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A Homecoming for New South Plains College Instructor

Chris Adams, Apatosaurus Pollen

Chris Adams, Apatosaurus Pollen

South Plains College in Lubbock just hired Chris Adams, a Texas Tech University alumnus, as their new Foundations Instructor. During his “post-graduation ride,” Adams has lived and worked with junior high school students in Odessa, taught as an adjunct professor for Sanford-Brown College in San Antonio, and expanded and revitalized his artistic practice through experimentation with photography.

In his new position at SPC, Adams will be teaching basic design, drawing, and art appreciation. He is especially excited about working with non-art students in his appreciation classes: “It’s my sincere hope, however, to convert some of the non-believers to the cause! I plan on having a very good time and making sure everyone is enjoying the ride.” That’s the spirit, Chris!

Adams’ quotes via The Bowerbird

Tired of Art Fairs? Head to Edinburg, TX!

MarkGoddard2Well, it seems like massive art fairs are here to stay. There are now so many that art travelers could hop around the globe year-round from convention center to convention center, checking out contemporary art. Seattle held its inaugural fair this past weekend and reported brisk sales and long lines around the block.

But those who are beginning to experience “fair-tigue” can head on down to South Texas for a slightly less surreal event. The city of Edinburg is hosting the “Out of This World!” UFO Conference & Festival on Saturday, August 15. There will be experts in the field of UFOs and the paranormal, some presenting evidence of sightings and crashes near the border and in Mexico. This year’s conference includes a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Irwin Allen’s classic science fiction television series Lost in Space, with a special appearance by Mark Goddard (“Major Don West”).

Tickets are only $30-40, and there is a free “UFO Fiesta” on Friday night at the Edinburg City Hall Courtyard.

Just think of it as a Performance Art Fair and add another stop to your art globe-trotting tour.

Kerfuffle over Damaged Art at Houston Alternative Space

ian james damaged work

Image via Jon Lindsey

It’s never pretty when artworks are damaged, especially due to carelessness or miscommunication. This past spring, the Los Angeles-based artist Ian James showed at Houston’s Self-Actualization. Jon Lindsey, one of the co-directors of the space, claims that after the run of the exhibition, James’ works were damaged when they were removed for an event hosted by the Houston-based organization Creative Women Unite (CWU).

James’ show, In the Caverns of Your Mind, was on view from January 9th to February 13th, 2015 in the abandoned fourth floor of the 2800 San Jacinto building, which was donated by the building’s owner. A subsequent event, hosted by CWU, took place on March 7th, three weeks after the closing date of In the Caverns of Your Mind. To prepare for this event, CWU took down James’ show and damaged the prints as they removed them from the walls and put them in a storage area. Lindsey claims that Self-Actualization was given no opportunity to de-install the show before CWU took down James’ work. He communicated with CWU shortly after discovering the damage, and requested $300 to compensate James for the cost of reprinting works that were destroyed.

CWU released this statement about the issue: “The property owner gave us a date to begin our install. When we asked about artwork and installation pieces left in the space, we were told we could uninstall the exhibit. It is our understanding that had the exhibit prior been token down [sic] in a timely manner, this would not be an issue. We took occupancy the date we were given by the property owner; and began our make-ready on that date.”

For his part, Lindsey’s statement is resigned: “The owner generously allowed both organizations to use the space free of charge and, obviously, there was miscommunication between all parties, which led to Ian James’ show being torn down. We were never notified the show had to come down, but now we have a better understanding of the risk associated with anything free, and in the future when we use nontraditional spaces we’ll do a better job of securing the work. That said, it was heartbreaking telling Ian what was done to his work, and the fact that CWU has never expressed any remorse to him makes it so much worse.”

Of course, it’s the responsibility of the exhibiting organization to ensure an artist’s work isn’t damaged. In this situation, the ultimate loser is the artist, who is both without the work that was exhibited in the show, and without the means to reproduce his prints. Here we see the irony of the art world: everyone claims that art is valuable and worth funding, until it ultimately has to be paid for.

 

ian james damaged wallpaper

Wallpaper from the exhibit after it was removed. [Image via Jon Lindsey]

 

 

Big Game Hunting for 50K!

