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Raphael Montanez Ortiz - El Museo de Barrio

Raphael Montanez Ortiz - El Museo de Barrio

So I have to admit that I am a subscriber to ART FORUM but I usually only read the big article with pictures and so it's rare for me to read the little reviews. But I have been off work for the past couple of weeks so when my Art Forum arrived I decided that I would take a deep dive. WOW! I am so glad that I did because it's so great when you find an artist who has so many things in their CV that you can't believe they aren't household names - Raphael Montanez Ortiz is one of those artists. You know The type they have so much on their resume BFA/MFA in fine art by 1964 and then getting his doctorate at Columbia at their Teacher's College in '82. He founded his own museum (Jimmy Christmas!) El Museo de Barrio 1230 5th Avenue at 104th Street
New York, NY 10029
212-831-7272 | info@elmuseo.org He has been making art all these years. Well I've never been to Brooklyn or Harlem or all the way to the Atlantic for that manner so I guess it was the bi- coastal divide is why I haven't heard of him - but I think you should. Now here is a final clip of a similar work to the one that was being reviewed in ART FORUM. I must say I have a bachelors in Drama so Performance art was a medium I was drawn to from the very beginning of my art expeience was a complete and total love of mine that was deepened when I attended a show on FLUXUS at the Santa Barbara in the early 90's. This is Hispanic Heritage Month and so I have started years back in my own classroom introducing an artist a day - This year I have another find to add to my Hispanic Artists but also to my catalouge of artists. I hope you enjoy these videos and finding out about the work and Legacy of Raphael Montanez Ortiz as much as I have. - Let me know......

I live for Drag ........

I live for Drag ........

