‘Just a Minute!’ in the exhibition ‘Out of Site’ at Chesterwood

This summer, the grounds of Chesterwood—the summer home of Daniel Chester French (1850-1931), best known as the sculptor of the Lincoln Memorial— in the Berkshires is host to an exhibition of contemporary sculpture called Out of Site, organized by Sharon Bates. Deborah Zlotsky is among the fourteen artists showing work. Though known as a painter and drawer, Zlotsky created a time-based participatory work called “Just a Minute!”

Curator Sharon Bates helps with the installation of Deborah Zlotkys’s “Just a Minute!” at Chesterwood in May 2017.

“Just a Minute” at Chesterwood, 2017, invites viewers to slow down, use their senses, and experience the natural world in a way that draws attention to a small area that could easily be overlooked.

A boy, at left, finds a spot for close observation, while his mother, at right, operates the timer to tell him when to start and stop looking during Chesterwood’s opening of “Out of Site: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood” in June 2017.

A tag at Chesterwood.


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Plårk, plårk, plårk

My wife has created a new word: plårk.

It could rhyme with “park” or “pork” — either way seems to be fine.

She has the word printed on T-shirts that she gives to her first-year drawing students. The idea she is trying to impress upon them is that making art is a combination of “play” and “work.” Thus, “plårk.”

I imagine the word being used as follows:

  • “This assignment is plårk.”
  • “Did you plårk yet today?”
  • “Yeah, man, I plårked earlier today, and I’m going to be plårking later with some friends.”

I suppose a sample declension would look something like this:

  • I plårk. I plårked. I am plårking. I have plårked.
  • You plårk. You plårked. You are plårking. You have plårked.
  • They plårk. They plårked. They are plårking. They have plårked.

She says that in every class period at least one or two (sometimes more) students are wearing their “plårk” T-shirts.

With about 50 students a semester, maybe in a few years the word will be in common usage by scores of young artists, plårking their way through the world.

What do you think: Will plårk catch on?