BY JAN HAAG


INTRODUCTION + POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

HAAG'S BIO



BYTES FROM HAAG'S BIO

1933 to ______

My great great great great great great great great grandmother, Elizabeth Smyth, and her husband, Samuel Smith, arrived in Boston in June, 1634. Two hundred ninety-nine and a half years later I was born a Smith in Marysville, Washington, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. The first job I ever had was picking berries. I was very good at it.

My academic life included graduating from Holy Names Female Academy in Seattle, studies at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, The New School for Social Research in New York, The University of Washington, Pennsylvania State University, University of California at Los Angeles, and Southwestern University School of Law in Los Angeles. In early Seattle days I managed an art gallery, poetry readings and the Shakespeare Workshop for the ABC Bookstore. As an actress, I performed in many regional theatres during the '50s and '60s, and directed plays in Washington, Oregon and California. Having studied painting at Burnley Art School in Seattle, the Art Institute of Chicago and with Frederick E. Smith, I exhibited in West Coast museums, competitions and galleries, including the Seattle Art Museum, the Otto Seligman gallery, the Frye Museum, the Woessner gallery, etc. More recently, I created and exhibited a new form: Accumulations, crafted for numerous Mimic-Octopus Productions shows. I have studied ballet and fencing, danced with Eleanor King, practiced Aikido with Bruce Bookman, yoga with Bill Mitchell, and have devoted nearly three decades to the practice and study of Eastern mysticism. I was married for ten years, 1957-68, to John Haag, Professor and Poet-in-Residence at Pennsylvania State University. During that time, I served as television director for all secondary education programs for The University Divisions of Instructional Services at Penn State.

In Los Angeles, as Film and Television Director for the The John Tracy Clinic, I directed a series of forty-two films, "Teaching Speech to the Profoundly Deaf," for the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1971 I joined the staff of the American Film Institute where, as Director of National Production Programs, I administered the nation's largest film granting program: The Independent Filmmaker Program, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts; The Academy Internship Program, sponsored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences; and, in 1974, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, I founded AFI's Directing Workshop for Women, a program in which women -- such as Joanne Woodward, Lee Grant, Margot Kidder, Ellen Byrstyn, Maya Angelou, Karen Arthur, Anne Bancroft, Dyan Cannon, Julia Phillips, Kathleen Nolan, Cecily Tyson, Brianne Murphy, Nessa Hyams, Randa Hains etc. -- already accomplished in other aspects of filmmaking could develop their directing skills. The DWW became the fountainhead back to which the careers of many women now directing film and television can be traced. I also served on the boards of many film festivals/programs, including the Bellevue Film Festival, Filmex, the Sundance Institute, and the International Women Filmmakers Symposium.

In 1982, I retired from AFI to devote myself to art, writing and a life of voluntary simplicity. I have written several thousand poems and given poetry readings in theatres, museums, libraries, galleries, private salons and bookstores. My chapbooks include: "99," "101," "Ten Poems," "Legends, Histories and Horrors" and "Poetry of the Desert." A limited edition of "Amanita Caesarea," a legend, with original drawings by Roger Landry was published by Gallery Plus of Los Angeles. I have written stories, novels, plays, film scripts, articles, essays and a vast journal, the manuscripts of which et al are on deposit in Special Collections, Blagg Huey Library, Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. My travel stories have appeared in four of the prize-winning, "Travelers' Tales" series of books: "India," "A Woman's World," "The Spiritual Gifts of Travel," and "Spain." In 1991, during a writer's fellowship at the Syvenna Foundation in Texas, I wrote "Cantalloc," a novel about a woman detained by her illusions in Peru. In 1992, during a writer's fellowship at Blue Mountain Center, New York, I wrote "No Palms," a California/Texas novel centering on water rights, real estate fraud, and savage murder.

Poetry projects include yearly collections, from: "The 1996 Poems" through "The 2011 Poems;" as well as collections of "Ascesis" (close studies): "Inspired by Nisargadatta,""Indra's Net II" -- Inspired by Kevin Kelly"s "Out of Control," "Inspired by Rumi;" and "The Desolation Poems" -- a collection composed of 333 of the "Poetic Forms Used in English;" plus numerous Series and Sequences such as "The Julia Poems." "Birds Migrate At Night," "The Devayani Poems," "The Feminist Poems," "Poems of Love," "The Jaipur Sequence," etc.. These Poems and Collections, along with selections of works in Textile Art, Music, Travel, Essays, Fiction, and "21st Century Art, C.E. -- B.C., A Context" are available on janhaag.com. This website is an on-going, fifteen-year (so far), project which fulfills the vision of making my work available to a global audience. The inspiration for janhaag.com also grew out of the desire to help lead the cause of developing the terrain of cyberspace as gallery and publishing venue for individual artists. The NET is, in my view, to the 21st Century Avant-Garde what alternative museums, galleries, art festivals, co-op galleries and adventureous presses were to 20th Century artists -- with the advantage of allowing the individual artist to be wholly in control, creating and directly sharing work with a worldwide audience.

