artist of the day #69: Lizzy Waronker

There is something magical about creating a relationship between multiple objects that were never originally intended to meet. Our preconceived idea about each gets shifted a bit and we are brought into something new. Lizzy Waronker is one part found object sculptor, one part installation artist, and one part story maker.

Her use of found objects often adds a specific kind of mood to her work. Everything feels gritty, like it has an intricate past to it. It doesn’t feel old, as much as it feels experienced. And it doesn’t feel dirty as much as it feels mistreated. They would all certainly be much different pieces if the individual pieces were taken straight out of their original package. There also seems to be some specific kinds of objects that she likes to work with. In multiple pieces I see body parts from dolls, birds, or more specifically, crows, small glass containers, and padlocks. With this I see a number of themes through her creations. I see a lot of isolation, separation, and bewilderment.

Lizzy Waronker (what a strange last name, I feel tongue tied just writing it) is certainly creating vast worlds on a small scale. She typically works no larger than a jewelry box but manages to create another existence, a universe where all of these strange objects have a reason to interact. For example, in her piece Incident at Box-Nail, I start to put together a whole story in my head to explain why these people have gathered together, why these giant body parts are on display, and what does the giant hand above them all symbolize.

And I say Lizzy is a story maker because many of her pieces seem to be about a specific event. She gives all of her pieces very well thought out titles that I feel are her way of giving us some sort of a hint as to what she might have been thinking about. For example, a title like Bus Station, instantly makes one think about a traditional bus station in our world, and then about how this new object might relate to that definition. Ms. Waronker is definitely asking more questions than answering.

See more of her work at:


Junior Voice Recital – Arielle Leacock

Lehigh University Music Department presents

Junior Recitalist

Arielle Kayla LEacock

with Susan Frickert, piano

music by

Robert and Clara Schumann, Franz, Brahms, Handel, Bonds, and Owens

Sunday, April 22, 2012 – 4:00 pm, Baker Hall
Zoellner Arts Center

Another Film Screening to try to see:

We are pleased to invite you to a screening of  Page One: Inside the New York Times and post screening discussion with director, Andrew Rossi.

If you have any interest or concern in the future of journalism, media, or where you *think* you are getting reliable information, see this film. It’s more than new media tools – it’s impact of who is “controlling” the news. Considering one of the Lehigh University faculty cluster initiatives next year (Digital Storytelling), this film will no doubt provoke some interesting questions for everyone who sees it.

Page One gains unprecedented access to The New York Times newsroom and the inner workings of the Media Desk.  With the Internet surpassing print as our main news source and newspapers all over the country going bankrupt,  this documentary chronicles the transformation of the media industry at its time of greatest turmoil. Page One gives us an up-close look at the vibrant cross-cubicle debates and collaborations, tenacious jockeying for on-the-record quotes, and skillful page-one pitching that produce the “daily miracle” of a great news organization. The result is an exhilarating view into a world where Old School values are colliding–and sometimes converging–with a new future.

This screening is co-sponsored by Lehigh University’s Digital Storytelling Cluster Committee, College Democrats, and the Weinstock Center for Journalism.

Date:  Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Time:  7:00 PM

Place:  Whitaker Lab Auditorium, on the corner of Webster and Packer Avenues on the Lehigh University campus

Film Screening: Lehigh University / United Nations Partnership

The LU/UN Partnership is hosting: Sunday, April 22 A world wide video project called ‘One Day on Earth’ — a feature film created in collaboration with many United Nations partners and an online community whose unofficial members filmed in every country in the world on the same day in October 2010 (10/10/10) is coming to Lehigh. The 104 minute film documents the incredible diversity that defines our unique cultures and also the common threads that connect us all. It gives picture to both the joys and struggles of everyday life. The producers of the project plan to show the film throughout every country in the world via a special one day screening event on Sunday, April 22nd. We’ll be showing it on campus at 7 p.m. – Maginnes 112.

Here is the movie trailer:

News Links for Alec Baldwin’s Nancy Hanks Lecture 4/16/2012

This post is a list of today’s news source links for coverage of the National Arts Advocacy Day in Washington DC on April 17, 2012.

