Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day in Southwest Florida

I'd love to write about books but the election is all I can think of. Naturally I'm not surprised at the outcomes so far, though I am surprised at how soon the major networks feel they can call the winners - an hour after the polls closed, at my own library as we are a polling place, they are already calling Rubio the new senator from Florida. How can this be? Have they counted the absentee ballots? How come, three days after I voted, I received a robo-call admonishing me for not having done so? Oh, this is so depressing. And right after I watched clips from Stewart/Colbert's rally for sanity had brought me a little hope - yes, it does spring eternal!

Well, I may not fit in here in Southwest Florida but I have to tell you I got a huge, marvelous surprise on Saturday when Don and I attended a showing at the Bonita Springs Art Center. Women Call for Peace was the name of the exhibit and it was astounding. http://www.naplesnews.com/events/2010/oct/01/35575/
One rarely finds this kind of quality exhibit here in the Naples/Ft. Myers area. I've seen very little advertising so I'll tell you about it here. If it hadn't been for one of my more informed, wonderful volunteers and book group attendees extraordinaire, I wouldn't have known about it either.

One of the featured artists was Faith Ringgold whose name I only knew because of being a librarian and having seen her gorgeous work in the children's room. She writes and illustrates and has a beautiful book about Rosa Parks that I was happy to see we had three copies of in our branch. http://faithringgold.blogspot.com/

Another artist whose work was simply extraordinary was Emma Amos http://www.flomenhaftgallery.com/flomenhaft_gallery_artists_biographies/emma_amos_artist_bio.php

The depth of the emotion and heart that goes into the work of these artists just fills the heart. Never having had a talented bone in my body when it comes to anything remotely artistic or creative, I feel such envy at the way these women express themselves. Much of the work involved quilts, a form of expression that goes back centuries when women used messages sewn into quilts in order to communicate, often a cry for help. Much of the work is, of course, against war - the idea being that women are less likely to wage it if they have to send their babies off to die in it - but then some involves calls for peace closer to home. Works express strong feminist trends, indicating the pain and agony of abuse in all of its forms.

Tiny DVD players scattered throughout the exhibit can be employed to view video interviews with the artists in which they express their views of the world and how they've attempted to come to terms with it. One especially interesting video involved a mother/daughter sculpting duo who employ chain saws to begin the process of pulling a work of art out of nothing but a dead stump.

OK, this exhibit runs through the end of November so, if you get a chance to check it out, you'll be very pleased. Meanwhile, it's back to the tv to see if I can bear the rest of today's story. If Scott beats out Sink, I'll know that there's truly something wrong with me fellow Floridians that common sense can't cure.

As to books: I'm only a few chapters away from finishing Freedom. Well worth the investment in time. I've begun the debut novel Juliet by Anne Fortier and am about halfway through my favorite atheist's autobiography Hitch-22. Christopher Hitchens reads his own book and naturally that gives it an effete air but heck, it's the Queen's English after all and I love his honesty. He also mentions that he was at Oxford when Clinton and all his cohorts were attending (including Robert Reich) and agrees with me that Clinton actually did NOT inhale. Some of us just can't swallow smoke into our lungs. He imbibed his cannabis through brownies! Book I absolutely couldn't spend time on? Stiltsville.

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