Saturday, August 29, 2009

Random Musings

I haven't read Blackest Night #2 yet but I have to be honest... I was disappointed with number 1. Undead Ralph and Sue kill Hawkgirl and Hawkman? That's four characters I like and I'm confused. Weren't Ralph and Sue the new versions of Deadman? So I should expect to see Boston Brand back right? Plus whats the point of killing two characters that ALWAYS COME BACK! It seems every time DC brings someone back some has to die. They brought back Conner Kent and Barry Allen and guess what... I don't care. I do like Geoff Johns but of late the new work he's done I'm either not into or it doesn't interested me. Oh well, the arts nice.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trying to do more reading. But I can't come up with a good idea of what to buy. Walking through the bookstore gets boring and I'm taking chances on random books. i could always try the "classics" but that doesn't sound cool.

What have I read? The Dante Valentine sci-fi books by Lilith Saintcrow which were fun. Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way which was amusing. Pride, Prejudice, and Zombies was okay. Didn't really get into the first two Felix Gomez vampire books but I love the titles(Nymphos of Rocky Flats and X-Rated Bloodsuckers) Maybe its the fact that all the characters start to annoy me or just seem bland. And the stories themselves get really ridiculous for a mystery. He is a PI.

I still have to read The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl and today I picked up the current smash The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Also picked up Tarantinos screenplay for Inglourious Bastereds. About to write my screenplay for a possible self-financed flick.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I haven't been doing much writing because, well, busy and I really need to buy my own damn computer. But I have tweaked a little lately. Bunch of changes mid book for third draft.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I've been following this Jasmine Fiore/Ryan Jenkins thing, for some reason, and it troubles me on many levels. The least of which is that, if it is proven Ryan killed and mutilated her, than his parents who've been adamant about his innocence will look bad. But I guess parents have to be on the side of their child.

Joven amateur de la universidad en cinta casera


Madurita experta en sacar leche de pollas


Deja de hablar por telefono que te voy a follar


Friday, August 21, 2009

Rubia chupona amateur desde la ducha


Morra del conalep cojiendo mexicana


Liza Nagatani, la zorrita peruano japonesa




Liza Del Sierra en accion en la piscina



Nadie puede resistirse a Tori Black


Rose Drilled empalada por un negro en la ducha


La chupona Anastasia Blue y su pelo rosa


Un buen culo cogido por una buena polla negra


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Claire Dames Swallows 7 Loads!

Big tits, a voluptuous body all-round, what a woman Claire Dames is! And now she swallows more than ever! In this fantastic scene she sucks cock (and she also gives the guy a stunning tittyfuck) to receive cum, then she lets some guy that was just waiting in the corner cum in her mouth. All of which is followed by a blowbang with 5 guys. They give her a massive mouthful, she takes it like a pro! Enjoy! You will!


Preview:


Download:
Filesonic - part 1
Filesonic - part 2

No password!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cum Eating Cuckolds 5 Starring Julius Ceazher, Jon Jon and Tyler Knight



White "Husbands," eating black cum out of thier "wife's" Pussy. This is the premise of the "Cum Eating Cuckolds" series from Kick Ass Pictures. Black Stars Julius Ceazher, Jon Jon, and Tyler Knight have no problem with this concept.

Scene One: Julius Ceazher Fucks Jessica Bangkok (w/Bob)
Scene Two: Jon Jon Fucks Brooke Banner (w/Jimmy Broadway)
Scene Three: Tyler Knight Fucks Sierra Snow (w/Les Moore )

Julius Ceazher
Birthday: September 23, 1980
Astrology: Libra
Birthplace: California
Years Active: 2005-2009
Height: 6 feet, 0 inches (183 cm)
Weight: 176 lbs (80 kg)


Tyler Knight
Birthday: November 11, 1971
Astrology: Scorpio
Years Active: 2003-2009
Height: 5 feet, 10 inches (178 cm)
Weight: 184 lbs (84 kg)


Jon Jon
Birthday: April 30, 1981
Astrology: Taurus
Birthplace: San Diego, CA
Years Active as Performer: 2006-2009
Height: 6 feet, 3 inches (190 cm)
Weight: 160 lbs (73 kg)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Heather Lee Takes Advantage of Jake Steed


If you're into storylines, this video sees Heather Lee taking control over a hypnotized Jake Steed. Heather gets fucked in the pussy and asshole, and then gets shot in the face with a massive load.



Birthdate: August 7, 1972 (age 36)
Birth name: Jason Okeve
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 160 lb (73 kg; 11 st)

Mr Marcus Fucks Lela Star


http://www.tnaflix.com/view_video.php?viewkey=e2e3a80d86b7bb7e88ed
The action kicks off with a nice view of Lela Star on her knees stuffing her face with Mr Marcus huge cock. Great hand job action, deep throating and tit fucking action. Lela then precedes to riding Marcus's cock. The video ends with some nice doggy action and facial.



Birthdate: September 4, 1970
Birth location: Pomona, California, United States
Height: 175 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Ethnicity: African American

Mr Biggz and Layla


Mr Biggz and Layla fuck hardcore brought to you by PornHub


Years Active: 1994-2008
Height: 6 feet, 0 inches (183 cm)
Weight: 176 lbs (80 kg)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tara Lynn Foxx Gokkun!

Not really a big name, but she is good looking and a whore as a whore should be: for money she swallows all you can squirt in her mouth. And not only what you squirt in her mouth! This scene consist out of a blowjob ending in a thick creamy load on her tongue, followed by a gokkun which she has no problem with at all! Happy fapping!


Preview:



Download (222MB):
Filesonic link

No password!

Porn Star Penny Flame a Recovering Porn Star

Your Ad Here








She writes on her blog about her recovery on April 29, 2009:

My name is Jennie, and I’m an addict. (Hello Jennie.)

I just masturbated for the first time in 25 days. The let down was huge, like doing a line of cocaine, 20 minutes after wishing for another, my body is left tingling, but there is nothing in that orgasm that leaves me satisfied. The session didn’t last more than 4 minutes, and the climax was 30 seconds max. So I went for another. Body still buzzing, but the feeling that I could sit here all day and try to recreate that first one washes through me, and I know I have to bid my vibrator fair well.

