Daily Dose

Daily Dose - April 24, 2020

Hello friends, 

Collaborateve artwork and and public art are two ways of building community through the Arts. I was fascinated by the #QUARANTINECREATION video below, in which dancers of the Nederlands Dans Theater present a compellingly seamless dance from their homes in isolation.

Stunningly choreographed and elegantly performed, this video is above all exquisitely directed and edited to create the illusion of togetherness and perfect synchrony despite the obviously disparate settings. Each dancer's body seems to flow directly from the one before, in a collaborative unity that is hard to achieve in real time and space, much less through video.

Further down the page, you'll find a link to public art in the form of tiled mosaics representing pandemic-related object in Chicago's potholes. Artworks like these are a gift to the public, accessible for free to every passerby. They are sparkling gems bringing beauty and meaning to the grimiest reminders of neglect and decay on the city's streets.

We'd love to hear your ideas for collaborative or public art projects that can be done safely within quarantine protocols. Reply to this email to let us know what you're thinking about!

Wash your hands, get outdoors,

Create something, keep in touch

Maria Wood, Executive Director

RiverArts Salons/Les Salons des Arts Rivières

Tuesdays from 5 - 5:45pm, on Zoom

Un Salon des Arts Rivières, a RiverArts Salon, is a (virtual) place to learn something new, share ideas, explore interesting topics, see and be seen, and have fun. 

Special guest, Rebecca Hoffberger joins us next Tuesday to share thoughts and lead a discussion on positive changes in nature and ourselves during this time of quarantine stillness and the pareidolia work of Pat Bernstein.

Rebecca Hoffberger

Rebecca Alban Hoffberger is the founder, director and principal curator of the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM).

Elegant attire encouraged. Guests supply their own hors d'oœuvre et vin.

KidSPOT Corner

Contest Winner! 

Courtesy of RiverArts Official Puzzlemaster, Jonathan Chace

Congratulations to Daniel, who did his research and discovering that the stirrup in question is in the EAR. 

Daniel is entitled to an ice cream cone from Stam's Luncheonette when it is open! 

A Note to KidSPOT

After School Teacher LaToya Johnson

8 year old KidSPOT After School Program student Brinlee Boyles had this message for LaToya earlier this winter:

Dear Ms. LaToya, I've only known you for a little over a hour, but you're the best kids spot teacher ever.

We are really glad LaToya is a part of KidSPOT too!

On This Day in (Mostly) Arts History

  • 2003: Elvira Pagã, Brazilian vedette, singer, and artist (b. 1920) died.
  • 1970 : Just shortly after the Break Up of the Beatles is announced The Beatles Final original album "Let It Be" is released by Apple Records. Click here to listen.
  • 1968: Teet Kask, Estonian ballet dancer and choreographer was born.
  • 1930: René Maltête, French photographer and poet (d. 2000)
  • 1903: Paul Gauguin, French painter and sculptor (b. 1848) died.

Artist credit: Paul Gauguin, Vahine no te tiare (Woman with a Flower)

  • 1899: The Irish Literary Theatre in Dublin produced its first play.
  • 1835: Bertalan Székely, Hungarian painter and academic (d. 1910) was born.
  • 1639: Giovanni Battista Gaulli, Italian artist (d. 1709) was born.

Arts Trivia

The first person to email the correct answer to dailydose@chestertownriverarts.org gets a shout-out in tomorrow's email. 

Animal Art 

Contributed by Inez Santori

If you mention animal art the natural assumption would be that you are talking about depictions of animals, but not necessarily. Animals have been recorded painting and making patterns, but is it art?

There are many reports of captive primates painting, but Koko the gorilla, who had learned to sign, could explain what she had painted – in one example a bird – although it had too many wings.

Koko's Bird

In “The Great Salt Lick Contest” in Baker City, Oregon you can purchase sculptures made by cows. Ranchers give the salt cubes to cows as nutritional supplements. A few years ago, Whit Deschner of Baker, Oregon, observed that the blocks, once licked over, had an array of grooves and curves that left them resembling “vertebrae from prehistoric creatures.” Others appeared to be “windswept sandstone formations you might see in canyon country.” Accordingly, Deschner dreamed up the idea of the “Great Salt Lick Contest.” While most were initially dubious about the idea, the contest has become a community effort to raise funds for research on Parkinson’s disease, a condition which Deschner himself has. The salt lick creations are auctioned off, with most selling for $200 or $300. The highest price tag ever was $1,000. Overall, more than $30,000 has been raised from “Deschner’s folly.”

Salt Lick Cows Sculpture

The Japanese male puffer fish is not particular pretty, but he goes to great lengths to create beautiful sand art to attract a mate. He laboriously flaps his fins as he swims along the seafloor, disrupting the sediment and creating amazing circular patterns. Although the fish are only about 5 inches long, the formations they make measure about 7 feet in diameter. He can take 10 days to produce his creation and when the circles are finished, females come to inspect them. If they like what they see, they reproduce with the males.

Pufferfish Sand Art

Male Satin Bowerbirds attract mates by building a bower, a structure made of twigs and decorated with objects from around the forest. The bower is not a nest; its sole purpose is to allow a male to show off his building skills. Bowerbirds select objects for their shape and color and then arrange them in their bowers in what — to humans — seems a deliberately artistic ordering. Satin bowerbirds even paint their bowers with their saliva and plant extracts.

Satin Bowerbird Nest

The question remains: Are animals in the wild actually being artistic? Or do animals only create art in zoos because they have nothing better to do? What do you think? Are the paintings of gorillas, the salt sculptures of cows, the sand art of pufferfish and the trinket-filled bowers of bowerbirds “art”?

Chicago Potholes Are Filled with Pandemic Essentials in Mosaics by Jim Bachor

Click here to read about the tiled public artworks and see more mosaic pandemic images in This is Colossal. 

Bachor says, “The pothole art campaign also keeps me connected with people that like my work but might not be able to afford an original or print.” He also notes that there’s a connection between affluent neighborhoods and well-kept roads. “I’ve had funny concepts for nicer parts of the city but found it impossible to find potholes to do them.”


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