Sunday, April 11, 2010

Culture Vulture

One of the (few) things I like about Savannah is the amazing level of cultural exploration I can enjoy here. Obviously, working for an art school makes this pretty easy. Not only am I constantly exposed to the talented students and their creative endeavors, but there are museums and galleries and performing artists which visit here and exhibit their works, sometimes in conjunction with the school, and sometimes just by coincidence. Then, of course, there are all of the beautiful old buildings-- my love of old buildings is one of the reasons I moved here. This town is so beautiful and charming, especially this time of year. I feel blessed to be surrounded by all of this. Want to see what I mean? Try searching Google Images for "savannah ga architecture".

As you can imagine, my knowledge of art and design has been on quite a steep learning curve over the past year! When I started my job, I didn't know who Jonathan Adler or Damien Hirst were. I had no idea what Mannerism is or that there is a proper way of critiquing art -- it's not just about whether or not you like it. And I didn't really understand what motion graphics even meant. (If you don't know what motion graphics are, you probably see them every day -- it's hard to watch TV without seeing words or shapes that move across your screen -- that's motion graphics, in a nutshell. Every time you watch the opening credits for a movie, you're experiencing motion graphics.)

Now, I have learned that there are some contemporary artists I actually like (I am still not much for Modern Art). I have learned that I love portrait photography and art that is a little on the creepy side. Here are some of my favorites:

Mark Ryden : really creepy paintings -- LOVE this guy! If I could afford his work, I would start a collection.
Shelby Lee Adams : takes photographs of Appalachian folk -- I highly recommend his books and the documentary -- very moving and tender look at these people who have been sidelined by society. You can probably find one of his books at your local public library.
Erick Swenson : I saw one of his shows, and really liked his sculpture, even though some of the pieces are kinda gross.
Nick Cave : (Not to be confused with the Australian singer) This guy is amazing! So vibrant, so colorful, so fun! I watched one of his performances, and it was very exciting. Sort of like dancing African muppets. Very cool!

I'm sure there are more, but I just can't think of them at the moment.

There are also some local artists/students I really like, including:
Rubi McGrory: She works in fibers and makes things like quilts and samplers, but with modern subjects. Very cool! I really like her sense of humor.
Bang-yao Liu: I don't know what this kid is majoring in, or if he's done anything else, but this video is amazing. It hit campus like a firestorm -- everyone has watched it, I'm pretty sure. Ashton Kutcher even twittered it!
Morgan Lockamy: She's a senior painting major here. I happened to be in the painting building, saw one of her paintings, fell totally in love with it, and eventually bought it! I could stare at it all day. She's amazingly talented and has a full ride scholarship to show for it. I can't find any samples of her work online, otherwise I would share.

Arg. There are so many cool artists I have been meaning to share with you. I know I am forgetting some. Oh well, I will just share later.

I did get a chance to see She & Him recently. They came to Savannah for part of our annual music festival. They were (of course) awesome. I already love Zooey Deschanel as an actress, and now I also love her as a musician.

And even though I like creepy art, I think I draw the line here.

Finally, I am sharing with you a super cool video about art.

Alright, that's all I can think of for today. I will try and remember more cool stuff to share later. Right now, I gotta go pay my taxes. So lame, I know. :P


teahouse said...

Cool! I've always wanted to know more about art. I never took an art class in college, and I've always regretted it.

Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing! I am addicted to oil paintings of roses... my house is filled with them!

Does being around so much art give you the urge to try your hand at painting?

All year I've been meaning to go buy supplies and teach myself to paint my own roses. I think my guide is whispering in my ear that I need to do this! :)

Virginia Belle said...

THB-- it's definitely made me pine for the art degree I always wanted, but never received. I do get one free class per session...I am looking into it.

Debbie -- Oh definitely! I am actually going to make something today. It's funny, but I have all the stuff and I know kind of what I want to make, but I am afraid of "doing it wrong" -- which is so not how art works! There is no way to do it wrong! It's just that I am not used to it. I'm afraid. I gotta get over that.