Artist Grows Pot Plant for Gallery Exhibition 

Artist Grows Pot Plant for Gallery Exhibition 
Posted by CN Staff on October 13, 2006 at 14:07:22 PT
By Kim Curtis, Associated Press
Source: Associated Press
San Francisco -- With its pointy, jagged-edge leaves, it could simply be a robust houseplant. But in this hip downtown gallery, placed under a display case, it's art. It's also illegal.Michele Pred's "Marijuana Project" is part of a new show at the Frey Norris Gallery called "Who's Afraid of San Francisco?" The 2-foot-high cannabis plant stands in a plain, plastic pot on a square, white podium.
It's covered by a clear, Plexiglas box with air holes. On the wall nearby is the artist's medical marijuana card and grower's permit, which she obtained for this project.California is one of 11 states that allow medical marijuana, though it remains illegal under federal law.Also displayed are buds encased in resin and mounted in petri dishes, which Pred calls "Marijuana Culture." She recently stopped by the gallery to sign a set of three dishes that sold for $1,200."This symbolic five-leaf imagery that you see on T-shirts or caps - you associate that with a certain kind of person or lifestyle," says the 41-year-old Berkeley artist. "I wanted to demystify it. It's a plant. It's a weed."The show was the idea of gallery owners Raman Frey and Wendi Norris."We were talking about current events, social issues in San Francisco that take on a much larger national context," Frey says, rattling off a list of San Francisco-centric issues such as gay marriage and anti-war activism. "They begin here as social experiments then diffuse out to the rest of the country. At first, when they arise, they freak everybody out."Lawrence Rinder, dean of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco, called the show "intriguing." He said Pred was clearly trying to make a point with "Marijuana Project.""I smelled it and that was interesting," he said. "Most people would look at this and ask, 'Why is this art?' ... Art in our society is extremely broadly defined."Frey and Norris solicited proposals from about two dozen Bay Area artists who were engaged in social issues, settling on the 26 works by nine artists that make up the show running through Nov. 16.Frey, whose ground-floor, unpretentious gallery that showcases local artists is a few blocks from Union Square, wants to spark discussion about everything from medical marijuana to legalizing all drugs among his clientele, roughly split 50-50 between locals and tourists. The work shown here isn't always this edgy, though it is contemporary. In the coming months, it will feature the work of Hisashi Tenmyouya, a "reformed" graffiti tagger and Susannah Bettig, whose paintings of women, on the surface, are full of pastels and flowers, but underneath, are fiercely feminist .In its current exhibition, hanging in the center of the gallery is a silver chandelier decorated with plastic syringes and colorful garlands of empty pill capsules."Blood Money and Tears" by Laurel Roth and Andy Diaz Hope is "meant to mimic the allure of the drug culture," Frey says. Attractive, yet dangerous. Other works illustrate Chinese and Mexican immigration, gay marriage and sexuality - paintings and drawings with much genitalia and leather.Frey calls Pred's "Marijuana Project" a "comprehensive catalyst for discussion."Pred, a mixed-media artist who specializes in working with everyday objects, insists she smoked pot only once, in high school, and didn't like it. She also isn't a hard-core advocate for legalization. While she believes the drug should be legalized, she dislikes the current underground nature of obtaining it.Pred went to a doctor in August, complaining of headaches and sleep problems. He charged her $150 and gave her an identification card. She called his clinic "sleazy.""Here's this doctor, making a mint, churning out all these people," she said. "They don't even listen. They don't care."She then applied for and received a grower's permit, allowing her to grow six plants for personal use.She did some research on the Internet and at a local hydroponics supply store, then bought a clone, or small starter plant, from a pot club for $15. She bought grow lights and special fertilizer, spending about $1,500 altogether on the project. Her electric bill alone increased by $100 a month, she says."I wanted to have it grow in the gallery as a living piece of artwork," says Pred, whose previous works included sculptures made of items confiscated at airports and shown at the Nancy Hoffman Gallery in New York. "People can come back and see it taller and bigger."Despite the gallery's tourist friendly location, the plant, which the artist plans to donate to a local pot club, hasn't generated much controversy. Pred wasn't surprised."It being California, and it being San Francisco," she laughs. "Controversy? Nah."Complete Title: Artist Grows Pot Plant for Gallery Exhibition Showing SF FearsSource: Associated Press (Wire)Author: Kim Curtis, Associated PressPublished:  October 13, 2006Copyright: 2006 Associated Press CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #3 posted by global_warming on October 13, 2006 at 16:24:10 PT
