27 March 2014

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Poetry Reading and reception at Herron Art Library, March 5th, 2014



Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here at Herron Art Library, IUPUI


A Poetry Reading and reception took place at Herron Art Library, Artist Book Alcove
Herron School of Art and Design on Wednesday, March 5th, 2014. The event, hosted in collaboration with theAl-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Coalition marked the bombing of the historic literary and cultural center of Baghdad, al-Mutanabbi Street, that stood as the major literary and cultural center of Baghdad for hundreds of years. On March 5th, 2007, a suicide bomber tragically destroyed this cultural center where scholars, artists, poets, and writers had gathered for centuries. In response to this destructive act a community of international artists and writers rallied to produce a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form), and an anthology of writing, all focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers. The coalition of contributing artists calls itself Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. Now, 7 years later, the Coalition is as strong as ever as it touches poets, artists, writers, and scholars worldwide. 
 
The event at the Herron Art Library was an intimate and movingly powerful one. After a brief introduction and welcome, the participants, who were drawn from the student, faculty, and staff of IUPUI as well as from the local community, introduced either their own original work or the work they were reading, with a display of some of the broadsides and artists’ books from the Coalition’s collection providing an appropriate and visually eloquent backcloth to the event. Their works expressed the poignancy and tragedy of acts of violence and destruction that have taken place in Baghdad, as well as the sense of rising hope and optimism that responses such as the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Coalition foster.
 
The readings
 
Alfan Abdulahad, Center for Interfaith Cooperation, spoke on Al-Mutanabbi, the 10th century classical Arabic poet for whom the street was named. Alfan discussed the poet’s life, his poetry, and her own reflections in both Arabic and English. Alfan moved to the United States from Iraq via Syria.
Basim Najeeb shared his reflections and experiences on al-Mutanabbi Street, the shops and street life there, and then read the poem, Good-bye My Hometown/Mahmood Sami Al-Baroodi in Arabic and English.
Karen Kovacik, Indiana’s Poet Laureate, 2011-2013; IUPUI School of Liberal Arts, Director of Creative Writing, Adjunct Professor of Women’s Studies, read a poem from her anthology which talked about the Buddha statues destroyed in Afghanistan.
Becky Lukovic, former IUPUI student, read her poem about Syria, Kerry Set the Table
Terry, Kirts, Senior Lecturer in English, Director of Rufus and Lois Reiberg Reading Series, read from the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Anthology
Zulaiha Razak, IUPUI student/Diversity Scholar, read the poem from the anthology, Black and Red by  Fred Norman
Leena Dobouni, IUPUI student/Diversity Scholar, read the poem, Baghdad  by Nizar al Kabbani in Arabic and English
Barbara Hussein, Coalition artist, presented her artist book describing its inspiration, content, and process.
Nina Ardery, Coalition artist, read a passage offered by Beau Beausoleil, Founder of the Coalition
 
The response to this event indicated a clear desire to make it an annual one. The occasion provided a touching opportunity for participants to share their experiences and reflections through the vehicle of poetry, while commemorating the tragic event that took place in Baghdad on March 5th, 2007.

19 February 2014

Call for Poets, Readers, and Participants

Call for Poets, Readers, and Participants

               
Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here at IUPUI

Poetry Reading and Reception
Wednesday, March 5th, 2014
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Herron Art Library, Artist Book Alcove
Herron School of Art and Design
735 W. New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202


IUPUI University Library and the Herron Art Library, in collaboration with the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Coalition, invite you to share in an afternoon of poetry on March 5th, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., marking the bombing of the historic literary and cultural center of Baghdad, al-Mutanabbi Street.  This renowned street, named for the famous 10th century classical Arab poet, Al-Mutanabbi, had stood as the major literary and cultural center of Baghdad for hundreds of years.  

On March 5th, 2007, a suicide bomber tragically destroyed this cultural center where scholars, artists, poets, and writers had gathered for centuries.  In response to this destructive act, Beau Beausoleil, a poet and bookseller from California, was moved to act in solidarity with the people of Iraq against such acts.  He rallied a community of international artists and writers to produce a collection of letterpress-printed broadsides (poster-like works on paper), artists’ books (unique works of art in book form), and an anthology of writing, all focused on expressing solidarity with Iraqi booksellers, writers and readers. The coalition of contributing artists calls itself Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. Now, 7 years later, the Coalition is as strong as ever as it touches poets, artists, writers, and scholars worldwide. 

Please join us March 5th, 2014, at the Herron Art Library as we mark the anniversary of the bombing of al-Mutanabbi Street through poetry, standing with all people across the globe who want free speech and continue to struggle for the free exchange of ideas through the sharing of academic, literary and visual creativity.

We invite poets, readers, and participants to join us during our Indianapolis, IN event to read poetry from the Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here Anthology or from your own individual work in an effort to support the free exchange of ideas and to protest against the destruction of diverse shared cultures. 

If you would like to read during our event or would like more information please contact Sonja Staum at sstaumku@iupui.edu. *

14 November 2012

Construction is finished!

We've expanded our artists' books area with more display cabinets and group study tables, thanks to the generous support of Mark and Carmen Holeman. Come by and take a look!



29 August 2012

What's behind the plastic?

