Arts History Update for very late April 2014

16 Apr

Arts History Update for very late April 2014 by David Cummins

John Carey, The Unexpected Professor: An Oxford Life in Books (Faber and Faber 2014) $20.56 Kindle $10.86 is a memoir by the now 80 year old Merton Professor of English Literature Emeritus [since 2001] at St John’s College Oxford University his alma mater. While an outstanding don he was also a principal book reviewer for The London Times newspaper and so had a foot in grub street. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Carey_%28critic%29 He is currently writing a blog that includes references to interviews with him about this new book http://www.johncarey.org/

He is a fervent anti-class structure person in Britain having come up through Grammar Schools [equivalent in USA to public schools] rather than Public School [equivalent in USA to private academies, both expensive and exclusive and so unavailable to the middle class and below] and entered St John’s College Oxford University on scholarship for having outwitted his competitors. He took a “first” graduating at the top or in the top tier of his academic matriculating class. See one of his masterpieces The Intellectuals and the Masses: Pride and Prejudice Among the Literary Intelligentsia, 1880 – 1939 (Faber and Faber 1992) Texas Tech Library PR471.C37.

John Carey, What Good Are the Arts? (Oxford University Press 2006) $25.67 (paperback 2010) $16.16 Texas Tech Library BH39.C373 ABE Books in good condition $4.03, is a stimulating book in which he debunks some in-vogue high-culture claims about the arts while embracing the arts warmly, although his clear preference is for his own activity, the literary arts or literature. That is to be expected and allowed for without agreement or disagreement. The book is recommended.

He wrote an essay Down With Dons in 1974 that was so witty and spot on, that it became famous and an example of professorial debunking. It could only have been written by a paid up member of the academic cadre it affects to despise. Here it is in eleven pages http://www.johncarey.org/essays/downwithdons.pdf

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The Lubbock Area Foundation periodically offers a day of tours to local organizations to which it has made grants, so that community members who sign up for the free tour can gain a deeper understanding about issues that affect lives in our community and can meet people who spend themselves in addressing those issues. On Thursday April 10, 2014 the Foundation led a group of people to Equine Refuge Services, Children’s Advocacy Center of the South Plains, and Link Ministries Tent City for Homeless and One-9 Sports Complex for Youth.

I was privileged to go on this tour and highly recommend a future tour. One does gain a deeper understanding, and it is thrilling to witness the passionate commitment of the people who operate these programs. At the Children’s Advocacy Center, after hearing from Carmen Aguirre and her staff and touring the facility, two presentations were made one from Fritizi Cates representing High Point Village and another from Laurie Foster representing Backyard Mission.

http://www.refugeservices.org Horses and hippo therapy and equine psycho-therapy lets people with physical and mental disabilities find and share an ability with a responsive animal that offers an opportunity for a unique relationship. Equine Refuge Services is located at 8405 County Road 2500 which is also described as 8405 South Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, reached by traveling south on Interstate Highway 27 to 82nd Street and turn east on 82nd Street to MLK Blvd and turn south two blocks where Equine Refuge Services is the 40 acre spread of barns, stables and paddocks on the east side of MLK. The directors and owners are a couple Patti and Randy Mandrell.

http://www.safeplace4kids.org Sexual abuse, violent and neglectful care, and just plain awful behavior toward children finds a response at the Children’s Advocacy Center of the South Plains 720 Texas Avenue with a 24/7 staff that immediately offers shelter, safety, structured and careful counseling, solace for traumatized children, and more.

http://www.linkministries.org Tent City for the Homeless is now called High Cotton Genesis Program, on the east side of Avenue A at 13th Street. Link Ministries now owns the retired cotton delinting plant and cottonseed oil plant properties all the way from 13th Street to 19th Street and the One-9 Sports Complex is located at 205 East 19th Street on the south end of the property. In between those two locations is the Link Ministries administrative offices at 1701 Avenue A. The director is Les Burrus who might be described as a no nonsense compassionate man who helps people earn their accommodations and services and gain self-respect while becoming a member of a living community in which they can find safety, assured support, and rest from the constant stress.

http://www.highpointvillage.org High Point Village at 10911 Slide Road is an activity center for Autism spectrum, Down Syndrome and similarly affected people, with plans for building a residential community on a 42 acre donated tract of land.

http://www.backyardmission.org/ Backyard Mission at 8205 Quincy Avenue helps people with homes that have serious issues by making free repairs to roofing, siding, windows, plumbing and other problems to get people into a livable state within their own homes. The workers are volunteers and the materials are either donated or purchased with contributions so it’s a self-funded pay as you go activity with no debt.

The Lubbock Area Foundation http://www.lubbockareafoundation.org/ started in 1981 and now has a $32 million endowment the net income from which is granted to various organizations and activities within the area. It is a community foundation for the Texas South Plains located at 2509 80th Street.

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Poetry is words with meaning crafted to reveal that meaning directly into the reader’s imagination, and when read expressively by the author of those words, can be a wondrous experience. It will happen again on Friday April 25, 2014 at 7:30 pm at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Lubbock 2801 42nd Street by poet and reader Larry D. Thomas http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_D._Thomas This is a free event and the public is invited, refreshments and a book signing for purchasers afterward. His website is http://www.larrydthomas.com

Thomas was born in Haskell, educated in Midland and Brownwood and the University of Houston, service in the Navy as a counselor at the Navy Corrections Center, followed by a career as a probation counselor for Harris County (Houston) Texas. He now lives in Alpine Texas. He was the 2008 Texas Poet Laureate. His current book of poetry is The Lobsterman’s Dream [Poems of the Coast of Maine] (El Grito del Lobo Press 2014 at 48 pages with woodcuts by Clarence Wolfshotl $23) and he will read from this collection.

Texas Tech Library has three collections of his poetry Amazing Grace (Texas Review Press 2001) PS3620.H63 A43 Where Skulls Speak Wind (Texas Review Press 2004) PS3620.H63 W48 and New and Selected Poems (Texas Christian University Press 2008) PS3620.H63 A6.

He publishes digitally online, an example being Far (West Texas) (2011) [nine short poems in chapbook format illustrated by croppings from photographs of the historic Kokernot 06 Ranch http://www.dianelacy.com/history.html by his wife Lisa Thomas] publisher is Right Hand Pointing http://www.righthandpointing.net and here are the poems https://sites.google.com/site/larrydthomasfar/ that include:

parsimony is mayor, judge, and governor; politics, the paring down by sun and wind to dust

One has several responses, starting with halleluiah and ending with getting in the car and heading for Alpine. At Right Hand Pointing you can also read Thomas’s Plain Pine (2008) The Circus (2009) Five Lavender Minutes of an Afternoon (2010) Social Networks (2012) Colors (2013) and The Red, Candle-lit Darkness (2013).

Other literary events open to the public and held at First Unitarian Universalist Church http://www.uulubbock.org include an occasional Nighthawks Reading by authors http://www.richardjespers.com/2/post/2013/11/honors-and-readings.html and you can get on its mailing list at the Jespers website that discloses the earlier November 14, 2013 free reading event.

How does poesy arrive in the mind of a poet? William Logan, Guilty Knowledge Guilty Pleasure: The Dirty Art of Poetry (Columbia University Press 2014) 344 pages $35 http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-16686-7/guilty-knowledge-guilty-pleasure His previous book Our Savage Art: Poetry and the Civil Tongue (Columbia University Press 2009) is at Texas Tech Library PS323.5 L644

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U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service lists lesser prairie-chicken as a threatened species and finalizes a special rule endorsing a Landmark State Conservation Plan on March 27, 2014. The threatened category is a category below that of an endangered species. Hopefully the measures taken to preserve and reclaim habitat for the birds will be sufficient so that the species won’t become endangered. West Texas and the Panhandle South Plains region were once a habitat for this bird, so this listing as a threatened species is pertinent to landowners and ecologists in this region. http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/pressrel/2014/03272014_service_lists_lesser_prairie_chicken_as_threatened_species.php There was a contentious public hearing held in Lubbock on February 11, 2013 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Banquet Hall, that I attended https://www.fws.gov/southwest/es/LPC.html Many landowners have been paid federal funds to take conservation measures that had other beneficial effects but would also help toward survival of lesser prairie-chickens. To date those measures haven’t been successful in halting the diminishing stock of birds. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/lesserprairiechicken/

Endangered Species Act of 1973 as amended to date http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/esact.html

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The Colorado River of Texas rises in eastern Dawson County near the unincorporated town of Welch and flows east southeast through the state capital at Austin and on to the Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda Bay. A series of dams create the Highland Lakes http://highlandlakes.net/ and the Lower Colorado River Authority http://www.lcra.org is the manager of the river for that section. The Highland Lakes include Lake Buchanan, Inks Lake, Lake Lyndon B Johnson, Lake Marble Falls, Lake Travis and Lake Austin. Some would include Town Lake now renamed Lady Bird Lake in Austin. Long before those bodies of water, dams on the Colorado produced Lake J B Thomas in Borden and Scurry Counties, Lake Colorado City, Champion Creek Reservoir, E V Spence Reservoir, and O H Ivie Reservoir on the upper Colorado. Major tributaries that flow into the central Colorado River are Concho River, Pecan Bayou, Llano River, San Saba River, and Pedernales River.

Margie Crisp, River of Contrasts The Texas Colorado (Texas A&M University Press 2012) 256 pages paperback includes 16 color photos and 61 color illustrations, a gorgeous book http://www.tamupress.com $29.95 at TAMU Press $23.39 Amazon.com $16.49 Kindle ABE Books new $24.50 incl s&h the website for the book is http://www.coloradorivertx.com/ website for Margie Crisp artist is http://www.margiecrisp.com/ Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection TEX 36 C719 C932 R621

This is how the Colorado River looks near its source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Colorado_River_Borden_County_Texas_2011.jpg east of Lamesa south of Gail and west of Snyder.

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There is theatre in rural west Texas. A Gem Dandy Theatre Ghost is a two act comedy written and directed by King Hill, playwright and producer of events, that will be performed Saturday April 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm and Sunday April 27 at 2:30 pm in the historic Gem Theatre (opened in 1915 as Claudia Theatre, then named Rialto Theatre, and then named Gem Theatre in the 1930s) at 120 North Trice Street in Claude Texas. Tickets are $10 adults $7 students and children phone 806-226-2187. The actors are members of the Claude Community Heritage Players. http://www.armstrongcountymuseum.org/ Hill is a theatre arts teacher at Ascension Academy in Amarillo at South Soncy Road and SW 45th Avenue, formerly a theatre arts teacher at Highland Park High School at 15300 E. Amarillo Boulevard.

Claude is 145 miles north northeast of Lubbock, take I-27 to Amarillo and then US Highway 287 east to Claude about a 2 hour 20 minute drive. Lodging in Claude is available at The Goodnight Inn and at L A Motel but you might try ranch lodging nearby at Bradley Ranch, Cameron Cattle Headquarters, or Dripping Springs Canyon Ranch. Amarillo hotels are about 24 miles west of Claude.