I should post the entire writing of Dana Jurich
and "we" are waiting to change bad laws,..Vail DailyTime to un-demonize marijuana
	Dana Jurich
October 13, 2006Marijuana has been illegal for the better part of a century now, and the time has finally come to remove it from the hit list. There are many reasons why it has been made illegal, all of which have been based on false propaganda.Have you ever seen the 1936 movie “Reefer Madness?” It’s been a few years, but if I recall correctly, there are a handful of teenagers that get together after school, start smoking weed, and end up throwing wild and crazy parties, where they dance uncontrollably to the “satanic jazz and swing music.” Eventually they all start going mad, turning into homicidal psychopaths, rapists, and deranged lunatics. I seem to remember one gal going nuts and throwing herself out of a whatever-story window. Intended as a scare-movie, this film unrealistically portrayed the effects of becoming addicted to the “devil weed.”“Why did they do that?” you wonder out loud as you read this. It’s funny you should ask that.It turns out that cotton tycoon lobbyists had the right friends (doesn’t it always boil down to that?) in Washington, and in 1937 Congress passes the Marijuana Tax Act, placing a heavy tariff on the hemp plant. Ironically, it was around the same time the movie came out.When the Feds banded together to make it illegal for the first time in American history, the FBI director at the time, Harry J. Anslinger, testified against the hemp plant. He was quoted as saying things like “It is the most violent causing drug in the history of mankind”, and “it causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes.” Now, honestly, have you ever met a violent stoner? The most aggressive a man can get while high would be to knife a bag of potato chips after unsuccessfully trying to open it the conventional way.The whole “gateway drug” thing is bogus, too. The U.S. Government’s own statistic on the issue is this: “over 75 percent of Americans who use Cannabis never use hard drugs.” By the way, are Prozac and Ritalin considered hard drugs? They should be.Our history is littered with sad stories of productive members of society being incarcerated for long-tem sentences, whose crime was possession of a few ounces of “the weed from Hell.” Locking up a guy who smokes pot with hardened criminals is like throwing him to the wolves. Once they go through the system, they don’t come out the same. Plus, it’s a waste of taxpayer money.Did you know the first two drafts of the Declaration of Independence were written on hemp paper, and the first American flag was sewn with hemp cloth? I’m calling that ironic. I’m going to save you the whole spiel about how marijuana is medicinal, because we all know it’s true. I’ll also not tell you that it is a more ecologically friendly and self-sustaining plant that can produce a stronger product than it’s rival, King Cotton. The last thing I won’t tell you is to vote for it in a month. Legalizing marijuana for personal use will have no negative impact on our society, unless you own stock in the cotton oil, or lumber industries, hence the whole Big Lie that made it illegal in the first place. Vote YES on Amendment 34, and while you’re at it, vote NO on 43, but we’ll talk about that one later.Dana Jurich of Avon writes a weekly column for the Daily. Send comments to editor Daily, Vail, Colorado.It is Time, YES44.
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Comment #2 posted by global_warming on October 13, 2006 at 15:42:01 PT
re: "Time to un-demonize marijuana"
On October 13, 2006Dana Jurich Wrote"Marijuana has been illegal for the better part of a century now, and the time has finally come to remove it from the hit list. There are many reasons why it has been made illegal, all of which have been based on false propaganda. "Here is the link.. is time. To change the laws, and all the drug warriors who are addicted to drug laws and prohibition need to get help, because there is no more blessed tax dollars to support the war on people who misuse chemicals, as for the children, they may be innocent and naive, but they are a whole lot smarter then any of us, for it is the youth who see through the propaganda of the Government, it is the youth who have the least to lose, especially in some Government Supervised Drug Treatment Prison.
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Comment #1 posted by global_warming on October 13, 2006 at 15:25:40 PT
Forbidden Art
and a Gallery of Fools, reflect our collective culture of who "we" are.
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