Monday, August 26, 2019

MY BOOKS!

Wow, well I certainly haven't updated this for some time...

Stay tuned for updates and links on my books and articles! In the meantime, DM me on Twitter, @taryn_plumb, for signed copies or any other info.






Friday, May 4, 2018

May/June Artscope: 10th Biennial State of Clay




Molding Their Visions: State of Clay in Lexington

May/June 2018

REVIEW

10TH BIENNIAL STATE OF CLAY
LEXINGTON ARTS & CRAFTS SOCIETY
130 WALTHAM STREET
LEXINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS
MAY 5 THROUGH JUNE 3

By Taryn Plumb

There are forlorn figures of bare-foot young women wearing insects as accessories.
Wooden” Trojan horses with functional wheels.
A modern-day interpretation of Cerberus, the (typically three-headed) Greek hound of Hades bearing an inscription from Virgil,
And his triple jaws forgot to bark.”
Varying in scope, size and subject matter, the unifying element of these pieces is one of the oldest artistic mediums known to humans: clay.
What does clay say and where is it going?” asked Alice Abrams, exhibit co-chair and co-founder. “It keeps expanding in its creative reach and its ability to say different things.”
It’s a question that the Lexington Arts and Crafts Society has posed for more than 20 years.
The answer — resulting in 10 exhibits over the past two decades — has varied and evolved with the times, politics, popular culture and fashion. This year is no exception, with the 10th Biennial State of Clay representing everything from women’s role in society, to family values, to ancient archetypes; as well as the inherent beauty, versatility and classic function of the age-old medium.
One of the region’s foremost shows dedicated to clay, the Biennial features the work of 70 Massachusetts artists. It will be on display at the Society’s space in Lexington, Mass. through June 3; the exhibit will also feature an artist reception and talk with juror Emily Zilber on May 6 from 2 to 5 p.m.

To read more, pick up a copy of our latest issue! Find a pick-up location near you or Subscribe Here.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Check out Artscope Magazine's 12th anniversary issue!


Barbara Peacock: Behind Closed Doors

12 FOR OUR 12TH
BARBARA PEACOCK
BARBARA PEACOCK: SELECTIONS FROM AMERICAN BEDROOM AND HOMETOWN
MAINE MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS. USM GLICKMAN LIBRARY 314 FOREST AVENUE PORTLAND, MAINE THROUGH MAY 19
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
BARBARAPEACOCK.COM


by Taryn Plumb

She is the very image of a gypsy goddess: Spiraling dirty blonde hair, bra top and short shorts, draped atop a heap of blankets in the back of a pop-up camper, exhaling a willowy puff from a cigarette.
Scattered around her: an ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts, empty travel mugs and juice cans, an errant flip-flop, chili pepper string lights, drug paraphernalia.
Her name is Jessica, and an accompanying statement to her portrait reflects the Milford, N.H. 18-year-old’s carefree spirit: “Sometimes life throws you in all sorts of directions, the most important part about life is to remember you are exactly where you need to be.”
Barbara Peacock wants to know: What’s in your bedroom? This question has prompted her to travel across the country to photograph people in one of their most intimate of spaces for a project she’s aptly titled “American Bedroom.”
It’s the raw honesty of people in America: A depiction of them in their dwelling,” said the Portland-based artist. “We really get a peek into the lives of common, everyday people. It can reveal things to us.”
To read more, pick up a copy of our latest issue! Find a pick-up location near you or Subscribe Here.


