Tag Archives: Janine C. Grant

Conversations of Old and New but Always “Pleased to Meet You”

by Janine C. Grant

Works by Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Wheel-thrown vessels by Gwyn Hanssen Pigott

Approaching the potter’s wheel requires a particular mindset.  You sit down with a lumpy, potato-shaped wad of clay, smack it down on the wheel head, seal the bottom and envision the bowl, mug, plate, or jar you wish this mass to become.  But in order for the imagined to become reality you must prepare yourself for the negotiation that will be dictated through the medium of your hands. Continue reading

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Presence of the Past

by Janine C. Grant

In a city that constantly feels like it is getting newer by the day, it is important to get away to the old.  It is important to be confronted with history in its physical form; to survey the landscape and imagine a piece of you existing thousands of years before.  To take the time to appreciate the importance of the past—all the moments, be they mundane—that has lead you to your current state, alive.

Perhaps I am being over sentimental, dramatic, or just a plain anthropology nerd but whenever I go to see ruins I get this tingle running through my body.  My hands long to touch the stone, my fingers to trace the patterns.  I cannot help but imagine a hand thousands of years earlier doing the same.

I had this same feeling this summer when I visited Patara, an archaeological site in the present day village of Ovagelemis, Turkey. Patara is one of the oldest cities of Lycia dating back in Hittite texts to the 13th Century BC.  Its beachside access and ideal sailing conditions helped to maintain its importance throughout the years.  A few claims to fame include the birthplace of Saint Nicholas and the stop over site of Paul the Apostle, who is noted to have visited on one of his journeys to Rome.

Below are a few images of the ruins:

Entering the archeological site. The beach, located a 5 minute drive and
5 minute walk away from the entrance, has served for millions of years as one of the rare nesting sites of the Mediterranean loggerhead sea turtles.

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Diane Arbus: A Moment of Truth

by Janine C. Grant

Junger Mann mit Lockenwicklern zu Hause in der West 20th Street, N.Y.C., 1966

A young man in curlers at home on West 20th Street, N.Y.C. 1966  © The Estate of Diane Arbus

Treading the cobblestone streets during my recent visit to Berlin, my travel mates and I felt as though we were being watched.  From billboards and lampposts, a black and white image of a transvestite with penciled high arching eyebrows, hair in curlers and eyes caught in midsentence, stared us down and convinced us not to miss the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Martin-Gropius-Bau.

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Journey to Kreuzberg: Berlin’s Hospital turned Exhibition Space

by Janine C. Grant

Hallway leading to the exhibit

During my recent visit to Berlin, I felt the city’s pulse, and it thumped a steady beat of art. It seems you cannot go anywhere in Berlin and not come across a museum, gallery, or outdoor market brimming with artists selling their handcrafted wares.  Prices are tailored for the starving non-nine-to-fivers, restaurants serve breakfast till four pm, and historic buildings have been transformed into artist sanctuaries.

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Beat Nation, Mastering Tradition with Urban Youth

by Janine C. Grant

"Indian" by Nicholas Galanin, Vancouver Art Gallery

The exhibition of Beat Nation begins even before you enter the Vancouver Art Gallery. Carved into the cement by the Hornby Street entrance, the stylized logo ‘Indians’ of the Cleveland Major League Baseball team physically imprints the sidewalk with new meaning.  Interweaving the history of Vancouver with contemporary re-appropriation, Nicholas Galanin’s piece sets the tone for the work found inside. In the past, the gallery building held the Land Title office of still un-ceded Coast Salish territory. The enlightening play between space, medium and meaning throughout the gallery presents re-interpretations of tradition and the lived experience of Aboriginal people today.

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