|THE IMAGINARY CULT OF BENIGN GIRL
gentler, less injurious living
Shopping in Holyoke on Saturday for a birthday present for
Mr. Bill Myers I had a crazy and surreal experience. I went looking
for the religious artifacts store but in its place was a "for rent"
sign and an empty window. Dejected, I drove around Holyoke hoping to
find another religious artifacts store but had to settle for the
"Plus Dollar" store on High Street.
I was standing near the
register looking at the assorted things when all of a sudden I
spotted "Benign Girl" and suddenly I heard the mermaids
singing. Two Latina women were looking at Benign Girl and reaching
forward as if to grab it and in a flash I knew this was something
extremely precious and rare and that I needed to act fast!
I reached around the women and snatched BG. And before they knew
what happened I had paid and fled the scene, adrenalining all the
On the side of the package were the bullet
The instructions on the package:
girl, press any button!"
Complete with pirated Barbie
likeness and logo style were the enigmatic words, "Benign
Girl". What a find.
Before I came to my senses I had
actually handed over Benign Girl as a birthday gift and I knew
immediately by Billy's reaction that I had been right about Benign
Girl which he now keeps in a sealed plastic bag. BG made the rounds
of The Smith Museum of Art Monday (like a little kid who can't wait
for show and tell was this birthday boy) and she made such an
impression that her image is burned into the minds of all who have
beheld her and the halls resonate with her aura. I hear Acquisitions
is salivating over BG.
Intrigued and a bit obsessed, (Why
"Benign"? What Chinese characters did they type into the free
babelfish Chinese-English translation tool to come up with "Benign"?
"Shy"? "Gentle"? "Non-malignant"? What made this accidental genius
think using "Benign" would make this a hot item here?) So I googled
Benign Girl and found a blog with the following
Spotted by F near the bus station in Siracusa,
yep, i found a benign girl retailer in the town
of jiou-fen in taiwan.
Posted by: margaret at July 12,
2005 12:47 AM
I found Benign Girl in a Boy Howdy in
McAlester, OK. Go figure.
Posted by: Jai at November 15, 2005
in Frankfurt, Germany. She freaked me out
Posted by: Ap at January 31, 2006 06:00 PM
I saw the
same package in Silver Spring, MD! Malign Girl gets
Posted by: Marie at April 14, 2006 03:55 PM
now my post is at the bottom of the list. I have joined the
imaginary cult of Benign Girl (because I *am* imagining myself in a
cult of BG at this point) and am a different person for this
experience. I have not stopped thinking about Benign Girl since that
moment when the earth swayed. I went back to the store today and it
was as if she never existed. I think I dreamed the whole thing and I
fear I will never find another Benign Girl. But, since Uranus is
retrograde I expect the unexpected.
EXHIBIT AT ZEA MAYS PRINTMAKING OPENING RECEPTION: FRIDAY, June 30, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
germination - New Work by Liz Chalfin and Alison
June 20 - July 21, 2006
FRIDAY, June 30, 5:30 - 7:30 PM
The Gallery at Zea Mays Printmaking is pleased to host the
exhibit, germination - New Work by Liz Chalfin and Alison Williams.
The gallery is located at 221 Pine Street, on the third floor of the
Arts and Industry Building in Florence, MA. Please call the gallery
for summer hours - 413.584.1783.
From astrology.com: "Rest up while you can!
WHO COULD HAVE EXPECTED THE FRY GUY?
June 19, Uranus turns retrograde, bringing his flair for the unusual
to a planet near you. Until the ruler of rebellion returns to direct
motion on November 20, you may notice an increase in personality
transformations or oddball news reports; indeed, the conventional
wisdom for the next few months is 'Expect the unexpected.' Expect
Benign Girls and other odd gifts from above. .
those of you with well-worn PDAs and perfectly up-to-date planners
might find that advice less than reassuring. But the key to success
these days is to go with the flow. That mind of yours is brimming
with untapped talents and innovative ideas, and Uranus is bound and
determined to set them free!"
Including our Peter Dellert of Holyoke
Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood is on view through
Columbus Day. Walking tours of the exhibit on Fridays at 1:00 p.m.
beginning June 30 and running through August.