Check out more of Peacock's unique and thought-provoking work here. (She is also seeking out grants and looking for more photo subjects; contact her for more info!) 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Transcendentalism in the 21st Century

Living Deliberately in Maine: Celebrating the Idea of Thoreau

Artscope Magazine, Jan/Feb 2018
by Taryn Plumb


FEATURED MUSEUM
MAINE MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHIC ARTS
USM GLICKMAN FAMILY LIBRARY
314 FOREST AVENUE
PORTLAND, MAINE
THROUGH JANUARY 27

At first, it appears to be a touching image of mourning: A man lies on his belly in a pastoral cemetery, leaning in so close to a gravestone that his head nearly grazes it.
But take a closer look and you see that, well — he’s taking a closer look.
Not at the headstone engraved with the surname “HUNT” but, rather, at a small patch of white flowers that have sprung up out of the ground at its base. He is a botanist at work; the grave is purely incidental.
Captured by photographer S.B. Walker, the black-and-white image is part of a series taken in and around Walden Pond in Concord, Mass.
It is among a variety of works in an exhibit honoring the 200th anniversary of the birth of the celebrated transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, “We might Climb a Tree, at Least.” The show is on display through January 27 at the Maine Museum of Photographic Arts (MMPA) in Portland.
“We wanted to cover Thoreau and celebrate the bicentennial of his birth, but we wanted to do it in an updated way,” said Denise Froehlich, director of the nonprofit art association formed in 2010. “Who are the people today who are interested in transcendentalism?”



Thursday, November 9, 2017

A "Harlemite" returns to his roots

Pierre Gooding for Harlem
A native son gives back

Written by: Taryn Plumb Produced by: Tania Doles
Vanguard Law Magazine




For Pierre Gooding’s family, Harlem had always been home. But after he was born in 1984, his mother had to face some unfortunate facts: The neighborhood in the Manhattan section of New York City, rife with unemployment and homelessness, simply wasn’t a place to raise a child, or provide him with the schooling he deserved.
So she uprooted the family, landing more than 200 miles north in Haverhill, Massachusetts. The decision bred success: Gooding excelled in his studies and fostered a desire to help others by pursuing degrees in law and education.
Today, he’s taken that passion back to his birth city. Proud to once again call himself a “Harlemite,” he is a Reform Party candidate on the November 7 ballot in New York City’s 9th city council district.
“The political arena can be an efficient way to help people, if it’s utilized correctly,” Gooding says. “This city needs someone who cares.”


Not much changed

Although he had long had an interest in politics—his mother likes to recall how he stayed up all night during presidential contests to watch the Electoral College process pan out—he didn’t consider that one day he’d be reinvesting himself in Harlem.
Growing up in Haverhill, he was able to capitalize on his talents in debate, teaching and athletics: He participated in the Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth, as well as the Princeton University Summer Institute for the Gifted; he scored a 1,020 on his SATs in just the 8th grade; and he ran track and cross country and served as captain of his high school tennis team.
But law was the goal. As he puts it, “I always liked to interact with people, and I thought law was a great way to do that.”
He went on to graduate from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in political science and sociology in 2006, and with a corporate law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2011. He served on many boards and committees throughout his college years—including student government—and he also earned his master’s degree in teaching from Pace University in 2008.
All the while, others around him saw a reformer in the making. He was eventually approached by the nonprofit Teach for America, whose corps of teachers provides education in low-income schools. It was then that Gooding thought: What better chance to give back than to children in Harlem, where he was born?
He saw the potential to provide his expertise in other ways, as well; he served as legal counsel for Teach For America’s inaugural alumni association, and also helped to create the organization’s current legal structure.
“It seemed like a powerful opportunity,” he says, although he adds that his parents were at first apprehensive about the teaching aspect, because it meant he would had to defer law school. “For me it was a no-brainer.”
But returning to the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City to teach English as a Second Language (ESL), he was dismayed to see that not much had changed since his youth. Affordable housing was paltry, unemployment was in the double digits and a good education was hard to attain.
The latter particularly struck him: His mother had sacrificed to provide him with opportunities he likely wouldn’t have had if they’d stayed in Harlem. For example, just on a basic literacy level, there are currently just four working libraries and two librarians in the Harlem school district.
“That has always drawn me to New York City: The need for education reform in the place I was supposed to go to school,” says Gooding, adding that, more than 25 years later, “the place I was supposed to go to school is still struggling.”