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Bob Wills Day is Saturday April 26 at his hometown Turkey Texas but the run-up activities begin days earlier http://www.bobwillsday.com/vnews/display.v/ART/5328f2f6711b8 Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys [formerly the Light Crust Doughboys] made Texas Swing music popular http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Wills

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Arts History Update for late April 2014

9 Apr

Arts History Update for late April 2014 by David Cummins

The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers Program Spring Tour has Lubbock on its schedule Sunday April 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm at Talkington Great Hall within the YWCA Legacy Event Center at 1500 14th Street http://www.santafeopera.org/communityactivities/communityevents/concertsperformances.aspx a free event.

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In October 2007 the Lubbock City Council voted to name a series of streets Cesar Chavez Drive. On March 29, 2014 an annual Celebration Cesar Chavez Walk proceeded from the Buddy Holly Recreation Area at Canyon Lake # 1 to Cavazos Middle School on North University Avenue. http://www.everythinglubbock.com/story/d/story/15th-annual-cesar-e-chavez-march-to-hit-the-street/11211/dNgAMNMkBUqUOlar1J7LlQ On March 28 the film Cesar Chavez: History Is Made One Step at a Time opened nationwide (2014 directed by Diego Luna) and is screened at Movies 16 in Lubbock at 5751 58th Street. http://www.fandango.com/cesarchavez_168951/movieoverview

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Judy Chicago has an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum titled Chicago in L.A.: Judy Chicago’s Early Work, 1963-1974 April 4 – September 28, 2014. http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/judy_chicago_los_angeles/ In conjunction with the exhibit she is doing a performance art piece live in Prospect Park Brooklyn. Stay tuned for that. She did a fireworks performance art piece in Pasadena California in 1974. At age 75 she’ll be doing another in 2014.

The Dinner Party (1979) sculptural art is permanently displayed at the Brooklyn Museum on the fourth floor since 2007 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dinner_Party and she authored three books about it, the latest The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation (Merrell Publishers 2006). http://www.amazon.com/Judy-Chicago/e/B000APVV8A/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1396432055&sr=1-2-ent

She has a recent book Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education (Monacelli Press 2014) $28.52 see also Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist (Viking 1996) Texas Tech Library N6537.C48 A2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judy_Chicago

She will open another exhibit Local Color: Judy Chicago in New Mexico 1984-2014 that will go up June 6 through October 12, 2014 at New Mexico Museum of Art http://www.nmartmuseum.org/site/exhibitions/upcoming/local-color-judy-chicago-in-new-mexico-1984-2014/ 107 West Palace Avenue Santa Fe New Mexico. The exhibit marks her thirty year residence and art studio in New Mexico. This is an opportunity to see some of her recent work.

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Texas Tech Museum exhibit Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Samara, A Mid-Century Dream Home” goes up April 27 through June 7 http://www.depts.ttu.edu/museumttu/exhsch11.html#apr14 and here is the gallery description when the exhibit was at Penn State University http://www.pct.edu/gallery/samara.htm The Samara home for the John and Kay Christian family in West Lafayette Indiana [both were employed at Purdue University] was completed in 1956 just three years prior to Wright’s death.

Here is a teacher’s guide about Samara and Wright http://www.pct.edu/gallery/docs/samara_TeachersGuide_FLW_fromMilwaukeeAM.pdf#zoom=75 A samara is the fruit of a tree that carries within it the seeds of that tree, and is often in a winged shape fluttering along the branch of the tree during a breeze. The samara of a sycamore tree was what Wright had in mind when designing this home and he designed a carpet runner for the living room of the house with multiple samara. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samara_(fruit)

In driving around Lubbock you will see many Usonian style homes, one story, no attic, no basement, carport rather than garage, basic building materials used for both exterior and interior walls to reduce cost of installation finishing and maintenance, clerestory windows at the top of exterior walls to allow light to enter the living space and no need for curtaining or shuttering for privacy, and more features. Wright had designed more than 100 plans for such low cost high style Usonian homes and real estate developers mimicked those plans, especially in the southern United States where the climate made such homes more practical.

One of the features of Samara not duplicated in Lubbock homes is the floor radiant heating system that Wright devised. He laid copper water pipes in the cement slab for the home so that entry water would not be colder than 58 degrees and then routed it into the home boiler that would send steam into extended piping underlying the wooden floors that would serve to radiate the heat into and through the rooms. In the northern United States this system was used extensively and successfully.

The first Usonian house was the Jacobs House in Madison Wisconsin http://usonia1.com/ in 1936 so Wright was building many of these houses over the years.

I toured Robie House in Chicago, http://cal.flwright.org/tours/robie Unity Temple in Oak Park, http://cal.flwright.org/tours/unity Taliesin West in Scottsdale, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliesin_West and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/education/school-educator-programs/teacher-resources/arts-curriculum-online?view=category&id=730 all Frank Lloyd Wright designed structures.

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Apollo and the Muse of Forgetfulness was the topic of a lecture April 1, 2014 by Catalina Popescu Ph.D. assistant professor of classics at Texas Tech University
http://www.greekmyths-greekmythology.com/nine-muses-in-greek-mythology/ Here’s what I learned from the lecture. Zeus, an Olympian, bedded one of those Titan ladies Mnemosyne, on nine consecutive days and the outpouring from her was nine female daughters The Muses whose main virtue was their memory of all past events and the ability to impart chunks of that memory to poets, artists, historians, politicians and others who needed it. An unfailing memory is a good thing for many and when needed to move a community of mortals forward, but an un-faulty memory can be a hindrance to good relationships.

The Oresteia (458 BCE) by Aeschylus is in three parts Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oresteia It was Apollo who saw the need for help when Orestes was being tried in Athens for murdering his mother Clytaemnestra because she had murdered his father, her husband Agamemnon, who had murdered their daughter Iphigenia in order to gain favorable winds for the military fleet to sail across the Aegean Sea to Troy and conduct the ten year war with the Trojans. Apollo brought forward a muse of forgetfulness to assist in defending Orestes in this trial and encourage the good citizens of Athens to acquit Orestes, forget the heinous act, come together in conciliation and accord to work together as a community, and put these murderous events behind them. Break the chain of murder. That was the sense of the excellent presentation Apollo and the Muse of Forgetfulness by the new assistant professor of classics.

We see contemporary manifestations of Apollo’s invocation of the Muse of Forgetfulness when the Union of South Africa established a peace and reconciliation commission dredging up the awful events of apartheid but refusing to prosecute or hold accountable its perpetrators. We all recall when Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years because he contested apartheid, offered his jailers immunity and forgiveness. It took our breath way. A similar commission was used in Bosnia. Germany went about its healing and reconciliation after the Nazi administration in a different manner.

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Poetry and Jazz is the title of the final Presidential Lecture & Performance Series event for this academic year, on Friday April 25, 2014 at Texas Tech University Student Union Building Allen Theatre at 7:00 pm $18 ticket. Poetry by National Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Pinsky and Jazz by Laurence Hobgood, former musical director and pianist for the All Star Orchestra band supporting popular singer Kurt Elling. Here is a You Tube video where you can watch and listen to an impressive solo piano performance by Hobgood on the first tune Come Fly With Me https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61KILYF2I54 and here is Robert Pinsky reading his poem Shirt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS-TBEQm1nM recalling the New York City Triangle Waist Company fire in 1911 when garment workers were unable to get out of the factory and 129 people died inside it or jumped to their deaths from eighth ninth or tenth story windows. Triangle Fire Archive Object by Voice of America (2011). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triangle_Shirtwaist_Factory_fire [in early 20th century vernacular “waist” was a blouse, so these garment workers were sewing blouses for sale to women]

You can hear them recite and play piano at http://www.amazon.com/Poemjazz-Robert-Pinsky-Laurence-Hobgood/dp/B009L33DUG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396557671&sr=8-1&keywords=poemjazz

Now you know that the quality of this concert is way over the top, as are all in this series. The first ten rows seat could easily be sold for $90 and the last row $65 so you know that $18 is a heavily subsidized offering by Texas Tech University to the community. Pinsky, a 73 year old New Jersey native, is not going to be sojourning on the South Plains again anytime soon, or ever, so jettison lethargy, pile your friends and relatives in the suburban and motor to the Allen Theatre for this unique and thrilling event.

High culture is rare on the South Plains but if you heard the Anonymous 4 quartet, and watched The Parsons Dance Company, you know how memorable and enervating it is. Please take advantage. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/cvpa/college/president/Spring2014.asp This duo was so well received in eastern cities that they made a CD of a performance so http://circumstantial.us/?page_id=966 POEMJAZZ (Circumstantial Productions 2012) is available for $15 and includes a booklet of the poems.

Pinsky’s breakthrough came with Sadness and Happiness: Poems (Princeton University Press 1975) Texas Tech Library PS3566.I54 S2 and his maturity was shown in An Explanation of America (Princeton University Press 1979) 80 pages paperback $14.49 new at Amazon.com and $3.47 incl s&h at ABE Books in good condition Texas Tech Library PS3566.I54 E9 and see Poetry and the World (Ecco Press 1988) Lubbock Public Library 814 P658P

If all this is available in libraries and on the Internet, why go to a performance? Because a product is not a performance. Watching and listening in community with others in a concert space where human talent performs for you, enhances your humanity as a person and as a member of your community, and is entirely unlike spinning a CD or DVD product or reading a book or folio. If you absolutely can’t attend, then spin and read and whet your appetite for a later attendance.

At the risk of being hortatory, if you’ve ever caught yourself half way between your dreams, and the crushing reality of your life, and realized you were stuck … that’s when you can see a performance and realize what’s happening. The performer is inspired and his/her inspiration is transported to you in the seat. Do what you love, the money status and 21st century life goods will catch up with you. You may even discover that you love your present job but had let it become a job as described in a manual when it’s really the vehicle for you to make a singular contribution to a nearby world.

