Art Works Blog

Art Talk

On the day we were scheduled to interview Michael Graves, the celebrated architect, designer, professor, and National Medal of Arts recipient passed away at the age of 80. But as is often said, an artist speaks through his work—and through his products and buildings, Graves’ legacy carries on...
Anna Deeny Morales came to literary translation through fortuitous circumstances that would change the course of her career. While studying the relationship between 20th-century U.S. and Latin American poets for her dissertation, she was invited by faculty to translate several poems by Chilean poet...
At first glance, Justin Favela ’s large-scale installations are joyous and exuberant. Each one is formed from hundreds of pieces of cut paper, transforming life-size sculptures and murals of lowriders, desert landscapes, and recreations of well-known artworks into what look like colossal piñatas...
“I think that the arts matter because they give human beings the outlet to express themselves freely and follow that compulsion or desire or need to express all their vulnerabilities and feelings and frustrations and struggles through whatever medium they choose.” — Marc Maron On his uber-popular...
When Ralph Peña became artistic director of National Endowment for the Arts grantee Ma-Yi Theater Company , several years after the company's founding in 1989, he was told it was just a temporary position. Twenty-four years and one title change later—he's now Ma-Yi's producing artistic director—...
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...

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