American portfolios

The cool crisp mountain air blew gently as Stephen Kaplan prepared to depict Eagle Falls. G. Irving Brooks heard the gentle lap of water as the canoes rocked in their lakeside dock berth. Phillis Little trekked to a quiet mountain lake for a spectacular view.

Certainly these artists enjoyed taking teh pictures. Photographing a beautiful scenic is an act we all can enjoy. But beyond this initial act is a

secondary, latent experience – seeing, feeling, rekindling the original sensations while working with the photograph in the darkroom. Bringing a negative or slide to life is a technical process, but it can also be a fond remembrance. The darkroom can stir dormant emotions as we again work with the image to make a final presentation.

The Pictorial Print Division extends to you the opportunity to share this experience – to double your photographic fun, adventures or highlights and to increase your creativity through the medium of the darkroom. There are several print portfolio groups that can help accomplish this end. Surely one of them is suited to you and your photographic pursuits. Each print portfolio has various skill levels. One of the portfolios will match your skill and may provide the means to become a highly skilled darkroom worker if you so desire and work towards that end.

The Portrait Portfolio provides nine different groups, including animal and people portrait categories. The Canadian Portfolio and the American Portfolios consist of general-category prints – you choose the subject. Information on any of the portfolios can be obtained by contacting the directors listed bi-monthly in the Services section.

The American Portfolios also has an award system for those photography judging tips prints selected as best from each portfolio round called the Green Eagle Awards. The winning American Portfolio 1988 Green Eagle prints are shown accompanying this article. They were made by people with varying levels of printing skills.

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Although the American Portfolios is a Pictorial Print Division activity, other divisions have their portfolio/slide circuits, too. Any of these divisional group activities become best when people at all skill levels participate. Having a bunch of stars doesn’t exclude you from joining, nor does having made no accepted prints or slides. PSA becomes stronger with everyone’s participation in its various events and activities. Members learn from the comments of others.

If photography tips equine you have ideas concerning a print portfolio or a slide circuit which is not currently available, make a suggestion to the appropriate director or chairman. PSA is an international organization. Each international country represented in PSA should have adequate numbers to support circuits or other activities. Contact the appropriate director or chairman and express your willingness to help organize an activity. These directors and chairmen want to work for you. They need the challenge of change. So why not give them this challenge?

Now join me in looking at the Green Eagle winning prints for 1988.

Take DOPE photos of STARS!

You wouldn’t know that I’m coming from Sedona, Arizona, because it’s dark outside, because it’s 9 p.m, but that’s for good reason, because you clicked on this video to learn how to take dope photos of stars, so we’re talking about astrophotography. We’re talking camera settings, we’re talking gear, so you can get some dope pics of the galaxies. So let’s jump into this week’s tutorial, woo! (calm, upbeat music) Okay, so in full transparency, I don’t really know a ton about astrophotography, or shooting stars. I learned a lot on this trip that we’re on right now, but I do know somebody that knows a ton, and his name is Stan Moniz. Stan, introduce yourself. – What’s up, guys, Stan Moniz, astrophotographer. I’ve been shooting the stars for probably eight years now. – [Chris] So you know your stuff. – Yeah, a little bit, yeah. (laughs) – [Chris] He knows a thing or two, okay. – Just a little bit. – [Chris] Yeah, just a little bit, okay, let’s jump into some gear right now.

– Got it, got it. Gear, basic gear, tripod, head lamp, you need this to be safe out there, and camera bodies, you can use any camera body, or pretty much any wide-angle lens. I prefer, this is just my opinion, I use an A7S, and today I am using the G Master 24/1.4. But you can use any wide-angle lens that’s fast, anything available. – Okay, guys, so if you wanna get dope photos like this (snaps), or this (snaps), or this (snaps), you’re gonna follow Stan’s rules, ’cause he actually taught me all this a couple nights ago, and the photos that you just saw were a combination of mine and Stan’s. He knows his stuff, so listen up. It’s a little complicated, so try to follow along. We’ll try to break it down in its simplest form, so you guys can walk away with some great tips and camera settings, but let’s jump into like the fundamentals right now.

