“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” -Rumi
It is true, there are many things in the world that could use changing. And yet the thing over which we have the most power but is often ignored is the way we ourselves engage with the world around us. Creating large-scale change takes years of coordinated effort and comes with varied results. We must be the key to creating the world we want to live in, not by setting out to change the course of humanity or the flow of nature, but by committing to change those things in ourselves. This is the first, recognizing what it is in each of us that contributes to the world we want to live in.
Kimberly Brooks is a painter who has been making art since childhood. Brought up in a family of doctors, the expectation was that Brooks would take up medicine. She enrolled in a pre-med program in college but her dorm was situated next to an art store. At first, she was timid to try any of the supplies until one day an art student introduced her to a tube of cadmium red paint. Brooks bought the paint and carried it around for years before she had the courage to try it – once she did, she knew that painting was to be the focus of her life. To hear more about Brooks’ life in the arts, as well as a discussion about her father Leonard Shlain, a doctor who became the author of a book later in life, listen to the complete interview.
Christine Suarez spoke to us from Santa Monica, California. A choreographer and dance educator, Suarez has been fortunate to receive grants from an arts program in Santa Monica. She received one just before the pandemic began and, moved by the race-based violence and calls for social justice of the summer of 2020, Suarez used her grant to amplify other artists. She commissioned three artists to make short films about the histories of native black and Latinx people in Santa Monica. To hear more about this project as well as Suarez’s other pursuits, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Sometimes it is simply not possible to move mountains, but it is always possible to climb them.
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. Kimberly Brooks’ new book, The New Oil Painting, can be found here. You can also find Art and Physics by Leonard Shlain, Kimberly Brooks’ father, here.
A La Luz invites artists to submit their work for consideration for the summer 2021 exhibition Points of Return. This event aims to shed light on the climate crisis we currently face and work must speak to some aspect of that. Works that have been developed from 2018 onwards are eligible for consideration. For more information, including a more in-depth listing of themes, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is July 1.
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. His forthcoming book, Making it in the Art World, is available for pre-order with bonus content here.
From 24 June to 20 August 2021, Marian Goodman Gallery and Holt/Smithson Foundation will present the first exhibition of Robert Smithson’s work in the gallery’s New York space. The exhibition, Abstract Cartography, will focus on a crucial five-year period in Smithson’s development: 1966 to 1971, a time when his “inklings of earthworks” began. This careful selection of artworks will trace Smithson’s radical rethinking of what art could be and where it could be found.