Monday, June 27, 2016

The NEW American Patriot: CLIMATE ART IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST













The Box Gallery
811-b Belvedere Road,
West Palm Beach, Florida 33405
www.theboxgallery.info                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Exhibition Dates: 
July 1, 2016 through July 11, 2016

Curators: Mary Jo Aagerstoun and Rolando Chang Barrero
Contact: PalmBeachFineArtGallery@gmail.com

This exhibition showcases the projects, videos, and artwork by local and national artists working on “art in the public interest” work related to climate disruption.
RSVP HERE:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-new-american-patriot-a-climate-action-exhibition-tickets-26081368074

Friday, July 1, 2016 |7-10 p.m.
VIP Opening Reception
The New American Patriot
A Climate Art in the Public Interest

Interactive participatory works, murals, kinetic works, films, installations, and even a burlesque show will be included in this unprecedented survey of how artists create work that inspires and responds to climate change.

The American Patriot celebrates and presents the work of Hot Posse, The Yes Men, Annie Sprinkle, Steve Lambert, Rolando Chang Barrero,The Center for Creative Activism, Aviva Rahmani, Overpass Light Brigade, The Climate Action Coalition, Dana Donaty, Birds are Nice, Llyod Goradesky, Craig McInnis, The Post Carbon Institute, Sarah Younger, and others...


_________
Saturday, July 2, 2016 | 11-12 pm
2nd Screening of Ecosexual Weddings by Annie Sprinkle and ElizaBeth Stephens. (some nudity)
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Saturday, July 2, 2016 | 3- 5 pm
In Partnership with "Cultural Corridor" neighbors The Box Gallery and Resource Depot
Children and Parents Workshop
"Solving by the Slice" (suggested donation $5 per family)
Participants will create a three-dimensional plastic pizza/pie slice out of assorted plastic and paper “waste” and other petroleum-driven disposables often consumed by families. Each individual slice creation will be combined to make a whole pie(s), representing 6 things your family can start to do to reduce plastic waste consumption in your household. These pizzas/pies can be delivered to key decision-makers in the community, offering slices of solutions that can be implemented at a larger level.

Resource Depot -GO DEEP Program (Developing Engaged Environmental Problem-Solvers t)

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Saturday, July 2, 2016 | 6- 7 pm

Presentation by The Yes Men at 6 pm
and followed by the screening of
Goodbye Gauley Mtn: An Ecosexual Love Story
by Annie Sprinkle and ElizaBeth Stephens. (some nudity)
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#CulturaCorridor #TheBoxGallery #FineArt #ClimateAction#ClimateChange #InsallationArt #Video #Sculture #WestPalmBeach#RolandoChangBarrero #MaryJoAagerstoun #Birdsarenice #gallery #collector

Monday, April 18, 2016

Upcoming installation show


Birds are Nice
Take me to Church: the preaching of Steven Seagal
2016

This installation borrows certain ritual aspects from the Catholic Church while hinting at current societal worship of the Hollywood culture and the obsession with fame. This piece builds on my current themes of environmental justice and biodiversity awareness.

Take me to Church: The Preaching of Steven Seagal highlights two speeches from his 1994 film On Deadly Ground and 1997 film Fire Down Below because they were offering a direct look at big industry and the destruction of our natural resources at the cost of human health (for the poor and for indigenous cultures). These films were very true to real life events. It is hard to believe that almost 20 years later, these films are still very relevantthe issues addressed in the films are still a very large concern.

Included in this installation is series of portraits depicting six Female patron saints, all chosen because they have been associated with caring for the environment and animals. Without animals, our natural systems begin to lose resilience and begin to fail. With the rapid decline of natural areas and increased anthropogenic destruction of ecosystems, this work is calling on a higher power to offer intervention and help build a dialog about the importance of protecting species, ecosystemsand mitigating catastrophic deterioration and rapidly changing natural systems that regulate our ecosystem services (e.g. clean air; fresh water; carbon sequestration and climate control).

This installation is meant to invoke a spiritual connection to the environment and all of the creatures and components that comprise a healthy ecosystem. Throughout history, saints have been protectors of animals and the environment. Women in society are viewed as the mother, the protector, in charge of provisionsthis work features female patron saints and their connections to the natural world [mirroring society]. Women and children bare a disproportionate burden from environmental degradation, while playing a major role in global protection and direct use from environmental services. These patron saints are offering protection and guidance. Welcome to the chapel of Birds are Nice.