Stan, explain the 500 Rule to us right now. – Alright, easy. If anything, this is the one thing you guys are gonna take away. It’s called the 500 Rule. So basically, all you do is, you take your calculator, your iPhone, or your Android, and you divide 500 by your focal lens, so let’s just use the 24, right. So we’re gonna divide 500 by 24, which gives a number of 20.833333333333. (laughs) Well, there is no 20.833 on your shutter dial, right, so you’re gonna always round down, so that’s gonna give you a max exposure time of 20 seconds. Alright, guys, we’re just gonna go over some basic settings, very easy, it’s not rocket science. Once you figure out the basic settings, you guys are gonna be professionals in no time. So everything needs to be set in manual. We switch to manual, you’re gonna be in also manual focus. You don’t wanna be in single, continuous focus because it’s gonna hunt for the stars, you know? So you’re gonna find the brightest star in the sky. That’s gonna help you a ton, and you focus on that star. Take a few shots, with the 500 Rule.

See if it’s sharp, and if it’s sharp, a really cool tip is just take painter’s tape, and you lock it down right on your lens. That way you don’t have to worry about it through the night. ISO, I like to start at 800, between 800 and 6400. White balance, I love incandescent. If you’re shooting raw, like I said earlier, you can always change the white balance, it’s totally cool. Always make sure you have your two-second delay on, because a lot of people will have a single shot. This is just the newbie kind of mistake that you make, because you’re so excited to capture the sky, right, night sky. Relax, you know, you’re in nature, so just take your time and kinda go through your settings.

photography easy tips

So what happens is, with the two-second delay, it avoids camera shake, because if you hit this, you know, without a two-second delay, you might have some shake. What’s gonna happen? You’re not gonna get pinpoint in stars, you’re gonna get blurry stars, and that’s the way it goes. So basically, always manual, manual focus. Start your ISO between 800 to 6400. I prefer white balance of incandescent. I like the more cool look. Find certain stars like Orion that are really bright in the sky.

That’ll help you to adjust for precise focus. So let’s check this out, we’re gonna take our first photo. (calm, upbeat music) – Okay, I’m gonna quick insert on that tutorial, ’cause Stan is just killin’ it right now, but always make sure you guys are shooting raw. It gives you the most latitude and flexibility in post-production, and especially when you’re changing temperature and tint, you can really get a specific sky color that you really like. That’s what I like to do in Lightroom is start moving things around to really get the stars to pop, and the sky to look good, so yes, shoot raw. Alright, I think it’s been about 20 seconds. Let’s check out this image right now. – That is looking dope! So what I’m gonna do next is import the image into Lightroom.

photography tips d7000

photography tips how to take good pictures

Few things I like to do, dehaze, clarity, there you go, easy money, amazing photo. – Stan! – What’s up? – [Chris] Dude, thanks so much for teaching everybody. – Yeah, and I also have a little gift for you. – You have a little gift for us? Actually, I know what it is. We were talking about it earlier. Stan is giving us a cheat sheet on astrophotography. He gave me one earlier, it was a little print-out, but I’ve made the pdf available on my Sellfy store, so if you guys wanna go to the links below, download it, print it out, bring it with you, and also, go head over to Stan’s channel, give him a sub, follow him along, he has a whole bunch of other tutorials.

He’s just a genuinely dope guy. We got along like right away. We met three days ago, here in Sedona. We’ve just been hangin’ out and chilling. He’s a dope dude, so I highly recommend, go show him some love, and on that note, guys, if you liked this video, please press Like. It actually makes a difference. Subscribe, would love for you to join along, and Stan, do you wanna sign off this video? – ‘Til next time. Shit. (both laughing) – I always mess up. – No, I love it, man. Peace out, everybody, thanks so much for watching. Here’s a little astro montage from Stan. He’s so dope, peace, guys. (laughs) (calm, upbeat music).

Oil Painting Portrait Price Guide

Paint My Photos has been in custom portait business since 2002 and we are artists based company, which means you buy direct from artists. Order from us can save you at least 50% of the cost. Trust me, you don’t deserve to pay that much money. Moreover, you don’t need to worry about the quality, paintings are done by professional portrait artists, our artist team is a secret source behind many top art galleries. They commission art from us and sell thousands dollars.

