Archive for Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lawrence will be site of ‘imagining’ to incorporate art in everyday life

June 22, 2014

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The Lawrence "imagining" will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Stidham Hall at Haskell Indian Nations University. The event is free and open to the public and a group of volunteers is providing food.

Lawrence artist Dave Loewenstein

Lawrence artist Dave Loewenstein

A visit to the future will be in store for those who participate in a program designed to get people thinking about art, culture and creativity in their everyday lives.

The "Imagining" is part of a national effort by artists who want to use art as a way to improve communities.

Lawrence is one of 16 communities that will put on events as part of the new U.S. Department of Arts and Culture, which is not a government organization but a band of artists from across the country.

Lawrence artist Dave Loewenstein was selected as a "cultural agent" to get the movement going here.

The Lawrence "imagining" will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Stidham Hall at Haskell Indian Nations University. The event is free and open to the public and a group of volunteers is providing food.

Loewenstein and several volunteers plan to build a "time portal" for participants to travel through and then hold discussions on how Lawrence has been transformed by art in the year 2034.

Participants will then return to the present and report on their findings.

Loewenstein said he sees art and culture as a way for people to connect and learn more about each other.

That could be through simply sharing stories at dinner and getting with neighbors to put together a book of recipes.

"This is needed at a national level because too often these days when we think of arts and culture we think of it as some elite pursuit for the wealthy, or entertainment for the kids," Loewenstein said.

"We want to shift the paradigm a little bit. The focus is on how arts and culture can catalyze empathy. When we know where we come from we care about each other more," he said.

He said he would like to see the cultural impact of public works projects, such as the affect of a highway on a neighborhood, included in environmental impact studies.

He said Lawrence is a perfect place to focus on the importance of art because of all the creative people here.

About 10 people are helping to organize the Imagining, and not all of them are artists, Loewenstein said. No specific groups are involved.

Writer-performer-musician Robert Baker is one of those helping out. Baker said he hopes the event brings in a people with different ideas and a lot of energy.

"I like the idea that you are trying to build a larger community consensus. Sometimes the best ideas for art are born informally," Baker said.

Loewenstein said there is no preparation needed to participate in the event.

Other locations for imaginings are Brisbane, Calif.; Brooklyn, N.Y.; Carrboro, N.C.; Cleveland; Marlborough, Mass.; Philadelphia; Phoenix; Providence, R.I.; San Antonio; Seaside, Calif.; St. Louis; Shafer, Minn.; Syracuse, N.Y.; Tucson, Ariz.; and Washington, D.C.

Comments

Robert Rauktis 3 years, 5 months ago

" 'We want to shift the paradigm a little bit. The focus is on how arts and culture can catalyze empathy. When we know where we come from we care about each other more,' he said. ":

Someone should tell this guy that the people he wants to reach think the word "paradigm" means twenty cents. They can smell this idiocy for not walking the walk OR talking the talk.

Kevin Elliott 3 years, 5 months ago

That is a rather shallow statement. I fully accept language is important but there are so many reasons people use particular words and phrases, to expect all language use to only be valid from your perspective is not thoughtful and very closed minded.

Dave Loewenstein 3 years, 5 months ago

For more information about the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture and the other Imaginings happening across the country, go to the USDAC website here - http://usdac.us/

Clark Coan 3 years, 5 months ago

Well, if we continue down the same path with extreme abstract art that people can't understand, relate to or be inspired by, I don't see how art will produce empathy. An example is William Burroughs' shotgun art.

On the other hand, Dave's murals are easy to understand, relate to and are inspirational and can help create empathy.

Phil Minkin 3 years, 5 months ago

Would you call The Flame at city hall or the scluptures downtown "abtract"? I think they are easy to relate to and even if everyone(including me) doesn't always understand them, they can be inspirational. Likewise the sculpture at the RR station in N. Lawrence.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 3 years, 5 months ago

The Flame is my favorite sculpture of all time! Clark, realistic art became unnecessary after cameras were invented. Abstract art is an expression that brings up emotions. Why not look at it and try and contact the emotion that you feel. It's not necessary to "understand" it. Sometimes the title or artist description will help you to understand it, but you can also put your own interpretation on it. Ask yourself "How does it make me feel?" and "What do I see?" Have you ever laid on the ground and watched clouds?

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