Tag Archives: art


1 Jun

Like all good reads, chapters close and books come to an end. 2016, BEA is heading out of New York for its sequel in Chicago.

While I have made jaunts and journies in the past to the mecca of arts, New York City, for the book Expo of all book Expos, Chicago is a flight away. Time to share. Chicago is a fresh start for the iconic book fair, Chicago will never be New York. Down the avenue and across town is where the big names in publishing are and will be for years to come, god willing. But the industry has changed. It isnt age that is taking its toll on publishing, it is technology that is beating a death, of sorts, to the literary world.

Things have changed in the world of publishing, at a cost to the literary word, sadly. The Trojan horse we all embraced with open arms has become the ebola, of sorts, of authors and publishers. And agents.

The BEA is the grand ol’ dame of readers, setting a benchmark for book fairs around the county, doing her damndest to not let the ship go down. For all those who thing that ebooks hold a candle to pulp fiction and fact, let it be known, them that say those darndest things have never seen a BEA line of fans queue up to be led for a book signing to the author or seen the knackered fans of all races, religions and color,  stretch out on a fan line  totally worn for gathering book after book sometimes because it has meaning and other times because it is swag for free. Any economist or professor shilling for technology has not witnessed the patience of saints as Snookie aka Nicole Polizzi kept fans waiting for her book signing. There is no fan line or autograph queue for ebook authors. Loyalty like that cant be made by IT. There are somethings that algorithm identity profiling cannot do or predict, that ear to ear grin of a fan gushing ‘you changed my life’, ‘I am your biggest fan.’

If only compliments were dollars then modern day authors would be rich because it aint going to happen the old fashioned way, the way things are going with IT.

You see people dont change. And they wont. There will always be wordsmiths, and dreamers and those that only see dollar signs where people should be.

Decades back, Art Linkletter’s “Kids Say The Darndest Things’ preface shared a letter from a boy to his dad expressing the boys sadness of the father-son inability to communicate, that his dad wasn’t listening. The letter was found in an Egyptian tomb. Linkletters book was published in the ’50s. And here we are today. The Arts content creators are talking but no one is listening.

The Associations- Romance Writers, Mystery Writers, Horror Writers and beloved librarian associations had there booths on the show floor, but far off in the corner where, once, book exhibitors used to be. Bathroom talk by staff confirmed the show was dead, a harsh word, but expressing the traffic was down at the show. The author talks was moved from the basement up to the main floor. Even rest tents, hospitality spots, for the ‘bigger’ names in publishing, were up stairs too.

Bag swag was down dramatically. The cherished McGraw-Hill bag was everywhere on shoulders but not at the booth itself. Bags are a big swag item that BEA attendees target to snag as soon as one’s foot makes it in the Javits’ Center door.
Ask a question in a right way, answers affirm concern for their craft’s 2015 nemesis of IP theft. Sure they hire lawyers, sure their industry is represented in DC by lobbyists but lawyers are expensive and laws keep on changing with authors knowing les than they should about who to trust in their world, about IP.

Outstanding portions of the BEA were under attended. The Chinese contingency presented a historically impressive unveiling of volumes on the Tokyo Trials, China’s version of the Neuremberg trials. The Judges son crowdsourced accessing his father’s notes, long before people found a distancing term for the act of asking others for help or money. Not that one walked away from the dedication knowing more about the Tokyo trials themselves but one walked away knowing more about the Chinese culture if one even walked in that direction with feng shui correct balance, harmony, softness and books that were, obviously, all in Chinese. There is humor in translation or lack of it. Books on display included tourists guides to Chinese done in comic book form, simplifying with smiles the distance between cutures. Chinese nationals demonstrated the Tea Pouring ceremony, musical interludes on traditional instruments.

The crowds were down with Snookie a reformed wild child better known for beer drinking and banging’ on the show Jersey Shore, right across the walkway from the UAE display. As someone who had the honor of knowing Sheikh Mahktoum and Prince Rashid, the pairing or neighboring of the two was awkward and telling.

As the refrain was repeated in interview after interview, can we go back to the old way and are there people who want to return to the ludite way of living.

The answer is yes. Dada in his wheelchair and glory shared his wisdoms that make him the best selling author of India. And….. had enlisted her patent attorney husband to put the golden seal of approvals on the handout card promoting her book on lessons learned from legendary survivors of cancer. She is a survivor herself with a back story that blow one away. It should be told. People, in select forums are listening, swag laden and all, I stopped to learn of her quest to find a film  her father a Holocaust survivor shot, thought to be lost. She found it, then brought the film back to the film festival in Europe and then to the Holocaust museum in DC. It is her inheritance of surviving that had her at this momentous book show today, a jewel in the river of tears streaming for denial that the worst of IP theft is to come, a whispered conversation in a world that struggles to survive against odds.

