Arts History Update for late October 2014

28 Oct

Arts History Update for late October 2014 by David Cummins

The topic for Fall semester in the Arts History Lecture Series at Texas Tech University Museum Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court at 10:30 am Jones Auditorium at 11:00 am on Friday mornings is American Impressionism. A quick but accurate way to address it is to go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History http://www.metmuseum.org/toah then click on American Art then click on Nineteenth Century at which there are 78 topics one of which is American Impressionism. Click on it.

The French Impressionists would show together eight times beginning in 1874 through 1886 labeled Anonymous Society of Painters, Sculptors, Printmakers, etc who were not anonymous at all. Founding members were Claude Monet, Edgar Degas and Camille Pissaro. Most American artists visiting Paris at the time ignored the Impressionists for there was much else to do and accomplish in the European art capital. Julian Alden Weir wrote to his parents in America after visiting the third group exhibition by French Impressionists in 1877 “I never in my life saw such horrible things. … they do not observe drawing nor form but give you an impression of what they call nature. It was worse than the Chamber of Horrors.”

An exception was Pennsylvania born Mary Stevenson Cassatt who moved to Paris in 1874, was sympathetic, and Edgar Degas invited her to exhibit with the group from 1877 on. The Cup of Tea (1879) http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/arts/artwork/paintings-by-mary-cassatt3.htm

Julian Alden Weir would come around later and use Impressionist techniques The Red Bridge (1895) depicting an iron bridge over the Shetucket River near the Weir family’s summer home in Windham Connecticut http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/14.141

William Merritt Chase, Shinnecock Hills, Long Island (1896) http://www.william-merritt-chase.org/Shinnecock-Hills,-Long-Island-large.html illustrates how Chase adopted Imressionism.

Childe Hassam, July Fourteenth, Rue Daunou (1910) Boston born and a lifelong resident of New York City, Hassam was visiting Paris on Bastille Day and looked from his hotel window down on a street parade that he depicted in his Impressionist style. He would later repeat the scene for a London and a New York City parade after The Great War ended http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/29.86

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Kazimir Malevich 1879-1935 was both a modernist painter and an art theoretician who was born in Kiev, then of the Russian Governate Empire now Ukraine. His parents were Poles and his father managed a sugar factory in Kiev. He was baptized as a Roman Catholic. He was a pioneer in abstract painting early on as Cubist and Fauvist, then invented Suprematism that itself spawned Constructivism that continues to inform contemporary art, then created Abstract Expressionist images. By the 1930s his art was suppressed by the Soviet government but he had secreted many works to Germany where they could be protected and circulated by the Bauhaus and a sympathetic Weimar Republic.

He arrived in Moscow in 1906 and became part of the avant-garde. Self Portrait (1910) in the Fauvist style http://www.wikiart.org/en/kazimir-malevich#supersized-featured-219802 Sergey Shchulkin owned impressionist and contemporary style pieces including early Cubist pieces. Malevich saw them and responded with The Knife Sharpener (1912) http://www.kazimir-malevich.org/The-Knife-Sharpener-large.html The Woodcutter (1912) http://www.kazimir-malevich.org/The-Woodcutter-large.html and A Bather (1911) http://www.kazimir-malevich.org/A-Bather-large.html the latter clearly a response to Mattise’s La Danse, The Floor Polishers (1911) http://www.kazimir-malevich.org/The-Floor-Polishers-large.html He saw both Cubist and Italian Futurist paintings and responded with Horse Driven Carriage in Motion (1913).

John Milner, Kazimir Malevich and the Art of Geometry (Yale University Press 1996) figure 98 is Horse Driven Carriage in Motion. Malevich dabbled with Alogist painting, a Russian term equivalent to Dada, Composition with the Mona Lisa (1914) four years before Marcel Duchamp drew Mona Lisa with a mustache. https://artsy.net/artwork/kasimir-severinovich-malevich-composition-with-the-mona-lisa It hangs in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg Russia. Malevich was an art theoretician who saw his Black Square (1915) as the first total abstraction and he affected the style of signing his later paintings with a black square instead of his name. http://www.hermitagemuseum.org/html_En/04/b2003/hm4_1_30_0.html It also hangs in the State Hermitage Museum. No sooner had he embraced pure abstraction than he invented Suprematism http://www.kazimir-malevich.org/Suprematism-(with-Blue-Triangle-And-Black-Rectangle)-large.html and Suprematism No. 58 with Yellow and Black http://www.kazimir-malevich.org/Suprematism-(Supremus-N58-With-Yellow-And-Black)-large.html Suprematist Composition (1915) http://www.kazimir-malevich.org/Suprematist-Composition-1915.html By 1919 he had painted a white shape dissolving into a white background, thus leaving color behind preceded by Suprematism Composition: White on White Background (1918) now owned by Museum of Modern Art in New York City http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=80385

Malevich is the subject of a very large retrospective exhibit first at Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam October 18, 2013 – February 2, 2014, and then Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic at Bonn Germany March 8 – June 22, 2014, and finally Tate Modern in London England July 16 – October 26, 2014. Catalogue edited by Achim Borchardt-Hume published by Tate Publishing $49.95 paperback $37.07 at Amazon.com. http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/malevich

The exhibit is discussed in Rachel Polonsky, Windows in the Mind: Kazimir Malevich, the mystic preoccupied with self-transformation, London Times Literary Supplement, September 26, 2014 at pages 17-18 where she writes Malevich opened windows in the mind. Consider as you pass through these rooms the endlessly dynamic tension that his art reveals between appearance and disappearance; seeing and blindness; illumination and eclipse; form and dissolution; face and effacement, matter and void. http://www.the-tls.co.uk/tls/reviews/arts_and_commentary/article1463180.ece

Andrei Nakov, Malevich: Painting the Absolute (Lund Humphries 2010) in four volumes.
Aleksandra Shatskikh, Black Square: Malevich and the Origin of Suprematism (transl. Marian Schwartz, Yale University Press 2012)
Gilles Neret, Malevich (Taschen Books 2003) http://www.taschen.com/pages/en/catalogue/art/all/03625/facts.malevich.htm

Kazimir Malevich, The World as Objectlessness (1927) in which he described his theory as “the supremacy of pure feeling or perception in the pictorial arts”. The latest revision is by Simon Baier published by Hatje Cantz May 31, 2014 at 216 pages $40.45 at Amazon.com.

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Texas Book Festival October 25-26, 2014 is fast approaching http://www.texasbookfestival.org/ at and near the Capitol grounds in Austin Texas. Just the Music events http://www.texasbookfestival.org/music-highlights-fest/ are worth the price of admission that is nada.

Did you enjoy Books in the Basin festival in Midland-Odessa October 10-11? http://www.booksinthebasin.com/ or the West Texas Book Festival in Abilene September 22-27? http://www.abilenetx.com/apl/bookfest.html

Tucson Festival of Books is March 14-15, 2015 on the campus of University of Arizona 9:30 am – 5:30 pm kicked off the night before on Friday March 13 by a concert performed by notable authors who style themselves as The Rock Bottom Remainders at 8:00 – 9:30 pm at University of Arizona Student Union Memorial center Grand Ballroom http://www.tucsonfestivalofbooks.org

San Antonio Book Festival http://www.saplf.org/festival/#sthash.9I7UfWGW.dpbs
is April 11, 2015.

North Texas Book Festival and Book Trails Dinner is April 10-11, 2015 at Denton http://www.ntbf.org/

RT Booklovers Convention is May 12-17, 2015 in Dallas at Hyatt Regency at 300 Reunion Boulevard in downtown Dallas. https://www.rtconvention.com/ The six day event can be parsed any which way with day passes, evening events, and more. If you register online today for the convention you can reserve a room at the Hyatt for $129 a night and it won’t be charged to your credit card until April.

Take your reading habit on the road!

Local Color Artist Studio Tour is an annual free event in Lubbock not to be missed. An artist opens his/her home/studio invites four or more fellow artists to display their work also, and these artists are all present for viewers to meet and interact. Saturday and Sunday November 8-9, 2014 10:00 am – 6:00 pm Saturday noon – 6:00 pm on Sunday. http://lubbockstudiotour.org/ is the website and addresses of the ten locations on the tour this year. Lubbock Arts Alliance sponsors. http://www.lubbockarts.org/ The cover of the brochure features an image of a fiber and painting piece by Lubbock artist Valerie Komkova Hill who is exhibiting at Marsha Davis’s home/studio.

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National Theatre Live in England produces films of stellar live theatre presentations and places them on movie screens around the world. Danny Boyle’s production of Frankenstein (2011) by Nick Dear based on the novel by Mary Shelley, stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller. It plays at Movies 16 in Lubbock on Monday and Wednesday October 27 and 29, 2014 at 7:00 pm 2 hours 20 minutes in length $15 adults $14 seniors. http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/16546-frankenstein Movies 16 https://tickets.fandango.com/transaction/ticketing/express/ticketboxoffice.aspx?row_count=60347683&mid=175777&tid=AAINB

Future filmed theatre productions are Of Mice and Men, Behind the Beautiful Forever, The Hard Problem, and Man and Superman http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions

Cinemark movie theatres in Lubbock show Metropolitan Opera productions, Bolshoi Ballet productions like The Legend of Love October 26 and The Nutcracker December 21, and The Royal Ballet of England productions like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on December 16, 2014 http://www.cinemark.com/theatre-detail.aspx?node_id=1453&

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Arts History Update for mid October 2014

8 Oct

Arts History Update for mid October 2014 by David Cummins

Jayton is the county seat of Kent County since 1954. From 1893 the county seat was Clairemont but a fire destroyed the second story and roof of the Italianate two story [local red sandstone] brick courthouse. It is now a one story Community Center building in Clairemont and there is a 1936 Texas Centennial Marker stone and plaque on the grounds of the former courthouse. Folks in rural Texas know how to adapt and re-purpose something. They turned a fire destroyed gutted out building into a vibrant Community Center. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnc62

After moving the county seat to Jayton Mr. Wyatt Hedrick, celebrated Fort Worth architect, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyatt_C._Hedrick was employed and he designed a new courthouse in the Modern style and it opened in 1957. http://texasescapes.com/TexasPanhandleTowns/JaytonTexas/Kent-County-Courthouse.htm

We recall Mr. Hedrick fondly since his work is on the Texas Tech campus, finishing off the Administration Building from William Ward Watkins’s basic design and initial construction, and designing eight new buildings for Texas Tech. He also designed First United Methodist Church in downtown Lubbock including the stunning Rose Window in the Sanctuary. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wyatt_C._Hedrick

Jayton is at the junction of Texas State Highway 70 and US Highway 380 about 91 miles southeast of Lubbock. Take US Highway 84 southeast from Lubbock to Post then US Highway 380 east to Clairemont and on to Jayton crossing the Salt Fork of the Brazos River between those towns. Stop and look at the historic Salt Fork.

