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aubrey bramble

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filmmaker, artist, writer. I am a magical creature. I like to do things, not just think about them. Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville is my absolute favorite movie, next to almost anything by Matthew Barney, Sofia Coppola, Maya Deren, or Hayao Miyazaki. I... [more]

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Craft Art
Tampa
Florida
Handmade

Half art gallery, half retail outfit, Florida Craftsmen is at heart a successful non-profit organization that has been representing the craft artists of Florida for well over 50 years. Once popular predominantly with the more mature art connoisseur, Florida Craftsmen is looking to "hip up" their audience, as Executive Director of the gallery, Maria Emilia likes to say. And what better way to spice things up than to bring a fresh new voice to the non-profit, in the form of Curatorial Assistant Elizabeth Kozlowski.

Elizabeth, who is originally from Delaware, relocated to the Tampa Bay area to pursue a degree in Museum Studies. Finding her niche in Ybor City, she began to engulf herself in the local art scene, creating the "Ybor House of Artists" collective and curating several shows at places like the Skatepark of Tampa, Ybor City Museum, and even an Art After Dark with the Tampa Museum of Art.

"Our mission at Florida Craftsmen is to empower the artist, enrich the community, and engage the next generation," says Elizabeth. She brings an edge to the gallery, and stresses the reality that craft art is not crafting.

"We present the idea of craft through a fine art lens," she says. "[We] exhibit artists that use traditional craft mediums and techniques to produce works of art that align more with the contemporary."

But what is fine craft art, you may ask? Fine craft art is a very familiar aesthetic, one in which artists utilize traditional craft materials such as glass, wood, textiles, and metal to create innovative works of fine art for both residential and commercial consumption. Fine craft art includes glassblowing, weaving, pottery, metalwork and takes the form of sculpture, installations, wearable art, and much more. The possibilities are nearly endless. Does Chihuly ring a bell?

Continues Elizabeth, "We are constantly trying to present fine craft in an innovative way. We are unique in that we are the only statewide non-profit arts organization that represents Florida's fine craft artists. Our retail gallery space allows for over 200 artists and their work." If you have never been to the retail space, you are missing out. From found art jewelry and handcrafted trinkets, to glittery Frida Kahlo miniatures that can be hung on a tree or on the wall, and everything in between, it's a great place for unique gifts and unusual finds.


"We also have three on-site exhibition spaces to allow for local and national exposure of fine craft," remarks Elizabeth. Herself a clay artist, she realizes the importance of keeping fine craft art both alive and relevant.

In addition to the retail and exhibition spaces, Florida Craftsmen stays busy by developing programming for the art-minded public and housing a young professionals group similar to Avant Garde at the Tampa Museum of Art.

"Our young professionals group consists of arts-related individuals from all over the state. They will become the steering committee for Florida Craftsmen, assisting in a new generation initiative and addressing the interests of young audiences and members. Our current gallery programming includes gallery talks with artists working at the leading edge of their disciplines and hands-on workshops."

I was lucky enough to attend one of Florida Craftsmen's artist programs, and not only found the information presented to me to be quite useful as an artist myself, but was impressed with the caliber of artist speakers the gallery was able to bring in to conduct the seminar. Attendance was high, and the networking potential was sublime.

Elizabeth is quick to mention that "it is necessary to continue to build upon the audience that appreciates fine craft art or else we will become a dying breed." Florida Craftsmen seems to be on top of its game in this respect.

Concludes Elizabeth, "I'd like to encourage a connection over the bridge to Tampa and beyond."

For a comprehensive schedule of programming, membership opportunities, and additional gallery information, visit www.floridacraftsmen.net.

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posted on 05.20.09

Artists

Bjork
Animal Collective

Categories

Experimental Music

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Minimal
Experimental

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Kria Brekkan
Mum
Avey Tare
Iceland

Cinematography can do a lot for a film. It can make a forgettable film tolerable, just as it can make an unforgettable film that much more extraordinary. The lens a camera operator chooses in addition to the landscape, the framing, and the aperture, can turn an ordinary, everyday object or location into a magical, mystical event.