I have so many photos of Drag Queens in person with them and for them = I must admit that my own personal attempts to be in drag are pathetic but I love Drag Race - I have been to LA RuPaul's DragCon every year except for 2022 and that was because we were finally getting a chance to have our Graduation from CGU and I was getting my MFA in art finally 30 years after I started down that path in 1992 ( but that's a story for another time.) It's also why I had to miss DragCon LA There are so many stories I have of Drag queens who have added joy to my life and revitalized the joy in my life. they have opened my heart and shown me why own dignity by seeing a little of them in me and whole lot of myself in them. This is a photo taken 2017 with probably one of my favorite Drag Queens Chi chi DeVayne in 2016. Chi Chi was a very talented young man who was from Shreveport, Louisiana and he brought so much joy into my families life. I had been watching since the 5th Season when Jinkx Monsoon rocked the girls with letting The water roll right off her Duckie back ( but I digress). I would hunt down and subscribe to Logo TV to see it and wasn't until season 9 that it made it's way to VH1, Anyway Chi chi was on season 8 and placed 4th - she had the sweetest personality and was beloved with her thick southern drawl and Drag on a Dime. But the real reason I love ChiChi is because she got my partner, Bill to watch Drag Race. He has always been fine with my love of Drag Queens but didn't quite understand it and then one day in walked Chichi - her opening phrase caught his attention " I say bon tan rule" sorry that was actually "Laissez les bon temps rouler"pardon my French it is near non- existent. Bill was walking into the other room and he said "Hold on now that has to be a Creole Queen" "Why what does that mean? " "Well it's Cajun French and means let the party begin" and he stepped back in. "Oh yea" I said , "Honey, this Queen is from Shreveport." "What?" He said, as he sat back down. "Yea" I said as I was amazed that he was actually watching my show. He watched it almost all the way that episode and came back to watch it again the following week. "Boy, that girl I mean guy can really dance." As Chi chi performed week after week in the challenges and talked on about how poor he was raised and would talk from time to time out of drag , Bill said " you know when I was back in Shreveport teaching at Fair Park." "Oh yea?" "Yeah, there were these kids and they would eat lunch in my classroom everyday and well this one girl, she had this older brother and he would eat in my classroom too and I helped her quite a bit in science and I knew the whole family, the Mom, well heck this was a long time ago but I think she was even my Facebook friend." So we got out our phones and looked up ChiChi, " Yea his name was Zavion or something unusual like that oh man he was a star. He was the drum major and or cheer leader he would do this flips and acrobatics and he could sing too." I looked up RuPaul and didn't see his real name. He looked closer at the screen and studied it "well his hair wasn't that color and it has been several years but I think that might be him." Well sure enough we checked Facebook and did a little deeper search on the internet and it was his former student or at least the brother of his former student. Bill told me about how nice his Mom was and that she baked his something and was so grateful for anything extra. I was so excited - Ru Paul would always say " Drag Race Bringing families back together" and it had in my life bringing my daughter Heather back into my life after 20 years ( another long story for another time). But here it had brought this young man and his family back into the heart and recollection of a High School Teacher some 12 years after and got him to understand - ok well at least take interest in my show and bring us together but the story doesn't stop there. As you will notice this is a photo of me and Ms. DeVayne and I didn't run down to the studio and find him oh no. These photos were taken at the LA convention Center for DragCon and that is where we caught up with dear ChiChi. He was signing autographs and we came up just as he was about to take a break. There was a crowd that started gathering on and I handed him my book to sign and stared talking. "Chi Chi we love watching you on "Drag Race" and we want to thank you for you have taught my boyfriend to appreciate Drag. " "Really, Well that's awful sweet of you to say." "No I mean it he's from Shreveport and he use to teach at Park View High School." " I went to Park View." " I know he says you use to eat lunch in his class" " What?" "Yea his name is Bill GALLIEN and he's on my phone say hi" "Oh my God Mr. Gallien, Really". He took the phone and sorry fans this was a reunion here they talked for a few minutes and Thank God, Kennedy Davenport was right there cause the line ran over to talk to her. And they spoke for a couple of minutes on the phone while me and Heather just smiled. Afterwards we asked if we could get some pictures with him. He was such a nice kid. He said his sister was coming in tomorrow ,if we could get Mr. Gallien to come in tomorrow maybe they could get lunch. I knew Bill would have liked that but I explained we lived 100 miles away and he wouldn't be able to. This is where Chichi is showing me how I need to purse my lips to help suck in my check to make me look thinner and more dramatic and -well let's just say this is also the photo where Chi Chi and my daughter at are laughing at me. And this is after I yell "Nailed it!" after the last photo and we're all laughing together. We had the best time and I really wish we could have hung out more and that Bill could have joined us but Heather and I were so delighted with our time with ChiChi and excited to tell others we met all about him and Bill and his nice family. We went on to watch him win 4th place "on a dime" and go on to be the first to say when leaving that the education that he had received on Drag Race was worth more than $100,000. prize money. Bill was ticked and said man he shouldn't have gone home and would rant about how unfair it was and how it took so much more creativity to do this competition than those with all sorts of money to spend. All of us were so happy to find out that ChiChi made it onto All-Stars 3 of Drag Race but sad to see that Zavion only made it to the 4th episode before he got kicked off. We hoped to see him again the next year at Drag Con but the lines were so long get his autograph and we knew he was there to WERK it. A couple years later in 2020 We couldn't believe it when we found out he died like all of the Drag/ LGBTIA community .It was so sad to see a brilliant young man like that taken so early but the odd thing was he died of the same disease that my mother had a very under researched illness scleroderma. Only my Mom had suffered with it for years and he died just 2 years after his diagnosis because it attacked his internal organs and caused kidney failure. Aug 16, 2020 "In response to her death, RuPaul said: " I am heartbroken to learn of the passing of Chi Chi DeVayne. I am so grateful that we got to experience her kind and beautiful soul. She will be dearly missed , but never forgotten. May her generous and loving spirit shine down on us all. On behalf of the VH1, World of Wonder and the cast and crew of RuPaul's Drag Race, I extend my deepest sympathy - from our family to hers." from RuPaul's Drag Race Wiki.

