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Daily Archives: May 30, 2020
A Simple Stoic Weighs the Sanctity of Place: Thoughts on the Art of Kathryn Keller – whitehotmagazine.com
Posted: May 30, 2020 at 9:50 pm
Kathryn Keller, Inglewood House, 2016, oil on gessoed paper, 18 x 28 inches
By JAMES D. CAMPBELL May, 2020
Rationalists, wearing square hats,
Think, in square rooms,
Looking at the floor,
Looking at the ceiling.
They confine themselves
To right-angled triangles.
If they tried rhomboids,
Cones, waving lines, ellipses --
As, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon --
Rationalists would wear sombreros.
-- Wallace Stevens, Six Significant Landscapes
One place understood helps us understand all places better.
-- Eudora Welty
The simple, selfless stoicism and haunting cadenced silences of Kathryn Kellers landscapes and interiors evoke the South in all its richness and with something like earthy rapture. She dilates on our relationship with Nature with eloquent understatement and unrivalled technical finesse. That the poet Wallace Stevens was a fellow traveller in this respect is clear from the poem excerpted above in which he touches upon our relationship with Nature with righteous lucidity and humour.
Indeed, the sixth significant landscape of StevensSix Significant Landscapesis an insouciant romp with its image of a philosopher wearing a sombrero, having left rationalism behind for the intuitive fluency of poetic thinking. Keller is a supremely intuitive artist who reads and renders -- the Book of Nature in similarly arresting, non-rational ways.
Kellers interiors and landscapes bespeak humility and understatement. Her interiors often focus on the contents of her own studio spaces, with loving fidelity, as an incubator of her visions and a full platter of her materials, instruments and supports. In this regard, she reminds me of Michael Merrill, the Montreal-based representational painter who has used his own studio as creative alembic for establishing the primacy of the imagination over reality these last many years.
Kathryn Keller, A Storm Approaching, 2015, oil on gessoed paper, 13 1/2 by 20 1/2 inches
In herIdes of March(2019, oil on canvas the orderly assortment of brushes and bottled oils and paints is a tasty invocation of her studio life. InA Storm Approaching(2015, oil on gessoed paper) the suggestive torpor in the upper atmosphere and the delineation of the house inInglewood House(2016, oil on paper) enjoy an unlikely radical equivalence. The house as guarantor of security and sanctity, for instance in herInglewood 11-19-18(watercolor on paper), is counterpoised with the forbidding grey trees seen from within the window, Her palette is sumptuous yet restrained, her mark-making like breathing. Long and short exhalations of pigment summon up her circumstances and surrounds with diaphanous passages that carry the viewer along with them into the heart of perceived and remembered place.
Keller paints from Inglewood Farm in Alexandria, Louisiana, at the geographic centre of the State and of the South. She is a child of her region, but she has spent time in El Dorado, Arkansas, went to college in Tennessee at the University of the South, studied at the Arkansas Art Center, lived in NYC for a period of time with her first husband, raised her kids and spent a lot of time in New Orleans in the Garden District of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina she settled back full time in Alexandria, Louisiana.
Kathryn Keller, Studio 2-21-19, 2019, oil on canvas, 30 by 30 inches
The flat land thereabouts is riddled with nodes of remembered place, ritual emplacement, familial investiture, love. It is here that Keller feels most at home, even when she limns painting with the surpassing strangeness of the everyday. Her optic moves restlessly across the full array of what is seen in those places. Her watercolors are tremulous enclosures suffused with a soft luminosity, tactual and true. Keller seizes upon a room and invests it with a porous ligature of pure light. She exerts a transient ownership over things seen, the living tapestry of the South, and communicates it with something like love.
Her gaze is attracted by groves of trees, disturbances in the atmosphere, the comforts of home. That she is the product of her environment is clear from her loving dilation on its particularities as they come under her purview. Keller is a painter of deft and simple means, and her selfless stoicism always shines through, a beacon of truth and perseverance. We have no doubt that this artists familiarity with and love for Southern place and remembered place is deep, sustaining and true.