In Jayton is the Yellow Daisy, Refuge Cafe, or Jayton Cafe still open? Kent County is lightly populated 839 people total as of 2012. North of Jayton is Spur in Dickens County so one could take SH 70 north to Spur and Dickens and then take US Highway 82 west to Lubbock.

Holle Humphries writes that an Arrow on the Quanah Parker Trail will be installed at Jayton on Saturday morning October 11, 2014. http://www.quanahparkertrail.com/Quanah_Parker_Trail/index.html.html

We probably shouldn’t idealize or mythologize rural West Texas, although that’s tempting, and recognize that the hardscrabble get it done pioneering attitudes exist alongside heinous contemporary behavior. Deputy Sheriff of Kent County Duane West, on duty and in uniform picked up a thirteen year old girl drove her to the Clairemont Cemetery and had sexual intercourse with her in late 2012. In January 2013 he resigned his position and in October 2013 was tried and convicted of aggravated sexual assault and sentenced to 50 years in prison. http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2013-10-07/former-kent-county-deputy-sentenced-50-years-sexual-assault#.VCnJMmddUbg

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It is September 30 the last day of the month in which the autumnal equinox occurred, and already I am noticing the difference in the angle of sunlight, and the light arriving later and disappearing earlier. I am hearkening back and appreciating the vernal to autumnal equinox cycle, the angle of light ascending and the daylight gaining fulsomeness. It was a time of possibilities, generation, growth and coming to harvest and outcome.

Enough of that agricultural metaphor since most of us don’t personally live in seasons and then hibernate until Spring. We are not bears. Our possibilities as humans are always present and we plant ourselves and bloom where we are planted, so regardless of the changes in the light we have much more work left to do on ourselves and for others. Perhaps that’s why we enjoy the Fall with such gusto, look forward to Winter and a holiday season and then when we notice the nadir, the solstice, and begin to absorb by mid January signs of that changing daylight and feel the impetus toward Spring.

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Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection is on exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City October 20-February 16, 2015 http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2014/cubism-leonard-a-lauder-collection described as Cubism, the most influential art movement of the early twentieth century, still resonates today. It destroyed traditional illusionism in painting and radically changed the way we see the world. The Leonard A. Lauder Collection, unsurpassed in its holdings of Cubist art, is now a promised gift to the Museum. On the occasion of this exhibition, the Collection will be shown in public for the first time—eighty paintings, collages, drawings, and sculpture by the four preeminent Cubist artists: Georges Braque (French, 1882–1963), Juan Gris (Spanish, 1887–1927), Fernand Léger (French, 1881–1955), and Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973).

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Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo was until very recently a 43 year old handsome physician, a beast cancer doctor, and researcher at Texas Medical Center / University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center but she had a “fatal attraction” and sometime sexual relationship with her colleague Dr. George Blumenschein who himself had a live-in girlfriend Evette Toney. Live-in means, in this case, on and off for ten years. On September 26, 2014 a Houston jury convicted Ana Maria of poisoning George by dosing his coffee at work with ethylene glycol a chemical [used inter alia as the basis for automobile engine anti-freeze] purloined from her employer. George survived the poisoning with 40% kidney function and Evette is still living with him and supportive. Ana Maria’s jury recommends 10 years in prison for this aggravated assault. She will be sentenced later. Her medical and research career is over. He’s damaged goods.

A movie could be made of this event and the trial was raucous, defense counsel telling the jury that the poisoner must have been Evette, or someone, of course someone else than his client Ana Maria who denied the poisoning. Evette testified that she didn’t know about George’s office liaison with his colleague until he recently admitted it to her, and she’s [for now] staying with the injured George. She says she didn’t poison him.

Juan A. Lozano, Texas Cancer Doctor Convicted of Poisoning Lover, Associated Press, September 26, 2014 http://bigstory.ap.org/article/896d66fb07434ff4a4d05a49cd892897/texas-cancer-doctor-convicted-poisoning-lover

Fatal Attraction (movie 1987) director Adrian Lyne screenwriter James Dearden starring Michael Douglas, Glenn Close and Anne Archer http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0093010/?ref_=nv_sr_1 Does art imitate life, or life imitate art? Dearden revised his screenplay for the stage, with a bit of a different ending http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/mar/09/fatal-attraction-why-stage-version-different

Does this remind you of 57 year old Dr. Joseph A. Sonnier III chief pathologist at Covenant Medical Center in Lubbock who was killed [shot and stabbed] at his home on July 10, 2012, allegedly by a hit man David Neal Shepard hired by another physician plastic surgeon Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon who formerly was the boyfriend of a lady who spurned him in favor of Sonnier. Dixon was so jealous of Sonnier and so fatally attracted to the former girlfriend that he allegedly paid Shepard three silver bullion bars worth $9,000 to kill Sonnier. Sonnier resided in Lubbock while Dixon and Shepard resided in Amarillo. http://abcnews.go.com/US/slain-texas-doctors-wife-murdered-years-ago/story?id=16802143 tells the story that Sonnier’s ex-wife was killed violently two years earlier in 2010 in an unrelated incident. The adult children of Dr and Mrs Sonnier must be stupefied and distraught by the violent deaths of their parents.

Shepard pled guilty to capital murder and was sentenced in September 2013 to life in prison. Dixon is confined at the Lubbock County Detention Center under a $10 million bond that has not been posted. Trial is scheduled for later this Fall. I do not know the identity of the Lubbock woman to whom both physicians were attracted. District Court Judge Jim Bob Darnell issued a gag order on the prosecution, defense, and police on this case prior to the trial so media are not providing new information while we wait for the trial. http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/story/judge-issues-gag-order-in-dixon-capital-murder-cas/31332/5rLLEwpQPkSMFPn5pR0Ixg

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Flatlands Dance Theatre Inc. began a Kickstarter Fundraising Drive to raise $3,825 or more by October 31, 2014 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlandsdance/flatlands-dance-theatre-dancers-take-center-stage If pledges totaling that amount or more are made, they are payable, otherwise not. The purpose of the campaign is for FDT to pay small stipends to company dancers. Pledges can be made at the website above or by contacting Kyla Olson, Executive Director at Kyla@flatlandsdance.org

If you haven’t seen this fine young professional company in performance their next concert is Encore: The Best of Flatlands Dance Theatre, Friday and Saturday October 17-18 at 8:00 pm at LHUCA Firehouse Theatre at 511 Avenue K. Tickets are available at Select A Seat or at the door $20 adults and $12 for students, children and seniors. The dancers are professionals, FDT is a charitable organization recognized by the federal Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) entity so donations are appropriate at any time, deductible as a business expense for business donors and a charitable contribution deduction for personal donors.

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Sir Paul McCartney Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire was in Lubbock on Thursday October 2. http://lubbockonline.com/filed-online/2014-10-03/mccartney-gives-himself-lengthy-times-personal-concert#.VC_xgmddUbg includes the list of 40 songs he and his four member band performed in a long thrilling concert at United Supermarkets Arena to a sold-out crowd, some of whom report on Facebook that it was the best concert they had ever witnessed. One was It’s So Easy (1958) performed by Buddy Holly and the Crickets https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2rU3W45wks and performed by Sir Paul http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0hEcU0lpKM

Rave On by Buddy Holly and The Crickets https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IUV-QxwlRM and here is the tribute album Rave On Buddy Holly (2011) with various artists performing Buddy Holly songs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI758t00hnE&index=2&list=PL6D9B6E990B203480

McCartney’s latest album is New (2013) $14.88 at Amazon.com

Sir Paul’s been to Lubbock. Who are the Dames and have any been to Lubbock?

Dame Commanders of the Order of the British Empire — actresses Angela Lansbury, Angelina Jolie, Elizabeth Taylor, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench, Julie Andrews, Maggie Smith, Vanessa Redgrave and Irish opera mezzo-soprano Ann Murray http://www.ram.ac.uk/find-people?pid=267

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Dames_Commander_of_the_Order_of_the_British_Empire#2010s

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Lawrence Jordan age 80 and Beat filmmaker based in San Francisco since 1952, is the 2014 Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar in Cross-Disciplinary Arts. He will be present in Lubbock for a showing of short films, a live performance, and conversation with him at the International Cultural Center Auditorium at 7:00 pm Tuesday October 21. It’s a free event. A week earlier on Tuesday October 14 also at 7:00 pm is a free screening of several Lawrence Jordan short films at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema West Loop 289 and North Slide Road. Mr. Jordan’s art is on display at Texas Tech School of Art Satellite Gallery at CASP Studio Projects 1506 5th Street at Avenue J northeast of LHUCA from October 3 to November 11, 2014. The exhibit consists of 12 new collages and 12 diorama boxes. Mr. Jordan will be present in Lubbock from October 19 to 24. http://www.lawrencecjordan.com

Maegene Nelson Endowment Program http://www.depts.ttu.edu/fadp/Endowments/MaegeneNelson.asp is a co-funder for bringing people in the arts to campus under the aegis of the Presidential Lecture & Performance Series most recently Cheech Marin on Friday October 3. Marin is an actor, director, comedian, author, and more but it was in his capacity as a collector and promoter of art by Chicano/Chicana artists that a portion of his extensive collection came to Lubbock and he came to introduce and speak about it. Marin is a Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar in Cross-Disciplinary Arts. Chicanitas: Small Paintings From the Cheech Marin Collection is the exhibit that is on display at Landmark Gallery in the Texas Tech University School of Art Building October 3 – December 14. There is a catalogue book for the exhibit by the same name and a website http://cheechmarin.com/chicanitas/

Previously in 2001-2007 Marin brought another exhibit on a 15 city tour Chicano Visions: American Painters on the Verge http://cheechmarin.com/chicano-art/ and an accompanying book http://www.evergreenexhibitions.com/exhibits/chicano_visions/index.asp

Cheech Marin wrote directed and starred in a film Born in East L.A. (1987) telling the story of a native-born American citizen of Mexican descent who is mistakenly deported to Mexico and must risk everything to get back home. http://ffilms.org/born-in-east-l-a-1987/ This film was shown on October 2 prior to his arrival in Lubbock at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

A year ago on October 25, 2013 Tony Kushner came to campus as a Maegene Nelson Visiting Scholar in Cross- Disciplinary Arts http://www.depts.ttu.edu/cvpa/college/president/2013-14/TonyKushner.asp

Maegene’s siblings are Lubbock residents Jill Nelson, Jack Nelson and David Nelson.