Expense of a painting or a portrait mainly relies on the fame of the artisan and the quality of his work. Thus, offering an exact quote is complicated .. Having said that, you can opt for online services like, which takes your digital images and turns it into a hand-painted portrait based on your demands. It is a affordable price service, specifically if you compare with traditional artists. Moreover, it is hassle-free, high-quality and the portrait is delivered right at your doorsteps.

Price of a painting relies on the size and number of persons to be painted. A large canvas may cost more than a small canvas. A four person family portrait will definitely cost more than a two person portrait.

Getting Your Portrait Painted Is Cool and trendy Again, and It’s Simply Cost You $150

Once considered a relic belonging to the photography era, the art of portrait painting is setting up a comeback think of it being a selfie that can take weeks to complete.

How much will a custom made family portrait cost?

This question is asked over and over again throughout the internet since it is a critical one.

Plenty of people realize the importance of a completely custom made painting and portrait. They are aware of how priceless it is to present someone else or you a surprise that could last not just a lifetime, but a lifetime and beyond. Whatever your reason for thinking of commissioning a custom portrait, you have probably considered how much it costs financially.

Many other sources: how much does a self portrait painting cost

Buy Francoise Nielly Paintings

Does a person enjoy Francoise Nielly’s art? Do you desire to purchase a portrait painting created by artist? I don’t know if Francoise consider commission job? But in the case she do, i bet price will be super expensive the majority of her works of art are selling $10,000 to $30,000. Then, generally, it is nearly unlikely to let Francoise Nielly paint your portrait, though, guess what, our gifted artists can! We can easily create your photo just like Francoise Nielly do!

In the way, Francoise Nielly portray an individual’s face in each of his art pieces. And she paints it all the time, with slashes of paint all-around their face. Moments of daily life that appear from her artworks are created at a clinch with the canvas. Colour is formed much like a projectile.

Nielly reveals a protective research to touch and develops into an intuitive and wild goal of expression. When you close your eyes, you wouldn’t normally imagine a face, which contains colors, though if you look at it very closely, everything gains a form by means of our goals. The most bothered soul can result in colors, that happens to be covered but always alive. Plenty of people feel that in a portrait, there’s always a concord that runs away, however in my opinion, every purpose is branded in their face. Eyes locate sins and passion, a grin starts up joy or perhaps a decisive lie, and dazzling shades show judgments without having a lot movement.

Francoise Nielly art for sale

Francoise Nielly is surely an artist characterized by advanced and complex ideas conveying fascinating and important energy and strength.

Francoise draws lines to uncover natural splendor, feelings, and focus of memories. Pretty much every portrait symbolizes a sense of peace and sadness. As soon as we find out such type of sensual, expressive and tremendous drawing, we understand that particular attention can move severely inside a look, at a action, have the ability which becomes ones methods for being. The shades are the reason Nielly’s work so realistic and natural and it is extremely hard not to adore her themes. Plenty of could be the inspirations, which grooving inside such type of feeling, and quite a few can be the meanings which may be stated. ?Have you ever questioned yourselves how significant it will be of having colorings? Maybe you have asked yourself how important it is to manage these kinds of colours?

Works of art by artist Franoise Nielly employ a apparent intensity that project through every composition. Having perfected palette knife portrait solutions, the artist uses thick strokes of oil on canvas to combine some abstraction into these figurative paintings. The art pieces, that happen to be based away easy black and white photographs, feature significant light, shadow, details, and lively neon colorings. In accordance with her bio on Behance, Nielly takes a risk: her art work is sexual, her shades free, joyful, amazing, also explosive, the cut of her knife incisive, her colouring pallete superb.

In Francoise Nielly’s Art, she would not use any modern tools and makes use of only oil and palette knife. The colors are spread roughly on the canvas and grow into a highly impressive work. Her portraits encapsulate potency of shades as a appealing means of experiencing life. The conception and form are simply just starting points.

Francoise Nielly Artworks for Sale

Francoise Nielly is really an artist seen as a challenging and complicated techniques showing fascinating and essential energy and strength.

