My upcoming art history lecture on Balinese art

  Ellen C. Caldwell, adjunct professor of art history and Seaver web producer, earned a 2014 Department of Cultural Affairs grant to travel to Bali and complete an arts writing residency. There, she interviewed over 15 artists and has spent the rest of the year writing about their work, their processes, and her experiences. Please join us to […]




Artsy Abroad: Ni Nyoman Sani’s Balinese Studios and Art Spaces

Ni Nyoman Sani welcomed me to her Balinese home, to Mother Art Space (then called Seniwati Art Space), and to her family’s shared creative workshop and gallery Muja Art Studio. Sani also helped to arrange multiple interviews with talented female artists ranging from internationally known painters like Mangku Muriati to younger emerging artists like Emy Triani and Ni Ketut Ratnasih.

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Artsy Abroad: The Plastic Elephant in the Room & Art in Bali Now

Many of the artists I met in Bali brought up the problems of plastic degradation in a plethora of ways – from painter Federico Tomasi’s aside about the rainwater run-off flooding the ocean with plastic from one-time-use packaging to Made Aswino Aji’s laments about the changing landscape of Bali with its tourist growth. Or, in Ketut Jaya Kaprus’ plans to feature an entire gallery exhibit about the dangers of plastic, while showcasing its redemptive and transformative power as art.

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Artsy Abroad: On the Artistic Ledge with Federico Tomasi

As many of us in creative fields know, artistic inspiration is always something of a process. As artists, we are constantly pursuing new creative styles, mediums, subjects, narratives, and voices. Through this process of searching for ourselves, we get used to the circle of finding our grounding, losing our footing, and continuously rebuilding our foundations.

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Bali to Cali: Bridging the Distance through Writing & Art

In 2014, I received a Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs grant to travel to Bali. During my arts residency at Yayasan Bali Purnati, I met and interviewed artists and began a series of writing about their work. Please explore this time and process with me in Kate Johnson and Michael Masucci’s video production, From Bali […]



Los Angelenos at Yayasan Bali Purnati

Readers, you’re invited to… Los Angelenos at Yayasan Bali Purnati An afternoon tour of cultural exchange in Bali & Java with Ellen C. Caldwell and Sara Velas Saturday, June 28th, 2014 4-6 pm @ The Velaslavasay Panorama 1122 West 24th Street Los Angeles, California 90007 Reservations are not necessary for this free event. In February […]




Artsy Abroad: Ketut Jaya Kaprus, Made Budhiana, & Wayan Sunadi

Budhiana’s work is generally large (a minimum of about 4-6 feet wide) and very colorful. Steady lines of bright reds, yellows, and oranges pack the canvases’ frames and tell a larger story. Humor and visual narrative, both large and integral parts of Balinese culture, are as much his medium as the paint and canvas themselves.

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Artsy Abroad: Fear, Frustration, & the Art of the Forage

Through this international foraging foray, I was able to explore artworks I would have never otherwise seen and get to know artists I would have never otherwise met. In a nutshell, it was an aesthetic experience of a lifetime.

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Taylor Swift on the Road to Tabanan

Feeling 22 on the road to Tabanan, Bali. March 2014.




Everyday Problems: Ketut Teja Astawa’s Contemporary Balinese Paintings

Astawa’s canvases feature a comic-like aesthetic consisting of outlined figures and two-dimensional, flattened perspective. He incorporates the traditional wayang-style painting conventions throughout, using precise details such as shape and shading of natural forms or popular characters from the Hindu epic Ramayana. He also infuses his paintings with iconography from the wayang tradition; if he wants to indicate that a figure is an important member of the royal family, then he uses an established symbol, such as a signifying headpiece, that would visually indicate this.

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