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The architect for the new Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences http://lepaa.org/ is Diamond Schmitt Architects of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. http://www.dsai.ca/ Its portfolio for designing performing arts buildings includes Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia http://www.dsai.ca/projects/new-mariinsky-theatre-russia
Performing Arts Centre and Teaching Facility at Country Day School, King City, Ontario http://www.dsai.ca/projects/performing-arts-centre-and-teaching-facility-country-day-school-king-city/ Ryerson Image Centre and School of Image Arts in Toronto http://www.dsai.ca/projects/ric-ryerson-image-centre-school-of-image-arts-ryerson-university/ Sidney Harman Hall, Washington DC http://www.shakespearetheatre.org/info/about/rentals/performance-spaces , and Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto http://www.coc.ca/AboutTheCOC/FourSeasonsCentre/AbouttheFSC/FactSheet.aspx . Matthew Lella is the principal architect for the Lubbock project and we look forward to his preliminary drawings soon to be released. http://www.dsai.ca/team/lella-matthew

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Books in the Basin October 10-11 is a book festival in Midland and Odessa at the following locations: Midland College, Midland Centennial Library, Yucca Theater, Odessa College, and the Wagner Noel Performing Arts Center http://www.booksinthebasin.com

Arts History Update for early October 2014

29 Sep

Arts History Update for early October 2014 by David Cummins

Doris Kim Sung will lecture in the Texas Tech College of Architecture on Tuesday October 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the First Floor Gallery. She specializes in designing smart thermo-bimetal and shape-memory alloys for use in creating self-ventilating and self-cooling buildings. http://www.dosu-arch.com/main.html She started off in biology and became an architect blending the two nicely. Here is her TED talk eight minutes on Metal That Breathes https://www.ted.com/talks/doris_kim_sung_metal_that_breathes?language=en She is an assistant professor at University of Southern California School of Architecture at Los Angeles http://arch.usc.edu/faculty/dsung#profile-faculty Her practice is at dO/Su Studio Architecture in Rolling Hills California. Rolling Hills is south of Los Angeles and west of San Pedro adjacent to Rancho Palos Verdes. Fifty years ago I was in a gambling casino in Torrance and Rolling Hills Road was just south of the location. Here is a street view by Google Earth of 3376 Rolling Hills Road, Torrance CA https://www.google.com/maps/@33.7945878,-118.3479485,3a,75y,109.3h,84.95t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1szTD12qCNwzqPJgPGWjEAgA!2e0

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At its secession from the United States in 1861 and pretentiously calling itself the Republic of South Carolina, a former congressman said South Carolina is too small to be a Republic and too large to be an insane asylum, just the right size to create enduring trouble and catastrophe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_South_Carolina

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Texas Book Festival is October 25-26 at Austin Texas on the Capitol grounds and elsewhere. It’s preceded by a First Edition Literary Gala October 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel at 6:30 pm at $500 a seat for cocktails and a sumptuous dinner and schmoozing with four internationally acclaimed authors. If that price is too thrilling, there is a Gala After Party at 9:30 pm at Four Seasons Hotel for $75 per person and schmoozing with dozens of authors. https://www.texasbookfestival.org/rsvp-afterparty/
Your correspondent actually has never been to this Festival but attendees, to a person, rave about it and some return for later festivals.
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Speaking of festivals Oktoberfest in Bavaria is a traditional early Fall festival emanating from the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig [Later King Ludwig I of Bavaria] and Princess Therese in the Austria-Hungary Empire chain two centuries ago. The marriage occurred in Munich Germany on October 10, 1810. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludwig_I_of_Bavaria The current 16 day event is a bit soggy and not much other than fun is accomplished. If you can’t get to southern Germany, how about Frankenmuth Michigan ninety miles north of Detroit? It’s called Little Bavaria http://www.frankenmuth.org/ and has several festivals during which various German style beers and foods are available http://www.frankenmuthfestivals.com/index.php/oktoberfest
There is a Little Bavarian Restaurant in El Paso where many of us have enjoyed schnitzel and other treats http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/132/1492756/restaurant/Northeast/Little-Bavarian-Restaurant-El-Paso There is another Little Bavarian Restaurant at 407 W. Baker Road in Baytown Texas east of Houston http://thelittlebavarian.com/menu.html The city of Leavenworth Washington is the state’s Bavarian Village http://cityofleavenworth.com/ Silver Creek Restaurant and Beer Garden in Fredericksburg will delight your palate. http://www.silvercreekfbg.com/ There are many German-Americans around in the Hill Country to keep this restaurant authentic.
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Twisted Root Burgers http://twistedrootburgerco.com/lubbock/ opened September 22 at West Loop 289 and North Slide Road next to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Known in other cities for being trendy, funky and a little snarky, its patio tables seat 70 for outdoor dining. Interior decoration includes guitar cases, license plates, doors hung from the ceiling, and colorful bottles hung on a wall in the shape of Texas. Full service bar but also interesting sodas. Open daily 11:00 am – 10:00 pm.
It produces zany things like boozy milk shakes: e.g. house-made custard in a shake infused with caramel flavored vodka, whipped cream, and dressed with crumbled cinnamon sugar potato chips, or The Oreo and Amaretto Shake, or The Vanilla Porter & Custard Shake.
A local firm owned by Bobby Skibell has been doing something like this. Wild Burger Grille http://wildburgergrille.com/ is located at 3515 50th Street.
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“Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” Albert Einstein.

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Public Art at Texas Tech – new or recent art

Aaron T. Stephan, Portland Maine “Variation” http://www.aarontstephan.com at Bayer Crop Science Laboratory and Greenhouse on 9th Street and Indiana Avenue. Will be installed March 2015.

Counterpoint Studio: Peter Tonningsen and Lisa Levine, Oakland California “Bridging Localities” photo-collage mosaic at entrance to Jerry S. Rawls Golf Course at Texas Tech Parkway north of 4th Street south of Erskine Street. This mosaic is on their Facebook page on the Internet. https://www.lensculture.com/ptonningsen It is not photos alongside others but under-laid overlaid and superimposed so there is some abstraction to the piece. Installed August 2014. http://www.lisalevinephoto.com/ and http://www.petertonningsen.com/movie.html

Robert Bruno sculpture that is a piece made to go into the Steel House in Ransom Canyon, is presently located at E. 66th Street and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard northeast corner, and has been purchased by Texas Tech University and will be installed in November 2014 in front of the College of Architecture Building at 18th Street and Flint Avenue. http://www.robertbruno.com It will be a sight to watch this large piece be trucked slowly by police escort across town to campus and positioned on site.

“Texas Rising” at West Village Residential Hall by Tucson artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock http://www.jbpublicart.com/ is seven multidimensional stars or portions of stars in stainless steel with laser cut stylings imbedded with LED colored lights that are subdued during daylight and interesting, create an aura at dusk, and are dynamic and brilliant at night. They change colors by computer design and one star is interactive so the person pressing a button can have the color of his or her choice. Installed August 2014.

Astrolabe by Owen Morrel http://www.owenmorrel.com/astrolabe/ was installed in July 2014 in the courtyard of the Experimental Sciences Building. It’s a metaphoric structure, an extrapolation from the historic astrolabe used by travelers 800 years ago. Stainless steel, mirrors, aluminum, concrete. Access it by parking in the Biology parking lot at 14th Street and Detroit Avenue. Go into Texas Tech at 15th Street and Flint Avenue travel east on 15th Street turn north on Detroit Avenue to the parking lot. Walk around the east side of the Biology building into the courtyard. Installed July 2014.

At Texas Tech University’s Autumn Fest 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday November 8, location to be announced, there will be a booth for the Public Art Collection and the new brochure cataloging the holdings will be printed by then and available free.

On Friday evening September 26 folks in Lubbock saw something unusual in the sky, causing some to speculate that Lubbock Lights is occurring again sixty years later. In fact it was a NASA Weather Balloon launched from the Fort Sumner New Mexico Municipal Airport entity Scientific Balloon Flight Facility http://stratocat.com.ar/bases/26e.htm

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Lubbock Symphony Orchestra http://www.lubbocksymphony.org/ is well-known but perhaps less appreciated than is its due, because while some of us weren’t paying attention its quality and maturity improved. It is now a musical experience that nearly everyone can enjoy, at least occasionally.

The September 26-27 Masterworks Concert was such a musical experience. The young enthusiastic musical director/conductor David In-Jae Cho chose the selections so artfully. The first set was Les Preludes, Symphonic Poem No. 1 (1854) by Franz Liszt 1811-1886 http://www.biography.com/people/franz-liszt-9383467 Hungarian composer, followed by his Piano Concerto No. 1 (1855) played by guest pianist Roman Rabinovich [two encores] http://www.romanrabinovich.net/home.html

After intermission the orchestra played Scheherazade opus 35 (1888) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov 1844-1908 a continuous 45 minute piece with hardly a pause between the four parts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scheherazade_%28Rimsky-Korsakov%29 The players and audience were both thrilled and exhausted by the musical journey depicting how Scheherazade kept herself alive and the sultan yearning to know more of the story tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Thousand_and_One_Nights

Instinctively the audience knew it was hearing often played music, part of the classical music culture of America. In fact Les Preludes, Symphonic Poem No. 1 was played by Lubbock Symphony Orchestra first on April 27, 1950 and last on February 28, 1986. The German leadership during World War II loved this work and the fanfare motif of the march finale became theme music for the Webrmachberict radio show and the Die Deutsche Wochenschau newsreels. Piano Concerto No. 1 was played by LSO first on May 6, 1949 by Amparo Iturbi pianist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amparo_Iturbi [sister of Jose Iturbi] and last on March 31, 1995 by Helene Wickett pianist http://www.wgbh.org/programs/Live-from-Fraser-Audio-276/episodes/From-Our-Studios-Pianist-Helene-Wickett-tackles-Beethoven-3825 Scheherazade was performed by LSO first on October 11, 1966 and last on November 1, 1997.

In the week before the public concerts LSO does its educational mini-concerts in the public schools to demonstrate the excitement of well-played symphonic music. Future Masterworks Concerts are October 24-25, January 16-17 2015, March 6-7, and May 1-2. Three Family concerts and three Chamber Music concerts are also presented each year. When opportunity strikes a Special Gala concert is presented, two previously were one featuring Yo Yo Ma cellist http://www.yo-yoma.com/ and the other Renee Fleming, lyric soprano http://www.reneefleming.com/

There is a Plainview Texas Symphony that will perform on Thursday October 9 at 7:30 pm in Harral Auditorium on the campus of Wayland Baptist University http://www.PvSymphony.org The Texas Tech University Symphony Orchestra will perform next on Sunday October 5 at Hemmle Recital Hall at 7:30 pm and Thursday October 30 at 7:00 pm at Hemmle Recital Hall at a Halloween Concert. The Tech concerts are free events. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/music/newsevents/calendar.asp

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CASP Charles Adams Studio Project http://www.casp-arts.org is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to the development of a campus where artists can find space and materials to produce art and display it to the public while they are developing their brand, acceptance by the art public, and financial ability to build and operate their own studio elsewhere. It might be called an incubator. LHUCA http://www.lhuca.org operates a Clay Studio directly east of the LHUCA main building at 511 Avenue K. The other studios are operated by CASP. The 5th & J Studios are located in a former City Police Garage http://www.ffat.org/5thandJ.html on 5th Street between Avenues J and K. They face south on 5th Street. From the westerly most studio to the east there are five doors and separate activities:

1. Helen DeVitt Jones Printmaking Studio
2. Texas Tech University School of Art Satellite Gallery
3. 5th & J Gallery used as an event center/gallery
4. Office for 5th & J Studios 1106 5th Street phone 788-1008
5. CH Foundation Metals Studio

For a small fee payable on a daily weekly or longer basis, an amateur or hobbyist or budding professional artist can access any studio pertinent to his/her type of art-making and find the materials tools supplies equipment and machinery necessary for that art. Whatever is produced may then be displayed at the 5th & J Gallery where the public appears regularly, not just at First Friday Art Trail monthly events.

