Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Chihuly's Cacaphony of Color at the VMFA

On November 10, I was delighted to be celebrating my birthday by going to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to see the exhibit of Dale Chihuly's gorgeous artwork, a chaotic tumble of glass in a cacaphony of color.

The first time I saw this show I was full of expectant delight, thrilled with anticipation about seeing the seaforms nestled inside each other, brilliantly lit against dark black surrounding them.  The lips on the forms so thin, so delicate, edging the organic shapes coming out of eachother like babes from the womb.  I'd seen themin DC years before and had held on to the visions over time, pulling htem out to wonder over and treasure like photos of my dearest babies.

There were none of those at this exhibit, sadly, but still it pulled me in, so excited I was to bask in the other offerings of beauty.  I walked into the first room - sphere upon sphere literally tumbled out of the huge row boat.  A large column dominated and bisected the space.  more riotous unencumbered color flowed out of the second boat, the forms like sea creature clawing their way playfully out of the boat, wanting to rejoin their sisters in the sea.  The colors he chose had no order, no rhyme, no reason.  I read he's one day realized he had 320 colors to choose from and decided that day to use all of them in as many combinations he could imagine.  His subtle seaforms went out the window that very day.

His paintings on the wall facing the boats are explosions of energy - paint dimensionally squirted all over the paper, colored pencils grasped 20 at a time in his hand make parallel swoops of line and color, dominated by squeeze bottle 3-D puffed paint exploding and squirting all over the page.  how can the paper take the weight?  In some he has torched the paper to mar the surface - it's easy to see the translation to the glass though these have none of the gloss and shine and translucence.  They are heavily opaque at the same time as they are frenetically energetic and explosive in ways the glass can't be because they're bound by form.

Friday, November 9, 2012

One Billion Rising

Dear Friends,

It's apparently difficult for me to be still for very long.  After several months of resting and finding my center again, I am back and ready to rock and roll!  I have been called to a cause which is very near and dear to my heart and is closely related to the work I've been doing with Beyond Barbie around Women's body image and self esteem. 

When I went to Omega Institute last month to the Women and Power conference, I heard Eve Ensler speak - she's the reason I went to the conference in the first place.  She's the woman who wrote Vagina Monologues.  She is also working like crazy to bring awareness to the fact that one in three women on this planet will be abused, raped, or beaten in her lifetime.  Did you hear that? 


That is over ONE BILLION WOMEN.  I can no longer live in a world where I know that information and not try to do something about it.

Eve apparently feels the same because she has created an event called One Billion Rising.  On February 14th, 2013, Valentine's Day, women and those who love them all over the world will be striking, rising, and dancing to bring awareness to the truth and to demand an end violence against women.  She has created an exceedingly moving video which gave me chills to watch:  http://vimeo.com/49860523.  I find it beyond powerful.

If you want to get involved in planning the event, we would LOVE to have your help!  We will have our first organizing meeting at my house, 3440 Northridge Rd, Richmond 23235 on November 18th at 6 PM.  At it, we four organizers will tell you what we have in mind so far; we'll present a list of tasks; we'll ask for help; and we'll ask for your input and ideas and awesome creativity.  There is lots of room to make this into what you want it to be at this point.

So far we're planning a rally at the State Capitol at noon on the fourteenth, replete with drumming and inspiring speeches by incredible women and ideas about how to go about ending the violence.  I hope you'll come and bring everyone you know!

We hope to get government and corporate buy-in because we all need to work together to make this happen.

We want to have an art show full of artwork inspired by this movement - or the reason behind it - the violence against women.

We will have a performance of The Vagina Monologues in the week leading up to the rally.

We will help other organizations statewide organize themselves for their own rallies.

We will have two evenings of Beyond Barbie performances which pertain to the topic.

Who knows what else will come out of this incredible desire to raise consciousness and awareness and to work together to end violence??  YOU come tell US!

You can tell us how you see it at our first community organizing meeting will be held on Sunday, November 18th, at 6:00 p.m at my house at 3440 Northridge Road, Richmond, VA 23235. If you are interested in joining the organizing committee and attending the November 18th planning meeting, please RSVP by emailing us at virginiasrising@gmail.com. You may also call 804-971-5117. Please forward this email to your friends who might be interested in being a part of this amazing event. I also attached a Flyer to this handout inviting all organizers to join our cause.
We hope that you will consider joining our organizing committee, help us promote the event, and Rise with us on Valentines Day!
We have a facebook page:  www.facebook.com/OneBillionRisingRva?fref=ts
Like Us and watch the page for updates

We need your help!!! We need your involvement!!! We need you as part of this revolution!!!

If you are interested in volunteering with the steering committee for One Billion Rising Virginia, please send a note to Virginiasrising@gmail.com

To join and receive updates on the worldwide One Billion Rising campaign please visit onebillionrising.org

For more information about One Billion Rising, please download Eve Ensler's incredibly inspiring and moving video by visiting, 


In Solidarity, and with great hope for a violence-free future,

Susan Singer, local artist and activist, producer of Beyond Barbie, Organizer for  One Billion Rising
Alba Jaramillo, on behalf of the Action Alliance Co-Director, Virginia's Coalition for Sexual and Domestic Violence Services, Community Organizer for One Billion Rising,5008 Monument Ave, Suite A,Richmond, VA 23230,(804) 377-0335 ext. 2108, (804) 971-5117 (Cell phone)

Julia Willard, Activist, Member of the Action Alliance, Organizing Chair for One Billion Rising

Janett Forte, Activist, Former Action Alliance governing body member, Member of the Action Alliance, and  Organizer for one Billion Rising