My name is Jennie and I am a sex and love addict.

I graduated from a rehab clinic 5 days ago, and haven’t known what to do with myself since then. My therapist Jill says I need to create a structured day plan Sunday through Sunday, and it is within this structure that I may find my life. She says occasionally things will pop up that interfere with my plans, but like life, these things will be dealt with moment by moment. I’m still unsure of what healthy masturbation is, but recognizing the feeling and memory of my old habits helps me see that I am not ready to partake of my ”self” yet. Even after three weeks of intensive therapy, I know that I am not ready for sex. Even with myself.

Today is a big day, as every day has been since my release upon the world. Its funny. I went to jail a couple years back for an OUI, had to do a 24 hr stint in the big house, and upon my release, I put out press saying “Penny Flame is freed upon the world again.” This release feels entirely different. It feels like Penny Flame was never free. But I suppose she wasn’t. There is nothing free in existing within a persona created for the purpose of other’s enjoyment. There is nothing free in playing a character that isn’t you. There is nothing free about being someone other than the person you are. And this is why I have decided to leave Penny behind, and move forward in life as Jennie. The person I started this world as, and the person I will be leaving this earth as. Because one day Jennie will die, where as Penny Flame can live forever. Especially since I’ve shot enough content to have new releases coming out until the day Jennie dies. The things we do in the midst of an addiction never cease to amaze me.

And I am amazed.

I am amazed at the amount of change I’ve gone through in such a short period of time. I’m amazed that even in being out of rehab, I wish to return to the comfortable structure that PRC provides. I’m amazed that looking out in the valley does nothing but make my stomach churn when thinking about the life and woman I am leaving behind. And I am amazed that I’ve found the courage within myself to leave this woman behind. The strong, emotionless woman I’ve allowed to dictate my life is to be left behind in the valley of pornographic material and lost hearts.

Every year hundreds, probably thousands of girls come to this valley to be the next Jenna. The next Bella. And now, perhaps they will come to be the next Penny. Unfortunately, none of these people are real people. Jenna has a real name, and life, as does Bella. And now I can too.

My name is Jennie Ketcham, and I am a recovering pornstar. And addict. This day, as every day, is the first day of the rest of my life, and I intend to live it to the fullest.

Shelley is inspired by Jenni and writes:

I was so touched when I read Penny's blog. I saw so much of myself in her as I read about her leaving the emotionless character "Penny Flame" behind and becoming Jennie, the woman who was meant to live life to the fullest.

As I read her blog I cried because I know exactly what it feels like to leave an old life, an old person behind who lived in many lies and to have the courage to try and be someone new. It was the emptiest and most frightening time of my life. I didn't know what color this new person would like. (My favorite color while in the sex industry was black of course). I didn't know what foods this new person would enjoy. I didn't know what it meant to be a real Mom or even how to be a normal person who could interact with normal people. I couldn't handle daylight and always wanted the curtains closed. The first couple years I was the only person I knew who wore sunglasses everywhere I went and I even lived in dark and rainy Washington State!

Um yeah, I was a little wierd during my early recovery. Hiding my demons and pain behind a pair of sunglasses with a pack of kleenex in my purse. I never knew when I would have an outburst and just start crying. Oh but wait, porn stars don't cry. We don't do that. We're tough. Wrong. I bawled my eyes out for three years straight. Ask my poor husband who had NO idea what to do for me except pass the kleenex.

It was a very frightening time of recovery and discovery for me and only the love and power of Jesus Christ got me through it. God helped me bury that old woman "Roxy" and create a whole new person named Shelley who I could look into the mirror again with diginity and self-love. It took me eight years to recover but today I know who I am. I know exactly what I am supposed to do and I know my favorite color is hot rose pink. (smile)

I also know the seriousness of the call on my life to expose the lies of pornography and to reach out to those who exist as "characters" in the porn wonderland of lies and help them become real people again. People who are made for greater things than porn. Beautiful people who are called to use their giftings and talents to make their special mark on history.

Because of the seriousness of this call, I admit, myself and my family have lost much of the life we worked hard to build. We lost our privacy. We lost our time. We lost almost everything normal in our life. Everywhere I go, people tell me about their pain from porn addiction or sometimes people feel strange around me. My daughters' friends ask them why I was on MTV or why I was a porn star. My little girls don't get to grow up like most other little girls. Yes they're involved in sports and music lessons and we do everything we can to make their lives seem normal but it will never be normal for our family again. We fight porn and help porn stars. Even the church doesn't feel comfortable doing that. Just the word "PORN" makes people extremely uncomfortable.

Hmmm...I wonder why.

Yeah it's pretty strange around here. I also now have what I call SDR syndrome where I am utterly exhausted by the suggestions, demands and requests I receive all week long from people all over the world and from all different walks of life. I don't sleep right anymore and porn is in my dreams. A psychotherapist friend told me recently I may have some disorders and an ulcer due to "occupational hazards." Um, ya think?

I admit for the first time since I began this fight four years ago I have actually thought about quitting. Man I hate that word!!! But I'd rather die than quit. I hate porn. I hate seeing women and men lied to and destroyed by this industry. I hate seeing children violated by porn and how they imitate porn stars and use their cell phones to make porn videos with their friends. I hate hearing from wives how devastated they are because of their husband's addiction. I hate hearing how men have lost their families, jobs and friends because of their addiction and something in me screams out "ENOUGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Enough is enough. Porn has to come down. I don't know if it will come down in my lifetime but I do know I will fight the good fight of faith and blaze a trail that hopefully millions of others will join me on and stand up against this huge evil and ultimately porn will be removed from the face of this earth and families and people will be whole and healthy again.

My recovery was strong. My glory years at the end of my recovery were absolutely amazing. I had it all. The healthy and romantic marriage, the strong and healthy kids with lots of family fun, where being a Mom and Betty Crocker brought me so much joy and of course the highlight of my day was spending time with God in my rose garden. The word porn wasn't even mentioned in my home for 10 years. But then the call from God came, the chains were slapped on and now our life is very different. My family is fighting porn and it's not glamorous.

But no matter how dark it gets, we trust God. We KNOW God is with us. We KNOW this is is His work. We KNOW He is all powerful and all knowing and is perfectly capable of sustaining our family through anything.

Please pray for our family for a greater supernatural strength to keep going. Pray for more resources to come in so we can really help people trapped in porn. Pray for Jennie that she would recover strong and know the amazing love of God. Reading her blog again I noticed she wants nothing to do with God. She just doesn't know how good He really is. Please pray she would experience Him in a personal way. Please also continue to pray for other precious women recovering. Pray harder than you ever have before. We need more people praying. We KNOW God hears your prayers and is setting people free from the porn industry and porn addiction because of those prayers.

You may also see more of our prayer needs here.

We love you and thank those of you for praying and supporting our family and the work of Pink Cross Foundation. We definitely could not do any of this without your prayers and support.

Love and much gratitude,

Shelley


Three Ex Porn Stars Tell the Truth About Porn on Joni Show!









Thre ex porn stars, Shelley Lubben, Tammie Boling and Jan Merritt, tell the shocking truth about the porn industry on the Joni show! Watch it online right now right here.

We really hope the truth we share will inspire people all over the world to stop viewing pornography and to get help if they can't. We also hope women and men in the sex industry will hear our stories and be inspired to leave the sex industry and live the amazing life they were created to live. You only get one life. Live it well!

If you are a sex worker and you need help to leave the sex industry and rebuild your life, please contact us right away at help@thepinkcross.org. We'd love to help you! God bless you and love you, Shelley.



Ex Porn Star Lara Roxx Story









In March of 2004 Lara Roxx took a plane to Los Angeles leaving her native Montreal in search of a quick fortune in the Adult Entertainment’s land of opportunity known on the map as San Fernando Valley. Her plan was simple. She would first meet her agent and then embark on a busy work schedule. The more scenes, the more money, and in L.A a young woman could perform several scenes a day and easily earn as much as $10,000 to $15,000 a week depending on how open minded she was in terms of her physical boundaries. Eager to get to work Lara Roxx performed her first scene within 24 hours of landing on American soil. What was meant to be the first of many lucrative scenes was destined to end her career before it ever got off the ground.

The morning after she performed that scene she already saw her plan begin to unravel. She woke up with sores and an infection that gave her no other choice then to cancel the shoots she had scheduled to perform that day. Once again, the following morning she woke up with the same symptoms and had to cancel more shoots that her agent had booked for her and this cycle continued well into the next few weeks. Rather then working and making money she found herself growing deeper in debt as she rested and waited for her health to get better so that she could get back to the plan, which was to make a minimum of $30,000 to bring back to Montreal.
After about three weeks of canceling shoots because of the visible sores on her body and the fatigue she experienced which she initially attributed to a case of mononucleosis she received an alarming call from one of her agents who informed her that one of the two male performers she worked with had just tested positive for HIV. At that moment she already knew the verdict. She was also HIV positive. A series of blood tests would soon confirm this initially gut feeling.
Within 24 hours of testing positive for HIV Lara Roxx found herself cast into the media spotlight as journalist scrutinized the industry’s work ethics as well as Roxx’s short-lived porn career. The media was eager to make a poster-child out of this young naïve Canadian who wondered into a world that destroys souls. On the other end of the spectrum, the porn industry itself got involved in the media debate as big names such as Jenna Jameson set up a fund to aid those performers who were now out of work because of the HIV outbreak and the industry also discussed adopting tighter HIV screening methods to prevent further outbreaks. But these efforts were short lived. Lara Roxx received one check for $1500 from the Adult Industry Fund set up by Jameson and three years later fewer porn companies require mandatory condom use for their performer.
The last three years have been an ordeal for Lara Roxx. Her biggest challenge has been in achieving a sense of empowerment in the face of a lot of scrutiny. Not only has she faced adversity in her personal relationships because of people’s fears and ignorance about the HIV virus but she has also met with false assumptions because of how she contracted the virus. Nobody deserves to live with HIV no matter how they contracted it: whether one catches it on a porn-set or from a blood transfusion the implications of the illness are the same.
The alienation and fear that’s once crippled Lara Roxx now fuels her desire to help others overcome the obstacles that she faced alone. She believes there is strength in numbers and does not want anybody living with HIV to feel like they are alone as she felt when she first tested positive. The Lara Roxx Foundation wishes to raise money to spread awareness about the reality of living with HIV for both those that are infected and for those living with someone who is infected. The Lara Roxx Foundation’s mandate is to demystify the HIV/AIDS stigma. Provide education and awareness about treatments: both tradition and alternative health care. And to provide education in order to prevent the propagation of the AIDs virus(HIV).
Lara Roxx currently resides in Montreal, Quebec where she headquarters her foundation and is working on a documentary about living with HIV.

Shelley: Lara, we love you and are extremely proud of you for taking your pain and suffering and using it to help others. Pink Cross Foundation supports you! We are praying God will touch you and heal you completely. With God ALL things are possible!





Desi and Elli Foxx Leave Porn


Desi Foxx and her daughter Elli Foxx recently left the porn industry and have come to Pink Cross Foundation for help.

We really need your financial help to get them through this very tough time. It is not easy to leave the sex industry and any help you can give we are grateful for.

We will be assisting them with moving back home to Florida, finding news jobs and living expenses. I know times are tough but we still have to continue the work of helping people leave the porn industry.

Desi Foxx writes below:

My stage name is Desi Foxx. My daughter and I are both leaving the sex industry after a year and a half journey through porn. Our is a strange story in that I followed my daughter into porn to keep her safe and ended up doing it too. It was a bad time for both of our lives that lead us down this path.

The good news is my daughter has finally made the decision that she wants a normal life again. She really is a wonderful young woman who has withstood many attempts to break her down in the porn world. I'm so excited to see her and I both get back on a path of happiness in our lives and to get away from the abuse and control of the porn industry. We're moving back home hoping to pick up and go on with productive lives.

