Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Thirty years of queer art and activism at image+nation

Thirty years ago, Canada’s first LGBTQ film festival held its inaugural screening. Today, the image+nation festival continues to share queer cinema with Montreal’s wider community, supporting the producers and artists who create these spellbinding stories.

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Waiting to Get a Word In

Artist: Philip Gladstone

The Acropolis, Athens, Greece. 450 BCE The Classic Era

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Quick Time Line: 
Geometric Period     1050 BCE - 700 BCE (700 BCE)  
Orientalizing Period     700 BCE - 600 BCE (600 BCE)  
Archaic Period     600 BCE - 480 BCE (600 BCE) 
The Golden Age of Perikles (Classic Phase) 480-350 BCE (450) 
Late Hellenism 350-30 BCE




The Acropolis, Athens, Greece.  
450 BCE The Classic Era  

Architects and artists: Iktinos, Kallikrates and Mnesicles were the main architects for the complex. Phidias was one of the sculptor/painters responsible for the design of much of the ornamentation. 

The Acropolis

Context:  Located on the highest point in Athens, Greece, the Acropolis was first constructed as a fortress/governmental palace for the king or Anax around 1000 BCE.  However, after the Athenian defeat of the Persian army, the city embarked on a new Classical Era and began to rebuilt the site.  The version we now know dates from 450 BCE, which is sometimes referred to as the "Golden Age of Perikles", the Athenian leader at the time.  There are many acropolai (the plural for Acropolis) in Greece; however, the one in Athens is the most famous in existence.

The Acropolis is equivalent to our modern day civic center. On it there were galleries, temples, a bank and at its base was a marketplace and two theaters. Temples were included because religion and patriotism were combined. There was no separation of church and state as in our government; however, like us, the Athenians were a democratic culture. At the base of the Acropolis are markets called "stoas" where merchants would sell their goods. Philosophers would rent out stoas to preach their beliefs and pass out pamphlets.

The term "acropolis" is actually two words placed together. "Acro" means high and "polis" means city: so the Acropolis of Athens is the highest point of the city. Although the Acropolis was originally established around 1000 BCE, the Acropolis and the buildings on it we are most familiar with were renovated during the leadership of the Greek General named Perikles. The Greek period we will be discussing the most is between 480-400 BCE.


Perikles, who fought as a general in the Persian War (c480 BC), returned home to find that his city and most of the Acropolis had been destroyed by the Persians in his absence. Perikles took it upon himself to rebuild the city and to do so he founded an alliance of city states in 478 BC called the Delian League. The money from the Delian League was the primary source of funding for the reconstruction of the Acropolis.

Around 480 BCE, Sparta, Athens, and Corinth formed the League of Delos(1) (equivalent to or modern day NATO). The Greek island Delos was originally the "bank" for the League; however, Perikles, a great economist, wanted Athens to be the treasury of the Delos League. He knew that the island would boost the economy of Athens and once he found the ACropolis completely destroyed, he used the money from the Delos League to rebuild it.

A good way to understand Perikles and his role in Athens is to read "Perikles’ Funereal Oration" which was recorded by the Greek historian Thucydides.  Find it in Mencher, Liaisons 49, 87-90 (Thucydides: Perikles' Funeral Oration) 


Context: The Panathenaic Procession 

This next section will be in the order of the procession in which the Athenian celebration would have encountered the buildings of the Acropolis.  The term Panathenaic literally means "all of Athens." "Pan"- Means "all" and is also associated with the god of all the woods, "athenaic" - Athenian.


Although the Acropolis was home to a polytheistic (many gods) culture, the majority of the complex was devoted to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and the main goddess of the city. Below is the basic plan of the Acropolis, its buildings and the two theaters at its base. Along the perimeter of the hill on which it is perched is a pathway, marked in gray. On certain festival days, every four years, the entire town of Athens came out and took the long route around the Acropolis to its top which is known as the "Panathenaic Procession." 

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This procession would begin in Athens's Agora  take the Panathenaic way and pass by the Herodean Theater continuing on past the Theater of Dionysus all the way around the base of the hill and finally ending with entry into the Propylaia, also known as the Pinakotheke.  By moving all the way around the hill instead of just walking up, each Athenian could understand the magnificence of this sacred high point. The journey would end at the Parthenon where the Athenians who had made the trek would leave their offering to the goddess Athena.