Behind this building 5th & J Studios to the north, a foundry is being built so that what is designed and produced in the Metals Studio can be turned into a permanent piece of art or product.

The Charles Adams Gallery http://www.ffat.org/CharlesAdamsGallery.html at 602 Avenue J is a private commercial art gallery operated by Charles Adams, the person, and is connected on the west to his residence. That he lives works and makes his art studios charitable contributions to the community all within this area of several city blocks adjacent to and cooperating with LHUCA, is an example of his dedication and vision. CASP built four Studio Flats on Avenue J just south of the LHUCA Icehouse where an artist can reside, have his studio and display his art, all in the same location. Adams discovered that this model of building an artist activity community was very expensive and serviced too few artists and that the studio space for all-comers was a more viable option.

Addresses can be confusing in this part of town because of the presence of railroad trackage into downtown Lubbock, the merging of Texas Avenue and former Avenue H now Buddy Holly Avenue at 4th Street by an underpass relative to the overhead railroad trackage, some renaming of streets, and the presence of the new behemoth Marsha Sharp Freeway. The former 6th Street is Mac Davis Lane. The former Avenue G is Crickets Avenue, former Avenue H is Buddy Holly Avenue, and what would be Avenue I has long been Texas Avenue. The exit/entrance to/from Marsha Sharp Freeway into this Arts District is Avenue L on signage but LHUCA is on Avenue K and Charles Adams Gallery is on Avenue J.

Mahon Public Library facing south is at 1306 9th Street and is east of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. To the east of it is the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Media buildings from 7th to 9th Street. Lubbock Symphony Orchestra http://www.lubbocksymphony.org/index.php/about-lso/edu5 offices are located at 601 Avenue K across Mac Davis Lane to the south from LHUCA at 511 Avenue K. The LHUCA Christine DeVitt Icehouse is at 511 Avenue J. http://www.lhuca.org/icehouse.html

Future development will include acquisition of the property north of LHUCA Christine DeVitt Icehouse, a long-vacant LP&L power station, that is due east of the CASP 5th & J Studios. To the west across Avenues K and L is the former Texas Department of Public Safety building that may soon be replaced by The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, a project of Lubbock Entertainment / Performing Arts Association LEPAA http://lepaa.org/about/ a private fund-raising organization that would spin off or morph into an operations agency for the Hall.

Arts History Update for late September 2014

20 Sep

Arts History Update for late September 2014 by David Cummins

Those who tell us to read the classics as if we were undernourished, don’t know that many have read literary criticism articles enough to know the value to be found within many classics without trudging through Ulysses, War and Peace, Les Miserables, and others.

If you must read Les Miserables, there is an excellent English translation that even translates the title. Victor Hugo, The Wretched (transl. Christine Donougher, Penguin Books 2013) $19.04 hardcover $10.91 paperback $0.99 e-book at Amazon.com
It has footnotes, end notes, a chronology of Hugo’s life, an historical introduction of the period which is 1815 through the June Rebellion of 1832 attempting to complete the Revolution of 1789 and secure a Republic as a replacement for historical monarchy and its authoritarian equivalent Bonaparteism. The novel was published in 1862 by A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Cie. In French it was published in five volumes running to 1,900 pages. In English it is often 1,500 pages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Mis%C3%A9rables is an excellent description of what’s happening, and of the long essays within the historical novel that do not advance the plot.

Hugo 1802 – 1885 was initially a Royalist and ultimately after the 1848 Revolution a passionate supporter of Republicanism. He is buried in the Pantheon after his body lay in state at the Arc de Triomphe.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor_Hugo

His other famous novel is Our Lady of Paris (Hunchback of Notre Dame) (1831) establishing himself as a romantic prose writer, this novel was set in medieval times, after his earlier poetry that began in 1821. He studied law 1815-1818 but did not practice in the profession. He chose a literary career path and published his first book of poetry in a journal Conservateur Litteraire he had started shortly before 1821.

Following the 1848 Revolution a coup occurred in 1851 and Hugo fled France living in Brussels and Great Britain’s Channel Islands until his return in 1870. During this period of exile is when he wrote his biting social and political criticism in the form of an historical novel Les Miserables. http://www.biography.com/people/victor-hugo-9346557#synopsis

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http://www.owensvalleyhistory.com/mary_austin/page49.html Mary Hunter 1868-1934 departed Carlinville Illinois with her widowed mother and older brother for the San Joaquin Valley California in 1888 and she taught school in the Bakersfield area. In 1891 she married Stanford Wallace Austin and they moved to Lone Pine and later Independence in the Owens Valley on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. They had a mentally retarded daughter in 1892. Mary and Wallace separated in 1903 and divorced in 1914. She did not remarry. The success of The Land of Little Rain (1903) allowed her to separate and go her own way, but she was unable to manage her daughter whom she institutionalized in 1905. Mary Hunter Austin moved to Carmel California in 1906 but continued to write about the Owens Valley and its inhabitants. The Basket Woman (1904) Isidro (1905) The Flock (1906) Lost Borders (1909) A Woman of Genius (1912). She moved to New York City for a decade and later to Santa Fe New Mexico at the invitation of Mabel Dodge Luhan late in life, built a home there Casa Queridto [beloved house] and died there in 1934. The Owens Valley extends from Bishop in the north to China Lake [dry] in the south. Due west of Lone Pine is Mount Whitney and due east is Death Valley, the highest and lowest points in continental United States outside Alaska.

Mary Hunter Austin, The Land of Little Rain (Houghton Mifflin and Co 1903 often reissued) Texas Tech Library F786.A93, a 1950 reprint at 133 pages is in Lubbock Public Library 979.4 A937L http://biography.yourdictionary.com/mary-hunter-austin

Mary Hunter Austin, One Smoke Stories (Houghton Mifflin and Co 1934) stories of Indians with whom Austin interacted 294 pages Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection SWC 44 A937o. Indians included Timbisha Shoshone, Paiute Shoshone, Mono and Coso Indians. In Bishop California there is Paiute Palace Casino on US Highway 395 and Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center and Museum http://www.freewebs.com/ovpscc/

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Short List for the 2014 Man Booker Prize in Great Britain is announced on September 5 http://www.abebooks.com/blog/index.php/2014/09/05/2014-booker-prize-shortlist-announced/

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Authors attending the Texas Book Festival are announced, all 275 of them http://www.texasbookfestival.org/texas-book-festival-2014-author-lineup-announced/ October 25-26, 2014 in Austin Texas.

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Elmgreen & Dragset, Prada Marfa (2005) is a “permanent” installation art on the roadside of US Highways 67 and 90 east of Marfa Texas. It has the appearance of a small store with shoes and leather goods for sale in the style of the Italian clothier. It is not a store and the door is always locked tight. No one is ever “inside the store”. It is owned by a business in Marfa, Ballroom Marfa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prada_Marfa Texas Department of Transportation has regulations for billboards and other signage alongside state highways, classified this art piece as a billboard, and cited the owner for a violation that could be mitigated by removal. After much negotiation Ballroom Marfa came up with a plan, create an art museum on paper, lease the space on which the installation sits to the art museum, classify this museum as a one piece of art in its collection museum, and continue on. Texas Department of Transportation agreed that classified as an art museum it didn’t violate signage laws and regulations. Problem solved. http://www.texastribune.org/2014/09/12/prada-marfa-sidesteps-closure-museum-classificatio/

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Amazon.com’s disdain for literary publishing houses is no secret, but the positive side of that disdain is that Amazon.com has attempted its own publishing in digital format. A recent example that is drawing praise is Day One a weekly literary journal with a short story or similar piece and a poem that are connected by a unifying theme including an interaction conversation by the writer and poet. It’s $1.59 per month and the first thirty days of the subscription are free [four issues] and you can unsubscribe before the fifth issue and owe nothing for trying the journal http://www.amazon.com/Day-One/dp/B00FDWVIHO/ref=pd_sim_kstore_7?ie=UTF8&refRID=0AJJSVG0K5J72V6RJH0R I don’t know if a subscription gives one access to an archive of previous issues, but if it does then this would be an incredible value at 37 cents an issue for well selected, edited and matched pieces.

There are of course free ways to get the same thing, but you have to work at it. One of the writers in Day One is Justin Brouckaert. Here is a very compelling story by him Like Tiny Little Cracks (2014) http://therumpus.net/2014/03/like-tiny-little-cracks/

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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in Bentonville Arkansas November 11, 2011 designed by Moshe Safdie and founded by Alice Walton, a Wal-Mart heiress. A current exhibit State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now September 13 – January 19, 2015 reflects a nine month scouting out of artists across America who haven’t yet been recognized by the art world but are producing thrilling and dynamic pieces of art. http://stateoftheart.crystalbridges.org/ 200 works by 102 artists in this exhibit. Some of the works are available for purchase as prints, such as these eight http://www.artspace.com/partners/crystal_bridges?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Master&utm_campaign=37_CrystalBridges A number of Texas artists are in the exhibit.

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Nessia Pope, How The Grid Conquered Contemporary Art, Art Space Magazine, September 12, 2014 http://www.artspace.com/magazine/art_101/how_the_grid_conquered_contemporary_art?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Master&utm_campaign=September14_2014_editorial The cubists in France, Kazmir Malevich in Russia, and Piet Mondrian from Holland taught us that the grid is a visual structure that lies at the heart of contemporary art. We’ve been exploring that concept ever since. It can take us inside a face as in Chuck Close’s work or it can take us into abstraction and the uses of color. It can become real and gain definition by juxtaposing a grid astride an absence of anything. http://www.artspace.com/gabriel-dawe/plexus-c8

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Peter Fountain is a pianist and he will be in concert as a guest of the Texas Tech University School of Music on Thursday September 25 at 5:00 pm in Hemmle Recital Hall. Free event. http://www.depts.ttu.edu/music/newsevents/calendar.asp Remember that if you can’t attend one of these events, you can watch it on your computer monitor as it is live streamed online on the Texas Tech School of Music You Tube channel. If you have to be somewhere else and actively engaged at that hour, you can watch it after the concert is over as a past event on the Texas Tech School of Music You Tube channel.

http://www.youtube.com then click on Browse Channels then type Texas Tech School of Music then press Enter then click on Texas Tech School of Music and up comes a list of future events, presently live streamed events, and past events. One of the future events is Peter Fountain’s concert on September 25. A past event is TTU Annual Summer Jazz Concert one hour 28 minutes in length recorded on June 30, 2014. Click on it to test how the channel appears on your computer monitor and how well your computer speakers emit the sound. In the lower right of the video click on the expansion button and the video will fill your entire monitor. Press the Escape button upper left on your keyboard and the video will return to a smaller part of your monitor.

