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Monthly Archives: October 2018

George Lucas picks Los Angeles over San Francisco to build $1bn museum

In the battle between Los Angeles and San Francisco the force was with the former yesterday (10 January) when George Lucas announced plans to build a museum to house his collection of art and memorabilia in Exposition Park. The Star Wars creator abandoned plans to establish the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago last summer after a two-year legal fight with conservationists, setting his sights on California instead.

The decision to build the futuristic-looking museum in Los Angeles comes after nearly a decade and a close-fought competition with San Francisco, which had recently offered Treasure Island as an alternative home. Thanking the mayor of San Francisco, Ed Lee, and the city’s board of supervisors “for their tremendous efforts and engagement”, the directors of the Lucas Museum acknowledged the decision had been a difficult one “precisely because of the desirability of both sites and cities”.

However, Los Angeles won through because the city’s Promise Zone “best positions the museum to have the greatest impact on the broader community”, the board said. The Lucas Museum, which will house the film-maker’s extensive personal collection that includes 10,000 paintings and illustrations by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Robert Crumb, among others, will nestle among the California Science Center and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

“As a museum uniquely focused on narrative art, we look forward to becoming part of a dynamic museum community, surrounded by more than 100 elementary and high schools, one of the country’s leading universities as well as three other world-class museums,” the directors said.

Michael Govan, the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Kerry Brougher, the director of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, were among those who voiced their support for the Lucas Museum at a meeting with the Los Angeles county board of supervisors in November.

Lucas has pledged around $1bn to the project, which is estimated to create at least 1,000 permanent posts. Building the 250,000 sq. ft museum is also due to provide tens of thousands of temporary construction jobs. Its directors said they are now turning their attention to finalising the details and “building what we believe will be one of the most imaginative and inclusive art museums in the world”.

Deadpool on List of Nominess

La La Land,” “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight,” three films that have been pulling in top honors all awards season, were among the Producers Guild Award nominees announced Tuesday. The list of 10 also included “Deadpool,” which was a huge hit at the box office but not so much among prize-givers.

Contending for the Darryl F. Zanuck Award, the producers’ equivalent of best picture, are:

“Arrival”

“Deadpool”

“Fences”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“Hell or High Water”

“Hidden Figures”

“La La Land”

“Lion”

“Manchester by the Sea”

“Moonlight”

The Producers Guild also revealed its animation nominees on Tuesday: “Finding Dory,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” “Moana,” “The Secret Life of Pets” and “Zootopia,” which won the Golden Globe on Sunday.

The guild had previously announced its best documentary nominees: “Dancer,” “The Eagle Huntress,” “Life, Animated,” “O.J.: Made in America” and “Tower.” All except “Dancer” are on the shortlist for the Oscar for best documentary feature.

The PGAs have a strong track record of picking a feature winner that goes on to take the best-picture Oscar as well. That was the case from 2007 through 2014, more or less. In 2013 there was a tie but one of the guild’s winners, “12 Years a Slave,” did win the Oscar. Last year, though, the producers crowned “The Big Short,” while “Spotlight” nabbed the Oscar.

So if you’re hoping the PGAs will provide insight into the Oscars, you might want to wait until the guilds’ winners are clear. The PGA Awards ceremony will be held on Jan. 28. The next night will be the Screen Actors Guild Awards (nominees were announced last month). Then on Feb. 4 comes the Directors Guild, which will reveal its nominees later this week.ness

What is Arts and Crafts?

Arts & Crafts is more a philosophy of design than a set of characteristics. At the center of the Arts and Crafts Movement is something holy, a reactionary vision standing against materialism. The the spirit of Arts and Crafts is a kind of kairos, the moment when the spiritual breaks through or incarnates the spiritual into the material worlds of architecture, furnishings and the decorative arts — and it is from that center of understanding that we can trace its lineage and its future.

John Ruskin and William Morris

Although it was William Morris whose name became known as the cornerstone of the Arts and Crafts movement, it was John Ruskin’s second chapter on the Nature of the Gothic in his book, The Stones of Venice wherein he expounded the Arts and Crafts heresy against 19th century industrialization:

You must either make a tool of the creature, or a man of him. You cannot make both. Men were not intended to work with the accuracy of tools, to be precise and perfect in all their actions. If you will have that precision out of them, and make their fingers measure degrees like cog-wheels and their arms strike curves like compasses, you must unhumanize them…. — a heap of sawdust, so far its intellectual work in this world is concurred: saved only by its Heart, which cannot go into the forms of cogs and compasses, but expands, after the ten years are over, into fireside humanity.

Entering Exeter College at Oxford in 1852, William Morris intended to take holy orders. At Oxford, he met Edward Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti and joined a group called ‘The Brotherhood’ whose members were strongly influenced by Ruskin’s praise of the creative imagination expressed by medieval artisans:

On the other hand, if you will make a man of the working creature, you cannot make a tool. Let him but begin to imagine, to think, to try to do anything worth doing: and the engine-turned precision is lost at once. Out comes all his roughness, all dullness, all his incapability; shame upon shame, failure upon failure; pause after pause: but out comes the whole majesty of him also; and we know the height of it only when we see the clouds settling upon him. And whether the clouds be bright or dark, there will be transfiguration behind and within them.

After spending a summer touring the the cathedrals of northern France, and being particularly stricken at the beauty of Reims Cathedral, Morris returned to England resolved to study architecture. He took up an apprenticeship at the architectural offices of George Edmund Street, a leading Gothic revival architect. Within a year, on the advice of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, he abandoned architecture in favor of painting. It was during this brief time as a painter that he made the acquaintance of Jane Burden, later persuaded by Rossetti to model for their small circle of painters.

Why Using Art in The Classroom ?

1. Responding to art can be very stimulating and can lead onto a great variety of activities. In its simplest form this might be describing a painting, but with a little creativity all sorts of things are possible. For example, the well-known ‘grammar auction’ activity can be redesigned as an art auction, where the students have to say a sentence about the piece of art – anything they like – and then the rest of the students bid according to how accurate they feel the sentence is.

2. Using art provides a useful change of pace. While many teachers use visual images to introduce a topic or language item, actually asking the students to engage with and respond to the piece of art can encourage students to become involved on quite a different level.

3. Incorporating art into the class or syllabus can take the students out of the classroom and encourage them to use their language skills in the real world. A visit to an art exhibition or an assignment that involves research on the internet can generate all sorts of language.

4. Thinking about or even creating art can be very motivating. It can take the emphasis off of accuracy and put it onto fluency and the ability to clearly express thoughts and ideas. This is great for students whose progress in speaking is hindered by a fear of making mistakes.

5. Responding to art has the potential to develop students’ creative and critical thinking skills. Students as low as pre-intermediate level will be able to read a short biography of an artist and discuss how their art depicts different aspects of their lives.

These are just some of the reasons why art can be successfully used in the language classroom. Now let’s have a look at some of the common problem areas and try to identify some solutions for these.

Potential problems and solutions
Problem: As we all know, art is very subjective and therefore we may be faced with students who are reluctant to engage with the chosen examples of art.