Saturday, January 31, 2015

19th Annual Art & Soul Celebrates the "African" in Indiana Artists

Featured Artists for Art & Soul: Mathew Davis, Zakk Knight, Kassim Norris, and Ronne Stone
INDIANA---Art & Soul has become a highly anticipated annual tradition celebrating Black History Month. Starting with a kickoff celebration on January 31 at 12:15 pm, the month will feature weeklong journeys through a variety of geographies and art forms including vocal and instrumental music, dance, spoken word, and visual arts; featured artists; and a juried group exhibition at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. “This February, we will celebrate how Africa and African culture has impacted people around the world for centuries, and how that cultural wave continues to impact Indiana today,” said Director of Grant Services Ernest Disney-Britton.  [link]

Friday, January 30, 2015

Why Self-Censorship of Controversial Artwork is Wrong

By JJ Charlesworth
Photo via: National Review Online
The fractious discussion that has arisen on the subject of whether or not media organizations pulling or refusing to publish supposedly blasphemous images are “chicken" has generated more heat than light in the last few weeks; and revelations about how art museums put images on display is only going to provoke similar revelations in the future and put museum staff even more on their guard. But while we desperately need an open debate about free speech and the freedom to offend in our society, the obsessive focus on Muslims, religion, and blasphemy has diverted attention away from the bigger question of how we handle offending and being offended as part of a big, broad society where not everyone is going to agree. [link]

Majority Says Publishing Anti-Islamic Cartoons Was ‘Okay,’ But About Half of Non-Whites Say ‘Not Okay’

By Jeffrey Gottfried and Michael Barthel
About three-in-four Americans (76%) have heard at least a little about the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, conducted January 22-25 among 1,003 adults. Of these, a majority (60%) says that it was okay for Charlie Hebdo to have published cartoons that depict the Prophet Muhammad, but nearly three-in-ten (28%) do not support the magazine’s decision to publish this material – saying it was not okay. [link]

San Francisco Street Artists Replace Anti-Islamic Ads With Muslim Super Hero

By Abby Phillip
Anti-Muslim bus advertisements in San Francisco have been covered up with posters of a Muslim comic book superhero carrying anti-discrimination messages.
CALIFORNIA---The American Freedom Defense Initiative, an organization well-known for spreading anti-Muslim hysteria, has once again commissioned an ad campaign on the San Francisco public transit system condemning Islamic countries. This time, the ads equate Islam with Nazism. In the meantime, the ads, which began appearing Jan. 9, are still rolling around on the city’s buses. In response, San Francisco street artists associated with Bay Area Art Queers Unleashing Power and Street Cred have started to push back by “adjusting” the ads with a new message featuring Marvel’s own Kamala Khan, a Pakistani American Muslim super heroine. [link]

Muslim Cleric Declares Taking a Selfie is a Sin

Compiled by Herb Scribner
Indonesian author and speaker Felix Siauw believes selfies are a sin. According to Quartz’s Lily Kuo, the Indonesian Muslim cleric posted on his Twitter account a “17-pont manifesto” about how selfies are a sinful act for believers. “Felix Siauw argued that taking a selfie often means succumbing to pride, arrogance, and ostentation — all of which make them a sin under Islam,” Kuo reported. One of the points on Siauw’s Twitter also specifically blamed women for this issue. According to a translation from news website Coconuts Jakarta, Siauw said women put too much emphasis on their selfies, which makes both selfies and women impure. But Siauw isn’t the first religious believer to denounce the selfie. [link]

Top Catholics and Evangelicals: Gay Marriage Worse Than Divorce or Cohabitation

By David Gibson
Aaron Huntsman (left) and William Lee Jones (right) are married in Key West, Fla., with the Rev. Steve Torrence officiating, the first couple to marry in the Florida Keys. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Carol Tedesco/Florida Keys News Bureau * Editors: This photo can only be used with RNS-GAY-MARRIAGE, originally transmitted Jan. 28, 2015.
NEW YORK---A high-profile alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants is set to issue a sweeping manifesto against gay marriage that calls same-sex unions “a graver threat” than divorce or cohabitation, one that will lead to a moral dystopia in America and the persecution of traditional believers. Signers of the statement include popular megachurch pastor Rick Warren and longtime gay marriage foe Maggie Gallagher, as well as prominent conservative Catholic intellectuals George Weigel and Robert George. [link]

Kehinde Wiley Puts a Classical Spin on His Contemporary Subjects

By Deborah Solomon
“Arms of Nicolas Ruterius, Bishop of Arras,” a 2014 painting by Kehinde Wiley. (Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris via The New York Times)
NEW YORK---Kehinde Wiley began thinking about the stereotypes that shadow black men long before events in Ferguson, Mo., pushed the phrase “unarmed black man” back into the headlines and inaugurated a new wave of the civil rights movement. Now 37, Mr. Wiley is one of the most celebrated painters of his generation. He is known for vibrant, photo-based portraits of young black men (and occasionally women) who are the opposite of scared — they gaze out at us coolly, their images mashed up with rococo-style frills and empowering poses culled from art history. His first museum retrospective opens at the Brooklyn Museum on Feb. 20, before traveling to museums in Fort Worth, Seattle and Richmond, Va. “My work is not about paint,” he told me. “It’s about paint at the service of something else." [link]