Today's postings

  1. [Baren 30458] Re: Julio on causes and escapism/Who's afraid of the Woodbl... (FurryPressII #
  2. [Baren 30459] Re: Prints currently on exhibit & Politics (Annie Bissett)
  3. [Baren 30460] Cairn participants ("Maria Arango")
  4. [Baren 30461] Re: Julio on causes and escapism/Who's afraid of the Woodblock Print? (Sharri LaPierre)
  5. [Baren 30462] Re: Who's afraid ...why not discuss themes at after 5? (Robin Morris)
  6. [Baren 30463] Re: Julio on causes and escapism/Who's afraid of the Woodblock Print? (Wanda Robertson)
  7. [Baren 30464] forgive a second post today please, short answer to our moderator (Robin Morris)
  8. [Baren 30465] Re: Julio on causes and escapism/Who's afraid of the Woodblock Print? (Julio.Rodriguez #
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Message 1
From: FurryPressII #
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 11:13:31 EST
Subject: [Baren 30458] Re: Julio on causes and escapism/Who's afraid of the Woodbl...
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no one has ever said what your subject should be in unthemed exchanges or
even with in themed exchanges in a general way. I was not talking about
politics per say as subject of a print but in the written postings on baren.

john c.
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Message 2
From: Annie Bissett
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 11:55:24 -0500
Subject: [Baren 30459] Re: Prints currently on exhibit & Politics
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Sharen, thanks so much for the exhibit links you posted. They kept me busy
all morning! (Note to Digest subscribers: the links didn't come through in
the "New" (html) Digest, but you can access them in the "Old" Digest)

The exhibits I was most interested in from Sharen's list were "The Horrors
of War" in San Diego and "Lasansky,The Nazi Drawings" in Iowa City, so I
guess that reveals my own feeling about political art. I find that when I'm
making art, my political point of view sometimes emerges, just as my other
feelings and passions do. I don't see how it's possible (or desirable) to
block out a whole area of human experience when making art. I don't care
whether art is political or apolitical, but I care about the tone. I tend to
react positively, even if I disagree with the viewpoint, if the artist
allows me to ask my own questions and draw my own conclusions. I usually
dislike a piece if the artist hits me over the head with his/her point of
view. I experience work like that as propaganda/advertising; there's no
dialog to be had.

A politically-themed exchange could be trouble, though, just because it
would be an invitation to highlight our personal differences. Why would we
want to do that on purpose?

And welcome to Angee!

Best, Annie B in Massachusetts
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Message 3
From: "Maria Arango"
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 09:10:53 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30460] Cairn participants
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The Great Baren Cairn project page has been updated with participants so
I will leave open for signing up a couple more weeks,'s off to the
wood store I go!

Maria Arango
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Message 4
From: Sharri LaPierre
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 09:15:04 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30461] Re: Julio on causes and escapism/Who's afraid of the Woodblock Print?
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I believe "nothing to fear, but fear itself" was said by Roosevelt, not
Churchill. I was around then, but not paying attention to what was
happening around me other than what directly affected me (like a diaper
change, feeding time, etc.), but I do seem to remember seeing film
clips of FDR saying those words. :-)

I don't understand why this group is so sensitive about differing
political viewpoints - I have to admit it baffles me. People have no
reservations about including overt religious affiliations in their
work, but say the word politics and some of those same people go
ballistic. I would hope that this forum is open enough for there to be
room for all persuasions and we should all feel free to express
ourselves in our artwork. I would love to see a political exchange -
one based on anything going on at any place by anyone to anyone the
world over. As Carolyn said, if you aren't interested then no one is
holding anyone's feet to the fire to sign up for it.

As you all know, I am not the outspoken type of person who is
opinionated in any way..... LOL

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Message 5
From: Robin Morris
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 11:41:33 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30462] Re: Who's afraid ...why not discuss themes at after 5?
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Thanks to those who continue this discussion. Annie, I don't think
expressing a political belief or beliefs highlights our personal
differences. I think it heightens our personal power
and may do some good by causing others to think a little differently.
If such a print does not inspire thought in the viewer of some kind
it has failed to reach them. Indeed the art of the thing might be to
so well frame an idea in image that a person cannot argue with it
well using only words. The word impact comes to mind. Politics seems
to me partly definable as: the stated reasons that people and nations
DON'T agree.
The 9=11 exchasnge may have seemed necessary at the time if you
were an American and felt strongly about that single morning's attack
by a very few extremists on many Americans. Mr Center has presented
it as an example of baren not shying away from a political exchange.
My next line would upset some folks I think because I agreed not to
bring political discussion to this list. I am heading for baren after
5 for a lunchtime beer, as
I need to type the next line. I appreciate the difference Mr.C points
out, between the chat about woodblock and our exchange themes. I am
not railing for political discussion at baren, but for more courage
in the agreed upon themes in some future exchanges, once all the need
for beasts and dreams and printers and nudes has run its course for a
moment. Also I feel a "fix" is in place. If one can't discuss
politics on baren, its hard to discuss themes openly, and the need
for them . Theme discussion should be carried out at after 5 where
one can say anything. Anyone for lunch? See you at after 5.

