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The Arts

 

What are The Arts?  The definitions are numerous and widely encompassing.

On May 18, 2009, First Lady Michelle Obama attended a ribbon cutting ceremony at the New York Metropolitan Arts for the reopening of its American wing. Here are some excerpts from the news report that appeared in the New York Times.

“Mrs. Obama described the nation’s creative spirit as critical to its ideals and its identity and said the arts needed to be nurtured even during difficult economic times. She noted that her husband had included $50 million in his economic stimulus package for the National Endowment for the Arts. “The arts are not just a nice thing to have,” said Mrs. Obama, adding that the arts “define who we are as a people.”  

Thank you Mrs. Obama for your encouraging and true words for the Arts. For a full report, please visit:
http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/18/first-lady-promotes-the-arts/

We will be showcasing different aspects of The Arts on our web site. Please see below for some and also go to "older posts" by clicking below.

For older posts, please click here

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Gifted photographer, Aman Sidhu, from Chandigrah, India, captures exquisite wedding pictures!

Aman Photographer

Aman Sidhu

 

Tasteful, striking and stunning, Aman’s pictures capture the fine, fun-filled and delightful moments in Indian weddings!  The pictures are remarkable in their clarity, bringing forth the beautiful, bright colors of weddings in India. His pictures also portray moments that might be overlooked....a pair of studded sandals, the car decorated for the wedding, and the jewellery.   Below are some of Aman's pictures...

Please visit Aman’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/amansidhuphotography352 to see some of his other remarkable pictures!

 

Please visit Aman’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/amansidhuphotography352 to see some of his other remarkable pictures!

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ALLURING PAINTINGS

by

ANN MARIE WILLIAMS

www.annmariewilliamsart.com    annmarie87@verizon.net

 

 

Ann Marie Williams is an award-winning fine artist and illustrator residing in Reston, VA. A graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC, she has worked as a graphic designer, publications manager and art director. Ann has received numerous design awards, and judged several national design competitions. She has illustrated four children’s books and taught graphic design at The American University School of Communications. Even though she has been working as an art director for several years, she is serious and passionate about fine art and painting.

Williams is a member of the Greater Reston Art Center (GRACE), Black Artists of DC, and The Women’s Art Museum in Washington, DC. 

Recent accomplishments include winning a 2010 Strauss Fellowship Grant from Fairfax County Arts Council and the 2006 National Cherry Blossom Festival® Art Contest. Her painting for the Cherry Blossom Festival contest was among 70 submissions received for consideration for the festival. Entries were sent in from all over the nation and from around the world, including Japan and the Netherlands. She also won third place in a national painting competition sponsored by Daimler/Chrysler Corporation.

In studying abstract art, she has evolved from the realistic tradition of painting to a more modern form of abstraction. All of her formal training has been channeled into one direction, to produce a series of paintings that burst with bright and exhilarating colors. Her paintings are very expressive and incorporate acrylics, collage, oil pastel or crayons to achieve varied textures. She uses a very strong sense of color, line and movement.

She has exhibited extensively in the Washington, DC area and her paintings can be found in homes across the United States.

Williams states, “I embrace the term “abstract expressionism” to describe my work. It feeds my soul with its experimentation of colors and textures, as well as the use of new materials and techniques. Bright colors, bold designs, asymmetry, varying patterns, improvisations, collage, and symbolic forms characterize my work.

I want to evoke a response from the viewer; therefore words are sometimes a part of my paintings. I want the viewer to see what I see, and feel what I feel. I may have a subject in mind, or at other times I have nothing in mind and let the painting speak to me. My work is very intuitive and inspiration is derived from God’s gift, family, cultural experiences and social commentary. I embed a small cross in each of my paintings to thank God for my gift. It may not be visible to the naked eye, but I know it’s there.

We have an obligation to be “culture bearers”, and as I move forward I hope to do just that as I continually grow as a person and as an artist.”