Clips from Alec Baldwin’s Nancy Hanks Lecture on Arts & Public Policy

Actors, musicians visit Congress for more federal funding for arts programs
Washington Post
Celebrities including Alec Baldwin visited Capitol Hill Tuesday to shine their spotlight on federal funding for the arts.

Alec Baldwin Campaigns for more Arts Funding
NPR News interview with Steve Inskeep

Baldwin, Folds and Friends lobby Congress for the arts
Washington Examiner
Actor Alec Baldwin played the role of the old pro Tuesday, visiting Capitol Hill as part of Arts Advocacy Day. Leading a merry band of singers, dancers and actors, Baldwin noted that he had been lobbying for the arts since 1990 … He added that he didn’t have much advice to dish out to the greener members of his delegation. “I gave…advice on federal aviation cell phone rules,” Baldwin joked making reference to his recent spat with American Airlines.

Alec Baldwin Lobbies for Arts Funding
USA Today
Joining him for a day of congressional visits will be singer-songwriter Ben Folds, actors Hill Harper, Melina Kanakaredes, Omar Benson Miller, Johnathon Schaech and Tiffani Thiessen; American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance producer Nigel Lythgoe and country music star Clay Walker.

Alec Baldwin and Ben Folds press Congress for more arts funding
Huffington Post
Alec Baldwin visited the nation’s capital on Monday to press for increased federal funding for the arts after government dollars were cut last year, saying such funding ensures the public affordable access to theater, dance and music.

DC gets help from Hollywood
The Examiner
In a recent interview Baldwin told The Associated Press that he’s very concerned about the decreased financial support for such disciplines like:  theater, dance and music.

Last year, the National Endowment of the Arts received slightly less than $147 million in federal funding, which is about $30 million less than its highest amount reached in 1992.

Two Off Campus Events to Know About

Lehigh Valley Art Wars – Allentown Brew Works, April 20th 7-10pm

Lehigh Valley Art Wars are live events, held in different cities and towns throughout the Valley. The goal is to provide an entertainment experience by getting the artist out of the studio and sharing their creative workflow with an audience. At each battle, the artists have two hours to create their piece of work based on a theme provided. The artwork is then voted on by a combination of the audience and jury. Two artists from each battle go on to the next round, culminating at the grand finale where four artists will compete for the grand prize.

Because of last year’s enormous success, Art Wars decided to have an artist Throw-Down, where every artist who wants to become an Art Wars Warrior will have a chance to participate.

All they need to do is:

  • Pre-register by emailing
  • Bring a canvas, supplies, easel, 6×6 drop cloth
  • And encourage as many people to show up for the Throw-Down to root them on!

Sixteen of the Art Wars Warriors will be chosen by votes, four will be chosen by secret judges. You must be 16 years of age to compete.

Tickets are $5.00, and each person in attendance will get one vote.

All of the artwork created during the throw down will be sold during a silent auction that evening benefiting the artist and Art Wars. For more information about the Lehigh Valley Art Wars, see this link.

The LORAX Earth Day at Illick’s Mill

– with help from Moravian Book Shop and the Bethlehem Area Public Library — hosts Lorax Earth Day from 2-7 p.m. on Sunday, April 22nd.

More details on the event here.

Map to Illick’s Mill here.

Notes from the 2012 Nancy Hanks Lecture: Alec Baldwin

I had a very strict usher shut down the very tool that makes live tweeting possible. Do attendants have issues with Alec Baldwin and wireless devices? Luckily, I was able to take notes in a different fashion without getting booted out of the theatre. I won’t reveal my secrets.

Mr. Baldwin’s speech was an “attempt to distill [his own] relationship to the arts.”
He divided a period of over 50 years into three groups: 1. “Art is all around me but I don’t know what art is,” 2. “Art is all around me so maybe I should introduce myself,” and 3. “So much art, so little time.”

Consider the details of your own childhood. Mr. Baldwin’s past is not too unlike our own, if we grew up in a middle class family, in an age of television, movies, and popular radio. What were the moments that triggered a deeper appreciation for art?