Walker Percy, inThe Moviegoer, said: Nobody but a Southerner knows the wrenching rinsing sadness of the cities of the North. Keller remains a scion of Southern place, and palpates with genuine joy the inherent magic of the land with the casual authority of her own hands. All her teeming relationships with specific places are layered there in her work, and the depth and duration of those relationships are as important to her as the physical sites themselves.
If she puts paint to place, Keller also paintsrefuge. Her houses, so lovingly adumbrated, enjoy great quiet and a sense of erotic melancholy that draws the viewer inwards. Keller is no narcissist or show-off. Still, the amplitude of mood in her work is such that it casts a widening net that effortlessly catches us up, offering a gratifying emotional experience that transcends all the trappings of the built world.
Kathryn Keller, Inglewood, 11-19-19, watercolor on paper, 20 1/2 x 14 inches
Kellers paintings have been called elegiac, but the elegiac strains in her work never reach the level of outright or strident lamentation. Perhaps because she is a believer in place and its sanctity, commemoration and celebration. Notably, she is also one allergic to dramatic license for its own sake. One commentator noted a family resemblance with the cemetery scenes of Louisiana photographer and pioneer Surrealist Clarence John Laughlin. To embody silence meaningfully is surely no mean feat. Keller is able to do so with understatement and brio -- and without resorting to needless plangency or rationalistic excess. To return to the poem by Wallace Stevens, we would not be surprised to find that Keller wears a sombrero both in and out of her studio.
Kathryn Keller whole oeuvre is a profound meditation on place. What does it mean to be a Southerner? What does it mean to luxuriate in those landscapes as natural to you as your own flesh jacket? She would surely agree with Eudora Welty Beauty is not a means, not a way of furthering a thing in the world. It is a result; it belongs to ordering, to form, to aftereffect. Keller has shown she can excavate an ennobling measure of beauty from the landscapes of her present and past to exalting effect. As Welty also once said: One place understood helps us understand all places better. Kellers remarkable landscapes make us understand the restless nomenclature of all places better, but those of the South particularly when it is understood as a small paradigm of the terrestrial paradise. WM
Follow Keller on Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/kathryn_keller_art
Kathryn Keller is represented by LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans, Louisiana. In 2021 LeMieux Galleries is doing a two-person show with Keller and the artist Shirley Rabe Masinter. The show will open January 8th, 2021 and will run through Saturday, February 27th 2021. To see works that are currently available at LeMieux Galleries check out the link below.https://www.lemieuxgalleries.com/artists/KathrynKeller
Kathryn Keller is also represented by The The Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, North Carolina. To see available works at the gallery click the link below.https://eldergalleryclt.com/kathryn-keller
Kathryn Keller is also represented by Moremen Gallery in Louisville, Kentucky. To see available works click the linkbelow. https://www.moremengallery.com/kathryn-keller-1?lightbox=dataItem-jig0qkte1
Posted: at 9:50 pm
The sole focus of an enlightenment programme is to instil, in the breasts and psyche of Ghanaian citizens, a consciousness of fidelity to the Republic; pride in our culture, traditions, institutions and achievements; awareness of civic rights and responsibilities; and an African identity. We seek to stand out as a powerful and highly influential Republic that, with the divine help of God, shall build a better universe for mankind.
Our academic mission and curriculum is the most potent antidote for poverty, disease and various other social obstacles that continue to deprive the average free citizen from realising a dignified life in Ghana thus service, first and foremost, to God and ancestors duly; family and enterprise; district and province; and the Republic to which distinctive duties are owed.
The Ghanaian Dream and Renaissance
The Ghanaian Dream is to be an erudite and moral law-abiding administrator of your household and an industrious entrepreneur or public servant; a proven catalyst of district development; an accomplished statesman and, or, innovative industrialist to the province; and above all, a distinguished architect of the Republic.