The earth is our grandmother. 

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Some writing about my work

Excerpt from the essay Is Art Ritual/Is Ritual Art? By Mary Jo Aagerstoun, Ph. D. in Artistically Speaking: Women’s Roles in Contemporary Art & Society. John D. MacArthur Campus Library, 2016. Florida Atlantic University. Jupiter, FL.

The creation and deployment of ritualized objects with an intent to contribute to changing an existing state of affairs is particularly characteristic of  Patron Saints (of Animals), an installation of six wall hung paintings with their companion three dimensional sculptures by Birds Are Nice (Diane Arrieta).

 Figure 7: Birds Are Nice. Saint Ketakwitha, 2016.  One of group of six. Acrylic and hand cut vinyl on wood, mixed media animal sculpture. Total size, all 6 groupings, 40 running feet

 In Patron Saints (of Animals). Arrieta (Birds Are Nice) refers to the tradition of devotional object, while turning that tradition around and upside down. The tradition of saintly intercession through contemplation of portraits of saints with their attributes (in this case, animals) is what is referenced in this work. The six images in the series are named for women who have been beatified by the Roman Catholic Church over an extended period from early medieval times to the late 19th century, and whose personal closeness or service to wilderness and animals was an aspect of their biography, or of the oral tradition or mythology that has grown up around them. But Arrieta’s imagery does not take the traditional form of most Catholic devotional objects related to a patron saint.

 The six saint portraits fuse aesthetic reference to sacred icons (as in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, the images are painted on wood and are flat, not modeled), with an insouciant use of the stripped down schematic characteristic of 21st century cartoons and animation. This purposeful joining together of two strongly contrasting aesthetic approaches, separated by more than time and context, together with the application to the paintings’ surfaces of ambiguous symbolic phrases and shapes (e.g., repetitive circles or triangles) invite closer attention, serving to intensify the curiosity of the viewer regarding the density of meaning implied in the term syncretism.

The reference to the number six is significant. The grouping is of six paintings, most accompanied by a circular floor piece inhabited by one or more three-dimensional, life-sized sculpted animals with which the saint is associated, either in myth, or in recorded biography. Six is a significant reference both to Christianity, and to other spiritual or religious practices such as Wicca or Satanism. In Judeo-Christian tradition, six is important because in the Old Testament Book of Genesis, it is asserted that the deity created the universe in six days. Six is also a multiple of three, which is a sacred number in Christian theology, as it refers to the Trinity. In numerology, the number signifies connection between above and below, intellectual creativity, ability to use the imagination and intellect combined, relatedness and taking responsibility for choices, all of which ties in nicely with the artist’s overall intent for this series: to instigate heightened resolve in viewers to be educated about, and able to respond to onrushing environmental disaster.

The artist, who also holds a master’s degree in wildlife health, notes that this series, like earlier works of hers, has the specific job “to inspire, teach, question, [promote] environmental literacy, [inform about] loss of species and how that relates to human health and social justice.” Despite this avowed purpose, the overall effect is in no way directly didactic.  The imagery is purposefully oblique. Each portrait, with its three dimensional “animal familiars,” is a small puzzle: Who are these women? What is their connection to the animals, the odd symbols and texts? The viewer is drawn in to this kind of examination by the vibrant color palette, as well as the fact that each of the six portraits has the same stark white face and jet black hair. The portraits actually seem to be all one person, and that person recalls imagery depicting the Disney version of Snow White (and, of course, her physical attributes, as the Grimm Brothers’ fairy tale describes her: “as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as ebony wood.”) Snow White iconography has, of course, become firmly imprinted on popular consciousness worldwide as the first Disney leading lady of the 1937 animated film classic, surrounded by singing and dancing animals.

This kind of layered syncretism is characteristic of ritual objects, which are given particular form from specific kinds of materials, often collected from widely varying sources, and from various time periods. They have acquired extraordinary significance to the community in which the ritual arose through this layering, as well as through the additional inscription and incising and their ritual use within ritually significant sequestered spaces, through which they have become infused with meaning.