Awaiting post pandemic

Awaiting post pandemic

The past 2 years have been crazy and while some things are settling into the new normal there are things that will never be the same. A sneeze in public seeing ppl in a mask spacial distancing ordering online distance learning zoom meetings facetime my apartment Alexa binge watching streaming services work wear and casual fridays excuses for not showing up sick and vacation days

WAIT LET'S PUT IT ALL ON HOLD! EXCEPT.......

WAIT LET'S PUT IT ALL ON HOLD! EXCEPT.......

VIRTUAL EDUCATION - IT'S BOTTOMLESS- IN THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY IT TAKES IN THE AMOUNT OF HOURS I PUT IN IN THE AMOUNT OF ERROR MESSAGES, GLITCHES,DISCONNECTS, NEW APPS, LEARNING CURVES, AMOUNT OF PATIENCE AND PRAYERS IT TAKES SOMETIMES IT FEELS LIKE I THE ONLY GOOD THING ABOUT IT IS I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT WHAT MY BOTTOM LOOKS LIKE IN A SKIRT, BUT IT ALSO BOTTOMLESS WHEN THE THINGS THAT HAVEN'T BEEN WORKING ALL OF A SUDDEN DO AND THEN THE JOY IT FEELS BOTTOMLESS FOR THAT MOMENT IN TIME WHEN YOU BELIEVE IT WAS ALL WORTH IT!