(Photo: Rex Features via AP Images)

(Photo: Rex Features via AP Images)

Hunting for sport is provoking a lot of controversy the past week or so, with the American dentist who paid $50,000 to kill Cecil the lion going into hiding, but the folks at Hunting PLC (an international oil services company) announced this morning that they are now accepting entries for its 36th annual Hunting Art Prize competition. They want to give one Texas artist $50,000 and a moment in the spotlight.

There is still some sport (and a lot of luck!) in competing for the largest single prize for painting and drawing available in North America. Artists may enter one single digital image of a two-dimensional artwork by November 30. A panel of jurors will first evaluate the gobs and gobs of digital entries and select artists to move on to the final tier—which is still gobs. These finalists will be asked to submit the original artwork for the final round of judging to determine the winning piece. The recipient will be announced at a big gala in Houston on April 30, 2016.

They’ve been mixing it up with the selections recently; winning pieces have included photorealistic paintings, quirky drawings, and abstract works. Also, the jurors aren’t usually announced until after the submission deadline, so there is not much point in trying to figure out what they want. But Marshall K. Harris, the 2013 winner offers his advice in the Glasstire comments section. Or just search “Hunting Prize” on the Glasstire site to see the incredible amount of congratulations and grousing the competition provokes.

For more info, visit http://www.huntingartprize.com.

Galveston Arts Center to Return Home

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2127 Strand

It has recently been announced that this October, the Galveston Arts Center will move back to its long-time home at 2127 Strand. This historic building has housed the center for approximately forty years, but has recently been under repair. The two-story structure, which was originally the First National Bank Building, has been undergoing rennovations since September of 2008 when Hurricane Ike struck the city. The repair has cost $3 million and includes “three art galleries, a studio classroom, a museum store, an installation shop, offices, a library, and a kitchen.”

The official public re-opening of the building will take place October 10th during ArtWalk. There will be three individual shows opening, including works by Francesca Fuchs, Janet Hassinger, and Areiell Masson. These exhibitions will be on view until November 23rd.

Mini Mural Takeover

mini murals houston

Anat Ronen‘s mural located at South Gessner @ Creekbend

If you have been in Houston recently, you may have noticed that a number of utility boxes have been turned into small murals. This new project, quite appropriately named Mini Murals, is sponsored by UP Art Studio.

By partnering with the City of Houston, UP Art Studio has managed to curate a selection of murals that reaches a large portion of Houstonians. The pilot phase of this project has focused on locations in Southwest Houston and encompasses many utility boxes that are outside of the 610 Loop. This allows many artists who are well-known in the inner loop of Houston (such as Dual and Wiley) to have their work in a broader context.

Elia Quiles, the founder of UP Art Studio, has said this about the project: “Street art is important to us because it’s a form of art that enables artists to express themselves free of the constraints of the formal art community. It’s art that is accessible by the majority of the population, regardless of geography or socio-economic status.”

You can follow the program with the hashtag #MiniMuralsHou

Also, be on the lookout for a kick-off event happening September 19th.

 

Elia Quiles quote courtesy of www.joelluks.com

A Short Farewell to MFAH’s Café Express

cafe express mfah

Photo via MFAH

Great news for those of us in Houston who love going to the MFAH but hate the dining options: the museum plans to open their new MFACafé this fall in the Audrey Jones Beck Building. According to their press release, the café will feature “the homemade fare of Italian-born co-creators Paolo Fronza and Matteo Alessandri” and “will combine the concepts of a museum café and the coffee bars of Italy, offering guests an array of light, Northern Italian-inspired food.”

In layman’s terms, the menu includes salads, pastas, soups, panini, and also offers breakfast options. The café is to be decorated with works from the MFAH’s collection that “reflect Italian art and culture.” Additionally, there will be communal tables available and the café will offer Wi-Fi and power outlets to guests.

Get your last dose of Café Express before it closes tomorrow, August 1st.

Via MFAH: “Beginning on Tuesday, August 4, the Museum will set up a temporary pop-up café in the lobby of the Beck Building, after Cafe Express hosts its last day of service on Saturday, August 1. Service, which continues until the opening of MFACafe, will be available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.

