The place where artists and writers with Maine connections are showcased.

Posts from the ‘Art’ category

Climate Change Causes Conflicts-Documentary Project to Bring Change

A short clip to help raise funds for the initiative from its director, Alexander Cornell du Houx:

The Solon Center for Research and Publishing has agreed to publish books based upon this documentary project which highlights conflicts around the globe that are a direct result of climate change and how community solutions, already available, could help defuse these problems. These videos, and a full-length film will be the basis of the books we will publish.

If you’d like to donate for the creation of the videos please do so through the Solon Center HERE. Small donations ($10) to large contributions (any amount) make a huge difference! None of the film is stock footage.

More from the project’s director, Alexander Cornell du Houx’s:

Background—

My deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, with the Marine Corps infantry, gave me a firsthand insight into why it’s critical to find solutions to the water insecurity connected to climate change.

While on patrol just outside the city, a roadside bomb hit my HUMVEE. Fortunately for us, most of the blast missed our vehicle. When we caught our assailant we learned that he was a farmer with little or no explosives experience. Because of climate change, his crops had failed. Vulnerable, in need of funds for survival, he was turned into a terrorist paid to attack Americans. For me, the connection between climate change and water insecurity became crystal clear.

Soon thereafter, I started to put the pieces together on how climate change and water insecurity are inseparable.

screen-shot-2016-10-26-at-10-14-12-am

Mission—

Our mission is to film short videos and a documentary on the impact of climate change on water security, and how clean energy and sustainable agriculture, as it relates to climate change can help combat the situation, educate community leaders, lawmakers and the public.

We aim to inspire community action, the media and lawmakers to combat climate change and promote water security.

These short videos, paired with trainings and policy initiatives, will foster climate solutions across the U.S. and world.

Water is our major focus. Most people are unaware that 40 out of 50 U.S. states expect water shortages in 10 years, according to the Government Accountability Office. At the same time foreign corporations are currently buying up U.S. water rights. Internationally, the United Nations has identified 37 conflicts in the last 50 years caused by trans-boundary water rights. Additionally, U.S. intelligence agencies recently reported that water is a major source of instability and potential conflict. According to Picture Motion, a film advocacy organization, the last project to highlight this issue was in a documentary 10 years ago for about 20 minutes.

Phase 1—

The first phase of our video project will be to visit 18 states to film the dangers and solutions of climate and water security as highlighted by lawmakers and their communities.

As a former state lawmaker, I have the network to start filming immediately.

Every short video will help raise awareness of local climate issues, and will also be used to help promote the full-length documentary that will be filmed after the completion of the short videos.

We have a guaranteed audience, as each lawmaker will want to showcase themselves and their community. A California state senator, for example, has close to a million constituents.

Organizing through storytelling—

Working with communities by telling their stories is key. During each state visit, we will also conduct value-based communications training, provide a print story with photos, press release, and social media meme to promote the videos and documentary.

Phase 2—

The next stage is to select footage from the videos from each state to be used in our full-length documentary.

To finish the film we’ll travel to areas that need their issues highlighted. As the world heats up with climate change, the increasing lack of fresh water is causing conflicts around the globe. But there is hope — real solutions are already making a difference. Through a character driven style, we will chronicle the dangers and solutions to water security and climate change from the Middle East, to Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Americas.

Adrian Grenier from HBO’s Entourage, Anna Day, an award winning Journalist and DKC News in NYC, who produces Ken Bern’s films, are already committed to the project once the necessary funds are raised.

Maine’s mystical ships by Ramona du Houx – May 2016 exhibit Featured

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Seascapes

“Our bodies consist of the same proportion of water as the earth. We are creatures of the sea. The draw of the ocean has been written about time and again. There is something more vast and more mysterious about the sea than anything else on earth. It’s something similar to the vastness and mystery of the universe itself. Our planet is just one in our solar system which is connected by the vastness of space. Is the relationship we have with the ocean a microscopic reflection of the relationship our Earth has to space?” said Ramona du Houx.

“How people interact with the ocean, from feeling at one under sail with the winds at the back to simply watching waves lap the shores, transmits a calmness, a wholeness. That peace is something I wish to convey in my work.”

Non-profit Waterville Creates! awarded $1.5 million Alfond grant

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 1.22.58 PM

By Ramona du Houx in Maine Insights

Waterville Creates! has been awarded $1.5 million in grants from the Harold Alfond Foundation that will “help establish Waterville Creates! and support work of Waterville Creates! partners,” increasing arts and culture programming in the city.

“Waterville Creates! has brought together Waterville’s major arts organizations,” said Greg Powell, chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation. “This funding confirms our commitment to supporting the Waterville Creates! mission to lead the marketing and programming efforts on behalf of the Waterville’s arts and cultural institutions.”

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 1.23.20 PM“It will help ensure ongoing efforts to increase the collaborative programming of Waterville Creates! partners — the Colby Museum of Art, Maine Film Center, Waterville Main Street, Waterville Opera House, Waterville Public Library and Common Street Arts,” said the chairman of the Waterville Creates! board, Larry Sterrs. “This effort has already increased recognition of the importance of these organizations to the vitality of central Maine and helped to continue the Waterville renaissance in benefit to its citizens locally and regionally.”

