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September 2008

PICTURE THE FUTURE: OBAMA'S WORDS

 Barack Obama at Clinton Global Initiative, Sept 25, 2008: excerpts

Iza cowan tara with cherries  "Climate change. Poverty. Extremism. Disease. These problems offend our common humanity. They also threaten our common security. You know this. The question is what we do about it.

We’re not going to face these threats of the future by grasping at the ideas of the past. In many cases, we know what we have to do. We talk about the solutions year after year. This must be the time when we choose not to wait any longer. We must marshal the will. We must see that none of these problems can be dealt with in isolation, nor can we deny one and effectively tackle another. That’s why you’ve come to CGI. Because that’s what this moment calls us to do."

Iza cowan tara with cherries "The scale of our challenges may be great. The pace of change may be swift. But we know that it need not be feared. The landscapes of the 21st century are still ours to shape.

We see the potential for progress every time someone starts a job creating new energy, or an idea carries a community out of poverty; we see it every time a girl walks through the doors of a new school, or a boy lives to see another day because he had a simple net around his bed. These are the dreams that we must make our own.

We live in a time when our destinies are shared. But our destinies will be written by us, not for us. Now, it falls to us to get to work."

Full text here

image: Liza Cowan, 2003, ink on paper: Tara Wtih Cherries - Om Mani Padme Hum



PICTURE THE FUTURE: OBAMA ART part 5

Today, another painting by New York City artist TMNK, The Me Nobody Knows.
Check out Nobody's blog here


TMNI _ Tomorrow

TOMORROW - by TMNK-The Me Nobody Knows - used by permission of the artist. Contact TMNK here before reprinting.
mixed media on stretched canvas (approx 18" x 24")


"Tomorrow, and the hope it brings seems somewhat closer than it had in the past as the result of Barack Obama's candidacy. I'm not so naive as to believe that Obama is the "Great Black Hope," our political messiah. But whether he wins or loses, I am more hopeful than ever that my children will be valued for their contributions, and what's inside of them. A Black man elected as President of The United States? I never thought it could happen in my lifetime, yet it might happen Tomorrow. Growing up, I could not play basketball at the local park in Glen Ridge, NJ (residents only - wink), but I'm hopeful that Tomorrow, if my son and his best friend rode their bikes there, like Odell and I once did, they'll be able to play together (without the police telling them that they have to leave, cause they aren't residents? - How did they know?).
I've never voted in a presidential election before (didn't really care), but I will Tomorrow. I didn't think there was much a "nobody" like me could do to make my community a better place to live, but today I know differently. I don't listen to politicians. Yet I heard Obama when he said "Together, Ordinary People Can Do Extraordinary things, " and I believed him. Tomorrow, Malcom Rolling, Patrick, AxelEarth, No LOVE, Michael Littlejohn, and perhaps the diverse student body of WOHS will have brighter future because of a nobody like me. And America is better today, than it was yesterday because a little boy called "Barry" grew up to be a man called Obama, who inspired hope for tomorrow. TOMORROW
"
                   
                                                                                       TMNK - The Me Nobody Knows

       

PICTURE THE FUTURE: OBAMA ART, Pt. 4

Blog yes-we-can with artists  

Yes We Can! Voices of a Grassroots Movement: compilation CD from Obama '08

I bought the downloadable version of this new Obama fundraising, community building album, Yes We Can! Voices Of A Grassroots Movement. It costs $24.99 for eighteen songs. Or $30 for a CD. I put it on iTunes and am blasting it in the gallery. The vocal artists are  Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Dave Stuart, Shontelle, Los Lonly Boys, John Legend, BeBe Winans, Suai, Jill Scott, Ozamantli, Jackson Browne, Cheryl Crow, Malik Yusef with Kane West and Adam Levine, Yolanda Adams, Keb' Mo, Karen Stacey and Buddy Miller.