Gather near.

When the lights go out, in Georgia or anywhere else, it will be the ludites, the readers of this ancient craft of wordsmithing that will survive. The writers, the readers, are the guardians of civility. The Theresa Guidice’s of the world, come and go, in and out of jail and fan signing lines at the BEA. The pen swag and pencil swag affirm that books will go on. As will the BEA. It will be missed in New York.

Chicago, know the jewel you are inheriting. As for the BEA? Change the dialogue of IP protection away from talking points in DC that have brought this glorious industry to the edge of the cliff the dodo birds are walking off. Empower the reader. Empower the writer. Group therapy for the industry only goes so far.

Kudos, BEA. Challenges and all you did it another year, kudo to culture….



9 Jul

 Ethan Estess had an idea. A bit of a crappy idea one could say unless one had a wild outside of the box THIS IS GENIUS idea. Ethan did.

Ethan dug dirt. More specifically, Ethan dug digging around garbage yards. Been there done that. I got this guy. I used to dig around a garbage yard owned by my dad’s golfing crony. We would go and be let loose in the junkyard to explore. We knew boundaries. We knew adventure. We knew imagination. Eventually, our junkyard findings were transformed into treasures at home into things a kids head could imagine. Now, that said, I grew up in a home filled with stabiles. I even recall seeing a life size horse made out of horseshoes welded together.

All these years later, I am envious of Ethan’s love of trash. And I miss Leon’s metallurgical scientific site. Everything needs a fancy name doesn’t it? Enough letters, Leon, my dad’s friend, made owning a trash site respectable… well, almost unpronounceable.

Recology San Francisco, a waste management company picks and provides the artists with scavenging rights at the San Francisco Trash Transfer station, paying artists to make beauty from throwaway. The Artist-In-Residence program wants the artists to recycle throwaway in to Art. Studio space is a shipping container. Nothing to sneeze at in that in Asia shipping containers, to some are homes, their palaces.

You can meet Ethan here http://www.ethanestess.com/  Scavenging has made Ethan a bit of a philosopher in a peer world of Social Networking, a student of human predilection to buy and overbuy: “When you dig through people’s trash on the scale of a landfill, you realize that it’s the result of collective decisions. we choose what products to buy and we choose how to discard them.”  … any tossed away relationships found in the trash, guys?


20 Jun

Artists who sell their work outright should not be entitled to resell profit anymore than a Vintage Shop reselling antiques 



11 May

A PRATT MOMENT… SORTA: I was driving down Wisconsin. A woman with a PRATT INSTITUTE sack on her back was walking. Looking for members for our Chapter I pulled over. SHE WASNT a Pratt graduate…

Her friend who moved to Boston was the Pratt Graduate. Gave her the backbag…. OUCH!!!!!


18 Feb

COME TO ORDER: The FIRST ever DC/GREATER WASHINGTON CHAPTER of PRATT ALUMNI…. out of the ashes rises the Phoenix (in this case an alumnus of PRATT INSTITUTES NY Phoenix School of Design nee PRATT MANHATTAN CENTER. The first step is taken in memory of my teacher ELIZABETH ELSBERG who breathed life into my heart for British Watercolor Painting that became signature to my art.

NOTES: I just established the 1st PRATT ALUMNI DC/GREATER WASHINGTON chapter. Out of the fire rise PHOENIX. The fire inspired me to do what PRATT has not done- connect me to local PRATT ALUMNI in DC

Our goal will be to create our bi-partisan community of artists in the Capitol of the world. We have the opportunity to become that Voice in Congress to educate Legislators to our loss of copyright in the Free Internet age. And we get to enjoy great food in DC (seriously- how could we not)

We welcome the support and membership of Pratt Alumni around the country. I told PRATT INSTITUTE PRESIDENT THOMAS Schutte, THIS is where we begin the fight to defend the creativity taught at Pratt that is stolen every nanosecond…. I filed comments with the Copyright office. As soon as the comments are released, I encourage you to read them. Not a wonk, Not a lawyer just a PRATT ALUMNI with a HEART FOR MY ART!


LET CONGRESS HEAR FROM YOU. Contact Congressmen Fred Upton, Joe Barton and Ed Markey & Senators Rand Paul, Mark Warner to protect your Identity and Intellectual Property from theft and cyber stalking. Contact Senator Tim Scott to defend your rights as an Entrepreneur

CAPITOL HILL Switchboard (202) 224 3121

HOUSE: http://www.Markey.house.gov, http://www.Joebarton.house.gov,http://www.Upton.house.gov

SENATE: Senator Mark Warren http://www.warner.senate.gov Senator Rand Paul http://www.paul.senate.gov ENTREPRENEUR ADVOCATE [ the amazing ] Senator TIM SCOTT

And of course contact YOUR OWN Congressman & Senator & Parlimentarian


17 Feb

I am mourning. Sorta. My alma maters main building was torched, it seems.



