Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from February, 2014

News of a Former Student

I saw this article in the latest issue of Poets and Writers magazine, and I was, as we British say, extremely chuffed. The photo shows five young writers who have been selected to be student ambassadors in the National Student Poets Program. Second from the left in the photo, standing shoulder to shoulder with First Lady Michelle Obama, is Sojourner Ahebee. Sojourner took a class with Patty and me in January 2012, and seeing her in this picture made me a) extremely proud to have worked with her for a short period, and b) extremely jealous that she got to meet Michelle Obama.
The circumstances of the class: Patty and I were invited to teach a five day Journal and Sketchbook class to students at the Interlochen Arts Academy in northern Michigan. The students ranged in age from 15 to 18. They were musicians, theater students, writing students. Some of them were not that interested in the class, and some of them, like Sojourner, responded strongly to it. I particularly remember Sojourner…

Diego Rivera in San Francisco

When I was in San Francisco last month, I visited the San Francisco Art Institute to look at the Diego Rivera mural. It's on the wall of a building which is used as a student exhibition space. The photo above is a panorama of the barn-like interior, with the mural on the left and a show of student work in the rest of the space.

The mural was commissioned in the 1930s, and it's a typical Rivera subject of the union between art and industry:


It's a trompe l'oeuil painting, depicting the artist himself sitting on scaffolding that appears to be in front of the wall. He's directing a group of helpers who are working on a giant image of a cloth-capped worker.



The scaffolding divides the wall up into panels, in which we see men working on machines, woodworking, and placing giant girders together on a building project.

No deep thoughts about seeing this. Just an appreciation of the fineness of Rivera's design, the brilliantly preserved colours of the mural, and thinki…