What parts of your early awakening made you want to know more about art? What things made you dream of being an artist? What inspired you to envision a path to the improbable? I remember singing into a hairbrush, and wanting to be Olivia Newton-John. Mr. Baldwin shared as much.

Mr. Baldwin shared stories of wanting to know more about art; even at the risk of having his lack of education snubbed by those “more sophisticated.” Thank goodness the snobbery didn’t sway his curiosity. Baldwin explained why he’s leaving a popular (and probably lucrative) TV show in order to soak up more art as he “has more years to look back on than ahead.”

Image from speech. Details in transcript when available.
Ross Bleckner "Sea and Mirrors" 1996, oil on linen 84" x 72"

Mr. Baldin rounded out his personal story with a deep appreciation for arts administrators. My favorite quote from him tonight, “Raising the funds for those programs is an important as each note that is played.”

His speech ended with a resounded battle cry for the work ahead:

Despite what I do for a living, despite the potential to be surrounded by creativity with what I do every day in my field, I get my art the way you get your art; as a ticket holder, as an audience member, as a patron. And although I may eventually get in a shorter line than some of you, my love of the arts and for the artists is no different than yours. And I want as many people as possible to experience that regardless of income, where you live, or whether or not we elected representatives who get it.

Maureen Dowd’s introduction was splendid. “Of course, we all know that Alec Baldwin has a problem of being completely incapable of expressing his feelings or sharing his emotions. He lives with the pressure of having a name associated with “being smokin’ hot.” It’s unfortunate that the introductions aren’t archived with the speeches. This was one for the record. Only a writer of her stature can combine “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “Schweddy Balls” in one sentence.

Will Alec Baldwin’s life be dramatically changed? “Zen and tranquil [ from downward dog]? God, we hope not.” We need his mad genius.

Random other notes – The opening remarks from Mr. Hill included two quotes:
– Bobby Kennedy “The future does not belong to those who are fearful of bold projects and new ideas. But rather the future belongs to those who lend passion, reason and courage into a personal commitment into the great ideas and enterprises of American Society.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘We are all tied together in a garment of mutual destiny”
Tying both quotes together, Mr. Hill said, “The root of the word “courage” is “coeur”, which means “heart.” Many of us are linked because of our hearts.

Ben Folds and YoungArts Alumni musicians performed two songs. The second stole my heart “I’m the Luckiest.” While the song has become a new favorite for weddings, hearing the song again on Mr. Fold’s website, (Rocking in the Suburbs, track 12) and reflecting on Mr. Baldwin’s story – it truly made me realize how lucky I am to have been given the opportunities in my life to be saved and inspired by art. As an arts advocate, I do my part to make sure others with me and after me have their opportunities, too.

artist of the day #68: Shintaro Ohata

Many artist work in both 2 and 3-d but rarely do that work in both at the same time, and never have I seen it done as powerfully and seamlessly as with Japanese artist Shintaro Ohata. His vibrant sculptures meld so well with his lively paintings, it can often be hard to tell that they are separate. I would almost classify his work as being 2.5-d. Also, there is a real sense of warmth to his work. Ohata’s mastery at working with light really makes his pieces come to life.

The pieces are very emotional. He seems to often play with the theme of solitude. Many of the pieces depict one person in a great big busy city and almost never looking toward the viewer or anyone else in the painting. When there is more than one person, they aren’t relating to each other what so ever. The most interaction in any of his pieces is between a little girl and a cat. Also, as real as his pieces feel, he seems to want to play with some level of fiction and fantasy. A few of his pieces have characters that seem to be part animal, or some sort of new species. His work to me is playful yet highly emotional. Each piece comes off like a scene from a movie. And the designs of his characters seem to take influence from both Japanese cartoons and impressionist paintings. Even though they are sculptures they look as though they were made out of sploches of paint.

Unfortunately I can’t attest to what these are like to see n real person. They are currently exhibiting in Tokyo and I spent too much money on skee-ball and temporary tattoos to fly over and check it out. If they are this lively in a photograph, I am sure it is quite the sight in person.

