Art Works Blog

Art Talk

1995 National Heritage Fellow Wayne Henderson, noted luthier and musician, is rooted in the mountains of southwestern Virginia—as is the traditional and bluegrass music he holds so dear to his heart. Wayne learned both guitar-making and playing from the people in and around his community...
On view through January 5, 2020, the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery (NPG) exhibit Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence examines the history of women's suffrage in the U.S. from 1832-1965. Comprising more than 120 portraits and objects, the exhibit is the centerpiece of the...
When our blog editor assigned me the task of rounding up a few of my favorite reads from past issues of NEA Arts , the agency’s quarterly magazine, I thought “Easy!” As the magazine’s editor, there were, of course, a few that already stood out in my mind. But after going through issue after issue,...
Scientific illustrator Mary Parrish spent much of her career turning what she described as the “mangled, frozen, gray rocks” of fossils into the living, breathing flora and fauna they once were. A paleo artist who recently retired after 37 years with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural...
As a black, queer poet who did not pursue an MFA in writing, Alison Rollins describes her many achievements as “kind of a Cinderella story. I'm coming from an under-represented demographic. I'm coming from a family or household where this really was a far cry.” In the past few years, Rollins—who...
"An essential part of what we do, part of our mission, is that people hear other people’s perspectives in a way that they normally can’t hear it. Because they’re hearing people’s stories, what’s true from what that person experienced. And you can often argue with other people’s perspectives when it...
NEA Big Read author Nathaniel Philbrick hated Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick as a teenager because his father, an English professor specializing in maritime literature, talked at length about the book. Once he finally read it in high school, he was hooked by the first sentence, and to this day...
Matt Reeck received a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship in 2013. A widely published poet, he is also one of the editors of the literary magazine Staging Ground and has received fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the American Institute of Indian Studies, and...
Conversations with NEA Creative Writing Fellow and new NEA Big Read author David Tomas Martinez often find him in the midst of some joyous activity, like perusing the aisles of the Century 21 department store (where some of the cashiers know him by name), in his kitchen whipping up some delicious...
At approximately 9:30 pm on Wednesday, May 1, Isabella Callery (Anishinaabe)—one of only nine students to make it to make the final round of competition from a field of more than 275,000 high schoolers—heard her name announced as the 2019 Poetry Out Loud National Champion. When we spoke with her...

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