The Ghanaian Renaissance is a full expression of our traditional aesthetics in beautifying our public institutions and private enterprises a form of ultra-nationalism and love for our Republic that crystallises the diverse cultures of each clan and nation-state.
Centres of Scholarship
It is the paramount responsibility of government to ensure education, at whatever cost necessary, is provided to all Ghanaians, wherever they may find themselves on the map, without regard for their individual social and economic circumstances.
The quality of indigenous scholarship and excellence of educational institutions ought to be a great source of national pride, a worthy continental export and our rightful claim to global fame.
To each Province, a model deluxe primary and secondary centre of scholarship which is culturally aesthetic inspired by a fine blend of indigenous ancient African architecture and modern technology must be constructed in its Provincial capital. Each monumental structure, an edifice that evokes fascination, must be furnished with a baronial public library; palatial classrooms; resident halls; a banquet hall and private museum; athletic facilities; a grand theatre hall and state-of-the-art science and technology labs.
The government must make provincial funds and bursaries, at secondary and tertiary education, available to students proven exceptional in academia; sports and theatre.
Centres of Scholarship should be separated, administratively, from institutions of dogma such as traditional shrines/temples, mosques or churches. The educational curriculum should include, at the conclusion of secondary school education, optional service to either the government or military as a prelude to university studies.
Our Republic must unswervingly aim at, and strain our treasury to procure, despite the ever-present question of finance, quality education for our citizens.
The Era of Enlightenment.
In an era when multiple esoteric fraternities were established on the Gold Coast G. H. T. Lyall inaugurated, in 1874, the Masonic Club; the Good Templars founded, in 1877, by the General Superintendent of the Wesleyan Mission and Commanding Officer of the Castle garrison, with the support of Lodge Deputy Grand Chief Templar, J. P. Brown; and the Odd-fellows was instituted in 1880 the Mfantsi Amanbuhu Fekuw, also known as the Fante National Political Society, was established in Cape Coast, Central Province, Gold Coast in 1889 to deliberately to revive African literature, fashion and music.
A legal colossus, eminent political reformist and publisher who hailed from the Central Province, as well as a pioneer of the Fante National Political Society, John Mensah Sarbah joined the Fante Public School Company, a missionary enterprise which in 1903, founded the Mfantsi National Education Fund that, by 1905, financed the Mfantsipim Secondary School.
Sarbah, an altruistic person, embodied the values of a true patriot dedicated to enlightenment and renaissance. He set up a scholarship for students and staff members to protect the perpetual success of Mfantsipim.
It is through the ethics and values of our centres of scholarship that the Republic could harness a meritocratic Ghanaian society where there is equal opportunity for all citizens, abundant reward for ambition with an emphasis on individual freedom and national unity.
There is, therefore, still an urgent need, as bluntly expressed by the Gold Coast Aborigines Protection Society in 1902, for educated Ghanaian citizens, and not westernised Africans, committed to the ideal of a Republic with a revered and ethereal civilisation. While our indigenous institutions must meet internationally acceptable standards, our enlightenment programme must be devised on the basis of Ghanaian exceptionalism.
I cannot emphasise enough; this is Ghanas Space Generation. This is the generation of rationalism, freedom of thought and enquiry.
The author, Vincent Djokoto, is Business Executive and Columnist. Twitter/Instagram @VLKDjokoto
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Posted: at 9:48 pm
Just a few short months ago, the Cystic Fibrosis (CF) community was making strides in their fight to have life-saving 'orphan' drugs approved in Canada.
Then COVID-19 hit, and their efforts were put aside as the government grappled with the pandemic.
Local resident, Beth Vanstone, mother of CF Warrior Madi Vanstone, spoke with BradfordToday earlier this week to discuss the challenges the CF community is now facing and the tremendous effort being made to have the government to approve orphan drugsin Canada, not only for CF patients, but for all Canadians with rare conditions and diseases.
What are orphan drugs? And why are they critical to so many Canadians?
