Sunday, December 29, 2013



Have you heard of Tim Rollins and KOS(kids of survival),  Robert Rauschenberg. 
These  are some of the artists and art projects that have used art to effect social change. During the Great Depression artist were hired by the CCC  (Civilian Conservation Core) and WPA (Work Progress Administration). Both of these programs were part of the New Deal instituted by President Roosevelt.
The desperate unemployed of the Great Depression

 These programs supported artists, but in particular,  the WPA  hired writers, artists, dancers, and all disciplines of the arts.
 Their goal was  to give jobs to starving artists and to serve the community at the same time. Here is a link to click on for further information of the WPA AND New Deal Artists. If you are interested in in-depth research on WPA artist I have a friend who has done extensive research in the area and can provide more links. (thanks Pat Kane)

WPA Art Program            Mural in Post Office           from google image for education only

Can the arts be effective in social programs and social change? 

I think as you read about all of these programs you will agree art can effect social change and and for the good of communities.   Artists are not only visual creative people, but they often can be visionaries as well. Lets take a closer look at some of these programs and artists.

Tim Rollins and KOS

The following article is from Xavier Hufkins Gallery Post.
Xavier Hufikins' Gallery carries Tim Rollins and Kos Work and Exhibitions. 

Tim Rollins (b. 1955, Pittsfield, Maine) began teaching art in a South Bronx public school in 1981. His lessons incorporated creative work with reading and writing lessons for educationally disadvantaged or emotionally ‘at risk’ students. Rollins told his class on that first day, ‘today we are going to make art, but we are also going to make history’. When asked what he meant by ‘making history’, Rollins said: ‘To dare to make history when you are young, when you are a minority, when you are working, or non-working class, when you are voiceless in society, takes courage. Where we came from, just surviving is “making history”. So many others, in the same situations, have not survived, physically, psychologically, spiritually, or socially. We were making our own history. We weren’t going to accept history as something given to us.’

The source material laid out and studied by the students generally relates to literary or musical classics, such as works by William Shakespeare, George Orwell, Ralph Ellison or Franz Schubert, but can also include comics or legal documents. Their collaborative work takes the form of drawings, photographs, sculptural objects and paintings on canvas and paper. The backgrounds of works are often comprised of pages of books pasted into a grid. The results blend elements of Minimalism with an interest in the revival of painting that took place in the 1980s and in art that is socially and politically engaged. He has said: “What we’re doing changes people’s conception about who can make art, how art is made, who can learn and what’s possible, because a lot of these kids had been written off by the school system. This is our revenge.”

Robert Rauschenberg

Part of the ROCI International Global Exchange
In addition to his artist interest as a painter, sculptor, photographer, print maker, and video producer, from early on he was involved int political and social projects. He formed an organization called EAT (experiments in art and technology) to promote collaboration between artists and engineers.  
Rauschenberg founded "Change" after he withdrew from the Venice Biennale as a protest to the US involvement in Viet Nam.  But his most extensive effort was with ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Culture Interchange) for the period of 1984-1991 in eleven different countries.  Rauschenberg had strong belief in cultural exchange and dialogue across different political systems and until his death his strong belief continued in the possibilities of global artistic exchange. (source Wikipedia)
After Rauschenberg's death his studio and home in Captiva Florida were turned in to a museum and artist in residency program. Click here for link to Rauschenberg Foundation.

In the following post we will look at other artists and programs which seek to effect social change.

An added surprise for the more discerning among you! A 22 minute interview with Tim Rollins, the artist.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


from google image for educational purposes

The curiosity and willingness to experiment is one of the most interesting things about human beings.  There is playfulness and a desire to try new things in so many people. I love small towns because of that.  Towns that are too small to hire companies that do advertising or design work.  Ordinary people try things they would not otherwise. I love names of diners like Do/Al…you know Dorothy and Allen decided to name their restaurant together or the ice cream cone that is an actual building that has ice cream sold inside.   Because it is the season  I thought today we would look at all the creative Christmas trees we can find. 

google image         Book Christmas tree

Tuesday, December 24, 2013



How People Celebrate with food all over the world. (< click for link)

Christmas in Turkey

Turkey will always have a fond place in my heart.  I lived in Izmir for two years and loved every minute of it.  It is where I first found out about the origin of what we know as Santa Claus or Saint Nicolas today. And it is where I visited the home of where it is believed Mary, the Mother of Jesus, spent her last years near Ephesus.  For a year and a half I was on sabbatical from Pinellas County Schools for studying Islamic art and Turkish Folk Arts.  I think some of the administrators thought this was a boondoggle, but there are generations of art students who now are more understanding and tolerant of a culture they would not have been.  They learned about Islamic art and culture.  They heard stories from Turkish folk tales and learned about how people all over the world, for their differences are really very much the same.  As America became more and more involved in the Middle East I think I at least helped hundreds of students and art teachers be tolerant and welcoming of the Middle Eastern Cultures. And with understanding I hope comes friendship and peace.  

