Taj Alexander

Taj Alexander is a student at Philadelphia Biblical University majoring in Business Administration. Taj is also the President of the Culture and Arts Association at PBU. He enjoys collaborating with others to share and explore various aspects of culture and the arts. He loves spending time with his family and collecting music. As an IAM intern, Taj is looking forward to learning and serving with the IAM Staff.

IGVP Presents: Dance the Past Into The Future

The International Guild of Visual Peacemakers (IGVP) is creating a documentary titled Dance The Past Into the Future. This is a human story that will bring humans closer together.

QUICK SUMMARY

Follow 3 generations of Turkish people standing at the intersections of history & progress. The stories of a few represent a global shift we’re all a part of: the tension in balancing our own values & culture with the lure of modern materialism, economic progress, & technology. What’s really lost? What’s really gained?

Explore these themes in the lusciously green Kachkar mountains of northeast Turkey as people head to the plateau highlands for traditional dancing, socializing, and grazing livestock. We’ll take you into the realities of how new tourism and environmental exploitation alter the local flavor of life. The documentary follows both villagers and metropolitans as they wrestle with their own role in the unfolding story of highlands traditions and modern lifestyles.

Hopefully you will be inspired to pause for a moment—calm life’s pressures—and embrace what we currently have in our families and communities and make it a point to pass on all that is good, noble, fun, and transcendent.

Watch the TEASER VIDEO and Learn More HERE.

TAKE PART!

This visual peacemaking documentary is community-supported. That means PEOPLE LIKE YOU make it possible via your donations, prayers, and spreading the word in social media. Here’s how you can take part in the adventure.

We made it easy for you to take part:

1. Watch the Teaser video on Kickstarter, then share the link CLICK HERE
2. Fan us on Facebook – Stay up to date on our adventure, both the documentary as it unfolds as well as behind the scenes stuff!
3. PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY OF THE DVD WHEN YOU Donate
4. Copy-paste the following on Facebook and/or Twitter:

A human story to bring humans closer. WATCH THE TEASER VIDEO. http://ow.ly/cdgqt from @visualpeace // Support My Friends!

OKC Thunder and the Arts Inspire a City

If you’re following the NBA Playoffs, you know that the Oklahoma City Thunder are making a great playoff run for an NBA Championship. Check out this video of the Oklahoma City creative community and how they’ve been inspired by their OKC  Thunder who are currently in the NBA Western Conference Finals!

Photographers, Videographers, Graphic Design Artists, and more share how the game of basketball has woven itself into the fabric of the growing arts and culture scene of OKC.

Video shot by James Harber

Princeton Explores the Art of Science

Check out this article via Metafilter about the Art of Science Competition at Princeton University

Princeton’s 5th Annual Art of Science Exhibition

“The Art of Science exhibition explores the interplay between science and art.  These practices both involve the pursuit of those moments of discovery when what you perceive suddenly becomes more than the sum of its parts.  Each piece in this exhibition is, in its own way, a record of such a moment.”

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“This is the 5th Art of Science competition hosted by Princeton University.  The 2011 competition drew 168 submission from 20 departments.  The exhibit includes work by undergraduates, faculty, research staff, graduate students, and alumni.”

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View the Art of Science Submissions Here

Tropical Fish by Yunlai Zha Image Courtesy of http://www.princeton.edu/artofscience

The Imagination of Alexander McQueen

Credit: Solve Sundsbo/Art & Commerce for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

One Saturday evening this month, I attended the Savage Beauty, an exhibition of the work of late fashion designer Alexander McQueen, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (The Met). This specific Saturday evening happened to be the second to last day before the exhibit would officially close at the Met. Upon my arrival, as someone who was just beginning to learn about Alexander McQueen, I began to feel the weight of his cultural influence well before I stepped into the museum. Amongst hundreds of others, I waited outside the building for a good hour and a half in a line that stretched well beyond the doors of the Met. Once inside, patrons had to wait another two hours in line to make it up to the McQueen exhibition. The wait itself told me that this was not just another exhibition to attend, and that the cultural impact of McQueen’s design must have been extraordinary to say the least. The communal experience of waiting with so many people just to see the same exhibition made the wait well worth it. There was the feeling that we were a part of a moment in cultural and artistic history at the Met.

