Friday, January 31, 2014



I am constantly amazed about the creativity of people.  From small towns that do their own signs and Madison Avenue advertising to buildings in the shape of what they sell and the person who takes whatever they do to a fine art or a just add their own individual artistry to their area.  Across Asia and the Middle East are hundred of street sellers and market booth sellers who do amazing crafts and art on the streets.  They will never see a gallery, or a museum, but they are amazingly talented in their own way.  So here's to the creativity of the individual, here is to the artist in all of us!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

This is a repost of a wonderful article about the importance of investing in the art in communities and why it makes economic sense.  The article is by Crystal Shepard of Care2.

                             from google image for educational purposes only
It is a commonly held opinion in many circles that sports or other types of entertainment are more impotent to invest in to bring economic growth to a community. The statistics though show it is the arts that  bring the greatest revenues to cities and communities.  According to Richard Florida's research communities that draw creative people are the most thriving and progressive cites.  And example would be Seattle.


Investing in Arts and Creative People to Boost the Economy

Sunday, 26 January 2014 09:14By Crystal ShepeardCare2 | Report
Viewing portrait(Image: Viewing portrait via Shutterstock)Current Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee has always been considered an unusual politician. The relic of the now-defunct moderate republican, the former Rhode Islander chose to leave his former party and run as an independent in his home state. With his election in 2011, he inherited a twelve percent unemployment rate, a nearly half a billion dollar budget shortfall, and a small city in bankruptcy.
Rhode Island needed a new approach.
Three years later, Chafee has decided to look at new ways to revive Rhode Island. With its traditional manufacturing economy still lagging, it is struggling to feel more of the so-called recovery, in spite of a lower unemployment rate. This week he announced a new initiative that he says is the key to Rhode Island’s economic future and a safe bet: funding the arts.
He is pushing for a voter referendum, which would authorize $35 million dollars in grants for the arts community. This wouldn’t be small grants for local artists, though that will happen as well if his request for an additional $1 million dollars from the general fund is approved. The new investment will go towards facilities and businesses that already bring in more than $600 million dollars to the state’s economy annually. Museums, theaters, and historic sites could all apply for the grants and would have to contribute some level of matching funding.
The idea even has economic data to back it up.
The New England Foundation of the Arts estimated that in 2009, the creative community provided $673 million dollars to the Rhode Island economy, including 8,000 jobs. Those jobs included everyone from actors on stage to those who sold tickets at museums. This doesn’t include the indirect economic activity of patrons hiring babysitters, eating at the restaurants before a show, or staying at a local hotel. It is estimated that for every $1 dollar spent by an arts organization resulted in $2.10 in sales for local businesses.
Rhode Island isn’t alone in including the creative community in economic planning.
In 2012, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder proposed including an investment into the state’s arts and culture. After realizing that Michigan’s creative community had contributed nearly a half a billion dollars and more than 15,000 jobs to the economy, the investment in the arts is seen as a crucial part of a sound economic plan. Since then, Michigan has more than quadrupled its arts funding to an estimated $7 million dollars. Now, more than $2 billion dollars is spent on Michigan’s art and culture annually, more than many other recreational activities combined.
The investment can also be a boon for other sectors of the economy.
St. Louis-based writer Sarah Kendzior recently wrote that traditional cities for artists, such as New York or San Francisco, have become too expensive for creative people, catering to only those that are well-funded or well-connected. In the end, artistic expression is being stifled and creativity is being killed. “The ‘creative class,’” she writes, “is a frozen archetype – one that does not boost the economy of global cities, as urban studies theorist Richard Florida argues, but is a product of their takeover by elites.” She suggests that artists do what they do best and think out of the box and leave the overpriced former incubators for cheaper terrain.
Places like Detroit.
The largest city to declare bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit has been the poster child for economic destruction and political corruption. While there is still much debate over the handling of the city’s woes, including a proposed sale of the city’smuch cherished art collection, a small group of local artists and activists are doing their own part to aid in the recovery. In 2012, Write A House was formed for the sole purpose of providing Detroit based writers a two year residency – with a twist. They have secured three houses in one of Detroit’s many abandoned neighborhoods. One was donated and the other two were bought for $1,000 dollars each, a feat not difficult to do with the thousands of boarded up homes. Through donations and grants, they are refurbishing each of the homes and then giving them to writers.
Yes, this writer residency includes an actual residence.
The writer is allowed to stay for free for two years. If they fulfill their obligations, which include engaging with the local literary community and contributing to the organization’s blog, Write a House will hand over the deed. In the end, the writer will  have a (hopefully) finished project, a new home, and be a key part at revitalizing the city. As a homeowner, the writer will then be responsible for all related insurance and taxes, currently estimated at about $500 dollars per month.
The hope is that these artists will remain in the communities, possibly have families and continue to contribute to the city. Their efforts will spawn new businesses, help established industries and contribute to the funding that provides health and education.
In Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee plans to have his proposal on the fall ballot. As many states look outside to lure businesses to them, Chafee seems to realize what they need is right in their front yard. “It’s already here. It’s all around us in this state,” he told the Associated Press. “It just needs a little recognition, a little help. When you look at what the arts can offer the economy, the community, our quality of life, it makes a lot of sense.”
In other words, investing in creative ways in creative people is the new trickle up economics.
A special thanks to my brother Dr. Donald Gordon for bringing this article to my attention.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