One prefers to attend School of Music events in person but when you can’t, you can watch it live on the live streaming option at You Tube channel. When an event is missed, you can watch it afterward on the You Tube channel.

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Want to know more about ISIS the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? The Torch is The Great Courses Audio Podcasts Service and episode 20 in September 2014 is ISIS: A Cultural and Historical Perspective by Mark Berkson, Ph.D. Professor of Religion and Chair of Religious Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts, Hamline University, St Paul Minnesota. The podcast is 24 minutes in length http://www.thegreatcourses.com/podcast?id=40762237&ai=104169&sa=FW&cm_mmc=email-_-ISISPodcastAct20140915-_-body-_-maintext&cmp=email

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A reader of these Updates said that I am repeatedly guilty of optimism, to which I can only say that optimism is a choice. It is an attitude that is as spiritually necessary and proper as it is intellectually suspect.

We can write and think about the way things are, or we can essentially say the same thing by writing and thinking about the way things might be. The description isn’t different, there is however a dynamic introduced because we realize things as they are can get better or worse. Why not choose better?

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An exhibit Virginia Woolf: Art Life and Vision is at the National Portrait Gallery in London July 10 to October 16, 2014. http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/virginiawoolf/home.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_Woolf a prose stylist, she wrote as no one else of her time. At first folks were shocked. Then they realized the story was well told. Then they were liberated to tell their own stories. She took conventional and conforming out of the language of literature, making it first an option and then simply boring by comparison. She found A Room of Her Own and invited us to do so also.

Leslie and Julia Stephen were parents of a second daughter Virginia in 1882

1895 – mother Julia died. Virginia was age 13

1904 – father Leslie died. Virginia was age 22. F.W. Maitland, The Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen (1906) a biography

1904 – Virginia Stephen and her siblings moved from Kensington to Bloomsbury.

1907 – Virginia’s older sister Vanessa, a painter, married Clive Bell

1912 – Virginia married Leonard Woolf

1917 – Virginia and Leonard founded Hogarth Press that declined the opportunity to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses but published T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland

Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out (1915) her first novel and Night and Day (1919) her second and Jacob’s Room (1922) her third and Mrs. Dalloway (1925) her fourth

The Mark On the Wall, Two Stories (Hogarth Press 1917) short story

Virginia Woolf, Modern Novels, London Times Literary Supplement (1919) essay that was revised and reprinted in The Common Reader (1925 many later editions) and Three Guineas (1938) essay relative to the Spanish Civil War after Virginia’s nephew Julian Bell was killed fighting on the Republican side in 1937.

Hitler’s Black Book included a list of Brits who would be taken into custody after Germany seized London # 115 was Leonard Woolf # 116 was Virginia Woolf

Between The Acts (1941 but first published posthumously) her last novel

In early 1941 she began hearing voices and thought she was not just having another nervous breakdown, but was losing sanity. She wrote parting notes to her sister Vanessa and husband Leonard and she walked to the River Ouse in Sussex near Lewes on March 28, 1941, left her walking stick on the bank, and at age 59 strode into the river until its thread swept her away and she drowned.

British literary people have never gotten over this lady. A bronze bust of Woolf was erected in Tavistock Square in London England in 2004.

It was because she was inadequately treated by physicians, into which was read speculation about the inadequacy of medical care, physicians treating her as a man and dismissing her “female” maladies, misunderstanding eccentricity and otherness for illness and vice versa, that one speculator wrote a book whose title is as often recalled as anything else about Virginia …. Irene Coates, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: A Case Study for the Sanity of Virginia Woolf (Brandl & Schlesinger 1998)

Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962 play) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (movie black and white 1966 director Mike Nichols starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis, often regarded as a classic, two of the stars Taylor and Dennis receiving Academy Award Oscars but as Best Picture it was unchosen in favor of A Man For All Seasons)

If we have demons, and are afraid of them, we are Virginia Woolf and she told us about herself and us. We are sometimes uncomfortable seeing ourselves depicted in art, especially in a public place. Much easier to read a book, in private, and share in our imagination only with a deceased author whose imagination remains alive on the page.

Texas Tech Library has 80 entries under her name as an author.

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West Texas Watercolor Society’s Fall Art Exhibit is September 19 – November 2, 2014 at Legacy Event Center YWCA of Lubbock 1500 14th Street. https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Legacy-Event-Center-YWCA-of-Lubbock/122631744548375 Also showing are oil paintings by Laura Lewis, jewelry by Linda Adkins, and Remembrance and Renewal photographs by Ann McDonald. http://wtws.org/current-events/ The juror is Julie Schumer Santa Fe New Mexico abstract expressionist. http://www.julieschumer.com/ The Center is open Mon-Fri 9:00 – 5:00 pm and for select evening events.

The website is not currently operational http://www.legacylubbock.com

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Museum of the Desert Southwest at 409 South Gaston Street in Crane Texas will dedicate a new mural painted by Stylle Read titled Overland Mail Route Stagecoach at Horsehead Crossing (2014) http://www.cranehistory.org/main/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5&Itemid=5 at 10:00 am Saturday September 27, 2014. For more information about this event e-mail craneccc@sbcglobal.net or phone 432-558-2311.

Here’s Read’s website at which you can see that he has experience painting a stagecoach http://www.stylleread.com

Crane is south of Odessa on US Highway 385 travel south to McCamey and then southwest to Girvin and then onto Texas SH Farm Road 11 travel northwest 12 miles and trek a mile east [by permission on this private land] to the Pecos River, the border between Pecos County to the west and Crane County to the east, and you’re at Horsehead Crossing over the Pecos River, so famous in history including the Overland Mail Route that extended from St Louis Missouri all the way to Los Angeles and then up to San Francisco its terminus. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfield_Overland_Mail_in_Texas When the mail route mentions Franklin Texas, that’s an old name for El Paso the mid point between St Louis and Los Angeles. On August 1, 1859 a ferry was installed at Horsehead Crossing to take the stagecoach across. This was a federal government mail service so the Civil War interrupted the operation in 1861. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving followed the route to Horsehead Crossing in 1866 after the War and across the Pecos River and then went north on the west side of the Pecos toward their Colorado destination, the Goodnight Loving Cattle Trail. Yes, this circuitous route from North Texas to southern Colorado was all about avoiding Comancheria, the land of the Lords of the Plains who fearsomely stole the Anglo’s cattle and horses and went back to the tipi with scalps. Once the Comanche were safely ensconced on an Indian Territory reservation [Oklahoma] a railroad line would be built in the 1880s directly from Fort Worth to Amarillo to southern Colorado and finally to Denver.

The name “horsehead” derives from the many horse skulls placed on the bank as a warning to travelers that it may be the best place to cross, but many horses had been lost in the attempt. From 1839 – 1850 travelers and Army surveyors mapped the Crossing and Henry Skillman drove the Butterfield Overland Mail across in the 1850s. http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/rih01

Between Fort Chadbourne http://www.fortchadbourne.org/ and Horsehead Crossing was a “desert” so there were water stations on the Overland Mail Route, from east to west at Colorado River Station, Grape Creek Station, Head of Concho Station, Camp Johnston Station, Llano Estacado Station, Mustang Waterholes Station, and Horsehead Crossing Station. Fort Chadbourne is in the process of being restored and is on US Highway 277 northeast of Bronte that is on the Colorado River as it flows southeast. At each station fresh horses [mules were often used] would be hitched, food was prepared in advance for the expected drivers and passengers, and an emergency water cask would be replaced. From Preston Texas near Lake Texoma to El Paso would take seven days, twenty-seven to get to San Francisco from St Louis. Freight, mail and passengers was a needed service and $200 would buy passage of one person from St Louis to San Francisco. http://www.brontetexas.org/articles/view/23

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The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014) is a seven part made for television documentary film by Ken Burns focused on Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt http://www.pbs.org/kenburns/the-roosevelts/
Part # 1 Get Action 1858-1901 Part # 2 In The Arena 1901-1910 Part # 3 Fire of Life 1910-1919 Part # 4 The Storm 1920-1933 Part #5 The Rising Road 1933-1939 Part # 6 Common Cause 1939-1944 Part 7 A Strong and Active Faith 1944-1962.

For a time, at the web site, you may watch the full series of episodes on your computer monitor or downloaded into your television set or tablet or smart phone. Eleanor was Teddy’s niece, and Franklin his fifth cousin. The film has a companion book by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns hardcover 576 pages with marvelous pictures $60 at the website $37.82 Amazon.com $18.99 e-book

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Arts History Update for mid September 2014

7 Sep

Arts History Update for mid September 2014 by David Cummins

Texas Rising (2014) by Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock http://creativemachines.com/sculpture/texas-rising was dedicated on August 29, 2014 at the West Village Residential Hall west and south of Texas Tech Parkway at 18th Street. O’Connell’s website is http://www.creativemachines.com and Blessing Hancock’s website is http://www.blessinghancock.com/ but they collaborate on public art projects http://www.jbpublicart.com/ including one in San Antonio under a freeway Ballroom Luminoso (2013) , another in San Marcos on the campus of Texas State University Fish Bellies (2013) and one in The Woodlands Texas north of Houston Seedpods (2011). Their separate studios are in Tuscon Arizona.

It consists of seven multi-dimensional star sculptures laser-cut in stainless steel and etched patterns that are not graphics. Four stars are partially formed on the ground and the largest in front of the main entrance to the Residence Hall is 18 feet tall and 21 feet wide and fully formed on top of the ground. Two stars are hanging in portals ten feet above a walking area. The stars on the ground are illuminated from within by LED lights that gradually change colors and are dramatic in the evening. The largest fully formed star’s lights are interactive so people can press a button and interrupt the computerized lighting program and cause shifts to whatever color the controller wishes. The lights and colors from within five stars are interesting and subtle during daylight, but once dusk arrives they take on an aura, and at dark they are a dynamic and dramatic display. Better yet, residents of the Hall say that when viewed from above on the second third or fourth floors of the Hall, the stars are especially dramatic.