Orphan drugs treat rare diseases. They tend to be hugelyexpensive,due to the lengthy research involved in development, and the small percentage of people needing them. There is no chance of mass-production or mass-consumption, to bring down the price.
Eighteen-year-old Madi is currently on the medication Kalydeco, another orphan drug,to treat her CF.
Madi was diagnosed with CF at nine months of age, and struggled throughout childhood with multiple hospitalizations due to her illness, often missingschool.
Six years ago, when Kalydeco was released, Madi was able to take the drug as part of a drug trial - and the Vanstones launched their battle with theOntario government, to have themedication Kalydeco covered by OHIP. Without coverage, the cost to the Vanstones - even with private insurance and a discount from the pharmaceutical company - would have come to approximately $60,000 per year.
The government did approve coverage of the medication, which she is still on today. Kalydeco has substantially improved the quality of her life.
But their fight isnt over. Madi and her mom have been working tirelessly to help other CF patients and other Canadians with rare diseases gain access to the orphan drugs they require.
There are currently three new CF modulators (drugs) from the pharmaceutical company Vertex -Orkambi, Symdeco and Trikafta -with very little access to Canadians.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, CF Canada has reached out to the government and Vertex Pharmaceuticals to allow CF patients access to all current and future CF modulators.
In a letter to the federal government,CEO of CF Canada Kelly Glover noted that the pharmaceutical company Vertex had recently made an offer to the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA), and urged the government to negotiate on the offer right away.
Cystic fibrosis is a fatal disease," Glover wrote. "Similar to COVID-19 it affects primarily the respiratory system. Similar to COVID-19, it kills people. Unlike COVID-19 its much more efficient, just slower. Eighty five percent of people with CF will die from respiratory failure, but CF will ultimately kill them all, as compared to only about 1-2% for COVID. But instead of dying in weeks, CF slowly deprives everyone with CF of quality of life. Our 4,300 patients spent a total 26,500 days in hospital in 2018. Thats 72 years! Seventy-two years worth of hospital resources that could be better spent taking care of people with COVID-19.
But the pCPA has indicated that it is not negotiating a deal for two of the three CF modulators, Orkambi and Symdeco, but isonly considering negotiating for Trikafta, once it is approved by Health Canada. Currently Trikafta can only be made available in compassionate cases if the patient meets specific criteria.
Our community is so vulnerable, having underlying respiratory issues already, said Beth, worried about the additional impact of COVID-19.
Everyday our people have to be six feet a part, everyday if theres somebody sick we cant go to them. Our kids cant touch things because they can get sick and end up in the hospital, she said.This is our life. Everyones getting a little test of what its like to have CF.
A response from the pCPA Governing Council stated, The pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) recognizes that this is a challenging time, especially for cystic fibrosis patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Council noted that they have held numerous meetings with Vertex, hoping to reach an agreement to improve access to drug treatments for cystic fibrosis patients. The alliance continues to encourage Vertex to submit Trikafta to Health Canada and if approved, to then submit it to Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technology in Health (CADTH) or lInstitut national dexcellence en sant et en services sociaux (INESSS) for a Health Technology Assessment (HTA) review, the response stated.
The cPCA declined to providedetails of the discussionswith Vertex due to confidentiality reasons, but noted, the pCPA continues to engage with Vertex with the goal of bringing new cystic fibrosis medications to the Canadian market."
Beth and the rest of the CF community point to a disparity: governments are providing unlimited funding forCOVID-19 patient care, but there is alack of funding of treatment for CF patients who suffer breathing issues everyday.
We will spend whatever, and shut down our country, to save people from COVID, said Beth, yet it's too expensive to pay for the medications for CF patientsthat could ease the suffering, and reduce hospitalizations.
You cant help but take it a little personal, she said. Its really frustrating that the government doesnt seem to care.
She also worries that,with the new rules for the Patented Medicine Prices Review Board (PMPRB) set to come into effect this July, it will be even more difficult for companies like Vertex to market in Canada, due to the high price of orphan drugs.