Francoise draws lines to find charm, passion, and focus of memories. Nearly every portrait brings together a sense of fulfillment and disappointment. Whenever we uncover these kind of sensuous, significant and confusing drawing, we understand that attention can touch significantly in a look, at a gesture, have the ability which outlines ones types of being. The colors are precisely why Nielly’s art so real and natural and it’s really extremely hard not to love her themes. Countless could be the inspirations, which often dance within these kinds of sensibility, and quite a few might be the meanings which could be indicated. ?Have you asked yourselves how beneficial it may be to get color styles? Maybe you have been curious about how important it should be to manage these kinds of colours?

Art by creator Franoise Nielly have a very good apparent depth that come in each and every composition. Having enhanced palette knife portrait solutions, the painter uses thicker strokes of oil on canvas to combine a certain abstraction in to these figurative portraits. The art pieces, which are based from straightforward white and black photographs, feature great light, shadow, detail, and energetic neon designs. Based upon her resource on Behance, Nielly involves a risk: her portray is sexual, her color styles free, exuberant, stunning, even explosive, the cut of her knife incisive, her colors pallete eye-catching.

In Francoise Nielly’s work, she will never use any modern technology and uses only oil plus palette knife. The shades are occupying roughly on the canvas turn out to be a highly successful work. Her portraits encapsulate potency of shade as a wonderful method of seeing life. The perception and form are simply starting factors.

Nielly shows you a safety analysis on the way to hint and turns into an intuitive and wild target of expression. When you close your eyes, you wouldn’t expect a face, having colors, however if you simply ponder over it strongly, everything obtains a form via our hopes. The most anxious soul could have colors, which might be unseen but always alive. Plenty of people feel that in a portrait, there is always a equilibrium that goes out, but in my estimation, every message is printed out in their face. Eyes find sins and keenness, a grin starts up happiness or a decisive lie, and glowing styles indicate decisions without having far too much movement.

See this video about Francoise Nielly paintings

Do you really love Francoise Nielly’s paintings? Do you desire to order a portrait painting using this painter? I have no idea if Francoise receive commission job? But in the case she do, i bet the price is definitely super expensive as most of her art are available $10,000 to $30,000. Thus, generally, it is nearly difficult to let Francoise Nielly create your portrait, although, you know what, our experienced artists can! We’re able to create your picture in the same way Francoise Nielly do!

In the way, Francoise Nielly delivers our face in every of his art. And she paints it consistently, with slashes of paint via their face. Memories of personal life that appear from her works are put together using a clinch with the canvas. Colors is formed as a projectile.

The prayer book

The prayer book invites us to contemplate the fifteen mysteries of the rosary, which are based on the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ, but it substitutes events from the lives and deaths of the five women. The fragmented biographies found in the prayer book, presented to parallel the life and death of Christ, echo the extreme way in which these women have been fetishized by the public and/or within the art world. They also underline a preoccupation with the Romantic ideal of martyrdom for art, while the performance encourages us to participate in a ritual of reverence for such an ideal. The notion that most of these women were concerned with their own suffering, death and immortality – or at least in some way pre-enacted or pre-wrote their own deaths – is reinforced by the quotations that Fusco has chosen. Most of the texts articulate an idea of suffering and redemption, an ambivalence about the flesh, and a concern with death that anticipates the renown that came after death. They convey the impression that these artists have on some level chosen to incarnate themselves as icons even if such iconization has meant incarnation as death.

When the installation stands without the performed element, there is a morning-after feel to the work. The candles are burnt down and unlit, and there is no incense. Without Fusco’s presence in the casket, the icons – for Selena, a black sequined bra, for Sor Juana a quill pen, for Eva Peron a radio microphone, for Frida Kahlo a paint brush and for Ana Mendieta two vials of what look like blood and ashes – as well as the accompanying texts become the focus of the piece. In this context the work functions more as a collection of artifacts of the histories and work of the women we’re invited to ponder, indicating their absence as the empty casket indicates the absence of Fusco invoking the corpse of Mendieta.

