Thursday, January 31, 2013


Today is the birthday of Trappist monk, social activist and poet Thomas Merton, born January 31, 1915.

All classic shapes have vanished
From alien heavens
Where there are no fabled beasts
No friendly histories
And passion has no heraldry.

I have nothing left to translate
Into the figures of night
Or the pale geometry
Of the fire-birds.
If I once had a wagon of lights to ride in
The axle is broken
The horses are shot.

Monday, January 28, 2013


Seattle street artist No Touching Ground is busily moving through South America, posting gorgeous images and getting attention.

A few weeks ago, he put up a mural in Buenos Aires of Susana Trimarco, an activist who has been fighting for ten years to free sex slaves in Argentina.

From Wikipedia:

After [her daughter was kidnapped], Susana began to visit brothels dressed as a prostitute trying to find her daughter Marita. She received threats and was given false clues in order to mislead her search. Her investigations lead to the release of other women deprived of their liberty.

Read more about NTG's travels on his website, or check out other people checking him out on the Buenos Aires street art blog, here and here.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Films for the Kiddies

A great weekend of film coming up for the younger set and the adults who love them.

 On Thursday night, the Children’s Film Festival opens at the Northwest Film Forum on Capitol Hill. Over the past 8 years, this has become the largest and most respected film festival on the West Coast dedicated to children and their families. Over the next week, the NWFF will screen more than 120 films from 35 countries, all geared toward young people. The festival opens with the local premiere of Zarafa, a gorgeous film from French animators Rémi Bezançon and "Triplets of Belleville" supervising animator Jean-Christophe Lie about an escaped slave boy and the baby giraffe he befriends. Saturday morning brings a special screening of live action and animated short films proceeded by an all-you-can-eat pancake and bacon breakfast. A wonderful annual event, not to be missed.

On Sunday night, and completely unrelated to the film festival, the Seattle musical duo Miles & Karina come to the Royal Room in Columbia City with a rare live performance of their original score to the oldest existing, full-length animated film, "The Adventures of Prince Achmed," made by film pioneer Lotte Reiniger. Taken from The Arabian Nights, the film tells the story of a wicked sorcerer who tricks Prince Achmed into mounting a magical flying horse and sends the rider off on a flight to his death. Miles and Karina have traveled the world with this film, and are bringing it back to Seattle for one night only. Sunday at 7:30, and open to all ages.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Antonio Frasconi always believed that art should come from a place deep within one’s self. Born in 1919 in Buenos Aires to parents who had emigrated from Italy during World War I, Frasconi grew up in Montevideo, Uruguay. He moved to New York in 1945 to study at the Art Students' League. By the 1950s he had become widely recognized as a leading graphic artist, especially in woodblock printing. Over the course of the next fifty years he illustrated and designed hundreds of books, including the poems of Langston Hughes, Pablo Neruda and Walt Whitman.

His work was patient and meticulous. Before producing a woodcut titled “Sunrise — Fulton Fish Market” in 1953, he spent three months wandering Lower Manhattan’s wharves and the holds of fishing boats. He spent hour upon hour studying “just how a man lifts a box,” he said.

For many years Mr. Frasconi, a citizen of both Uruguay and the United States, taught at Purchase College of the State University of New York. He died on January 8 at the age of 93.

Monday, January 21, 2013


A poem for Martin Luther King day, by Langston Hughes

That Justice is a blind goddess
Is a thing to which we black are wise:
Her bandage hides two festering sores
That once perhaps were eyes.