Shelley and Pink Cross Foundation have been there for us long before I ever contacted them for help. Learning there was a system to help us gave me strength to continue working to get my daughter out of the sex industry. Shelley has been there for me as a support system through some very emotional times. And now she is there for us helping with our needs as we work to get home and rebuild our lives. We know it will be hard work for us. We appreciate those who are helping Shelley as she helps women like us get out of the abusive world of the sex industry!

xoxoxo,

Desi Foxx

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


The recession may have reined in the number of submissions to the 29th annual AAM Museum Publications Design Competition (Pub Comp) but not the overall quality of submissions. And if there was one theme during the competition this year it was diversity—wider arrays of awards were handed out to more organizations than in the past.

More than 120 books, catalogues, posters, invitations, press kits and other materials have been selected as winners. The competition, which acknowledges excellence in the graphic design of museum publications, is the only national, juried event involving publications produced by museums of all kinds and sizes. This year’s contest drew more than 700 entries.

In 2000, AAM introduced the “best-of-show” award—the Frances Smyth-Ravenel Prize for Excellence in Publication Design. Known as the Franny, the prize is named for the late editor-in-chief at the National Gallery of Art, a longtime Pub Comp judge who was instrumental in helping the competition achieve the national stature it has today. This year, the judges awarded the Franny to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pa., for N.C. Wyeth Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, designed by Patricia Inglis, Inglis Design. The judges loved its classic presentation, timelessness and flawless production.

Competing institutions were divided according to budget: museums with annual operating budgets of $750,000 or more and those with budgets of less than $750,000. Within each budget division, entries competed in 15 categories, including books, educational resources, newsletters, fundraising materials and scholarly journals. Entries in all 15 categories were eligible for the Franny.

Two teams of judges chose the winners. Comprising the first team were Andrea Stevens, director of strategic communications, SITES, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and Susan v. Levine, creative director, AAM. Serving on the second team were Bennett DeOlazo, creative director, Studio B, Alexandria, Va., and Robert Wiser, art director, Archetype Press, Silver Spring, Md.

Many of the winning entries featured something you’d want to keep, from the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts’ quirky Coke-bottle shaped refrigerator magnets to small palm-sized kaleidoscopes from the Dallas Museum of Art. Another trend was the use of materials that echoed the theme of the exhibit, such as the pink, undulating waves on the Freer/Sackler Gallery’s invitation to “Gardens and Cosmos” and the stamp-like crimped edges of the Smithsonian National Postal Museum’s “Alphabetilately A to Z” exhibition calendar. “One of the more interesting trends this year was the emergence of crossover pieces: posters that were educational materials, invitations that doubled as calendars. These entries were a great way to solve design problems and cut down on costs,” said DeOlazo.

One thing that the judges were unanimous on was the desire to see more green printing. They would have liked to have seen more vegetable-based inks, post-consumer waste and chlorine-free paper, and waterless printing. “Green printing isn’t merely about saving money but presenting your institution as one that is not only concerned with the well-being of the environment but is actively doing something to protect it,” said Stevens. “Publicity like that is hard to come by and is often invaluable.”


The judges unanimously felt that next year’s competition would be very telling, with the economic downturn likely taking a toll on museums’ printing budgets. And while the task may seem daunting, it could also be a source of inspiration. “What is going to be the most interesting part of the competition next year is seeing how each entrant tries to reconcile the effect of the recession with the need to continue to produce publications that generate income and interest for their museum,” said Wiser. “It’s going to take some really creative thinking, but I think the results will be worth it.”




As the recession continues to roil global markets, erasing jobs and halving endowments, many museums and historic sites are doing their best simply to survive another day. No one can say precisely when the long climb back to a healthier economy might begin, or whether it already has, but even the most optimistic in the museum world believe the field will be littered with shuttered museums when it’s over.

Some—from Florida’s Gulf Coast Museum of Art to Washington, D.C.’s Bead Museum to the Minnesota Museum of American Art—have closed in the last year. Others, like the University of Connecticut’s Benton Museum of Art, the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum in Virginia City, Nev., and the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., to name just a few, have been in limbo in recent months their administrators say is driven largely by an economy in tatters.

Brandeis’s announcement in January that the Rose would be closed and its collections sold was met with fury among museum professionals and the general public, with Brandeis students staging fierce protests and editorials in U.S. newspapers blasting the decision. The silver lining: Visitation has skyrocketed, ruefully notes Rose Director Michael Rush, who was slated at press time to leave his job. Where once weekend visitors numbered in the 50-person range, the uproar has increased attendance 20-fold.

“Hearing the support from people everywhere is enormously heartening,” Rush told Museum magazine. (He and most colleagues have been advised that their positions will be terminated this summer effective June 30, although some of the staff may continue at the university in different roles.) “My stomach still churns every day, but that helps a lot.” At press time, the Rose was said to be slated to reopen in July, though what art will be on exhibit there and the precise use of the building was as of yet undetermined.

The questionable ethics of collections-as-liquid-asset notwithstanding, even the most vociferous outcry from laypersons and professionals alike cannot save an institution whose financial outlook has gone from poor to bleak. Or whose audience has dwindled to a trickle. Or—more subtly and often more painfully—whose particular role as keeper of cultural, historic and/or artistic missions no longer meets constituencies’ needs.

An institution struggling to stay solvent may be required to “find a willingness to give up an identity that is no longer viable,” says John Gray, director of the Autry National Center (ANC) in Los Angeles, formed when the Southwest Museum and the Museum of the American West—as well as the Women of the West Museum, which had no physical collections—merged into one entity. “There are not many who are willing to say, ‘We can no longer be what we were.’”

Financial struggles and outmoded missions are not the only reasons museums close. “Being a volunteer-run organization without a patron to help us hire or maintain staff became overwhelming,” says Hilary Whitaker, who served as president of the board of the Bead Museum when it opened in 1997. The museum’s 2008 closure cut close to the bone. “I feel like I have lost a child,” says Whitaker, who along with others on the board is in talks to determine what will become of the museum’s collections, now under the care of the Bead Society of Greater Washington.