The moorings for the five stars on the ground, are hidden from view underground in reinforced concrete pads using steel reinforcing bars (rebar). Concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension so the steel bars supply the tensile strength.

West Village Residential Hall is an upperclasswomen and men and graduate student residence.

Here is the brochure of commissions that O’Connell and Hancock have performed http://www.jbpublicart.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/OConnell_Hancock_Brochure_V2_Spread.pdf

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El Grito or El Grito de Dolores “The Cry” or “The Shout” by father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a parish priest in Dolores Mexico on September 16, 1810, recalls that he rang the parish bell and called on Mexicans to rise against the Spanish crown and fight for independence. That was achieved by a long struggle in 1821. Many people celebrate El Grito on September 15 by ringing bells and shouting, and celebrate Mexican Independence Day as September 16. At Texas Tech University El Grito will be celebrated in the evening of September 15 at 9:45 – 11:00 pm in the Texas Tech North Plaza between the Student Union Building and the Main Library.

Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Costa Rica all celebrate their independence from Spain on either September 15 or 16 so Central American independence celebrations are often aligned with Mexican independence celebrations.

In Lubbock there is often a Fiestas Patrias Parade and Celebration on a weekend in mid-September. http://www.fiestasdelllanolubbock.org/fiesta is the schedule this year beginning Thursday September 11 ending Sunday September 14 with a pageant at Estacado High School on Thursday evening at 7:30 pm $5, a parade on Saturday morning at 10:00 am on Broadway Street and Avenue V marching east to the Civic Center, and musical events on Friday Saturday and Sunday at Lone Star Amphitheater 602 E. 19th Street. All are welcome to participate.

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Michael Singer Studio in Vermont is the artist for Uplifted Ground that connects the airline terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at Austin Texas with a new building for renting cars to travelers. In essence the space is a 300 foot walkway through a current parking building to the new car rental building http://www.michaelsinger.com/project-category/on-the-boards/ It’s a $1.6 million public art project. A suspended and grounded series of plinths referencing natural geological formations, at different sizes for the cubes, provide the traveler with the feeling of an uplift as one walks forward. A public bond issue is financing the construction of the new building and this public art project.

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Upcoming book festivals are:

14th Annual West Texas Book Festival in Abilene September 22-27 http://www.abilenetx.com/apl/bookfest.html

Books in the Basin in Midland and Odessa October 10-11 http://www.booksinthebasin.com/

Texas Book Festival in Austin October 24-26 http://www.texasbookfestival.org/festival-intro-page/

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Cher is coming to Lubbock in her nationwide Dressed To Kill Tour or D2K Sunday November 9 at 7:30 pm at United Supermarkets Arena [formerly known as United Spirit Arena]. She was last here on February 7, 2003 at the same venue performing to a sold out crowd for her Living Proof Farewell Tour. Tickets went on sale Friday September 5 at 10:00 am at $152 for the best seat through Select A Seat. http://tour.cher.com/ pre-sale online at this web site one day early on September 4.

Her 25th CD Album is Closer To The Truth (2013) so you can purchase it for $14 and hear her but not see her, the costumes, and extravaganza on offer in November. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Closer_to_the_Truth_(Cher_album)

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An exhibit Texas Moderns: George Grammer is at The Old Jail Art Center in Albany Texas September 20 – January 4, 2015. http://www.theoldjailartcenter.org/exhibitions/view/473/ The website displays Grammer’s Off Shore (1953) a blend of Cubist, American and Italian Futurist, and Surrealist abstraction. He is a Fort Worth Circle artist post World War II. http://www.daviddike.com/artists/135-grammer-george.html Here is Gull Roost (1951) http://www.invaluable.com/auction-lot/george-grammer-b.-1928-350-c-bjp16yri6p and here is Oil Wells at Night http://www.antiquesandfineart.com/articles/article.cfm?request=827 and Winter Night (Derrick in the Snow) (1959) http://www.russelltether.com/Artwork-Detail.cfm?ArtistsID=655&NewID=3589 Here is a biography of Grammer living for the past forty years in New York http://www.russelltether.com/Artist-Info.cfm?ArtistsID=655

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In this election year we’ve all been listening to candidates and their advertisements. One of the themes in Texas is “border security” heightened by Governor Perry’s recent deployment of Army National Guard troops to the border in the Rio Grande Valley. This of course is a federal issue not a state issue so one wonders why state legislature candidates are talking about it so much.

Maybe singing would be better. Butch Hancock wrote Borderless Love and the Flatlanders sang it on their album Hills and Valleys (2009). It says a great deal for me about “border security”. Here is a three minute video of the Flatlanders singing it http://www.musictory.com/music/Flatlanders/Borderless+Love the first time at Waterloo Records in Austin. Here is another event at which they sang it in DFW http://www.musictory.com/music/Flatlanders/Borderless+Love and here are the lyrics http://www.lyricsmania.com/borderless_love_lyrics_flatlanders.html including

A wall is a mirror that can only reveal
One side of a story that passes for real
But break it all down, it all becomes clear
It’s the fearless who love and the loveless who fear

Borderless love, the land of the free
Borderless love, how far can you see?
Borderless love, there’s no fear at all
In a borderless love there’s no need for a wall

I’m a fan of the Flatlanders Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock and they are in Lubbock Friday September 26 at the Cactus Theater at 7:30 pm $35 for a seat. The Cactus opened as a suburban style movie theater and operated for twenty years 1938-1958 then lay dormant, and was renovated by Don Caldwell Entertainment in 1993 as a live performance venue. It is on the National Register of Historic Places since May 8, 1998 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Register_of_Historic_Places_listings_in_Lubbock_County,_Texas

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Robert Vijay Gupta made his violinist debut at age 11 with the Israel Philharmonic. He is now an adult age 26 and virtuoso violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He is passionate about music and despairs at how music education is only sparingly available to the masses. He will be in Lubbock on Thursday September 18 and will speak on Why Music Education Is Essential at the International Cultural Center Auditorium at 6:00 pm. A free event. Public invited.

Gupta is a passionate and dedicated advocate for the presence of music in ostracized communities. He founded and serves as Artistic Director for Street Symphony, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing free, live music to men, women and youth living in homelessness and incarceration. A gifted spokesperson for human and mental health advocacy through a musical medium, Gupta is a TED Speaker, and a 2011 TED Senior Fellow. http://www.ted.com/speakers/robert_gupta

Not familiar with TED? The verb ted means to turn over and spread out. The organization was founded in 1984 and is currently managed by the Sapling Foundation as TED Ideas Worth Spreading and features a wide array of short videos on matters not currently known by large numbers of people. http://www.ted.com TED is basically a platform for spreading out ideas across the planet.

Gupta next appears in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on October 28 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

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Virginia Quilt Museum is in Harrisonburg Virginia in the Shenandoah Mountains http://www.vaquiltmuseum.org/ near James Madison University http://www.jmu.edu/ Eastern Mennonite University http://www.emu.edu/ Massanutten Resort http://www.massresort.com/ Grand Caverns http://www.grandcaverns.com and Skyline Drive http://www.visitskylinedrive.org/Plan-Your-Visit/Map.aspx It’s just a couple of blocks south of Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint. It’s 61 miles west of Charlo
ttesville Virginia and to the west of Harrisonburg is West Virginia and rugged country. The exhibits are unusual and cultural including an exhibit Men Who Quilt http://www.vaquiltmuseum.org/exhibits/current-exhibits/ and bring their engineering aptitude to the art form http://manquilters.ning.com/

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Arts History Update for early September 2014

29 Aug

Arts History Update for early September 2014 by David Cummins

Pieces of public art selected for health care facilities are not chosen casually or idiosyncratically. Laura Landro, More Hospitals Use the Healing Powers of Public Art, The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2014 http://online.wsj.com/articles/more-hospitals-use-the-healing-powers-of-public-art-1408404629#printMode

Aaron T. Stephan, Paths Crossed (2013) is a series of six wooden undulating spiral and intertwined ladders suspended from the two story ceiling in the entryway of the recently opened Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis Indiana. Stephan is a graduate of the Maine College of Art in Portland Maine. http://aarontstephan.com/resume

The Cleveland Clinic has an extensive collection of contemporary art and has done a study of how its patients and their caregivers react and interact with the art. https://www.herdjournal.com/article/hospitals-contemporary-art-collection-effects-patient-mood-stress-comfort-and-expectations Meghana Karnik et al., A Hospital’s Contemporary Art Collection: Effects on Patient Mood, Stress, Comfort, and Expectations, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, April 27, 2014. Mike Kelley # 1 by Jennifer Steinkamp http://jsteinkamp.com/html/art_documentation.htm is a digital projection of a deciduous tree as it cycles through seasons and has drawn very positive reactions. Some pieces are straightforward abstractions such as Dissolving the Hardness of Ego (2007) by Jennifer Nocon, a textile showing itself wound tightly and then unwinding into a cornucopia shape. http://museoblogger.blogspot.com/2011/02/are-hospitals-becoming-new-museums.html shows many of the Cleveland Clinic pieces as well as those at other hospitals. Others are at http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/article/world-class-art-world-class-clinic

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The annual Texas Tech University School of Art Faculty (really all instructional staff) Art Exhibition is now up at Landmark Art Gallery at the School of Art 18th Street east of Flint Avenue through September 21. It’s comprised of new work by the faculty and instructors in a variety of media. Past exhibitions have been amazing and instill in us a respect and admiration for the artists, and provide for us an insight into what these artists may be imparting to their students in classrooms and studios.

The School of Art need not put in graphics or brochures or publications “how good we are”; it’s on view in the annual exhibition. We’re shown the level of excellence by what instructors produce as art.

The opening, and as far as I know only, reception is Friday September 5 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm and in most years several artists are present. They enjoy how we interact with their pieces so it’s a win win situation.

The annual Master of Fine Arts Candidates Group Show exhibit is in the nearby Studio Gallery through September 28. The other galleries in the building are the SRO Photo Gallery and the Folio Gallery, and there is an off-site Satellite Gallery at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in the CASP Charles Adams Studio Projects building at 5th Street and Avenue J.

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Texas Historical Commission leads a free Cold War Oral History Training Workshop “When the Lone Star State Met The Iron Curtain: Recollections of Texas in the Cold War” at Fort Wolters Training Center in Mineral Wells Texas Saturday September 13 from 9:00 am to noon. The workshop is for learning how to conduct and record oral histories and includes hands-on training with digital and video recording equipment. Call 512-463-5833 to register. http://www.thc.state.tx.us Depending on your route, Mineral Wells is about 4 hours 15 minutes, a drive 260 miles east of Lubbock.