JUNETEENTH

JUNETEENTH

JUNE 19TH has taken on a heighten meaning this year as even the most unworn of Americans are given a reality check how devastating the danger of being black in America can be as this spring we witnessed as a nation the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Tony McDade, Nina Pop, Rayshard Brooks, and racial discrimination against Black men like Christian Cooper. "June 19 is a day to reflect on the meaning of freedom, the challenges that we've had to overcome, and the challenges that we still face. It's a time to come together with our families and our communities and talk about steps we can take to move forward in the future. It is celebrating that we're alive and we made it to this point, even if we still have obstacles to face before us," Navies said. Navies noted that George Floyd graduated from Jack Yates High School in Houston, Texas. Reverend Jack Yates, a formerly enslaved person, led the effort to buy property for Juneteenth celebrations. Raising $1,000, Yates and his congregation purchased 10 acres of land in Houston and named it Emancipation Park. It was the only municipal park for Black Americans during the era of segregation." If you are like many Americans who might not be aware of the historical and social significance of June 19th and the 2 1/2 years after the emancipation proclamation that many slaves were deprived of their rights. You should look it up it is American History and our government sent troops to Texas to because those states that weren't officially in confederate states weren't forced to release their slaves under Army forces. Thank you God for Juneteeth when slavery was officially ended ivy the government, and masters were released from allowing to be delusional misinformed that they were a superior race. Of course we know that this is the official date that all of this is said to have happened there are still those who enslaved in violence, fear, hopelessness, and poverty. In 2020 thousands take to the street protesting discrimination because due to race, creeds, sexuality, and unlawful ignorance and violence. I pray for those who might believe that they are above the law, above mercy and for whatever reason are superior than their fellow brothers and sisters on this earth - may they all be freed one day from their ignorance, violence, and arrogance and may your grant us the courage and strength to fight with all of those wrongly enslaved in the societal dysfunctions of society in 2020. Iam not a historian, a journalist, or activist, though I do stand up for what I believe is right and this I know black lives matter should be a no brainer - why as a nation are we debating this? The reason the black community is screaming out BLACK LIVES MATTER is because the statistics show that blacks are being pulled over, arrested, and murdered by law enforcement disproportionately to the amount of space they take up in this country and yes in regard to the amount of crimes they commit. Black lives matter does not mean that other lives don’t it means - Hey stop acting like it is any bit less trag if than any other race when you hear their stories. It is hard for me to know that I am getting through to my white and other racial friends in telling the stories and advocating for my black friends I don’t really differentiate. However, it has been listening for more than two. Decades now to blacks in both high and low places that has taught me about the black narratives in our country. I am not black and can only pass on that I have learned and become richer by listening to voices I did not have access to as a child and I believe listening to diverse stories helps us as a community, a nation, and a people. Many people in this country have listened to cisgengered heterosexual main stream white stories all their lives and felt because they didn’t have those experiences that there was something wrong with them. Perhaps it is because mainstream in the 50’s and 60’s whitewashed and edited and excluded so many voices that the media gave they wrong assumption that whites lived ideal lives and we all feel the same. Looking back we see it from the POV of family that is no longer with us, places and thinking that nurtured us, or pleasant experiences that made the terrible we had felt better. Looking back on our ideals that we experienced as children though can make us over nostalgic for the past without a completely informed eye. As a child I was born in Pasadena, CA. I was raised by a single mother from age 3 onward and went to a private school in elementary and then predominately white public schools in Arcadia, CA for Jr. High and High School. I was sheltered and misinformed about a lot of things as a child because my Mom was trying to protect me. My story wasn’t a fairytale of white America though perhaps on the outside it looked as though I had many advantages that were a privilege. I don’t think my story is that different from other kids in my demographic, but that is something that we don’t look at when you substitute the Caucasian with Black or brown in the race box you change the demographics and that is where the heart aches when in this country that one box can change the quality of life dramatically for our children. Perhaps in many ways it won’t but when it comes to the perception of law enforcement the Cases of police policies and stories are overwhelming. Since the murder of George Floyd it seems like the video of his abuse and murder is waking up people who have been sleeping through many injustices for many years. Netflix and Amazon have released Black Life Matters Collections that help track historical, documentaries, comedies, dramas, alternatives and standards of the black experience. I didn’t realize why I relate to the black community so deeply but looking at the collections in the BLM collections I had seen more than 1/2 to 3/4 of these films already. It was the writings of Marian Wright Edelman that first woke me up to how connected and different some of my experiences were from my black friends. It was the similarities and saving childern in this country from the effects of poverty. Stand for Childern the grassroots organization started by Jonah Edelman that helped me see and desire to learn more about race relations and hear the stories of my black friends, neighbors, and from the black community. It wasn’t the differences but the similarities that drew me in but it was differences that opened my eyes and heart to how over and over individuals had been dealt some of the most horrific behavior and survived. It made me outraged and Inspired as I went through a most difficult time in my life. Keep going we know them by one name Oprah, Whoopi, Maya, Aretha who are mainstream artists in America but I learned more from these icons pointing to civil rights being gracious and strong and holding on to dignity in the face of strife. I stand with my friends, family and loved ones in solidarity with the black community to pass on and ask others to say what we all know Black Lives Matter indeed!!!!!

It Never Rains in California but..

It Never Rains in California but..

