Tag Archives: Art

One Work of Art, One Relationship, One Lifetime at a Time

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

First Lady Michelle Obama, the honorary chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), speaks about the importance of after-school and out-of-school arts and humanities education by hosting the PCAH’s National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards – the country’s highest honor in this field during an East Room event, October 20, 2010. (by Chuck Kennedy)

Today, First Lady Michelle Obama, honorary chair of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), celebrated fifteen exemplary programs from across the country that reach underserved youth by hosting the PCAH’s National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.

In her remarks, the First Lady spoke about the importance of after-school and out-of-school arts and humanities education and thanked the teachers, administrators, and artists that keep these programs running each and every day, particularly during tough economic times:

But against all the odds, you’ve kept going. You’ve kept teaching and mentoring and innovating because you know, like all of us know, that these programs, programs like yours, can help our young people expand their imaginations and tap into their creativity.

You’ve seen how the arts and humanities can broaden their horizons and help them discover a talent or a mission or a sense of purpose that they never knew they had.

She spoke about how experiences in the arts and the humanities foster creative and intellectual development — and change lives:

But the real beauty is that you’re doing more than just teaching these young people how to become better artists or better musicians. You’re also connecting them with mentors and college counselors. You’re helping them become better people. And you’re giving them skills that will help make their futures that much brighter.

When a student writes a play, she’s not just learning how to put lines on a page.  She’s boosting her language skills, becoming a better public speaker, gaining a sense of pride in her ability to set a goal and to reach it.  When students are paired up with mentors, it’s about more than just keeping their grades up or strengthening their college applications.

It’s about connecting them with someone who’s been where they’ve been, who’s willing to take a genuine interest in their future, and who can show them what it takes to succeed in the studio, in the classroom, and in life.  And when a group of young people comes together to put on a show or create a piece of artwork, it’s not just about getting recognition for the work they’ve created. It’s about learning what it means to share a gift with others, and give back to the people who’ve made a difference in their own lives.

And together, they’re bringing so much joy to so many.  You’re showing our students that each of them has something valuable to contribute to this life. And you’re opening their eyes to a world of possibility that awaits them –- one work of art, one relationship, one lifetime at a time.

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The 2010 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award awardees are:

After-School Playwriting Program
Young Playwrights’ Theater, Inc.
Washington, D.C.

Brooklyn Cultural Adventures Program (BCAP)
Heart of Brooklyn Cultural Institutions, Inc.
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Center for Community Arts Partnerships
Community Schools Initiative
Columbia College Chicago
Chicago, Ill.

Community MusicWorks
Providence, R.I.

FACT After–School Programs
Fine Arts for Children and Teens, Inc.
Santa, Fe, N.M.

Girlstories Theatre Project and Workshops
Powerstories Theatre, Inc.
Tampa, Fla.

New Directions YouthArts
City of Las Vegas Office of Cultural Affairs
Las Vegas, Nev.

Project ALERTA
University of Massachusetts
Boston, Mass.

RiverzEdge Arts Project
Woonsocket, R.I.

San Francisco WritersCorps
Friends & Foundation of the San Francisco Public Library
San Francisco Arts Commission
San Francisco, Calif.

Scripps College Academy
Scripps College
Claremont, Calif.

The After School Program
Mentors of Minorities in Education, Inc.
Washington, D.C.

Artists Collective’s Transforming the Lives of High Risk Youth: Training in the Arts & Culture of the African Diaspora
Artists Collective, Inc.
Hartford, Conn.

Urban Voices
Global Action Project, Inc.
New York, N.Y.

YouthCAN
Wing Luke Asian Museum
Seattle, Wash.