Lubbock Arts Alliance office moved from 1717 Texas Avenue to Court Place Lubbock National Bank building Suite 606 at 1001 Main Street in downtown Lubbock. Phone remains 806-744-2787 http://www.lubbockarts.org

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Annual Frontier Day at Caprock Canyons State Park near Quitaque is May 10 and a free event with a paid admission into the Park, home to the Texas State Bison Herd http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/caprock-canyons Here is the history of the Park http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_br_p4506_0079n.pdf The editor of Caprock Canyon News is park ranger Lee’Ann Pigg and you can get the free newsletter by contacting her http://www.myplainview.com/news/article_f871d1be-bf56-11e3-896a-0019bb2963f4.html

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Arts History Update for mid April 2014

1 Apr

 

Arts History Update for mid April 2014 by David Cummins

Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists (ed. Sharon Louden, Intellect Books 2013)

“In this day and age, when art has become more of a commodity and art school graduates are convinced that they can only make a living from their work by attaining gallery representation, it is more important than ever to show the reality of how a professional, contemporary artist sustains a creative practice over time. The forty essays collected in ‘Living and Sustaining a Creative Life’ are written in the artists’ own voices and take the form of narratives, statements, and interviews. Each story is different and unique, but the common thread is an ongoing commitment to creativity, inside and outside the studio. Both day-to-day and big picture details are revealed, showing how it is possible to sustain a creative practice that contributes to the ongoing dialogue in contemporary art. These stories will inform and inspire any student, young artist, and art enthusiast and will help redefine what “success” means to a professional artist.” — Publisher’s description.  Read less

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Post-Internet Art is an exhibit March 1 – May 11, 2014 at Beijing China’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art http://ucca.org.cn/en/exhibition/art-post-internet/ Initially it was art dependent on the novelty of the online universe but has morphed into using digital techniques to create objects that exist in the real world. Back to mimesis, the imitation of the real, using digital techniques to capture representations of the real we hadn’t seen before. Here is the press release http://ucca.org.cn/wp-content/media/pressroom/140301_Art_Post-Internet_Press_Release_en.pdf

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Eric Bryant, Hollywood Scion Josh Roth on Collecting Los Angeles’s Great Artists, Artspace Magazine, March 17, 2014 http://www.artspace.com/magazine/interviews_features/how_i_collect_josh_roth?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Master&utm_campaign=March_23_2014_Editorial_Weekly this young professional with family wealth is collecting with a flair whereas his elders did so behind the scenes and away from the Klieg lights (carbon arc lamp producing an intense light).

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Texas Association of Museums annual conference is in Lubbock at the Overton Hotel & Conference Center April 2-4, 2014 http://texasmuseums.org/annual-meeting.html The New Mexico Association of Museums is joining in this annual conference. Here is the pricing on conference fees and day fees to attend a single day. http://texasmuseums.org/assets/pdfregistrationpricing.pdf

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Nicholas Fox Weber, Balthus: A Biography (Alfred A. Knopf 1999) hardcover (Dalkey Archive Press 2014 paperback reprint) $22.46 Kindle $13 is a 656 page biography of the French artist 1908- 2001 of Polish descent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthus

The first full-scale biography of one of the most elusive and enigmatic painters of our time — the self-proclaimed Count Balthus Klossowski de Rola — whose brilliantly rendered, markedly sexualized portraits, especially of young girls, are among the most memorable images in contemporary art.

The story of Balthus’s life has been shrouded by contradiction and hearsay, most of it his own invention; over the years he created for himself a persona of mystery, aristocracy, and glamour. Now, in Nicholas Fox Weber’s superb biography, Balthus, the man and the artist, stands revealed as never before.

He was born in Paris in 1908 to Polish parents. At age twelve he first stepped into the spotlight with the publication of forty of his drawings illustrating a story about a cat by Rainer Maria Rilke, who was then Balthus’s mother’s lover and a crucial influence on the young boy. From that moment, Balthus has never been out of the public eye.

In 1934 his first exhibition, in Paris, stunned the art world. The seven canvases drew attention to his extraordinary technique — a  mix of tradition and imagination informed by the work of Piero della Francesca, Courbet, and Joseph Reinhardt, but unique to the twenty-six-year-old artist — and to their provocative content; one of the paintings, The Guitar Lesson, was so powerful in its sadomasochistic imagery that it was deemed necessary to remove it from public display.
Continuously since then, Balthus’s work has provoked both great opprobrium and profound admiration — as has the artist himself, whether collaborating with Antonin Artaud on his Theater of Cruelty, transforming the Villa Medici into the social center of Fellini’s Rome in the 1950s, or competing for the artistic limelight with his friends Picasso and André Derain.

The artist’s complexities are clarified and his genius understood in a book that derives its particular immediacy from Weber’s long and intense conversations with Balthus — who never previously consented to discuss his life and work with a biographer — as well as his interviews with the painter’s closest friends, members of his family, and many of the subjects of his controversial canvases.

Weber’s critical and human grasp (he acutely analyzes the paintings in terms of both their aesthetic achievement and what they reveal of their maker’s psyche), combined with his rich knowledge of Balthus’s life and his insight into the ideas and forces that have helped to shape Balthus’s work over the past seven decades, gives us a striking, illuminating portrait of one of the most admired and outrageous artists of our time.

 

Jean Clair & Virginie Monnier, Balthus: Catalogue Raisonne of the Complete Works (Harry N. Abrams 1999) ABE Books good condition $200 incl s&h

Did it intrigue you to learn that as a young boy his mother was carrying on an affair with the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke? Does virtuosity arrive at our doorstep by osmosis? Rainer Maria Rilke, The Book of Hours Prayers to a Lowly God (transl. Annemarie S. Kidder, Northwestern University Press 2001 paperback) a bilingual edition with the German on a page and English translation on the facing page. Texas Tech Library PT2635.I65 S72513 ABE Books in good condition $9.93 incl s&h http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_of_Hours first published in 1905 in German and later with several English translations of which this is not the latest Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Book of Hours A New Translation With Commentary (transl. Susan Ranson, Camden House 2008 paperback) also a bilingual edition Texas Tech Library PT2635.I65 S72513 ABE Books new $26.59 incl s&h

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Peter Matthiessen has written another novel. Not such remarkable news except that he is now 86 years of age and still prolific. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Matthiessen It was only 2008 at age 81 that he won a National Book Award for fiction for Shadow Country: A New Rendering of the Watson Legend (Modern Library 2008), an 890 page revision of his trilogy of novels revolving around the Watson family in early 20th century Florida, Killing Mr. Watson (1990) Lost Man’s River (1997) and Bone by Bone (1999). Most agree that Shadow Country is better than the trilogy separately and is his masterpiece.

In 1953 he was a co-founder of The Paris Review literary magazine http://www.theparisreview.org/about/ now a cultural institution The Paris Review Book of Heartbreaks, Madness, Sex, Love, Betrayal, Outsiders, Intoxication, War, Whimsy, Horrors, God, Death, Dinner, Baseball, Travels, The Art of Writing and Everything Else in the World Since 1953 (Picador 2003) $16.78 paperback $10.67 Kindle ABE Books good condition $3.48 incl s&h, an anthology of modern literature.

His first National Book Award winner was The Snow Leopard (1979) http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/11/23/home/matthiessen-raditzer.html a non-fiction remarkable nature and travel writing book concerning a trip to the Himalaya Mountains after his second wife’s death in 1972. He and she were Zen Buddhists and Peter later became a Buddhist priest in the White Plum Asanga tradition http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Plum_Asanga He lives with his third wife in Sagaponack a village in the town of Southhampton New York on Long Island in what is called The East Hamptons. The Zen Mountain Monastery is located in the Catskill Mountains at Mount Tremper New York www.zmm.mro.org and its New York City branch is Zen Center of New York City at 500 State Street, Brooklyn www.zcnyc.mro.org There is also a Village Zendo at 588 Broadway Street Suite 1108 in Manhattan www.villagezendo.org connected with White Plum Asanga. The Still Mind Zendo at 37 West 17th Street on the sixth floor in Manhattan www.stillmindzendo.org is also connected.

If you want to try a White Plum Asanga tradition zen retreat, head for Santa Fe New Mexico to Upaya Institute and Zen Center, 1404 Cerro Gordo Road www.upaya.org

Matthiessen is an American literary treasure. His new novel In Paradise: A Novel (Riverhead 2014 only 256 pages) concerns an American professor who makes a trip to Auschwitz to attend a retreat at the former Nazi concentration camp. Initially that sounds bizarre but after checking, it turns out that such retreats occur rather often and that there are more than 70 historical novels about Auschwitz (German name) or Oswiecim (Polish name) just 30 miles west of Krakow Poland. I have been to Auschwitz and spent six hours there, one of those hours with a nearby resident Pole who was an inmate there as a boy. He told us about the daily life at the camp from his perspective, an office worker for the Nazi administrators of the camp because he spoke a little German. From my perspective Auschwitz is a living museum of pain, depravity and death. Dread is in the air one breathes walking around the railroad tracks, the huts that served as dormitories, and of course the unheated cold water showers that did double service as a gas chamber. The crematorium is, again, dreadful. The assortment of human clothing and paraphernalia left behind is stunning. For me, it was a witnessing of the end game of racism, what the Germans called The Final Solution or extermination [the negative side] or purifying the German racial gene pool [the positive side or goal]. I have done all the imagining I want to do about Nazi concentration camps and their implementation of The Final Solution, and don’t wish to read any novel on the topic, however well conceived and written.

Shadow Country is definitely worth reading but at 890 pages a daunting task. For a taste of Matthiessen’s skill, you might try On The River Styx and Other Stories (1989) Texas Tech Library PS3563.A8584 O5

a collection of short story fiction, or The Peter Matthiessen Reader: Nonfiction, 1959-1991 (Vintage Books 2000) Texas Tech Library PS3563.A8584 A6.

Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries (DVD 2009 60 minutes for PBS-TV) $14.69 directed by Jeffrey Sewald narrated by Glenn Close, explores the man who is a literary and spiritual force of nature.

Peter Matthiessen died on Saturday April 5, 2014 in a hospital on Long Island.

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The Star Wars trilogy is the tale of how a group of rebels overthrew a mighty, power-hungry empire, and within that frame, is the story of a man who has a transformation from innocence to pain, to evil, to redemption (Darth Vader) and other young people who are learning what destiny has in store for them (Luke, Leia and Han). How would William Shakespeare have handled that? Ian Doescher, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars (Quirk Books 2013) $8.49 Lubbock Public Library 812 DOES and The Empire Striketh Back (Quirk Books 2014) $9.45 Lubbock Public Library 812.6 DOES.

If William Shakespeare hadn’t lived and written, we would have invented him.

Of course some authors just extend the script of the films and create a life for Star Wars itself. Daniel Wallace, The Jedi Path: A Manual for Students of the Force (Star Wars) (Chronicle Books 2011) $11.41 Lubbock Public Library J 791.4375 WALL

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On Friday March 28, 2014 Dan Boyce professional photographer exhibited at the Texas Tech Museum Sculpture Court prior to the Arts History Lecture Series lecture. Dan was a Kansas photographer until he recently moved back to Lubbock to be a caregiver for his parents Harvey and Marie Boyce. Dan’s website is The Quality of the Light www.tqotl.com/wp .