The music is great and I love hearing Obama's speeches and words mixed into the tracks. A recording of Martin Luther King giving his I Have A Dream speech behind BeBe Winan's I have A Dream - it's hard for me to listen without crying.

This beautiful album is not just fun and inspiring to listen to, it's also a great organizing tool.  As an old folkie, I never underestimate the power of music to educate and inspire. 100% of the proceeds go to the Obama '08 campaign. You can buy it from the Obama '08 website. Click here

The following is from the press release by album producers Hidden Beach, the independent record label in Santa Monica, CA:

"Spearheaded by Hidden Beach CEO and Founder Steve McKeever, Yes We Can came about as a result of a broad-based and increasingly urgent desire by artists and other conscious individuals to join in the grassroots efforts to bring about positive change. Hidden Beach, widely respected for innovation, quality and a commitment to social empowerment, was considered the logical place to harness this energy and bring this project to light.

The call for material and participation inspired more than 150 submissions from some of the industry’s most respected, talented and accomplished artists hailing from all music forms and backgrounds. Whether current hits, new tunes or classic tracks, central to the material chosen for Yes We Can are the songs paralleling the Obama campaign’s core ideas of patriotism, perseverance and a sense of shared responsibility, among other concepts defining this historic movement.

“This year’s election has inspired unprecedented enthusiasm and activism. Obama supporters from Nevada to New Hampshire are finding their own way to get involved– volunteering to knock on doors, registering new voters, and artists have created new works, including posters, sculptures, and music,” said Obama campaign spokeswoman Moira Mack. “With the stakes so high and November right around the corner, we are thankful to all the Obama supporters who are communicating the importance of voting in this election.”

“Thanks to the hard working staff at the entire Obama campaign along with the help of some of the world’s top artists and industry professionals, we’ve created what we believe to be the first-ever presidential campaign compilation,” said McKeever. “The incredible response by the creative community to this project underscores how deeply inspiring this campaign has been across boundaries. The artists involved here truly reflect America’s diversity, and speak to a real grassroots approach to affecting change.”


Youth for Obama!

My youngest customer yet, that is, the youngest to ever spend her hard earned and hard saved money, came in on Saturday to buy an Obama bag by Flashbags.

SPY with obama bag

SPY (her initials, not her job description), who is twelve years old and in the seventh grade, saw the bags here at Pine Street Art Works during  Art Hop and decided that it was well worth spending her own money on. She plans to use the bag to carry her school books. Burlington, VT  is passionate for Obama, and our infectious hope for the future has inspired our young people.

Hurray for the progressive voters of tomorrow, who know they can make a difference today. $20 of her purchase price has been contributed to the Obama Campaign.


PICTURE THE FUTURE: OBAMA ART part 3

Remember to check out the website Obamaartreport.com

I have fallen in love with this artist: TMNK- the me nobody knows

TMNK website

OBama by TMNK

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?
TMNK™ - The Me Nobody Knows -used by permission of the artist. Contact TMNK here before reprinting.
mixed media on canvas 24" x 36 "

see TMNK's Flickr site

Text from TMNK's flickr site:

In Stanley Kramer's 1967 movie "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?", a whirlwind romance by an interracial couple forced their families to confront their attitudes about race. The male love interest, and lead was a young NEGRO played by Sydney Portier. Matters were only further complicated by the fact that this was no stereotypical NEGRO. Smart, accomplished, ARTICULATE, polite, and sophisticated.
Well here we are some 40+ years later, and guess who may be coming to dinner?
Yup, another smart, accomplished, ARTICULATE, polite, and sophisticated Negro, accept today they're called Black.
It seems America is in the midst of filming an updated version of that cinematic classic starring Barack Obama. This time around , however, the love interest is not a "white woman", it's THE WHITE HOUSE! And just like the parents in 1967, America is being forced to confront it's racial attitudes (the one's it supposedly doesn't have).
You think Tilly had a fit when Sydney Portier's character wanted to marry the sweet little white girl she had helped raise. Well Tilly honey, will likely piss in her panties when she sees who's at the front door of the white house.
Guess who's coming to dinner now Tilly? "Hi, my name is Barack Obama."



