going in a new direction with my own artwork. Partly because some teachers have pushed me towards it and partly because I know I need to. That’s what this is all about right? How boring would it be to do the same painting your whole life!?! I’m realizing how important connections and experiences are to my own work. People connecting with other people, and mainly me connecting with other people (I’m trying to stop being such a painfully shy person). Since I started interning at Diverseworks I've been able to define the new direction I want to take in my artwork easier. A performance by a group called SO Percussion at Diverseworks really brought this idea home for me. See how Diverseworks has already helped in my crusade against shyness! The performance brought me to tears. Seriously!

I guess you could call it their closing piece; it involved one of the four members Josh Quillen making connections with certain audience members. It’s hard to explain but Quillen ran to these certain audience members and politely asked them to yell “I Love You Jason” as loud as possible to try and get Jason Treuting (another SO Percussion member) attention. While said audience members were trying to profess their love the other three members (Jason Treuting, Adam Sliwinski, and Eric Beach) were only paying attention to the piece they were playing that gradually got louder and louder and louder. So if you can imagine an audience yelling at the top of their lungs (which did happen because Quillen eventually recruited the whole audience) at one performer “I Love You Jason”, it was kind of an epiphany for me. How often do I ignore possible connections? So thank you Diverseworks and SO Percussion!

Abi Semtner is a graduate student, studying painting and drawing at the University of Houston.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DiverseWorks members do it at DW

DiverseWorks members do it with style, contemporary flair and more importantly they do it at DW. What you might ask? See amazing programs, support an fixture in the Houston arts scene and, of course, have a ball. Where else can you get up close and personal with an elephant, be openly invited to peek into a room, get all dolled up for Debutante Ball and see dancing zombies? At DiverseWorks that's where. So if you are a current member, thanks for all your support and we love to see your happy mug around DW. Not a member or you have let your membership lapse, we'll let me make it easier for you
(just click here.)

Much Love,

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's all about the video...

Host PJ Chavez of PantsuitLand

Wow. It's been a few weeks since our last post. Yikes! Sorry for the lack of posts but it's been a crazy couple of weeks at DiverseWorks with the Debutantes Run Wild Gala, Allison Hunter's Zoosphere and Kelly Richardson's Twilight Avenger. The staff of DiverseWorks has been busy but hopefully we will return to a more steady blog schedule very soon.

Recently I have been trying to investigate which artists and art organizations have been using video/social media in an interesting and creative way. My focus over the last few weeks has been primarily on You Tube/Vimeo. However, I am discovering more and more avenues to share your work (For example, The Yes Men On Babelgum). Although there is lots of research to be done, I figured that I would share some of my favorite discoveries.

Michelle Ellsworth -Hamburger Sex

Michelle Ellsworth has performed at DiverseWorks a few times and most recently with The Objectification of Things. Maybe you remember "Can I give a Shout-out to Carbon?"Probably one of the wittiest performers that you will ever see, Michelle Ellsworth created this video for her performance and it still makes me giggle. Please be advised-If you are a vegetarian or vegan, this might be a little unsettling.

Dance Theatre Workshop- Twitter Choreography
DTW creates a video every few weeks with themed choreography from Twitter suggestions. On Tuesdays, they ask for the suggestions, then they pull together the responses, find an awesome person(Ursula Eagly, Gang Dance, Ashley Tyler and many more) to perform them and film it.

Creative Time's Holiday Message

Creative Time joined forces with a great young magician named chris k to create this video/trick. It's a creative fundraising technique to raise money for Creative Time. I would love to know how much money they raised.

Live! from PantsuitLand

I'm not sure if this visual /performance piece is still happening but I always enjoyed it. The host PJ Chavez (in real life artist Jill Pangallo) takes this piece around to various art events and interviews attendees.

Zoe Juniper-the Devil you know is better then the devil you don't

Performing artist Zoe Scofield and visual artist Juniper Schuey posted small clips of their work online. I saw a performance by Zoe Juniper at the National Performance Network conference in Seattle a few years ago and I still think about it. The video does not do justice to how beautiful this performance was but it is a lovely reminder.

Also, lots of museums are adding fantastic online content and I especially enjoyed The Walker Art Center's video selection. They recently posted a lecture featuring Houston architect Blair Satterfield and Minneapolis architect Mark Swackhamer as well as a discussion between choreographer Morgan Thorson and musician Alan Sparhawk on their Heaven collaboration.

Please feel free to share some of your favorites too.

Shawna Forney

Public Relations & Marketing Manager