Credit: Solve Sundsbo/Art & Commerce for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The McQueen Exhibition, Savage Beauty, was the eighth most visited exhibition in the history of the museum, attracting close to 700,000 people. The line worked its way through most of the major sections of the museum before we reached the McQueen exhibition. This gave me the chance to soak in and briefly appreciate the collection as the line for the McQueen exhibition gradually moved forward. To be honest there were moments while waiting in line when, after my legs went numb from standing, I thought about turning around and leaving, but the fact that I made it so far, and the pure curiosity of wanting to see what I was waiting so long for, kept me in line. Once I arrived at the McQueen exhibition, and the reality set in that I was about to walk in, the long wait immediately felt worth it.

I admit I lack an extensive knowledge of Alexander McQueen and his work. I had only been briefly exposed to his work in the past, having stumbled across one of his books in a clothing store, seen some of his designs on blogs, and every once in a while, I would hear his name brought up in a discussion of culture & fashion. Visiting this exhibit was an opportunity for me not only to be exposed to the work of Alexander McQueen, but to also learn more of the cultural impact and importance of fashion and design.

After hearing the stories from friends and family, and reading reviews of the exhibit, I came genuinely curious, hoping that in my visit I would have a unique experience, and my own story to tell.

Credit: Solve Sundsbo/Art & Commerce for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

One word that I heard repeatedly about McQueen’s work was “powerful.” I did not quite fully understand what others meant until I saw some of his pieces for myself.  Immediately as I walked into the exhibit I noticed the bold and expressive nature of McQueen’s work. The environment of the installation enhanced the power of his clothing, and the use of color and scenery of the surroundings brought the garments to life. The careful attention to detail in the change of music and ambiance as I walked through the exhibition helped make the experience even more immediate. Each themed section of the exhibition was its own engaging experience, which helped viewers emotionally connect to the work. The mood created by the environs and music of the exhibit was just as important as the clothing, creating a lasting impression of McQueen’s work.

As I read the provided background and descriptions of each piece, I was impressed by the designer’s thought process. I was amazed by amount of social and cultural commentary that was present in his clothing as well. To have such progressive and groundbreaking fashion design combined with a thought provoking message was compelling, and spoke to the complexity of McQueen as a person. This helped me see and respect fashion as an art form that can speak to the state of society, provoke serious and contemplative thought, and create its own cultural outlook and environment.

In most of his pieces I was intrigued by his ability to master and respect the traditional techniques of fashion while breaking free to create his own new rules. Probably the most memorable aspect for me in was McQueen’s ability to capture the imagination in his work. He was a true artist in his ability to capture and express his own imagination in his own unique and powerful way, while also capturing and encouraging the imagination of the viewers of his pieces.

Credit: Solve Sundsbo/Art & Commerce for the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Artists often establish connection with their audience by emotionally engaging and sparking the imagination of those who experience their work. Visiting the McQueen Exhibit has given me a deeper appreciation for fashion and design, and opened my eyes to the importance of fashion as art form that shapes culture.

 

Mumbai to Open its First Museum of Christian Art

Check out the recent article  The Times of India recently posted entitled Mumbai to Get Museum of Christian Art.

“Mumbai, which has a sizeable Christian population and rich tradition of reliquious architecture, is set to get its first museum of Christian art.”

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“The museum will sensitize Christians and the general public to Christian art and culture.” What will really be an eye-opener for visitors, however, is a timeline of Christianity in the region from 6 AD onward.”

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“The church committee hopes the new museum in Goregaon will awaken an interest in Christians so that they take measures to protect their heritage.”

Do We Value Sculpture?

The New  York Times recently posted an article Has Sculpture Become Just Another Pretty Face?

“Is it me, or do we seem to have a problem with sculpture today?”

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“It’s (sculpture) too literal, too direct, too steeped in religious ceremony and too complex for a historically amnesiac culture. We prefer the multicolored distractions of illusionism on flat surfaces, flickering in a movie theater or digitized on our laptops and smartphones, or painted on canvas. The marketplace ratifies our myopia, making headlines for megamillion-dollar sales of old master and Impressionist pictures but rarely for premodern sculptures.”

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“In an age of special effects, we may also simply no longer know how to feel awe at the sight of sculptured faces by the German genius Tilman Riemenschneider or before a bronze statue by Donatello.”

Ruminate Magazine Visual Art Prize

Ruminate Magazine: “Chewing on Life, Faith and Art” announces a call to artists for a juried print exhibition in the Winter Issue #22, which releases mid-December and is distributed nationally. $500 cash prize and publication in Issue #22 for first place, plus publication in Issue 22 for runner-up. The finalist juror is award-winning artist Sandra Bowden. The prize is open to all mediums and artists of all levels; no geographical restrictions. Artists must have professional quality digital images available upon request. $15 entry fee for up to 3 images that represent a larger body of work. Entry fee also includes a complimentary copy of Issue #22. Entry deadline is Friday, August 26th, 2011.