For other museums that will not make it through this economic storm, the agonizing questions about the countless painful aspects of closure pile up quickly. Complicated by raw emotion and entangled in legal considerations, among the pressing questions that must be answered as an organization considers closure are: What will become of our collections and the buildings that house them? What becomes of the trust placed in our institutions by the public? And what are our responsibilities—financial, patrimonial, ethical, cultural—to our staff, visitors, donors and communities?

Staff and board members who have struggled through the closure of a museum do not wear the scars from the ordeal lightly. “The decision to close was gut-wrenching, in terms of the ramifications to our community and the embarrassment that we had failed in our stewardship,” says Rick Collette, former chair of the board of trustees at the Bellevue Arts Museum (BAM) in Bellevue, Wash.

Opened in 1975 to promote the crafts and arts of the Pacific Northwest, BAM changed its mission in 2001 to focus more on contemporary art. The new emphasis coincided with the move to a new, larger building across the street from the museum’s original location.

“The reopening and first exhibition were a disappointment to our constituencies,” says Collette, who chaired the board at the time and still serves on it. Visitors “expected art and craft, which had been our legacy. And we were still learning to work with our new space. No one made any mistakes, per se,” he is quick to add, “but the feedback we got was that while visitors were happy about the new building, they weren’t sure how they felt about the art or the way it was displayed.”

Even as the first post-move director left and a second one was hired, attendance at BAM shrank, with revenue failing to keep pace with operating expenses. “When there isn’t excitement about what you are doing, your funding doesn’t develop,” Collette says. “We knew we could not keep this thing running on hope.” In 2003, BAM’s board voted to close the museum.

Whether an institution is closing a single site or merging with and absorbing the collections, staff and purpose of another, the hurdles are significant. “It wasn’t easy, and it still isn’t,” says Gray, who helped guide the merger of three institutions into the ANC in 2003.

The decision to merge meant, among other things, changes to the galleries and programming taking place at the Southwest Museum’s site, which to this day bothers some neighbors adjacent to it. “There are a handful of residents who want [the Southwest Museum] to return to its old condition and programming,” Gray says. Currently the museum is open to the public on weekends, says Joan Cumming, ANC’s senior director of marketing. Like New York’s Cloisters—a separate entity of the Metropolitan Museum of Art—the Southwest Museum’s name and identity will be preserved under the larger umbrella of the ANC, she explains.

Gray describes several of the factors he believes helped make a challenging situation proceed as smoothly as could possibly be expected. For one thing, the affected institutions made a pact that no objects would be deaccessioned for ten years following the merger. “While deaccessioning was not something anyone wanted to do, this [agreement] calmed the fears of some who thought that was the intent,” he says.

In addition, “we did this merger as equals, with the boards truly merging at the same level of authority.” Southwest Museum trustees were not immediately required to make the same financial contribution as trustees of the Museum of the American West had been making; they were offered a grace period of three years to either meet that level of financial support or retire from the board, no questions asked. “It was a gracious, comfortable resolution to that issue,” Gray says.

A third factor was the calculation of a sum—$750,000—that was deemed necessary to take care of the Southwest’s collections and staff for the first six post-merger months. This money, put up largely by Autry trustees, Gray says, gave Southwest staff time to adjust to new responsibilities, look for new jobs, move objects to different locations and draw up preliminary plans for everything from upgraded landscaping to improved handicapped accessibility.

Indeed, board members’ actions as closure emerges as the last, best resort mean the difference between a closure that is merely bittersweet—or one tinged with rancor. “I can’t tell you how proud I am of all the remaining trustees who behaved in the most wonderful, mature way,” says Gray.

For his part, Collette recalls sitting down with each BAM board member, asking each to consider the ramifications of the closure, the reasons why things went awry—and, optimistically, what it would take to reopen BAM at some future point. “I said to them, ‘This is going to be a difficult journey, and I don’t want to ask you to do something you don’t have the stomach for.’” Not all members stayed on, he says, but those who did “absolutely worked their tails off” in the hopes of reopening the museum down the road.

Once BAM was shuttered—its exhibitions deinstalled, artworks returned to their owners, staff hired to secure the building—much of the board’s efforts involved listening to various museum stakeholders. “We must have met with over 800 museum staff, community leaders, public officials and artists in the 90 days” after closure, says Collette. Loud and clear, the board heard from these groups an overwhelming desire to return to BAM’s legacy of craft and design and to present not only artists with ties to the region, but those with a national following. The hiring of a third director—Michael Monroe, who had been the director at the Renwick Gallery, a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum—helped position BAM to reopen in 2005 to broad acclaim.

Not every institution has the wherewithal—financial or other-wise—to take it on the chin from community members, preserve an institution’s physical plant and collections for an indeterminate length of time, and court and hire new leadership—especially with such uncertainty gripping world markets.

“I don’t believe we would merge in this climate,” says ANC’s Gray. “I don’t think the trustees, who were enormously innovative in 2003, would be willing to take on such a risk today.”

Indeed, the effects of the current fiscal crisis are putting even seasoned museum professionals’ optimism to extreme tests. “There is a general feeling in the field that in this economy, there are going to be some historic house museums that are no longer viable,” says Jim Vaughan, vice president of stewardship of historic sites at the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) in Washington, D.C. “The question is, what are our stewardship obligations for them?”

Vaughan says that NTHP is attempting to answer that question with a set of guidelines under development to help shepherd owners and administrators of historic houses through the murky thicket of closure. (The American Association of State and Local History Museums is also drafting its own guidelines.) “I wish we had been doing this a year ago, but of course we didn’t know a year ago” there would be significant demand for this information due to a confluence of factors, economic and otherwise, Vaughan adds.

