Blog # 116…April 2021
I’m reading a lot more than usual these days, time that used to be spent swimming, eating out, seeing friends, going to movies, well you know what I mean. So the past few blogs have been slanted towards the printed word, nothing wrong with that, but I’d like to get back to some other forms of creative activity.
Part of art’s job is to find beautiful ways into and sometimes through what's controversial or hard, maybe unbearable. Artists are responding to current issues in some brilliant ways…take a look below, at the huge mural mounted by students at U of T on the side of their building on Spadina, just north of College - each letter is composed of student's drawings. The visibility of black accomplishments is also being supported by ads in the New Yorker featuring black-owned restaurants. It's happening all over!
|Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design|
Tim Okamura left Edmonton in the early 90's for NYC and had a bird's eye view of the pandemic from his apartment across from a major hospital. In March 2020, his cousin died of the virus on a cruise ship and Tim developed it himself, fostering a personal as well as professional interest that led to a new direction in his painting - centering on powerful scenes of front line workers at their jobs.
Jazz singer Alex Pangman began singing with 30% lung capacity due to cystic fibrosis and her voice and career began to soar after a double lung transplant in 2008. Her experience led to an interest in other musicians who had overcome physical difficulties: from Django Reinheart who developed unique original guitar chords after a devastating hand injury in a fire, to our own Jeff Healey, visually impaired from birth, playing his guitar flat across his lap…and of course, George Shearing and Stevie Wonder - and Beethoven.
I'm lingering on the thoughts about friendship that I put out last month - theyve become deeper and more personal as I've been in a position to need the support of friends, including the ones who happen to be in my family - dual citizens, so to speak. Although I thought I was sneaking unnoticed into my mid eighties, it seems aging won't be ignored and I had a successful hip replacement since we last met, March 24th to be exact. I'm almost as good as new, for now anyway. And my friends are the best!
See you next on May Day...many conditions of work are in a sorry state right now, changing, disappearing, causing terrible suffering in so many ways beyond economic - keeps me awake at nights!