Looking for more stories on the First Lady? Check out our special section: FLOTUS: All Things Michelle Obama

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Academy Award® Nominated ~ Achievement in Art Direction

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

Avatar

Click here for complete coverage of Avatar, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Young Victoria

Click here for complete coverage of The Young Victoria, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Sherlock Holmes

Click here for complete coverage of Sherlock Holmes, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Nine

Click here for complete coverage of Nine, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Click here for complete coverage of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Art, Artists, Best Art Direction, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Pop Culture, US, Video/YouTube, World

Little-Known Black History Fact: Lois Mailou Jones

Posted by BuellBoy

Lois Mailou Jones in 1936

Lois Mailou Jones in 1936

Textile artist Lois Mailou Jones was a Harlem Renaissance artist; in fact, she was one of the longest living members of the Harlem Renaissance.

Jones found her inspiration in Martha’s Vineyard as a teen. As her interest grew, she decided to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1937, learning textile design.

Though a cultured profession, textile artists of her day were not excluded from racism. Sometimes she was required to clean the studio in order to us it. At one point, Jones saw her textile work hanging in a boutique. After introducing herself as the creator of the design, the owner told her a colored girl could not have possibly made such a beautiful design. After enduring more discrimination, Jones found herself in Paris, where she was accepted. It was there that she worked with Josephine Baker, Albert Smith and Emile Bernard.

Lois Mailou Jones

Lois Mailou Jones

Wishing to find her place in America, Jones entered “whites only” art contests using the face of her white colleague to make a name for herself. She connected with greats like with Mary McCleod Bethune, Arthur Schomburg, Alan Locke, Zora Neale Hurston and Danny Glover.

She took her expertise to an HBCU – the one place she was allowed to teach – and taught at Howard University for 47 years.

Before she died in 1998, Jones presented her work to President Bill and First Lady Clinton. She now lays to rest in Martha’s Vineyard, where it all began.

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Academy Award® Nominated: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a fantastical morality tale, set in the present day. It tells the story of Dr Parnassus and his extraordinary ‘Imaginarium’, a traveling show where members of the audience get an irresistible opportunity to choose between light and joy or darkness and gloom. Blessed with the extraordinary gift of guiding the imaginations of others, Dr Parnassus is cursed with a dark secret. Long ago he made a bet with the devil, Mr Nick, in which he won immortality. Many centuries later, on meeting his one true love, Dr Parnassus made another deal with the devil, trading his immortality for youth, on condition that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina is now rapidly approaching this ‘coming of age’ milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr Parnassus promises his daughter’s hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles – and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all…

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The cast includes: Johnny Depp, Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Colin Farrell, Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Tom Waits, Peter Stormare, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, and Paloma Faith

Reviews

IMDB member
“This is Terry Gilliam’s dark masterpiece. It’s a brilliant film–there are fabulous, fantastic, surrealistic visual effects; gorgeous cinematography; and stunning performances by an amazing cast of consisting of both famous stars and lesser known (but excellent) actors. It’s in the vein of the great European surrealistic movies like Fellini’s “8 1/2” or “Satyricon”. But–if you’re not open to a mind bending, almost psychedelic fantasy and a plot with strange twists and turns that can be challenging to follow, this won’t be for you. The cast is terrific–I mean, Tom Waits plays “Old Scratch”–how can you lose? Christopher Plummer is excellent in the title role; Heath Ledger’s last performance is stellar. Lily Cole, Johnny Depp, Andrew Garfield, Jude Law, Verne Troyer, and Colin Farrell are also very good. The costumes and sets are gorgeous, though often in a dark and grungy way. By the way–it also ends up being a story about ethical choices in life and how some people are very misleading. Probably not material for a box office hit, sadly, as this film is probably too unusual for most Americans.”

Did You Know?

Heath Ledger’s last movie project. It is dedicated to him.

After the death of Heath Ledger, production was shut down for a few months. Then it was re-started when Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell agreed to complete Ledger’s role. The film’s fantasy premise, and some clever rewrites, let the actors play a man whose appearance changes as he travels between imaginary worlds.

The film contains various references to the classic staging of Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting For Godot including Tom Waits’ black suit and bowler hat and Jude Law dragging a rope noosed around his neck (as does Lucky in the play).

