Saturday, March 11, 2017

Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago’s Public Schools this week

By Tamara Best
Chance the Rapper at Westcott Elementary School. Image courtesy of Christian Science Monitor.
CHICAGO---Chance the Rapper has donated $1 million to Chicago’s public school system, stoking a long-running debate about the city’s education system and how it is funded. On Monday, the performer, a Chicago native, announced that the sum would support the arts and after-school programming. In a news conference at Westcott Elementary School blocks away from where he grew up, he called the donation a “call to action.” “I’m honored to make this donation to Chicago Public Schools Foundation and help cultivate Chicago creative minds,” he said, adding, “I’m committed to helping Chicago’s children have quality learning experiences that include the arts.”[link]

Sunday, March 5, 2017


By Gregory & Ernest Disney-Britton
Reverse of a crucifix from the Holy Land, 19th century. On one side is the Corpus and on the other are Instruments of the Passion.
Growing up, Ernest's neighborhood friend Tim Pope thought he was so cool. He wasn't the best dresser, or ball-player, or any kind of trendsetter, but he was way cooler than anyone else because somehow he made everyone else feel cooler than they really were by simply being in his presence. Ernest, David, Ricky and the others flocked to Tim like they were his disciples. He had an amazing gift. On Saturday morning, Tim passed away, and last night Ernest thought about the many years since he went away to college and lost touch.  He missed being in Tim's presence, and he missed feeling cool with Tim. He also thought how lucky heaven is to now have Tim Pope as part of their band. Farewell, childhood friend.


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Buddhist monks complete intricate sand mandala at Tauranga Art Gallery

By Allison Hess
The sand mandala at Tauranga Art Gallery. Photo/Andrew Warner
NEW ZEALAND---Buddhist monks have finished making a colourful sand mandala at Tauranga Art Gallery. But the work of art is fleeting - the intricate mosaic will be swept up and poured into the Tauranga Harbour in a few days' time. The beautiful mandala was the result of 11 days of work' by monk-artists Venerable Geshe Jamyang Sherab and Venerable Karma Gyasey. From 10am to 4pm every day the monks used ridged metal funnels, which let coloured sand trickle out when rubbed with a piece of horn. The monks created a work entitled The Medicine Buddha, the Buddha of Healing - described as "the manifestation of the healing energy of all enlightened things". [link]

How Jewish artists reclaimed Jesus as their own at the Israel Museum

By Shany Littman
Reuven Rubin’s 'Temptation in the Desert.'
ISRAEL---Though Jesus has traditionally been a taboo subject among observant Jews, he has served as a common theme for modern Jewish painters and writers. It’s not surprising, then, that it took so many years for the Israel Museum to dare to mount an exhibition in Jerusalem of Israeli art dealing with Jesus. That institution, the closest thing we have to a national museum, generally tries to rock the boat as little as possible. But time has apparently calmed the tempestuous feelings about “that person”: Quite a few religiously observant folk were spotted on a recent visit to the exhibition “Behold the Man: Jesus in Israeli Art” (which opened shortly before Christmas and runs until April 16.) None were visibly upset by the fact that Israeli artists were occupied with what was once such a volatile subject. [link]