|Dachshund and TV, 2011 Edition of 5, Pigment Print from Francie Bishop Good's Havana Hounds|
Those who are still reading will likely appreciate the reasons Good loves to photograph dogs. "They love getting their picture taken," she notes. "They are honest. When they pose it’s not so that you’ll think they are anything other than who they are. No botox. No face lifts. No fancy clothes. Maybe a fancy hairdo, but not in this work. 'This is me,' they say. Dogs, more than people, make me smile. But dogs can make me cry hard too."
Good notes that she has been taking pictures since age 7, when she saved enough green stamps to buy her first camera and that people and their relationships are the primary focus of her work. One of her biggest challenges, however, is getting people to simply be themselves, without posing or trying to hide things about themselves.
Dogs, on the other hands, are simply who they are. Good found the dogs of Cuba to be as refreshingly open as the people she met there. As she puts it in her statement about the show:
"Cuba, as the Cubans say when asked most any question, 'is complicated.' The tragedy of Havana’s physical deterioration, the tragedy of an economy that does not work for anyone, the tragedy of a political system that stifles dissent in subtle and overt ways and denies real freedom of expression, opportunity, and hope for its citizens is made all the more confusing for an American artist by the openness of the people, the warmth and welcome that I experienced from people that I did not know, people that didn’t know me, people who hear every day in hundreds of ways how terrible America is.
The dogs in my pictures are taken care of, not well by our standards, but taken care of. They are thin but not starving. They are hot and uncomfortable and rarely if ever groomed. They are not aggressive with strangers, strangers that look different and talk different and who, they may or may not know, will leave tomorrow. They look into my eyes and I look into theirs and we communicate without words. It is the same thing that I experience with the Cuban people and I’m astonished.
The Havana Hounds seem, mostly resigned to their fate. They retain humor and seem to see the irony of their condition. They are not fighters and judging by the numbers, seem to be more interested in love. Like a lot of the people I met."
|"Maddy by Clare Rojas on exhibit in Following the Line at Girls Club|
The seeds for Third Avenue Art District were planted 18 years ago by four artists who set up shop on Northeast Third Avenue, just north of Broward Boulevard, with hopes of luring others.
Today, the roster includes Francie Bishop Good, Mary Lou Seifker, Rosanna Saccoccio, Tin Ly, Madeline Denaro, Wilma Bulkin Siegel, Margi Glavovic Nothard, Michel Pellus, Janet Gold, Tobey Archer and Henning Haupt.
There will be plenty of work to see, from Ly's drawings of bamboo sheaths to paintings from Wilma Bulkin Siegel's newest series Returning Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan and a collection of Gold's works made with three-dimensional vintage birdcages.
Third Avenue Art Walk runs 6-10 p.m. Feb. 2. More info and a map of the stops can be found at ThirdAvenueArtDistrict.com. Below is a recent video of Wilma Bulkin Siegel, one of the Third Avenue Art District artists, doing her thing: