Donna Granata is called the “Oprah of the arts,” a moniker she is quite proud of. The name refers to her unique ability to get artists, often solitary creatures by nature, to open up their homes, their lives, their fears and their hopes to her, and, by extension, to us. Granata is the founder of Focus on the Masters, a nonprofit art appreciation program that preserves and promotes the works and lives of contemporary artists in Ventura County, Calif.Read More
Renowned sculptor Ruth Duckworth, 90, died Oct. 18 in Chicago after a brief illness. Duckworth was known for her range of work—from small to massive—including unpainted organic forms in porcelain and stoneware, and large-scale murals and sculptures installed in public spaces. The German-born sculptor was a longtime professor at the University of Chicago, and stayed in the U.S. because she found a greater acceptance of her large abstract pieces there. Duckwork continued to work at her large studio in a former pickle factory until six weeks before her death.Read More
How is the California Arts Council dealing with a shortage of funding for the arts? By hitting the road. Its current campaign to put arts license plates on 1 million vehicles throughout the state would bring in $40 million in art funding, and a recent ruling making the special plates tax deductible may be just the driving force the council needs.
“Our economy relies on creative minds, artistic organizations and innovative workers,” says council chair Malissa Feruzzi Shriver. “Yet our per capita state investment in the arts is the lowest in the nation.”Read More
An envelope depicted in a painting by Vincent van Gogh may finally solve the mystery of why the troubled artist famously cut off his ear.
Until now, no one paid much attention to the envelope in “Still-Life: Drawing Board with Onions,” painted in January 1889. Scholars now believe that the letter was written by van Gogh’s brother Theo to share the news of his engagement. The thought of losing his brother’s emotional and financial support may very well have led to the self-mutilation.Read More
Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz’s beloved beagle Snoopy is taking to the air—and the open waves, at the first stop of the touring exhibition “Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace.”
On view at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City through April 30, the exhibition features 40 prints from Schulz’s original drawings of Snoopy’s imagined adventures through the skies of Europe. Accompanying these treasures is original artwork created by sailors aboard the USS Intrepid. Peanuts characters were popular subjects for the crewmembers, who painted their artwork right on the ship’s steel walls.Read More
The artists’ advocacy organization United States Artists struck again Dec. 14, honoring 50 artists with unrestricted $50,000 grants in a ceremony at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, Calif. The organization annually recognizes artists from across the country in eight creative disciplines. The crafts and traditional arts category recognized seven top artists:Read More
If you’re out and about in Boston on April 25, there’s a good chance you’ll run into more than one of the 90 artists who will have set up their easels in the city’s most popular outdoor spots. The Copley Society of Art’s 22nd annual Fresh Paint fundraiser is asking artists to focus on green spaces in Boston.
After the artists have spent the day painting areas like the Esplanade, the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway and the Public Garden, they’ll bring their completed works back to the gallery for a week of public display and silent bids. Fresh Paint will culminate May 8 with the “Green Splash” gala, an evening of food and drinks, live jazz, and silent and live auctions of the works.Read More
There are plenty of reasons why Omaha, Neb.’s new “Fertile Ground” is not your typical public mural. For starters, measuring in at 32,500 square feet, it is the nation’s largest singly funded mural. Then there’s artist Meg Saligman’s unique approach to showing the passage of time in the painting from back to front, not with the typical left-to-right composition. To tell the story of Omaha’s past, present and future in “Fertile Ground,” Saligman, a Philadelphia artist, spent hundreds of hours in 2007 gathering historical photos and data and interviewing residents.Read More