CONTEMPORARY SCULPTURE AT CHESTERWOOD
curator of this year's exhibition is Sharon Bates, visual artist,
and curator and founding Director of the Albany International
Airport Art & Culture Program. Bates organizes rotating
exhibitions, site-specific sculpture projects, and satellite museum
exhibitions that showcase regional artists and cultural institutions
in the Albany International Airport Gallery and throughout the
May 22-October 15, 2006,
10:00 am - 5:00 pm Six Guided Tours throughout the day: 10:30,
11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30
Early closing at 4:00 p.m. on
Saturday, September 2, 2006
Artist work included in this years exhibition: William R.
Bergman, Paige Bradley, Rick Brown, Ben Butler, Peter
Dellert, Anthony H. Garner, Richard Garrison, Alexander Graham,
Lucy Hodgson, Gwendolyn Holbrow, Ann Jon, Paul Katz, R. Elliott
Katz, Jim Lewis, Paul Mauren, Lillian Mulero, Amy Podmore, Michael
Rivera, John Ruppert, Stacy Latt Savage, Leon Smith, Eric Stein,
WORKS ON PAPER BY ELEVEN LOCAL ARTISTS
July 6 through August 4
WORKS ON PAPER BY ELEVEN LOCAL ARTISTS IN JURIED SHOW AT
THE CENTER FOR THE ARTS
NORTHAMPTON, MA -"Works on
Paper," a juried show of photographs, watercolors, prints, drawings
and mixed-media, by 11 local artists, will be featured from July
6 through August 4 in the galleries at The Northampton Center
for the Arts.
Participating artists are: Karen Alstadt, Ellen
Augarten, Elizabeth Bannish, Elizabeth Diamond, Taiga Ermansons,
Carolyn Horan, Rhoda Juels, Ronald Juels, Rachel Lepine and Burns
Galleries are open Tuesday through Friday from 11
a.m. to 4 p.m. with an artists' reception that coincides with
Northampton's Arts Night Out on Friday, July 14, from 5 to 7
p.m. The first-place prize will be awarded to the winning artist
during the reception.
The Northampton Center for the Arts is
located on the third floor at 17 New South Street, opposite the
Academy of Music.
INSPIRED ART FAIR, LONDON, UK "Call for Artists: One Last Chance to Submit"
"Call for Artists: One Last Chance to Submit"
Inspired Art Fair
London, , UK United
Haven't submitted to Inspired Art Fair 2006 yet?
Well here's one last chance as we are opening an extra submission
period from 19 June -18 September 2006. With the Whitechapel as
our chosen charity for this our fourth annual fair, Inspired Art
Fair 2006 will be taking place in the magnificent Christchurch,
opposite Spitalfields Market E1, from 8 - 12 November. The Inspired
Art Fair (IAF) is a launch pad for emerging independent contemporary
artists. Our selection committee changes with each display to ensure
that IAF reflects the most innovative talents in the visual art
world. For 2006 our committee is Susan Brades (Ex Director Hayward
Gallery), Kirsten Dunne (Arts Council) and Jo George (Managing
The IAF has showcased over 180 emerging
contemporary photographers, painters, sculptors, drawers and digital
artists from all over the world. To review our artists have a look
Here's what artist Ben Mosley has to say about last year's
"I have excelled this year due to being included in
IAF 05. I have had a commission, and a solo exhibition at Gallery 93
in London, which was televised on MTV's Base, on Trevor Nelson's
show 'The Lick'. They also interviewed me as well!! An agent has
shown a lot of interest in my work, which looks to be very
promising. I can't thank you enough for accepting me because without
that chance this would never have happened to me."
details on why and how to apply go to:-
THURSDAY, JUNE 30 @ DEJA BREW Wendell, MA
I got this very cryptic text from Richard Chase so I tried to
fill it in. Sounds like a great gig at a really sweet
Reads like "cable-ese". Is Richard the new
Anyway--here it is:
Richard Chase at De Ja
Brew, Wendell MA - with trio -good sheet -100% original. Check it
out. Pass it on. June 30 2006. (makes me think of this guy from
Argentina I used to work with who referred to things he liked as
"really good sheet")
I have an idea. Richard should get some
girls to stand behind him and fake guitar playing like Robert Palmer
did. It could be "Richard Chase and his Benign Girls" They
could wear whipped cream. His gigs would be packed!
