Friday, May 02, 2008

Very Few Pieces

I want to be sure that La Bloga helps spread the good news about our compañera, Lisa Alvarado, and her latest artistic project. Here's Lisa's announcement:

Lisa Alvarado's Mexican Woman's Toolkit, Sin Fronteras is a large floral tote bag hanging on wooden pegs, which visitors are invited to rummage through. The bag belongs to a Mexican domestic in WWII-era Chicago: her life is service to others, she has no privacy.

Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit is an exhibition of contemporary art,each of which has, at its visible core, a tool that was important for women's domestic labor in the past (the 18th century through World War II). The old tool becomes the fulcrum for a work of art. Each work and the exhibit as a whole have the power to speak to viewers independently,Artists are placing objects such as a dressmaker’s figure, diapers,graters, grinders, needles, pins, pots, pans, baskets,garden-seed-packets, rakes, hoes, dress patterns, dish-rags, rolling pins,brooms, buckets, darning eggs, knives, rug-beaters, and other tools at the center of their work. One piece will have an early 19th century distaff at its visible core. Part of the point of this exhibition project is to explore the idea of "seeing as context." As I imagine the process here, look at a tool that facilitated very hard and repetitive labor and that evokes women's degradation as domestic drudges. I look again, through my early 21st century eyes, at a moment when "old tools" have become commodified and expensive, and I see costly beauty. Reimagining the distaff toolkit for the purposes of this exhibition might include (overlapping) gestures in any of the following directions – or other directions – history / memory / gender / labor / material culture /household objects / family relations / power and powerlessness / drudgery/ craft and beauty. Reimagining the Distaff Toolkit puts utility in conversation with art, the past in conversation with the present.

The exhibition schedule: March-May 2008 - Bennington (VT) Museum
Oct-Dec 2008 - The Mead Museum, Amherst College

Jan-Feb 2009 - Morris Museum, Morristown, NJ
March 2009 - Oklahoma State University
Sept-Dec - Union College, Schnectady, NY

The Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers announces its Colorado Gold Writing Contest for 2008. Entries will be accepted in four fiction categories: General/Mainstream, Mystery, Romance, and Speculative fiction (Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror).

RMFW judges will select six finalists in each category. Then an acquiring agent or editor will choose the winners, who will be announced at The Colorado Gold Writers Conference Awards Banquet on September 13, 2008. You need not be present to win. For information about fees, prizes, rules and an official entry form, visit and click the Colorado Gold Contest link. Entries must be postmarked by June 2, 2008.
Contact: Judy Kundert - 303-972-4826

The likely closing of Librería Martínez of Santa Ana, CA, has created widespread concern not only for this treasured institution but for other local and independent bookstores. Those of you in Southern California have seen the recent demise of Dutton's Brentwood Books and the soon-to-be gone Acres of Books (Long Beach). But Rueben Martínez has not given up, and several writers have rallied to his cause. For example, tonight at 7:00 p.m.
Gustavo Arellano will sign copies of his book ¡Ask a Mexican! at 1110 N. Main St., Santa Ana, (714) 973-7900; Arellano reports that Ana Castillo and Sandra Cisneros have pledged to do readings at the store later this year. You can read more about this issue in Arellano's latest column for the OC weekly, here. Now is the time to show your support.

That's all I got this week - but this has been a stellar week for the rest of La Bloga's staff. If you haven't read their posts yet, scroll on down and savor the literary and cultural morsels laid out by Daniel, Michael, René, and Lisa.


1 comment:

Lisa Alvarado said...

M - You are so kind to feature this...I was really happy to tell the story again about our sisters, our mothers, our grandmothers and how they made the world by their work, their everyday strength.