Some paintings:

The Meadow Of My Dreams: http://www.annmariewilliamsart.com/viewer-slideshow.htm?6#

Heavenly Sunlight: http://www.annmariewilliamsart.com/viewer-slideshow.htm?2

Journey To The Past: http://www.annmariewilliamsart.com/viewer-slideshow.htm?21

Exhibition History

Charles Sumner School, “Black Is…” Show, Washington, DC, March 2011

Harmony Hall, Black Abstraction Exhibit, Ft. Washington, Md., January-March 2011

Gallery West, Alexandria, Va., (First Place in Show)

McLean Project for the Arts Artfest (juried), McLean, Va., October 2010

Adam Lister Gallery, Fairfax, Va., June-August 2010

DC Arts Center, “Black Is…” Show, February 2010

McLean Project for the Arts Artfest (juried), McLean, Va., October 2009

Northern Va. Art Festival (juried),, Reston, Va., May 2009

Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Farm Center, Washington, DC, January 2009

Torpedo Factory, Target Gallery (juried),, Alexandria, Va., December 2008

Gallerie Myrtis (juried),, Baltimore, Md., October 2008

McLean Project for the Arts Artfest (juried), McLean, Va., October 2008

Duke Ellington School for the Arts, October 2008

Northern Va. Art Festival (juried),, Reston, Va., May 2008

Parish Gallery (juried),, Washington, DC, March 2008

Capitol One Headquarters, Black Artists of DC (BADC) Group Show, March-April 2008

GRACE Solo Show at The Market Grill, Reston, Va., January-March 2008

Children’s Hospital, Washington, DC, January-March 2008

McLean Project for the Arts Artfest (juried), McLean, Va., October 2007

BADC Artist Show, Results Gym, Washington, DC, September 2007

Woman’s Caucus of DC Show, Ratner Museum, Bethesda, Md., September 2007

1st Annual DC Art Expo (juried), Washington, DC, August 2007

artDC, Washington Convention Center, April 2007

Art League Student Show, Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, Va., February 2007

Howard University Alumni Show, Washington, DC, March-May 2005

Fairfax County Arts Council (juried), November 2004

Embassy of Ghana (juried),, Washington, DC, October 2004

League of Reston Artists Show (juried), June 2004

League of Reston Artists Group Exhibition, April 2004

Fairfax County Arts Council (juried), November 2003

Prince Georges County, MD Arts League Exhibit, October 2003

 

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VIKRAM SINGH: Young, Innovative, Extremely Creative & Talented Photographer Making Waves In India:

VIKRAM SINGH


Vikram Singh, also known as Vikk Photohub is a budding photographer who first came to my notice when I saw the pictures he took of my nephew, Arjun and his fiancée, Supriya…absolutely beautiful and breathtaking! Vikram is extremely talented and has a unique vision, a special grasp on taking pictures! His forte is capturing life and people in poignant moments. Below is a short description on Vikram by Vikram, himself, and some of his photographs.

If you like his work, please show your support by “liking” his facebook page at:


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vikram-Photography/232358250129559


I am 19 years old and am originally from Shahbad, a small town near Ambala, in India. I am a freelance photographer.  I stepped into this profession when I was just 15 years old. I never imagined that I would be a photographer. Since childhood, I had a deep interest in creative things; first I tried fashion designing but luck didn't favor me and then moved on to photography. I came to the city of Chandigarh to learn photography and not only is it now a much loved career but also my passion!


I click for different occasions such as weddings, parties, portfolios, etc. I keep grasping new things about photography from each shoot that I take; however, there is still a lot more for me to learn. This is just a stepping stone for me, and I don't want to leave any stone unturned. My dream is to go to Paris and work for Fashion Television. I aspire to become a successful photographer and fulfill my dream.”

"Like" Vikram Singh’s facebook page and view his work:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Vikram-Photography/232358250129559

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Conversation with Artist Charles Philippe Jean-Pierre by Anita Nahal, Founder & Chairperson, www.diversitydiscover.com

charles jean pierre

Hello Charles, It is a pleasure to meet you and have an opportunity to interview you. I loved your work! Tell us at Diversity Discover a little bit about your background.

I grew up in a vibrant immigrant household full of music, art, and extended family. Our focus on education and travel exposed me to a wealth of culture, language, and history that gave me a broader view of the world. I started to experiment with art at an early age by reproducing the classic Haitian paintings that were hanging in our home. I received my first formal art instruction as a youth on Chicago’s south side and continued to study at the graduate level at Howard University in Washington D.C.

