Though the official holiday is still a bit down the road, there's no denying that Valentine's Day is in the air. Retailers have broken out their sign-holding cupids, romantics are making reservations and the cynical are busy thinking about the perfect counterpoint to V-Day's saccharine saturation (my fave activity is watching a Leprechaun marathon and eating vegetarian pigs in a blanket while wearing sackcloth). But Valentine's Day also provides us with a perfect opportunity to demonstrate a larger kind of love for all humans. OK, most humans; let's not get carried away.
Man Ray, African Art and the Modernist Lens
The Art/Design Distinction
Waxing philosophical on 516 ARTS’ Form & Function
There’s a puzzling distinction made between art and design. It seems to be based on the often unstated assumptions that: 1) Artists and designers do different things; 2) both the processes and the outputs of each are inherently different; 3) beauty of form and utility of function cannot exist equally in a single object, which means that one must always eclipse the other (so when beauty is dominant, the object is art, and when utility is dominant, the object is design). But fundamentally, both artists and designers are responsible for an object’s creation; both utility and beauty are equally present in most everything around us—and are mutually reinforcing, at that.
Art That’s With You
Josh MacPhee’s Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today
Paper Politics: Socially Engaged Printmaking Today
There's a sense sometimes that "real" art is far away. It hangs in climate-controlled galleries. It’s expensive. It's created by someone divinely gifted. Real art is timeless in this paradigm, and timeless translates to "not obviously connected to things that happen in your time." It's left to pop culture to converse with what's going on in the world today. Or so the outdated thinking goes.
Design Zone Exhibit
The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History unveils a new exhibit on Saturday, Feb. 1 and continues through April 26. Titled Design Zone, the new topical display features a somewhat ironic investigation into the processes that drive creation, especially in regard to video games, roller-coasters and EDM music. This exhibit was designed at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry and it has a youthful, productive vibe to it. We get that. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists just announced that the hands on the doomsday clock were closer to midnight than ever. Even though nuclear power showed some promise in solving the world's energy needs, nuclear science still means the study of a type of war that would kill billions if put into action. Nuclear history equals the story of devising ever more efficient killing devices. It's wonderful to know citizens have a museum where they can learn all about that while also acquiring knowledge about the human creative urge. Admission to the museum, which is open daily from 9am to 5pm, ranges between $7 and $14. Go science!
The Glass Menagerie
Deep down, we are all just looking for excuses to create elaborate costumes that we can celebrate in. Halloween is the easy sell, Christmas has its ugly sweaters, Saint Patrick’s Day brings the green and you can dress up like a baby Cupid for Valentine’s Day. So why not do the same to pregame the 40 days and nights that Jesus Christ himself spent in the desert? Do precisely that at Carnaval Celebration 2020 on Friday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 22 at 7:30pm at National Hispanic Cultural Center’s Journal Theatre. This over-the-top, colorful festival is the best way to get those pre-Lent jitters out by letting it all loose for a couple days. Tickets for this all-ages event range from $15 to $27 and are the perfect way to say goodbye to chocolate for 40 days. For more info, call 724-4771.