PICTURE THE FUTURE: OBAMA ART part 2


Obama shephard fairey orginal sold at charity auction - art for life $108,000
Shephard Fairey, Obama Hope 2008

Continuing my mini series on Obama Art, here is the now famous picture by Shepard Fairey, Obey Giant, Obama Hope 2008. Fairey is a Los Angeles based graphic artist whose work, politics, commitment, and marketing strategies I admire greatly.

This mixed media stencil collage sold for $108,000 at the Art For Life auction/Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which provides "disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color"

Fairey's work consciously evokes Aleksandr Rodchenko and other Russian avant garde  poster designers like Dziga Vertov, whose work I also adore. In fact, his work references most of the cannon of poster art. ( Thegiant.org -not Fairey's site - has a list of sources  - follow this link.) As a dedicated FAKE! myself, I appreciate this urge, and value how Fairey has taken on the cannon, borrowed heavily, yet made for himself a very distinctive look. I do wish he would rigorously credit the artists he borrows. Nothing wrong with FAKE! but giving credit is not only ethical, it also helps people learn about great art.

His work for the Obama campaign and Rock The vote is invaluable, and I honor him for that.


F1f3c8f710e8e89b723373435bf05d1c                       Images
Shepard Fairey, Say Yes               Aleksndr Rodchenko


And it just so happens that this event takes place tonight. Another Shepard Fairey design.

Milk-bar-1

Shephard Fairey - Party For Change

Website to visit for more Obama Art - The Obama Art Report. Check it out.

thanks to The Obama Art Report, again, I found this article from the LA Times on Graffiti Art/Street Art and the Obama Campaign


PICTURE THE FUTURE: OBAMA ART part 1

I love posters. You already knew that. Although I'm a major fan of vintage ones, there's some awfully good work being done now. And sure enough, in time they will become vintage too.

Obama_date farmers

This Obama poster was done by Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez, known collectively as The Date Farmers. I don't own this poster yet, but I want one.


THE UMBRIDGE TO NOWHERE

Umbridge_suspended

Harry Potter and The Order Of The Phoenix, film. Clipping from The Daily Prophet

Palin = Umbridge. If you are not a Harry Potter fan, this will take a bit of catching up, but for the rest of the world, this comparison is dead on. The blog, Listofnow, has a good overview. For background on Dolores Umbridge read here

Read all about it!!



One small thing you can do every day: OBAMA POSTCARD

Blog obama or else

Obama Or Else postcard. Design Liza Cowan 2008 Creative Commons

Remember to send me an SASE to get these post cards. $.59 postage gets you ten cards. Or email me if you or your organization wants more. Liza(at)pinestreetartworks.com.

The cards are great for starting conversations about the election. Mail them, hand them out, leave them around your neighborhood. Organize. Make Change Happen. (Don't you just hate McShame for stealing the word change? Lying liars. Can't even think of their own buzzwords.)

Pine Street Art Works, 404 Pine Street, Burlington, VT 05401

Remember - you can make your own cards too, even if just a few on your home computer or at your local copy shop. Be creative and say what you believe. Or go ahead, use mine (tho I'd like a teensy credit somewhere) Just get the word out and Organize!

Update Nov 6th - Now that the election is done and won, these cards have become collectibles rather than propaganda. I gave away close to five thousand of them gleefully. Now they cost $1.00 e

$1.00 per card

+ $0.75 postage for up to ten cards.

send check or cash to pine street art works. 404 Pine Street. Burlington VT 05401


Who is Wicked?

