Thursday, August 6, 2020

Larry and Molly’s 2020 Box

The annual Box Show is the major fundraiser for Gallery Route One in Pt. Reyes Station in west Marin county. 


The way it works is: Each artist is given an unadorned pine box (dimensions vary each year). You can pretty much do anything to it as long as elements of the original the box remains in the piece.


This year, of course, the show is largely virtual but the show goes on.


Here’s what we did.

Its titled After Covid  (Inspired by Pieter BruegelThe Wedding Dance)

We transferred the drawing to balsa wood and cut it out.
Here’s the reverse side
We created another layer: Trees as background to the dancers.
Then we glued all the components together on to the painted box (we used the ‘back’ side the box).
Molly on delivery day at Gallery Route One. 

The show runs from July 31st to September 12th. 

Check it out:

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Gallery Route One Zoom presentation: Making Artful Boxes

Molly and Larry participated in the Gallery Route One’s Zoom presentation to demonstrate how we created some of our pieces for the annual Box Show. Here’s the video.

Making Artful Boxes: Every summer Gallery Route One, a nonprofit art organization in Northern California, holds its annual BOX SHOW and auction to benefit the gallery. 150 identical wooden boxes are given to 150 artists to make an artwork using the box, which is then donated to the gallery auction. "Making Artful Boxes" is a series of online conversations by artists who have made box art in the past, to share techniques and ideas and to help new box artists plan their box art.

Here’s a link to Gallery Route One:

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Overthrowin’ the Guvment with Art Young

One of my all-time favorite cartoonists, Art Young, drew this cartoon (one of my all-time favorite cartoons) back in the early part of the last century.

(click to enlarge)
The cartoon has always seemed timeless to me-- and right now, like current events.

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Molly’s Turn: A political letter to all

I recently read a letter to the NYT’s written by activist Stacy Abrams.  It felt so important to me that I am sharing it with all who read our blog.
I hope you will feel inspired to keep sharing this important letter, 
I believe the only way to get the word out is to keep sharing.
Best, Molly 

Stacey Abrams: 
I Know Voting Feels Inadequate Right Now
Just hear me out.

By Stacey Abrams
Ms. Abrams is the founder of the voting rights group Fair Fight Action.
June 4, 2020

Voting feels inadequate in our darkest moments. I recognize that.

When you’re watching a man’s death on a video loop, hearing him say “I can’t breathe.” When those words echo what another man said in his last moments, his life also taken by the police. When a woman who saved lives is shot dead in her home in a botched police raid. When a black man is murdered for jogging, his killers left free to celebrate. When you know there is a list of deaths so long that most people can’t keep all the names in their head.

To say that the answer is to go cast a ballot feels not just inadequate, but also disrespectful. “Go vote” sounds like a slogan, not a solution. Because millions of us have voted. And too many still die. The moment requires many things of each one of us. What I am focused on is the work of showing people, in concrete ways, what voting gets us. And being honest about how much work voting requires.

Across America, would-be voters continue to turn away or opt out, discouraged by the permanence of inequality, the persistence of voter suppression. Their fear is again and again made real by stories of neighbors denied provisional ballots in Georgia and lines that wind around city blocks in Milwaukee because polling locations are shut down and alternatives never arrive. By undermining confidence in the political system, modern-day suppression has swapped rabid dogs and cops with billy clubs for restrictive voter ID laws and tangled rules for participation. And those who are most vulnerable to suppression become the most susceptible to passing on that reluctance to others.

Now, in the ninth day of protests all across this country and in a week where, in our nation’s capital, thousands of people demonstrated in front of the White House while elsewhere in the city hundreds of people waited in lines to cast their ballot, we must talk about systemic inequalities and particulars.

Which systems are broken? How do we fix them and what does fixing them look like at the federal, state and local levels? We’ve got to be that granular because that’s how people learn. “Dismantle qualified immunity,” “increase law enforcement transparency” and “reform Peace Officer Standards and Training certification methods” don’t make for the catchiest slogans. Not like “just vote” does. But to the extent that we are reductive in how we speak about it — “just go vote” — we shouldn’t be surprised about the rejection of the solution. So then we have to say, “And it doesn’t stop with the vote.”

Voting is a first step in a long and complex process, tedious but vital. You can have a car with all the bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t have wheels, you can’t move forward. So we have to talk about the whole process, and we cannot be so simplistic that we seem too idealistic.

In 2018, I ran for governor of Georgia, with the goal of building a new coalition of voters. Before staff members and volunteers working for my campaign in the field ever mentioned my name, they talked about what the governor does. People don’t necessarily care about politicians, but they do care about their own lives. The canvassers would explain, “The governor is responsible for how much money goes toward education” or “The governor decides whether we expand Medicaid.”

You talk about what the job does, how the job works for people — and how people get to choose who does that work for them when they vote.

In 2020, a poor woman in South Georgia, miles away from a doctor or a hospital, may discover her pregnancy too late to make a choice. If she makes more than $6,000 a year, she is too rich to qualify for Medicaid and too impoverished to afford anything else because the governor refuses to expand the program. If she is black in Georgia, she is three times more likely to die of complications during or after her pregnancy than a white woman in the same position. Her child is more likely to attend underfunded schools, face a return to “tough on crime” policies that target black and brown people, and live in a state with a minimum wage of $5.15 an hour. All because her vote didn’t count in 2018.

In our campaign, we increased turnout to record numbers and engaged voters who never wanted to participate before. Athough we didn’t prevail, we forced the closest election in Georgia since 1966. In the course of that 18-month campaign, I met skeptical Americans who neither trusted government nor believed their votes counted. But 1.9 million voters showed up for me on Election Day, the highest number of Democratic votes in Georgia history.

