Editor's Blog

Adventures in Everyday Living, Shorelines Thursday, January 24, 2013

2013-01-23T09:00:00Z 2013-01-23T17:43:06Z Adventures in Everyday Living, Shorelines Thursday, January 24, 2013By Pat Colander nwitimes.com
January 23, 2013 9:00 am  • 

ARS Gallery opens photography and film exhibition, Doug Clark's documenting of “The I Am The Greatest” Project in Benton Harbor and Indianapolis' Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library marks its second anniversary.

Doug Clark's Favorite Year: An exhibit and short film covering the process of “The I Am The Greatest” Project is opening at the ARS Gallery in Benton Harbor on Friday with a reception from 6-8 pm. The artist-gallery-city-public art collaboration showcases work inspired by Muhammad Ali, including sculpture by John Sauve, who is also the gallery owner. The show, with photos by Doug Clark, documents much of the workshop that took place throughout 2012. The short film Clark made of the workshops called, “The Expressionists,” shows how valuable creative outlets are, especially to underprivileged kids and how the simplest, unfunded program of artist-mentors can yield benefits that resonate forever.

Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Marks Second Anniversary: In the early 1970s at height of the Vietnam War and college protesting Kurt Vonnegut', author of Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), his sixth book, emerged as a literary troubador for the movement. The basic story is about his survival amidst the hellish destruction of Dresden, where he was a prisoner of war. I remember intervewing Vonnegut, an idolized author , in Chicago for the annual meeting of the library association or something---he always had new books or collections coming out and realizing how much space the depression that hung over him took up. His son Mark was about to publish, or maybe had already published, a book about his struggle with mental illness. I remember marveling at the idea that a family who would have grown up almost as normally as I had, in Indianapolis---where Vonnegut worked as a pr guy for General Electric--- and then Chicago, where he was a reporter at City News Bureau, had been transformed by a radically terrible experience like the Dresden catastrophe. Of course, that twist provided a lifetime preoccupation with the wonder and horror of science that the author turned into a lifetime of best-selling books. Vonnegut's work is full of lamentation, randomness, sadness and resignation.

Of course, Vonnegut's legacy is complicated, probably more complicated then most of us could imagine. That is reflected in the press release on the program to mark the birthday of the library: “The FBI entered a butcher shop and took young Anneliese’s father away. Her mother, Alma, struggled to keep the store open. But after boycotts, swastikas covering the exterior and bricks shattering the windows, she shut the door forever and the family went on welfare.Unable to reunite the family in any other way, Alma voluntarily took Anneliese and her brother and entered an internment camp on Ellis Island.Their crime? Although they had become American citizens, she and her husband had been born German. And it was 1942.”

Anneliese Krauter of Indianapolis will tell her story at the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library Second Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, Jan. 26, along with other German-Americans held in internment camps. The panel, including Frances Ott Allen (Cincinnati); Eberhard Fuhr (Palatine, Ill.); Anneliese Krauter (Indianapolis) and Alfred Wohlpart (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) will be on from 1-3 pm.  

At 3, Indianapolis writer, editor and cultural strategist David Hoppe and photographer Kristin Hess of the Indiana Humanities Council will discuss the stories behind the state’s food renaissance captured in Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest with Debra Des Vignes, Spotlight Indianapolis host.

Norb Vonnegut, a fourth cousin to Kurt Vonnegut who writes successful thrillers about Wall Street where he worked for many years as a banker, takes the stage at 4 p.m. The events are free.

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