When I was in Jr. High one of the things kids my age did was collect albums and 45s now a 45 is actually a single and albums are actually 33s which I never undrrstood as a kid because 33s are larger than 45s but thats because of how fast the record is played not it’s size. One of my singles was “ It Never Rains in Southern California.” I can remember Saturday’s cleaning my room and listening to that song flopping on my bed and feeling I knew exactly what he was talking about. I didn’t feel like I was living the Southern California life that I was suppose to. Where was my Shirley Partridge Mom? My mom sang church songs or something that they called “standards” in the 40s and 50s on something called hit parade with an occasional Dionne Warwick ballad. I didn’t have the big groovy family like other divorced families on TV that lived in Southern California. I thought I should be in a big family and we should have a band and do kwirky pranks but I only had a little brother and if anyone got pranked it was usually me. My freckles and fair skin burnt too easily and I didn’t look great in a bikini like Laurie Partridge or Marcia Brady. Sing it brother I thought as the ideal Southern California life ai saw on TV made me feel mine so sucked. Its been many years since that tune played on my record player and since I have owned any 45s but the past few weeks as it Has been raining here in Southern California as we have been quarantined throughout the USA and I have found myself recalling those lyrics flopped on my bed like I haven’t in many years. Got on board a westbound seven-forty-seven Didn't think before deciding what to do All that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies Rang true, sure rang true Seems it never rains in Southern California Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before It never rains in California but, girl, don't they warn ya It pours, man, it pours Out of work, I'm out of my head Out of self-respect, I'm out of bread I'm under loved, I'm underfed I wanna go home It never rains in California but, girl, don't they warn ya It pours, man, it pours Will you tell the folks back home I nearly made it Had offers but don't know which one to take Please, don't tell them how you found me Don't tell them how you found me, gimme a break, gimme a break Seems it never rains in Southern California Seems I've often heard that kind of talk before It never rains in California but, girl, don't they warn ya It Pours Man it Pours As Albert Hammond sang of the broken hearted dreams of a young man who had risked everything to come to California and risk it all for a dream he didn’t realize he was also singing about the broken dreams of a little thirteen year old girl who was feeling broken hearted that growing up near as fun or interesting as it seemed on tv and felt just like he did embarrassed that she was doing it wrong too, and she didn’t want her family to know how she felt like a failure just like he did. She was born and raised in socal but to testify with him not everything in the state is golden. Some 46 years later I find my expectations once again fragile and broken. The dreams I had for this year are like the cake that someone left in the rain. In 1994 across the street from MacArthur Park on Wilshire Blvd in LosAngeles I flew on my own jet plan of sorts it was actually a million limo afforded me by a monthly bus pass by the MTA. I decided to risk money I didn’t have on student loans to go art school to get my MFA. My marriage had fallen apart, monsters from my childhood had awaken and swallowed what remnants of my family existed and my husband left Southern California with my small three daughters. I couldn’t afford a good divorce attorney but they would give me student loans, but it wasn’t to be and I remember the spring of 1995 when was on the brink of making my next move with many opportunities feeling once more drenched in the rain of Southern California flopped on the dorm bed of an expensive art school crying that I didn’t have enough to continue on. It rains plenty in California but sometime its our hit days that are the worse. After several week of gloomy rainy days poof the rain is gone and it’s 93 - if you haven’t used your air conditioner since the fall and you turn it on to discover it doesn’t cool down believe me you pray for rain. Which leads to something new in co- vid 19 weather, what are the house call policies for repair men in this environment. I am usually really good at catatrophizing I to the absurd and I’d love to for entertaining purposes but I am tired. Looks like a cold shower is my warm milk night cap for the evening. Will write on repairsters later. Until then stay safe - keep your distance - and don’t drink the Clorox!

Convid - 19 - Don’t feel guilty for being glad.

Convid - 19 - Don’t feel guilty for being glad.

For all us introverts who are in hog heaven I just want to say it’s ok to feel a little bit guilty your not alone. So I live in the Inland Valley or Inland Empire as we like to call ourselves. If you have no idea where that is it’s about 60 miles East of LosAngeles. I was born in Pasadena, CA (12 miles East of DT LA) and I wasn’t in my mid-20’s until one day I was looking at this PBS station and they mentioned that it was out of the Inland Empire where was that - there is an Empire here in California OMG can I live there. Then I realized they were just talking about San Bernardino County and that that place wasn’t that cool we had the best of everything in LA County. Years later circumstances had me move to the Inland Empire and I didn’t realize how much I really liked it here. It wasn’t as competitive; much more laid back; the lines were shorter; traffic not as bad; more open spaces; lower real estate prices. -That was until people found out about the Inland Empire and started moving here so they could buy cheap. I have to say I am grateful for many of the things in the Inland Empire but when I returned to school for my MFA I realized I had to take on the track to LosAngeles once more. Making the drive 2 to 3 times a week I learned how much I had missed LA and how I really missed looking at art in the BIG city. One of the big things I loved was seeing art up close and personal and driving by all the landmarks of my childhood. So why am I saying it’s ok to feel guilty - why am I feeling guilty. Because while some people are dying at not being able to go places and meet up with friends as an introvert I am loving it. I actually make myself get out and walk every day but sometimes I can be desperately awkward. My theater background and love of comedy often causes me to make stupid jokes that I don’t deliver with confidence that help them sail well and I often just feel awful. My inner Diva can soar with her girls but often ranks terribly when faced with her drowning self esteem. So spending my days with family, books, videos, art supplies and virtual museums is my dream come true. Of coarse I wouldn’t wish this on anyone who would rather be at a ball and I miss going out to my movies, galleries, museums and restaurants like all fellow cinephiles, artaholic, and foodies, I am enjoying being home. I wish all of you safety and joy and great reading or art making until we meet again. Love.......