We won because people trusted, if only for a single election, that it was worth a leap of faith. In political circles, what we accomplished would be dismissed as a moral victory. To that I say, absolutely. Because I learned long ago that winning doesn’t always mean you get the prize. Sometimes you get progress, and that counts — and when it comes to voting in America, I certainly believe that to be true.

The civil rights icon Representative John Lewis of Georgia often refers to the right to vote as “almost sacred.” As the child of ministers, I understand his hesitation to label a simple, secular act as sacred. Voting is an act of faith. It is profound. In a democracy, it is the ultimate power. Through the vote, the poor can access financial means, the infirm can find health care support, and the burdened and heavy-laden can receive a measure of relief from a social safety net that serves all. And we are willing to go to war to defend the sacred.

I am not calling for violent revolt here. We’ve done that twice in our nation’s history — to claim our freedom from tyranny and when we fought a civil war to recognize (at least a little) the humanity of blacks held in bondage. Yet as millions are stripped of their rights, we live out the policy consequences, from lethal pollution running through poor communities to kindergartners practicing active shooter drills taught with nursery rhymes. I question what remedy remains. The questions that confront me every day are how to defend this sacred right and our democracy, and who will do so.

As it stands now, on one side, we have a Republican Party that believes it has complied with the letter of the law, having twisted the rules to barely reflect its spirit when it comes to purging voter rolls and, of late, rejecting vote-by-mail in a time of global disease. On the other side, the Democrats — the party to which I hold allegiance — talk about full civic engagement but take inconsistent steps to meaningfully expand the electorate and build infrastructure. Embedded in this duality is a fundamental concern: Who is entitled to full citizenship? Based on our national story, and from where we are now, the list is far shorter than it should be.

Right now, we are experiencing an enormous cultural change, spurred by a demographic transition sweeping the nation. According to the Census Bureau, people of color comprise nearly 40 percent of the American population; millennials and Gen Zers are the largest combined age cohort in the country. When added to socially moderate and progressive-leaning whites, this population is a new American majority, and their impact on American life can be felt in nearly every corner. Diversity, which incompletely describes this transformation, has altered how we engage and interact with one another — from the Black Lives Matter movement and marriage equality to Dreamers pressing for action on immigration and women challenging the silence of sexual harassment and assault.

We can also trace a darker, angrier politics out of this evolution. Those who see their relative influence shrinking are using every tool possible to limit access to political power. For those who cling to the days of monochromatic American identity, the sweep of change raises the fundamental fear of not being part of a multicultural America.

As the first black woman ever to win a primary for governor for a major political party in American history, one who ran against one of the worst purveyors of voter suppression and xenophobia since George Wallace, I watched in real time as the conflicts in our evolving nation became fodder for racist commercials, horrific suppression — and the largest turnout of voters of color in Georgia’s history. Despite the final tally of the election, our campaign energized a new American majority in tremendous ways, proving the resilience and possible destiny of our nation.

Every night for more than a week, we have witnessed the anguish and anger of demonstrators, their cries punctured by politicians urging them to vote their power. Both are right. Protest to demand attention to the wrenching pain of systemic injustice. Vote because we deserve leaders who see us, who hear us and who are willing to act on our demands.

Voting will not save us from harm, but silence will surely damn us all.

Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) is the founder of Fair Fight Action and was the Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia in 2018. She is the author of “Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose and the Fight for a Fair America,” from which this essay was adapted.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email:

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook, Twitter (@NYTopinion) and Instagram.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Where’s Mad Magazine When We Need it?

The venerable Mad Magazine is on life-support (which perhaps could be said for satire and parody in a more general way).

Here’s a parody of a renown Norman Rockwell painting by Richard Williams that appeared in Mad some years ago (2015) but continues to resonate as a sad commentary.

In case your unfamiliar with the original here it is:

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Flu Toons from Our Past

Here are a few cartoons mostly drawn around 1918 and 1919 alluding to the H1N1 pandemic that killed an estimated 50 million (and that’s often regarded as a conservative estimate).

It is an unfortunate sort of deja vu -or is that history stuttering?--to see this North Carolina cartoon (above) from 100 years ago.

Walter Allman
Charles A. Voight

Edmund Gale

Most of the WWI cartoons I've seen stick it to Spain for the "Spanish Flu" which I've learned in recent readings is a major misconception. Spain was neutral during WWI.  All the warring nations had military censors suppressing the news of the Flu (not wanting the enemy to know their troops were in bad shape). Spain, minus military censors, freely reported the spread of the flu in its country. Hence, most of the early news regarding the flu was coming out of Spain = "Spanish Flu".

Edwina Dumm

Bud Fisher

A.B. Chapin 1919

The thing is, I've always wondered about the seemingly near total absence of references to the "Spanish" flu in our collective memory.  I recall listening to an old Jack Benny radio show on tape and Mary Livingston mentioned the influenza.  I knew that the blues-jazz guitarist great, Lonnie Johnson, had lost his family (parents, siblings, and more) to it.  And stories about its spread among troops in the trenches.  But few significant stories seemed to emerge in popular culture without digging a bit. I often wondered how the up-to-50 million deaths have never added up to much in our culture. I guess the elusive--down right invisible--nature of the thing makes it harder to get a grip on than, say, a world war with tanks and bombs.  Judging by many people today that's still true. 

For a much more in depth look at the subject check out Jared Gardners excellent Drawing Blood site: