Visual Art

Some facts about the color red

Red is one of the oldest colors still in use. For example, artists continue to use red ochre, which was originally used for prehistoric cave drawings. The pigment is made from clay that turns red after being mixed with a mineral.

A deep red ochre called sinopia — named for the ancient Greek city where it was mined — became a valuable and expensive pigment representing power and victory. Women in ancient Egypt used sinopia in makeup. During the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci, Rembrandt van Rijn, and many other artists used it. It also is still in use today.

Read more about the color red at Mental Floss.

Inspiration

An acclaimed painter from America’s past

Detail of a woman looking into a mirror from one of Pauline Palmer’s paintings
Detail from one of Pauline Palmer’s paintings

Pauline Palmer, one of the outstanding women artists in AmericaPauline Palmer was an American artist based in Chicago.

In 1919, Palmer became the first woman elected president of the Chicago Society of Artists. The New York Times, in 1938, upon her death, noted that many art critics celebrated her as one of the most important painters in America.

She was known for her portraits, but also did landscapes and still-life oils. Her work was widely exhibited during her lifetime.

Born in 1867, she died in Norway while on a trip to Europe with her sister.

Community

Pride Flags: Many Colors and Meanings

Photo from reddit

June is Pride month, a time of celebration for the LGBTQIA+ community!

You may be familiar with the traditional rainbow pride flag, but did you know that there are many different flags that represent many different sexualities and gender identities? Here are just a few of them:

Photo from Como Mag

How has the Pride flag evolved over time? Here’s a little bit of queer pride flag history, courtesy of The Complete Guide to Queer Pride Flags by Ariel Sobel. Check out the article for even MORE LGBTQIA+ Pride flags!

Gilbert Baker Pride Flag

In 1977, Harvey Milk challenged Gilbert Baker, a veteran who taught himself to sew, to come up with a symbol of pride for the gay community. His response? The original Pride flag. Inspired by Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” these colors flew at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade celebration on June 25, 1978. Though some dispute whether Baker was the sole creator of the flag that started it all, its symbolism remains. Each color celebrates an aspect of queer Pride:

Hot pink =  Sex
Red = Life
Orange = Healing
Yellow = Sunlight
Green = Nature
Turquoise = Magic/Art
Indigo = Serenity
Violet = Spirit

1978-1999 Pride Flag

After the assassination of Harvey Milk, many wanted the Pride flag he commissioned to commemorate his accomplishments for the community and their personal support. The demand was greater than the available fabric, so the Paramount Flag Company began selling this version of the flag, as did Gilbert Baker, who had trouble getting hot pink fabric.

Traditional Gay Pride Flag

This is the most familiar flag. In 1979, the community landed on this six-color version, which was hung from lampposts in San Francisco. Numerous complications over having an odd-number of colors led to turquoise being dropped, at least according to reports. Read more about the modern flag here.

Philadelphia People Of Color Inclusive Flag

Noting that queer people of color are often not fully included in the LGBT community, the city of Philadelphia added two colors — black and brown — to the Pride flag in their honor. The city had previously faced accusations of racial discrimination in its gay bars, which led 11 queer nightlife venues to take antiracism training. Many white men were outraged by the flag, claiming that rainbow includes all skin colors, but with a star like Lena Waithe donning it at the Met Gala, it seems the design is here to stay.

Progress Pride Flag

This new flag seeks to take Philadelphia’s inclusive approach a step further. Daniel Quasar, who identifies as queer and nonbinary, designed this flag. The white, pink, and light blue reflect the colors of the transgender flag, while the brown and black stripes represent people of color and those lost to AIDS. “When the Pride flag was recreated in the last year to include both black/brown stripes as well as the trans stripes included this year, I wanted to see if there could be more emphasis in the design of the flag to give it more meaning,” Quasar explained on his Kickstarter.

Photo from USA Today

Here’s a great article about the history of Pride month for those interested in learning more about the origins of this month of queer love, resistance, and celebration!

History

“Remember the Ladies”

Painting of a young Abigail Adams on a book cover“IN THE SPIRIT
OF
CELEBRATING
OVERLOOKED CAREERS…”

A museum on the southern coast of Maine, in the small enclave called Ogunquit, is hosting a small exhibition of work by women artists dating from the first half of the twentieth century. Its title — “Remember the Ladies” — is a phrase borrowed from future First Lady Abigail Adams. She wrote it in a letter to her husband John, eventual POTUS, as he headed off to represent Massachusetts in the Second Continental Congress in 1776. “The exhibit places the artists in a continuum of American history that begins with the Revolutionary War era and continues to today.”

“Art made by women represents a tiny fraction of what contemporary museums show and collect. This has always been an unwavering prejudice, though in the late nineteenth century and for several decades thereafter change was in the air. Women achieved new levels of education and professional employment, and enthusiastically turned their attention to art. This show highlights a small group of artists who spent summers in Ogunquit, studying with Charles Woodbury, founder of the town’s first art colony. Because they made art their life’s work, these women were exceptional for their time.”

collage

Studio of curiosities

“THIS IS WHERE THE MAGIC HAPPENS.”

Photo of artist Peter Blake's studio in London

Learn more about Peter Blake, described as Britain’s ‘godfather’ pop art. Early in his career he started experimenting with collage. He “redefined what collage can be: a collision of media, genre, time and space.”

“Much like his collage, Blake’s studio displays a pathological passion for amassing a dizzyingly broad assortment of things. It’s a portal to another world, brimming with 50,000 items including a fleet of model ships and a dresser piled high with hats for every mood and occasion – this is where the magic happens.”