While my daughter GW and I were in LA a couple of weeks ago we went to see Wicked:The Untold Story of The Witches of Oz at the Pantages Theater. It happened that John Rubenstein was performing his last night in his role as The Wizard of Oz. John directed my brother Geoff Cowan's play Top Secret: The Battle For The Pentagon Papers, so we got to go back stage after the show, which you can imagine was great for all of us, but what a super birthday present for my ten year old daughter. 

 john rubenstein. wicked, backstage at wicked

GW and John Rubenstein backstage at the Pantages Theater, LA. 2008. GW is a huge polar bear supporter and raises money for The World Wildlife Fund.

I adored the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maquire when it first came out in 1995. The show didn't disappoint. We've been listening to the score non stop since we came home. One of the biggest hits of the show is the song Popular. Sung by Kristin Chenewith in the orginal cast album, the lyrics are hauntingly true right now. Not strange since Wicked is political satire. Among other things.

In Wicked the truth is that the Wicked Witch isn't wicked. She's green, she's different and she's a political agitator. Galinda, her roommate at school, starts off being narcissistic, vain, shallow and not particularly good. Through her friendship with Alphaba (the wicked witch) she is redeemed. The villian, however, is The Wizard. Under his dictatorship he has silenced the Animals - the animals who have the power of speech and rational thought. And he is winning. Why? Because the people of Oz don't understand what he is doing. Remember, "Pay No Attention To the Man Behind The Curtain" in the movie? Pay attention only to the illusion - Oz The Mighty. Don't notice that in fact he is a calculating, manipulative, small minded, evil human. (not in the film or the original books, but in Wicked.)

Galinda, the blond, narcissistic, aristocratic ditz, sings to Alphaba:

When I see depressing creatures
With unprepossessing features
I remind them on their own behalf
To think of
Celebrated heads of state or
Specially great communicators.
Did they have brains or knowledge?
Don't make me laugh!

They were popular! Please -
It's all about popular!
It's not about aptitude
It's the way you're viewed
So it's very shrewd to be
Very very popular
Like me!

Music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz

Is this what we're seeing with Sarah Impalem' and John McShame? You bet! Including silencing The Animals - human and otherwise. In Wicked the witches defeated evil. Here, it's up to us.

Blog sarah shoots a polar bear composite


HEINRICH HARRER AT BURLINGTON, VERMONT ART HOP: PINE STREET ART WORKS

Lordy. It was in the nineties and humid as the tropics. But we had over a thousand visitors to PSAW  during Art Hop to see the amazing exhibit of photographs of the last free days of Tibet, taken Heinrich Harrer at the request of the young Dalai Lama. Harrer was the author of Seven Years In Tibet. Publisher Leslie DiRusso, who came up from New York for the opening, was astounded and gratified that even in the thick crowds, even with all the other events and exhibits going on for Art Hop, people stood and read all the commentary, stayed to ask questions, and were so engaged with the work.

Dalai Lama, Heinrich Harrer, escape from tibet

Dalai Lama's Flight from Tibet. 1951. Photo by Heinrich Harrer. Used by permission.

Text for this photo, taken from writings by Harrer:

The wind springs up early across the treeless, almost lifeless, Tibetan plateau. By midday it sweeps with gale force, carrying sand or snow, stinging and cutting travelers' faces. What light there is casts a bleak twilight pall over the wastelands.

Here, second from the left, the newly invested Dalai Lama, flanked by two of his personal khenpo (abbots), staggers against the winds on the Plain of Tuna in his flight from the Chinese advance. In the foreground struggles Phala Dronyer Chenmo, the Lord Chamberlain.

[ available as a 16x20-inch individual silver gelatin photograph.]


 

My annual Art Hop guest vendor is Flashbags, our wonderful local bag and accesories manufacturer. The amazing Ali Marchildon and Laura Cheney filled my back room with their goods, which they make right here in Vermont. The biggest hit was their Obama Bag! These are made of laminated paper, individually stitched on their sewing machines, using grommets and beverage tubing for handles. Each bag has the image inside and out, and there's even a cell phone pocket.

Obama_bag_web 

Obama bag by Flashbags.