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Rachel Kushner, Telex From Cuba: A Novel (Scribner 2008) was a finalist for the National Book Award. It describes the American community in Cuba in the years leading up to the Castro Revolution before the Americans were driven out in 1958. Lubbock Public Library FIC KUSH. Ms. Kushner will discuss this novel in response to questioning by Robert Collins, Deputy Editor of the Sunday London Times newspaper on April 15 at 7:00 pm in the London Review of Books Bookshop 14 Bury Place, London England. http://www.londonreviewbookshop.co.uk/events/2014/4/telex-from-cuba-an-evening-with-rachel-kushner?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=3606

Kushner’s second novel The Flamethrowers: A Novel (Scribner 2013) was also a finalist for the National Book Award in 2013. Here is an interview with Kushner about this novel http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201402271000 Her website is www.rachelkushner.com Lubbock Public Library FIC KUSH and Texas Tech Library PS3611.U7386 F57

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Santa Fe Opera 2014 Season is June 17 – August 23 and includes Carmen, Don Pasquale, Fidelio, The Impresario and Le Rossignol, and Dr. Sun Yat-Sen www.santafeopera.org

Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival, the tenth annual, is May 24-25, 2014 at Santa Fe New Mexico Convention Center www.nativetreasures.org

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City of Lubbock and Lubbock Independent School District Elections are Saturday May 10, 2014 with early voting April 28 through May 6. The election administrator is Dorothy Kennedy the county administrator of elections at 1308 Crickets Avenue Lubbock TX 79401 phone 806-775-1339 http://www.votelubbock.org/

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In 1933 a precocious eighteen year old Brit Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in Holland to walk across Europe to Constantinople. He did so over the course of a year and these three books are excellent travel writing, in some cases about a Europe that no longer exists. A Time of Gifts (Harper & Row 1977), Between the Woods and the Water (Viking 1986) and The Broken Road (John Murray 2013 posthumously from his unfinished manuscript). The last book is sub-titled From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos. The middle book is sub-titled From the Middle Danube to the Iron Gates(Serbia-Romania border) and the first book is sub-titled From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (middle is the area in Germany and Austria with a series of locks that makes the river navigable in conjunction with the Maine and Rhine Rivers all the way to Rotterdam Holland and the ocean).

A Time of Gifts $10.72 Kindle $8.98 ABE in good condition $6 incl s&h

Between the Woods and the Water $12.58 Kindle $9.57 ABE in good condition $6.13 incl s&h

The Broken Road $22.44 Kindle $14.99 ABE new $21.32 incl s&h

He also wrote A Time To Keep Silence (Akadine Press 1997) about his stays in Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries, and his visit to Central Turkey’s Cappadocia http://orthodoxwiki.org/Cappadocian_Fathers to learn about early Christian hermits. Silence and solitude for introspection in modern life is the topic. He came to be an admirer but when he returned to the outside world he found it “an inferno of noise and vulgarity entirely populated by bounders sluts and crooks”.

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The Pritzker Architecture Prize 2014 was won by Shigeru Ban from Japan. http://www.pritzkerprize.com/ see his Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch New Zealand (2013) http://www.archdaily.com/413224/shigeru-ban-completes-cardboard-cathedral-in-new-zealand/ Paper Church, Kobe Japan (1995 disassembled 2005) http://www.archdaily.com/489255/the-humanitarian-works-of-shigeru-ban/ and Paper Loghouse, Bhuj India (2001). He uses innovative materials in his design process such as recyclable cardboard paper tubes for columns, walls and beams, that he water and fire-proofs http://www.pritzkerprize.com/2014/announcement

Shigeru Ban is too busy doing humanitarian work responding to disasters by leading design and construction teams to help the victims, but other architects enjoy putting up their innovative designs in art gallery spaces.

Sarah McKenzie architect has an exhibit Transitional that opened March 14 to April 12 in the David B. Smith Art Gallery in Denver Colorado http://www.davidbsmithgallery.com/ She says “I am interested in the connection between the construction of an architectural structure from raw materials (lumber, steel, concrete) and the construction of a picture from raw materials (paint, canvas, wood)” http://www.davidbsmithgallery.com/artist/show/sarah-mckenzie Frieze (2014) is oil and acrylic on canvas but it depicts an architectural construction process, and invites the viewer to guess at exactly what’s going on at the moment behind those curtains. http://www.davidbsmithgallery.com/work/detail/frieze As we ask ourselves, we admire that she cast an inner light inside the curtained space on the left without showing us what it illuminates. I want an artist to leave me, the viewer, some space for my imagination to work.

Allan Wexler architect has an exhibit March 29 – May 3, 2014 titled Breaking Ground at the Ronald Feldman Fine arts Gallery in New York City http://www.feldmangallery.com/pages/home_frame.html mostly hand-worked inkjet digital prints of landscapes that depict building shapes and interventions in the landscapes, plus two sculptures. They are architectural in nature. Wexler teaches at the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School for Design http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/ in New York City. Parsons has five schools; viz. Art and Design History and Theory, Art Media and Technology, Constructed Environments, Design Strategies, and Fashion. Here is Wexler’s academic bio http://www.newschool.edu/parsons/faculty.aspx?id=4d54-5933-4f44-5979 and his studio website http://allanwexlerstudio.com/ including a designed space for a human to sit and become part of the architecture http://allanwexlerstudio.com/projects/wall-i-want-become-architecture

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Arts History Update for early April 2014

22 Mar

Arts History Update for early April 2014 by David Cummins

 

Distilled alcohol beverages is a growth industry in Texas. In 2011 there were 25 distilleries in Texas and now there are 56. http://distillingtexas.com/ New businesses start small so micro-distilling is the topic. While it may be an inaccurate perception, many consumers view national large distillers as engaged in machinery driven assembly line factory processes, and those consumers see craft distilling as a pains-taking hands-on distilling process with trial and error techniques used. People queue up to taste and hopefully like the craft-produced product.

 

Black-eyed peas or cow peas are used as the source of starch in the vodka being produced by a new distiller TreyMark Vodka Distilling in Fort Worth http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/03/03/5618147/new-fort-worth-vodka-gives-peas.html and its first product is TreyMark Black-Eyed Vodka http://unhingedproductionsllc.com/ but the target date for a first batch and bottles is still a month or more ahead http://unhingedproductionsllc.com/progress.html

 

Who are Trey Nickels and his mother Deborah Jane Nickels, long-time residents of Muleshoe Texas? He’s just past 30 years of age and his older brother Chad Nickels is still farming in the area growing, inter alia, black-eyed peas or cow peas. Deborah, their mother, graduated from Muleshoe High School in 1973 and owns Muleshoe Pea & Bean, Inc. that processes locally harvested peas and beans at 1680 County Road 1044 phone 806-272-5589. She moved to Fort Worth in 2012 and is president of Tejas Spirit Inc at 9140 Timber Oaks Drive that processes bulk dry beans. She continues to own Unhinged Productions LLC at 904 West 11th Street Muleshoe TX 79347-4412 phone 806-470-1842 processing distiller’s dried grains and solubles. What this tells us is that this new Fort Worth business will be using Bailey County black-eyed peas from which to make its vodka.

 

The address of the new distillery is the former Fire Station # 5 building at 503 Bryan Avenue Fort Worth Texas 76104 and here is a photo https://www.google.com/maps/@32.738997,-97.325079,3a,75y,92.8h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sPXQ1odUBmC_O47tyCTSCFw!2e0 It is not far from a large successful brewery Rahr & Sons http://rahrbrewing.com/

 

Raise a glass to mother and son, entrepreneurs in Tarrant County Texas, with hopes for their success.

 

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Paul R. Williams 1894-1980 was the first African-American architect who was a member of the American Institute of Architects AIA and practiced from 1923 through the 1950s in Southern California

http://kttz.org/post/trailblazing-black-architect-who-helped-shape-la Here is a website devoted to his legacy http://www.paulrwilliamsproject.org/ Many of the homes he designed in and around Los Angeles used the Spanish Colonial Revival style with which we are familiar in Lubbock because William Ward Watkins adopted that style for Texas Technological College in 1923 shortly after being commissioned to design the first four buildings.

 

Williams was commissioned to design homes for many Hollywood stars and movie executives. He designed the John Bishop Green home, the Walter D.K. Gibson, Jr. home, and the Katherine B. Flint home in Flintridge California, then about two hours north of Los Angeles, at a time when the deed restrictions for the community proclaimed that no African-American could spend even a single night in the community.

 

Eventually AIA selected him to enter its College of Fellows, an elite group within AIA for outstanding architectural leaders. http://network.aia.org/cof/home

 

Karen E. Hudson, Paul R. Williams, Architect: A Legacy of Style (Rizzoli 1993) Texas Tech Architecture Library NA737.W527 H84

 

Karen E. Hudson, The Will and the Way: Paul R. Williams, Architect (Rizzoli 1994)

 

Karen E. Hudson, Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style (Rizzoli 2012)

 

Hudson is Williams’s granddaughter. Mr. Williams’s Collection of House Plans (Hennessey & Ingalls 2006) is still in print and includes his Small House of Tomorrow (1945) and New Homes for Today (1946)

 

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The Shape of Texas was a radio program produced by the Texas Society of Architects from 1998 into 2011, more than 500 two minute episodes. They were and sometimes still are broadcast on national public radio affiliates in the state including KTTZ-FM 89.1 in Lubbock. Here is the index of those episodes where you can listen online https://texasarchitects.org/v/sot-episode-index/

 

 

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Adobe: Building a Nubian Vault in West Texas with Simone Swan, Architect http://citemag.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Cite_81_Adobe_Stoney1.pdf and see a book Dennis Dollens, Simone Swan: Adobe Building (SITES Books 2005) Texas Tech Architecture Library NA7165.D65 that describes what has come to be called Swan House on a bluff overlooking Presidio Texas. Nubia is the historic region south of Upper Egypt, now in the country of Sudan. The historic Nubian style of mud and straw vaulted roofs and thick adobe walls suited for that east African desert was adapted by Simone Swan for Presidio and the city of Ojinaga Mexico across the river. Adobe Alliance is a group encouraging construction of low cost but contemporary functionality in adobe structures. http://www.adobealliance.org/storage/Swan_House_Sales_Pres.pdf

 

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Brooklyn Museum exhibit Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties March 7 – July 6, 2014 http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/witness_civil_rights/ focuses on the anti-war and civil rights protests and those of us who lived through that decade know of those phenomena first-hand but there was much more to that decade. The country had broken free from the constraints of post- World War II production and style and was freely embracing a future style.

 

Jacob Lawrence, Soldiers and Students (1962) is in the exhibit on loan from Hood Museum of Art

http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/calendar/event/7297 and https://artsy.net/artwork/jacob-lawrence-soldiers-and-students

 

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Announced on March 20 for viewing on March 25, thus with insufficient time to build an audience or appropriately publicize it, is the free screening of a classic film A Fistful of Dollars (1964) directed by Sergio Leone starring Clint Eastwood at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Firehouse Theater at 6:30 pm Tuesday March 25, 2014. If you learn of this in time, it will be enjoyable. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058461/reference 99 minutes running time, it is the first of Sergio Leone’s “spaghetti westerns” so enjoyed by Italians and also Spaniards as it was filmed in Spain. It set the template for this genre of western movie.

 

This is a showing by the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication International Film Series that replaces the Global Lens Series of Spring 2013. Contact person in the college is Robert Peaslee, Ph.D. phone 806-834-2562

 

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It was Spring, the vernal equinox, on March 21, 1965 when thousands of marchers led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. left Selma Alabama on foot on a highway headed for the state capitol Montgomery. They had attempted this trek twice before during the month, and had been viciously beaten on the first and ordered back by state troopers and county sheriff’s deputies on the second. President Johnson interceded and a federal court order was issued to state and county officials ordering them to allow the marchers to proceed. King and the few marchers who had started before, were now joined by thousands as they left Selma and proceeded to Montgomery. A small number of watchful federal troops and marshals were observers rather than escorts.