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Billy Joe Shaver, Long In The Tooth (CD Lightning Rod Records August 5, 2014 release) is ten songs 32 minutes of delightful singing, outlaw cowboy country style, by the septuagenarian $11.19 at Amazon.com $11.68 at CD Universe.
http://www.billyjoeshaver.com/bio.htm Admired by many as a songwriter of excellence, he sings his own tunes Old Five and Dimers Like Me (1973), http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/billy_joe_shaver/old_five_and_dimers_like_me.html Fit To Kill and Going Out of Style, Black Rose, http://www.justsomelyrics.com/2345705/billy-joe-shaver-black-rose-lyrics.html including a memorable phrase “the devil made me do it the first time; the second time I done it on my own” and Played the Game Too Long. Waylon Jennings’s album Honky Tonk Heroes was chock full of Billy Joe’s songs, eleven of them to be specific, and some will say this album was the best of Jennings career and indeed the best country music album of all time. Billy’s poetic verbiage, obvious sentiment, and bad-ass attitude was a pure refreshment. Waylon’s voice and style made it unique. http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/billy_joe_shaver/ You Tube has a video of Billy Joe singing Old Five and Dimers Like Me eleven years later in 1984 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoiuwUa9oZs

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Tim Cole Memorial bronze statuary by Eddie Dixon, Lubbock sculptor, is being installed and will be dedicated on Wednesday September 17 at 2:00 pm at the public pocket park at 19th Street and University Avenue southwest corner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cole Cole was charged with the rape of Michelle Mallin in 1985 and was convicted on her testimony identifying him as her assailant. He died in prison in 1999 still proclaiming his innocence. Another prisoner confessed to the crime and DNA evidence proved that Cole could not have been her assailant. By 2009 his conviction was legally overturned and he received a gubernatorial exoneration, not a pardon for a committed offense, but an exoneration for not having committed an offense. Kevin Glasheen, lawyer, paid $25,000 to commission the statuary and the City of Lubbock is supplying the public space. It will be a permanent reminder that our law enforcement and criminal prosecution system is operated by humans and when an error is committed it is devastating. A justice system can occasionally produce injustice.

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A possible California Dreaming World Series in major league baseball looks less likely now that the San Francisco Giants have fallen 5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Oakland is only ½ game back of the Los Angeles Angels. A freeway series is still possible and a California Civil War north south series is also possible, but we can cancel out the Bay Bridge Series due to the slumping Giants.

Yes, the Texas Rangers have the worst record in major league baseball this season and are 26 games back of the Angels. Did we need to mention that? Still, they have won 39% of their games and are poor only by comparison. They were in the top echelon a short time ago and will be again, we hope.

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2014 is the centenary of the commencement of The Great War that convulsed Europe 1914-1918 and, when the second World War began, The Great War was renamed as World War I. This year and last we have seen a spate of new books about World War I addressing it from a number of perspectives.

Here is a top 12 list of books http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/worldwar1/tp/tpww1.htm

An example of a fascinating book is John Lewis-Stempel, The War Behind the Wire: The life, death and glory of British Prisoners of War, 1914-1918 (Weidenfeld and Nicholson 2013) ABE Books new $26.74 in which we learn that the German military incarcerating these prisoners was less attuned to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Conventions_of_1899_and_1907 and their humanitarian values relative to prisoners, and more animated by the Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege (The Usage of War on Land) that allowed for killing of POWs. It had been written as a manual in 1902 by the German Army general staff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriegsbrauch_im_Landkriege This explains why there was so much brutality, death by communicable diseases that could easily have been treated and cured, and death by starvation. It also explains why there were so many attempted escapes and a few notable successes. John N. Horne & Alan Kramer, German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial (Yale University Press 2001) Texas Tech Library D626.G3 H67 ABE Books good condition $19.94 incl s&h

Another book is Helen Rappaport, The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra (St Martin’s Press 2014) Texas Tech Library DK258.6 R374 Lubbock Public Library 947.0830922 ROMA in which we learn a good deal about Alexandra the wife of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and mother of these four young women whose individual titles was Grand Duchess. In order of age they were Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. Empress
Alexandra was sick and abed for years throughout the lives of her daughters and hemophiliac son Alexei although she controlled them from her chamber, and she brought in and fell under the thrall of Rasputin who enjoys a reputation as a reprobate and religious maverick in the Western mind. If we realize that Alexandra was a German duchy princess and a Lutheran by birth and training and had a hard time formally converting to Russian Orthodoxy, it is much more understandable that she might have brought in Grigori Rasputin who was able to provide a syncretistic blend of Russian Orthodoxy and Alexandra’s Lutheranism to assist her in dealing with her many afflictions and troubles.

Nicholas II of Russia, literally Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias from 1894-1917 was known in history as Tsar but Tsardom was nominally ended in 1721. Nicholas came to the throne in Russia from his roots in Germany at the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov and was a cousin of Queen Victoria of Great Britain [House of Hanover 1714-1901] and her husband Prince Albert [House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 1901 to the present, with a changing of the name to House of Windsor in 1917 during The Great War so that Great Britain could be comfortably at war with Germans even though the British King had an obvious German origin and ancestry]

The lives of Nicholas II, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei ended by execution during internal exile at Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918 at the hands of the victorious Bolsheviks.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_II_of_Russia

The waterless moat, all 16 acres of it, around the Tower of London is being filled between August 1 and November 11 with ceramic red poppies fashioned by Paul Cummins Ceramics http://www.paulcumminsceramics.com/poppies-to-fill-tower-of-london-moat-in-first-world-war-commemoration/ A dead soldier from Chesterfield wrote in his battlefield holographic will at Flanders “the blood-swept lands and sea of red, where angels fear to tread” and that sea of red is now a sea of red ceramic poppies in London. A total of 888,246 will be planted, one for each British or Commonwealth country fatality during the War. After November 11, Armistice Day in Great Britain and Veterans Day in the United States, the poppies will be removed and sold with proceeds to charitable organizations. Here is a video of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and his brother, Prince Harry, each planting a ceremonial poppy http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/08/05/red_ceramic_poppies_spill_from_tower_of_london_on_100th_anniversary_of_wwi.html

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Arts History Lecture Series begins Friday September 12 through Friday December 5, 2014 with coffee goodies and informal conversation from 10:30 am and the lectures begin at 11:00 am with departure promptly at noon. Meet in the Texas Tech University Museum Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court and repair to the Jones Auditorium for the lectures; 3301 4th Street is the Museum address but enter the Sculpture Court through the west doors on Indiana Avenue. The topic this semester is Impressionism, the first distinctly modern art movement and style of painting appearing in Paris France about 1870. It was adopted by a number of American painters and there are countless American examples of Impressionism. The lecturers are Dr. Christian Conrad and Dr. Michelle Kraft. The cost is $40 for the entire semester or $7 per session attended, and the first two lectures on September 12 and 19 are free to encourage persons to attend for the first time and sample the experience. Parking at both the 4th Street and Indiana Avenue parking lots is free as is admission to the Museum. The west entrance to the Museum is graced by a magnificent sculpture Landmark (2001) by Horace Farlowe, a North Carolina sculptor, in Texas pink granite and finely polished to a smooth finish.

The Lecture Series will resume in Spring semester Friday mornings January 9 through April 3, 2015 although the topic has not yet been announced for that semester. This popular program of the Museum of Texas Texas University Association, Jouana Stravlo, Executive Director, began with lectures by Rabbi Alexander Stanley Kline in the 1960s http://www.mottua.org more information by phone at 806-742-2443

Arts History Update for late August 2014

20 Aug

Arts History Update for late August 2014 by David Cummins

Friday evening August 29 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm is the ribbon cutting and formal acceptance of the new public art installed at the West Village Residence Hall on the Texas Tech University campus 19th Street west of Indiana Avenue and Texas Tech Parkway. The several sculptures in the courtyard at the entrance to the Hall are called Texas Rising (2014) by Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock, Tuscon Arizona artists. They are lighted from within so will create quite a light show for residents of the Hall and their visitors and friends. This is a free for the public event and the artists will be present to interact with patrons of the art, us.

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Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage (transl. Philip Gabriel, Alfred A. Knopf 2014) is a much anticipated novel after his wildly successful The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (transl. Jay Rubin, Alfred A. Knopf 1997) and later works. In its first week in Japanese book stores it sold one million copies. We’ve all read “coming of age novels” but this is a “not coming of age novel” and most revealing of life anywhere in a dense urban landscape. Artfully reviewed at Patti Smith, Deep Chords, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, August 10, 2014.

Lubbock Public Library has The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997), Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche (2001), After The Quake: Stories (2002) [in 1995 the Kobe earthquake occurred in January killing thousands, and in March the poison gas attacks occurred on Tokyo subways frightening the populace, so Murakami writes about the aftermath], Kafka On the Shore (2005) Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: Stories (2006) ABE Books good condition $6.98, After Dark (2007), and 1Q84 (2011) (an ode to George Orwell’s 1984 but a caution at 925 pages).

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is 611 pages and Colorless Tsukuru is 386 pages “The new novel–a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan–from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84 –
Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages. -”

Texas Tech Library has The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche, After The Quake: Stories, Kafka on the Shore, and 1Q84. It also has What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir (2008) 179 pages [he is a long distance runner including 26.2 mile marathons] ABE Books good condition $4.99 and Vintage Murakami (2004) 182 pages his selection from his writings ABE Books good condition $3.48

Neither has Norwegian Wood: A Novel (1987 in Japan, transl. Jay Rubin, Vintage International 2000) adapted into a movie Norwegian Wood (2010, with English subtitles 2011). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neK1yJAWyYs An earlier movie Tony Takitani (2004) was taken from Murakami’s short story by that name.

Matthew C. Strecher, The 10 Best Haruki Murakami Books, Publishers Weekly August 8, 2014, reveals as it describes Murakami’s social deconstruction of an economic phenomenon Japan Incorporated, whereby the novels interrogate advanced capitalism highlighting its tendency to commodify and sell anything, nearly everything, including basic human relationships.

Murakami blends the surreal with hard-boiled deadpan comedy, and delicate introspection by his characters. He is age 65 and considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Danh Vo is a Vietnamese-American sculptor who has an exhibit We The People http://www.publicartfund.org/view/exhibitions/6042_danh_vo_we_the_people at both New York City’s City Hall Park and at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The former is http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/08/arts/design/outdoor-sculpture-and-more-in-the-new-york-region.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=Moth-Visible&module=inside-nyt-region&_r=0 recognizable as a portion of the flame in the Statue of Liberty torch, rendered in copper, and the latter is http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/places/public-art#dahn recognizable as the draped sleeve of the Statue of Liberty’s right arm, again rendered in copper, and a great photo opportunity for a selfie.