You can get these online from Flashbags, or if you are in the neighborhood, I have them in stock.


 

I also gave away almost a thousand Obama Or Else postcards to a crowd who are anxiously biting their nails to the nib over this election. It was gratifying to get such an overwhelmingly positive response to the card. I know, it's a self selecting audience in Burlington, Vermont, big surprise, not. But still. My message to them, and to everyone, is - do something every day to help elect Obama and defeat the lying liars.

Blog card with white border

Obama Or Else postcard. Design by Liza Cowan, Pine Street Art Works. 2008

I got a wonderful email about the cards on Saturday, after the opening of Art Hop.

Liza, I just had to tell you how awesome your "Obama - Or Else" card  is!  You have said it all with just a few words.  I am 71 years old and have never been so worried about the outcome of an election.  I just pray that he makes it for the sake of my grand children and the next generation.
   Thanks! Bill


I've got 5,000 more cards coming next week. I am giving these away. If you want some, send me a stamped self addressed envelope and I will send you a bunch. 10 cards = $.59 postage (I just checked at the PO) If you want to make an extra donation that's fine, but not neccesary. My address is Pine Street Art Works, 404 Pine Street Burlington, VT 05401.


ARTICLE ABOUT LIZA COWAN AND PINE STREET ART WORKS IN ART MAP BURLINGTON

Here's a really nice article about me from Art Map Burlington, a monthly publication from Kasini House in Burlington, part of a series on local curators. Kasini house are  the folks who bring you First Friday Artwalk, own and operate Kasini House Gallery, and are movers and shakers in the Burlington art scene. The article was written by G. Blake Mcphail. It is truly one of the best things ever written about me.

Banner2

pine street art works, people in art gallery, informal gathering, red wall,


Pine Street Art Works’ Liza Cowan

        When Liza Cowan lost her studio lease and a former factory space on Pine Street became available--commercially zoned and too large for a single artist’s studio-- the artist/entrepreneur came up with a vision for a retail gallery “literally, within twenty-five seconds.”

        Cowan spent her youth in New York City surrounded by art. Her parents made it a priority in the family’s world. Cowan describes an early education that makes today’s primary school art programs sound tragically anemic by comparison. Her family also has a long history in retail and business. Today, Cowan melds these influences into the unique venture that is Pine Street Art Works. A portrait of her businessman grandfather hangs above her desk by the door, where Cowan can often be found posting to her blog and greeting customers.

        Selling her own art had necessitated developing extensive business and marketing skills, and Cowan realized she could offer these skills to other artists. She had always been fascinated by, and good at, business and retail, having worked in postcard and ad specialties, designed window displays, and served as president of the Woodstock, New York Chamber of Commerce.

        Following what Cowan calls a “career-altering” course in marketing photography, she had an epiphany: her chances of making a living as a fine art photographer were slim. Although this was devastating, during the course she also realized an important strength: her ability to understand, evaluate and critique art.

        Thus, Pine Street Art Works was born out of “discouragement, self-evaluation, and real estate.”

        The result is inspired, an emporium of one person’s eclectic taste that is personal and specific, yet also wholly inviting. This accessibility may be due to the contents, which blend aesthetic gold and consistent quality with a sense of humor (20th-century technicolor advertisements, circus posters, antique toys, paint-by-number paintings, Flashbags, and pottery table settings are some offerings), but possibly more important is Cowan’s explicit goal of allowing visitors to feel comfortable.

        “It should be fun to walk into an art gallery,” she says. Having seen her share of snobbishness in gallery settings, Cowan feels that an arcane set of knowledge about art shouldn’t be a prerequisite. Visiting an art space is certainly a learning experience, but anyone should be able to walk through the door and learn in an unintimidating environment. Walk through the door they do, with Pine Street Art Works drawing visitors from all over the world. This is, of course, partly due to a strong web presence, but the Liza’s passion, ambition, and wide-ranging knowledge and taste don’t hurt.