New course ALERT – for your consideration

Just in time for students who are registering for Fall semester 2012, a new course has been added for your consideration. The course, offered through the Lehigh University Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship is titled, “Entrepreneurial Communications for Creative Industries.” Course number ENTP1xx (see? it’s so new, we’re still waiting for a course number!)

This course will offer  practical applications of multiple methods for communications, and include in-depth discussion on content, voice and audience/customer reach.

We will cover best practices for Facebook, Twitter, blogging, Pinterest, FourSquare, Tumblr, Google+, Crowd Sourcing, Crowd Funding, guerilla marketing, YouTube, Vimeo, and even the “archaic” mass email. We may even add something new should an additional world-changing social media site launch during the summer.

Opportunities for students include building strategies for social media integration in a marketing and PR plan. This means not only knowing about the tools, but nurturing an awareness of effective execution. Want to know how the marketing for the latest movie release “Hunger Games” was so effective? Yes, we’ll study that – and more. We will analyze success stories as well as failures, both public and private.

Work flow management will be key to developing a user-based knowledge of all methods. The course will meet weekly, substantial time spent out of class to read books and articles about industry specific methods, as well as to practice the techniques and launch projects throughout the semester.

This course will be applicable to any student who understands the need for social media communications skills in any creative industry: arts, culture, sport, non-profit, start-up, academic, … you name it.

The course has a couple of unusual pre-requisites: must be a user of Facebook and Twitter for at least 3 months prior to the start of fall semester. You have the summer to get started. If you have created material and posted in any of the other methods mentioned above, great! The more you have under your belt before the semester starts, the sooner you can start building strategies.

Any questions about the course should be directed to Silagh White via email at

Touchstone Links for “A Resting Place”

If you find yourself wandering around the Historic Bethlehem district, the Greenway Park or main campus this weekend, you may bump into an old-fashioned carnival wagon, or folks in period costumes. So what is this? It’s the latest community play produced by one of Bethlehem’s cultural treasures, Touchstone Theatre. We mentioned this piece about our local reflections of the linger impact of the United States Civil War in a previous post.

If you consider seeing one of the multiple performances happening around town this weekend, you may want to look into a few of these links before hand – it’ll give you much more material to deepen your experience.

Touchstone’s Website – on the homepage there is detailed info about each event and venue

Touchstone’s Facebook page – lots of really interesting and revealing rehearsal photos

The Civil War/Cemetery Project Blog – lots of info on the process, photos, research materials. This is an incredible documentation of the research and creative process that comes together in a 100+ cast member performance (plus a huge puppet elephant!)

Conversation with Alison Carey, video – A Resting Place playwright interview

The Civil War/Cemetery Project photo teaser video – an early look at the project

Touchstone Theatre (again) sets an important example of how we learn about our history and it’s lingering impact through this production. Additionally, there are a number of panel discussions between the performances that feature Lehigh University faculty and staff:

Friday, April 13th at 7:45pm at UBC Room of the Halpert Union Building on Moravian College’s campus – directions &parking info here.

“How the Civil War Affects Us Today”

Moderator: Dr. Daniel Jasper, Moravian College
Panelists: Sharon Brown, Moravian College, Dr. John Pettegrew (history), Lehigh UniversityDr. William Scott (history), Lehigh University  

Saturday, April 14th, 2:45pm at Touchstone Theatre (321 East 4th Street, Bethlehem) Parking info here.

“Building Community Through Theater”

Moderator: Jennie Gilrain
Panelists: Alison Carey, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steve Ginsburg, Hartbeat Ensemble (Hartford, CT), Jp Jordan, Touchstone Theatre, Deb Sakarakis (artistic Director), Zoellner Arts Center

Sunday, April 15th,  2:45pm at Moravian Museum of Bethlehem’s Gemeinhaus. directions and parking information here.

“Bethlehem’s Civil War History”

Moderator:  Beall Fowler (Lehigh University Professor Emeritus)
Panelists: Zack Biro, Historic Bethlehem Partnership, Patricia McAndrew (Lehigh University Art Galleries coordinator and local historian), “Bethlehem Boy” editor and publisher, Jeffrey Stocker, local historian and author of multiple Civil War books, Charles Welsko, Moravian College