                                                          from google image for education only

"On Friday morning, Khmer-American artist Kat Eng set up a sewing machine in front of H&M’s Times Square location. The eight-hour performance was a response to the brutal military crackdown of striking garment workers in Cambodia. In early January, 500,000 workers joined a strike to demand a livable wage. Over 400 factories were forced to shut down operation. The government ordered military police fired upon demonstrators, killing five and injuring dozens. In solidarity with the oppressed workers the artist worked the entire day, stitching together 2 and 2/3 actual dollar bills, the daily salary of garment workers." From Encounter article 
Kat sees her project as "act of solidarity with women who labor under the boot of multinational corporations and their collapsing industrial machines, women who literally crate immense value with their own callused hands". She continues to say"it is a message to consumer culture that behind every stitch is a hand, a face, a person."
from google image for education only 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014








Monday, January 27, 2014


The Budha's       Photo by Elizabeth Gordon


                                    KITSCH JUNGLE!

Photo by Elizabeth Gordon

The American version of a flea market is different from any others I have been to in other countries.  Perhaps we just have a way of making this ancient market ours with a spark of individualism and marketing that yells out American culture on steroids! It reminds me of a circus, with barkers yelling out deals and cons to draw you into their arena.  
The Art of the Sale                Photo by Elizabeth Gordon
And once inside the ring master is like a magician with an arena of must have items.  Flea markets are filled with the most unique characters whether dressed in Harley Davidson Leather or the used car dealer look of odd matched hats, ties and plaids.  Hair styles can be sprayed on pinks, or dyed reds and the style of the day is what ever one can think of, its there.

Photo by Elizabeth Gordon
The Art of  the Sale    

Photo by Elizabeth Gordon
Dealer, Dog, and Peace    Photo by Elizabeth Gordon
 Recently I went with friends and took my camera along.  I really didn't want to buy anything, so I just let my artist eye and mind take over and all of a sudden all I could see were great shots here and there.  But I had gone out ill prepared, my camera battery ran out before I got too far and we had to rush to meet friends.  So I vowed next time to go prepared with fresh batteries and a full day to wander and take photos.   but I want to share with you the shots I took this time and prepare you for future shots coming soon.  So lets step out into the swirl and hustle bustle of the Flea Market!
As I was working with iPhoto and doing some editing on the photo's I turned up the volume on the color saturation to reflect the circus feeling of the market.  I also started to isolate little vignettes in the photos I wanted to highlight.  Dealer, Dog and Peace was a wonderful photo with this dealer and his little Yorkie mini.  Another dealer told me they were inseparable and the dog was so comfortable in the booth in all the noise and crowd.  A little tiny mini Yorkie lap dog was the last thing I thought this tough guy would have!  It turned out to be just a great photo.
Skelton Keys          photo by Elizabeth Gordon

150 songs was a photo of this wonderful character in a motorized wheel chair singing 150 favorite songs he knew from heart.  His handmade chart, and all in one band planted right in the middle of the walkway was so amazing.  He sang song after song and just waited for tips.  He was the captain of his own ship!

150 songs         photo by Elizabeth Gordon

I was walking down into the heart of this huge market that was a maze of buildings and wings and alleys and thousands of booths when a bright yellow shirt drew my attention and this marvelous face looking back at me.  I asked if he minded if I took his photo, which I am a bit shy about doing, he said he didn't mind and looked up peering over his glasses looking at me.  I looked up at his hat and the numbers jumped out 11, 18, 20.  Now I will have to go back and ask him what they mean.  There is such character in faces, a life lived.  

Time Traveler  Man                        Photo by Elizabeth Gordon
On the photo above I raised the color saturation level to the point his paints looks almost glowing and radioactive.  I love this guys look, it is direct and confident like he owns his space and he is in charge.  It reminds me of some science fiction flicks where the time traveler looks a bit road weary…ready to jump from one time period to another!