        The Pine Street Art Works space mirrors an original vision that has evolved somewhat. Separate but cohesive rooms, one of which resembles a rambling studio, are delineated by brightly colored walls that don’t extend all the way to the ceiling; mannequins in the windows wear saucy art-inspired ensembles, and a dressmaker’s dummy occupies a corner across from a stack of antique hatboxes. The gallery showroom resembles a living space--your cool older cousin’s city loft, maybe--filled with contemporary furniture by local artists, including Kirk Williams, Kat Clear, and John Marius. All of these elements underscore Cowan’s vision within an environment driven by the original factory space.

        Many exhibition artists are found on the internet; some are acquaintances and friends; and some come to her through word-of-mouth. For the numerous artifacts populating her former factory space, Cowan attends auctions, digs through yard sales, accepts items on consignment, and displays her personal collection of ephemera, amassed over a lifetime. Acknowledging that certain of these last are not for sale, Cowan points out that Pine Street Art Works is, in a way, like a museum. Then she says, with a smile, “I like to say the place is like a museum where everything is the gift shop.”

        Cowan, who expresses a strong desire to teach, learn and communicate, offers art with a distinct lack of pretension, generously inviting the public into a world where “pop culture is every bit as important as fine art culture.”

        G. BLAKE MACPHAIL


HEINRICH HARRER PHOTOGRAPHS AT ART HOP

It's time once more for Art Hop, Burlington's once a year art festival. Over 600 artists will be showing work in over 100 places in Burlington's South End.
Check out the SEABA (South End Art's and Business) website for the full scoop.

Evite harrer postcard

This year Pine Street Art Works is excited to present a series of photographs by Heinrich Harrer taken in the years preceding the Chinese takeover of Tibet in 1951. The prints are from The Heinrich Harrer Limited Edtion Portfolio, Leslie DiRusso,Pubisher.

From the website of The Heinrich Harrer Limited Edition Portfolio

"Heinrich Harrer, noted Austrian explorer and mountaineer, escaped over the Himalaya from a prisoner-of-war camp in British India with Peter Aufschnaiter, and then lived and worked as a fifth-ranked nobleman in the forbidden city of Lhasa. As confidant and informal tutor to the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Harrer was afforded access to ceremonies and customs that had been rarely witnessed by Westerners.

" In the company of the Tibetan nobility, Harrer photographed a virtual family album of their lives and, in so doing, captured the richness and heart of a people: the moments with friends and family who had long accepted the photographer's eye. The Tibetans' joy at play, the leisure of the nobility, the splendor of the Buddhist rituals, the windswept plains of the high plateaus,Harrer's photographs document this with a mountaineer's sense of scale and an explorer's sensitivity to culture.

"Harrer left Lhasa in advance of the Chinese army in December 1950. Harrer's memoir, Seven Years in Tibet, has been translated into 53 languages, with more than four million copies sold. In October 1997, a motion picture based on his book, starring Brad Pitt as young Heinrich Harrer, was released by Tristar to major box-office success. Seven Years in Tibet, the book, again soared on best-seller lists around the world.

Harrer's body of work spanned more than six decades of exploration on six continents. Harrer received numerous honors, including the Eiger Gold Medal, Gold Humboldt Medal and the Explorers Club Medal, for his many expeditions and explorations, which number more than 600. He wrote 23 books and received credit on more than 40 film productions.

"Heinrich Harrer probably didn't realize it at the time, but his photographs captured a culture that has now all but vanished. His photographs are significant because he was actually shooting for the Dalai Lama, documenting Lhasa so the Dalai Lama could see what life was like outside the Potala. That gave Harrer unique access to ceremonies and scenes of everyday life that no other Westerner has ever had.

It's really miraculous that these photographs exist at all. Heinrich Harrer discovered a can of unexposed 35mm movie film and bought a used camera from a Tibetan friend. He didn't have a light meter, but he had five years to study the city and its people."

