From the Editor’s Desk


From the desk of the Editor:

Aaron Mandel

It is funny what we see as Art, and I don’t mean laughable, I mean odd. A few weeks back, as always with me and The Carrack, their events whip by, and I can’t manage to write about them until they have passed, I was at their community show.

When I cruised through, I was mostly excited to see the collaboration between Maria DelGobbo and Mark Coffman. To my surprise I saw one of my favorite Durham artists, Sarah Goetz, had organized a food drive for the NC Food Bank. (I later found out in conjunction with Gallery Director, Laura Richie, and Durham artist, Libby Lynn.)

Goetz’s donation arrangement, as I perceived it, had become a towering pile of food and cans, and was filling in nicely under the low slung table it was collected on. Brilliant, I thought. What a post-Warholian response, he paints a tomato can and laughs when people pay for it. Goetz goes to a zero-commission gallery’s community show and organizes canned food donations as Art.

Only one problem, when I emailed her, Goetz said, I had no idea that it would have been presented as art or taken as an art piece at all! 

It was not intended to be so- it was just an arrangement of objects. I try to put a little more effort/thought into anything I’m willing to call my artwork...

It was Libby Lynn’s idea: she thought maybe food donation would get a better community response at The Carrack if it was promised that an artist would use the food as materials to make an installation/arrangement. I offered to Libby and Laura that I’d be the artist to do that.”

And so it is with Art, beyond the medium is the message, the viewer is the lens. We see what we will and judge what we wish as Art. On the Clarion Content’s Tumblr we frequently look at Street Art.


in Durham, NC

The space where Art is created doesn’t define its ability to communicate. Street art can fly mighty high.

in Kenya

in Kenya

The space where Art is created can define its permanence. What I thought Sarah Goetz’s sculptural paean to fighting hunger at The Carrack’s Community Show has long since been disassembled and donated. Street Art faces a similar fight. Always ephemeral, the reality is, it shares this fate with all Art. The Sistine Chapel crumbles, as do the walls at Lascaux.

Last month we read that the massive graffiti mecca at 5Pointz in Queens was abruptly painted over without notice.

This month we read of a JP Morgan executive sending out a Christmas card featuring him pounding tennis balls around his bazillion dollar apartment, including off of the million dollar plus Jackson Pollack painting he owns.

But as Banksy showed us this Fall, the rich and shameless own these paintings for the brand and the status they convey, not the Art. Much like the Taliban blowing up the 2,000 year-old Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, possession of this Art is just elementary school shit, King of theMmountain. If you own it, you can destroy it.


The real power of Art is the message. Construct it anywhere and anyway you want. What does it mean to you?



“From the Editor’s Desk”

is written by our Editor: Aaron Mandel


Clarion Content Editor Aaron Mandel, photo by Jessica Arden Photography

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Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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