Archive for the 'Books' Category

Interview with Bradford Hansen-Smith: Creating Art Through Geometry

Bradford Hansen-Smith has been an illustrator, jewelry maker, sculptor, filmmaker, author, toy maker, and educator. His website, www.wholemovement.com, focuses on the wonders of geometry through sculptures created from paper plates.

Extended Spiral
Bradford Hansen-Smith. Extended Spiral (side view). Chicago. 2008.
Folded paper circles. Approx height 12” x 12” x 9”. Each unit is
a circle folded in the same way using diameters from 7″ to 3/4″.
The change in curve is how they fit one into the other. A computer
image was printed on 20 lb paper, then cut into various diameter
circles, folded and joined by tying with thread.

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Book Review: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Map of India
Map of India. Image from Wikimedia.

Jhumpa Lahiri has provided an engaging, beautifully written set of 9 stories focused on characters of South Asian Indian descent, mostly living in the US, but bearing the cultural heritage of India. In the namesake story, the Das family is visiting parents who have returned to India following retirement from the US workforce. As a part of their visit to India, the Das family decides to take a side trip to visit the famous Sun Temple in Eastern India. Mr. Kapasi, the Indian guide driving the family to see the Temple, after listening to the families caustic dialogue in the opening scenes, reflects to himself that “Mr. and Mrs. Das behave like an older brother and sister, not parents” to their three children. For me, the early recognition that Mr. and Mrs. Das are not fully evolved as parents is the major theme of this particular short story, one that sets the reader up to try to understand how this young couple became this way.
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Q&A with Marvin Tate: Artist, Poet, Musician

I met Marvin Tate while doing an artist residency at Ragdale in Lake Forest, Illinois, last October. His name was familiar to me from NPR (National Public Radio), but I didn’t really know very much about him. He was the first of the residents to do a reading, which he scheduled at 3 p.m. midweek. All the residents showed up, many preoccupied with their own work. I know I was dragging with very low energy. He began reading some of his poetry and within moments, the room was charged — his work is truly amazing.

Marvin Tate
Performing on stage. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Jane Fulton Alt.

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Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

If you're interested in the issues of “localvorism” (local food movement), a gardening journal, do-it-yourself family farming, growing seasonal organic foods, the policies and economic issues of industrial farming, anecdotes about dedicated small local farmers, food culture, and seasonal recipes, then you may be interested in reading this book. Barbara Kingsolver and her family decide to move from Arizona to their rural farm in southern Appalachia and live and work there for a year as an experiment to see if they could live off the fruits of their own labor, both from their farm and their live stock.

Vegetables
Photo credit: Amy Rudberg

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A Gift for William: Chicago Presents

Gifts

Last weekend, as I was changing 2 ½-year-old William's diaper (when do they become potty trained?), he said “I want to go to Chicago.” He was visiting from Oak Park and that didn't make any sense to me, and I said, “You are in Chicago.” He looked at me puzzled, seemingly contemplating what I said, but neither one of us, at least at that moment, understood the other. I began to get it though when later the same day my daughter and her husband came to pick him up early to take him back to Oak Park. The weather people had forecasted icy roads, and our day with William ended before we could fulfill my promise to visit the Notebaert Nature Museum. And William was angry with me — as he left our condo strapped into the car seat, he turned his head away from me, refusing to look at the person who promised “Chicago,” and then took it away.
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