My great great grandfather's name was James

My great great grandfather's name was James

"Say my name say my name" sang Destiny's Child in the 90's single by the same name. What a stupid lyric I thought at the time. Years have passed since the popularity of the song rose across the air waves and there have been many times that I have seen the value of this phrase. Yesterday however seemed to be the pinnacle of these times when I signed into my ancestry account and found the name of my great-great grandfather. James Fox born in 1812 left Ireland and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to make a new home for his family in the United States and there was something in knowing this that made me feel a little more real - bonafide even. I am saying your name great-great Grandpa.

It's beginning to look a lot like Kissmas

It's beginning to look a lot like Kissmas

As a teacher there are 2 times a year that take on special meaning. Christmas and Summer Vacation. These are the times in the year where the words freedom (or free time) and relax take on a sense of reality that during other times in the year we aren't able to access as readily. I am not saying that it is only during these times that we have free time and relaxation but the hectic deadlines that we live with and also enforce are at least temporarily missing. Kissmas is a time when the stress in your life decreases so much so that you feel like going around and kissing everyone and thing. I mean not just your pets, the mail person who shows up with packages but actual family members. These are the times when you can reflect on your practice, actually miss your job and students and engage in netflix watching without a huge stack of grading and the weight of guilt hovering about. Merry Kissmas to all and to all a good night, and to a relaxing holiday that allows you to last January- May without at regret. Happy 2019. See All Your Members Readers can easily sign up to become members of your blog and get a personal profile page. Members can follow one another and be followed, they can check out each other’s profiles, see what people have liked or commented on, and get notifications. You can view all blog members by clicking the Members icon in the login bar. Tip: To quickly find individual members, use the Member search bar and sort by option. #dream

Baroness ElsaLives On

Baroness ElsaLives On

#Baroness Elsa lives on?

Baroness Elsa Von Freytag- Loringhoven

Baroness Elsa Von Freytag- Loringhoven

Known as the Father of Modern Art Marcel Duchamp was credited for the invention of conceptual art through his displaying of the ready made. However, Duchamp with all his whimsical DADA intent forgot to mention that "The Fountain" who was credited to R. Mutt was indeed not his pseudonym but that of a Polish Born German artist who was well known in NewYork in the early teens of the 20th Century and she had been making ready mades for several years including "The Fountain". What ever became of Baroness Elsa? Check out this video. She still lives within all those forgotten artists who have been overlooked. Stay tune in upcoming months as the inspiration of Elsa as the spirit of this Dada Moma lives on..... #Elsa's dream

Almost summer

Almost summer

June 10, 2018 I returned to school to get my MFA in January of this year. Still teaching art in a local high school I was working full- time and going to school full time. I have been working as a Public school High school teacher for 15 years and so working and gong to school full time while trying to create a body of work isn't always an easy thing to accomplish. On top of that I have issues - well hell who doesn't especially if you are a woman of a certain age you can't help but have issues. My first blog entry is after having finished my first semester. Year 2017- 2018 school year has ended and I am given 24 hour access to my studio. This feels like I have died and gone to heaven but there are issues many of which anyone has to navigate and some that are odd and unique to me. I get tired real easily but no I work real hard so that doesn't mean it cam easy huh? #MFA_Foxk