When a merging partner cannot be found for a historic house, Vaughan says that NTHP may support putting such a house in private hands to continue its mission, with covenants attached to ensure that the owners preserve the house according to predetermined standards and perhaps even open it to the public each year. He points to the Robert E. Lee Boyhood Home in Alexandria, Va., among those historic properties now privately held. “Perhaps one day, a now-private historic house like that one will once more be open to the public,” Vaughan says. “This kind of protection assures it will be there for the next generation.”

The issue of the objects inside a house’s four walls is thornier. “There may be collections that came with the house, or things you gathered that weren’t part of the history of the house but help tell the story of the community where the house was located,” he says. “Should they be sold into private hands or given to a local historical society?”

That’s an ongoing question faced by the staff of Cliveden of the National Trust, a historic house in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood that merged in 2004 with its across-the-street neighbor, Upsala. David Young, executive director of Cliveden, describes the merger as a “creative solution to the question of sustainability.”

“Other museums should consider this,” he says. “Upsala succeeded in fulfilling its mission, line one of which was to preserve the building and make effective use of the collections. It didn’t become a grocery store.” The building is in the process of being converted into what Young describes as a community resource—a place for neighborhood associations, historic preservation groups and others to meet—while the future of the furniture and other household effects is under discussion.

“Some of the [hundreds of] items are directly related to the original provenance of Upsala, and some were collected ad hoc over the years or loaned from other sites,” says Young. To help make sense of which objects fit into Cliveden’s future, “we are teasing out a statement of what precisely it is that Cliveden collects.” Items that do not work with Cliveden’s freshly honed mission may be offered to other Germantown historic sites or be considered for deaccessioning. Preserving the public trust in the face of deaccessioning boils down to maintaining an ultra high level of transparency as you strategically consider each item in your collection.

Take it from one who knows. When Calgary’s Glenbow Museum downsized its collections in the early 1990s, “we got a lot of criticism from museum professionals, though not from the public,” says Robert Janes, who was director of Glenbow at the time and is now editor in chief of the quarterly journal Museum Management and Curatorship. “We identified an amazing amount of high-quality material that would never see the light of day.” Items sold to institutions with whose missions they would better align resulted in funds invested into an endowment, “which spins off income to take care of the collections we are keeping.

“This notion of fiduciary trust—that you have to keep everything forever—is just incredibly unrealistic,” continues Janes, especially considering that few donors include with their gifts funds sufficient to support, maintain and preserve the items in perpetuity.

Keeping collections accessible to the public post-closure is a promise many museums strive to keep through a variety of creative methods. When administrators of the 73-year-old Gulf Coast Museum of Art (GCM) in Largo, Fla., announced in mid-2008 that it would close, the president of St. Petersburg College (SPC), Carl Kuttler, leapt at the chance to acquire GCM’s collections for SPC’s Leepa-Ratner Museum of Art, located at the school’s Tarpon Springs, Fla., campus. “We saw some news stories that said [GCM] was planning to give its art to museums all over Florida,” said Kuttler. “And we thought, what a shame, because this is a lot of great Florida art, with landscapes and seashores.”

SPC made an overture to GCM officials, who agreed to gift the 425-piece collection, whose monetary value is estimated around $750,000, to the college’s foundation. Some of the works will be on view at the Leepa-Ratner; others will be displayed at the Florida International Museum, which shares space with the college in its downtown St. Petersburg location.

Kuttler notes that integrating the arts with education helps foster students’ growth. “I see it as part of the extended curriculum,” he says. “Looking at art, making art—that is how we learn about our civilization.”

There is some good news amid the chaos: At press time, the Benton was still open, its hours curtailed. And the East Ely Railroad Depot Museum—once slated for closure as of July 1—remains open with a single staffer, director Sean Pitts. “The community outrage [at the prospect of closure] was loud enough to be heard at the state capitol in Carson City,” says Pitts. “We battled back, and it was a hard fight, but legislators have put us back in the budget—for now.”

Ultimately, the factors that guide board members and museum staff through the labyrinth of ethical considerations involve a certain mix of flexibility, resilience, impartiality and a willingness to consider different scenarios by which the organization’s mission might continue or change in the decades ahead.

At the ANC, it’s a question of choosing to prioritize funds for conservation for the time being. Gray says that the extensive field notes and other documentation related to the Southwest Museum’s collections are in the process of being organized and “aligned with the objects themselves” to better assist future scholars.

Other intriguing solutions present themselves when a museum considers what new roles it might play in the community—either locally or globally. “A museum might say, ‘We are going to try to make a difference in the world,’” says Janes. He points to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, N.J., whose campaign to make local teens aware of the health consequences of smoking has spawned a series of educational videoconferences in which students observe surgeries and interact with the medical personnel performing them.

It boils down to “BYOM—bring your open mind,” says Cliveden’s Young. “Consider multiple alternatives. Consider the context in which your museum operates today. Consider what the community needs. And consider not what you would like your museum to be but what it is.”

Most Expensive Living Artist - Lucian Freud


Lucian Freud has become the most expensive living artist at auction with his "Big Sue" painting. The large naked woman painted on a couch is called "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping" and sold for $33.6m or £17.2m at Christies last week. The sitter is Sue Tilley and she sat for Freud over a four year period.

I'm so glad that a painterly painter now holds the title of the most expensive living artist at auction. Big shiny hearts and pill cabinets might be interesting but how can they compare to a painting by a living master?! Of course I'm biased as I'm a painter too, but who isn't biased?

The London based Russian oil billionaire Roman Abramovich is said to be the buyer of Lucian Freud's Big Sue and Francis Bacon's triptych (which sold for $86.3 million or £43 million)
>> Lucian Freud News, Art Collecting, Art Auctions

Needs and Wants For Sale


The internet seems to have spawned a whole movement of entrepreneurial artists that have worked out that an idea and a little viral marketing can get you a lot of attention and maybe even a little money.

I have already mentioned the Money series paintings, 1000 Paintings (and an imitator), Bond Paintings and NYC Rubbish. I think they're probably all better ideas than they are art, but they're all very interesting ideas.

Another idea is to paint something that you want (for example, one million dollars) and then sell the painting for the price of that object. One million dollars would be quite expensive as it would cost one million dollars, but if you only wanted things like a pizza slice ($3), dinner at a Japanese restaurant ($152), or a piece of steak ($18), you might find a buyer.