this additional info via google:
Deja Brew Cafe &
57A Lockes Village Road
Draft Microbrew Beers-Wine-Personal
Pizzas-Panni Sandwiches and more! Wed, Thurs, Sun, 4pm-10pm Fri and
EASTHAMPTON CITY ARTS WANTS YOU If you are an Easthamptonite
Call for Artists in Easthampton
If you are an
artist/musician/writer/film artist/dancer/arts organization, etc,
living or working in Easthampton, MA, you are invited to join the Easthamptoncityarts.com
website. Members can create a personal web page with up to five
images and one audio sample, list events on the master calendar, be
included in a high quality printed directory, and more! Visit the
site and check out the quickly growing member list. Don't get left
The Easthampton City Arts website is dedicated to promoting
the artists and arts organizations of Easthampton, Massachusetts. By
creating a comprehensive and dynamic platform showing the depth and
creativity of the arts, artists and art related businesses have the
opportunity to showcase and market their work, and the public has
the opportunity to discover emerging and established artists. In
addition, the website introduces the visitor to the many other
attractions within Easthampton: its diversity of shops, restaurants,
cultural resources, and recreational offerings.
like to join Easthampton City Arts, just click the 'Apply' button on
the home page to fill out an online membership application. Be sure
to check out the eligibility and requirements section too. You must
complete the entire profile AND upload images before your member
page can be approved and listed live on the site. For questions
contact email@example.com. Thanks, and looking forward to
seeing everyone there!!
NEW ENGLAND WATERSHED MAGAZINE Arts & Culture and you?
England Watershed Magazine
"New England Watershed's
essays, articles, photographs and artwork examines issues particular
to life within the Connecticut River watershed. But our regional
identity is just one aspect of our involvement with the world. New
England Watershed explores the crucial dividing points or lines of
our times, articulating what it is to be American, in all its
Russell Powell, editor and publisher
FAB DEAL! APT NOW! (<--yes. apt.)
As a Mo
better Living subscriber you can subscribe for a 33% discount off
the newsstand price ($31.95 rather than $47.70) by replying to
this email with your name and mailing address and you will be
And it's a write-off of course.
On the NEW
site you can also submit art and poetry for consideration. And
as of last week I am the acting Art Editor and am building a
database of artwork for possible use in future publications.
To submit artwork you can either send a cd of images to: Mo
PO BOX 6109
Holyoke, MA 01041-6109
OR you can
email images. BUT, if you decide to email images please keep
them to 500 pixels high by whatever size that means for the width at
72 DPI. If we can use your art in a future issue I will request a
higher resolution image at that time.
Please don't crash my
server with giant, malignant images.
CALL FOR PUBLIC ART - TURNERS FALLS July 12th deadline for proposal submissions
The Turners Falls RiverCulture Project is seeking 3 qualified
artists to create non permanent works of public art that will
serve both decorative and informational functions in locations
in the heart of downtown Turners Falls.
In order to obtain artistic diversity, submissions are limited
to one piece per artist. Geared toward pedestrians, they should
create visual interest and provide a display place for project
information about local history and culture (approx 1 sq ft),
a map (approx 4-5 sq ft) and a space to accommodate printed
fliers and public event postings (approx 4-5 sq.ft).
Possible themes can include, but are not limited to, the natural
environment of the Connecticut River watershed, New England
mill town architecture, industry along the hydropower canal,
or Western Massachusetts Native American presence.
Sculptures must withstand severe outdoor weather with wind,
cold and hot temperatures for up to three years and should
be low maintenance and durable. Site locations present a wide
variety of viewer options, from people walking and shopping,
to theater, art and restaurant patrons to those living, working,
recreating and visiting in Turners Falls. Site locations include
the 'common' at Peskeomskut Park, the main intersection at
the corner of Avenue A and Third Street, and the canalside
bike path near Unity Park.
Please visit http://www.turnersfallsriverculture.blogspot.com
for site pictures and a complete description and history of
Three pieces will be chosen. The budget for each commission
will be $3,300, ($1,000 for artist's fee and $2,300 for construction
materials, delivery, assembly and installation requirements.)