Hagia Sophia(link)       Istanbul, Turkey
I was fortunate to celebrate Ramadan with my Turkish friends as well.  When people celebrate they express their culture, families, and get very creative at times.  Just look at this pick up truck all decked out somewhere in some small town in America.  A pretty creative family!

My favorite line from Christmas songs is this one and it is the message I hope travels the to us all….PEACE ON EARTH AND GOOD WILL TO MEN! 


Monday, December 23, 2013


Creativity knows no bounds in the mind of an artist!

In the fields of France Simon Beck has created some very large, interesting art. You might think this is made by a machine, but no Simon walks out his designs in snowshoes!!!  Quite amazing.  

                 Snow Art                    Simon Beck                   from google image for education only

Thursday, December 19, 2013


"I’ve made my collection a work of art. It’s a voice, an instrument, mine and theirs, telling a story that needs to be heard." Andres Serrano


In October Andres Serrano went around collecting signs from homeless people on the streets of NYC.  He bought the signs that told the stories of the lives of the homeless.  He walked the streets on NYC sometimes seven or eight hours a day.  He collected signs from every area he could and approached people in the most respectable way he was able to do.

"They always said yes and I’d say, “I’m an 

artist. And artists see things in a different 

way. And one of the things I see are the signs 

the homeless have. I’m buying these signs 

because I see every sign as a story. There 

are many stories out here that should be 

heard. Can I offer you $20 for your sign?” 

They would all say yes and it touched me 

how grateful many people were when I 

bought their sign. I got several hugs and

 many “God Bless Yous.”


George Rodrigue 

A wonderful artist and fine man just left the bonds of this earthly plane.  His art foundation helped thousands of Louisiana children have art supplies for art education programs. He also donated to children's hospitals in gifts of his work.  It is with great sadness we say goodbye to George Rodrigue. If you do not have a chosen charity please consider the George Rodrigue Art Education Foundation.  Our thoughts go our to his family during this sad time and holiday season.  May the seeds he sowed grow many an artist and creative thinkers in the schools of Louisiana.

from google for art education only

“I realize more today than ever, that Europe had to experience the Dark Ages in order to have the Renaissance. Art reinvents itself by people who go though things that they may not understand at the time. There’s always hope that new generations will discover new things that eventually propel society forward.”

“For lack of a better word, I feel now a renaissance in the way I look at things and in the way the Blue Dog looks at me.”

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

LVMH Museum Set to Open!

Frank Getty Designed Museum                                from google for education only

LVMH museum finally set to open

The Frank Gehry designed museum will be set to promote emerging scenes and young artists.
Ernard Arnault, the chairman of the French luxury goods group LVMH-MOET HENNESSY is due to pend his long awaited museum in Paris next years as stated by Gareth Harris. The e100million building was originally due to be launched by 2012 in the Bois de Boulogne district of Paris.  Designed by Frank Gehry, the museum will house the Louis Vuitton Foundation for Creation.
A spokeswoman of Arnault confirmed that the museum will open next spring. It will have a platform for young artists from emerging scenes worldwide. There will also be an exhibition of works drawn from the Louis Vuitton Foundation.   
A spokeswoman for Arnult confirmed that the venue will open next spring.  An exhibition of drawn from the Luis Vuitiion Foundation at the Hong Kong Museum of art in 2009 
Source of information is by Gareth Harris.  
published on line December 16, 2013. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013



You know that so often we concentrate on Visual Arts at Rabbit's Moon Studio that I forget to celebrate other art forms.  You may not know this, but some of us at Rabbit's Moon studio originate from a state called Mississippi, in an area and time that was very close to the birthplace and era of Elvis Presley.  He has lived large in our culture and time, perhaps more so for baby boomers that others.  But he is one of those iconic cultural phenomena that just continues to live on.  So when I ran in to this awesome rendition of Blue Hawaii by 16 year old French Canadian David Thibault I had to post it for you.  It almost makes you believe in reincarnation, as the post says.  I have heard many impersonators through the years, but this young man comes closer than anyone I have ever heard.  The art of impersonation is an at as well, and a fine art at that.  Enjoy my friends and readers, enjoy.