Christine and Justin from New York City are the artists (or should I call them entrepreneurs?) behind the project. Wants for Sale has a list of things that they want, while Needs for Sale has a list of things that charities need (with all the money going to the chosen charity.)
>> Contemporary Artists, Internet, Art Marketing

Vietnamese Painter Do Hoang Tuong's Studio





The latest art studio belongs to the Vietnamese painter Do Hoang Tuong based in Saigon, Vietnam. More work by the artist can be seen at Galerie Quynh.


He does wonderful little paintings like these below..


I enjoy looking through artist studios so much that I decided to make it a semi-regular thing. So if you have a few photos of your art studio or workspace and would like to share them

Make sure the images are under 1mb in size as they don't have to be MASSIVE and my inbox clogs up. Include a short paragraph about your space if you wish and your website address if you have one. Artist studios from all creative people are welcome and it doesn't have to be a beautiful working space.. it just has to work for you.

Here's the studios so far (listed alphabetically so that my studio is conveniently placed at the top.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Naomi Sims, 61, Pioneering Cover Girl, Is Dead





Naomi Sims, whose appearance as the first black model on the cover of Ladies’ Home Journal in November 1968 was a consummate moment of the Black is Beautiful movement, and who went on to design successful collections of wigs and cosmetics for black women under her name, died Saturday in Newark. She was 61 and lived in Newark.


She died of cancer, said her son, Bob Findlay.

Ms. Sims is sometimes referred to as the first black supermodel.

“Naomi was the first,” the designer Halston told The New York Times in 1974. “She was the great ambassador for all black people. She broke down all the social barriers.”

Ms. Sims often said childhood insecurities and a painful upbringing — living in foster homes, towering over her classmates and living in a largely poor white neighborhood in Pittsburgh — had inspired her to strive to become “somebody really important” at a time when cultural perceptions of black Americans were being challenged by the civil rights movement and a renewed stress on racial pride.

When Ms. Sims arrived in New York on a scholarship to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1966, there was very little interest in fashion for black models and only a handful who had been successful, like Dorothea Towles Church, who starred in the couture shows in 1950s Paris, and Donyale Luna, who was named Vogue’s model of the year in 1966.

In need of money, Ms. Sims, with her heart-shaped face and long limbs, was encouraged by classmates and counselors to give it a try. But every agency she approached turned her down, some telling her that her skin was too dark.

Undeterred, Ms. Sims decided to approach photographers herself. Gosta Peterson, a photographer for The Times, agreed to photograph her for the cover of its August 1967 fashion supplement, then called Fashions of The Times.

The agencies were still not interested, so Ms. Sims, showing a dash of enterprise that would later define her career, told Wilhelmina Cooper, a former model who was starting her own agency, that she would send out copies of the magazine to advertising agencies with Ms. Cooper’s number attached. Ms. Cooper could have a commission if anyone called back.

Within a year, Ms. Sims was earning $1,000 a week and had been hired for a national television campaign for AT&T, which showed her and two other models — one white and one Asian — wearing fashions by Bill Blass.

“It helped me more than anything else because it showed my face,” Ms. Sims told Ladies’ Home Journal the following year, when she appeared on its cover, the first time a black model was featured so prominently in a mainstream women’s publication. “After it was aired, people wanted to find out about me and use me.”

Ms. Sims was suddenly in high demand, modeling for top designers like Halston, Teal Traina, Fernando Sánchez and Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, and standing at the vanguard of a fashion movement for black models that would give rise to runway stars of the 1970s, including Pat Cleveland, Alva Chinn and Beverly Johnson.

Two images of Ms. Sims — one from the 1967 Times fashion magazine cover and the other from a 1969 issue of Life — are in the current Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition “The Model as Muse.” In a catalog, the curators Harold Koda and Kohle Yohannan wrote, “The beautifully contoured symmetry of Sims’s face and the lithe suppleness of her body presented on the once-exclusionary pages of high-fashion journals were evidence of the wider societal movement of Black Pride and the full expression of ‘Black is Beautiful.’ ”

But Ms. Sims, in interviews, often said she held the industry in low regard because of the way male executives treated her and, more generally, she said, “because people have the idea that models are stupid.”

After five years, she gave up modeling and started a wig-making business with styles designed for black women. It eventually expanded into a multimillion-dollar beauty empire and at least five books on modeling and beauty.

“There is nothing sadder than an old, broke model, and there are many models who have nothing at the end of their career,” Ms. Sims told The Times in 1969.

Naomi Ruth Sims was born on March 30, 1948, in Oxford, Miss., the third of three daughters of John and Elizabeth Sims. Her father was a porter. Her parents divorced shortly after she was born, and all she knew of her father, she told Ladies’ Home Journal, was “that my mother told me he was an absolute bum.”

The family moved to Pittsburgh, where her mother became ill and Ms. Sims was placed in foster care. She remained close with her sisters, and followed the next oldest, Betty, to New York after graduating from Westinghouse High School.

Her 1973 marriage to Michael Findlay, the Manhattan art dealer, ended in divorce in 1991. Besides their son, Bob, who lives in Seattle, she is survived by Betty Sims, who lives in Manhattan, and a granddaughter. Doris Sims, her oldest sister, died in 2008.

In addition to pursuing studies at F.I.T., Ms. Sims took night courses in psychology at New York University but gave them up when her modeling career took off and she became a celebrity, running in a glamorous crowd that included Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol.

She retained, however, the sense of propriety that her foster parents had instilled in her. In 1972, the producers of the movie “Cleopatra Jones” sought to cast Ms. Sims in the title role, but she turned it down because, she said, she was offended by its racist portrayal of black people. (The role went to the model Tamara Dobson.)

In 1973, Ms. Sims decided to start her own business. As a model, she often did her own hair and makeup, since many studio assistants were unfamiliar with working with darker skin. And she noticed that most commercially available wigs were designed for Caucasian hair, so she began experimenting with her own designs, baking synthetic hairs in her oven at home to create the right texture to look like straightened black hair. Within five years, her designs, produced by the Metropa Company, had annual sales of $5 million.