Any adult artist 21 years or older may enter artwork concepts
for consideration by the selection committee. All proposals
1) a resume and artist statement
2) a one page written description of the work and enough simple
drawings of the concept to give an accurate visual impression
of the finished work.
3) plan for construction and installation
4) disc containing a maximum of 10 digital jpeg images of
5) A detailed budget of how funds will be utilized.
6) Optional self addressed stamped envelope for return of
7) Up to three relevant reviews, essays or catalogues (optional).
Any information to be viewed on a computer must be PC compatible.
A selection committee made up of Project RiverCulture partners,
town officials and outside jurors specializing in the field
will review proposal submissions and background information
to select the winning proposals.
July 12th deadline for proposal submissions
July 26th award notifications
September 26th installation of selected work
PLEASE RESPOND WITH INTEREST TO RECEIVE AN OFFICIAL REQUEST
Proposals and related materials should be sent to RiverCulture
Project, One Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376. Proposals
will not be accepted via email. For questions and to respond
with interest, please email Lisa Davol at firstname.lastname@example.org
GALLERY A3 SHOW AT ORESMAN GALLERY
June 9 through the end of August
SNEAK PREVIEW: A Gallery A3 group show
Exhibition dates: June 9 through the end of August
Gallery hours: Monday Friday, 8:30 am to 4 pm
Place: Oresman Gallery, Smith College, Northampton
This summer Oresman Gallery at Smith College will host an exhibit
by members of Gallery A3, the Amherst art cooperative. The group
lost their exhibition space last year, but now has plans to
reopen in a new location. In the meantime, Smith has offered
Oresman Gallery for a summer exhibition entitled "Sneak Preview."
The show offers a view of each artist's work and a promise of
exhibits to come.
"Sneak Preview" opens on June 9 and runs through August.
Oresman Gallery is located at Smith College, Northampton,
in Hillyer Hall at the Brown Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours
are Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 p.m.
GREEN STREET CAFE CALL FOR MURAL PROPOSALS!
I would do this just for the food credit, yet such a worthy
("Last Supper" by Leonardo Da Vinci, "Julia Child"
by Amy Johnquest, Photoshop trickery
A Call to Artists!
The Green Street Café announces a call for proposals by artists
interested in creating a two-dimensional wall mural to be
located inside the Green Street Café on Green Street in Northampton,
GOAL The goal of this project is to highlight the decision
of Smith College and the City of Northampton to discontinue
Green Street in favor of the development and construction
of an engineering complex.
SITE DESCRIPTION The wall chosen for the project
is located inside the Green Street Café and is 28¹ L x 8.5¹
H in size.
There is overhead lighting and large street-side windows that
flood the space with light. The wall surface is painted plaster.
SELECTION PROCESS A panel of three judges,
Michael Kusek, Bob Antil and Steve Calcagnino will review
submissions and select the winning proposal. The winner
will be announced on July 5th.
SELECTION CRITERIA All proposals will be judged
on the following: 1) artistic merit 2) suitability of the
proposal in relation to the project goals and the artist's
ability to carry out the proposal within budget and on schedule.
ARTIST ELIGIBILITY Artists from all walks of
life are invited to submit proposals. Excluded from participation
are staff members at Green Street Café, members of the mural
project and their families.
APPLICATION PROCESS All applications must include:
A.) A one-page written explanation of the concept.
B.) Sketches or other visuals that convey the proposed mural
idea. If submitting a CD or other digital media, all should
be Apple compatible.
C.) Up to ten 35mm slides in a plastic sheet or 8.5² x 11²
portfolio sheets. Slides/portfolio should be labeled with
the artists name.
D.) A resume/CV that lists any previous public art experience
E.) All artists are strongly urged to visit the Green Street
Café and pick up additional information and background materials.
Hours of operation are M-F 10AM to 10PM; please call to
make an appointment at 413.586.1650.
F.) For materials to be returned, all artists should include
a stamped, self-addressed envelope
BUDGET A budget of $350.00 covers the costs of
all materials with $1,000 cash for the artist, plus an additional
award of a $1,000 food credit at the Café
DEADLINES AND IMPORTANT DATES
Submission deadline: June 30th
Proposal Review & Artist Notification: July 7th
Project Start July 10th to be completed by October 1
Unveiling: October 13th during Northampton Arts Night Out
ARCADIA PLAYERS HELP WANTED
get a job!
