elvisbillboard 001Let’s be frank here: Elvis devotees are a lot like fish in a barrel. Anyone can shoot them, with reliably satisfying results. Their reverence almost invites intrusion. So the measure of a portfolio of Elvis believers is not the colorfulness of the characters – that much is a given – but the empathy of the photographer. Anyone can capture the tribe’s signature plumage. The trick is teasing out the individual humanity underneath.

“It’s like religion, where people put their trust in something,” she said. “They trust in him. He guides their lives. They wake up with Elvis, they get married with Elvis. He’s there all the time.”

Elvis Is Everywhere: http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/04/08/elvis-is-everywhere/

Clarence Hudson White: Born on April 8, 1871

white1Before White was able to become a full-time artist and teacher, he worked for nearly a decade in Newark, Ohio, balancing a bookkeeping job with his avocation as a photographer. Featured in the third issue of Camera Work, White received international recognition for his work. His strength was composition, prompting one critic to write: “Study White carefully for what he can teach you about the proper adjustment of his subjects to the spaces they occupy.” In 1906 he moved to New York and assisted Alfred Stieglitz in the operation of his newly opened gallery.


When White first began teaching, the medium of photography was coming into its own as a means of artistic expression, and its advantages for communication had been acknowledged. Photographs were preferred over wood engravings and often over drawings for illustration in newspapers and magazines. The use of photographs in advertisements was on the rise. But no place existed for people to learn how to use the camera in the art of seeing.

white3Charismatic amateur photographer and teacher Clarence H. White was inspired to found a school that would advocate applying art principles to professional and commercial as well as art photography.

Clarence H. White: https://media.artic.edu/stieglitz/clarence-h-white/
Clarence H. White: https://artmuseum.princeton.edu/collections/maker/1788

2016 Grants for Visual Artists

The Grants for Visual Artists award provides direct support to under-recognized artists 21 years or older.
The deadline for eligible artists to apply is May 4, 2016 (11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time).
To apply, a $15 application fee is required. Fees are applied to grant administration and program development.
Applicants must use the foundation’s online application system to submit the following:
~ Artist resume            ~ Artist statement (200 words)            ~ Work samples (up to 10)

April 8: Hana Matsuri (Buddha’s birthday Festival in Japan)

Traditionally, Buddha’s Birthday is known as Vesak or Visakah Puja (Buddha’s Birthday Celebrations). Vesak is the major Buddhist festival of the year as it celebrates the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha on the one day, the first full moon day in May, except in a leap year when the festival is held in June. This celebration is called Vesak being the name of the month in the Indian calendar. In Japan, which adopted the Gregorian calendar in the 19th century, Buddha’s Birthday always falls on April 8.

How Japanese people celebrate Buddha’s Birthday~
Buddhism in Japan~
Japanese Buddhist Art~
The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism~ http://www.exoticindiaart.com/article/symbols/

Premiered April 8, 1876: “La Gioconda”

Composer Amilcare Ponchielli was born in Italy in 1834. He started composing operas while still a student at the Milan Conservatory. After graduating in 1854, he held various positions over the years, including professor of composition at the Conservatory; his pupils included Giacomo Puccini and Pietro Mascagni. His most famous opera is “La Gioconda”, written in 1876. It is mainly remembered for its ballet, Dance of the Hours.

The Dance of the Hours is probably the only opera ballet that has established a life of its own in both the concert hall as a stand-alone orchestral work…and in pop culture: Walt Disney’s 1940 animated film Fantasia, for example, used the music for a ballet performed by tutu-clad hippos, ostriches, alligators and elephants. And in 1963, parodist Alan Sherman set words to the tune of Ponchielli’s day music with its all-too-familiar four-note theme. Sherman’s “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter from Camp)” hit No. 2 on the pop charts.

Ponchielli’s biography~ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/amilcare-ponchielli-mn0000496351/biography

Synopsis of “La Gioconda“~ http://www.opera-arias.com/ponchielli/la-gioconda/synopsis/