Award winning artist Raul Gonzalez was nominated Boston’s best visual artist of 2010 by the Boston Phoenix. Raul is a self-taught artist with a fascination for American folk art and comic book art. As a youth, he painstakingly dissected the work and techniques of his favorite comic book artists, down to how they sharpened their pencils, in order to teach himself to produce art. Early influences include Jim Lee, Jack Kirby, and Todd McFarlane who drew Incredible Hulk for Marvel, (1987-1988) and is known for changing Spider-Man’s webbing from essentially X’s between two lines into “spaghetti webbing”.
His work has been exhibited far and wide from coast to coast, not least at Tufts University in Medford, The Mills Gallery at the Boston Center for the Arts, and the San Francisco Art Institute.
Gonzalez, a family man, who lives in Somerville MA., is committed to introducing youth to the visual arts. Raul has taught in the education departments of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2011 Gonzalez collaborated with over 125 kids from all over the city of Boston to create a work entitled “and their Families” for the Linde Family Wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Raul has recently been commissioned by Tufts University to create a 4 by 20 foot mural as part of their Temporary Public Arts program.
The Bridge: Arts for the 99% — July 27 — Lou Jones discusses his photo essay FINAL EXPOSURE: PORTRAITS FROM DEATH ROW
If you’ve ever wondered about the power of art to change minds and hearts, join us on The Bridge on Friday July 27 as Lou Jones, renowned Boston photographer, discusses his photo essay Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row. For six years, Lou navigated the multiple complexities of the prison system to photograph death row inmates without barriers, without restraints, each in his or her own special environment. With his camera, Lou got closer to these individuals than their lawyers, and even their families. These intimate portraits capture each inmate’s distinct humanity, exposing the death penalty, in ways that words cannot, as a cruel and inhumane punishment. Final Exposure has changed viewers’ understanding of the death penalty, compelling many to believe, as Lou says, “murder, to address murder, is not a solution.”
Listen as Lou Jones describes the political agenda of the death penalty, the unfairness of the criminal (in)justice system regarding the death penalty, and ultimately how his photo essay Final Exposure: Portraits from Death Row, leads viewers to revise their thoughts and feelings about the death penalty.
View these photographs for yourself by clicking on “Final Exposure” at www.fotojones.com.
Through her inspired guitar playing and classically trained voice, Audrey Drake weaves the story of her life and connects with her audience. A powerhouse of emotion and subtlety of texture will keep you intrigued and raw emotions will draw you into her world. Her spirit will leave you wanting to know the intimate details behind her inspiration. In this interview, Audrey describes very eloquently, her process as she composes and we discuss the question, why go out to hear live music?
ARTS AT THE ARMORY
In the second half of the show I share a retrospection on my favorite Film Director, Ken Loache, and visit Arts At The Armory, in Somerville, MA to check out what is going on at this recently renovated arts and community center
Mission & Vision
Given that artistic expression elevates a civil society, Arts at the Armory seeks to galvanize the creative spirit by providing a space where working artists and the community can come together.
Recognizing that art can bridge cultural, class and generational divides, Arts at the Armory showcases a wide range of visual arts, dance, theater and musical performances. Arts at the Armory is located in an historic armory that also provides studio spaces for artists, a cafe, galleries, two live/work artists units, two performance spaces, and offices for arts organizations.
In his essay Artists in Times of War, Howard Zinn writes “…it is the job of the artist …to think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare to say things that no one else will say.” * Yes, of course, but where in our current world of standardized testing and limited access to opportunity do our urban youth get the space and encouragement they need to become the artists Howard Zinn envisions? One place is Books of Hope (http://booksofhope-ma.org), a writing and literacy empowerment program located in the Somerville Housing Project that encourages urban and immigrant youth to develop their own voices through writing poetry. The young artists of Books of Hope do more than creative writing however; in addition to writing and performing their poetry, they also publish their own work and sell their books on the Mystic Ink Book Tour, inspiring other young people to read and to write their own poetry.
Listen to Soul Brown, Director of Books of Hope, describe this inspiring project, hear readings of four dynamic and vibrant poems, read by their youthful authors, and listen to a discussion of poetry, life, and art by these four young poets, moderated by Janet Gillespie. The work of these youth is ferociously honest and imaginative, full of life, and yes, hope. Their voices may inspire you to “…think outside the boundaries of permissible thought and dare to say things that no one else will say.”
Let us know what you think!
This program was previously broadcast on The Bridge on May 25, 2012.
*Zinn, Howard. “Artists in Times of War.” Artists in Times of War, New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003. 14. Print.
Listen to Books of Hope on The Bridge here:
When we’re “talking politics” we’re talking about power, specifically the power of individuals and structures to make decisions that affect the lives of all of us, often without our input or consent. When we “talk politics” we’re talking about who has this power and benefits from it, and who doesn’t have it this power and is oppressed by it.
What I learned from interviewing our guests for this program on The Bridge is that political performance happens when people go beyond just talking politics and instead gather together in public spaces for the common purpose of focusing on structures and uses of power – whether to solidify power for social change, or to challenge oppressive power structures. People coming together to demand changes in who holds power and often to challenge the power structure itself, perform the idea of resistance in order to achieve social justice.
So the Occupy Movement is basically political performance – groups of people gathering in a public space, performing with our bodily presence the idea that “We are the 99%. We belong here. Pay attention to us. We refuse to be left out. The one percent can’t have it all.”
Of course political performance manifests itself in many ways. Some very effective and exciting ways are discussed on the June 15 broadcast of The Bridge. While both our guests place the Occupy Movement in the long and honorable history of political performance, both men also give us alternative ways of thinking about performance that are unique to Occupy. Traditionally, when we think of performance, we divide people into two groups: the performers, who are active, talking, singing, dancing, and the audience, who just sit there quietly and passively absorb the message of the performers. Both Theater Offensive, with the guerrilla musical 99% Stone, currently on tour in Boston neighborhoods, and John Bell’s examples of political performance in the Occupy Movement, dissolve the barriers between audiences and performers and actively involve all people in the performance of democracy.
Listen to our guests describe political performance and its ability to engage people in enacting democracy in ways that reach beyond just “talking politics.”
You can listen here:
This Friday I talk to Simone Beaubien, SlamMaster at the Cantab Lounge. Simone has been hosting there since 2004 and is currently the reigning Champion of Champions of the venue. She will tell us all about the Slam Poetry scene.
In the second half of the show I interview, James Caroline who is phenomenal! An intense performer, a warm big hearted guy, a delight to be with and an exciting force of nature when he performs. Jamie travels all over America and the world
During the spring of 2004, he directed and performed in Musician and the Muse, a performance of poetry and music at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center, featuring Nicole Terez, Tom Daley, Regie Gibson, and Iyeoka Okoawo. He was also commissioned to write the vocal text and act as artistic sound director for the Naked Truths; Voices of Shame, Sexuality, and Eating Disorders in Women, a play performed at HERE multimedia center in Manhattan. Selected publication credits include The Lifted Brow, The Cascadia Review, Quarry, Subliminal, A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, and Painted Bride Quarterly.
Recently, he became the closing speaker for Join The Impact Massachusetts, performing along side Senators and activists in protests against DOMA, Prop 8, and other Queer issues. He is currently working on a collection of poems, Live, From the Killing Jar, and a novel in verse based on the myth of Dionysus
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