Sunday, June 16, 2024


“Out of the bottomless profundities the gigantic tail seems spasmodically snatching at the highest heaven.” -Herman Melville, Moby Dick

We are all connected – humans to nature and the other way around. What one does can profoundly affect the other, for better or worse, as we are now witnessing. A zoonotic disease has ground the human world to a standstill, and likewise humans have great capacity – and indeed often drive – to create havoc and harm in the natural world. Strip away the layers of civilization and the human world that has increasingly masked the natural world beneath and you will find that nature moves on without us. What harm we cause is ultimately to our own detriment. Nature repairs herself. Perhaps not as completely, but the absence of us would be nothing more than another species left to the wisps of history.

Maria Liebana spoke to us from Queens, New York on June 30 during the peak of the COVID pandemic. Since the beginning of quarantine she has been away from her studio. Liebana is also an educator so her teaching duties became virtual. Both of these new realities meant that her kitchen table became her studio space. During the day she worked on things for school and during the evening – often into the late hours – she worked on her personal art practice, finding time to get to projects that had stood unfinished for a long time. Many of these pieces are porcelain and clay arches. Liebana pipes the medium from a pastry piping bag before firing and then adds decorative elements. The cake-like appearance of the final pieces speaks to the artists desire and wanting that she pours into her work. To hear more about these pieces and more, including some performance based work on social media, listen to the complete interview.

Fernando Martin Velazco spoke to us from a little town in Baja Mexico where he has been working for the last several years. As the pandemic continues to unfold, he is working with colleagues to complete The Leviathan Games which he began in 2017. The project involves researching grey whales as well as reading poetry to them at the site of the largest species massacre ever recorded. The crew were taken by surprise at the reaction the whales had to this experiment.  His work crosses over the lines of art and science. To hear more about this incredible project that is not to be missed, as well as other projects, listen to the complete interview. To see footage, click the link above for The Leviathan Games.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Nature has the final word.

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. Maria Liebana is reading Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriela Garcia Marquez. Fernando Martin Velasco has been reading the works of the Roman poet Ovid including Metamorphoses.


As the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment approaches, the Elisabet Ney Museum invites women photographers to share photos the comment on the Centennial of the 19th amendment. Please see the website for full guidelines. Deadline is July 20.


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

Join GOLDEN on Facebook Live!
In these uncertain times, our first responsibility is assuring staff, their families and our entire art community is safe. We hope to turn the page on this devastating virus and return to normalcy soon. In the meantime, we continue sharing educational resources and have developed new Facebook Live events, providing an informal and intimate opportunity to meet artists and engage in topics we all love. Follow the GOLDEN Facebook page to join!

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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