There are absences mirrored within absences here; those in Fusco’s installation are mirrored by those in the work and lives of the women she has invoked. Fusco’s presence in performance and the empty casket indicating her absence in the installation obviously point to the absence of all these women through death. But beyond this, the empty casket where Fusco’s body lay as Ana Mendieta recalls the impressions Mendieta left in the earth with her own body. Miwon Kwon (Inside the Visible, 1996) writes, “Mendieta’s use of her/the body almost always approached erasure or negation: her `body’ constantly disappeared. . . . It is curious that Ana traced her absence. . . .” Octavio Paz, in his 1988 biography of Sor Juana, points out that many of her love poems have as their object one who is a ghostly figure retained in the memory, or one who is actually dead. Kahlo painted images of her empty dresses, maimed and gashed and incomplete bodies, aborted fetuses.

How do we step in to fill these absences? Fusco, by aligning herself so strongly with death, faces us with the traumatic fact of death. Funeral space always brings out the desire to memorialize. Absence creates the desire to fill the gaps with myth, icons, texts or, as critics and biographers have repeatedly pointed out, with the absent parents and children and homelands found in biographies. We can also try to fill absences with our bodies, which after the moment of performance leave only the memory of a body, or an object indicating its passing. Often struggling to reconcile the paradox of being both subjects and objects of their art, all of the women invoked in the performance used their bodies as medium or subject matter or both. What we’re left with is the traces of those performances – the self-portraits and images of mirrors, the photographs and video footage. As a woman artist, Fusco, who adopts all of the above strategies of memorialization, can also attempt to fill absence by creating predecessors, mirroring herself by placing herself in a lineage of women with whom she identifies. But the work also suggests the possibility of an endless lineage of unfillable absences, leaving open the question of whether there’s any authorizing predecessor at all.

On this site you will discover further information – Oil Painting Articles

Create Your Own Canvas Painting

Offering a custom portrait art work to some of your close homeboys on birthday party, Any party or any other special occasion of our life is undoubtedly an incredible thought. In addition you can work out painting of things or sketch down the natural beauty from a area that is cherished the most by the your friend. There’s lots of crafting ideas for making personalized paintings and whenever you employ a expert to do your dream styles, it will without a doubt be a wonderful successes.

Pics may very well be a number of the finest technology of digital technology still; a place throughout your heart, we take great delight in the sketches. You will find extreme ladies over the world who will be still inquisitive to transform their finest pic to piece of art. If you’re also one of those interesting personalities but aren’t effective at set the tones into proper shape then this short article is definitely great for you.

That being said, you are interested to create a bunch of notable paintings? You can find a long menu of concepts for paintings, it would be illustrating a story around many eventful moment of your lifetime, a photograph of your personal family cat, a funny picture of your child doing some extreme activities, face commission or maybe an visualization within your heart and soul. It does not matter what would be the plans for your personal portray; since you will surely look for a person who will deliver pattern to your wants. Creators has this kind of inventiveness inside their blood so they do know the tact of developing masterpieces.

Genuinely, there are a lot things to learn about customized paintings along with their increasing attractiveness. While the artworks demand fantastic care from owners versus the digital prints but they lead an ingenious appeal inside the living space. They would build a distinctive area in the heart of the one who will receive this as a present. While oil paintings receive proper care, they work like brilliant memories for lifetime. You can make an eye-catching effect of an individual’s dog and / or it’s really a unique portrait of your own kid. Absolutely, your child will cherish to see it while he become adults.

You will be happy to know that it can be easy to modify backgrounds in oil paintings. You can easily place seasonal elements to your drawings to work out extraordinary visual aspect. The art lovers are convinced that custom made canvas artworks could be the fashionable options for a gift when they start to cause classic loveliness with an eye-catching appeal in your location. Your energy to do extraordinary portrait with oil painting will always be appreciated by your friends who will receive it as a gift.

turning photos into art

For anyone who is curious enough to present customized oil painting to one of your close colleagues then it should be good to go online and choose a perfect artist in the neighborhood. You can also select artisans online to create customized art work and they will post it to your door in just 7-day period. You will need to upload the photos of individual or pet dog that you desire to be created in acrylic and it’ll fast arrive at where you live.