 

I watched from afar in Seattle Washington, a young lawyer working hard to make partner in a law firm, and a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve with a keen eye on what was happening in Vietnam and imagining when and how I would participate. I had gone to college with Black students and didn’t see overt discrimination on the streets of Seattle but knew things were different in the Deep South. It would be years later when I would meet lawyers who had closed their law offices and traveled cross country to join the marchers in Selma, like Bruce Babbitt who became governor of Arizona, and national Secretary of the Interior. I would then wonder if I had been selfish and self-centered not to have gone to the aid of southern Blacks when that aid was needed. In the back of my head Granny’s advice spoke “don’t borrow other people’s trouble and make it your own” but the Good Samaritan parable in the Bible taught otherwise, and those ceaseless contradictions throughout life would always make well-intentioned advice meaningless and require each of us to quickly assess the situation and make a choice to act or not, and then live with that choice. There were Black soldiers in my Army Reserve unit and I cogitated about how they were free to fight and perhaps be wounded or die for our country, but were not free to walk an Alabama highway or eat at any lunch counter of their choice.

 

I watched from afar, and saw joinder of 25,000 people with King by the time they reached Montgomery. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heschel marched in the front line and later said: “For many of us, the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.” King had marched to establish the spirit or tenor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (signed July 2, 1964) and was present in Johnson’s office later in the year when he signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (August 6, 1965).

 

King had received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14, 1964, symbolizing planetary approval of his non-violence approach toward seeking cultural changes. King had organized several voting rights marches in Selma in January 1965. Each ended by violent clashes with police. On February 1, 1965 King was arrested in Selma for violating an anti-parade ordinance. King was sitting in jail on February 4 when Malcolm X arrived in Selma and publicly stated that many civil rights leaders like himself did not believe in King’s non-violence approach. The next day King was released from jail and his Letter From a Selma Jail was published in The New York Times as his earlier Letter From a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963, had been published.

 

Dead by an assassin’s bullet at age 39 he would posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would become a national holiday.

 

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Wendy Brown, Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone Books 2010) 168 pages hardcover (Zone Books 2014 paperback) Texas Tech Library JC327.B75 is an appropriate book to read in light of Russia’s takeover and annexation of the Crimea section of The Ukraine, a former republic in the Soviet Union and independent nation-state too weak to resist the takeover. http://zonebooks.org/titles/BROW_WAL.html The author reflects on the current proliferation of nation-state walls in a time of eroding nation-state sovereignty mostly due to globalization of commerce and communications. The phenomenon of walling off one’s internal population and reducing passage by foreigners, essentially weakens the nation-state that participates in this activity. Both Russia and The Ukraine are thus weakened by this current wall. If The Ukraine promotes egress and ingress across its western border with European countries, it can counteract the wall created on its eastern border with Russia.

 

The bellicose action invites reprisals by those who feel themselves victimized. A current major pipeline of Russian oil to Europe passes through The Ukraine and one can expect disruptions in that flowage. Russia is building a major oil pipeline to Europe from its eastern sector oil fields that bypasses The Ukraine. One can expect attempts to sabotage that endeavor. Sanctions by economic power nations including the United States are not the only consequences for Russia’s taking this unilateral action.

 

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Arts History Update for late March 2014

15 Mar

Arts History Update for late March 2014 by David Cummins

Tea For Three: Ladybird, Pat & Betty, a one woman play starring Elaine Bromka, will be performed at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm on Friday April 11, 2014 at Cactus Theater in Lubbock $25. http://www.teaforthree.com/video.html tickets at www.cactustheater.com See www.elainebromka.com for her credits and other video. These three former first ladies of the nation are revived by an excellent script and their characters displayed by a skillful performance.

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Slaton’s Santa Fe Railway Station Depot is now Slaton Harvey House, originating in 1912 a century ago. It’s used today to exhibit memorabilia, as an event center, and as a bed & breakfast lodging [four units] at 400 Railway Avenue, Slaton Texas 79364 phone 806-828-5900 for general information. Call Sandy Self for reservations for an event or lodging 806-632-5536. Slaton Railroad Heritage Association, Inc. is a non-profit corporation behind this preservation, restoration and support activity EIN Employer Identification Number 75-2439515.

Spruced -up 1920s luxury is on offer for lodging in the Navajo Room $100 per night, double bed, bathroom in hallway; Hopi Room $100 per night, two single beds, hallway bath; Zuni Room $135 per night, double bed plus a single bed, interior bath and a refrigerator; Apache Room $125 per night, queen size bed, interior bath. Breakfast is served in the upstairs common area sitting room. Lunch is served each Wednesday at noon. Call Sandy ahead of time to get an inkling of the one item or few items menu for that day. http://harveyhouseofslatontx.com/Contact_Us.html When the cook is unavailable that day, it might be a box lunch from the Slaton Bakery but that’s not a bad thing.

The Santa Fe Railway Station Depot in Lubbock was removed many years ago.

Fred Harvey Company, established by Fred Harvey 1835-1901, owned the Harvey House chain of restaurants, hotels, dining car food service and other hospitality industry businesses alongside railroad station depots in the western United States beginning in 1876. Harvey House “girls” were wholesome young women brought to the west as employees/waitresses/staff to operate those Harvey House restaurants. A number of former Harvey House girls employed at the Slaton Harvey House have returned to this restored Harvey House. Their photographs and memoirs of the experience are on display.

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Anonymous 4 is a four person female voice ensemble that sings original polyphony and chordal and non-chordal musica cappella [without musical instrumentation as opposed to a cantata which is accompanied singing] and is in concert on Friday March 28 at Texas Tech Student Union Building Allen Theatre http://www.depts.ttu.edu/cvpa/college/president/2013-14/Anonymous4.asp at 7:00 pm $18 per person. This ensemble has a unique sound and flair for dealing with difficult and challenging music. Here is the website http://www.anonymous4.com/ The sponsor for this concert is Tech’s Presidential Lecture & Performance Series that is so uniformly excellent that one may well just buy the series when it arrives in early Fall semester and look forward to enjoyment and high culture all year. The College of Visual and Performing Arts operates this program for the President’s Office. Jo Moore is the college’s front lady.

This concert is titled Grace and Glory: Sacred Song from Medieval France and Early America. The first half comprises French motets from the Montpellier Codex, and the second half includes shape note tunes, gospel songs, and folk hymns such as the original Amazing Grace. http://imslp.org/wiki/Montpellier_Codex_(Various) is a website where you can download the sheet music for these motets and their contemporary arrangements for voice and for instrumentation. A motet [little word in Medieval French language] was a choral composition technique http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motet

Amazing Grace as sung today is extracted from New Britain (1779) a folk hymn, text by John Newton in his Olney Hymn (1779), music by Benjamin Shaw and Charles H. Spilman in Columbia Harmony (1829) and we may hear this more original version recorded earlier by Anonymous 4 in a disc album titled American Angels: Songs of Hope, Redemption and Glory track 7, 3:05 minutes http://anonymous4.com/discography.php?19 Let your imagination flow backward in time to the Second Great Awakening at a tent revival meeting in mid-America in the 1830s and reflect on how Amazing Grace might have been sung then. This quartet may sing that authentic earlier version for you in concert. Enjoy.

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Annual International Arts and Culture Symposium is Thursday March 27, 2014 from 6:00 pm-9:30 pm at Texas Tech Museum Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium including a reception with the visiting South Korean artists. Traditional Irish folk music will be discussed and performed by Dr. Christopher Smith of Texas Tech School of Music faculty http://www.vernacularmusiccenter.org/what-we-do.html after which South Korean geomungo playing will be discussed and performed by Dr. Jaehwa Lee, and then South Korean dances will be discussed and performed by Dr. Sung Ok Yang. These two Korean art forms are presented by Sowoon Arts & Heritage Association http://www.sowoonartsandheritage.org/home and this website provides more information phone 806-853-7257. Announcement at http://techannounce.ttu.edu/Client/ViewMessage.aspx?MsgId=163300

This is a free event and unique to a large academic institution with an international presence. Please take advantage and attend.

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B. Byron Price, director of the Charles Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at University of Oklahoma at Norman, will receive the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award for his enduring commitment to perpetuate the legacy of the American West. He will receive the award on Saturday April 12, 2014 during the Western Heritage Awards Banquet at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City Oklahoma at 5:00 pm, following the annual Wrangler Awards 1700 NE 63rd Street phone 405-478-2250

https://alumni.ou.edu/content/web/news_events/articles/news_2014/PriceReynoldsAward.html and https://congress.ou.edu/content/publicaffairs/archives/ByronPriceToReceivePrestigiousChesterAReynoldsAward.html and http://www.nationalcowboymuseum.org/ and here to reserve a place at the table https://store.nationalcowboymuseum.org/about/events/western-heritage-awards/ $175 per person black tie not optional.

Price is also director of the University of Oklahoma Press http://www.oupress.com/ContactUs/StaffDirectory.aspx and among other writings is author of Fine Art of the West (Abbeville Press 2004) $62.47 hardcover at Amazon.com $28.44 at ABE Books in very good condition incl s&h. Price holds an MFA Master of Fine Arts degree from Texas Tech University in 1977. Oral history interviews with Price are in the Texas Tech University Southwest Collection Library.

When he is in Lubbock one can speak with him about the art collection of the National Ranching Heritage Center http://nrhc.ttu.edu/historical-park-museum/art-artifacts/ in its basement, a location to which he has access and knows what’s there. He can also take you into the board of directors conference room library and explain the precious art in that room. A few pieces from the collection dribble out into the public viewing areas occasionally but Byron is a “big dog” who can get you into the sanctum sanctorum [holy of holies in Latin].

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Tom Sachs, Barbie Slave Ship (2013) http://www.tomsachs.com/work/barbie-slave-ship was exhibited last year at the 12th Biennial of Art in Lyon France. He says that his sculpted miniature piece is about how advertising and pop culture can be seen as a contemporary form of slavery over the mind. The cannon on the sides of the miniature ship actually work and here’s a You Tube video of his demonstration of firing a cannon http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwGdOLKziBo He is very interested in engineering and design and sees the detritus of contemporary consumerism. On the “other” side of the slave ship there is no hull and the interior is exposed including rows of steerage slaves set up like Barbie dolls, hence the title of the art work.

