Marilyn Anderson’s new book (en inglés y español)

                                              Feature by Orin Langelle

Grabados del libro Guardianes de las artes Images of the book Guardians of the Arts

Amherst, NY, 26 October 2017–Artist and author Marilyn Anderson gave a presentation to the Weaver’s Guild of Buffalo at the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village on her new book Guardianes de las artes / Guardians of the Arts.

Anderson states in her newest book that it “aims to foster a deeper appreciation for the beauty and history of Guatemalan arts…to inspire respect, empathy and support for Guatemalan artists and artisans.”

The book is illustrated by forty-three prints of her work, that were ten years in the making. Her prints illustrate long established Guatemalan arts and crafts techniques, and were inspired by traditional wood cuts and used some of the most ancient of printmaking techniques. They are organized into sections defined by fabrication techniques and raw materials.

Her involvement with the arts and crafts of Guatemala began in the 1960s and her fascination with the process of weavers and weaving.

Carol Pirson (l) of the Weavers Guild of Buffalo, admires a weaving that Anderson is holding. photo: Langelle

Carol Pirson (l) of the Weavers Guild of Buffalo, admires a weaving that Anderson is holding. photo: Langelle

Anderson’s talk for the Weaver’s Guild of Buffalo not only weaved a story of her learning from the people who were the artisans and how they work and the different types of processes involved, but her backstory of the history in Guatemala that shed light on the repression artisans and others lived through.

As a documentary photographer I found this history, in her talk, and in the “Supplementary Essays” at the end of her book, a fascinating and necessary historical look at what is so often forgotten – or not even known by many in the U.S. The information in Guardianes de las artes / Guardians of the Arts is a behind the scenes look at culture, Mayan arts, and change and ecology – plus a section on weaving and survival during La Violencia.

So why does art need guardians?

La Violencia: The 1954 coup d’état, which overthrew the democratically elected Guatemalan President Jacobo Árbenz, brought repression to the people. [OL Note: the coup d’état was a covert operation carried out by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).] The victims included trade unionists, leaders of cooperatives and peasants.  Armed resistance to the repression began in the 1960s.

During La Violencia, Mayas suffered massacres, bombing, dislocation and rape. photo: Langelle

During La Violencia, Mayas suffered massacres, bombing, dislocation and rape.  photo: Langelle

In the 80s extensive repression intensified, aimed especially at indigenous peoples.

“Nearly 500 Guatemalan communities were destroyed. Maya women and men from areas designated by the army as ‘subversive’ did not wear their traditional clothing whose patterns and colors identified their ethnic group and community,” Anderson explained.

She continued, “Hundreds of thousands of Guatemalans fled and found their way to safety in Mexico [many in Chiapas refugee camps] or other countries, leaving behind property, houses and animals. Through forests and over rivers and mountains, many Maya refugee women carried their backstrap looms. Even if they left their looms behind, they carried within themselves the knowledge to build and use new ones.”

Men and boys crocheted shoulder bags. Anderson shows an example of that work made in a Chiapas, Mexico refugee camp. photo: Langelle

Men and boys crocheted shoulder bags. Anderson shows an example of that work made in a Chiapas, Mexico refugee camp. photo: Langelle

Ecology and Arts and Crafts: Anderson describes in her book that “Guatemalan arts and crafts are connected to their environment…An holistic relationship existed between the earth, which gave the raw materials for the objects that artisans made, and the users of these objects.”

Sustaining Culture:

                                                   I will never stop wearing my traditional clothing until the day I die. – Desidria Camposeco of Jacaltenango, 1996

Anderson says Desidria’s wearing traditional clothing is a form of resistance. A commitment to one’s culture plays a part of resisting economic and political forces and confronts prejudice and consumerism.

“Mayas keep their culture alive in many ways: millions speak, write and appreciate the 22 Mayan languages; they understand the universe; the world and humans’ place in it through their cosmovisión; the ancient K’iche’ creation narrative, The Popol Vub, has continued importance to modern day Mayas; story-telling music, dance and plays are other examples of traditional culture that play an important part in the lives of many Mayas.” – Marilyn Anderson

So why does art need guardians?

Because without art, cultural identity can be lost or worse, destroyed, threatening the very fabric of peoples’ true history.

 

To order Marilyn Anderson’s new book Guardianes de las artes / Guardians of the Arts, Relief Prints, Coloring Books and Note Card sets, please go to www.proartemaya.org/ or email manderson@igc.org

From the Proto Arte Maya website:

The latest addition to the Pro Arte Maya Project is the book: Guardianes de las artes: grabados de artistas y artesanos de Guatemala/ Guardians of the Arts: Prints of Guatemalan Artists and Artisans.

Completed in 2016, work on this book has occupied Marilyn over the past ten years. Copies are available in the United States through this website as well as several bookstores and online stores. The publisher, Editorial Ediciones Del Pensativo, is located in Antigua, Guatemala and makes the book available in bookstores in Guatemala.

 

 

                                New York bookstores carrying the book include:

                     Greenwood Books, 123 East Avenue, in downtown Rochester
Before your Quiet Eyes, 439 Monroe Avenue, Rochester
Talking Leaves Books, 3158 Main Street and 951 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo (near Bidwell)

 
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Thursday, September 21st, is the International Day of Struggle Against Monoculture Tree Plantations. ¡Buen Vivir! and Global Justice Ecology Project have been fighting the spread of monoculture plantations for decades. And more recently, we have been advocates for banning the addition of genetic engineered trees, which would further exasperate all of the social and environmental impacts that monocultures cause.

This includes drought, pollution of water sources, loss of habitat and biodiversity, human rights violations towards members of local communities and/or forest dwelling peoples, and devating fires (as we covered in Chile and Portugal earlier this year).

Stay tuned to Global Justice Ecology Project and The Campaign to Stop GE Trees tomorrow, the 21st. We will be posting throughout the day, a series of mixed media and articles with information about the dangerous implications of the spread of monoculture tree plantations and GE trees, and ways to fight back.

In the meantime, check out these two photo essays by Anne Peterman, Founder and Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and Campaign Coordinator for the Campaign to Stop GE Trees, and photographer Orin Langelle, Founder of Global Justice Ecology Project and Director of Langelle Photography.

 

 

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“Indigenous women from the Shahsevan tribal Confederacy camped in their tents (Alachiq) in their summering grounds. They display a two-humped Bactrian camel. The Shahsevan have an age-old relationship with these camels, which have served as transport on their migratory routes for centuries. The Shahshevan believe that the camels bring blessings to their lands, which are an important habitat of the Bactrian camel.”

A new photoessay put together by international organizations Cenesta and Global Forest Colition showcases Indigenous Peoples and local communities in Iran acting as stewards of natural resources and nature through participartory and counter mapping procedures of their own lands, made possible in part by Indigenous Peoples’ and Community Conserved Territories and Areas (ICCAs).

To view the entire photo collection and to learn more about this empowering and visually beautiful process documented by Cenestna, click here.

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The July 28th closing reception for Hope And Fear: Using Art Therapy to Cope in Times of Transition, the collaborative exhibit between ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery and Art Therapy Buffalo, was once again packed with enthusiastic participants.  Inside, people contributed their hopes and fears to the interactive sculpture, while outside, participants were guided through an exercise about tolerance.  People of all ages enjoyed the event.  Photos from the evening are below.

If you never got a chance to see the exhibit while it was still up at ¡Buen Vivir!, or you just want to see it again, the entire exhibit is now available online.

 

 

 

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(To read more on the exhibit, please go to the Current page)

June was not only the opening of our new collaborative art exhibition with Art Therapy Buffalo, “Hope and Fear: Using Art Therapy to Cope in Times of Transition,” but it also brought us the annual Pride and Arts festivals. This has been a very unique and hands on exhibition, offering visitors and passersby alike at all of these events the opportunity to view and participate in the art. If you missed any of our opening events, fear not! Join us at our closing reception on Friday, July 28th from 6-9pm, or stop by for “Ask an Art Therapist” during open hours at the gallery on Saturdays from 10am-2pm in July! As always, contact us anytime to to schedule another viewing opportunity.

To see the live performance art piece by one of the exhibiting art therapists at the opening reception, click here.

There will be an encore interactive performance at the closing reception on Friday July 28th, around 7:30pm – come join us!

In the meantime, enjoy some of these photos captured during this month’s opening reception and Pride weekend events:

 

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*6_LangellePhotographs by Orin Langelle

The Opening Reception for Are Humans Disappearing by photographer Orin Langelle takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on First Friday May 5th at the ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art in Buffalo at 148 Elmwood Avenue.  Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be available.  Exhibit closes May 26th.

The theme of the exhibit Roadmap to Extinction: Are Humans Disappearing? is the possibility of human extinction if serious steps are not taken.

It was first shown in 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark during the annual UN Climate Convention. Its original theme was climate change and its threat to human kind.

These are not the usual photographs one associates with climate change: ice caps and glaciers melting or polar bears adrift.

Others viewers commented that the exhibit reflects our fleeting existence. The photos depict a progression of images moving in stages from recognizable human forms to figures almost completely unrecognizable.

Today the images continue to reveal that, in the age of Trump, we face an existential crisis in which humanity itself may well be rapidly disappearing.

The photographs in Roadmap to Extinction: Are Humans Disappearing? were shot in October 2008 in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona, Spain. They were inspired by a International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) conference happening there where Shell Oil sponsored the climate justice pavilion. The photos reflect the sublime absurdity of the world’s dirtiest companies offering so called ‘solutions’ to social and ecological crises.

The photos also expose the reality that time and space are fleeting and we are on this planet for only a brief time, so we should use that time meaningfully.

After the Opening Reception the show is by appointment only. For an appointment, please call +1.716.931.5833.

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Peter Beard and Jackie Kennedy Onassis walk through crowd during the opening of The End of the Game – The Last Word from Paradise

MARCH 10, 2017 – The prominent online daily photo magazine L’Œil de la Photographie, of Paris and New York today published all of the photographs from Orin Langelle’s 2015 exhibit The End of the Game: The Last Word from Paradise – Revisited.

Langelle’s photos document photographer Peter Beard’s first one-person show at the International Center of Photography in Manhattan in 1977, including his 40th birthday party at Studio 54.

The photographs and accompanying article can be viewed in L’Œil de la Photographie
MARCH 10, 2017 – WRITTEN BY Anna Winand:

The End of the Game, Revisited English

Fin de partie – Dernier message du Paradis, Revisité French

About Langelle’s Exhibit:

Over four months Langelle photographed Beard and the people, many celebrities, that were part of Beard’s life prior to and during the exhibit’s installation and the subsequent opening, plus Beard’s 40th birthday party at Studio 54 in January of 1978.

Langelle’s photographs are of events surrounding Beard’s 1977’s The End of the Game. The ICP installation consisted of Beard’s photographs, elephant carcasses, burned diaries, taxidermy, African artifacts, books and personal memorabilia.

In the early 60s Beard worked at Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, during which time he photographed and documented (illegally) the demise of over 35,000 elephants and 5,000 Black Rhinos.

With the support of the Peter Beard Studio, ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery presented this exhibition to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Beard’s book, The End of the Game – The Last Word from Paradise.

Langelle’s exhibit can be viewed at ¡Buen Vivir! Gallery for Contemporary Art

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