The fire spread too fast with an intensity that resonates arson. A historic building was destroyed. Buildings can be replaced. Students visions and dreams cannot be replaced. They can be. Been there done that with loss of art. The heart breaks but visionaries have a talent for coming back even better. I had sent the art for my calligraphy book to be copied by someone I learned later in life I should not have trusted, short of three amazing ‘portfolio of life’ pieces, sons. As life predicts, upon receiving the call from my publisher the box of my art disappeared without a trace, I made that LIFELINE call. That was when I learned the art, all original without trace offs archiving process, had not been copied as requested. I did what all visionaries do. I cried. Once the shock was over, I sat down to fulfill my obligation again. Every stroke of the pencil on paper hurt. Round one of illustrations flowed from my inner creativity well. Round two was painstaking as I was trying to recreate. I learned that as much as it hurts, the memory of loss, what was gained was knowledge of a life lesson I carried forth in to the world- sometimes Do Overs are Do Betters. My book has remained, from Day One of publishing, the top of its class. But the memory of loss getting me there, remains, as it will for the students ravaged in Pratt’s fire which is shades of arson.

I had been at my Alma Mater’s campus a few weeks back exploring Options. I have thought about teaching, now that the career path ahead of me is open to options. Pratt celebrated its Anniversary. I made the pilgrimage to a college that I, in fact, had been to once in my life, back in 1975.

The Dekalb Avenue station was lit with a single naked bulb. I had just moved to New York. The night before I had watched Charles Bronson’s movie of rape and snakes and…. You know his formula. Elevators scared me. The first booklet put into my hands, at Pratt’s Brooklyn Campus, a WHAT TO DO IF booklet- if raped, if busted for drugs, if- the list that went on, was enough to scare me to attend the Pratt Manhattan campus- the newly aquired Phoenix School of Design, at the corner of Lex and was it 30th or 32nd, familiar stomping grounds for me as it was down the block from the Women’s College I attended for one year. They promised art and dance in their curriculum. They gave neither. A year and a marriage later, I was back in the hood, in the heart of New York, in the cross hairs of history and creativity. My career began. Because of me. 

I had wondered how Pratt could place students in the heart of Manhattan- yards and telephone calls away from those would either employ or deploy us- publishers, design houses, magazines, agencies. Wednesday was Drop Off day, the day magazines would open their eyes to viewing for potential new talent. My illustration major teacher, when I told him I dropped off my portfolio at the New Yorker, could not contain his laughter. When I picked up my portfolio case weighted down by the single sheet rejection letter, I could not contain my tears until it was pointed out to me that the letter did not say “DEAR CARRIE who thinks she is better than she is…” The letter said starkly, simply, “Thank you it does not meet our needs at this time…” still an ouchie, but more of a point than a jab. My illustration major teacher didn’t think much of my idea that we students be taught the rejection while in class where we were able to discuss how to do it better.

That was 1978.

Fast forward… 2013. The class Business of Business is still not taught, not even on main campus in Brooklyn, I was standing on the ground of in my pilgrimage to past. I think I may have been the only Pratt Manhattan Center student there in the cluster of Black & Gold Brooklyn patriots. I couldn’t share their stories of being held up by gun, rapes on campus, all the things that scared me off of commuting from Spanish Harlem to the naked light bulb at Dekalb. Students are being turned in to the world incapable of understanding the reality of covering bills, turning ambition into bank account deposits and how to tweak in a world of fiscal collapse MORESO for creative sorts who dream. Innovate. Entreprenueriate (wink). I missed out horribly on being on a campus that was rich in history, little of which was present at Alumni Week, other than a tour I arrived too late to participate in but soon enough to get a sense of self that I was one of THAT 2% we students were told of, that would graduate then continue to work in industry. I started with a piece of artwork in a Macy’s downtown bathroom display. How cool is that moving my career forward from the toilet to the world of bunnies & mice & bears then back to Brooklyn where I saw a world I was envious of. Technology was sweeping the arts. I recall being threatened and told if I took a course at SVA or FIT that I would  be bounced from my certificate program so I did as a girl yet to learn the power of NO did… I didn’t. My heart pangs the times I am in New York passing SVA School of Visual Arts in a cab or FIT Fashion Institute of Technology down the way from the Bronco Bar. Or is it Mustang Missie’s. Who can remember at my adage… I do side with the paper and pencil set over PDAs that darken when the lights go out, more and more frequently these days. I will never die bored even if all I had was a twig and sand to draw in… and a something more… a sense of belonging to a campus, I told our president Thomas Schutte at the reception hour before I tuckered then called to be picked up, how can it be that PRATT INSTITUTE does not have a license plate frame. I want to belong to the culture of drivers on the road who advertise their brainiacs telling their tie to higher education- parents of, son of, alumni of…. It beggared my mind the Design School of Design Schools had no License Plate frame. I told Thomas I would design it. He said email me. I did. That was October. He forgot my adress until after the fire broke out this week. Then he didn’t remember ME. He remembered how to ask an alumnus for dollars…. 