One of Tom Waits’ most infamous music videos is for his song “God’s Away On Business“. Waits plays the Devil in this film. In both this film and in the music video, he makes use of a black umbrella.

Two Nominations

Best Art Direction
Best in Costume Design

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Academy Award® Nominated: Nine

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


Famed Italian director Guido Contini is ten days away from the start of principal filming of his latest movie, ambitiously titled “Italia”. The general speculation by anyone who has followed production, including the press, is that Guido has lost his creative vision and that this production will go the way of his last two films: be a flop. The first part of that statement is indeed true as Guido not only does not yet have a script, but he has no idea for the movie at all. Guido escapes to a seaside resort to convalesce and get away from all the pressures of this production, this convalescence only to moderate success as he thinks about the women who have shaped his life.

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The cast includes: Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Judi Dench, Kate Hudson, Sophia Loren, Stacy Ferguson, and Ricky Tognazzi

44D’s Reviews

IMDB member
“The film is beautiful, visually stunning, and exciting, and the cast is remarkable, especially Penelope Cruz (no surprise there), Marion Cotillard (her singing is wonderful), and the gal who blows the doors off — an unrecognizable (to me, anyhow) Fergie! I was watching the credits to see who the hell played Saraghina, and was stunned to learn it was Stacy Ferguson. Go Fergie! Judi Dench is a smash as well. Nicole Kidman doesn’t reveal anything we haven’t seen before, but she does bring the large dollop of Movie Star shine for which her role calls. Even Kate Hudson pleases; her 60’s go-go dance will inevitably bring comparisons to her mother’s “Laugh In” heyday.”

Did You Know?

The original Broadway musical opened May 9, 1982 at the 46th Street Theater and ran for 729 performances with Raul Julia as Guido. It won five Tony awards, including Best Musical and Best Featured Actress. The latest Broadway production, starring Antonio Banderas as Guido, opened on Apr 10, 2003 at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre and ran for 283 performances. It won two Tonys: Best Revival of a Musical and Best Featured Actress. Banderas turned down the chance to reprise his role as Guido in the film version.

Only the second movie musical for Sophia Loren, the first being Man of La Mancha (1972), even though she is a capable singer, as can be heard on many novelty and soundtrack recordings.

The number Nine refers to Fellini’s 8 1/2, which was his ninth movie (he directed 7 on his own and co-directed one other). Also, the number 9 refers to the age young Guido is in the flashback.

Four Nominations

Best Supporting Actress~Penélope Cruz
Best Art Direction
Best in Costume Design
Best in Music (Original Song)

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Academy Award® Nominated: The Young Victoria

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, and BuellBoy


From Martin Scorsese & the makers of Gosford Park and The Departed, comes the story of Queen Victoria’s early rise to power, focusing on her early reign in the 1830s. From an object of a royal power-struggle in, to her romantic courtship and legendary marriage to Prince Albert, Emily Blunt (Devil Wears Prada) gives a stunning performance as The Young Victoria.

Packed with drama, romance, political intrigue, breath-taking cinematography and featuring an outstanding British cast including Jim Broadbent, Mark Strong, Paul Bettany and Miranda Richardson and Rupert Friend.

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The cast includes: Emily Blunt, Rupert Friend, Paul Bettany, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent, Thomas Kretschmann, Mark Strong and Jesper Christensen

44D’s Reviews

Audiegrl
“I’m not sure what I initially expected from this film, but it did exceed my expectations. In visualizing Queen Victoria, it was always as a very plump and stern-looking older woman in a daguerreotype; the exact opposite of Emily Blunt’s head-strong and spirited portrayal of a young Victoria. Blunt did a wonderful job of breathing life into this character. Plus as with many historical films set in England, the cinematography and costumes were simply amazing. Anyone interested in history and a peek into the private lives of the Royals will enjoy this film.”

Did You Know?