A solo exhibit American Handmade Paintingsopens March 29 through May 3, 2014 at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris France. He will be present at the opening. http://ropac.net/exhibition/american-handmade-paintings

Only 46 years of age, his work is collected at the Metropolitan, Whitney and Guggenheim museums in New York City, and at Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, and at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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Annual meeting of the West Texas Historical Association www.wtha.org is Friday – Saturday April 4-5, 2014 in Odessa Texas at MCM Grande Hotel registration $25. Begins with a reception at that hotel on Thursday evening 6:00 – 8:00 pm, Friday morning sessions 8:30 – 11:30 Women’s History Luncheon to 1:00 pm and afternoon sessions to 5:00 pm, Banquet 6:30 – 8:30 at Commemorative Air Force Museumhttp://www.commemorativeairforce.org/ [changed to Petroleum Museum in Midland] with speaker Bill O’Neal, Texas State Historian. http://www.panola.edu/texas-state-historian/ Saturday morning sessions 9:00 am to noon, Awards and Business Luncheon to 1:30 pm, and bus tour in Odessa 2:30 to 7:00 pm with an itinerary of Tom Lea mural Stampede (1940), White-Pool House Museum, Parker House Ranching Museum, Presidential Leadership Museum and Leadership Center, Ellen Noel Art Museum, and Odessa’s Stonehenge. Tour patrons eat at Barn Door and Pecos Depot Steakhouse http://www.odessabarndoor.com/ and hear a ghost story [most western towns have one or more of those][this one may be the “Billy Story”].

Tom Lea mural Stampede(1940) http://www.texasbob.com/travel/tbt_odessa_po.html was moved from the original Post Office building to the newly constructed 1970 Post Office building at Texas Avenue and 2nd Street on U.S. Highway 20 Business Route. It’s immense in size and the horse has stumbled and fallen with its cowboy rider, both likely to be trampled to death by the spooked cattle. The black Longhorn steer at the center is a symbol of the natural violeneruption caused by a lightning bolt that turns a mellow bellowing herd into an instrument of death and destruction.

Parker House Ranching Museum https://www.facebook.com/ParkerHouseRanch is the restored 1935 home of Jim and Bessie Parker who operated ranches covering 175 sections of land in two counties.

White-Pool House Museum http://www.whitepoolhouse.org/ is the oldest remaining structure in Odessa, built in 1897 restored 1979-1984. Its rooms depict the pioneer era of the White family and the 1930s oil boom era of the Pool family. There is an Eclipse windmill and wood water tank, barn, farm buildings and outhouse from the pioneer era.

Presidential Museum started in 1964 downtown and was moved to UTPB University of Texas Permian Basin campus in 1999. Artifacts, memorabilia, and office of the presidency materials are supplemented by reference materials and digital access to other collections. http://thepresidentialmuseum.org/

Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin http://www.noelartmuseum.org/ opened in 1985 as Art Institute for the Permian Basin and is now located on the UTPB campus. This is the same Noel for whom the new Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center http://www.wagnernoel.com/ is named.

Stonehenge replica (2004) is located on the eastern edge of the UTPB campus http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stonehenge_replica_(Odessa,_Texas) .

If all that isn’t excessively stimulating, you can arrive a day early and take a Thursday April 3 Trans-Pecos Wagon Trail Tour where the bus departs the hotel at 8:00 am and heads south to Horsehead Crossing, Girvin Social Club, Mendoza Trail Museum, Castle Gap, Museum of the Desert Southwest, and back to Odessa; detail follows: Horsehead Crossing on the Pecos River, lunch near the closed Girvin Social Club, http://www.texasbob.com/travel/tbt_girvin.html Mendoza Trail Museum in McCamey Texas http://mccameycity.com/index.php?tag=2V8YMKJ54 [in 1683-1684 Spanish Army Lieutenant General Juan Dominguez de Mendoza set out from El Paso del Norte east to explore the Pecos Plains. Two centuries later part of the Mendoza Trail was traveled by Goodnight and Loving going west], http://genealogytrails.com/tex/bigbend/upton/upton_pictorial_history.html Castle Gap [Horsehead Crossing is 12 miles west of the western opening in Castle Gap] through which the Comanche passed, emigrants passed, the Butterfield Overland Mail passed, and more, http://www.texasbob.com/travel/tbt_castlegap.html see Patrick Dearen, Castle Gap and the Pecos Frontier (Texas Christian University Press 1988) Texas Tech Library GR110.T5 D43, Museum of the Desert Southwest in Crane Texas, https://www.facebook.com/museumofthedesertsouthwest?rf=111450988895635 and back to Odessa .

This crossing of the Pecos River was a landmark on the Goodnight-Loving Trail, but it was known and used long before the post Civil War Texas cattle drives, perhaps even by early Spanish explorers. It was traversed by Indians following the Great Comanche War Trail to and from Mexico; forty-niners, emigrants, and surveyors; passengers on the Butterfield Overland Mail route; Texas cattlemen driving herds to California to feed the miners after the 1849 gold rush; U.S. Army troops transporting supplies to military posts and Indian agencies in Arizona and New Mexico; and after the Civil War Texas cowboys driving feeder stock to the northern and western ranges over the Goodnight-Loving Trail. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving had blazed the trail in 1866 from central Texas into New Mexico and Colorado Territories thus skirting Comanche bands. Elmer Kelton, Horsehead Crossing (Ballantine Books 1963) Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection 42 K298 H817

In private ownership today, the crossing is in much the same condition as it was in cattle drive days. Isolated from main highway travel routes, it is virtually lost in the barren desert but not lost in historic significance.

It’s guaranteed that you will be exhausted but when back in Odessa the meeting’s Opening Reception is 6:00 – 8:00 pm at the MCM Grande Hotel. Tell the new arrivals about your trip. Notice that hotel rooms at MCM Grande are reserved for this meeting for $109 per room. You know that Permian Basin hotel rooms are sky high these days so someone is subsidizing your trip. Might as well take it and smile.

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Lubbock Entertainment / Performing Arts Association www.lepaa.org 1500 Broadway Street, Wells Fargo Center, Suite 1254 phone 806-747-3200 is poised to make an announcement at a news conference called for Wednesday March 26 at 5:15 pm at Charles Adams Gallery 602 Avenue J downtown. This may be another step toward beginning construction of a new private performing arts center in Lubbock.

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Arts History Update for mid March 2014

13 Mar

Arts History Update for mid March 2014 by David Cummins

 

George F. Kennan 1904 – 2005 was an American diplomat, political scientist and historian who was enormously influential in establishing the containment policy that existed throughout the Cold War between the two superpowers United States of America and the Soviet Union. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X_Article X is his famous 1947 article issued from his position inside the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. It arose out of his 1946 Long Telegram from Moscow http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1xJiSPgs9Y

 

He wrote volumes so his theses and their founding principles are well-known, as they needed to be, since there were always hawks who wanted a war with the Soviet Union. He studied his topic closely such as George F. Kennan, Soviet American Relations, 1917-1920 (Princeton University Press 1956) Texas Tech Library E183.8 R9 K4 a study of the foundations of the Soviet Union guided by Lenin before Stalin became a power figure. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower chose to follow Kennan’s policies and succeeding presidents continued those policies until the Soviet Union imploded from within in 1989-1991.

 

John Lewis Gaddis, George F. Kennan: An American Life (Penguin Press 2011) Texas Tech Library E748.K374 G34 earned its author a Pulitzer Prize. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsRV5Tz5Rmc is Gaddis addressing the U.S. Naval War College

 

John Kukacs, George Kennan: A Study of Character (Yale University Press 2007) E748.K374 L84

 

Nicholas Thompson, The Hawk and the Dove: Paul Nitze, George Kennan, and the History of the Cold War (Henry Holt 2009) E744.T494

 

The Kennan Diaries (ed. Frank Costigliola, W. W. Norton & Co. 2014) Texas Tech stacks awaiting processing, reviewed by Fareek Zakaria, A Guest of My Time, The New York Times, February 21, 2014 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/books/review/the-kennan-diaries-by-george-f-kennan.html?_r=0 Kennan had referred to himself as “a guest of my time”.

 

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Jenny Offill, Dept. of Speculation (Knopf 2014) a novella at 179 pages, it chronicles in a most deft way the unraveling of a marriage in Brooklyn. Reviewed at Roxane Gay, Bridled Vows, The New York Times, February 7, 2014 http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/09/books/review/jenny-offills-dept-of-speculation.html?_r=0 This is another message for Tolstoy, Joyce and others that literary quality may be accomplished in smaller doses. Hardcover $17.34 Kindle $ 9.59 ABE Books $16.22 incl s&h.

 

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The Plow That Broke the Plains (1937) 27 minute documentary film written and directed by Pare Lorentz is viewable on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DRP7KxjFXQ seeks to explain how we got to the Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s.

 

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James Salter, All That Is: A Novel (Knopf 2013 paperback Vintage 2014) 290 pages reviewed at Malcolm Jones, A Changed Man, The New York Times, April 26, 2013. Here’s a You Tube video of Salter reading from the book in May 2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QEQuaMDwuo ABE Books in very good condition $4.99 incl s&h Lubbock Public Library FIC SALT

 

 

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Manuel S. Franco, Quanah Parker, Last Chief of the Comanches (2011) 18 inch bronze bust http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMGgVYyd8yU&list=UU3Fy1CH3hH0CSxeQR9NwAtw is on display through March 28, 2014 at The Art Center 1819 South Dumas Avenue in Dumas Texas adjacent to the Window on the Plains Museum. His paintings, mostly realist style watercolors, are also on display http://www.dumasmuseumandartcenter.org/art_center.htm and his website is http://www.msfranco.com/

 

A photographic exhibit Our People, Our Land, Our Images depicts indigenous peoples and their culture in photographs taken by indigenous photographers February 24 – March 28, 2014 at The Abraham Art Gallery at Wayland Baptist University in Plainview https://www.wbu.edu/news_and_events/2014/february/OurPeopleOurLand.html

 

Yasaman Moussavi, I Was Hidden From My Own Sight (2013) and other paintings by her are on exhibit at the Texas Tech Satellite Gallery at 5th Street and Avenue J in Lubbock north of LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts March 7-15, 2014 Moussavi will soon receive her MFA at the Texas Tech School of Art. http://yasamanmoussavi.wordpress.com/c-v-2/

 

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The combined choirs of Lubbock Christian University and Wayland Baptist University will sing a Haydn composition with orchestra on Friday April 4, 2014 at McDonald-Moody Auditorium on the

 

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LCU campus at 7:30 pm. Free event. http://www.lcu.edu/majors-programs/bachelors-degree/music/combined-choir-performance.html

 

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Ra Paulette makes sculptural art in caves in northern New Mexico. Here is a trailer for Cavedigger (2013) 39 minute documentary film http://cavediggerdocumentary.com/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CaveDigger and here is his website http://www.racavedigger.com/racavedigger.com/Ra_Paulette_Home.html He ran into difficulties with his commissioning patrons who found him uncontrollable and uncooperative toward carrying out his patrons’ intentions, preferring his own artistic intentions. He jettisoned them and went off on his own. Eventually his hope is to invite people, the public, to visit his caves and experience the underground luminosity and carved bio-morphic art he is sculpting with hand tools.

 

For obvious reasons his current destination is not made public.