Arcadia Players, Inc. is looking for one or several part time
workers. We are seeking:
Oversee all office functions at the South Congregational Church
Office in South Amherst
c. 20 hours/week
Box Office Staff
Concert Ticket Sales and Distribution
Oversee Access Database including Entering Data and Making
Oversee banking functions and management of QuickBooks
Answer telephone, write letters, distribute promotional and
fundraising materials, order printing and mailing and other
Please contact the Arcadia Players Office, P.O. Box 387, Northampton,
MA 01061 with your cover letter, resume and names and telephone
numbers of 3 references
BOTANICALS IN WATERCOLOR WORKSHOP
August 4, 5 & 6 from 9 am to 4 pm
Botanicals in Watercolor, August 4, 5 & 6 from 9 am
to 4 pm at the Barbara Johnson Studio School, Easthampton $195
Contact email@example.com for registration.
Class size is limited to ten. A three day workshop with Camille
Doucet, Botanical artist from Plantations at Cornell University,
President of local Guild of Scientific Illustrators of the Finger
The workshop will be an overview of flower painting in watercolor,
pen and ink, colored pencils and gouache and techniques like
glazing, texturing, masking, drybrush and wet on wet. Introduction
to color theory.
There is an emphasis on scientific botanical illustration as
a style and as an excellent practice of good drawing.
LOCAL MUSICIAN PLAYING IN WELLFLEET
July 7th and 8th at The Bookstore & Restaurant. Really
SPECIAL THANKS TO ELIZABETH STONE FOR MAKING A CONTRIBUTION
TO THIS NEWSLETTER
CALLS FOR ARTISTS AND OPPORTUNITIES
NEW THIS WEEK:
Call for Artists: Outdoor Public Art Exhibition
The City of Pittsfield's annual Artscape outdoor public
art exhibition program invites outdoor sculptors and
public art creators to submit work for consideration
for the 2006-07 Artscape exhibition in downtown Pittsfield.
Pittsfield is the geographic and population center
of the culturally-rich Berkshires of western Massachusetts,
where over two million visitors come each year. A
$500 honorarium is provided to artists whose work
is selected for display.
Application deadline is August 1, so don't
delay, click here for complete guidelines!
Child's Play: irony & consequence
The Student Union Gallery at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
is seeking proposals for an upcoming multi-genre exhibit
in October 2006 on the theme of Child's Play: irony
& consequence. The exhibit will be held from October
23rd - 27th. The opening will integrate a brief cross-genre
reading on the theme.
We invite artists to submit artworks in any medium
or format-photography, sculpture, video, painting,
Submissions must include:
1. Artist's statement.
2. Current resume.
3. Self-addressed stamped envelope (materials will
not be returned without a SASE).
4. Up to 3 slides (numbered and labeled with artist's
name, title of work, date, media, dimensions of work,
and red dot indicating top of slide); or digital slides
on a CD; or CD for audio submissions; or DVD for video
Deadline for entries: August 1st, 2006. Entry Fee:
$5.00 (checks payable to: JC Tibbo/INSIDEOUT ARTS)
Shipping: Artists will be notified by September
1st. Artists are responsible for shipping/delivering
their artwork to the gallery Friday, October 20th
(12-6pm) and retrieving their work Saturday, October
Installation: All work MUST be received ready
for installation with proper hanging devices ATTACHED
and instructions where necessary.
Agreement: We reserve the right to photograph
accepted works for publicity and educational purposes.
We reserve the right to reject works that differ from
the slide. We are not responsible for works left after
the pick-up date.
Submit entry materials to: JC Tibbo/INSIDEOUT ARTS
18 Dewey Court
Northampton, MA 01060
June 26, 2006 - The U.S.-Japan Creative Artists'
Program provides five-month residencies in Japan for
individual creative artists in any discipline. While
in Japan, artists work on an individual project that
may include the creation of new work or pursuit of
other artistic goals. When planning the stay abroad,
artists should consider how exposure to Japan's contemporary
or traditional cultures can influence their creative
work. Five awards are made annually. This program
is administered jointly by the National Endowment
for the Arts and the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission.
Guidelines are available at http://www.jusfc.gov.