Many issues to tackle

Education is just one vital element to be addressed, he says.
He also notes a 13 percent unemployment rate, record incidences of homelessness and a widespread housing crisis. Throughout Harlem and New York City, outsiders are buying up prime investment properties and causing rental prices to “skyrocket,” he says. In the end, that creates a vicious cycle that perpetuates other social problems such as access to education and decent-paying jobs.
He suggests aggressive policy reforms that ensure locals are not priced out of Harlem housing, and that incentivize new companies taking root in the neighborhood to hire locally and invest in training and re-training.
“You have to ensure that longtime residents can benefit from the changes that come with gentrification,” Gooding says.
Then there are the simpler micro changes that can help to improve day-to-day life. In particular, he laments the axing of the “Fair Fares” subsidy program, which allowed qualifying lower income residents to purchase discounted subway tickets. Meanwhile, the neighborhood has to push to retain its identity. (You may recall the firestorm over rebranding Harlem as “SoHa” earlier this year.)
Looking ahead, Gooding says there are a plethora of opportunities for public-private partnerships that could promote technological advances and even agricultural projects in Harlem. One example of the latter is Street Leafs, a community-based hydroponics and vertical farming effort that he has been in discussions with.
“You have to be creative, proactive, see what’s going on, respond, and make sure that what you want to see happen is in conjunction with what the community wants,” he says.
Ultimately, helping to promote a better life in Harlem comes down to a “personal fight” for him.
“Every Harlemite deserves the opportunity to receive a great education, a great job and affordable housing—right here,” Gooding says. “To make that happen, Harlem needs elected officials that reflect the values of the community.”


Original story link

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Tim Christensen: 30 Days at Sea

One Great Performance Piece: Christensen at Sea



30 DAYS AT SEA: NEW WORKS BY TIM CHRISTENSEN
CENTER FOR MAINE CRAFT
24 SERVICE PLAZA DRIVE
WEST GARDINER, MAINE

By Taryn Plumb

For 30 days, he was essentially a stow- away on a container ship set on a course thousands of miles across the open sea.
The moody ocean vacillated between violence and tranquility; the scenery was at times turbulent, blissful, and teeming with life — but whatever each day brought, the experience was endlessly powerful and life-altering.
Maine sgraffito artist Tim Christensen, bound for Sydney, Australia, spent hours above deck studying the changing pat- terns of the water, the sky and the wildlife, then rendering his observations in dozens of sketches and notes, filling a journal to the bindings.
His trip is chronicled in the solo exhibit “30 Days at Sea,” now on view at the Center for Maine Craft Gallery in Gardiner. Through Nov. 19, viewers can experience dozens of Christensen’s prints, world- renowned clay work, and the weather- worn notebook that made the passage with him across the ocean.
“I see the entire trip as one great performance piece,” said Christensen, who also blogged throughout the journey. “I made some of the best work of my career on this trip.”
For those lucky enough to travel to Australia from the states, there is often an initial dread in the logistics of arriving safely Down Under: The time-intensive- ness of a 24-hour-plus flight; the exhaus- tion of ensuing jet lag; the instant culture shock upon stepping off the plane.
But Christensen saw a whole different opportunity. When he received an invite to the annual “Smoke on the Water” conference at the Ceramic Centre for Excellence, Inc., in Queensland, Australia, he began casting around for ways to turn what could be a cumbersome travel experience into something more creativity-inspiring.
He had larger, more underlying rea- sons, as well. The Maine native has long been a steward of the environment, doing whatever he can to be conscientious and courteous while minimizing his impact. He lamented that he’s already seen signif- icant changes to the Earth in his lifetime.
“I’m going to see the demise of 40 to 60 percent of the animals I grew up with,” he said. “I’m writing a requiem for things I really love.”

Original story link

Saturday, October 7, 2017

WSU grads inspired to give back

Check out the fall issue of Worcester State Magazine


Go to: 

Page 23 for my profile of underachiever-turned-overachiever Samantha Santiago; 

Page 24 for my write-up of Eugene Bah, a dual MD/PhD student inspired by his Cameroon upbringing; 

and page 25 to meet Jolene Jennings, a self-described "late bloomer" whose mission is to help illiterate adults learn to read and write.