Staff Picks: June


Like many others, I have been deeply saddened by the death of Anthony Bourdain. Robin Dryer summed up my love of Bourdain in a recent Penland School of Crafts blog post, "We admired Bourdain for the same reasons other people did: his intelligence, his curiosity, his storytelling, his low-tolerance for bullshit, his excellent writing, his great voice, his charismatic persona, and his eager willingness to eat noodles on a street in Taiwan in the middle of night and tell the rest of us all about it. We also admired him for his deep appreciation of skilled making, perfected attention — in other words, craft." Beyond his adventures in food and travel, more recently Anthony Bourdain worked on a series titled Raw Craft, celebrating craft of all kinds. Below is one of my favorite episodes featuring Elizabeth Brim at Penland School of Crafts.

- Maddie Miller, Gallery Coordinator



"Henrik Aarrestad Uldalen (1986) is a self-taught artist whose creative production revolves around classic figurative painting, presented in a contemporary manner. Henrik explores the dark sides of life, nihilism, existentialism, longing and loneliness, juxtaposed with fragile beauty. Though a figurative painter, his focus has always been the emotional content rather than narratives.  The atmospheres in his work is often presented in a dream or limbo-like state, with elements of surrealism."
- Ellen Mensch, Gallery Assistant



Jasper Johns: “Art is much less important than life, but what a poor life without it.”

Johns came on the scene in the 1950’s. He delivered a distinct style by depicting flags and large numbers, which led to minimalism. In 1958, Leo Castelli gave the 28-year-old a one-man show. MOMA purchased three pieces and made Johns a forerunner in the art world.

I looked up Jasper Johns because the ACPL is doing an “Independent Film Movement Series: Jasper Jones.” I, of course misread the title as Jasper Johns. But, the movies are free for those 18 years and older on the first Wednesday of each month. This one will be shown on Wednesday, June 6, 6:30 in the Globe Room. It looks to be an Australian drama.

Here’s an unrelated quote found on Facebook: “Art, like morality, consists of drawing the line somewhere.”

- Suzanne Galazka, Figure Drawing



I was reading a children's book called The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane recently. It is by Kate Dicamillo, and is a lovely story about mishap and adventure and learning about love, all seen through the eyes of a large porcelain rabbit. The story itself is beautiful all on its own, but the illustrations, by Bagram Ibatoulline, are wonderful with stunning detail, making the book a visual delight, as well.

- Lorraine Knox, Office Manager



Shakespeare Solos, produced by The Guardian UK, is a video series where leading actors perform some of Shakespeare's greatest speeches.
I adore Shakespeare, so getting to watch his iconic writing performed in these little snippets is incredibly fun. My favorite has to be the one from Julius Caesar.

- Matt McClure, Executive Director



Having a cursory interest in just about everything, I’ve had a hard time deciding what to talk about. So, I chose to talk about something that lightly explores multiple artistic endeavors. I am talking about the somewhat new Netflix Original Series Abstract: The Art of Design. In this documentary series every episode follows an artist working within their respective artistic field. For instance, they document the thoughts, life, and creative struggles of an Illustrator, Shoe Designer, Set Designer, Architect, Photographer, etc. In this way, the series is quite inspirational as viewers get an inside look at the lives of creatives in a variety of fields as well as exposure to the breadth of commercial-creative fields that one can pursue.  Paired with excellent cinematography and an educationally honest look at the lives of the artists involved, I think this is a great series to watch if you’ve got the time, and let’s be honest, at about ~45 minutes per episode, you’ve got the time. If you don’t then what are you doing reading blogs you muppet? 

- Preston Owens, Gallery Intern



As a longtime Arctic Monkeys fan, I was excited to hear that they came back with a new album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. I was not prepared for the major change-up in style, going from their typical rock sound to a piano base sound, however I was still enthralled with what frontman Alex Turner has to say. The album is largely rooted in the concept of a lounge singer at the albums titular hotel and casino, making commentary about escapism, entertainment, and how society is running today, all set to spacey and beautiful piano based melodies, and Alex Turner's lyrics taking on a science fiction twist. It is definitely a head trip, especially for longtime fans, but definitely one worth hearing! Listen to the lead single, Four Out of Five here.

- David Weimer, Gallery Intern