The International Center of Photography's W. Eugene
Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is a $30,000
cash award with an additional $5,000 in fellowship
money to be awarded at the discretion of a jury. The
grant is awarded to photographers whose past work
and proposed project follow the traditions of photographic
essayist W. Eugene Smith. For full information on
how to apply, visit http:www.smithfund.org/.
The Newark Museum's residency program is open to visual
artists in the areas of fiber and textiles, clay,
fine metals, jewelry and metalsmithing, enameling,
sculpture, painting, photography, printmaking, and
works on paper. The residency provides the opportunity
to use the museum's professional facilities for creating
new work. An honorarium of $1,000 will be paid at
the conclusion of the residency. For more information
about the program and on how to apply, visit http://www.newarkmuseum.org/.
A nice offer from Joe Blumenthal of Downtown Sounds
who generously would like to have artists display
their work there. (Downtown Sounds, 21 Pleasant St.,
Northampton, next to the Pleasant St. Theater)
The window is quite large, and has three panels, each
one about 6' X 6', and is about 24" deep. It is exposed
to intense sunlight in the morning; the heat of the
sun plus the narrowness of the window make it inappropriate
to display most musical instruments.
However, the sunlight doesn't hurt most artwork since
it's only exposed for a month to six weeks. I normally
pay $150 to the artist who installs the window, and
work out a consignment agreement for the store to
take a percentage of the price if the art is for sale
and we manage to sell some of it.
The artwork can be freestanding, lean against a wall
at the back of the window that's about three feet
high, or (if it's not heavy) be hung from the ceiling.
It's great when the art can have a musical theme,
but it's not necessary. Because of its highly visible
commercial location, the work should have a mainstream
appeal and not have themes which could be offensive.
Small pieces don't work well since the window is so
If one of your readers is interested in displaying
in this context, please have them contact me via email:
firstname.lastname@example.org, or via phone at 413-
New York City Department of Cultural Affairs + Image
Registry The New York City Department of Cultural
Affairs (DCLA) is the largest public funder of arts
and culture in the country. The Percent for Art artist
slide registry is an up-to-date and important component
of the Program. The registry is consulted by the architects,
panelists, and City agencies for each project. The
Percent for Art staff prepares a slide presentation
from the registry for each panel meeting. The registry
is open to any professional visual artist residing
in the United States. Deadline: On-going Information:
Pithy Sayings as Suggested by a Poetry Calendar
They dreamed of collecting a dance from the Costume...
Love is like the fish
that became a popsicle
No matter how much you try
grey is not a shade of apple
You have to be serious when
you spin sizzle a bloom
There is no known match
between a squirrel and light
A nice snap of blue
fills out any collection
You can only play a flower and shell game
on the beach for so long.............
There is something quite natural
about a fire buttered cold
Not long afterwards; the hot colored sky
started to seethe ice
Easy grass can make a memory
cry on a cyclical stem
Even an artist will group
weather with a petal
Beware the orange and gold
just above medium fair
Whenever you take a pen in your hand
close down any open drawbridge
Time can be held in an open palm
when carefully bathed in exuberance
.... but the shed was completely empty by then.
DWIGHT SMITH'S MOVIE PICS
|This week it is Mo posing as dwight:
I've Heard the Mermaids
This is probably my most favorite film evereverever.
They have it at Pleasant Street Video in the GLBT
section but you won't be able to get it for a week
because after my life-changing Benign Girl experience
I needed to see it yet again so I have it.
The title is a reference to a line in T. S. Eliot's
poem "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" that
reads: "I have heard the mermaids singing each
to each / I do not think that they will sing to
"This canadian masterpiece staring Sheila McCarthy
is one of the most beautiful movies I have ever
seen. McCarthy's character will touch young starving
artists in many ways. The film which is very low
key has some amazing scenes that keep your eyes
on the screen and your mouth wide open. I feel this
movie is very misunderstood by some critics. It
cannot be taken too literally. the "daydream sequences"
are just that, daydreams. They are there to show
you polly's (McCarthy) true inner structure. If
you can find this movie, and you like artsy movies
that make you think, buy it. Don't bother renting
it, because you will just end up buying it anyway."
truth" with Al Gore.
Charm of the Bourgeousie.
The Girl in the Cafe