What does diversity mean to you?

I think diversity is a word that has as many definitions as it has uses. My definition is acknowledging and celebrating culture. Diversity is larger than the social constructs of race, class, and orientation. It speaks to understanding differences in our family norms, traditions, and values.

Your work spans an array of topics and subjects, how does diversity impact your art?

I believe we all have a story. It’s what makes us unique. My art signifies my diverse story. I feel like I’m representing my family, culture, and generation with the type of art that I’m creating. My art is an avenue for me to share, communicate, and explore my diverse thoughts, ideas, and feelings. It speaks to the intersection of culture, spirituality, and politics. I use a diverse blend of media to create my paintings. A vast majority of my paintings are a blend of styles and concepts. I view art as a tool to reflect, inspire, and critique society.

What is the best place for someone to view or even buy your works of art?

My website has been the best place to view and purchase my works for the last six years. It has a portfolio section of my previous works and a gallery section, which highlights works that are currently for sale. It is also the best way to contact me. I love to interact with the community. My website is www.charlesjeanpierre.com

Thank you Charles, for your insight, and opportunity to interview you for www.diversitydiscover.com.  All the best!

Some paintings by Charles Jean Pierre:

I: AGENT ORANGE

charles painting 1

II: HEAR NO 2

charles painting 2

III: IN GOD WE TRUST

charles painting 3

 

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Diverse Monuments & Museums in Washington D.C.   

By

Anita Nahal        

I first visited Washington D.C. when I was about ten years old. I was enthralled and captivated at seeing the gorgeous monuments with their eye catching architecture and the enchanting manner in which they were flood lit up in the night…so stunning and appealing as well as soothing to the eyes!  If I had a choice to build a home, it would be from the Arlington, Virginia side overlooking the Washington monuments from across the Potomac. The reflection in the river makes it even more splendid to behold!

I enjoy the sights by driving around the monuments, especially during the night to catch their shimmer from the lighting or during the cherry blossom festival. I love the way the various monuments on the Mall stand majestically in one line from the Lincoln Memorial to the World War II memorial, to the Washington Monument and to the Capitol. Aside from the monuments, there are numerous museums, many with no entry charge. The museums that come under the purview of the Smithsonian Institution are free. The museums are very diverse – from natural history to the Space & Air museum to the Native American museum, the Holocaust Museum and so forth! One can spend many days going through all of them. Below is a listing of the various museums in Washington D.C.     

“ The Museums and Zoo -- The Smithsonian Institution—the world's largest museum and research complex—includes 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park. The total number of artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian's collections is estimated at 137 million. Among the vast collections are irreplaceable national icons, examples of everyday life and scientific material vital to the study of the world's scientific and cultural heritage. The objects in Smithsonian collections range from insects and meteorites to locomotives and spacecraft. The scope is staggering and only a small portion of the Smithsonian's collections (less than 2 percent) is on display in the museums at any given time. Many collections are acquired and solely used for research purposes.”   http://www.si.edu/Museums

D.C. Monuments:

Video of monuments BY NIGHT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dftGcAoCQR4&feature=fvst

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PKaFYl9fChw&feature=related

 

Video of monuments & museums BY DAY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wUHZk412dA

 

African American Civil War Memorial and Museum
The African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, DC honors and examines the African American's heroic struggle for freedom and civil rights.
Arlington National Cemetery Photos
See photos of Arlington National Cemetery, take a picture tour of America's most famous gravesites in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, DC
Arlington National Cemetery
America honors American heroes at the Arlington National Cemetery, a national cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, just across the river from Washington, DC
George Washington Masonic Memorial - Alexandria, Virginia
Learn about the Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia, see pictures of the monument and memorial honoring George Washington and the contributions of Freemasons, Learn about Freemasonry
Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month in Washington, DC
National Hispanic Heritage Month in Washington, DC, Celebrate the culture and traditions of Spanish speaking Americans, visit memorials that honor contributions of Hispanics to our nation.
Civil War Battlefields Near Washington, DC
Find information about Civil War battlefields near Washington, DC, including Gettysburg National Military Park, Monocacy National Battlefield, Antietam National Battlefield, Manassas National Battlefield, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park.
FDR Memorial-A Monument to Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Find out how to visit the FDR Memorial - a Monument to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, an important national landmark in Washington, DC
Iwo Jima Memorial - U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial
Iwo Jima Memorial, U. S. Marine Corps War Memorial, in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, DC, honors the Marines who have died defending the United States since 1775

Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC
Find out how to visit the Jefferson Memorial, a National Landmark in Washington, DC, a monument to President Thomas Jefferson
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Learn about the Korean War Veterans Memorial, a monument on the National Mall in Washington, DC
Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial, A National Landmark in Washington, DC, A monument and tribute to President Abraham Lincoln
Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove
Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove is a memorial to President Lyndon Johnson that is set in a grove of trees and 15 acres of gardens along the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Washington DC.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial Project
Find out about the plans to build a memorial for Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in Washington, DC
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial
The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, located in Washington, DC, honors federal, state and local law enforcers. Also, the National Law Enforcement Museum is scheduled to be built on this site with a projected opening date of 2011.
Navy Memorial and the Naval Heritage Center
The Navy Memorial and Naval Heritage Center in Washington DC honor and commemorate the sailors of the United States Navy.
Pentagon Memorial – Remembering September 11, 2001
Pentagon Memorial, commemorating the 184 lives lost in the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77 during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
Photo Tour of Memorials in Washington, DC
Photographs of Monuments and Memorials in Washington, DC, including the Washington Monument, WWII Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and more
George Mason Memorial in Washington, DC
The memorial located near the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC, honors contributions of George Mason, one of our founding fathers, with a larger than life-sized bronze statue in a landscaped grove of trees and flower beds.
Theodore Roosevelt Island – Washington, DC
Theodore Roosevelt Island, a memorial and wilderness preserve includes a 17-foot bronze statue of Roosevelt, and 2 1/2 miles of foot trails along the Potomac River near Washington, DC.
United States Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia
The United States Air Force Memorial honors the millions of men and women who have served in the United States Air Force. The Air Force Memorial is located in Arlington, Virginia overlooking the Pentagon, the Potomac River and Washington DC.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Women's Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC
Washington Monument
The Washington Monument, a national landmark on the National Mall in Washington, DC, Find out how to visit the Washington Monument in Washington, DC
World War II Memorial
The World War II Memorial on the National Mall in Washington DC is a beautiful new monument to help us remember the armed forces who served in World War II.
DC War Memorial – World War I Memorial in Washington, DC
The DC War Memorial, officially named the District of Columbia War Memorial, commemorates the 26,000 citizens of Washington, DC who served in World War I.
Vietnam Memorial Visitors Center
Learn about the construction of the Vietnam Memorial Visitors Center on the National Mall in Washington, DC. When completed, the Visitors Center will serve to educate visitors about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam War and will pay tribute to all of the men and women who served in all of America’s wars.
Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC
The Eisenhower Memorial, a national memorial to honor President Dwight D. Eisenhower, will be built on a four-acre site between 4th and 6th Streets SW, south of Independence Avenue in Washington, DC. The projected opening date for the Eisenhower Memorial is 2015.
American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial – Washington DC
The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial will serve as a national public tribute to the over three million living disabled American veterans and the countless hundreds of thousands who have died.

http://www.museumspot.com/cities/dc.htm

Art



 Science and Nature



 History and Culture



 Other

 

http://www.si.edu/Museums/

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A Window Into Indian Cinema

It is said that the Indian film industry is the world’s oldest and largest, producing about 1200 films per year, with the majority of these in the Hindi language.   Indian films are interesting, though long…mostly as long as two and a half hours!  Despite the length, Indian films are welcomed and loved in many countries of the world. And some Indian actors are world renowned. Nutun (born 1936) was one of the most beautiful Indian film actresses of all times, loved both at home in India and abroad.  The article below by Satish Chopra depicts her wonderful role in the movie, Bandini, (In Bondage or Imprisoned).  You can also read more about her at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutan

Satish Chopra, in his article below, Seething Quietude: Nutan in the film-Bandini, has artistically conveyed the unusual story line of the movie…a murderess loved by two men, one being a doctor in the prison.  At the end of the movie, she is released from jail and gets another chance to start afresh with the love of her life!  Chopra leaves the Hindi words (though written in English letters) intact to retain the flavor of the movie.  Hope you will enjoy this tiny window into the charismatic world of Indian cinema.