Screaming Masterpiece is a gorgeous film in nearly every facet, but what makes it so exceeding special is the stunning camera work. The shots are so vivid, so crisp that observing the images unfold is a bit like traipsing through a frostbitten extraterrestrial landscape on an albino wolf, carefully perched on the minatory edges of jagged ivory cliffs framed only by the cresting waves of the icy blue-black ocean below. That hallucinatory imagery is then paired with the whimsical, icicle-tinkling sounds of Icelandic musicians to create an overall feeling of being suspended in time, trapped in a wintry wonderland for all eternity.

It's a beautiful thing. It's completely mesmerizing and fully engrossing.

Some of my favorite musicians are Icelandic, and this documentary not only further developed some of their stories, it introduced me to exciting new musicians as well. The format ebbs and flows between musical performances and historical information in the form of interviews, stock footage, and creative graphics. Although the history was indeed an important aspect of the film, I would have almost preferred the director rely solely on the performances, with the occasional artfully-scattered montage of frozen landscape to break any looming monotony.

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“Awesome! I'm so excited for this to be released in Melbourne. :) Melbourne Escorts will surely love it.”
Posted over 3 years ago
“Ooh, interesting. I hope it will be available in Australia as well./ :)”
Posted over 3 years ago
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posted on 05.20.09

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Documentary Film
Music
Psychedelic Music

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Psychedelic
Surreal
Ethereal
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Ondi Timoner
Anton Newcombe
Brian Jonestown Massacre
Dandy Warhols

Dear Diary,

I have a total girl crush on Zia McCabe, the keyboardist/tambourine player of The Dandy Warhols. Courtney Taylor-Taylor's not such a chore to look at, either. Nevermind the fact that their music is catchy, fun, and just psychedelic enough to make you feel a little dangerous.

Then there's the rogue fascination swirling around in my curious little head over Anton Newcombe, the frontman of The Brian Jonestown Massacre, who is something of a mad musical scientist hellbent on self-destruction and infamy. Think 1 part charismatic cult leader, 1 part brazen Britpopper, and 1 part random homeless guy camped out on Nebraska Avenue in a pair of dusty corduroys, shake well, and you've got Anton. It isn't difficult to imagine him sitting under an overpass, strumming a banjo, frequently frothing at the mouth with hallucinogenic gibberish addressed to an imaginary audience of regal gents and questionable women. Intrigued yet?

Myself an independent female filmmaker, I was pumped to check out DIG!, a seven year odyssey of creation, destruction, and music filmed and compiled by Ondi Timoner, a friend of both bands and herself a prominent music video director and documentarian, who graduated cum laude from Yale University. What I wasn't prepared for was the pristine attention and fine-tooth precision with which Ondi lauded her subjects. Imagine seven years of footage, painstakingly acquired and sorted through, woven into a rich tapestry of intimacy and exposure.

It's difficult to translate the DIG! experience into a neat little package of few words. The film at times follows the volatile friendship between The Dandies and The Massacre as they record, tour and feed off each other's rampant eccentricities. At other times, the film follows the nightmarish descent into hallucinogenic narcissism of Newcombe as he fires his band, picks fights with fans, and ultimately comes apart at the seams right before our eyes.

Intriguing indeed.

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posted on 05.20.09

Artists

Jean Michel Basquiat
Andy Warhol

Categories

Avant Garde Fashion
Documentary Film
Avant Garde Film
Pop Art

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Tv Party
Debbie Harry
Glenn O'brien

"TV Party. The TV show that is a cocktail party, but which could be a political party." So read the tagline for this 1978-1982 New York City cable access show hosted by David Byrne/Jean-Luc Godard look-a-like Glenn O'Brien, and starring a cast of free-thinking Downtown personalities like Andy Warhol, Fab Five Freddy, and Chris Stein of Blondie. It was psychedelic, improvisational television at its finest. It was also David Letterman's favorite TV show.

Modeled after Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark but with more of an experimental aesthetic, TV Party was a bit like watching a wild-eyed homeless man have drug-induced fit in the center of your living room. Imagine this homeless man, however, swathed in impeccable 3-piece suits and flocked by a gaggle of fashion-forward starfuckers. Eccentric? Antithetical? Welcome aboard.