Waterville Creates! works to enhance the arts and cultural institutions in the city.

Handmade pottery is the trend and Maine leads

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Ramona du Houx

Handmade pottery has become desirable to collect across America. Maine has been leading the way with small pottery workshops and dedicated potters for years.

Portland, Maine has one of the oldest pottery stores in the Old Port. The Maine Potters Market has been supplying artisan’s wares since 1978 and gallery host potters from across the state.

The pop up gallery in Hallowell, Maine for the holidays is showing a variety of central Maine potters that have been hard at work pursuing their passions for years.

 

Any potter knows that the actual sensation of being connected to the earth with your hands as one brings an object to life is special.

Now, people are realizing handmade products have that something special that can’t be found in mass-produced items. And pottery has become the trend. As a New York Times article stated:

Handcrafted small-batch ceramics are everywhere these days. You see them in trendsetting boutiques like the Primary Essentials in Brooklyn and Still House in Manhattan, artfully arranged in window displays and on shelves like totems of good taste.

They can be spotted in the stylized pages of Kinfolk, Apartamento and other cult magazines, often paired with organically shaped cutting boards and sun-dappled potted succulents. Vogue even devoted two pages in this year’s September issue to a new wave of independent ceramists.

And among certain creative-minded millennials, ceramics have replaced jewelry and furniture made from salvaged lumber as the craft du jour, with access to choice kilns as a status symbol to be flaunted on Pinterest and Instagram.

“There is beauty in imperfection and having items that are really handmade,” said the fashion designer Steven Alan, who populates his boutiques with textural American and Japanese ceramics in neutral hues.

The irony is the Holiday gift shop in Hallowell can only afford to continue until the end of the month. A previous shop in the town that specialized in artisan pottery and other unique wares closed last year.

If they people of the area understood how popular handmade crafts have and are becoming, maybe there could be a way for the pop up gallery to continue.

Maine potters were leading the way, long ago. The arts need community and state support.

 

Bowdoin College put on Sondheim on Sondheim which could have been on Broadway

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Article and photos by Ramona du Houx

On Nov 12-14, 2015 Bowdoin College put on a musical that could have been on Broadway. Sondheim on Sondheim is an intimate portrait of the famed songwriter in his own words and music which was taken from nineteen Sondheim shows produced over a 62 year period.

The voices of the cast were extraordinary. Eleven students, most of whom are not drama majors, excelled in their roles. The set designs and lighting reflected and evoked the times in which Sondheim lived.


The play was directed by the University of Maine’s Ed Reichert and featured a talented cast singing well-known, rarely-heard, and cut material featuring video commentary from the master himself.

The music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, and the play was conceived by James Lapine, who originally directed the Broadway production. Read more

Maine Landscape Art of Ramona du Houx – November 2015 exhibit

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Ramona du Houx uses the camera with a painter’s eye. The technique she discovered back in 1979, in New York, uses movement to create a sense of wonder through colors, textures, memories, and the seasons. Everything within the photographic viewfinder becomes visibly interconnected when objects merge with the motion of the camera as the image, the “lightgraph,” is taken.

“Moving the camera like a paint brush can create a sense of being personally close to an object through colors, textures, memories, and the seasons. Landscapes show this well because of their never-ending vastness that somehow surrounds us in an embrace. For me landscapes inspire contemplation, and patience. That and the sensation of being at home, welcomed by nature’s warmth,” said Ramona.

Read more

Bowdoin exhibit: “Earth Matters: Land as Material + Metaphor in the Arts of Africa”

Screen Shot 2015-11-05 at 11.46.19 AM“Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa” opened at Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick on October 15. The exhibit will run through March 6, 2016.

“We are proud to bring this important exhibition of African art to Bowdoin College,” said Bowdoin College Museum of Art Co-Director, Anne Collins Goodyear. “It provides an important perspective on how artists have negotiated their changing relationship to the land for over two centuries, and provides insight not only into the pan-African histories, but also into concerns familiar to American audiences grappling with how the meaning of the land around us has evolved over time.” Co-Director Frank Goodyear continues: “We are increasingly reminded of the vast reach of our international networks, both physical and virtual. Earth Matters returns our focus to the power of the ground beneath our feet while also demonstrating the political, spiritual, and aesthetic claims it has on the imagination in Africa as well as here in Maine.”

The first major pan-African art exhibition in Maine, Earth Matters also represents the first major exhibition to explore how African artists have used their work over the course of two centuries to mediate their relationship with the land upon which they live, work and frame their days. Organized by Karen E. Milbourne, Curator at the National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, the exhibition brings together approximately 50 works of art, created by artists from seventeen African nations, from the turn of the 19th century, when the international slave trade became illegal, to the present. Read more

The Photographic Art of Takafumi Suzuki – (Yohaku Yorozuya)

The Photographic Art of Takafumi Suzuki – (Yohaku Yorozuya)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Professor Takafumi Suzuki, also known as Yohaku Yorozuya, has had multiple exhibits over his forty year career as a photographic artist. He is renowned for his use of classic darkroom techniques spending days perfecting his images. This exhibit, in the slideshow above, is called Hindsight. Many of the images were taken years before historic events that changed the world. Read more