You may have noticed that the back of the library is now sporting a giant wall of plastic. We're undergoing a transformation that will be unveiled in a few weeks. What was once a slide library will soon be additional display cases and storage for the artists' books collection, as well as a digitally-equipped instruction space. We can't wait to see it finished!

09 August 2012

Updated Art Research Guide!

Have you had a chance to check out our Art Research Guide? The guide includes resources for finding art-related materials online. You can find links to the library's article and image databases, as well as lists of art blogs, career websites, and our favorite books.

There are also handy tutorials on how to use some of the library's online resources, like this ARTstor tutorial.



Stop in or call us (317 278 9484) if you would like more information on using any of these resources.

31 May 2012

Weekly Perusables: Joy in People



New to the library is Jeremy Deller’s exhibition catalog Joy in People, which covers his artistic debut in 1993 (a secret exhibition in his parents’ house while they were away on vacation), up to 2012. Deller is a contemporary British artist, who makes unconventional work that doesn’t fit in with the mainstream gallery scene. He didn’t go to art school, yet won the Turner Prize in 2004. You can read reviews of the Joy in People exhibit here: Telegraph, Domus, Abitare, and find the book on our New Books shelf for the next month. Cheerio!

NX 180 .A77 D45 2012 stacks

image source: D.A.P.

(blog entry by Jessica Sowls)

17 May 2012

Weekly Perusables: Graven Images




If you are as in love with folk art and old cemeteries as some of us around here are, you’ll be a fan of this book too. First published in 1966, Graven Images “played a critical role in the rise in interest in gravestone studies in the 1960s.” Who knew there was such a thing? Regardless, it is a fascinating history of Puritans, who shunned artistic expression except when it was on their tombstones. Ludwig also explains the evolution of certain recurring gravestone symbols in depth, such as winged skulls, peacocks, hooped snakes, and surprisingly, breasts. He makes an interesting argument that “in spite of the fact that rural stonecarving was in many ways a truly ‘primitive’ form of expression it did have moments of glorious attainment and revealed for the first time an American propensity for pure line and abstraction which have become a fundamental part of modern aesthetics.” Puritan ideas have permeated many aspects of American culture, so it’s not a stretch to see that they could have influenced the direction of modern art too.

Graven Images: New England Stonecarving and Its Symbols, 1650-1815
Allan I. Ludwig
NB1856 .N4 L8 1999 stacks

Quote and photo source: University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

(blog entry by Jessica Sowls) 

17 April 2012

Weekly Perusables: Gathering Light, Richard Ross

Etruscan Tomb, Tarquinia, Italy, 1992


This book is a beautiful meditation on the essence of photography, which is quite literally the gathering of light. From a fluorescent lit warehouse to an ancient Asian temple to Las Vegas, light is the subject matter of these images. In the book’s introduction, David Hickey states, “By taking light itself as the subject of his new photographs, Ross addresses the central irony of photography: the fact that photography, which lives in and by light, can no more look directly at it than ancient believers could look upon the face of God.” 

Gathering Light
Richard Ross
TR654 .R665 2000  
stacks

image source

(blog entry by Jessica Sowls) 

05 April 2012

Weekly Perusables: Shifting Paradigms


Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics showcases the entire Garth Clark and Mark Del Vecchio collection from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  The collection, donated to the Museum in 2007, has examples from over five decades of modern and contemporary ceramics, with a focus on works that challenge the medium.  Included artists such as Ralph Bacerra, Marek Cecula, Ken Ferguson, Anne Kraus, Ron Nagle, Richard Notkin and Beth Cavener Stichter trace the developments in American ceramics.  A diverse group of international artists are also represented.

Stop in to take a look at this, and several other new titles on ceramics currently located on our new books shelf:

Shifting Paradigms in Contemporary Ceramics The Garth Clark & Mark Del Vecchio Collection, The Museum of Fine Arts Houston

The Vase and Beyond: The Sidney Swindler Collection of the Contemporary Vessel, Daniels and Drexler Lynn

Clay's Tectonic Shift, 1956-1968: John Mason, Ken Price, Peter Voulkos, edited by Mary Davis McNaughton

Common Ground: Ceramics in Southern California 1945-1975, American Museum of Ceramic Art

Sources
Image: Aoki Katsuyo's "Predictive Dream" from MFAH Shifting Paradigms press release.

(blog entry by Sara O'Sha)

22 March 2012

Weekly Perusables: Hanuman Miniature Books


Hanuman books published miniature books by well-known writers and artists from 1986 to 1993.  The press, created by editor Raymond Foye and artist Francesco Clemente, was based out of New York City, but the books were printed and bound in India.  Their small 3" x 4" format was modeled off of Hindu prayer books, and the covers were made with handmade Indian paper and vegetable dies.

With a total of 50 titles, the Hanuman series included works by William Burroughs, Patti Smith, Jack Kerouac, and William de Kooning.  The Herron Library collection holds titles by artists Robert Frank, David Hockney and Francis Picabia, and critic and curator Henry Geldzahler.

Robert Frank One Hour
Henry Geldzahler Looking at Pictures
David Hockney Picasso
Francis Picabia Who Knows
Francis Picabia Yesno
All housed in secure area


Sources
Museu D'Art Contemporani de Barcelona's Col·lecció documental Hanuman Books 
University of Michigan Special Collections Library's Finding aid for Hanuman Books Records

(blog entry by Sara O'Sha)