So last weekend saw the coming and going of the 2008 annual IAM (International Arts Movement) conference. Overall, I would have to rate it a success. It wasn’t without its downsides, but I think it managed to succeed despite its shortcomings.
Highlights for me were:
Roberta Green Ahmanson – her presentation this year was another historical tour de force on the topic of the city. I’m actually re-listening to her 2007 address on faces to get more information for my Jesus Portraits series. Ahmanson’s lecture was a freight train of information and a good way to start.
Jeff Speck – one of New Urbanism’s poster children, Speck was witty and informative – an interesting continuation of Ahmanson’s address.
Joyce Robinson from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation, who brought Tara Donovan, Barbara Takenaga and Jared Sprecher to present on the program was thoroughly fascinating. I was fortunate enough to meet Sprecher earlier in the conference and enjoyed both his work and getting acquainted with him. The panel discussion with this group was really informative and gave, I think, an interesting glimpse into the processes and stories of how these artists got to where they are in their careers. I was also thoroughly delighted to photograph both Robinson and Sprecher for my Jesus Portraits series (although I doubt it will help me get into the studio program).
Terry Teachout – I was unfamiliar with this acclaimed theater critic, but completely won over by his eloquent and imaginative presentation. I found his unabashed endorsement of beauty in art to be refreshing, if a little heavily anti-post-modernity. Normally, I would agree with this sentiment; but I can’t, of late, rule out the beneficial contribution of Derida and deconstruction to the general discourse.
I’m so pissed off that I missed the TM Sisters‘ performance…but I am completely grateful for a generously willing pose as Jesus.
viva bluegrass (a.k.a. old time)! the Varnish Cooks kicked it old school and well.
Last, but not least, I have to give props to Rob Mathis. Although I generally wouldn’t consider myself a fan of his genre of music, the guy was solid and his music was impressive. It may have also been his huge enthusiasm for Dostoyevsky that sold it, but for some reason I connected with it. If you have the opportunity to hear him, I’d highly recommend it.
Oh, well, I did also shoot almost 60 new Jesus Portraits, so keep an eye peeled for updates.
Well, that’s about it for now.