Featuring 243 different ways to attend performances, explore exhibitions, and engage in public conversations, one of the main purposes of the festival is to stir up a new way of conversing on the sociological, biological, and cultural aspects of skin. Art & Ideas will be presented for 22 days at 26 different venue throughout Pasadena. A festival of such enormity is likely to leave its mark on the community.In an effort never before seen, Art & Ideas involved 22 festival partners who are creating programs that feature their own take on the theme. “A single venue can do. an exhibition on. a theme, but if you have multiple venue exploring a theme from different points of views, then you create a more complex mosaic of content around that subject,” said Stephen Nowlin of Art Center.
Included in Art & Ideas, an exhibition entitled “The Soldier’s Skin: An Endless Edition” by Mary Beth Heffernan will be held through Nov. 17 at the PCC Art Gallery. The Soldier’s Skin is a photographic series documenting tattoos memorializing fellow Marines of the Iraq war.
Some of the photographs are of fresh tattoos, showing the effects the tattooing process has on skin. These visuals are meant to stimulate the observer into thinking deeply about the soldiers’ situation in this current disheartening time of war. Instead of framed prints of the works, posters will be laid in stacks on the gallery floor free for anyone to take home.
A separate but related event will take place Oct 23, 29 and 31 at Harbeson Hall called “The Anatomy of a Tattoo” that will study tattoos through the eyes of a scientist as well as a tattoo artist on the basic anatomy of the skin and process of having it tattooed. A live tattooing will take place to show the risks involved. Blood and needles will be involved.
Other parts of the Art & Ideas program include lectures and meetings on campus. Literary scholars including Oliver Mayer, Professor of Dramatic Writing at USC; Velina Hasu Houston, professor and Director of Dramatic Writing at USC; cultural poet, novelist, journalist, and activist Luis Rodriguez; award-winning poet and journalist, critic Michael Datcher, will discuss skin and race through the literary mind.
In a lecture called “Changing Our Skin,” Dr. Nayiri Doudikian-Scaff speaks on the history and techniques of plastic surgery. A group of architects and environmental artists will participate in a moderated discussion of their work related to building “skins” in “Pliant Prefab – An Intersection of Disparate Ideas in Architecture.”
The Pasadena Arts Council is the organizing partner for Art & Ideas. The festival has received support from the City of Pasadena, local businesses, foundations and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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