The boundaries of the field are being revised

The fact that “the boundaries of the field are being revised” is the first really significant evolutionary change to occur since the inception of the discipline of African art history in the early 1960s. We’re not in the midst of a crisis; rather, we are experiencing a shift in values that engages ideas associated with postmodernism and colonial/postcolonial discourse.

The current situation seems a logical response to the art world’s long overdue recognition that Africa has much more to offer than just its traditional or classical arts. This, coupled with art history’s reorientation to include a much broader spectrum of material (visual) culture, has created a situation that many of us who are studying and teaching the visual cultures of Africa find exciting but also challenging. Can one person successfully handle all manifestations of visual culture for the entire continent, especially in the context of mentoring graduate students?

Is there a problem if, as Sidney puts it, you are “more familiar with masks and shrine sculpture than Triangle workshops and Biennales” and you have a student who is engaging modern or contemporary issues? I don’t think so. I have found it rewarding to learn with my students and have found the burgeoning discourse on visual culture and colonial/postcolonial society in Africa fascinating. But it has been a challenge staying on top of all that is now being written on the subject. Since my own research is focused on “classical” traditions, I have made sure that students pursuing subjects dealing with colonial/postcolonial art and society also work with a mentor who is familiar with modern/contemporary art and critical theory. Ideally, I’d like to see Michigan State University hire a specialist in contemporary African arts, but it is unlikely that this will happen anytime soon.

We are not alone in revising the boundaries of our field. Parallel shifts are occurring in other ,areas of art history, including Latin America, Asia, Oceania, Native North America, and the Islamic world. Increased awareness has led to a demand that these modern and contemporary traditions be integrated into art history curricula. But most art history programs are not able to support specialization in all regions. The visual cultures of colonial and postcolonial societies throughout the world in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries can, and perhaps should, be studied in a comparative context. The content of a great deal of contemporary art in Africa, especially that produced by academic artists working in Africa or abroad, may be grounded in local (African) tradition, but the audience to which this work is directed, the formal idioms of expression, and the broader sociopolitical issues that it addresses are global. Though it is critical to seek an understanding of the specific environment in which a particular artist or work of art lives, it seems that many of the issues being explored by scholars and critics of modern and contemporary African art are shared with scholars working in other parts of the world, especially those areas with histories of political or cultural hegemony by the West. It is perhaps more viable, at least in the short run, to think of a single faculty position in contemporary world arts, filled by an individual with research experience in a specific geographic area and with a strong grounding in critical theory and some knowledge of other world traditions.

Over the last few years I have offered a graduate seminar that deals with twentieth-century academic art in Africa, and have integrated the interpretation of modern and contemporary traditions into my undergraduate courses. This semester I am using Sidney’s new book, Contemporary African Art (2000), for the first time. It has made dealing with these issues much easier and more meaningful for the students. But at the same time it has exacerbated a problem with which I’ve been struggling for several years. I am finding it more and more difficult to work with the conventional organizational schema based on geography that many of us who teach African art history continue to use. I currently offer two advanced undergraduate courses; one deals with west Africa and the other with the rest of the continent. I am considering an alternative scheme that replaces these two courses with three that are based on the general approaches that have informed our interpretations of visual culture on the continent. The first will consider pre-twentieth-century Africa–traditions that have been interpreted in an archaeological and/or historical context; the second will examine visual culture in an ethnological context, drawing upon the literature of aesthetic anthropology and art ethnography; and the third will consider modern and contemporary issues–an analysis of twentieth- and twenty-first-century visual culture grounded in contemporary theory.

I think it is going to be a while before the dust settles. In the meantime it is important that we maintain the dialogue that was triggered in 1999 by Fred Lamp’s “First Word” and is being continued here. Perhaps it would be useful to carry the discussion into a more dynamic forum, such as an electronic discussion list (i.e., H-AfrArts) so that more individuals may participate. Sustaining a constructive dialogue will ensure that this evolutionary change is a positive growth experience for the field.

Some of Diakite’s artworks

Ce Djan (The Tall One), 2000. Handbuilt vessel with lid, underglazes, crackle glaze; 102cm (40″). The University of Iowa Museum of Art. Iowa City.