Form: These Athenian theaters follow the same design as the theater at Epidauros (see Marylin Stokstad "Art History" 5-72).  The design is a symmetrical hemisphere (half circle) that is arranged similarly to modern day stadiums and can seat nearly 12,000 people.  The stone material and the shape of the theater allowed the sound of the actors, who stood in the orchestra, to be heard throughout the theater.  The actors entered onto the orchestra from the parados (wings).  Behind them was usually a static building that was the backdrop called the skene.   This backdrop had no ornamentation or painting and was fairly simple.  In fact, props were kept to a minimum on the stage. 


Iconography:  The theater itself was an important place for Athenians to gather and although it was probably not designed to be a symbol of civic pride, it developed a similar meaning to our stadiums and theaters within our own towns.  One modern example would be Oakland's "Coliseum."

Context: Theater and performance of Greek Tragedy and Comedy were an important component in the lifestyle of the Athenians. The theater was a place in which stories, mythology, and cultural values were conveyed and ideas were explored. The theater also served as an important social setting and helped the economy by bringing in tourists for festivals. The fact that a theater was devoted to the god Dionysus indicates the importance of the ideas and values personified by him. Dionysus (also called Bacchus) was the god of drama and of wine. In essence he was the god of liberation.  Theater was considered a type of liberation and served as a great distraction from the outside difficulties of the ancient world.

"Ancient tragic drama was a public event done in large scale. At Athens the Theater of Dionysus, built against the steeply rising east slope of the Acropolis, was large enough to accommodate fourteen to seventeen thousand people. This group sat together on benches without divisions so that as arms, legs, and haunches touched, emotions could race through the audience. A large crowd is characteristically animal. Probably it was in reaction to the natural volatility of a crowd that the Athenian assembly passed a law making an outright and provocative disturbance during a performance a capital offense. The setting offered little form of crowd control. Performances were out of doors, in daylight, continuous, starting at dawn in a large arena where there must have been constant movement, as at present-day sporting events or a Chinese opera. People leaving to relieve themselves, hawkers selling food, these were moving elements of the panorama as much as the actors and the chorus".

(Charles Rowan Beye, Ancient Greek Literature and Society 
(Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1975 and 1987) 127-128.
One of the most important festivals in Athens focused on the performance of Greek drama. The festival named the City Dionysia or Greater Dionysia which took place in late March was an important event dedicated to the god Dionysus.


Form:  The physical form of the Greek theater strongly influenced the manner in which the plays were written and performed.  The actual components of a Greek play echo the physical form and symmetry of the theater itself.

Components of Greek tragedy and the structure of the Greek tragedy  This is the order of a play's performance, how each one of the acts is structured and what it contains.

prologos (prologue) This is the opening scene in which an opening monologue or dialogue is presented.  This establishes the background information in the play and also introduces the "conflict," by outlining some events to follow.  The prologos therefore is like the skene or setting because it provides the background information.

parados  The name for the wings of the stage on which the chorus stands and comments.  The parados is also the name for when the chorus enters, chanting a lyric.  Think of the word parody from our culture.  A parody is a commentary on a text that we are usually familiar with.

episode This is similar to individual acts in a play.  These usually consist of dialogues between actors, which are complimented by choral odes known as the stasimon.  The episode is similar to the central location of the main action that occurs on the orchestra.

stasimon The choral ode that usually comes at the end of each episode.  It is a type narrative in which the chorus summarizes the action and hints at what will happen next.  This is the instant replay and contains pretty much the same information as the parados.

exodos This is the last stasimon which accompanies the action and the ceremonial exit of the actors from the stage.  This could also be referred to as an ending stasimon.

Dionysus in a Boat by Exekias 
Interior of an Attic black-figured kylix 
c 540 BCE diameter 12" 
Staatliche Antikensammlungen, Munich 
Archaic, Black-figure


Form:  The interior of this symmetrical, yet balanced kylix (wine cup) was decorated in black-figure style with the figure of the Greek god Dionysus in a boat.  Out of the deck of the boat springs a grape vine and surrounding the ship are several dolphins or porpoises.  The figures are painted with a slit watered-down clay over the red, therefore creating that black-figure style  The ground of the vessel is the natural red of the clay and the sail is heightened with white glaze.  The scraffito technique is used as a means to bring out the details with an etching tool.

Iconography: It makes perfect sense that a wine vessel would be decorated with an image of the Greek god of wine, theater and ecstatic liberation, Dionysus.  (The Romans called him Bacchus.)  The grape vine represents his role as the god of wine and the dolphins are probably transformed sailors who committed an act of hubris against the god in one of the myths that precede the story told by the Greek tragic play The Bacchae (also called the Bacchic women).  The "lucky" number of seven figures into the symbolism with seven dolphins and seven bunches of grapes.

Context: Origin of Dionysus.  (See Mencher "Liaisons" 49-86 (Ovid "Semele").  Dionysus's mother Semele, the daughter of King Cadmus of Thebes, had an affair with Zeus (called Jove by the Romans) who disguised himself as a shepherd boy.  Unfortunately, her family does not believe she is carrying Zeus' child.  Hera, Zeus' wife finds out about the affair and goes down to earth disguised as a nurse maid to comfort Semele. Hera, angry at her husband and jealous of the young maiden, tells Semele to make Zeus promise that the next time he appears to her it would be in all his glory (robes, thunder, etc.). When Zeus keeps his promise, his powerful presence burns the young woman to ashes and all that remains is Dionysus. Zeus picks him up and inserts him into his thigh where he is reborn. Hera finds out about Zeus' devotion to his new son and chops Dionysus into pieces. Zeus then swallows him and he is reborn a third time.


Dionysus then lives with the satyrs in the woods, away from Hera's harm.  They devoutly teach him the lessons of life and he becomes the god of liberation and goes back to his mother's land.  On  his way back to his home he comes across sailors who told the young god they would take him wherever he wanted to go.  Instead, they try to take advantage of him by using him as a slave, so Dionysus curses them by calling snakes and panthers to appear on the boat.  As the sailors jump overboard he ends the events by turning them into dolphins.  The kylix depicts Dionysus turning his boat around to go back to Thebes and take revenge upon his mother's family who did not believe that Zeus was her child's father.

The Athenian variety of gods consisted of a group of gods who exhibited extremely human characteristics: they would love like people, play favorites, steal from each other and cheat each other. In some ways, according to our culture's values, they were not very morally developed. There are many myths which discuss the exploits of the gods and use them as models to explain the faults and triumphs of human characteristics. These myths not only pass on the stories, but, transmit cultural values as well. Mythology was passed on in many forms, decorative motifs on pottery, walls, and architecture, as well through poetry and performing arts. At the base of the Acropolis are two theaters, the Herodean Theater and the Theater of Dionysus. The inclusion of these theaters as integral part of the Acropolis tells us quite a lot about the culture of the Greeks. 


Greek temple architecture is designed in the post and lintel style.  The posts are the columns and the lintel is the entablature that rests on top of them.  Each one of these columns is a different style or order and has a distinct physical appearance. 
  

The Doric: 
Form:  The Doric is the simplest of the designs.  It has no base, simple fluting up the shaft of the columns and a simple capital that has no intricate ornamentation.  The entablature is divided into three sections consisting of the unornamented architrave, the frieze, which is subdivided in to the triglyph (tri- three glyph marks) and the metope.  The metope can also contain relief sculptures. (By the way, the Parthenon is a Doric order.)

Iconography and Context: I was taught to look at the orders in a rather chauvinistic manner which is probably how the Greeks saw them as well.   The Doric order is the most dignified and masculine of the orders and was named after the Dorian region. 

Sometimes the Doric order will exhibit a slight swelling in the center of the column.  This swelling, known as entasis, is thought to either correct the curvature of a temple for the eyes or to show that the column is responding to the weight of the building as it is begin held up.


The Ionic: 

Form:  The Ionic is more complex.  It has a base, simple fluting up the shaft of the columns and has an ornamented capital that makes it look like the letter "i".  The entablature of the Ionic order is less complex than the Doric and is divided in two sections.  These sections are the unornamented architrave and the frieze, sometimes decorated with relief sculptures.  (The Nike Temple is Ionic.)



Iconography and Context: I was taught to look at the orders in a rather chauvinistic manner which is probably how the Greeks saw them.   The Ionic order is a bit more feminine in its design because of the soft volutes of its capital.  It is a rather problematic column because it does not turn corners well as you can see from this detail of the Nike Temple corner.  It was named after the Greek region of Ionia. 