 

The documentary film was nominated for an Academy Award but did not win. The Oscar went to The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life. Here are the Oscar winners and nominees for 2013 films http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/86/nominees.html

 

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I was a Soldier (1970) 40 minute documentary film by the late British film-maker Michael Grigsby 1936 -2013 was followed by his last documentary film, a look at those same three Vietnam War veterans from that small sheep-herding Texas area in We Went to War (2013) 77 minute documentary film by Michael Grigsby and Rebekah Tolley. The locations are Menard, Brady and Mason Texas north of the Hill Country.

 

Michael Grigsby‘s haunting Granada television documentary is perhaps the first sustained treatment on film of the phenomenon of the ‘Vietnam veteran’, later a familiar cultural archetype, and in particular a recurring character type in Hollywood feature films. The vivid quality of some of the fictional Vietnam War vets is in no way prefigured by the three real war veterans recently returned to small-town Texas who are the subjects of Grigsby‘s film. The camera observes them in awkward silence as well as in speech, for to varying degrees they struggle to articulate their feelings about how the war affected them. Among other things this makes it immediately obvious that these men are not used to being asked to recount, let alone reflect upon, their recent experiences. The film includes no war footage, and is instead filled with gentle pastoral images of rural and small-town Texas, leaving the viewer to imagine what searing memories may remain stuck in the subjects’ heads.

The quiet and sympathetic approach is in keeping with almost all Grigsby‘s films, dedicated to giving a ‘voice to the voiceless’. As distinct from some of his more outspoken films, however, a political agenda is not to the fore and the film is a more straightforward exercise in humanism.

A number of Grigsby‘s other television films enjoyed a later life on non-theatrical film circuits, but I Was a Soldier has remained generally unseen since its first screening. Seeing the film today, viewers are likely to be just as moved by it as those who tuned in in 1970. They are also likely to wonder how life has treated its likeable but haunted, inarticulate subjects in the years that have followed.

Patrick Russell

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1982713/We Went to War (2013) is 77 minutes reviewed at http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/mar/28/we-went-to-war-review is a sad unhurried film Michael Grigsby’s documentary We Went to War, his last film before he died this month at 76, is a poignant footnote to his 1970 film I Was a Soldier, which interviewed three dazed US soldiers in Texas, back from Vietnam. These figures are now revisited, 40 years on. They look heart-breakingly young from the original footage, although with a lifetime’s agony in their eyes: men prematurely old in spirit. Now we see how age has caught up with two of them; the other has died, and Grigsby talks to his family about the anger and depression they had to live with. This is a sobering film, conveying a sense that time and space stood still for these veterans. It seems that they were frozen emotionally by the war’s impact and this film is a rebuke to anyone who assumes that the pain gradually lessens. Perhaps the reverse is true: the pain gets worse, the world moves on and there are fewer people who will understand or want to know. This sad, unhurried film is like a short story by Larry McMurtry.

Rebekah Tolley, co-filmmaker, spoke to a Lubbock audience on March 6, 2014 and screened both films. Ms. Tolley thinks that exposure of her film to general audiences will influence American politicians not ever to go to war again. Her naïve view of American politics is disappointing.

There is art in these films, but there is bathos and pathos as well and I am too close to this scenario to comment with objectivity. Four years as an enlisted member, then a direct commission, and served out through Lieutenant Colonel, I have a sense of comrade-ship with enlisted members not shared by most officers. Have had many inter-actions with veterans who suffered Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome long before it was identified and awarded that name. The Vet Center at 3106 50th Street Suite 400 has an active counseling program that serves veterans who need conversation and perspective on what happened during their active duty. Veterans Resource Coordination Group www.vrcg.org is another Lubbock entity that is a resource for veterans in need of counseling.

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Diana Kersey grew up in Lubbock, daughter of Jim and Sally Kersey, and has a BFA [Bachelor of Fine Arts] degree from Texas Tech University. She is now a San Antonio ceramics artist and has an exhibit Equipoise at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts John F. Lott Gallery through March 29. http://lhuca.org/DianaKersey2014.html On March 7-9 she was in town to conduct a clay workshop at the Helen DeVitt Jones Clay Studio at LHUCA. www.kerseyceramics.comwww.dianakersey.blogspot.comwww.facebook.com/KerseyCeramics

Back in 1993 while an undergraduate student Diana played on the Women’s Basketball team under Coach Marsha Sharp and those Lady Raiders won a national championship. Diana is still a champion.

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The British Museum exhibit in London England October 17, 2013 through March 23, 2014 is ending, but looks fascinating on the Internet at www.britishmuseum.org Beyond El Dorado [the golden one] Power and Gold in Ancient Colombia focusing on the culture of Colombians before Europeans discovered them in the 16thcentury.

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March 16, 2014.  ART EXHIBIT OPENS AT FORT STANTON MUSEUM AND RUIDOSO PUBLIC LIBRARY.  “Fort Stanton, Inc. and the Ruidoso Public Library are collaborating to present an unprecedented exhibition of artwork and photographs created in New Mexico during the Great Depression. Featuring numerous artworks at both the Fort Stanton Historic Site Museum and the library, “The New Deal in New Mexico Art & Photographic Exhibit” will be open to the public from March 16 to June 1 (June 15 for Fort Stanton Historic Site Museum.) . . . The Ruidoso Public Library is located at 107 Kansas City Road. Library hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  For more information, call the Fort Stanton Historic Site Museum at 354-0341. The museum hours are Monday, and Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.” To see the complete article go to “New Deal In New Mexico Art & Photo Exhibit comes to Fort Stanton Museum and Ruidoso Public Library,” Ruidoso News (NM) – Thursday, March 6, 2014.  www.ruidosonews.com The opening event at Fort Stanton Museum Galleries is March 16 from 4:00 – 6:00 pm suggested donation $5 www.fortstanton.org/museum/ Nineteen original watercolor paintings in the collection of Fort Stanton Inc will be on display at Fort Stanton Historic Site Museum, from the days when it served as a Marine Hospital for injured sailors, along with forty prints of New Deal art and photographs. The Civilian Conservation Corps opened a camp at Fort Stanton during the Great Depression.

The National New Deal Preservation Association www.newdeallegacy.org is headquartered at Santa Fe New Mexico.

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Arts History Update for early March 2014

9 Mar

 

Arts History Update for early March 2014 by David Cummins

 

James Meek, Where Will we Live?, London Review of Books, January 9, 2014 http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n01/james-meek/where-will-we-live is an essay about the housing disaster in England or rather the United Kingdom. It drew a number of letters to the editor which assert that the answer is that plotlanders, smallholders and amateur home builders ignore the planning officials and building standards enforcement or lack of enforcement, and produce their own lodgings as shacks, cabins, yurts, tipis, converted caravans [English for recreational vehicles] and abandoned sheds, pigstys and barns.

 

James Clark letter http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n02/letters#letter1 published January 23 and Chris Walker letter http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n03/letters published February 6, 2014 tell the tale, essentially of dropping out of the capitalist mortgage lending system and scavenging for whatever it takes to put together a lodging off the grid sans debt, expenses of utility companies, and property taxes. Here in America we call these people survivalists. It’s not an easy life, and to a real extent they are freeloaders because they use the paid for infrastructure of the economy from which they have dropped out.

 

In my view, this activity is a consequence of the employment problem. If these people were employed at an above poverty level compensation job, they wouldn’t be survivalists or off the grid. We shouldn’t demonize them and say “they won’t work” when such a

job for them is unavailable. It also doesn’t wash to excoriate them for not taking a minimum wage job or slightly better compensated job only to find they can’t pay their bills on that compensation or provide a life worth living within the grid, so living off the grid becomes an option.

 

Objectively, many unemployed people aren’t qualified for the few jobs that are available. President Clinton worked hard to get job retraining programs established but in reality what occurred is that retraining worked well when it was provided by a current employer and the worker was paid by his/her employer a wage while being retrained. The other retraining programs were activities for unemployed people and for those 35 years of age or older, a very low percentage of people were helped. Retraining without an assured job at the end of the retraining, just doesn’t make a dent in the problem.

 

In economics people are seen as labor, and labor is seen as a supply and demand input in the chain of producing a good or a service. That’s well and good as long as labor is employed, but when it’s not employed, and unemployment persists, it’s obvious that unemployed people are not expendable items even in a supply and demand chain. Such people are a hazard to themselves, to those around them, and to society. They cost the rest of us dearly, but apparently not dear enough to bring them back into fairly compensated employment. Tax credits for employers who employ the chronically unemployed, hasn’t worked for the unemployed who are thereafter laid off, it’s only worked as tax relief [corporate welfare] for the employer. What is the solution?

 

A seminar on The Occupational Hazards of Being Poor will be presented Friday April 11, 2014 at Texas Tech University International Cultural Center free from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm lunch provided if one rsvps to 742-3667 ext 226 or by

e-mail Christi.felton@ttu.edu

 

Barbara Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America (Metropolitan Books 2001) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nickel_and_Dimed Texas Tech Library HD4918.E375 Lubbock Public Library 305.569 EHRE

 

David K. Shipler, The Working Poor: Invisible in America (Knopf 2004) Lubbock Public Library 305.569 SHIP

 

For young people we know some new things work. Sarah E. Goode STEM Academy in Chicago partnered with IBM and other blue-chip firms to design a curriculum that so completely equips high school age students with marketable skills, that IBM guarantees them a $40,000 per year or more compensated job upon graduation. It’s a six year course rather than a four year program. There are many P-TECH [pathways in technology] schools in the country, five of them in Chicago, and science technology engineering and mathematics are a focus hence the acronym STEM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STEM_fields They are mostlybut not exclusively six year programs. There is a STEM Academy at Cypress Creek High School in Houston, at Robert E. Lee High School in San Antonio, at Stony Point High School in Round Rock, and at Waxahachie Global High School in Waxahachie. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/STEM_Academy_(disambiguation) At six year programs the graduates get an associate degree as well as a high school diploma, and pretty much a guarantee of admission at most colleges if that is the graduate’s track. Rana Foroohar, The School That Will Get You a Job: A New Kind of Education Shows Why Four Years of High School Isn’t Enough, Time Magazine, February 24, 2014 at pages 22-29. http://content.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2165479,00.html

 

The Texas High School Project has a T-STEM Network. In the West Texas Panhandle region there is one ECHS Early College High School, five T-STEM Academies, two combination STEM/ECHS schools, and one T-STEM Center. http://www.edtx.org/college-ready-school-network

 

STEM programs at many colleges match up with the high school graduate’s interests http://www.depts.ttu.edu/stem/ such as Texas Tech University.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Announcement.  Whither Thou?–Tom Lea’s WPA Era Painting The Nesters, 1937 Oil.  Commissioned in 1935, “The Nesters” hung in the entrance vestibule of the Benjamin Franklin Postal Station of Washington, D. C. beginning in 1937.  According to Adair Margo of the Tom Lea Institute in El Paso the work was commissioned after Lea was declared the winner of a national search to find an artist to paint the mural.  The prestigious job brought the young Tom Lea acclaim and notoriety.  However, the painting was removed when the building was undergoing renovation in 1947 and was mislaid and not seen again.  Some speculated that it was stored in the Washington Auditorium in the Civil Service building which was eventually demolished.  Margo asked First Lady Laura Bush for her help in locating the mural.  In spite of these efforts the mural has never been located.  Perhaps a modern day sleuth may run across some evidence as to its location.  If you find information please forward it to the Tom Lea Institute at amargo@tomlea.net. To see Lea’s preliminary mural sketches go to http://www.tomlea.net/news/Nesters.html.  Also, PBS’s Antique Roadshow lists the mural on its “Most Wanted” List.  Go to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/rmw/RMW-004_201006F02_ss.html#1. FBI File http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/vc_majorthefts/arttheft/NSAF/014434/view

—- submitted by Tai Kreidler

 

 

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Charles Adams received the first Catalyst for the Arts Award on February 22 at the annual LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Gala. Adams has long been the operator of an art gallery and frame shop in Lubbock [first opening at 2109 Broadway Street in 1985, then re-opening at Kingsgate Center North 4210 82nd Street Suite 216 near Quaker Avenue in 1997] and in that capacity hosted many events and artists, particularly artists who traveled to Lubbock at his or another person’s invitation. He became an unofficial art ambassador for Lubbock.

