Showing posts from May, 2015

Renate Haimerl Brosch's Apt Observations

On an exchange organized through the Oberpfalzer K├╝nstlerhaus, Regensburg-native,  Renate Haimerl Brosch is winding down a six-week residency at VCCA. Renate considers herself a three-dimensional artist although she works across disciplines. At home in Germany, she is known for her installations, videos and soundscapes. Being in residency thousands of miles away from her studio required that she work primarily in lightweight, easily transportable media like monotypes, photo transfers and small wire sculptures. She did produce one major installation constructed of found items. Renate’s installations are site-specific, inspired by a place, its history, the impression it leaves on her. This is Renate’s first visit to America and one thing she immediately noticed is the abundance of plastic shopping bags. In Germany, people are so conscientious they all use reusable carriers when they go shopping and so these examples of a wasteful, environmentally insensitive culture are nonexisten

Lizette Wanzer: Making Every Word Count

“Of prime importance to me is work that discomfits, contemplates, balances scene and summary, and delivers a flavorful punch in the process. My goal is to hobble and stagger the expectations of lenses through which I, as an African American woman writer, am frequently viewed,” writes Lizette Wanzer in her artist’s statement. Based in San Francisco, Lizette just completed a six-week inaugural residency at VCCA. She is currently working on two projects: Gelatin Prints , a collection of flash fiction, and Jaywalking , a collection of short essays. Lizette moves deftly between fiction and non-fiction, deciding in advance which direction she intends to pursue and then runs with it. Flash fiction is a style of narrative that is extremely short. There is no set word limit, but it generally hovers around 1,000 words or less. Flash fiction is known by many terms including my favorite: “ smoke long” because the story takes as long to read as it does to smoke a cigarette. Though the form goe

In Residence: Heiner Riepl

Walking into Heiner Riepl’s studio is an instant mood elevator. The walls are covered with, maybe 15, paintings limned in vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow. In his exuberant, sensual paintings, Heiner juxtaposes blocks of color to explore hue, brushstroke and surface texture. Working initially as a figurative painter, Heiner has distilled his work down to pure formalism. “If I think about landscape, while working in an abstract manner, I lose my train of thought. You, or more precisely, I, cannot do both. It’s a decision you make to work with forms. You bring special things with you; you don’t have a precise idea of what you want to do, but you know how you want to start. I wanted to start with the colors: red, orange, yellow. This was a feeling.” Heiner works primarily in oil and because of its drying time, he works on several paintings concurrently. Sometimes he uses rollers and palette knives, in addition to brushes, to apply paint in order to achieve different

Eugene Platt's "Saint Andrew's Parish"

Eugene Platt has recently released a print version of his book Saint Andrew’s Parish (previously only available in electronic form) including a new chapter.  Set in 1950s West Ashley, SC,  Saint Andrew’s Parish is a coming-of-age story that follows the lives of two boys, Bubba and Andy, from their boyhood in this suburb of Charleston to their maturity as they search for their place in the wider world. “When the folly, sadness, and misfortune of their pasts threaten to derail their futures, Bubba and Andy find themselves in the eye of a hurricane — both literally and symbolically — with life-changing consequences. Inner and outer landscapes clash in the fury of Hurricane Hugo’s rampaging destruction, tossing the friends amid a swirl of fear, hope, despair, and forgiveness. St. Andrew’s Parish is a tale of enduring friendship, of following dreams, and ultimately, of the timeless human search for redemption.” Eugene worked sporadically on the novel for 24 years and he says

Lisa A. Phillips's "Unrequited Love: Women and Romantic Obsession"

Hailed for its candor, intelligence and superb prose, UNREQUITED: Women and Romantic Obsession by Lisa A. Phillips is a highly personal account of how she, a stable, accomplished professional, was transformed by unrequited love into someone ruled by an obsessive fixation. From her unique perspective, Lisa explores the many dimensions of romantic obsession with in-depth research in science, psychology, cultural history and literature. Lisa examines the perils and power of obsessive love in women’s lives, detailing how romantic obsession takes root and blossoms into something that so controls our thoughts and behaviors. A professor of journalism at SUNY New Paltz. Lisa is the author of Public Radio: Behind the Voices. Her articles have appeared in such national publications as The New York Times and The Boston Globe . A former radio journalist, Lisa has contributed stories to NPR and other public radio stations. She first addressed the topic in a highly acclaimed New York Ti