The Corinthian: 
Form:  The Corinthian is as complex as the Ionic but a bit overdressed.  It has a base, simple fluting up the shaft of the columns and has an ornamented capital that makes it look like a salad basket with its acanthus leaves.  The entablature is divided in two sections consisting of the unornamented architrave, and the frieze which is sometimes decorated with relief sculptures. 
Iconography and Context: I was taught to look at the orders in a rather chauvinistic manner which is probably how the Greeks saw them.  But, in a more 20th century context, the Corinthian order is the Carmen Miranda or "drag queen" of the orders with its overly ornate basket on its head.  It was named after the region of Corinth, conquered by the Greeks. 


Nike Temple, (Temple of Athena Nike) c425 BCE 
by Kallikrates, Acropolis Athens, 
Classic Greek Ionic Temple Style


Form: The Nike Temple  is a small (27'x9') ionic order temple. The temple is amphiprostyle with four columns on both the east and west facades.  There is little space between columns because of  stone's lack of tensile strength (flexibility).  There is a continuous running frieze in the entablature. The Nike Temple faces in one direction (west), but appears to have two entrances with blank side walls. Surrounding the temple is a low wall called a parapet which contained low flat relief sculptures. On the parapet's(3) side is a bass relief carving(4) (a statue) of Winged Victory, or Nike.




Iconography:  The goddess Nike is a winged female figure that represents victory.  The fact that this temple is located at the very entrance of the Acropolis could mean that victory is at the forefront of Athenian ideology.


Form:  This high relief carving is just one of many of the same type of winged figures in different poses.  In this sculpture the winged figure of Nike is adjusting her sandal.  Unfortunately most of the head and the wings sprouting out of her back have been destroyed but the torso and legs are well preserved.  The anatomy and carving of the figure is very naturalistically rendered; yet it struggles to maintain a certain idealized figure.  In other words, her figure adheres to the natural parts of a human body, but it also tends to preserve certain features as ideal.  This mixture of natural and ideal is heightened by the drapery that clings to her body.  The style of sculpting drapery, as if it were wet, is called the wet drapery style.

Iconography: Winged figures in Greek art are personifications of victory.  These nike figures are placed about the pediment of the Nike temple in different attitudes or poses as if they are part of a parade in celebration of Athens' victory during the Persian Wars. The idealization of the female form here is probably an illustration of the concept of kalos.

Context:  Many of the male figures found on the Acropolis from all eras are nude. However, it isn't until the second century that we begin to see nude females in Greek art.  The wet drapery style is a happy medium for representing idealized women because the folds and contours can be used to highlight the ideal features of each figure.  Interpretations of the drapery covering this figure's form might be in keeping with our own taboos against female nudity.  In our culture men are allowed to reveal a larger part of their body than females yet we design fashions that tease viewers by accenting certain part of the female form.  The Greeks' use of wet drapery might fill a similar need and indicate the concept of the female form as submissive versus the male form representing strength. 



Stele of Hegeso 
c.410-400 BC, Marble, 5'9" 
Athens. Classic


Form:  This stele is rendered in style very similar to the Nike parapet.  The two female figures are rendered in profile right against the front of the picture plane.  The figures inhabit what looks to be a post and lintel temple which gives the viewer the sense of an environment.  Each woman is idealized physically through the use of wet drapery.  


The folds of each dress accent the protruding knees and fluid bodies.  The anatomy of their faces is naturalistic with some idealized features as well.  An example of this is the bridge of the noses is representing as a straight line, a minor distortion of how noses fit in with the geography of the face: the bridge is usually slightly curved at the top.  This aquiline feature is referred to as the Greek nose.



Iconography:  Scenes like this are called genre, or everyday, scenes.  This is a scene of everyday life in which a maid brings a jewelry box to her mistress and she examines her trophies.  This kind of scene, which is often referred to as the "Mistress and Maid" motif is one that can also be found on vases as well as steles.  It can best be interpreted as a typical scene of upper class feminine pursuits.  The maid, the jewels, the chair, and the implied literacy of the visitors to the grave by the inscription on the lintel, are emblems of economic power that compliment the seated woman's beauty and status. (Compare this to the iconography of vases that depict two males such as in the Exekias vase.)

Context:  This stele was used as a grave marker and is probably an attempt by the artist and the people who commissioned it to make an idealized portrait of the represented, seated woman, buried in this grave. 