The new rules and regulations for lowering the cost of medications for patients across Canada are supposed to take effect in July 2020. The PMPRB has said itwill be publishing an updated version of its draft pricing Guidelines for public consultation in the coming weeks.
This document is responsive to stakeholder feedback, including concerns from patient advocacy groups about the impact of the pending changes on access to promising new drug therapies, said Communications Advisor for the PMPRB, Jeff Wright.
Beth Vanstone is currently working with the group CF Get Loud, which has joined forces with CORD (Canadian Organization for Rare Disease) to oppose the PMPRB changes.
They (CORD) represent the rare disease community, and of course innovative therapies are so expensive for them as well, so they are going to be cut off from medications as well, she explained.
Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall has been working with the Vanstones and the CF community, to gettheir voices heard. He recently raised his concerns in the House of Commons, in an effort to have Patty Hajdu rescind the changes to the PMPRB.
"You are seeing how money can become available for certain issues," he explained, referring to the government spending on COVID-19, "Health is number one, we really need to take care of Canadians here in our homeland."
He belives the longterm costs of keeping CF patients in hospitals and on disability, far outweigh the costs of their needed medications.
"We're going to keep pushing it and Ihope one day its not an issue," he said. "I'm hoping the government does the right thing."
We are pushing that the changes be rescinded or an implementation date be changed to 2022 where they are apparently coming up with a rare disease strategy, Beth said.When they have a path set up for rare diseases in 2022, implement the changes at that time so orphan drugs can stream off on their own.
She is hoping that way, future drugs for rare diseases will not have to go through the same restrictive criteria.
What the PMPRB is doing right now is deciding for all Canadians what medications they will have access to, and its a very small percentage of whats available to everyone else in the world, Vanstone said. And instead of improving negotiations with pharmaceutical companies,theyre taking that opportunity right out, she said.
Wright, responding for PMPRB, stated thatIf any business decisions affecting Canada are being contemplated by pharmaceutical companies as a result of the draft Guidelines, it would be premature to take them until such time as the document is finalized.
He added that manufacturers don't need the PMPRBs prior approval of their price in order to launch drugs in Canada.
Beth is worried that, with all the emphasis on cost-savings,Canadians are not seeing the 'bigger picture' andthe implications of the PMPRB, especially for orphan drugs.
These drugs are available everywhere else. Noother country is doing something like this, she fumed. Its a war against big pharma, and patients are the casualties. Its heartbreaking."
The Vanstones and the rest of the CF community feel like they are on the wrong side in a losing battle.
I really have always thought people came first in Canada, until getting involved in this kind of scene and seeing that its not really true, Beth said.
As for the PMPRB, I think it was a really poorly thought-out plan, and now theyve dug their heels in, she said, noting that the plan may be a good idea for general medications for things like a cold, but not for those whoneed innovative life-saving medicines for rare diseases.
On June 3, the CF Get Loud community will be hosting a virtual Town Hall for patient advocacy, calling on Federal Health Minister of Canada Patty Hajdu and other MPs to rescind the changes in the PMPRB, so that the drugs can be submitted to help save patients lives.
Bethencourages anyoneinterested in learning more about the future of Canadas health care system in relation to new and innovative medications, to tune in.
Its not just going to be about CF," she said. "Its about our (health care) system and whats happening.
Posted: at 9:48 pm
A former Nationals leadoff man and fan favorite has reportedly come to terms with the possibility of his baseball career reaching its conclusion.
Centerfielder Denard Span played in Washington from 2013-15, hitting .292 with 62 stolen bases and 207 runs scored as the teams primary hitter at the top of the lineup. Following stints with the San Francisco Giants, Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners over the next three seasons, Span has spent the last year and a half as a free agent.
I havent announced it, officially, but maybe this is it, Span told the Minnesota Star Tribune in a story published Saturday. I didnt play last yearnot because of an absence of contact from teams. The offers that came my way; they didnt seem like fair value for my services.
