Monday, December 30, 2019

Happy New Year From Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season!

 
We hope you are your family are having a wonderful holiday season. As 2019 comes to an end, we reminisce on all of the wonderful memories from the years past – and look forward to a clean slate with better health, wealth, luck and love!
 
On behalf of Warner Bros Home Entertainment and the Blu-ray & DVD release of Big Little Lies: The Complete Second Season on January 7 – we wanted to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. Whether you are celebrating early with the kiddos at home, or getting a sitter for a night out on the town – in the words of Madeleine Mackenzie we wanted to remind you that - “Champagne Is Never A Mistake!”

 

 

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Artist Mira Lehr >> Confronting Climate Armageddon: Opening exhibit >> Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando, FL.


Confronting Climate Armageddon:
Mira Lehr, one of the art world’s pioneer environmental activists, presents High Water Mark on the 50th anniversary of her mission to protect the earth.
Opens January 24 – May 10 at the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando
Photo of artwork
At the age of 85, Mira Lehr is hitting a new high water mark in her career with national critical acclaim and a passion for protecting the planet from climate Armageddon.

Mira Lehr has been championing environmental action since 1969, decades before others jumped on the climate bandwagon. It was fifty years ago that Buckminster Fuller chose Lehr for his groundbreaking World Game project, which that year coincided with the first Lunar landing.
She was one of only two visual artists selected that year, alongside a group of scientists, poets, economists, historians, and performers from around the country.

Fuller’s team of cultural pioneers worked on ways to make human life sustainable on the planet, and it was also a year before the very first Earth Day demonstrations.
It was a time of great hope. For the first time mankind could see the whole earth in its entirety from the moon, and as an artist I was inspired by a new global vision,” says Mira Lehr as she looks back on this crucial event that she was chosen to participate in fifty years ago. 

Pictured below are the 1969 participants of Buckminster Fuller's visionary World Game. Lehr is in the first row, third from the right, Fuller is center holding the globe.
The creative pioneers chosen by Buckminster Fuller for his 1969 World Game.
Mira Lehr is in the first row, third from the right, and Buckminster Fuller is center, holding the globe.
Now, on the 50th anniversary of her artistic turning point, the Mennello Museum of American Art in Orlando has invited Mira Lehr to present a new exhibition with a fateful title: High Water Mark.
Mangroves - The Protectors (detail), by Mira Lehr
At the age of 85 and with a career that spans more than six decades of artmaking, Lehr is creating more new work now than at any other point in her life ─ with a heightened sense of urgency.
“The time to act is now. We must start referring to this perilous issue as what it really is: Climate Armageddon,” says Lehr.

The artist lives in Miami, a coastal city that is ground-zero for sea level rise. When she put together this new exhibition for Orlando, Lehr made some startling discoveries about the Central Florida area. 
Recent studies show that especially in Florida, even inland cities like Orlando are impacted by sea level rise and its ripple effects. “The works in High Water Mark confront these current scenarios that we all face, wherever we live,” says Lehr.
Invisible Cities (detail), by Mira Lehr
According to Gary Mitchum, oceanography professor at the College of Marine Science, University of South Florida: “Climate change is causing flooding inland, too.” He is an expert in climate change that leaders in Central Florida have turned to for help with resiliency plans. 
“We have torrential rains that go on for days,” Mitchum recently told the Florida Senate’s Committee on Infrastructure and Security. “It’s going to get worse as the climate continues to warm. Not only are seas rising and rain intensifying, but the warming climate also has allowed invasive species and tropical diseases to extend northward into Florida,” said Dr. Mitchum. 
Beachwalk Dusk, by Mira Lehr
“I created these works to sound a clarion call for awareness and action,” says Lehr. 
For this new exhibition in Orlando, Lehr points her artistic spotlight to recent news about how the dangers of Climate Armageddon are already encroaching into Central Florida.

Waters are overflowing from local lakes into homes, forcing residents to abandon their properties (weather.com/news/news/2019-10-01-rising-lakes-gotha-flood-orlando). This Orlando neighborhood is worried that changing weather patterns brought about by climate change could make this worse.
Climate Armageddon is bad for the local tourism industry too in Central Florida and Orlando, as Yale Climate Connections reports that increased heat waves are making amusement parks too uncomfortable for visitors.
The new guide to the types of problems that climate change is creating for beloved places across the U.S. reports that “daily highs in Orlando could rise above 95°F on 50 days each year by 2050 – eight times the average today.”
Many of the works in Lehr's new exhibition that opens in Orlando on January 24 have never been seen this way before.
Photo of artwork
Magenta and Green Mangroves, by Mira Lehr
For the first time, her majestic Mangrove Labyrinth installations have now been reimagined as The Protectors
These sculptural behemoths are reconfigured up onto the actual walls of the museum, climbing sideways across the gallery walls to surround the viewer. This emphasizes their guardian status, showing how Mangroves surround and protect against flooding. 
Mangroves - The Protectors (detail), by Mira Lehr
Visitors will feel like they are walking inside the root systems. Lehr’s nature-based work encompasses painting, sculpture and video installations. She uses non-traditional media such as gunpowder, fire, Japanese paper, dyes and welded steel, and she ignites and explodes fuses to create lines of fire across her paintings.
As an homage to Buckminster Fuller, this show also features 15 drawings by Lehr that are rarely exhibited to the public. These are taken from mixed media paintings she created for an artist’s book to honor the World Game. 
Above - some of the rarely seen images by Mira Lehr from her artist's book honoring Buckminster Fuller's World Game of 1969.
“Bucky had a great influence on my life,” says Lehr. “These images relate to Fuller’s concepts that I found to be meaningful to me while working with this inspiring man.”