Producer Sarah Ferguson’s daughter, Princess Beatrice of York, has a small role in the film as one of Victoria’s ladies in waiting. Beatrice is a great-great-great-great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

The costumes that Emily Blunt wore were insured for £10,000 each.

Many of the interior scenes were filmed at Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. The bed used in the honeymoon scene was slept in by the real Queen Victoria when she visited the castle in 1843. The bedroom is so small that all the cameras had to be placed outside the windows.

Three Nominations

Best Art Direction
Best in Costume Design
Best Makeup

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Academy Award® Nomination: Avatar

Posted by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy


AVATAR takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a newcomer from Earth embarks on an epic adventure, ultimately fighting to save the alien world he has learned to call home. James Cameron, the Oscar®-winning director of “Titanic,” first conceived of the film 15 years ago, when the means to realize his vision did not yet exist. Now, after four years of production, AVATAR, a live action film with a new generation of special effects, delivers a fully immersive cinematic experience of a new kind, where the revolutionary technology invented to make the film disappears into the emotion of the characters and the sweep of the story.

We enter the alien world through the eyes of Jake Sully, a former Marine confined to a wheelchair. But despite his broken body, Jake is still a warrior at heart. He is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where a corporate consortium is mining a rare mineral that is the key to solving Earth’s energy crisis. Because Pandora’s atmosphere is toxic, they have created the Avatar Program, in which human “drivers” have their consciousness linked to an avatar, a remotely controlled biological body that can survive in the lethal air. These avatars are genetically engineered hybrids of human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives of Pandora… the Na’vi.

Reborn in his avatar form, Jake can walk again. He is given a mission to infiltrate the Na’vi, who have become a major obstacle to mining the precious ore. But a beautiful Na’vi female, Neytiri, saves Jake’s life, and this changes everything. Jake is taken in by her clan, and learns to become one of them, which involves many tests and adventures. As Jake’s relationship with his reluctant teacher Neytiri deepens, he learns to respect the Na’vi way and finally takes his place among them. Soon he will face the ultimate test as he leads them in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Landau
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Cameron
Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Refoua, A.C.E. and Stephen Rivkin, A.C.E.
Production Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg
Director of Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mauro Fiore, ASC
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joe Letteri
Costume Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mayes C. Rubeo and Deborah L. Scott
Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . James Horner

The cast includes: Sam Worthington, Zoë Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, and Laz Alonso

Reviews

IMDB member from England
It was Terminator in the 1980’s and then Titanic in the ’90s and it’s definitely Avatar in the 2000s!!

James Cameron is my most favourite director and he has once again broken all boundaries and created a visual extravaganza.

Avatar is Cameron’s latest magnum opus is probably one of the most anticipated movies since Titanic and now it seems that the visionary director has indeed created a film that’ll revolutionize the world of cinema.

The film was absolutely fascinating, interesting, entertaining and emotional. I loved the look on the Pandora jungle and it must be the best scenery in film history and the navis are definitely the best digital characters since Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. The special effects are so amazing that Pandora looks like a real location and you can mistake the navis as real characters. Avatar was almost 3 hours but it didn’t seem that long.

Avatar already makes it on my top 5 favourite movies and I intend to see it again and I am already waiting for it to release on Blu Ray because I’m sure that it will be one of the best Blu Ray titles.

Did You Know?

The year is never stated, but the video log shows that the year is 2154.

Sigourney Weaver plays a James Cameron persona for her character in this film. Sigourney stated in an interview, “I teased him because to me I’m playing Jim Cameron in the movie as this kind of brilliant, approach-driven, idealistic perfectionist. But that same somebody has a great heart underneath. So I have to say I was always kind of channeling him.”

The Na’vi language was created entirely from scratch by linguist Paul R. Frommer. James Cameron hired him to construct a language that the actors could pronounce easily, but did not resemble any single human language. Frommer created about 1000 words.

Nine Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Director
Best Cinematography
Best Art Direction
Best Visual Effects
Best in Film Editing
Best Sound Mixing
Best Sound Editing
Best in Music (Original Score)

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