LAMB #2 available!

This issue of LAMB attempts to weave ideas about collaboration, relational and social practices and localism together in both art and non-art settings.

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Realism's Refreshing Renaissance at Free Radical

By Jonathan A. Dawe

Nicole Carlson's portraits of sex offenders at the Free Radical.

When I arrived on South Division earlier this year for the Free Radical, I was prepared to roll my eyes yet again at the painted political propaganda that masquerades these days as art. I was half-expecting to see pieces depicting George W. Bush with an Adolf Hitler mustache, more collage of magazine model cut-outs, and photographs of faux-philosophers smoking Sartrean cigarettes and dropping Foucauldian bombs in coffee shops.

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Posted on August 23, 2006 | Comments (4)
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Ruskin and Turner: The Reciprocal Relationship of Artist and Critic in the 19th Century

By Benjamin Schaafsma
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The following piece offers perspective on the beginning of art criticism as a discipline by focusing on the relationship between John Ruskin, critic, and JWM Turner, artist. Their relationship offers only a glimpse of what will perspire within the trajectory of the discipline. This article is the beginning of a series that will chronologically delve into the relationships between artist and critic from the 18th century through the 21st century.
— Ben Schaafsma

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Posted on August 22, 2006 | Comments (2)
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BONER JAMS '03.

By George Wietor

Ever since my first chance encounter with Michael Curtiz’ masterpiece - during one of those incredibly late Saturday nights spent watching PBS that were so prone to happen in my later high school years – I would watch Casablanca (1941) to help me feel better. Every time something went wrong in a relationship (or not even wrong I guess, just not how I probably would have liked at the time) I would watch Casablanca. One year, at exactly the perfect time in my personal life, the late Alpine 4 played a weeklong Bogart double feature of the Maltese Falcon (Huston, 1941) and Casablanca. I watched Maltese Falcon only once, but I caught the showing of Casablanca every night that week. It felt like time stopped when I watched this film. I was utterly and pathetically enthralled - transfixed in such a way that no other film had previously demanded of me.

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Posted on August 22, 2006 | Comments (0)
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The Theme As Medium: Themed Environments in New Urban Subculture

By Nina Franz

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Nina Franz was a resident of the Heartside Neighborhood from 2001 until 2006, where she lived above what is currently the Division Ave Arts Cooperative at 115 S. Division. Originally from Germany, Franz moved to Grand Rapids and she received a multi-disciplinary education focusing on how social and political policies effect people and culture at Grand Valley State University. She also was a founder of SWIM gallery, which formerly occupied the old Elite Restaurant. Her artwork and ideas have had influence within the artistic community that now inhabits this area.

The following was written in early 2005, as Division Ave was beginning to finally receive attention from the city and Dwelling Place as a redeemable place for arts in the city to thrive. Many of themed sub-cultural phenomena that Franz discusses are precursors to what is now the Avenue for the Arts.
- Ben Schaafsma

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Posted on August 22, 2006 | Comments (10)
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GR’s Film Farm

By Paul Moore

I just had another birthday. So I'm a little reflective. Looking back, I realize I have certain passions I’ve never noticed before. I haven’t noticed them because they’re not passions with a whole lot of mustered up ambition behind them. They’re just things I do because I do them. For instance, and this may seem insignificant, but I'm always on the hunt for a good conversation. They're rare to find and often I replay average conversations over and over in my head looking for spots where things really could have been cracked open. Ten years ago I would have said my passion is painting. Along the way I dropped that passion. But I never dropped the conversation thing. Go figure.

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Posted on August 21, 2006 | Comments (1)
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PLANT! The Art of Urban Gardening

By Kevin Buist

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During the Spring semester of 2006 the students of a Calvin College sculpture class created a community gardening/art project called PLANT!. Divided into seven groups, the students created gardens in unused urban spaces. The purpose of these gardens, while set within the parameters of understanding “place,” seemed to be left intentionally vague. Participants were encouraged to “grow flowers, agriculture, or ideas.” By the end of the semester the project had grown to incorporate blogs for each garden site (run by G-RAD.org), a handmade ‘zine style handbook, and a series of guided tours of the sites accompanied by a soundtrack.

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Posted on August 21, 2006 | Comments (1)
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Inheritance

By Ben Scott-Brandt

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When I’m cutting hair, I forget about the time, the weather, my mosquito bites, eating, and even the bad moods I always have before I get to work. I become entranced. The people come in for their haircuts. Some are pretty, some gorgeous, some annoying, some hilarious. I forget about them. I forget about my fingers and my scissors and the comb. All I see are tufts and slopes and ridges. My hands move through the tufts, and I’m lost. I drool. I drop things. I forget to make small talk. When a subject does come up, I’m easily caught off-guard, and usually fumble my way right into a cumbersome conversation about life and religion and politics and art. You know, the fiery topics that in beauty school they tell you not to talk about -- too volatile. Distracted from my work, I talk too much and end up running 15 minutes late the rest of the day.

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Posted on August 20, 2006 | Comments (2)
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