I spent this past offseason getting in shape, getting ready to play in 2020, and there were two or three minor league offers. I wasnt opposed to starting in the minors, but these didnt seem right as far as having a chance to move up to the big club if I was doing well in Triple-A.
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Span, a former first-round pick, started his career with the Minnesota Twins in 2008. He played five years in Minneapolis before traded to the Nationals just after the 2012 season. Washington was in desperate need of both an everyday centerfielder and a leadoff man, and Span checked off both boxes.
As a sparkplug that ignited the Nationals offense, Span quickly earned the appreciation of fans in D.C. His best season came in 2014, when he led the NLwith 184 hits and placed 19th in MVP voting. When the Nationals clinched a playoff berth last September, Span commented on the teams Instagram page to say his time in D.C. was the best 3 years of my career.
A day after he signed a free-agent contract with the Giants over the 2015-16 offseason, the Nationals moved on by acquiring Ben Revere from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for reliever Drew Storen. Revere kick-started another round of musical chairs at the center field position in D.C. until Victor Robles took over the job full-time last season.
Span admitted to the Star Tribune that while hed be open to returning to the majors, there likely wont be a situation that will entice him enough to do so.
I know that if the season ever would get started, he said, I still would have the ability to help a team. But 36-year-old outfielders who havent played in two yearsnot happening.
Im very satisfied pouring my life into our family, to [my wife] Anne, a wonderful person, and our two boys.
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Posted: at 9:48 pm
A four-year-old boy who hasn't been able to leave the house since the pandemic hit due to his cystic fibrosis is bouncing his way through lockdown.
Theo Powell, from Tunbridge Wells, has been getting involved in a national challenge - Bounce 4 CF for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust, taking to his trampoline in a dragon costume and bounding around his garden in a yellow sack - the brand colour of the trust.
He is one of 10,500 people in the UK who have the condition which causes thick, sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, and is therefore in the vulnerable group during the coronavirus crisis.
Trampoline sessions are part of Theo's daily exercise and physiotherapy routine, as the movement helps to dislodge the mucus and improve his breathing.
So, encouraged by his parents, Caroline and Laurence, the Nivan Lodge Pre-School pupil decided to also use this as a way to raise money for a cause which the family has been involved in for some time.
Due to Theo's condition, the family have had to stay home since advice for the shielding group was issued by the Government., and do not know when they will be able to go out again.
Rev Powell, vicar at King Charles the Martyr Church priest in charge of St Mark's Church, has been holding services via Zoom and Mrs Powell has been trying to come up with inventive ways to keep Theo entertained during lockdown.
Mrs Powell, 31, said: "Every day gets quite similar but we are trying to mix it up when we can - camping in the garden, building stuff - we're keeping busy."
Although, she says Theo is used to not being allowed out due to frequent hospital trips.
"He's been in hospital quite a lot - he spent a month and a half there in total last year and when he's there, he's not allowed out of the room in case of cross contamination," said Mrs Powell.
Her husband added: "This strict shielding lockdown is a difficult situation for the whole family.
"Theo has just been accepted at the local school but at the moment we are not sure whether he will be able to start with his cohort."
The family are also pushing to get Theo a life-extending therapy called trikafta on the NHS.
Last year, hundreds shared their delight as Orkambi, said to slow decline in lung function, was made widely available after several years of campaigning. However, it does not treat all cystic fibrosis patients, with trikafta helping others whose DNA is not compatible with Orkambi, such as Theo.
In addition, Mrs Powell is working on a separate Instagram campaign, @wearyellow2020, encouraging people to post photos of them wearing yellow in support of Cystic Fibrosis Trust on Friday, June 19.
Along with her friend, Laura Fine, Mrs Powell is running a raffle on the day, with other games and fun activities planning for the week running up to 'wear yellow day'.
To support Theo in his Bounce 4 CF campaign, click here, and to get involved in the family's Instagram campaign, click here.
Read more: All the latest news from Tunbridge Wells
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