Grasslands

Last night the Tucson Museum of Art opened its new exhibit, Desert Grasslands, curated by Julie Sasse, who I got to know on TMA’s trip to Cuba.  I especially like the photography.   Like these individual strands of grass by Matilda Essig1 and Stephen Strom2.

strom grassEssig grass

This is my favorite of Guggenheim Fellow landscape photographer Michael Berman’s black and white prints.

berman peloncillo mountains

Dornith Doherty uses Xrays.

After receiving x-ray training from CSU’s Radiation Control Office, the artist Dornith Doherty spent the summer of 2009 producing x-ray photographs of seeds and tissue samples of cloned plants.doherty grass[She] digitally manipulates the x-ray shots to create mandala shapes and organic designs, with the goal to evoke ecological concerns. … although the transparency of the images is almost ethereal, it is easy to recognize the organic subject matter, which is the artist’s focus.3

kitchel grass

I had been to Mayme Kratz’s studio three weeks ago.4  Her birds’ nests and grasses laid out as a sunburst in resin are in the show.  (We were not allowed to take photographs of the exhibit so all of these photos are from the respective websites.) Loved Karen Kitchel’s painting of grasses that look like photographs5.

Then there are the animals of the desert.  Kate Breakey does photograms.

breckey

Kate drags actual corpses (including a coyote, rabbits, lizards, snakes and various birds) into her studio, lays them on photosensitive paper and then shines light onto them.  The animals then get a proper burial, and the paper gets dipped into developing chemicals which causes these images to appear. 6

scheer

Joseph Scheer uses a high resolution scanner to make huge prints of moths7.  (This is just a detail!)

moira-6Moira Geoffrion, fellow member of the Contemporary Art Society, and former head of the University of Arizona Arts department, has 117 oil paintings of birds8 in the show.

Please check out the websites to see more of their work.  And see the show!

Rain

It rained throughout the night and just stopped with morning – drips from the roof tapping at the metal stairs, diamonds of raindrops on the end of each acacia twig, on each creosote leaf, sparkling in a splash of sunlight.  All of the mesquite leaves, withered by the freeze two weeks ago, have been washed from the trees and coat the ground in a dusty celadon.

Tire Pressure and the Assault Weapons Ban

Now that I have a car that has a dashboard indicator light to tell me when a tire is five pounds below its recommended pressure (my previous car did not, and I only filled the tires when they looked low), once a month the light comes on.  The air pumps at the gas station (which say that you have to insert four quarters, but if you ask the person in the glass booth, as there are no longer gas station attendants, only cashiers who also sell junk food, he or she will turn on the air for you) are difficult to use, and I often lose more air than I put in.

So I go a mile and a half out of my way to my mechanic and he pumps up my tires, no charge.  (I did have a nail in one tire that had caused a slow leak of air, but that was found when I went to Discount Tires where I had bought them and they removed it, also no charge.)

But I digress.  “My” mechanic, the guy who now owns Erv’s Automotive, is so far right with his (often expressed) opinions that it makes me crazy.  (Think the previous time I was in there he was spouting off about illegal aliens.)  He’s of the pry it from my cold, dead hands school of gun ownership.  Told me that the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School hadn’t happened!  Was just a story trumped up so the Democrats could take their guns away!  (Did you notice that none of the parents were crying?)  This theory of his and I bet he never even heard of the movie, Wag the Dog.

Segue into Gun Control.  You can read Senator Feinstein’s entire assault weapons ban bill on the website.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, introduced a bill that would ban the sale, transfer, manufacture and importation of 100 specialty firearms and certain semiautomatic weapons. The bill would also outlaw the sale, importation and manufacture of ammunition magazines that accept more than 10 rounds.9

My friend in DC, retired Navy, contends that the Second Amendment is being misinterpreted, and that it is the right of the militia to keep and bear arms, not of the general populace.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

Ok, it’s up to all of you now.  I’ve blogged about the necessity for an assault weapons ban.10  I’ve copied the relevant text in that blog to my Senators, McCain and Flake, and to my Congressman, Grijalva.  But all of you must email, call, or write to your senators and congressmen.

As the President said:  “This will not happen unless the American people demand it.”

That means all of us. President Obama has called on all of us to ask our members of Congress to support the president’s recommendations for real change. If they tell you that they don’t support these measures, ask them, “Why not?”  Ask them, “What is more important than keeping our families safe?” 11

And thank Dianne. 12

1http://home.mindspring.com/~matilda/
2http://www.kevinlongino.com/portfolio.cfm?a=51&p=148&t=collec
3http://www.dornithdoherty.com
4https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2013/01/20/phoenix-art-and-architecture/
5http://www.karenkitchel.com/site/welcome.html
6http://manmakehome.com/2010/10/13/kate-breakey-photograms/
7http://artmuseum.arizona.edu/exhibitions/exhibitions_pdf/scheer_galleryguide_smaller.pdf
8http://moirageoffrion.com/galleries/birds/
9http://www.ibtimes.com/dianne-feinstein-gun-bill-text-list-guns-banned-details-assault-weapons-ban-2013-1037402
10https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/fiscal-cliffhanger/
11http://smartgunlaws.org/tag/assault-weapons-2/
12http://www.diannefeinstein2012.com/thankyou/w1301wbfb/

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3 Responses to “Grasslands”

  1. Kim D. Blair, P.E. Says:

    Thank you Lynne – Great Post.

  2. marysasse Says:

    Thank you, Lynne, for speaking about gun control. What many people don’t know (or refuse to acknowledge) is that the Framers of the Constitution lived during a time when muskets (very inaccurate) and rifles (ditto) were used–in contrast to the high-powered assault guns used today. Even a trained soldier was lucky to get 3 shots in a minute–so he had to rely on linear fighting to get close enough to spear his opponent with a spear/sword. That’s in comparison to assault weapons that can easily pump out 100 rounds a minute! Equally important is the “history” of the Framers’ problems when they set out to write the Constitution. As Thom Hartmann, a noted commentator, points out in his article, “The Second Amendent was Ratified to Preserve Slavery,” the Framers (including Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, et. al.) were all slave-holders. Knowing what the 10th Amendment was to say, they changed the word “Country” to the word “State” so that the slave states could maintain their armed militias which conducted “slave patrols,” something very necessary to put down slave uprisings and keep them forever in bondage. (See Article 1, Sec. 8 for what the Country was allowed to do.) You can probably find Hartmann’s full article on his website.

    Thanks, again, for your hospitality while I was in Tucson! Cheers! Mary Sasse

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