 

In 2010 he moved both his business and home to 602 Avenue J across the street from LHUCA to the south http://www.charlesadamsgallery.com/ and purchased the property and built Studio Flats at 1010 Mac Davis Lane where four gallery spaces rest atop residential flats. http://www.charlesadamsgallery.com/studioproject.php Then he opened CASP Charles Adams Studio Projects a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization to include those Studio Flats gallery spaces plus a formerly used City Police Garage space now renamed the 5th & J Studios at 1106 5th Street that was renovated to include four spaces, the Helen DeVitt Jones Print Studio, the CH Foundation Metals Studio, the 5th & J Gallery, and the Texas Tech University School of Art Satellite Gallery. The LHUCA campus is now ringed on three sides by Adams entrepreneurship and zeal. Adams, the patron of this arts district, isn’t done quite yet. He has more plans through CASP for more artist spaces in the area.

 

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Ronnie Miller, general manager of National Travel and Sidecar Theatre Company, resigned so the 2014 season of that new community theatre company is now canceled http://sidecartheatre.com/ Season ticket holders are being refunded. We wish him well but hope that the theatre enterprise will be revived.

 

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Donald Judd, Untitled # 96 (1978-1979) aquatint print in black, edition of 175 on paper signed and numbered $5,500 by the master minimalisthttp://www.artnet.com/auctions/artists/donald-judd/untitled-s-96 but I prefer David Tremlett, Drawing # 7 (2012) pastel and graphite on paper in three parts in artist’s frames, signed and dated by artist on verso of frame $11,000. http://www.artspace.com/david_tremlett explanation of verso of frame is http://www.metroframe.com/blog/2013/04/recto-verso-frame-2/

 

If these minimalist offerings are not quite to your liking how about Richard Tuttle, Hey Diddle Diddle, the Cat and the Fiddle (2004) lithograph edition of 48 on paper in eight colors $4,000 http://www.ulae.com/richardtuttle/RichardTuttle_2004_HeyDiddleDiddleTheCatAndTheFiddle.aspx

 

Someone recently asked if she purchased a particular piece on display at First Friday Art Trail for $2,000 could she expect to get that much for it five years later when she unloaded it. For that piece and that artist, there is no current established market for his works and certainly not for similar pieces to this work. What that means is that if she can get $2,000 worth of enjoyment out of the piece during her possession of it, buy it, but then when unloaded any fraction of that amount as a sale price is just a bonus. There will be no disappointment in that closed circle transaction. The pieces listed above are pieces for which there is an established market and probably that market will continue to exist five years hence, so if the piece is properly printed and framed and kept without damage, one can expect to unload it for about the same price, and end up the transaction out no funds whatsoever but only rented a piece for five years that brought thousands of hours of enjoyment. It doesn’t get much better than that.

 

Collectors often buy for resale at a profit, but to be successful at that one has to enter the auction at a high price. For most of us, we enter at a much lower level and need to think about amortizing our investment by hours of enjoyment so that we have very little or nothing still invested at the time we unload the piece. Indeed, we might even unload it by donation to a favorite charity and take the tax deduction offset of income subject to taxation, as our economic prize.All the art in my home has been enjoyed to its full cost and totally amortized, but keeps on energizing its owner.

 

 

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Annual Symposium and Texas Art Fair sponsored by CASETA Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art, is at Mabee Auditorium, Ragsdale Center, St Edward’s University, 3001 South Congress Avenue, Austin Texas Friday through Sunday May 2-4, 2014. Registration is now open http://www.caseta.org/registrations.php $175 for non-members of CASETA. Tours of the Texas Capitol Art Collection and two private Austin collections are available. Notice the interesting announcement cover art is a painting by Henry Arthur McArdle, Settlement of Austin’s Colony (1875) a very nice piece of early Texas art that hangs in the hall outside the Texas House of Representatives chambers in the capitol. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fmc03

 

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Georges Braque: A Retrospective is an exhibit first at the Grand Palais in Paris France http://www.grandpalais.fr/fr/evenement/georges-braque but now at Museum of Fine Arts Houston in the second floor of the Law Building February 13 – May 11, 2014 http://www.mfah.org/exhibitions/georges-braque-retrospective/ that contains 75 of his works. Generally regarded as the co-founder with Pablo Picasso of Cubism in 1907, the more laconic and less flamboyant Braque developed cubism more intentionally and more expansively than Picasso. Another recent exhibit Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928 – 1945 was on view at The Phillips Collection Washington DC from June 8 – September 1, 2013 http://phillipscollection.org/exhibitions/2013-06-08-exhibition-braque.aspx at which website there is an audio tour, a video tour, and several examinations of the materials he used and their consequences in the end result. He stayed in Paris during World War II and its occupation, not exhibiting his work but continuing to produce it. The catalogue by Karen K. Butler and others (Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum 2013) runs to 239 pages. Texas Tech Library OVERSZ ND553.B86 A4.

 

The Retrospective exhibit traces his artistic development beginning with his training and initial paintings and sketches. Then, in 1905, he went to the Salon d’Automne annual exhibition and saw the canvases of Henri Matisse and Andre Derain that shocked the critics and connoisseurs of the day who labeled the artists les fauves [the wild beasts]. Braque was smitten and the rest is art history. Without purporting to tell the whole story, too long and detailed for this setting, Braque left Paris for the south of France to look again at Cezanne’s work with a new eye, the fauvist eye, and imagine how he might depict the landscape of Cezanne. L’Estaque Landscape, Autumn (1906) was the result, a fauvist abstraction. Back in Paris, in 1907, Braque met Picasso who was working on the painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) http://www.moma.org/explore/conservation/demoiselles/images/demoiselles_NewFINAL.jpg , and was invited to Picasso’s studio to see it. Braque appeared in the studio and was stunned by the power of the piece. Each man, independently, had invented cubism and for some time would collaborate before going off on different paths.

 

Braque rushed to his canvas and produced Trees at L’Estaque (1908) an abstraction of the “faceted forms into more solid volumes and tectonic plates, intersecting planes that represent hillsides and woodlands without exactly depicting them. The painting was no longer a view, a report on the appearance of a scene from a fixed position, but a conceptual work – a postcard from the mind’s eye, which had traversed the motif, then digested and reassembled what it had seen.” Richard Lacayo, Space Invader: Georges Braque’s Radical Vision Finally Finds Perspective, Time Magazine, February 24, 2014 at page 54. Cubism was established.Braque then wanted to paint a woman as Picasso had painted the prostitutes in the brothel at Barcelona, and Braque producedWoman Reading (1911) that was something like a figure in space from multiple perspectives, very difficult for the average viewer to even locate segments of a represented woman or genderless person. He was exploring the uses to which cubism could be placed. Two years later Fruit Dish, Ace of Clubs (1913) is a fully realized multimedia cubist painting that anticipates surrealism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Georges_Braque,_1913,_Nature_morte_%28Fruit_Dish,_Ace_of_Clubs%29,_oil,_gouache_and_charcoal_on_canvas,_81_x_60_cm_%2831.8_x_23.6_in%29,_Mus%C3%A9e_National_d%27Art_Moderne,_Centre_Georges_Pompidou,_Paris.jpg

 

 

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How do architects preserve historic structures while modernizing them for functional use? http://www.american-architects.com/en/projects/44437_308_Mulberry Here is a home at 308 Mulberry Street, Lewes Delaware where the historic home is preserved from the street while made contemporary from the rear and inside. This was done in 2011 designed by Robert M. Gurney architect.

 

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Youth Orchestra of Lubbock provides a free Spring Concert at 4:00 pm Sunday March 9, 2014 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center in the Civic Center Theatre http://www.youthorchestrasoflubbock.org/events/concerts/ Pay attention to the clock that day as Daylight Savings Time begins.

 

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Viva Aztlan Festival in its 20th annual iteration will be March 14-15 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center admission $15 www.vivaaztlanfestival.ezevent.com

http://www.vivaaztlan.org/HOME.html Lubbock Centro Aztlan educates the community on the richness of the Mexican Mestizo culture.

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Allusions to Antiquity: The Photography of Emily Verkamp is an exhibit at Buddy Holly Center’s Fine Arts Gallery from February 28 through April 6, 2014. Ms. Verkamp is a Texas Tech senior and this is her senior show.

 

Eddie Dixon, famed Lubbock sculptor, http://eddie-dixon.com/ will provide a free demonstration of his technique at the Buddy Holly Center 1801 Crickets Avenue [former Avenue G] on Saturday March 8 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Public is invited.

 

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SXSW South by Southwest Film Music and Interactive is March 7-16, 2014 in Austin Texas http://sxsw.com/ with a great deal on offer and scheduled.
Unscheduled stuff will also happen. Enjoy. A host of sessions exist on many topics. Here are the legal topics that would interest me http://schedule.sxsw.com/?all_theme=Legal Thousands of people flock to Austin for this festival/convention event at various locations including the Austin Convention Center.

 

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Michael Riojas of GE Lighting http://www.gelighting.com/LightingWeb/na/about/

will speak on A Lighting Revolution in the College of Human Sciences Cottage east of the main college building on the Texas Tech campus. Free event hosted by the West Texas branch of the North Texas chapter of USGBC United States Green Building Council. Thursday March 6, 2014 from 9:00 – 10:50 am rsvp by e-mail to westtexasbranch@usgbcnorthtexas.org

 

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Get your calendar out and make travel plans. The Texas Book Festival at the State Capitol in Austin is October 25-26, 2014 www.texasbookfestival.org and the Austin Teen Book Festival has been renamed Texas Teen Book Festival and is the previous weekend on October 18 at St Edward’s University in Austin www.texasteenbookfestival.org

 

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