In October 2002, His Holiness the Dalai Lama presented Harrer with the International Campaign for Tibet's Light of Truth Award to honor Harrer's humanitarian effort to bring the situation in Tibet to international attention.

Heinrich Harrer and the exiled Dalai Lama remained steadfast friends until Harrer's death on January 7, 2006. "

Leslie DiRusso, Publisher

Evite harrer LIFE
Heinrich Harrer Photograph, LIFE Magazine, April 23, 1951

Harrer's Nazi Past

At the time that the film Seven Years In Tibet was being made, the German Magazine Stern came out with an article disclosing that Harrer had been a member of the Nazi Party in Austria. Google it, it's all over the place.

As a curator, an ethical person and a Jew, I had to think a lot about this information. To say that I spent many a restless night would be an understatement. My decision to exhibit the pictures is based on a couple of ideas.

These photographs are do not exist in the realm of fine art. That is, they are not a statement Harrer is making about himself or his beliefs, but about the subject he was shooting. They are documentary images, meant for that purpose. (I understand the complexities of documentary photography, but perhaps another time...) They were taken at the request of The Dalai Lama and document a moment in history that is not only crucial in the history of Tibet and China, but of which there is almost no other visual documentation.

A close reading of Seven Years In Tibet (which I loved, by the way, it's a great read) did not convince me of any racial, political or eugenicist motivation, at least as far as Tibet is concerned. We don't know what Harrer thought about Jews, Gypsies or Homosexuals - the usual victims of Nazi Terror. He claims to have joined the Nazi Party to be able to secure a position on a state funded climb, and to teach skiing. He claims he only put on the Nazi uniform once, to get married.

On this subject Orville Schell said ''There are not that many moments in life when to claim to be a craven careerist of the most calculating sort is a step up from ignominy.'' At any rate, Harrer was in a Prisoner Of War Camp during the war and what he did politically before the war we don't know. After his time in Tibet he dedicated much of his time to helping the Tibetan cause. He was vetted by Simon Wiesenthal, came out OK, and that's good.


"We must look at these photographs and remember that China invaded Tibet in 1950 and since then has systematically destroyed the indigenous cultural and religious practices. We must remember that Tibetan culture now exists primarily in exile. We must acknowledge the haunting nature of images of a culture now erased. We must realize that imperial nations destroy and create. After all, it was the imperial agenda of the Nazis, one that sent a young SS officer named Heinrich Harrer to India in the first place. And we must acknowledge the imperial and expansionist nation that we too live in, a country that is destroying Iraq even while it produces beautiful and haunting images of this destruction. We must remember for that is what Harrer's photographs insist we do. We must remember Empire and be moved by Art. "


Laurie Essig, Professor Of Sociology, Middlebury College, written for PSAW


Obama Postcard - Free for you

I'm convinced that Obama has to be President. Has to be. The planet depends on the US pursuing a different course from the reckless criminality of the last 8 years of the B*sh regime. So I ask myself "what can I do?" This is a question I think each of us has to be asking. 

I live in Vermont, which will certainly go Obama. I'm stuck at work where I am the sole cook and bottlewasher,  or home taking care of the kids, and I'd be dead awful at voter registration anyway. But what I am good at is graphic agit prop. Postcards and etc.

So, I've made the Obama or Else postcard. Possibly the first of a series, we'll see. It's at the printer now.

Blog obama or else

If you want some, send me a stamped self addressed #10 envelope. I'm not charging for the cards, but you have to pay for postage and handling. I'll stuff a random amount into the envelope - depending on supplies - and you can send them out or do what you think is best. If you want larger amounts, email me - [email protected] - and we'll figure out how that can be accomplished.

Send the SASE to Pine Street Art Works, 404 Pine Street, Burlington VT 05401

UPDATE: Now that the election is over, and WE WON!, these cards are no longer available for free. You can now buy them for $1.00. See pay pal wigit on the right sidebar.