Friday, February 29, 2008

Excerpts from my talk at the NBMAA Feb 24th

“Unlimited Love”
Ink on scratchboard
Collection of Gino Jokar, Art Toy Museum : Hollywood, CA

When contemplating how to put the concept of "love" into an image, I went back into one of my favorite books, "The Power of Myth" by Joseph Campbell. If you don't know about him, you should check out his tapes or books; one of the best philosophers of our time. I came upon a symbol from the Medieval ages of a wheel used to symbolize marriage/love. It said that if you think of a marriage or love as a wheel where one sits on the rim going up and down and not in the center hub where it is stable and not moving, then one will move through the love and marriage and life. This metaphor is so strong as we often can feel as if we are barely holding onto the wheel inrelationships of love or even life. Sometimes we grip the wheel with the utmost confidence. Think about how one grips a wheel to stay in control..sometimes we can't avoid swerving and sometimes it is a smooth ride where we barely touch the wheel. Staying on the rim, be patient, accepting that it is not always perfect but we are moving forward through the ups and downs. If we fall off of the wheel, we can always get back on. Ah, the medievalists had it right I think!

From the museum tag: I was inspired by the “Institute for Research on Unlimited Love” which studies Altruism, Compassion and Service, this piece represents the social support that has always been important to survival. Stephen G. Post, a professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University is the president of the institute. Dr. Post wrote a passage in my monograph “Open Spaces”. He wrote, The universal law of love is this: In the giving of self lies the unsought discovery of a better self. The moment we quietly realize that another person means even more to us than ourselves, we are reborn into a more abundant world. True happiness flows from the affirmation of others, so we never find happiness if we settle for selfishness. In the end, there is no dualism between altruism and egoism. The problem is not love of self, but only that we love ourselves wrongly. The purpose of life is to grow in love, which is to be
always leaning forward out of a life we learn from into one that is better.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Cathie Bleck : New Britain Museum of American Art : Reception + Book Signing + Lecture

Kind thanks to all of you that came out for the reception on a sunny Sunday, Feb. 24th. It was a big honor and so much appreciation goes out to the director Douglas Hyland for creating a vision and a space for my solo exhibition-I cannot thank you enough. My husband George and I picked up our son James in NY city and headed up to the museum on Saturday so we could take it all in quietly the day before. On Sunday we had a huge turnout of art enthusiasts and great people from all over Connecticut and some New Yorkers, it was pretty overwhelming. My husband's grandmother, Cari Jackson now 99 years young took painting lessons for 20 years with Sandy Low, an artist and collector and one of their founding fathers of the museum. It was historic for me because of this to have my first museum show with them.
Dear friends: The incredible Artist, Barbara Kilpatrick and her husband, Dr. Chuck Bardes came over from their weekend home in Ghent. Also, the talented and gracious Diane Meier of Meier Brand, NY and her charming husband, Frank Delaney, well known Irish author and BBC, NPR broadcaster traveled from Washington, CT. My brother Jim Bleck, of Bleck Design Group and his sweet wife Jane came down from Chelmsford, MA and collector Linda Griffith, MIT super scientist came in from Cambridge. The honorable educator and fine illustrator Murray Tinkelman and his wife Carol came by to say hi as well. Also, two of North Americas finest illustrators shared the day : Cynthia Von Buhler, from Staten Island,NY and Jody Hewgill all the way from Toronto. Jody and I had traveled to Rome together last year for a show we are in still circulating in Italy on 43 of the top female illustrators in the world. Cynthia just finished up an almost year long solo show at the Staten Island Museum came with her husband, Russell. Jody was joined by her husband, the all around talented Balvis Rubess. Michael Sloan brought his wife and all of his beautiful children-sorry my talk was so crowded and you had to hang outside with the kids. Other folks included my agent from NY for 12 years Jacqueline Dedell and her husband Ira Shapiro. They have been preserving land in the Cornwall area of CT. Thanks Ira for your purchase of "Bearing Gifts"! Artist Danielle Mailer came by at the end of the talk, sorry time was too short to talk and looking forward to visiting your class this spring. Thanks also to Lynn Connelly, Cora Lyn Diebler and her partner, Aunt Margie's cousin and family and all of the good folks from The New Britain Museum of American Art!! You all made the event so memorable...kind thanks!

Photos: Established in 1903, the New Britain Museum of American Art was the first museum devoted to work by American artists. Its collection includes over 4,000 works that span the last three centuries. Ann Beha Architects built a new wing recently which blends beautifully within the setting of historic homes and Walnut Hill Park, designed by Olmsted. My son James and I outside taking it all in, me and MIT scientist and collector, Linda Griffith, the cases in the show, Toronto artists Jody Hewgill and her husband Balvis Rubess, family shot James and George (missing Cari and Ana), Director Douglas Hyland having some fun, loads of art fans and a final picture so you can see the scale of my newer works.