Among the guests over its 4 year run: DNA, The Ramones, Debbie Harry, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Bowie, George Clinton, The Clash. The format was inconsistent and constantly shifting, which proved to be one of the most delightful aspects of the show. Glenn O'Brien easily fell into the role of demented ringleader over this 10 ring circus of alternative ideology and carefully crafted chaos. The cubist, radical style was due in part to its avant-garde contributors, but the mass amounts of drugs being consumed on site surely contributed to the wackiness.

As a documentary, TV Party is light years away from quality filmmaking, but the original clips and Fellini-esque cast of characters are fascinating enough to overlook its technical shortcomings. Director Danny Wink was successful in collecting nearly every single founding cast and crew member for this DVD, and their colorful, "where are they now" interviews really sell the product. My only real complaint was that it could have been about 30 minutes shorter; the absurdity and lack of structure becomes dizzying after the first hour.

It's difficult to define TV Party in terms modern society would understand. It was TV magic, plain and simple, and something that would be a bit like a ship lost at sea in the midst of today's overdeveloped television industry with its seemingly endless array of networks, internet programming, and digital breakthroughs. My advice? Netflix this DVD and wallow in the excitement of a bygone era.

Or simply visit www.tvparty.org for your very own hand-me-down invitation to the most progressive party live television has ever thrown. Just be sure to keep an open mind.

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posted on 05.18.09

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Poetry
Conceptual Photography
Art Criticism And Theory

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Bob Devin Jones
Art Show
Art Space
Community

Nestled in a quiet block of 1st Avenue South in downtown St. Petersburg, FL lies The Studio@620, a multiform gallery and performance space that is going to be celebrating its fourth birthday this June. Run by co-artistic directors Bob Devin Jones, an L.A. transplant, and Dave Ellis, one of the founders of Great Explorations children's museum in St. Petersburg, the Studio@620 provides many culture-heavy offerings at a fraction of the going ticket price.

A quick glance at their online calendar of events includes such diverse offerings as films from the Ironweed Film Club and St. Pete-Film Movement, dramatic performances by Stageworks Theatre Company, and a variety of spoken word performances, art openings, musical guests, and discussion forums. And that's just for the month of May.

"We didn't start the studio by conducting a market survery... we just thought if we did a variety of creative things, the community would come through the door. And that's what happened. We've been very successful, " says Bob. "The ecology is pretty fertile for things happening in St. Petersburg. Being downtown, we're a block and half from the Florida Craftsmen Gallery, The Arts Center. It's a good neighborhood for us to be in."

Dave chimes in, "It's hard work, but the fact that people in the community have embraced what we're trying to do makes up for any of that. We sort of went against the common grain in putting this together and kept being told by lots of people that this isn't the way we should be doing it and did it anyway. I really enjoy working with the people, and the opportunity to be a part of the decision making [in terms] of what we're able to put up. I enjoy the freedom and the interesting folks that we work with. And when the work's up on the walls I really enjoy the pleasure, the interest, and sometimes the revulsion of the folks that come to see it."

In addition to their original programming, Dave informs me that they often rent out their space to organizations and individuals for specific events, both private and public. "[Renting the space out] very often brings new audiences. It's pretty much open for anything. We've had weddings. [Next up] we've got Red Bull coming in... people have taken their cans and done an art thing with them. I don't know that we'd rent it to the NRA."

"No, we wouldn't do that," responds Bob, "but we have to find ways to subsidize. We have to find insurance, pay utilities and all those things.. but at the same time we don't want to shy away from a program or an idea because we don't have the money for it. and we certainly don't want people to shy away because it's too expensive for them. Our approach is we don't turn anyone away from the door. You don't show up, you don't show up. But you can't say you'll be turned away. That's a business model no one wants to hear about, but every organization still is struggling about always charging. Paying what you can, that just makes sense. Many people are in a situation that what they can pay is two dollars. But if they are going to show up it's good if you have a program like that. That's the way we roll."

And if things go as planned, you can expect to see a lot more from these two in the future. "I have no clue what's going to come next," says Dave. "It's pretty much across the board.  We really want to get people across the full spectrum of age, race, religion, how tall you are... all that stuff."

What keeps them going is simple: "I'm inspired either by the work that I see, or by doing things that I haven't done before," concludes Bob. "I'm inspired by what's here."

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