They include:

If used efficiently, there are enough resources to go around . . . Mankind is meant to be a success on this planet . . . and, You can never learn less.

The artist’s book is in the collection of the Rare Book Archives of Vassar College, Thompson Memorial Library.
Hitting a New High Water Mark in Her Career
Mira Lehr
She has also hit a new high water mark this year with major national and international recognition. Reaching even greater heights at this late stage in her life, at the age of 85 Lehr was recently selected for a major solo museum show that headlined Art Basel in Miami Beach. 
This exhibition is currently hailed as a must-see by national art editors, who featured Lehr at the top of their lists for Art Basel 2019
Critics are calling Lehr “The Godmother of the entire Miami Art Scene” because in 1960 she created one of the nation’s first co-ops for women artists. Her mentoring of young artists throughout six decades, and her passion to succeed in the male-dominated art scene of 60 years ago, benefited many in the early art community.
The new exhibition in Orlando showcases how Lehr is creating more art now than she has ever made before.

Curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan, the show is tailored to the Mennello Museum’s galleries with four distinct installations in each of the main gallery spaces. 
Below the Surface is a seven-foot-wide glass-like sculptural installation with a ring of jelly fish flying up towards the ceiling.
Photo of artwork
Below the Surface, by Mira Lehr
Included among the works is Siren’s Song, a monumental series of ten panels that dominate one of the main galleries, spanning 40 feet in length and seven feet tall. 
Siren's Song, by Mira Lehr
The site-specific installation Mixing Currents takes up an entire gallery with video projections and hanging light bulbs to convey the idea of nurturing the ocean by propagating corals in indoor aqua-cultures. Her Creation triptych also commands large-scale attention. 
Photo of artwork
Invisible Cities, by Mira Lehr
Invisible Cities is a series of brass-conformed nettings that cluster along the gallery walls. Inside each netted “cage” are names of extinct species. They bring to mind the importance of community, the way that corals form cities with their exoskeletons upon each other.
Invisible Cities, by Mira Lehr
To Lehr, this communicates how we are all interwoven as communities upon the earth. “We all depend on one another,” says Lehr. “If we lose one community, we will lose them all.”
Creation, by Mira Lehr
Her Golden Anniversary as an Eco Warrioress
“It seems like yesterday, but it changed my creative life forever,” says Mira Lehr of her participation in Buckminster Fuller’s World Game at the New York Studio School in 1969, and its ecological emphasis. 
"This changed how I looked at the world. I became very aware that we are all meant to survive, and to survive well, on this planet.” 
Buckminster Fuller leads a session during his 1969 World Game. Mira Lehr is standing at the top-left corner.
The World Game’s mission statement was: “to make the world work, for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” 
The group that Buckminster Fuller selected in 1969 consisted of only two visual artists, one of whom was Mira Lehr. 
"Since then, nature has always been the driving force of my work,” says Lehr. “This led me to realize my goal as an artist is to make people love the environment. The natural surroundings that we are gifted to live with on this planet are so amazingly beautiful. If people appreciate its beauty and love the environment, then they will protect the earth.” 
About the Artist
Lehr’s solo and group exhibitions number over 300. She is a graduate of Vassar College (1956) with a degree in Art History, under the mentorship of Linda Nochlin, the feminist art historian. 
She has been collected by major institutions across the U.S., including the Smithsonian Museum of American Art (Washington), the Getty Museum Research Center (Los Angeles), Perez Art Museum (Miami), and the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center (NY), among many others. 
Her work is in the private collections of Elie and Marion Wiesel, Jane and Morley Safer, and the artist Judy Pfaff, among others. Her most recent solo exhibition headlined Art Basel Miami Beach at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU and is receiving critical national praise.
In the 1950s, Lehr studied and worked in New York as an artist, where she met some of America’s most prominent masters including: Joan Mitchell, Lee Krasner, and Helen Frankenthaler. She studied with James Brooks, Ludwig Sander and Robert Motherwell, and within the Hans Hofmann circle. 
Mira Lehr with Robert Motherwell in 1964 (photo by Klara Farkas)
When Lehr moved back to Florida in 1960, she was shocked at the lack of an art scene, especially for women. She convinced many of the famous masters from New York to visit and lead workshops for her league of women artists and this helped foster the evolution of art in Florida. She founded Continuum in 1960, one of the country’s first co-ops for women artists.
Lehr is included in the prestigious Leonard Lauder Corporate Collection in New York. Thirty of her paintings were commissioned for the permanent collection of Mount Sinai Hospital. Her work can be seen in American Embassies around the world and is permanently on view in the lobby of the Evelyn Lauder Breast Center of the Sloan Kettering Memorial Center. 
Her video installation, V1 V3, was on view at the New Museum, NY. Her work has been included in numerous art fairs during Art Basel Miami Beach, including Art Miami, Pinta Art Fair and INK. She was the recipient of the Vizcaya Museum Lost Spaces Commission, where she was commissioned to create a site-specific installation by the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens as part of Vizcaya’s centennial celebration.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Add Chicago Humanities Festival to your holiday gift list

 
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THE YEAR OF POWER IN REVIEW

CHF BRINGS PEOPLE TOGETHER



With the holidays approaching, we're nearing the end of our 30th anniversary Year of Power. 120+ events, 50+ venues: CHF brings writers, artists, scientists, comedians, and more to your neighborhoods, connecting our city with a world of conversation. Watch a short video celebrating our 30 year history!

Your support has powered CHF for 30 years, making our mission and programming possible. We hope you'll consider adding CHF to your holiday gift list this year!
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