Form:  This stele is rendered in style very similar to the "Stele of Hegeso."  The two female figures are rendered in profile view up close against the front of the picture plane.  Each is idealized physically and wearing wet drapery.  The anatomy of their faces is naturalistic but idealized as well: the bridge of their noses is a straight line which is a slight distortion of how noses fit in with the geography of the face.  This aquiline feature is referred to as the Greek nose.
The white-ground technique is a vase painting technique in which the pot was first covered with a slip of very fine white clay, over which black glaze was used to outline figures, and diluted brown, purple, red, and white were used to color them.

Iconography:  This scene is a slight correction on the Stele.  In this one the maid brings the mistress a stool for her maid.  (I think it is the chest itself.)  This is also a kind of genre scene, in which a maid brings a jewelry box to her mistress and she examines her trophies.  This motif, which is often referred to as the "Mistress and Maid", is one that can also be found on vases and can best be interpreted as a typical scene of upper class feminine pursuits.  The maid, jewels, the writing and the clothes are emblems of economic power that compliment the seated woman's beauty and status. (Compare this to the iconography of vases that depict two males such as in the Exekias vase.)

Context:  Stokstad relates that this vase was used as a memorial ornament and is probably an attempt by the artist and the people who commissioned it to make an idealized portrait of the woman who it memorializes. Art is then establishing male and female roles through its depictions.





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JANUARY 2018
Marking The Path 
Glass by Mark Abildgaard, Tali Grinshpan, Jay Musler & Mary Louise White 
Curated by Abhilasha Natarajan 

January 20 – February 17, 2018 
GWF Energy & Souza Galleries 

Marking The Path features a celebrated group of international studio glass artists. Their contemporary practice is part of a lineage from the American mid-20th Century movement, whereby glass production moved from large factories to small artist’s studios. The exhibition explores the artists’ physical and spiritual journeys through the dynamic evolution of studio glass art across a variety of techniques and styles. 

Opening Reception 
Saturday, January 20, Noon – 2 p.m. 

Curator's Gallery Talk 
featuring a panel discussion with the artists of Marking The Path 
Saturday, February 3, Noon – 2 p.m. 

All of these associated events are free & open to the public! 

ART CO-OPTED 
A Collaborative Artspace featuring over 40 Artists & Lenders 
in the South Gallery
 

Original works, limited editions and artist-designed products are available at reasonable prices! From painting and sculpture to pottery and jewelry, these unique and high quality items make perfect gifts for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and special occasions. You can also build your own art collection featuring artists of the region and beyond. 

Artists, designers, collectors and gallerists interested in participating in the Co-Op can find more information about on-going exhibition opportunities here.
ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAM 

The current Class Catalog can be downloaded here. 

Winter/Spring Semester offers classes and workshops in Dance, Drama, Literary Arts, Music and Visual Arts from January 13th through May 19th. 

If you are an arts instructor who is interested in teaching at the Grand, the Contract Instructor Handbook can be downloaded here. 

For additional information about our interdisciplinary educational offerings, contact Arts Education Program Coordinator, Valerie Pavlakis, at (209) 831-6279 or valerie.pavlakis@cityoftracy.org
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Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
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VISITATION & PARKING 
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Free parking is available on nearby streets and public lots at 6th Street and Central Avenue. Disabled parking is available on 7th Street. 

SPECIAL REQUESTS 
Tours are available, and private or group gallery talks can be arranged. The galleries are accessible to persons with disabilities and patrons are asked to call ahead to address special requests and needs. 

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Monday, January 15, 2018

Bearded Hipster

"The Last Judgment" St. Lazare, Autun Cathedral, France West Portal, sculpted by Gislebertus c1130CE (AP and Survey Art History)



  • 315-750 (1300) CE Early Christian/Byzantine (some sources say the Byzantine style survived all the way to 1450) 
  • 800-1150  Romanesque 
  • 1150-1350 Gothic 

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The Romanesque style, according to Stokstad, means "in the Roman manner." In essence, it merely refers to the fact that many of the cathedrals built in this time period had the appearance of Roman architecture.
  • Tympanum: the surface enclosed by the arch and lintel of an arched doorway, frequently carved with relief sculptures.
  • Archivolt: the molding fram an arch. In Romanesque and Gothic architecture, each one of a series of arches framing the tympanum of a portal.
  • Lintel: a horizontal beam spanning an openings, as over a window or door, or between two posts.
  • Trumeau: doorpost supporting lintel.
  • Jamb: the side of a doorway or window frame. The jambs of the portals of Romanesque and Gothic churches are frequently decorated with figure sculpture.