Diakite describes this piece as a little granary or storage pot, based on the large pots that stand at the corner of family compounds in Malian villages and, less frequently, in urban neighborhoods. The shape of these storage vessels evokes, for Diakite as for others raised in rural households, the power and mystery of unseen riches, for the food and other goods held in these containers are the focus of much longing among small children. Diakite equates himself with such a vessel, for his own young children view him as the powerful repository of goods and knowledge. This piece is richly adorned with linear patterns and fanciful creatures, including a ci wara figure, the distinctive wooden antelope headdress worn at agricultural celebrations among the Bamana.


Kote (Spinner), 2000. Handbuilt earthenware, underglazes, glaze; 68cm (27″). Courtesy of Pulliam-Deffenbaugh Gallery, Portland, Oregon. This brilliantly glazed piece is multilayered in its signification. The Bamana word kote refers to a child’s top made of a snail shell. Kote is also a dance characterized by spinning steps. For Diakite, the act of spinning has particular significance, for he views it as a metaphor for human interaction: “Spinning means a person is open; you can see every dimension around a person who is spinning. Just turn around and you will realize that the things around you stay in place, so the person standing still can see you from all sides.” Spinning, he notes, is clearly the natural state of things, for the earth itself is always turning. The adornment of this piece reflects Diakite’s interest in animal characters, which play key roles in the stories and lessons he heard as a child at his grandmother’s house.


Koro Kara, 2000. Handbuilt earthenware, underglazes, glaze; length 51cm (20″). Courtesy of Pulliam-Deffenbaugh Gallery.

As they are in much of Diakite’s work, animals are key iconographical elements of this piece, their symbolic roles based as much in the artist’s own imagination as in indigenous Malian thought. For him the snail represents courage and morality. The animal’s hard shell conceals its interior, just as a morally correct person will conceal a secret despite pressures to reveal it. Diakite sees the frog that adorns the side of this long-legged snail as another symbol of courage, and of perseverance as well. He explains, “In the snow of Alaska, you can find frogs. In the deserts of Timbuktu, you can find frogs. People underestimate the power of frogs.” This fantastic creature, then, offers a model for ideal behavior.


MishiKun Masks, 2000. Handbuilt earthenware, underglaze, glazes, porcupine quills; right, 61cm (24″); left, 71cm (28″). Courtesy of Pulliam-Deffenbaugh Gallery.

These elaborately painted masks represent a pair of horned animals, each with a porcupine quill sprouting from its head. As with paired ci wara antelope headdresses, one is male (the larger of the two) and the other female. Diakite has used clay rather than wood to portray the masks and marionettes used by young people in Malian villages and small towns. There, groups of masks are danced to entertain audiences at public festivities, such as harvest celebrations. They refer to the importance of the relationship between humans and animals. Animals are sources of food and transportation, and at a metaphorical level, in stories and myths, they serve as models for human behavior.

The Tales I Tell, 1996. Earthenware, acrylics; 102cm (40″). Courtesy of Pulliam-Deffenbaugh Gallery.

Because he travels between two homes, Mali and the United States, Diakite finds himself serving as an interpreter for his family and friends in both places, relating stories about life elsewhere. The fantastic head atop this cylindrical body stands for Diakite himself, his hand on the front of the body, gesturing as he describes faraway places. The interlocking people, animals, cars, and houses that encircle the piece illustrate the interlaced lives and stories that draw distant people closer together.

Djeliba, 1999. Earthenware, underglazes, glaze. Diameter 51cm (20″). Courtesy of Pulliam-Deffenbaugh Gallery.

Along with elaborate vessels and sculpted creatures, Diakite creates platters, plates, bowls, and a variety of other forms that are sold as both functional objects and works of art. This platter celebrates djeliw (sing. djell), the Mande historian-singers who play powerful social roles as repositories of detailed historical knowledge and supporters of important families. At the center of the composition, a singing djeli plays his kora, the harp-like instrument closely associated with djeliw throughout the region. The densely painted border that surrounds the powerful musician-historian represents all of history, evoked by the djeli’s epic songs.