Professor Paglia Gives Mattress Performance a D, Calls it a “Parody” of Feminism

Photo: Twitter/@teoarmus via ArtNet News

Photo: Twitter/@teoarmus via ArtNet News

It seems like we haven’t heard so much from American academic and social critic Camille Paglia for a while. But the Donald Trump of feminism (self-described “dissident feminist,” although others have called her an “anti-feminist feminist”) is weighing in on current politics, liberal politicians, Bill Cosby, and Emma Sulkowicz—the Columbia University art graduate who carried around her mattress her senior year for a performance project entitled Carry That Weight. Serving both as her thesis project and a protest against the university’s lack of action against her alleged rapist, the performance gained much media attention and inspired students at over 100 other colleges to perform similar acts in solidarity, including Texas State art student Monika Rostvold, who sat at on the steps of her school’s library, blindfolded and almost completely nude.

We’re not sure what grade Sulkowicz got on her thesis project, but she (as well as the alleged rapist) graduated this past May, although the university president would not shake her hand at the ceremony. Paglia, who has taught at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania since 1984, told Salon.com in a recent interview, “I’d give her a D!” calling it “a parody of the worst aspects of that kind of grievance-oriented feminism.”

ArtNet News first picked up on Paglia’s mattress comments from the interview; The Observer later elaborated on them. Both seemed puzzled by Paglia’s explanation that Sulkowicz “trapped herself in her own bad memories and publicly labeled herself as a victim, which will now be her identity forever.” Jerry Saltz, among other art critics, gave the performance rave reviews, calling it “pure radical vulnerability” and one of the best art shows of 2014. ArtNet News notes that Sulkowicz was invited to this year’s State of the Union address.

Paglia seemingly has no sympathy for Sulkowicz or for college students in general: “They’ve been treated as fragile emotional beings throughout their schooling. The situation is worsening year by year, as teachers have to watch what they say and give trigger warnings, because God forbid that American students should have to confront the brutal realities of human life.”

Rape as a reality of human life. Wow.

DMA Curator Leaves to Run New Florida Museum

kevin-tuckerKevin W. Tucker, who’s been at the Dallas Museum of Art since 2003 and was promoted to the position of The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the end of 2013, will be leaving to become the first director of the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The museum began construction earlier this year on a 3.5-acre site and will have 110,000 square feet of space and an estimated budget of $70 million. Rudy Ciccarello, a retired businessman who is founding the museum, is providing its collection, reports the Tampa Bay Times. Ciccarello’s collection is considered to be one of the finest of its kind with art, furniture, decorative and architectural objects, even entire rooms, from the early 20th-century design movement.

The museum is set to finish construction sometime in late 2015/early 2016, with an opening planned for summer 2017. Tucker will begin his new position at the end of August.

Glasstire Travels to Mexico City

In the past decade or so, Mexico City has established itself as one of the most exciting and vibrant contemporary art centers of the 21st century. Even before recent developments like the Zona MACO Art Fair and the Jumex Museum though, the city has long been a vital artistic locale, where strands of modernism from Europe, North and South America mix with indigenous traditions and history. Glasstire travelled to Mexico City (known as Distrito Federal, or DF) recently to interview some of the artists who are part of the city’s rich artistic heritage.

Monica Mayer in front of her pinto mi Raya archives containing 300,000 art related documents.  [all photos by the author for Glasstire unless otherwise noted]

Monica Mayer in front of her Pinto Mi Raya archives containing 300,000 art related documents. [all photos by the author for Glasstire unless otherwise noted]

We met with Monica Mayer, who formed one of Mexico’s first feminist art groups, Polvo de Gallina Negra (Dust of the Black Hen), with fellow artist Maris Bustamante in 1983. Most of her work is performance-based social or political interventions, often tinged with humor. Her longest-running project is Pinto Mi Raya, a collaboration with her husband Victor Lerma, which began as an alternative gallery space in 1989. With the intention to “lubricate the Mexican Art System,” when was then closed off to most non-traditional art forms, Pinto Mi Raya has developed into an archive of an astounding 300,000 documents — art reviews, criticism, and news gathered from Mexico City newspapers. Currently on view at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena is a exhibition focused on various performances Mayer and Lerma have staged over the past four decades based on their personal and artistic relationship.

