News AAND Notes: Arts Edition

BOLO Keith Haring’s Art

In the way back of 1989, at the invitation (and tireless coordination) of teacher Irving Zucker, Keith Haring and nearly 500 Chicago Public Schools students collaborated on a 480-foot mural comprising 36 panels. It was subsequently divided into 61 sections and parsed out among, as Chicago Reader reports, some knowns and some unknowns. As Gwynned Stuart, formerly of Folio Weekly fame, reported in 2015, even after a diligent search lasting several weeks, CPS’s Department of Arts Education could account for the whereabouts of only “54 of the mural sections plus one eight-foot-by-four-foot panel.”

“The remainder of the mural, as far as CPS can say, is gone,” Stuart wrote.

It’s difficult to calculate the monetary loss-Diego Cortez told Stuart sections of a mural painted by Haring alone could go for as much as $3 million apiece-but the emotional and cultural loss may be even more substantial. Haring worked on the mural in May 1989, just nine months before his death from HIV/AIDS. And for Zucker, the loss is even more deeply felt. “I devoted two years of my life to this,” he said. “It’s very disturbing to me.”

One Difference at a Time

Moved by the metaphor of throwing a starfish back into the sea on a beach filled with them-hence, making a difference for that one-as written by Loren Eiseley in her story, “The Star Thrower,” artist Kema Berry created the exhibit Through Their Eyes, reports Boulder Weekly. The exhibit, showing at Boulder’s Dairy Arts Center through April 15, is of her work depicting victims of human trafficking, most of them children.

Pamphlets distributed at the exhibit provide more context, including facts like the 2016 Global Slavery Index estimate that forced labor and human traffic generate $150 billion profit annually, that more than 45 million are currently enslaved, with another 168 million toiling in some form of child labor.

“I thought, ‘How can I make a difference? What’s my one little starfish?'” Berry told BW.

L.A. History Out Of Hiding

It took nearly four decades, reports L.A. Weekly, but Barbara Carrasco’s legendary mural The Mexican Perspective, a visual narrative that stretches from the tar pits to the pueblos to “the bright glories and stinging social violence of modern times,” is now finally being shown with no censorship.

Commissioned in 1981, the 80-foot-long, portable mural has spent most of its nearly four decades of existence in hiding, out of fear that the city would try to take it, LAW adds. Carrasco and cohorts actually spirited it away to keep it from those potentially thieving, censoring hands. Scenes like the those depicting Japanese internment, the Zoot Suit riots and “whitewashing of David Alfaro Siqueiro’s mural América Tropical” were deemed “too controversial” by Community Redevelopment Agency (since dismantled), which somewhat ironically commissioned the piece.

Sin Censura: A Mural Remembers L.A. is on exhibit through Aug. 19 at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

Lessons in Collecting

Creating a quality collection of art is far more complex than simply throwing money at pretties. Over five decades, Sam and Myrna Myers amassed what Fort Worth Weeklycalls “a collection of some 5,000 pieces of exquisite quality.” And it all began with a single purchase by the young couple in the 1960s, when they acquired four Tanagra heads from the Fifth or Sixth Century BCE, after a chance visit to an antiques shop in Switzerland led to meeting their first mentor. A year later, they returned and bought an Egyptian portrait head of black basalt via installments of $50/month.

FWW writes that the seller, their mentor, Dr. Rosenbaum, let them take the piece for the sake of their young daughter, telling the couple that “a thing of beauty affects the space around it, creating an atmosphere that impacts those who live with the object.” During the intervening decades, they continued collecting and refining their tastes, “eventually settling in the intricacies of the decorative arts of the Far East.”

An exhibit of more than 400 pieces from their collection, curated by the museum’s Jennifer Casler Price, is on display at the Kimbell Art Museum in From the Lands of Asia: The Sam & Myrna Myers Collection through Aug. 19.