Rabbit's Moon Studio Blog normally advocates and post articles on art, but when we see something we think you may enjoy that is about art and is of interest whether it be books about art and artists or other ephemera regarding art that are for sale we like to bring them to your attention.  The Environmental Artists in this calendar are unique and 12 of the most interesting artists doing environmental art presently.  So lets let you take a peak at this wonderful gathering of artist and their work.  Buying quality art and things about art is something we believe in and highly promote.

For the purpose of art advocacy only
These are just a few of the twelve images in the calendar, but I think you can get a good idea of the quality of the Calendar. We do promote buying art and hand made art, but also any supportive books, and art materials.
from google for art advocacy only
Organic Highway by Mikael Hansen
Sycamore poles
Langeland, Denmark, 1995

Agnieszka Gradzik and Wiktor Szostalo              from google for art advocacy only

Equilibri by Michael Grab
Balanced stones
Cattolica, Italy, 2012
Marco Casagrande 
If you are interested in purchasing this art calendar click here.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Time to Say Goodbye to the WInter Studio

No more dinners and wine on the deck till
spring now.  Lots of good memories though.
 Actually this year, my mountain studio was summer, fall, and almost winter.  I think this week is officially winter, but we have already had our first snow and the squirrels have started to fatten themselves on the corn I throw out ever morning to get them through a sparse winter spoils. I thought I would share a few pictures of this time and memories before the trek down to Florida today by way of South Carolina and family. 

Whitey Bolger Senior
This trip I discovered our squirrels had white ears and some have white paws.  So we decided to name them Whitey Bulger and family after the infamous international thief that dogged capture for almost a lifetime.  I don't think our squirrels ever intend to be captured either! 
On this trip I discovered some wonderful little art towns.  Marshall, Spruce Pine and Burnsville, North Carolina.  I also visited an art studio built on a trash dump that uses the gases generated from the trash for kilns and torches for blowing glass.  I went to Akira Satake's art opening, a wonderful potter who uses older Japanese glazing and firing techniques. I met many new craftsmen in the area.  And we bought a new tea bowl for our collection from Akira.  We have a large collection( well a beginning collection) of tea bowls. 
I learned to adapt to winter, by staying into the colder time of year and did much better than last year.  Vinci, the studio dog, did not shake nearly as much and was able to stay out longer without becoming a popsicle.  
We tried new restaurants and I will share those with you and our other new finds in case you plan to travel to Asheville, North Carolina and this area.

Snowy day vista with found object mobile

Enveloped in the clouds one day
Zafer, the studio cat, hard at work 

Enveloped in the clouds the second day

early morning on the mountain, pastel mountains poke through

The snows have melted for now, it is a week and a half before Christmas and more snow
is due next week.  The mosses on the mountain have thrived this year.   And now it is
time to say good bye for awhile, until the next time and more adventure and more creation.
Until the next time…….

Thursday, December 12, 2013


Rory Peck Award of Photography

Hazaribagh: Toxic Leather
2012 Bangladesh

Rory Peck was  an Irish photographer that was killed filming during the Russian conflict of 1993by Yeltsin loyalist. He was later, posthumously, the Yeltsin Award for Personal Courage.

Soumen Guha and Dipak Chandra Sutradhar are two photographers who put themselves at risk to gain access to a leather factory in Bangladesh that had deplorable unsafe conditions for its workers.  As you watch the film, you will notice not only the horrific environment people are being ask to work in, but the way in which these two artist present the events to you.  The filming is exquisite, and done with such great artistry it pulls us in and smacks us right in the face with the dangerous, toxic environment these workers are being made to work in.  It disgust you, it pulls in your emotions and puts right in your face conditions no person should ever have to work in.  
Most artists art not ask to take such risks when we do our art, but we must honor and appreciate when artists chose to do this to educate us, enlighten us, and motivate us.  
The 2013 Awards went to Olly Lambert for Across Syrian Lines.