11 18 20         photo by Elizabeth Gordon

Doesn't the one below remind you of  Buzz Alden, the super hero?  He almost looks like he is really in action flying to the fire rescue truck to grab the oxygen and save a poor by stander!
$10  Saves the Day            photo by Elizabeth Gordon

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Florida Artist Quote

“Art doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be 

Duane Hanson Sculpture from google

~Duane Hanson

Duane Hanson Sculpture from google.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


WOMEN IN ART                     WOMEN IN ART

I have compiled a partial list of women in art.  I have included women from Western, Asian, and Middle Art.  As we go along I will add more women to this list.  What one finds in art is that an artist can be important at one time and lose favor at another.  Who will eventually stand for time is yet to be seen.  I have included some artists I know and have heard speak at National and State Art Education Conferences, as well, or whose art fascinates me.  You may have your own list and you may want to add to this compilation.  I welcome your suggestions of interesting women artists doing interesting art.  I am also adding a you tube video here for you on 500 years of Women in Art, that if you have not seen, I believe you will thoroughly enjoy.  
All the names of the artists are highlighted and clickable.  They will take you to a link that will provide you with more information.
All the photography images come from google image and are only for the purpose of education and advocacy.
Click here to add your suggestions to list of Women Artists

BARBARA KRUGER                  



SHIRIN NESHAT                   




EVA HESSE            

JENNY HOLZER                




NANCY GRAVES                




Sunday, January 19, 2014



Mondrian                                      from google for education only

Friday, January 17, 2014



Elizabeth Gordon  at Miro Museum in Barcelona      

         photo by Ann Suggs
 Miro is one of many artists that didn't capture my attention in college like some of the rock star artists of the era. I wasn't much enamored with Dali or Picasso or the Surrealist.  Perhaps it was because art history was so boring and taught so poorly.  I am not sure, but memorizing 200 or more slides a week, with a test at the end of the week with 25 or more unknown to place in a style and time period, wasn't my cup of tea.  Yes, I can recognize many art works and artists, but what can I tell you about their lives and what influenced them to paint in their day.  Art history should be taught in a much more interesting and connected way.  I have hear there are programs like that, just not where I attended.  There was once a program on Public Broadcasting called Connections, and it did just that, it connect political, social, environmental and commercial influences on art.  It was fascinating and the way I had wished I had been taught in art history.  
Later as an art teacher I would do more and more research on artist when I was teaching different units for my students.  A double learning took place, one for them, and another for me.  I love learning and I love research, so it was a win-win situation.  
The more I learned about Miro, Picasso, and other artists I had not studied in depth about in school, the more I wanted to know more.

Ann Suggs and Elizabeth Gordon         Barcelona   Gaudi's House

On a trip to Barcelona, I visited Gaudi's architecture that changed the way I viewed the way I thought building must be designed like.  I did not know they could look as if they were melting, and did not have to have hard angles. 

 On the same
trip, I discovered there was Miro's Museum  sitting there on a high hill overlooking the harbor and city. It such a magnificent view and reminded me so much of my home, Tampa.  It is a city on a bay as well.  I thought it would take an hour or two max to see the museum but
, I stayed there all day and left at closing.  I was blown not away by, not only, Miro's art, but also his thinking about art and creativity.
Below is a video from you tube about Juan Miro you may enjoy.

Today a friend sent me this link to a slide show walk through of Miro's museum and work.  I thought I would include that here for you.  Take a walk with Miro, look at his work, listen to his discussion of his artist process.  Look at the time he, Picasso, and Dali lived in, all working in Southern Eastern France and North East Spainish during relatively the same time period  in an area called Catalonia.  Click on this link now for your tour.  

Miro, Picasso, and Dali lived in the same area and painted at similar times.  Miro and Picasso lived through the Spanish Civil War, WWI and WWII.  At different times they fled Catalonia for Paris and then when the Nazi's occupied Paris, back to Spain.  

Guernica by Pablo Picasso                    from google image for educational purposes only

Picasso's Guernica was painted in response to the bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil war. 

One of the series of Constellations by Juan Miro  
   from google educational purposes only

 The painting became an iconic statement for peace.  Miro hid in his imagery of his Constellations and Ladders references to war the times.  That is why it is so important to look at all the influences of a given era that art is produced in and what effects the artist.  In some eras it could be the invention of a new art media like acrylic paints, or the extinction of a mollusk that once thrived in Europe, or the inability of flax to grow in England.  

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