Art Works Blog

Art Talk

When 25-year-old Gordon Parks picked up his first camera around 1937, he had already survived a period of homelessness, tried his hand at composing music, and worked as a waiter on one of Northern Pacific Railway’s luxury trains. He was years away from being Life magazine’s first African-American...
Goldie Goldbloom—NEA Creative Writing Fellow and new NEA Big Read author—grew up in Western Australia. On her family farm in the country’s rural outback, her grandparents hosted Italian prisoners of war during World War II, which inspired Goldbloom to write her award-winning novel, The Paperbark...
At age 16, Reginald Dwayne Betts was tried and convicted as an adult for carjacking. Since his release at age 24, Betts has become an attorney, a doctoral candidate at Yale Law School, an award-winning poet, essayist, and memoirist, and an advocate for juvenile justice reform. His most recent...
Can one man be responsible for a city’s character? If you’re 1982 NEA National Heritage Fellow Philip Simmons , that answer is yes. If you’ve been to Charleston, or even just seen pictures of the South Carolina city, chances are you’ve seen Simmons’ work. Thanks to “the poet of ironwork,” as he’s...
As an actor with autism, Mickey Rowe knows that performers with disabilities have to work harder because they have more to prove. “You are used to going above and beyond, overcompensating, and doing ten times more work just to show people that you are professional and capable,” he said. Which is...
If a story seems like it cannot be turned into a film, Richard Linklater is the one to attempt to do just that. A coming-of-age film shot over the course of 12 years? Try Boyhood . A Philip K. Dick sci-fi novel adapted to surreal animation? A Scanner Darkly . A plotless, 90-minute conversation...
"For me, in rehearsals, every time I showed up I wanted to make sure that I was being truthful to my own voice." – Ty Defoe There’s a reason why the word multidisciplinary exists. Ty Defoe is that reason. He sings, dances, writes music, writes musicals, acts, educates and tells stories. This past...
If you were only to look at statistics, you’d get a grim picture of South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Reservation. The Cheyenne River Sioux have an 88 percent unemployment rate. Nearly 60 percent of children on the reservation live in poverty, and suicide and drug use run high. But as Julie Garreau...
“What… is an old black doctor doing wheatpasting images of Navajo people along the roadside on the reservation?” According to a blog post Dr. Chip Thomas wrote last year, that’s the question he is asked most frequently. To be fair, it’s a valid question. The answer, in many ways, revolves around...
Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) first began seriously making films when he was living in Portland, Oregon, and learning Chinuk Wawa, a language native to the Columbia River Basin. So perhaps it is inevitable that he sees similarities between language and film—the structural requirements inherent to...

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