No matter where one sits politically or morally about any event, that artists take these risks to document and present life events that need to be seen, we must value and applaud their dedication to their art.  

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Sol Le Witt Cake Plate   

ARTspace(click for more information) is an interesting site on line.  There are interesting articles on art and artist, the trendy and new. This past post was of great interest to me and I thought I would share it with you also. 
Cindy Sherman Designed China Ware

Jeff Koons  Dinner Plate
This post is on the combination of fine artist of repute and the blending their art with popular consumerism. We all love fine art, but for the rock starts of the visual arts, 

we can rarely afford their work.  There is something about tableware that draws artist to want to try their art on functional domestic use.  For some of us, it allows, the purchase of art that would normally be out of our price range. 
Salvador Dali was always trying to take his art in to different areas, sometime it caused him problems and sometimes is was remarkably innovative.  

   Salvador Dali       from goole image

Monday, December 9, 2013



I read recently that Michelangelo began his painting Last Judgment in the left hand upper corner and the next four years progressed through 250 nudes.  He used a process called a comp, a drawing on paper, pounced and then re-drawn in to place.  In the tradition of the time, the faces were painted first and less skilled elements were handed down to assistants.
Cezanne, however, painted all at one time, a system that was observed in his unfinished works.  This over all process was used by many of the Impressionists. (source of information Painters Keys Newsletter. ) 

Michelangelo's Last Judgment          from in google image for education only


National Geographic
October 9th-March 10th, 2014

This is a wonderful exhibit of talented accomplished photographers who are women.  
from google image, for educational purposes only

Below is a you tube video about the women photographers showcased in the Women of Vision 

"For the last decade, some of our most powerful stories have been produced by a new generation of photojournalists who are women. They all share the same passion and commitment to storytelling that has come to define National Geographic."  quote from the catalogue of exhibit
the Women of Vision National Geographic show
from google image for education only

The Book  
There is a National Geographic Women of Vision Book also.
It can be ordered on amazon if you click on this link.

Friday, December 6, 2013



from google for education only

 There is much you may know about the extraordinary life of Nelson Mandela, but I doubt many of you knew about the art work he did while in prison! I too was surprised and was not aware of his  art work.  
Nelson Mandela was approached by a groups to produce a group of lithographs.

"In 2002 whilst in New York, we learned that Nelson Mandela had indeed started to draw and that his lithographs were to be launched a few months later. Mr Mandela had been invited to participate in a program me which would have him drawing a series of works whose sales could achieve great results." Quoted from Belgravia Gallery article

"In 2002 we spent a happy and memorable time with him at his home in Johannesburg where he told us of his vision to use the art to help underprivileged children affected by HIV and the associated poverty and isolation. We were very privileged to be entrusted with the sale of his art to allow this vision to continue.He credited Princess Diana for making him aware of the nature and scale of the human disaster. He chatted easily and warmly about the Royal Family-mentioning meeting "Elizabeth":
Prison on Robben Island                                  from google for education only

"I recognise you from the stamps," he quipped and the Queen responded, "And I recognise you from the tee-shirts." Mrs Thatcher also delighted him with her skills at making and pouring tea. A few weeks later, together with our family, clients and friends, we joined Nelson Mandela at a dinner on Robben Island in 2003, to launch his artwork. He spoke of his love of color and joy at drawing, and told us that when he finally retires, he would like to become a full- time artist. Arguably the greatest statesman of the twentieth century, his achievements and personal triumph have become a powerful symbol to people all over the world that good will ultimately prevail"  Quoted from the site of the Belgravia Gallery.

I think this is a beautiful story about Nelson Mandela and his art work.  Art has a healing effect on people who are going through horrific experiences and great trauma.  Self expression helps us to deal with things that seem impossible to live through.  Evidently Nelson Mandela found his love of art again in his 27 years in prison.  He came out of prison a loving and positive man, not a broken and bitter one.  He found a way, not only to survive, but to heal and move forward.

The Struggle Series

“These sketches are not so much about my life as they are about my own country. I drew hands because they are powerful instruments, hands can hurt or heal, punish or uplift. They can also be bound but a quest for righteousness can never be repressed. In time, we broke lose the shackles of injustice, we joined hands across social divides and national boundaries, between continents and over oceans and now we look to the future, knowing that even if age makes us wiser guides, [it is] the youth that reminds us of love, of trust and of the value of life.”  25.7.2001  N Mandela

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