I had asked to meet with Thomas, too, on another matter of importance to our college beyond Tag Holders and wanting to create the course curriculum for Teaching Students the Business of the Business. That was October. Follow up email. No answer. Until the fire broke out. He remembered my email. Not our conversation. Not my offer. Not my request.

I am proud of being part of Pratt. I am proud of being one of the few on our Alumni LINKEDIN forum. I monitor. Rarely post. The most interesting conversation was that of Who Is Working In Their Field of Learning. 2% still. Me. Here. One of 2 PRATT ALUMNI that LINKEDIN acknowledged for being in the top 5% of  most highly viewed LINKED IN PROFILES.

And now. Sharing the student experience of an alumnus the college finds only when dollars are sought. I thought my voice and experience and accolades add up to more than a sum total of what used to be wet ink on a check. The Gothamist link woke me up to speak up. There can be no moving forward if there is no history to look back upon with pride.

Thomas, my offer stands on the table. I will design the license plate holder to make PRATT ALUMNIS proud, a fundraiser, an awareness raiser. As for Copyrights? I did what I told you I was going to do…. stand up for Copyrights alumni live off of. Next time in New York, I mean me in New York sir, lunch at your place…. in the shadow of the rebuild, as does the Phoenix Rise from the Ashes, we can talk taking the lead in the Battle of Copyright Ownership from the Free Enterprise Internet. Lunch is on me sir, considering we have a historic building to rebuild.


10 Jan

The National Gallery of Art presented in their East Building Symposium  the seventy first season of the William Nelson Cromwell and F Lammot Belin 2920 concert featuring SOPRANO Tone Elisabeth Braaten FLUTIS & ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Andreas Sonning COMPOSER & NARRATOR with members of the National Gallery of Art Orchestra per Kristian Skalstad CONDUCTOR & VIOLINIST. The evening honoring the 150th anniversary of the birth of EDVARD MUNCH was sponsored by the ROYAL NORWEGIAN EMBASSY (1863 – 1944 )

The program was presented in two segments. The first segment was devoted to music of Norway. The post intermission segment honoring MUNCH was backdropped with art of MUNCH artfully presented flowing in & ebbing with poetic artfully chosen words. It wasnt THE SCREAM the Munch everyone knows. It was- The VOICE/Summer night. EYE TO EYE/Attraction. SEPARATION. WOMAN/Sphinx/The Dance of Life. THE KISS. LOVE & PAIN/Vampire. MADONNAs world premiere performance-  women & men & love & a redhead with supple breasts & swollen hips. I only can wonder (not) why the composer sought me out top walkway during the intermission. I shared I abandoned my seat. The woman next to me chewing me out for texting PRE concert was listening to the REDSKINS GAME on her radio. I KID YOU NOT! Headset on- REDSKINS. Handheld radio- the NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART gone NORWEGIAN. The notes said THE USE OF CAMERAS or RECORDING EQUIPMENT DURING THE PERFORMANCE IS NOT ALLOWED. Nothing said about radios though Cell phones Pagers & other electronic devices were to be turned off. 

MUNCHs childhood was impoverished. His mother & favorite sister died impacting his life. He enrolled at the ROYAL SCHOOL OF ART & DESIGN OF CHRISTIANIA studying under JULIUS MIDDELTHUN & CHRISTIAN KROHG after having enrolled in technical school studying Physics Chemistry & Math. MUNCH journaled his soul searching reflected in his art. SICK CHILD his break from IMPRESSIONISM came from his sister dying. His life reflected his troubles- inner- not financial. Financial success started to come a decade later- under the watchful friendship of FREDERICK DELIUS & EVANGELINE HOPE MUDDOCK the violinist. MUDOCCI the stage name of MUDDOCK was MUNCHS MUSE… THE BROOCH . SALOME . VIOLIN LESSON . Much more to MUNCH than MADNESS… MUNCH more…