Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

Alice Templeton

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Alice Templeton is winner of the New Women’s Voices Prize in Poetry (2008), which she received for Archaeology: Twenty-one Poems. Alice is a poet, musician, songwriter, educator, and scholar. In 2007 she received the distinction of honorable mention from the Robinson Jeffers Tor House Foundation for her poem Homing. Journals which have published her work include: Poetry, 88, Puerto del Sol, and Many Mountains Moving. She currently teaches creative writing and literature at the Art Institute of California in San Francisco.

alicetempleton_smWhirligig: When we first met you told me your poetry was about nature, but it actually encompasses so much more than what might typically be called nature poetry. I see yours as more like landscapes with an aftermath of human residue. What inspires you to write?

Alice: That’s a wonderful description of it. I think I am very place oriented, and that place is the way I measure what I feel and think. In the poetry I try to define, through concrete imagery and language, where I am so that I can know how far I’ve come — what my thoughts are now, what my feelings are now

I often write about the places that have been meaningful to me, like my parents’ farm where I lived during high school and have continued to go back to throughout my adulthood. I think those images, those cycles of labor that we went through on the farm, were formative in my sense of who I am and what language is. I hear my parents’ voices and phrases a lot. I hear that connection between the language and the tools and the landscape. So landscape does shape my poetry, but I’m also interested in and driven by philosophical and cultural questions like: What is justice? and What is history?  Hopefully those human things inform my poetry as well.

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Jack Toolin

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Longtime San José art community member, Jack Toolin, has left the Bay Area for the vibrant stomping grounds of New York City. Jack — performance artist, photographer, founding member of the conceptual art collective C5 Corporation, and former board member of Works/San José — has work in the San José Museum of Art exhibition “Road Trip.” In this interview Jack talks about his history as a maker, what drives his practice, education, collaboration, and the search for the sublime.

toolinnatureWhirligig: You were born and raised in Pittsburgh. Can you tell me a bit about your upbringing and family life.

Jack: I grew up in a lower middle class neighborhood in the duplex that my mom grew up in. It was a racist neighborhood, very white, and conservative in lots of ways.

Whirligig: How did you come to be an artist?

Jack: My dad was into photography as a hobby, and he was very political and community-minded. He was responsible for getting various types of community programs in place like the community swimming pool, and music and art classes. So I ended up taking art and ceramic classes. Because of his interests in photography there was a darkroom in our basement, and I began to make photographs when I was 14.

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