Through Needlepoint, for twenty-nine years, 1975 through 2004, I pursued a unique form of Textile Art. These works, inspired by patterns and designs, iconography and ideas noted during a lifetime of writing, travel and study have been shown in solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Marin County and at SAAM, the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Lectures and Improvisational Needlepoint Workshops were offered in conjuction with each of these exhibits. Images of and documentation about the needlepoints is available on janhaag.com. Original documentation is archived in the Special Collections of the Blagg-Huey Library at TWU and in the Textile Collection Archives at the University of Washington. This section of my website -- in particular, the five works based on North Indian Classical music -- is required reading in the Ethnomusicology Department. My mentor in Textile Art was Lenore Tawney.

In 1989, I served as Administrative and Editorial Consultant for the Gila Environmental Regeneration Project, Seeds of Change, in New Mexico. In 1990, I accompanied The Global Walk for a Livable World from Los Angeles to Texas as Westcoast Coordinator for "The Peace Ribbon," an International Folk Art project. In the early '90s, again indulging my passion for pattern and design, I began creating small, primitive cat paintings -- "Cattipoints." Both as originals and as prints, they were exhibited and sold in galleries, at art festivals, and in museum shops. In 1993, I created a collection of patterned Ceramics. As a writer and editor for many distinguished artists and scientists, I have worked on speeches, articles, dissertations, theses and books with subjects ranging through music, art, art criticism, architecture, arts funding, gerontology, psychology, politics, travel, sustainable agriculture, spiritual literature, and innovative education.

During 1992-93, I acted as consultant for "Peace Pilgrim," a documentary film produced by Claire Townsend, about Peace Pilgrim's life. In 1993 I completed a 20,000 mile trip around the U.S.A., and began to study North Indian Classical music at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael. While I studied voice with Ali Akbar Khan and tabla with Swapan Chaudhuri, I served as AACM Writer-in-Residence for three years. I have lived in many states, many American cities, and in India, Korea and England; walked, traveled and studied in Asian countries including China, Thailand, Nepal, as well as in Russia, Europe and Mexico. I have lectured on film and about women filmmakers throughout the United States and in Japan and Greece.

I have done volunteer work in Seattle with the Public Library, the Science Center, the Woodland Park Zoo, and at Hamilton House teaching writing and computers to Seniors. In Los Angeles, I volunteered at the Public Library helping to re-catalog thousands of fire damaged books, and at the Page Museum of the La Brea Tar Pits as paleontological assistant; in Marin County with the Peace and Justice Center; and in Los Angeles and Marin County I have volunteered as cook's helper to feed the homeless. I have helped to teach English to the Thai monks of Auburn, as well as volunteered as a micropaleontology helper to pick and classify foraminifera at the University of Washington's Burke Museum. For several years, I volunteered as a helper in the UW's Botany Greenhouses, and as a docent at the Volunteer Park Conservatory.

As a participant in the 1998, Open Studios Website Construction Program sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Benton Foundation, the Seattle Art Museum, the Seattle Public Libraries, and Microsoft's Technological Resources Institute, I created a Website entitled 21ST CENTURY ART, C.E. -- B.C., A Context which is dedicated to exploring the great tradition of knowledge encoded in textile art and the infinite range of the "grid arts": ancient and modern weaving, tapestry, architecture, carpets, ikat, Chinese Lattice, computer design, Mandelbrot Sets," etc.."...the geometry is the light..." It has now become a major section of janhaag.com. The scope of my life and interests underwent a profound change during the 1999 WTO Protest -- The Battle in Seattle.

As an Access Student at the University of Washington (from 1996 to the present) I have studied Music, Music Notation and World Music, Biology, Botany, Social Sciences, Asian History and Cultures, Sanskrit and Indian History with Richard Salomon, and Writing Systems, with both Salomon and Boltz, Architecture, Anthropology, Archaeology, Language/Linguistics, Birds, Fish, and Bugs, Dinosaurs, Murder, Sex, Bio-Physiology, Zoology, Chemistry, Geology, Earth and Space Sciences, The National Parks, Mathematics, Classics, Greek and Roman Myths, Astronomy, The Planets, The Six Voyages to the Moon with Toby Smith, Volcanism, as well as fourteen terms studying Non-Western Architecture with Vikram Prakash. A poet has to know everything.

Among my many adventures, I have nannied two infants and delivered one baby. The orchid Paphiopedilum Devayani, bred by John Haag (from Paph philippinense (pollen) X Paph druryi) and registered with The Royal Horticultural Society, London, in 1983, bears my spiritual name.

In 2009 I completed fifty years of work, reflection and revision on "Jocasta" a preface to Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex." It is now available as a Kindle, as well as online at Internet Archives and janhaag.com.

Most recently, beginning on July 7, 2010, the twenty-three Haag Needlepoints are being exhibited online at the MB Abram Galleries. In connection with this retrospective, twelve video vignettes delving into the history and iconography of the individual pieces were recorded by MB Abram. Major pieces will soon be shown in exhibition at his new Gallery opening later this year (2011) in downtown Los Angeles.

And every summer I still pick wild berries -- as many as can now be found.



BY JAN HAAG


ART & POETRY - ACCUMULATIONS

INTRODUCTION + POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART

HAAG'S BIO


21st CENTURY ART, C.E. - B.C., A Context






Copyright © 2011 through 2015 Jan Haag
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: jjhaag@gmail.com