Lourdes Grobet.

Lourdes Grobet.

Next we visited with photographer Lourdes Grobet, who cites as her main influences the trinity of German artist Mathias Goeritz, who emigrated to Mexico City in 1949 and helped shape the modern artistic landscape there; Mexican artist and long-time teacher Gilberto Aceves Navarro; and El Santo, one of the greatest wrestlers in the history of Lucha Libre. Indeed, she is perhaps most well-known for her photographs of Lucha Libre, which she has documented since the 1970s, although her career encompasses much more. Originally a painter, she burned all her previous work in 1968 and turned toward photography. She pushed the limits of the medium, holding an exhibition of photos that weren’t fixed, so they faded throughout the show. Like Mayer, she was also involved with the Mexican art collectives known as Grupos, specifically the Grupo Proceso Pentágono, which included legendary Mexican artist and publisher Felipe Ehrenberg. She also spoke with us about one of most recent projects, a documentary on the Bering Strait.

Lourdes Grobet and El Santo [Photo: Felipe Eherenberg, via http://www.lourdesgrobet.com]

Lourdes Grobet and El Santo [Photo: Felipe Eherenberg, via lourdesgrobet.com]

Sarah Minter, Nadie es Inocente, 1986 [still from youtube]

Sarah Minter, Nadie es Inocente, 1986 [still from youtube]

Our third interview with an influential female artist was filmmaker and video artist Sarah Minter. Her early 16mm films like Nadie es Inocente (1986) document Mexico City’s burgeoning punk scene in the 1980s, which she revisited with a follow-up film twenty years later. Although scripted, the film features punk kids from the slums of Neza City, giving it a gritty slice-of-life feel similar to Penelope Spheeris’s Suburbia. Her more recent work tends more towards video installation, such as Ojo en Rotación (2015), a cube with footage of street life projected on all sides that viewers can enter. We were fortunate enough to be able to visit MUAC’s current retrospective of her work, where we saw One-Day, One-Night Trips Through Mexico City (1997), a three-screen city symphony that distills 24 hours in this megalopolis into 30 minutes.

Sarah Minter. “Ojo en Rotación,” 2015

Sarah Minter. “Ojo en Rotación,” 2015

Finally we sat down with Gabriel de la Mora, one of the younger generation of emerging artists in Mexico City. After studying architecture, de la Mora received his MFA from Pratt, and his eclectic body of work shows the attention to detail and craftsmanship of an architect. Working in a diverse range of media including drawing, photography and sculpture, his work repurposes discarded objects and ephemera, revealing their original functions while giving them new life. This form of cultural recycling has a special relevance here in Mexico City, where even the stones of the city’s main Cathedral were appropriated from the destroyed Aztec Templo Mayor.

Gabriel de la Mora, Mesa III, 2010. 15 pieces from different series created between 2000-2010 [via sicardi.com]

Gabriel de la Mora, Mesa III, 2010. 15 pieces from different series created between 2000-2010 [via sicardi.com]

Look for these video interviews in Spanish with English subtitles on Glasstire in the coming months.

 

 

 

Donald Lipski Will Have Houston Peering UNDER Buffalo Bayou

unnamed-1

a blurry pic of the cistern

In the regeneration of Buffalo Bayou throughout the Buffalo Bayou Park Project in Houston, a giant underground cistern (the size of a football field) was rediscovered. It was a reservoir for Houston drinking water early in the last century, until it sprang a mystery leak and it was drained and decommissioned decades ago.

Artist Donald Lipski, who once upon a time lived in Houston, is building a new permanent public artwork for Buffalo Bayou: a periscope that allows people to peer down into the cistern. The periscope will be housed in a jasmine-covered arbor. The view from the periscope will also be viewable online. The cistern itself will eventually be transformed into an artspace.

For more info, go here.

unnamed-2

rendering of the periscope

A Closer Look at Big Show Artists

Photo via Houston Press

Photo via Houston Press

The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center’s annual open-call, juried exhibition, is always a great way to get a glimpse of the up-and-comers in the Houston art scene. For this year’s exhibition, which opened July 10, a total of 76 works by 62 artists were selected from 972 works submitted by 355 artists. But the opening receptions for The Big Show are notoriously packed and certainly not the best way to spend time with the art or to meet the artists.

