Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This is a guy spending the day taking some trees down in my parent's yard (in prep for a pool! woo hoo!).

His buds hit the road at lunch time. This guy? Decided to drop where he was standing and take a nap. In some poison ivy. Yikes.

(Photo taken by Mom. On the sly.)
Tree Taker Downer

Monday, June 22, 2009

One Object/365(?) Day Project

Earlier this year I volunteered myself to participate in a Flickr project in which I take a picture of the same object for an entire year. Things went well for awhile, but I got lazy one week...that turned into a month...and then, forget it, no way to catch up without some serious fibbing.

I figured if I didn't do it right I shouldn't do it, so it turned into a One Object/100 Day Project.

That's just fine with me.

Anyways, here's the object. It is a heart made of clay beads created by Billie Beads. Billie and Bob are a fun and funky husband/wife duo out of New York that make all kinds of things out of this medium...skulls, masks, piggy banks, Christmas pins. I've hung onto this for years.

1/365 Nov 18 2008

And this represents the 100 day span:


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Guerilla Performance Art

I went to a performance at the Nathan Bedford Forrest Park on Saturday morning put on by a professor of mine. I didn't know what to expect going into it, but I was quite impressed at how it turned out. Here's the article about it in the Commercial Appeal Sunday paper and some pictures I snapped.

Wendi C. Thomas: Performance art tells stories to spark dialogue

Piece sparks dialogue at monument

In a controversial public space that houses the remains of a long-dead Confederate war veteran and sparks strong sentiments among the living, stories that are usually muffled can be heard.

Saturday morning, a group of students and volunteers proved that to be true with an hourlong performance art piece directly in front of the Nathan Bedford Forrest monument in the Downtown park named for the Ku Klux Klan leader. University of Memphis' Richard Lou, the first nonwhite chairman of the art department, sought no permission for this performance, as the "guerilla" nature of the piece was part of the point.

Worries that the police would usher everyone out were unfounded, as the park officers who drove up on the grounds seemed fascinated by the piece; one officer took pictures with a cell phone camera.

Cubes, when arranged in a pyramid formed an 8-foot-high image of fire. They were carefully taken down by university volunteers, and re-stacked again and again -- into a map of the Mississippi River, a Choctaw warrior, a drawing of a slave auction, of Fort Pickering and lastly, what the park would look like if, magically, Forrest disappeared.

During the construction, two students sang spirituals. When each image was whole, a Memphian would stand in front of the pyramid and tell a story.

Robert Bain spoke of completing the park with a monument to anti-lynching activist and Memphis journalist Ida B. Wells.

Elaine Blanchard, a Unitarian minister, told a childhood story of an elderly neighbor who cut through a wire fence to make a gate for her, a single act of kindness and acceptance never forgotten.

Lou's son, Ming, 16, spoke of his grandfather, a Chinese immigrant who worked in the Mississippi Delta.

Immigration activist Francisco Dias spoke of police tearing up his car in search of drugs that weren't there, treatment he suspects was based on his Latino heritage and souped-up ride.

Art professor Earnestine Jenkins told of her grandfather, Garvin Fouse, who fought in World War I, in a rare black fighting division.

And Augustin Diaz danced in full Aztec warrior garb as Raul Venegas drummed for a crowd of about 50.

Sitting in the grass was art buff and local basketball legend Elliot Perry. "Whether it's a monument of pride or humiliation, it just depends on who's looking at it," he said.

"Life is learned through art. I'm looking through different goggles, but I don't see it as a rich and noble heritage."

Lou, of Mexican and Chinese descent, was more direct: The fact that the monument exists is a testament to white supremacy; his piece adds historical accuracy.

The assembling and dissembling of the cubes was designed to repudiate and complicate the space and the story, and do what good art does -- spark dialogue.

Who is allowed to tell what stories in contested public spaces?

Whose stories do we honor?

Whose stories are left out?

It's not about redacting history, as critics might accuse, but fleshing it out and moving away, Lou said, from the binary construction of race and including the stories of the growing Latino community, stories that will become Memphis' heritage.

Framing and reframing the monument each time the cubes shifted to form new images, the movement brought the rapt crowd into the present with stories of times gone by.

And in a space that has been home to just one story -- Forrest's -- it was fitting that on this day, he had no one there to speak for him.

He sat there mute, trapped as if in prison, as the future danced all around him.

Contact Wendi C. Thomas at (901) 529-5896 or e-mail thomasw@commercialappeal.com.

Follow Wendi at twitter.com/wendi_c_thomas.

Wall of fire!
Unitarian minister
cute doggie!
Aztec warriors III
Aztec dance II
Aztec dance

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New Moon


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Levitt Shell

The Levitt Shell in midtown Memphis began a fabulous series of free concerts last year. In June and September, they host these concerts four days a week with a different theme every day: Thursday (Americana), Friday (R&B, Gospel and Soul), Saturday (Kids and, separately, Musica Latina) and Sunday (World Rhythms).

They have concessions, but it is more fun to bring a picnic, spread out a blanket, and hang out on the lawn right in front of the amphitheatre. Definitely something to check out!!

This past Saturday we went to see the Mosquito Burritos with the kids, then stayed for Alex Cuba. Both were excellent!


Sunday, June 14, 2009

Leslie & Jason's baby room

Only a week or two left before the little guy is here!  Thankfully, he's got super cute digs...


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Paper Art

Check out this beautiful paper art by Julene Harrison!  I SO want to learn how to do this!!  If you look at her site, she makes it look easy...but I'm sure this is terribly difficult to do.

Julene Harrison paper art
Julene Harrison paper art II

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Black and White Film

These are some photos I shot using black and white film.  This was my first experience developing pictures in a darkroom, and it was great!  The film scanner to which I have access is broken, so most of these pictures were scanned from prints...not ideal, of course, but I'm just not going to worry about it today.


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