She also began writing books, including “All About Health and Beauty for the Black Woman,” “How to Be a Top Model” and “All About Success for the Black Woman,” as well as an advice column for teenage girls in Right On! magazine.

In the 1980s, she expanded the Naomi Sims Collection to include a prestige fragrance, beauty salons and cosmetics, but by the end of the decade she had become less involved with its daily operations. Many images of Ms. Sims from that period are still used to promote the products that bear her name.

Ms. Sims often attributed her success to using her race as an advantage.

“It’s ‘in’ to use me,” she said early on, “and maybe some people do it when they don’t really like me. But even if they are prejudiced, they have to be tactful if they want a good picture.”



Sun protection: the burning question on the beaches


It’s no longer cool to have a suntan, but is there a healthy balance between exposure and protection?


Once upon a time, a suntan was a tangible indication that you could afford to go on foreign holidays, while your pallid pals only got as far as Brighton. Then, along came cheap flights and fake tan and suddenly anyone could get brown.

Gradually, evidence amassed that not only did sun exposure trigger a range of skin cancers but it also gave you skin like an old handbag. This week’s news that sunbeds are now considered as carcinogenic as cigarettes will only heighten concerns.

Meanwhile, the use of sunscreens has become something of a fetish in the cosmetics industry, where everything from body lotion to hairspray can now be found with added SPFs (sun protection factors). So, is this a sensible step forward, or will we, in years to come, wonder why we shopped around for organic food while covering the largest organ of our bodies in a cocktail of chemicals?

Dr Christopher Rowland Payne, consultant dermatologist at the London Clinic, promotes a common-sense approach. “We don’t have any reason to suppose that sunscreens are not safe,” he says. What we do know, he adds, is that “around one in five of the British population (and one in four white British) will develop skin cancer at some stage in their lives (although only one tenth of those cases will be potentially lethal melanomas). But this does not mean we need to cover ourselves in sunscreen all year round – in this country it is not really necessary from October to March.”

In fact, year round, some exposure to the sun is good for you. The body needs sunlight to produce vitamin D, a highly beneficial compound that has been shown to actively protect against at least 16 different internal cancers, including those of the breast, colon, prostate and pancreas.

This is not, however, a licence to grill. You will get all the vitamin D you need in 15 minutes of unprotected exposure per day. And it is all too easy to overdo it, even in Britain. According to Mike Brown, suncare scientific adviser at Boots, there is a serious lack of respect for the British sunshine. “Nearly three quarters of adults we spoke to admitted that either they or someone else in their family has been sunburnt here because they didn’t think it was sunny enough to require sun protection.”

So is this the point where you reach for the factor 50? Well, not necessarily, according to Rowland Payne. “The best idea is to stay out of the sun most of the time. Sit in the shade, wear loose clothes, sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat. When that is not practical, use sunscreens.”

All quite straightforward. The tricky bit is navigating your way through the bewildering array of products. Are more expensive creams better than cheaper ones? Is factor 50 twice as virtuous as factor 25? Well, no, on both counts. Higher price tags buy you beautiful packages, luxurious textures and perfumes, but no better protection than similarly rated cheap products.

Nor does factor 50 offer significantly superior protection to factor 30 or 25. No product can give 100 per cent protection and the advice from Cancer Research UK is that SPF15 (measuring protection against UVB rays, which can cause sunburn and cancer) with four-star UVA protection (against skin ageing and cancer) offers the best balance between protection and price.

The next dilemma is deciding on a type of screen. Most obvious are the choices between clear and tinted, lotions and sprays. In addition, you must choose between chemical screens (also known as organic screens), mineral (or inorganic) screens, or a combination of the two.

Liz Earle, a former beauty journalist who now sells a range of natural beauty products under her name, is committed to mineral sunscreens. “I have very sensitive skin and chemical sunscreens irritate me,” she says. “Mineral screens contain titanium dioxide and zinc (used for 100 years in nappy rash creams). These sit on the skin and reflect the sun’s rays away like a suit of armour. And unlike chemical screens, which must be applied some time before exposure to be effective, mineral screens work the minute you put them on.”

Although recognising that some people have allergic reactions, Mike Brown of Boots maintains that most of us have nothing to worry about. “There are no issues with any UV-filter ingredients in sunscreens for the vast majority of the population. Every ingredient has been screened and declared safe by an independent panel of experts at the European Commission. Then the level at which we can use them is set at more than 100 times lower than the known safe exposure level.”

Rowland Payne confirms that mineral screens are the most effective. “That is why Polar explorers use them. The down side is that they tend to leave a pronounced white cast on the skin which most people do not want.”

Realistically, he says, most people will opt for the greater convenience of chemical or combination formulas.

But probably more important than what you apply is how you apply it. That means applying it early enough – usually 20 minutes before you go out in the sun for chemical screens – in sufficient quantity, frequently enough and, crucially, over every bit of exposed skin. “I see a disproportionate number of melanomas at the edges of clothing, around bikini outlines, where trousers don’t quite meet tops, and so on,” says Rowland Payne.

And, if you do all of this, is it possible to safely build up a suntan? Well, no, if you really are concerned about the health of your skin. According to Mike Brown: “Your skin only tans in response to skin damage, as a protective mechanism. So every suntan involves a bit of sun damage. The 64 million dollar question is, 'Is there a safe level of damage?’ Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer to this, so pale and interesting is the only known way to be safe.”

SUN SENSE

  • Take care from March to September, but relax for the rest of the year
  • Keep an eye on the clock – no screen is needed on the morning school run, but don’t linger in the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • Physical barriers should be your first line of defence – stay in the shade and wear sunglasses, loose-fitting clothing and a wide-brimmed hat
  • Apply sunscreen in sufficient quantity and take care to cover all exposed skin, including ears, nape of neck and tops of feet
  • Teach your children sun sense from an early age – childhood sunburn increases the risk of melanoma in later life