 
St. Lazare, Autun Cathedral, Burgundy France 
West Portal, sculpted by Gislebertus c1130CE


Form: St. Lazare Cathedral. Romanesque.  This is a large relief carving that was originally painted.  The composition is symmetrical and organized using hieratic scale.  The picture plane is also organized according to horizontal bands each filled with figures that are pushed up against the front of the picture plane.  There is no creation of deep space in this relief sculpture.

According to the Brittanica,

Typically, the figure of Christ appears in the centre of the composition, dominant in size and usually enclosed in a mandorla (an oval, nimbus-like form). At his right and left are the four Evangelists, sometimes represented or accompanied by their animal symbols. To the sides, smaller figures of angels and demons weigh sins of the resurrected dead, who are ranked along the lowest and smallest section of the tympanum, directly above the lintel.

Iconography: What makes St. Lazare an interesting example of Romanesque architecture and art is the fact that the west portal, which depicts  a "sermon in stone," was originally painted. It is exceedingly well organized and stylized. This means that the figures represented in the relief sculpture are non naturalistic, this is akin to what one would see in Byzantine art. The figures relative size is based not on reality, but  on their spiritual importance. 

Jesus, as the central figure is shown impossibly huge the figures around him are depicting judgment, heaven and hell, and good and evil. The organization of the composition is designed so that all of the other figures relate in some way to the central figure of Jesus.  Figures who are to the right of Christ are literally on his good side while the figures to his left are not.  Likewise there is a hierarchy according to placement in the three bands.  The correlation between left and right (good and evil) does not exist in the topmost band.  Anything placed in the uppermost register of the composition is "good" or heavenly.

Around this interior depiction of a sermon one can see the various signs of the zodiac, which brings forth one of the main differences between the Romanesque and the Gothic style of art within a cathedral, in a Romanesque cathedral one can easily find depiction's of events and symbols that are not necessarily related to what is found in the bible. In a Gothic cathedral, by contrast, the emphasis is put mainly on biblical scenes, and scenes with Jesus in particular.

Context: In Romanesque art, the emphasis to the followers was teaching. The scenes shown in almost all of the artwork found at St. Lazare are intended to teach a morality lesson, tell a story, or establish a sort of religious iconography of good and evil. For example, almost everything in this piece is representative of something else. The arch above Jesus and the scene surrounding him is representative of heaven. The sinners are always found to the left of Jesus, and the believers to the right. Everything in Romanesque art and architecture is highly organized and made to to make it easy for the followers to read the meaning and the message that the church intends.

According to a former student, Maureen Lara, 
From first glance, one could already see the hierarchy established through the use of three separate levels as well as the scale involved in placing the relatively large sculpture of Jesus in the center enclosed in a glorifying mandorla.    (The topmost level is an exception in the hierarchy since it represents the heavens; the entire band consists of "good" people.  )  The symmetry of the art, to my perspective, expresses the way the world and one's fate after death revolves around how well one learns from and lives their lives according to the teachings of Jesus.

The art overall exhibits no deep space and is stylized rather than naturalistic.   Interestingly, the art is organized in such a way that the figures considered good and worthy of the kingdom of God are to Jesus' right and those who fail the last judgment because of sinfulness are to His left.   The smaller size of the figures in the bottom-most band indicates those who await their judgment before the Lord.   The sizes of the figures as well as their placement in the hierarchy are done in accordance to their religious importance.   This can be scene in St. Peter, who is said to be the gatekeeper of Heaven; he is larger in size than the other believers as well as the angels.   The main storyline of the scenes is centered around the battle between good and evil and triumph of one or the other during the weighing of souls after death.   The consequences of being good are illustrated, for instance, by the faithful children joyfully playing with angels to Jesus' right.   The rewards of goodness are also expressed by the graceful appearance of the angels, a persuasive element in the art that urges people to be righteous.

According to the Brittanica, 
Christianity, further developing the concept of the Last Judgment, teaches that it will occur at the Parousia (the Second Coming, or Second Advent, of Christ in glory), when all men will stand before a judging God. In early Christian art the scene is one of Christ the judge, the resurrection of the dead, the weighing of souls, the separation of the saved and the damned, and representations of paradise and hell. Romanesque artists produced a more terrible vision of the Last Judgment: Christ is shown as a stern judge, sometimes carrying a sword and surrounded by the four mystical beasts--eagle, lion, ox, and winged man--of the apocalypse; the contrast between paradise and hell is between the awesome and the ferocious. In the gentler, more humanistic art of the Gothic period, a beautiful Christ is shown as the Redeemer, his right side undraped to reveal the wound of the lance, and both wounded hands raised high in a gesture that emphasizes his sacrifice. He is surrounded by the instruments of his Passion--cross, nails, lance, and crown of thorns. The intercessors are restored, and the scene of the Judgment is treated with optimism. In the 16th century, Michelangelo produced a radically different version of the Last Judgment in his fresco in the Sistine Chapel in Rome (1533-41): a vengeful Christ, nude like a pagan god, gestures menacingly toward the damned.


The "elect" rising. 
According to Gardener's, "Art History" the figure at the bottom far right has a bag ornamented with a cross and a shell,  
symbols of pilgrims who have journeyed to Jerusalem  
and Santiago de Compostela. The iconography found on select parts of the tympanum clearly show what happens to the 'good' believers. The smaller figures beneath represent the righteous and the faithful, which includes the children, seen playing with an angel. The Angels are always depicted as elegant, benevolent, beautiful, and kind. This was to give the impression that heaven was a wonderful place, and would inspire the believers into being good and faithful servants of the church.
Peter and the elect

Here, on the right side of Jesus is St. Peter with the faithful. Note again how he depicted as larger than the followers, and even larger than the angels. This shows his relative importance in the spiritual hierarchy.

Pulled to judgment.

Though at first one would think this was a depiction of suffering, in truth its meant to show that after the death of this believer, the hands of an angel reach down to pull him heavenward, assuring that his soul has been saved.

The Judgment 
The Damned and the weighing of the souls

On the left side of Jesus is Evil, the Devil and his minions who are participating in the weighing of the souls. In this judgment scene, one can see the Devil and the Archangel Michael both taking part in the judgment. While it appears that the Devil is trying to pull the scale downward in order to be able to claim another soul, Michael appears to be attempting to lift the soul upward, in order to claim the soul for heaven. Though it is a small vignette, it illustrate rather succinctly the struggle of good and evil in the souls of mankind. Note how in contrast to the angel Michael, the Devil is portrayed as emaciated, grotesque, and as terrifying as the stone masons could portray. This was to remind the members of the church how awful hell was, and frighten them into submission. 


Paul makes a last attempt

Here, though it is technically the left, or 'bad' side of Jesus, We see St. Paul and the Angel make a last attempt to pull the damned souls to redemption. Hoping that through the call of the heavenly trumpet, man will be swayed to the side of God. 

Study with me here:  https://www.udemy.com/user/kenneymencher/





Sleeping Magi

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Some Free Marketing Videos about Art

I have a lot of ideas about how to market on Facebook (an other platforms.)
I have a series of free videos, a business plan you can download for free.
(It's a super big zip file of about 2 GIGs so it may take a long time, a half hour to an hour to download the entire zip file. It's 20 or so half hour videos.)
I designed for my students when I was teaching at a community college in Fremont. It's really for art but I think the main concepts are transferable to any other field.

Friday, January 12, 2018

City and Pillar, oil on canvas panel, 9x12 inches, by Kenney Mencher
http://www.kenney-mencher.com/




Thursday, January 11, 2018

It's tax time!

Be a champion for arts education when filing by making a contribution to the Keep Arts in Schools Fund

Less than 40% of all California students currently participate in arts courses.* As a supporter of the arts in your local community, you know that arts education is a key factor in helping California’s next generation succeed, boosting overall academic achievement, social engagement, attendance and graduation rates, and college and workforce readiness. 

You can help keep arts in schools. 

Individuals may make tax-deductible contributions in amounts of $1 or more to the California Arts Council’s Keep Arts in Schools Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund. In the past four years, we have raised nearly $1 million to directly support California arts education programs. Donations are critical to our vision to provide all students with quality arts education in order to reach their full potential. 

100% of your tax-deductible contribution is applied to arts education programming supported by the California Arts Council.

How can I contribute? 
The Keep Arts in Schools Voluntary Tax Contribution Fund can be found in Voluntary Contribution Section 110 (425) of the "540" individual state tax return form.

Every dollar counts. Please join us in supporting arts education across California. Learn more at 
www.arts.ca.gov.

*California Arts Education Data Project, 2017.

 
Click here to learn more and to download a filing reminder flyer.