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Message 6
From: Wanda Robertson
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 12:17:41 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30463] Re: Julio on causes and escapism/Who's afraid of the Woodblock Print?
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Geez, Robin, where did you get the idea that "political prints" as a
theme were outlawed? What we did put a
kibosh (halt) on was the venting of political discussions & rantings
that had nothing to do with
printmaking. If you had been on baren when this happened, you would
have had the same
reaction! The current policy on politics is this: You may not
personally attack another person on
Baren. You may be surprised, if you go through the images of previous
exchanges, to find several politically
motivated & depicted prints. We all have our personal views, but we
(the baren creator and the
council) decided to hold down the political & personal attacks for
_everyone's_ benefit. If you disagree
with this policy - feel free to start your own list. But, I challenge
you to find a better print-making list
than Baren.

Wasn't the theme "causes" suggested? I don't remember a theme
"political" being suggested.

We have had several outside baren exchanges held by people who were
excited about a certain
theme & couldn't or didn't want to wait for everyone else to get on
board. Maybe this is your big
opportunity to hold an exchange of your own, Robin.

I am as politically minded as anyone else here - but I sure don't want
a repeat of the disasters that
came out of the woodwork (pun there) with some of the previous
discussions in this area!

My best to all of you passionate printmakers - whatever your thoughts!
baren forum moderator
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Message 7
From: Robin Morris
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 12:57:26 -0800
Subject: [Baren 30464] forgive a second post today please, short answer to our moderator
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You are correct of course Wanda- I believe I was there for the
earlier fracas u mention and my letters were part of the problem.
I apologized at that time to the list for stating political views (I
agreed it was off-topic and divisive to do so) and promised not to in
the future.
My feeling that the themes are not adequately discussed and debated
because of this policy is laid out in my letter to after 5 today,
where I hope we can continue this discussion.
No more from me today- I'm over at the bar being controversial!
Carve and Print,

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Message 8
From: Julio.Rodriguez #
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 18:29:05 -0600
Subject: [Baren 30465] Re: Julio on causes and escapism/Who's afraid of the Woodblock Print?
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The discussion has been interesting and I have enjoyed all the different
views. Since I may have started this whole thread I should probably fill
in some gaps in the discussion. quickly we forget ? Did we not have a "Political Agenda
Exchange" that ran between late 2004 and spring of 2005 and coordinated by
Lawrence Finn ? This exchange ran outside of Baren's quarterly format
because of the timing involved...but was initiated here at Baren and had
much Baren support with as many as 12-15 members participating. I have
lost the link to the final exchange images but maybe Lawrence or others
can provide that.... this is all I have now:

Anyone who feels that Baren is too quiet on this matter needs only to look
back at some recent discussions:

You can follow the thread up or down the archives....

When I spoke of the powerful work of certain Baren members in my last post
I was not referring to any political 'needs' to surface on the Baren
discussion. Quite the contrary the work I mentioned is based on
non-political 'causes' yet the imagery is strong and to the point. Maria's
'woodpeople' series brings out that inner person that we all have inside,
there are no facial details, no straight lines, just the artist and the
knife sculpting the wood and bringing out a wonderful image full of human
qualities ( I think that is some of her best work todate ). Dan's early
work follows a biblical theme associated with readings from the Proverbs
and we also see the personal challenges of Autism. Many of John's images
reflect on the horrors of the Nazi regime and the ensuing holocaust.
Tyrus' images are connected to Christianity and what I interpret as human
suffering. Jean's early exchange work reflect the pain and despair shared
by many cancer victims.... not much politics that I can see in any of

I can't claim to have done a lot for the exchange 'cause' myself ...but
these three prints certainly had some thought behind them:
Conflict, War, Destruction, Rebirth, Enlightenment, Peace" - man's
eternal hope for world peace

"Munch Revisited" - an outcry against the Columbine HS killings

"Ten Little Indians" - praise to the Baren council for the many years of
dedicated support

The theme exchanges normally have a general topic guideline but always
leave the door open for interpretation....even the Shunga exchange was
open to mixed messages; lesbianism, homosexuality, etc.........future
'cause' exchanges will probably also leave the door open to a variety of
views....staying away from strictly defined themes.

I would think the BA5 bar is a place where folks would want to go to
relax. I doubt that is the right place to have open discussions on the
political scene. You may have a lot to say about that but could find
yourself talking only to the bartender...and he only speaks Aleutian !
Time better spent in asking Mike for a recount on the last theme vote...I
think....I think...yes indeed... I see some ballots with 'hanging chads'
hidden right behind that whiskey bottle ! Mr. Exchange Coordinator....we
demand a recount ! ;-)

as always......thanks....Julio
ps. there is a print I like a lot from an early exchange, a quiet yet
powerful print: