Wednesday, December 6, 2023


“There is in all things a pattern that is part of our universe. It has symmetry, elegance and grace – these qualities you find always in that the true artist captures.” -Frank Herbert

Nature prefers a pattern. Whether that of the seasons cycling through or the intricate helixes, hexagons and fractals found throughout our world and beyond, order is the natural tendency of things. Even as humans we crave a semblance of order – a sleep and wake cycle, a symmetry to our needs and wants, balance. For even the most chaotic among us, there is often an order to the ebb and flow of the riptide that, when disrupted, can upend. And yet it is only from disruption that new patterns emerge. Like the pruning of a tree that spurs new growth, creating moments of change in our alignment can inspire wonderful new heights.

Ya La’ford is working on multiple new projects including a solo exhibition in 2021 at HCC. La’ford’s work examines the intersection of art and architecture through dimensional facade installations. She seeks to capture the mysteriousness of the world around us through her art and the way patterns can emerge in nature when there is flow. La’ford plans to spend her summer in Alaska where she will explore how we interact with the environment and how we can be more aware of what is happening. The artist addresses the space in such a way as to make the audience aware of their vantage point to the place and the work they view. To hear more about Ya La’ford’s work, her current exhibition and future shows, listen to the this candid and deeply personal interview.

Mary Dinaburg spoke to Praxis once before about art legacy planning. This time around she spoke about DinaburgArts LLC. Established in the early 1990s, the company has undergone many changes just as its namesake has done. Dinaburg Arts was founded to do something more logical than the way that the art world worked at the time – that is, to combine the various roles of art business rather than having specialized individuals for each component from curation to dealing to consulting and educating. The first project was working with a law firm to create multiple programs from branding to exhibitions as well as building a collection. Dinaburg also collaborated with Saks Fifth Avenue to use some of their windows as small white cubes. It is little projects like these that are slightly out of the mainstream that have been a signature of Dinaburg Arts. These days what Dinaburg Arts specializes in is art strategy. To hear more from Mary Dinaburg, including stories from her time living and working in Asia for many, many years, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Reflect on the patterns in your life – whether they are neatly aligned or rough around the edges. Appreciate their presence and disrupt them from time to time.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Ya La’ford is reading Contemporary African Art Since 1980 by Okwui Enwezor & Chika Okeke-Agulu. Mary Dinaburg is re-reading From Cliche to Archetype by Marshall McLuhan.


HOT STEAM III: A Science/Video/Art Screening is accepting submissions of short films and video artwork that combine art, science and technology. Screenings are part of the annual Cambridge Science Festival in Cambridge, Massachusetts and are hosted by Cambridge Community Television. This year’s event takes place at the MIT Museum. For more information and to apply, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is March 6.


Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius.






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