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Texas Legislature House of Representatives District # 83 is a vacant seat since Representative Charles Perry withdrew his filing for re-election and filed to run for an open Texas Legislature Senate seat. At a Republican Party candidate forum http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/news/local/story/House-District-83-republican-candidates-meet-in/6ouYNfyBw06A-pWDHB4uBA.cspx each of the candidates announced that s/he is against the federal government and would scale it back in size and strength. Why is this an issue in a state representative position and what does this attitude signify as a mind-set of those candidates? The Republican Party county and voting precinct chairs will elect one of those six whose name will appear on the Tuesday November 4 general election ballot, but other disappointed candidates might launch a write-in ballot candidacy. No Democrat filed for this seat in the Spring so unless there is a write-in ballot candidacy by a Democrat the Republican Party designated candidate on the ballot will be the likely winner of the seat and become one of 150 members of the 2015 Texas House of Representatives.

There is a special election on September 9 to fill the open Texas State Senate District 28 seat and unexpired term, occasioned by Robert Duncan’s resignation from the Senate to become Chancellor of Texas Tech University System. The filed candidates are:

Jody Arrington, Lubbock, Republican
Delwin Jones, Lubbock, Republican
Charles Perry, Lubbock, Republican
Epi Garza, Wolfforth, Republican
Greg Wortham, Sweetwater, Democrat
Kerry McKennon, Petersburg, Libertarian

Early voting is available August 25 – September 5 with the exception of Labor Day Monday September 1 http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/d28-candidates.shtml Should there be a runoff election, if the top vote-getter does not have 50% plus one vote, Governor Perry will set the runoff election date but it likely would be November 4 the general election day. Election day locations on September 9 in Lubbock County http://www.votelubbock.org/election-information/election-day-information/ are identified at this website. Early voting locations http://www.votelubbock.org/election-information/early-voting-information/ on a daily basis are identified at this website.

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Local growers, producers and restaurants come together for the 5th annual Great Harvest Marketplace. The event offers complimentary samples of a variety of local food, wine and beer. McPherson Cellars will be pouring wine. Guests receive a punch card with 15 opportunities for free tastings from 24 local venues including food wine and beer.

A representative for the Lubbock Restaurant Association said the purpose of the event is to expose the variety and quality of local food and drink. A chef will demonstrate cooking styles for Texas Gulf shrimp [local has an expansive definition sometimes]. At the previous year’s event there was live music as well.

The event is hosted at Bayer Museum of Agriculture 1121 Canyon Lake Drive in Mackenzie Park from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Thursday August 28. Free event but a $10 donation is suggested.

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Non-degree seeking students at Texas Tech, including you, may register free on the e-learning portal and then select the course or courses you wish to take online
http://www.depts.ttu.edu/elearning/non-degree-seeking/ Costs for enrollment vary. Some universities like Arizona State University at Tempe have committed to having their entire curriculum available online so theoretically one could never physically be in Tempe and still graduate.

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The Blue Inside by Peter Mangan is the latest Art on the Llano Project installation on the median adjacent to the on ramp for South Loop 289 eastbound frontage road at Quaker Avenue. It is similar to Mangan’s Gemini Song at the Benini Foundation Galleries and Sculpture Ranch at Johnson City Texas in the Hill Country
http://sculptureranch.com/sculptor-mangan-hc-gemini.htm and is described as an untreated, already oxidized stainless steal silhouette frame of two humans male and female with three contrasting copper bands to contain the outline of those figures. All framing bands have two, three or four squares of blue-tinged translucent glass hanging from them. The glass is not noticed when one is exactly perpendicular to the sculpture but is on display from all other angles. http://www.petermangan.com The artist resides and has a studio in both Blanco Texas and San Francisco California.

The sculpture stands atop a two feet similar steel pediment to raise the sculpture to a height necessary for it to be appreciated by vehicular traffic at the intersection. There is little pedestrian traffic at that location but I parked in Doc’s Liquor Store parking lot and walked across the ramp to the median and closely inspected the piece.

Transportation costs were paid by Melissa Grimes at Studio West Interior Design http://www.studiowestid.com 26th Street and Canton Avenue and installation was performed gratis by the Texas Department of Transportation District based in Lubbock serving 17 counties http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/district/lubbock.html Douglas Eichorst, P.E. [professional engineer] is District Engineer. Kudos to these leaders.

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Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock together are The Flatlanders. At one time they all lived in Lubbock Texas and met and liked each other. They still do. Here are their albums in CD format in chronological order: Live at the One Knite Austin TX June 8, 1972 (1972), More a Legend Than a Band (1994), Unplugged (1995), Now Again (2002), Wheels of Fortune (2004), Hills and Valleys (2009), and The Odessa Tapes (2012). They are live, in concert, at the Cactus Theater on Friday September 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm $35 or $30 in balcony.

These artists are successful individually, but there is a special magic about them when they appear together. Garrison Keillor knew that when he scheduled a live production of the Prairie Home Companion radio show at City Bank Auditorium in Lubbock on April 27, 2013 and asked The Flatlanders to be his guest band for the event. They were wonderful.

Do you remember Woody Guthrie and his ballad about leaving the Dust Bowl for California, something he did himself? The Flatlanders recently wrote a reversal of that phenomena called Homeland Refugee about a family picking up and leaving California to go back to their dust bowl roots. The chorus is

“Now I’m leaving California for the dust bowl
They took it all, there’s nowhere else to go
The pastures of plenty are burning by the sea
And I’m just a homeland refugee”

Lyrics at http://www.lyricsmania.com

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Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC has in its archives a good deal of old typewritten/with erasures and inter-lineations and hand-written materials, and it would take the staff eons of time to transcribe it all into digital format, so the Smithsonian came up with the idea of inviting volunteers anywhere on their own time to do the transcribing. It uses the crowd sourcing software in its Transcription Center https://transcription.si.edu/browse Here are a list of the current projects if you are interested. Earlier this year the Smithsonian put 200 documents from the collection on the World War II Monuments Men online in the Transcription Center and within one week 49 volunteers had transcribed and reviewed every one of the documents. They are now digitally archived and word searchable by anyone. This is a great way to use volunteers at museums and galleries for everyone’s benefit.

Larry Kirkland sculptor did El Intercambio (The Interchange) (2009) four granite sculptures and granite flooring designs on the pedestrian mall leading from the Medical Sciences Research Building to the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso Texas. http://elpaso.ttuhsc.edu/ Here are several pictures of those pieces on that pedestrian mall interweaving with excellent landscape architecture by Jason Hodges of Prairie Workshop http://prairieworkshop.com/paul%20foster%20som.htm and here are pictures from Larry Kirkland http://www.larrykirkland.com/el-intercambio.html The largest of the four sculptures is Portal and is striped Imperial red granite and Kashmiri gold granite that reflects the building style at either end of the mall. The second sculpture is Mind crafted from the same two granite stones and is a positive silhouette head engraved with a floral pattern and tools of daily life. The last two smaller sculptures are made from Absolute black granite slabs with a cutout keyhole. The oblique view of Mind is even more revealing of contrasts in granite material http://www.pinterest.com/pin/129689664241982704/ This sculpture has already received awards http://www.stone-ideas.com/2010/05/01/art-more-than-mere-facades-tiles-or-sculptures/

The campus at the moment in El Paso is comprised of three academic units, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. To the west of this campus is the non-profit teaching hospital University Medical Center of El Paso at 4815 Alameda Avenue http://www.umcelpaso.org [prior to 2009 it was R. E. Thomason Hospital of El Paso Hospital District] that recently expanded by opening an East Tower building and is adjacent to El Paso Childrens Hospital (2012) and TTUHSC Physician Clinics. To the northeast is Medical Center of the Americas Foundation http://mcamericas.org/ that is constructing new research buildings. The entire area is bounded by Alameda Avenue on the south and Interstate Highway 10 and Gateway Boulevard East on the north and is east of downtown El Paso.

Headwaters (2005) by Larry Kirkland is a sculptural piece located on the Texas Tech University campus in Lubbock north of the College of Education Building south of the English and Philosophy Departments Building in that courtyard https://www.flickr.com/photos/11324122@N08/1078499642/ the hands and alphabet pieces are sculpted from Kashmiri gold granite and the base in the form of a book is from African black granite, a metaphor in its entirety.

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Dying is hard, sometimes extremely hard. Death is the absence of life, a negative, distinguished from what occurred before which was life. Is it more, however? Shakespeare in Hamlet says “death is an undiscovered country from whose bourne [meaning destination or boundary] no traveler returns”. This passage provided the title for the book by Carl Watkins, The Undiscovered Country: Journeys Among the Dead (Bodley Head 2013) reviewed at Anthony Sattin, The Observer, January 5, 2013. http://www.observer.theguardian.com

This scholarly book by a Cambridge historian about mortuary practices that became traditions devoid of the meaning by which they first arose, or indeed devoid of any particular meaning at all, sets us apart today in contemporary life from the history of the rituals of dying. The question for families today of what to do with the body and whether or not or how to conduct a memorial, is for many a process of fitting grief and loss into a comfortable narrative. If the decedent supplied instructions or preferences for post-death activities, the narrative is often pre-written in part and usually is dutifully observed in practice.

In Roman Catholic doctrine there is a heaven, hell and a purgatory in between. Residence in purgatory may be extended in time. Protestant Christian doctrine drops purgatory and assigns the decedent immediately to heaven or hell. There is no need for Protestants to pray for the repose of the decedent’s soul, or to pay the church for masses for the decedent. Various religions have distinctive views on whether or not those people who are not counted among the religion’s faithful, can or cannot go to heaven. What isn’t usually spoken is that denial must assign the person to hell. Most of us don’t feel comfortable with assigning strangers, who may be our neighbors, to hell. A reductionist religious theology loses force in our lives by becoming unjustified and insupportable.

There is no way to validate who has, in the past, gone to any of these destinations. The discussions and distinctions are hypotheses. Since the rise in the practice of cremation and lessening of burial and even less often burial in a cemetery astride the churchyard where the decedent had attended services, the physical body seems separated from whatever exists after death at whatever location. Indeed, disposition of the decedent’s body has come to fit within local public health and safety standards and to become a matter of compliance with community standards represented by regulations or ordinances. It can also be costly. And more often than not, for descendants there may be no physical location to visit that once was the decedent’s home or “final resting place”.

Many would suggest that since we know what became of the protoplasm or body of the decedent, it is the soul or psyche of the decedent whose location is debatable. There is no agreement as to the existence and quality of the soul during the decedent’s life and even less after his/her death. Speculating about something we were so ignorant of during his/her lifetime, causes most of us to fall silent.

Memory and remembrance by others, may for most be the final repose of the decedent. The comfortable narrative of the life, the dying, and the dealing with the death, is all of a piece and becomes one narrative as memories and remembrances are shared, stated and restated. The dead themselves are simply absent. These narratives often begin immediately after a death in the memorializing process often called “a celebration of his/her life”.

Most people suggest that post-death residence is a matter for individual speculation and belief, and social practice is to accept anyone’s assertion without contest. All assertions by those who are grieving are accepted as assertions, not as a fact or of anything other than grief itself.

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