Visit The Ruminate Magazine website for complete guidelines

Questions? Please contact editor@ruminatemagazine.org or call 970.449.2726.

 

Combat Paper Project Gives War Veterans an Artistic Outlet

Over at GOOD there is a post about the Combat Paper Project. Check out: An Artistic Outlet for Veterans: The Combat Paper Project

The Combat Paper Project, hosts papermaking workshops that help veterans come to terms with their personal experiences in combat through art therapy.

“Through papermaking workshops veterans use their uniforms worn in combat to create cathartic works of art. By witnessing their uniforms’ transformation and reclaiming them as works of art, veterans work through their experiences head-on. The project also provides an alternative narrative of war and how to deal with it.”

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Drew Cameron, the co-director of the project, explains on the website that “[r]eshaping that association of subordination, of warfare and service, into something collective and beautiful is our inspiration.”

 

Image courtesy of: Combatpaper.org

 

Image courtesy of: Combatpaper.org

 

Great Initiative Gives Providence a “Head’s Up”

Over at  GOOD there is a post on a great initiative by Heads Up.  Check out:  Nonprofit Spotlight: Giving Providence’s Most Vulnerable a Head’s Up.

“Founded in 2000, HeadsUp (an acronym for “Health, Education, Arts Developing Strength, Unity and Peace”) was a grassroots effort focused on reaching downtown Providence, Rhode Island’s vulnerable populations, including those diagnosed as HIV-positive, at-risk children and families, and residents emerging from a low-income or homeless background.”

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“Feeding andhousing the homeless provide direct community-level support, but what makes HeadsUp stand out is a creative, fresh approach to programs, which stand true to the name of “Health, Education, and Arts.”

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“In addition to the cold weather shelter and hot meals, HeadsUp also hosts the Tenderloin Opera Company, a theater training program bringing together homeless, homeless advocates and members of the Brown University community; ArtsReach, arts and music classes for HIV-positive and others; and Harvest Kitchen, a 15-week culinary training program for at-risk youth that sources its produce from local growers.”

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“HeadsUp’s vision is to be “an oasis in the heart of downtown Providence” and operates with the understanding that food for the body is essential, but nourishing the mind and creative spirit are also a vital component to serving those in need.”

When Urban Planning and Obesity Collide

From GOOD article When Urban Planning and Obesity Collide by Peter Smith

“Are cities making us fat? After all, research has linked urban sprawl, a car-dependent culture, and even the absence of a sidewalk in front of homes to neighborhoods full of people with higher body mass indexes.

“As the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Risa Lavizzo-Mourey told The New York Times: “The changes to our physical and social environments that have contributed to the epidemic were gradual and have had decades to gain momentum.”

“Now, public health crusaders are working to reverse that. In Louisville, Kentucky, nonprofits have contributed about $4.5 million in grants to establish bike lanes, develop small “pocket” parks, improve traffic patterns, and remake sidewalks.”Design initiatives like these are up against formidable odds: by January 4 each year, food marketing in the United States reaches $100 million, just about the entire annual operating budget of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”

The Google Teacher Academy Helps Teachers Bring Tech Innovations Into the Classroom

From GOOD article The Google Teacher Academy Helps Teachers Bring Tech Innovations Into the Classroom by Liz Dwyer

“Technology companies are always coming up with new apps or hardware, but it takes way too long for some of the really useful innovations to trickle down to classrooms. Part of the problem is that teachers aren’t always informed about these new tools, and when they are, they may not know how to actually use them with students. The Google Teacher Academy is working to address that problem.”

“Academy participants become official “Google Certified Teachers,” and although there are certainly other tech companies out there working with teachers, what really makes the GTA stand out is that it uses a “train the trainers” model, teaching educators how to share their newly acquired knowledge once they head back home. The program also smartly connects participants through a Google group where they can share ideas and best practices as a professional learning community over the course of the school year.”

“This year Google’s opening up the Academy, which is set to take place on July 28 in Seattle, to international participants.”

Triple Canopy, Light Industry, and Public School Announce Opening of Center

From Artforum International Magazine article Triple Canopy, Light Industry, and Public School Announce Opening of Center

The Triple Canopy, Light Industry, and Public School New York are working together to create a new arts and culture center in the Greenpoint, Brooklyn on 155 Freeman St.  The new center will  be called 155 Freeman.  155 Freeman will look to open in September, and will host a variety of performances, classes, artist talks, readings, workshops, and more.