Fortunately, Lawndale also puts on “The Big Slide Show,” during which The Big Show artists give short, informal presentations about their work. Tonight and tomorrow night, beginning at 6pm, is the chance to meet the artists and get a closer look at their work. Here is the schedule of the presentations:

Wednesday, July 29
Fariba Abedin
Shawn Artis
Karen Braiser
Erick Calderon
Peter Chok
Laura Drey
Trey Duvall
Vincent Fink
John Forse
J.G. Harkins
Iva Kinnaird
Samantha Persons
Eric Thayer
Jaclyn Touchstone
Bradon Zech

Thursday, July 30
Bryan Cope
Adrienne Duncan
Steve Ross Fisher
Mary Forbes
Michael Horvath
John Hovig
Allyson Huntsman
Linda Simien Kelly
Leslie Magdaleno
Cobra McVey
Pen Morrison
Nataliya Scheib
Royce Ann Sline
Graciela Socorro
Jennifer Thompson

Artist Takes You Inside Moby-Dick on Buffalo Bayou

unnamedHorse Head Theater Company is set to premiere its production of The Whale; or, Moby-Dick at an unusual spot down at Buffalo Bayou in Houston. What’s also unusual is that the audience will watch the production inside the whale, designed and built by Houston artist Troy Stanley, who (via Horse Head) “has produced three 2014 public art installations with the Houston Arts Alliance and is represented by the Barbara Davis Gallery.”

The audience will watch the play “from the inside of an enormous 44-foot dome,” which “will come to life through video projections and extensive soundscapes… .” Stanley worked with artists Eric Hester, Mat Kubo, Logan Sebastian Beck and Robert Thoth and of course Horse Head artistic team and visiting set designers including Jacey Little, Kevin Holden, and Clint Allen.

 

The Whale; or, Moby-Dick runs July 29 through August 15 at the Buffalo Bayou Partnership Silos, 351 N. St. Charles; all shows begin at 8 p.m. For info go here. 

DomeConstruction

The dome under construction.

Happy Birthday, Marcel!

Photo: Eric Sutherland for the Walker Art Center

Photo: Eric Sutherland for the Walker Art Center

Generally considered the father of Conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp was born on this day in 1887. Although he dabbled in Cubism, Surrealism, and spearheaded the American Dada movement together with his friends Picabia and Man Ray, Duchamp rejected what he called “retinal pleasure,” in favor of more intellectual, subversive, and humorous works. His readymades, including Fountain (1917), were intended to poke fun at avant-garde art but ended up changing the direction of twentieth-century art.

Almost one hundred years later, some people are still outraged that a urinal could be deemed a work of art. For those confused about the state of contemporary art: blame Marcel Duchamp. And celebrate confusion!

Women & Their Work Looking for Artists for Upcoming Solo Shows

7ps4g2vli7nhLong-running, acclaimed Austin non-profit Women & Their Work has sent out a reminder for its Call For Entries deadline: August 19 is the last day to apply for a solo show for the 2016-17 season. A solo show at their downtown building includes a curatorial advisor, a writer-commissioned essay about your show, and a 1700 square-foot exhibition space with movable walls (and AV equipment, too). There’s an honorarium and you can sell your work out of the show.

Some of our favorite artists — at varying stages in their careers — have had solo shows there in recent years, including Sara Frantz, Danielle Georgiou, Leslie Wilkes, and Kelly O’Connor.

Here’s what W&TW says about eligibility:

Women artists residing in Texas who have not had a solo exhibition at Women & Their Work within the past five years are eligible. Recently created work in all media will be considered. Artists must be able to exhibit their work by May, 2016. We strongly encourage artists to create new work for exhibition at Women & Their Work. We will choose artists to premier in 6-week solo exhibitions occurring between May 2016 and May 2017.

For more info, go here and here.