Baba Wague Diakit

Baba Wague Diakite is an artist who defies categorization–a fact that reveals as much about the limits of artistic categories as it does about Diakite’s multiple talents. Both Malian and American, the artist has been a resident of Portland, Oregon, for more than fifteen years. He expresses himself in many media, from ceramics and textiles to storytelling and architectural sculpture. He creates both “high art,” made for display in museums and galleries, and “craft,” household objects that are made to be used. His work playfully draws together elements associated with “traditional” Malian and “contemporary” American cultures.

The quotation marks that surround several of the terms used above draw attention to their provisional nature and to Diakite as an artist whose career demonstrates their essential artificiality. His work grows out of the diversity of his experiences, which place him as much between categories as within them. Though he draws on a cultural heritage of which he is proud, Wague does not seek to express an essential Malian-ness or African-ness but instead his own humanity. In his words: “My work is not tied up with traditional concerns or techniques…. As much as I am proud to introduce a little of my culture through my art, I do not consider my work to be particularly African.” In this, Diakite shares the concerns of many contemporary artists from Africa, who seek to transcend the labels by which the art market organizes its categories, too often blocking entry to those whose work is not neatly classifiable.

Diakite was born and raised in Kassoro, a small village in the Fouladougou region that lies west of Bamako, the country’s capital. He credits his grandmother’s stories, which mesmerized children at family gatherings, with instilling in him the creative spirit he brings to every aspect of his work. He moved to Bamako in the late 1970s, joining his parents. Diakite has had no professional training, but from an early age he showed a talent for artistic expression, beginning with the creation and performance of puppet shows. I first met the artist through his paintings made using bogolan pigments, which are associated with a uniquely Malian textile known in the United States as “mudcloth.” He learned the technique, customarily the exclusive domain of women, from his mother during a visit home to Mali in 1987.

Since his move to the United States in 1984, Diakite has focused much of his artistic effort on ceramics, also considered to be “women’s work” in Mall. He creates vessels, tiles, plates, and figurative sculpture using a variety of techniques; some pieces are wheel thrown, others slip-cast, carved, or handbuilt. He fires his work in an electric kiln and uses brilliantly colored synthetic glazes–both distinctly non-“traditional” techniques. For Diakite, distance from “tradition” permits greater freedom to experiment: “Traditional artists work in one straight line of thought: to do things the way they have been done in the past. Putting too much creativity into it can cause a problem. Being in the United States, I realize that it is great to respect the past, but also having freedom in art is one of the best things you can have.” He recognizes that the women who make ceramics in a “traditional” manner also work creatively, some producing “fabulously sculptural functional ware.” Yet he clearly separates his innovative approach from that of artists whose work is more recognizably “traditional.”

Africanist art historians have devoted much effort, especially in the past decade, to combating stereotypical views of traditional arts as static, unyielding in the face of individual creativity. Two recent issues of this magazine, in fact, featured studies of individual artists, demonstrating the extraordinary creativity that informs their production in “traditional” contexts (“Authorship in African Art,” special issues Winter and Spring 1999). Diakite shares the views of many artists I worked with in Mali: for them, indigenous arts represent a point of departure for innovations that integrate distinctly contemporary influences, and the notion that they should work in a distinctly African (i.e., traditional) style is a source of frustration. Diakite has found that living in the United States frees him from the expectations that too often color the reception of his work among collectors.

Along with ceramic sculpture, Diakite has created large-scale installations for the Oregon Zoo, Oregon State University, and (in collaboration with his wife, sculptor Ronna Neuenschwander) the North Precinct Community Policing Center in Portland. His largest commission, not yet completed, is to be installed at Disney World in Orlando; it consists of a mural eighty-four feet long and five bronze medallions twelve to fifteen feet in diameter, which will be set into a floor. The artist has published two award-winning children’s books based on African folktales and illustrated with his ceramic tiles. His current projects include the establishment of a cultural center outside Bamako, where he hopes to offer American visitors an opportunity to become immersed in Malian culture, facilitating the same understanding across cultures that he himself has experienced after immersion in American culture. By moving beyond the divisions that often segregate both people and art forms, Diakite eloquently demonstrates the interconnectedness that animates the universe.