Seething Quietude: Nutan in the film, Bandini

image from the Indian film Bandini

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandini_(1963_film)

The nostalgic Indian cine and music lovers perhaps must be aware that genius Bimal Roy was the photographer for P.C. Barua’s film, Devdas. starring K.L. Saigal & Jamna. He was again the editor of the all-time musical great, Mahal. But he was best known as a director “par-excellence.” He produced and directed some of the classics pictures such as Do Bigha Zamin, ‘Madhumati, and ‘Devdas. In 1963, he produced and directed yet another marvel, Bandini, starring Ashok Kumar and Nutan.

The film was based on a fascinating story of Jarasandh, a famous Bengali novelist, who was a jailor by profession. The narrative depicts a female prisoner, Kalyani,(enacted by Nutan), serving eight years imprisonment on a murder charge.

In a  flash back, Kalyani, daughter of a village post-master, meets and falls in love with the revolutionary freedom fighter, Vikas Ghosh (played by Ashok Kumar), who accepts her as his wife. But the circumstances separate them before they are married according to customs.

Perturbed by gossip among the village folk, Kalyani leaves her home and lands at her friend’s place in Allahabad. Thereafter, for her survival, she accepts the petty job of an attendant at a nursing home. Here, she is made to look after a female patient suffering from hysteria, who turns out to be the wife of Vikas Ghosh.  

One day, on receiving the news of her father’s arrival in Allahabad and subsequent road accident, Kalyani rushes to the hospital and finds his dead body. Highly depressed and completely numb, she leaves her father’s dead body and returns to the nursing home only to find her patient in a fit of hysteria.

The mental agony of Kalyani is portrayed through some remarkable images --pumping of kerosene stove, sound of the flames, sparks of welding, and the hammering of iron in the vicinity (shown across the window of the Nursing Home).  Subsequently, Kalyani poisons the patient (Vikas’s wife). 

Indeed, the role played by Nutan in these scenes created critical moments in the annals of acting of Indian cinema. The complete portrayal of such sequence of events is unique in the fields of directing, editing, lighting, and camera.

The story line moves further and Kalyani, convicted of a murder charge lands in the jail where the doctor (the maiden role played by Dharmendra) attending to the prisoners is attracted to Kalyani. She refuses to respond to the doctor in view of her past. Dejected, the jail doctor resigns.  The calm, subdued, depressed and subtle characterization of Kalyani in jail, depicted by Nutan is simply matchless.

After serving the sentence, Kalyani finds herself at the scene of a remarkably created waiting area of steamer-cum-railroad station of Maniharighat. The images created of smoke coming out of a steam engine and also from the chimney of the steamer portray her state of mind. Also the mental conflict of Kalyani pictured through these visuals, whether to board the train and to be with the doctor (who is still waiting for her) or to board the steamer where she may join Vikas Ghosh are mesmerizing.  The totality of the scenes create unforgettable cinematic achievements for Bimal Roy and Nutan’s dynamic portrayal of her role is stunning.

Nutun acted in over 60 films in a career that spanned from 1950 to 1991. Some of the other famous movies that she acted in include: Seema, Paying Guest, Sujata, Devi etc.  She won six Filmfare ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filmfare_Awards  ) awards and received nomination for five.  From all her films, her role in Bandini was perhaps her best.

You can read more about her at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutan 

Satish Chopra (b.1942 Lahore)M.A. from University of Delhi (1965). Served in the Central Bank of India for 37 years (1964-2001) in different managerial capacities and kept alive his keen interest in nostalgic music and love for learning and literature. Chopra has written 15 research papers on luminaries of the Golden Era of Indian cinema. The list includes such greats as: K.L.Saigal, Pankaj Mullick, Anil Biswas, Kidar Sharma, Khemchand Prakash, Naushad, Sajjad Husain and Shailendra

Email: satishchopra@rediffmail.com

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