Houston Artist to Join Inaugural Joan Mitchell Center Artist-in-Residence Program

HodgeHouston artist Robert Hodge has been selected to take part in the launch of the Joan Mitchell Foundation’s Artist-in-Residence (AIR) program in New Orleans’ historic Tremé neighborhood. Of the twenty artists who will begin this fall at the newly designed campus, Hodge is the only Texan.

The folks at Artfcity.com say, “the home is incredible, like it’s straight out of True Blood or Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Christa Blatchford, CEO of the Foundation speaks in more PR terms: “The Joan Mitchell Center’s Artist-in-Residence program allows us to deepen this support by offering artists both time and space to create work, as well as opportunities for visiting artists to engage with the local arts community and experience the rich cultural possibilities of New Orleans.”

Congratulations, Mr. Hodge!

DMA Curator to Become Founding Director of New Arts and Crafts Museum

artsandcrafts

It was announced on July 24 that Kevin W. Tucker, The Margot B. Perot Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the Dallas Museum of Art, will be leaving his position after twelve years at the institution. He’s not retiring yet, though: he is headed for St. Petersburg, Florida where he will become the founding director of the Museum of the American Arts and Crafts Movement.

This new museum, founded by collector Rudy Ciccarello, will be 110,000 square feet and have more than 60,000 square feet of gallery space. The institution’s size is significant, considering the three biggest museums in Tampa (the Dalí Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg and the Tampa Museum of Art) each have less than 20,000 square feet of gallery space. That’s a lot of arts and crafts!

It appears that the new museum is set to open in 2017. If you’re ever in St. Petersburg, be sure to check it out!

(Image via The Two Red Roses Foundation: Latest rendering of the North East façade of the Museum of the American Arts & Crafts Movement.)

Auditory Art: Hear it Before it’s Gone

takis

Takis, Magnetic Painting

This weekend is your LAST CHANCE to see (or more accurately, hear) the Takis show at the Menil Collection. This exhibition is the first museum survey for Takis, an artist that Duchamp described as “the happy ploughman of magnetic field.” Incorporating potential and kinetic energy into his works, Takis creates the “fourth dimension” that is stated in the show’s title. This exhibition has been on view since January 24th and we reviewed it here. Similarly, both Houston Press and the Chronicle took a look at it.

Go give it some love before it’s gone!

Archival Footage at Your Fingertips!

Screenshot via YouTube

Screenshot via YouTube

The Associated Press and British Movietone recently announced that they will be uploading more than 550,000 segments of archival film footage onto YouTube. The earliest videos date back to 1895 and the site will host over one million minutes of footage – that’s almost two years worth of material!

There are many historically significant events covered by the archive, from the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 to the events of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Alwyn Lindsey, AP’s director of international archive, had this to say about the project: “The AP archive footage, combined with the British Movietone collection, creates an incredible visual journey of the people and events that have shaped our history. At AP we are always astonished at the sheer breadth of footage that we have access to, and the upload to YouTube means that, for the first time, the public can enjoy some of the oldest and most remarkable moments in history.”

You can go and discover this archive for yourself, or you can look at these super cool videos from Texas:

 

Join the Suburban Collage! Kcam to Present Community Art Project at Houston Fine Arts Fair

Pieces_of_TXThe relatively new Katy Contemporary Arts Museum (Kcam) is teaming up with the Houston Fine Art Fair (HFAF) to present a “community art project bringing together the many Houston suburb artists.” The final product, the Pieces of Texas Project, will be featured at HFAF in September, travel to a couple of local places, and then put on permanent display at the Kcam.

We’re not exactly sure what this final product will look like, but it has put out a call for entries with the following prerequisites:

  • Must be a repurposed or found piece. It can be reworked, painted, carved, scratched.
  • Cannot be purchased in a store.
  • Must fall between 6 inches and 6 feet tall, or wide. Must be at least 2 inches thick.
  • Must be made of wood, metal or a durable material that can survive Houston’s outdoor climate.

The lead artists on the project are Mark Deleon, Roberta Harris, Felipe Lopez, and Anuska Martinez. You may enter as many pieces as you like (at $5 a pop entry fee) and Kcam guarantees that at least one will be incorporated into the work and that “all names of artists involved will be stated.” Deadline for entries is August 2.

Funding generously provided by:
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