News and Features

In Remembrance Of A Cellist – And A Master Teacher

Aronson-editlev-aronsonLev Aronson in Berlin in the ’30s, left, and in Dallas. Photo outfront from Shutterstock

Some of this country’s finest cellists are coming here next week for six days of concerts and master classes. It’s all being done in the name of a musician most North Texans may never have heard of. Or simply forgot. KERA’s Jerome Weeks looks into the origins of the Lev Aronson Legacy.

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WRECKED Artist Profile: Diane Durant

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Categorized Under: Local Events, Visual Arts

Fort Worth photographer Diane Durant is participating in this year’s WRECKED event for Art Conspiracy. Thanks to the encouragement of friend and Art Con Executive Director, Erica Felicella, the UT-Dallas photography professor makes her Art Conspiracy debut this Saturday at Life in Deep Ellum. In this guest blog from Art Conspiracy’s Martha Belden, we learn a bit more about Diane.

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The Big Screen: Gary Cogill On Leaving The Critic’s Life To Enter The Movie Biz

BigScreen_logoSMALLIn the new movie Words and Pictures, Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen play teachers who engage their students in a debate over which is more important: visual art or the written word. Former WFAA movie critic Gary Cogill is a producer of the film through his new company, Lascaux Films. He joins us this week to talk about making the jump from film critic to film producer – and about being on the back end of those reviews.

“Next thing you know [the film's] made, and next thing you know, there’s a review. And you read it. And I almost crawled in the fetal position,” he said. “Because it’s really weird – nothing can prepare you for it. I think I’m over it now – I think I’m OK. But the first reviews out of the Toronto Film Festival were really hard for me to read. Because, ‘Oh they don’t get this!’ or ‘Oh they don’t get that!’ or ‘Well, why don’t you go make a movie!’ I used to hear that a lot when I reviewed films – why haven’t you made a movie? And you can’t use that.”

Be sure to subscribe to The Big Screen on iTunes. Stream this week’s episode below or download it.

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The High Five: Texas Republicans Gather In Fort Worth For 2014 State Convention

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Categorized Under: The High Five

Five stories that have North Texas talking: the state GOP convention will generate headlines; Gun Barrel City is home to two headline-making residents; the Dallas Museum of Art is celebrating National Doughnut Day; and more:

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WRECKED Artist Profile: Roxanne Mather

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Categorized Under: Local Events, Visual Arts

Guest blogger Martha Belden, of Art Conspiracy, is sharing her profiles of some of the artists from  this weekend’s  WRECKED event.  First up, Dallas-based painter Roxanne Mather,  who makes her first artistic contribution to ArtCon this weekend.

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Take A Book, Leave A Book: Little Free Libraries Paper North Texas

Jamonica Washington checks out a children's book at the Lakewest YMCA's Little Free Library.  Photo: Courtney Collins

Jamonica Washington checks out a children’s book at the Lakewest YMCA’s Little Free Library. Photo: Courtney Collins


    • Listen to the story that aired on KERA FM


No late fees, no due dates and no shushing librarians. Those are just some of the perks of the “Little Free Libraries” program.

The idea is simple. Build a basic structure, fill it with reading material and encourage people to borrow.

Even in a world that’s increasingly digital, a box of books can still be pretty magnetic.

West Dallas: New Development, Old Problems

When people think of West Dallas, the shiny new Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge or the contemporary Trinity Groves restaurant incubator tends to come to mind.

But in a neighborhood known for fresh construction, some older community staples get overlooked.

“Since it’s still a developing area, we kind of got lost in the mix,” says Youth Development Director for the Lakewest Family YMCA Jamonica Washington. “So sometimes when you pull it up in the GPS it’s like, YMCA who?”

Washington says that’s kind of funny, because the Lakewest Y is actually 13 years old. There’s a lot that’s new about west Dallas, but the community has been around for a while and has some age-old problems. Hunger, poverty and literacy are all issues the YMCA tries to tackle. Their just-built Little Free Library is part of the process.

“Reading just kind of opens up a door to a whole new world and a whole other imagination. It gives kids the opportunity to learn things outside of their neighborhood and just kind of be involved and read together with their families.”


Half of the reading material is geared toward adults and seniors.

The Lakewest Y Little Free Library is a purple painted wooden rectangle with an easy-slide door.

It’s mounted next to a stained concrete bench. But for kids and teens to lounge on? A patch of bright green Astroturf that would make NFL stars jealous. This particular creation was designed by Scott Taylor and Leo Gonzalez who volunteered their time and expertise.

Another 16 Little Free Libraries are slated to go up in West Dallas and South Dallas. The Dallas Public Library, Big Thought and BC workshop, a non-profit design center, have teamed up to make it happen. One Little Free Library will be built inside a detention center. Another is made from a re-purposed paleta cart – one that used to be pushed around full of ice pops on hot summer days.

Library patrons can borrow a book and bring it back. Or bring a different book back to replace it. There aren’t many rules, and the honor system is the only enforcer.

Reading can be a tough sell, just ask 15-year-old Michael McCoy.

“I do it for school, sometimes for fun. It depends if I’m bored or not,” he laughs.

Which is why Little Free Libraries make it as easy as possible to dig in to a good book.

If you feel moved to build a Little Free Library, you don’t need a community center to back you. Your front yard or stoop are perfectly acceptable locations. Here’s a map of all registered Little Free Libraries. You can zoom in on your neighborhood.



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DMA Tempts People With Art Donut, Will Not Let Us Eat It

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Categorized Under: Uncategorized, Visual Arts

okeeffedonutbigWhy didn’t the great masters realize they should have made their artworks edible? What were they thinking? Who wouldn’t enjoy a visit to the Dallas Museum of Art more if we could eat our favorite painting? Remember, we’re talking icing here.

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Art Conspiracy Is Gonna Get Wrecked


Each year for nine years, Art Conspiracy has held  a public auction of more than a hundred paintings the artists scrambled to create only the day before. KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports, now Art Conspiracy is up to something it’s calling ‘Wrecked.’

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Flickr Photo Of The Week

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Categorized Under: Visual Arts

Flickr big post

Congratulations to Ian Aberle  of Allen, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest! Ian is a multiple winner of our contest: his last win came in October, 2013.  He follows last week’s winner, Chris Richey.

If you would like to participate in the Flickr Photo of the Week contest, all you need to do is upload your photo to our Flickr group page. It’s fine to submit a photo you took earlier than the current week, but we are hoping that the contest will inspire you to go out and shoot something fantastic this week to share with Art&Seek users. If the picture you take involves a facet of the arts, even better. The contest week will run from Monday to Sunday, and the Art&Seek staff will pick a winner on Monday afternoon. We’ll notify the winner through FlickrMail (so be sure to check those inboxes) and ask you to fill out a short survey to tell us a little more about yourself and the photo you took. We’ll post the winners’ photo on Wednesday.

Ian_Blue_Steel-640px-300x300Now here’s more from Ian.

Title of photo: Old Fisher Road

Equipment: Canon EOS 7D with the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens

Tell us more about your photo: I was visiting family in Tyler and we took a drive to visit their old home in Troup. The day was beautiful for a drive, blue sky and large fluffy clouds. When when we saw the old barn with the road and the clouds, I knew I just had to stop. I’m glad I did.

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Dallas Opera Gets Largest-Ever Corporate Donation: $2.5 Million

die tot stadtJay Hunter Morris and Mardi Byers in Die Tote Stadt. Photo credit: Karen Almond

The money will go to the Dallas Opera’s  educational outreach– one of those non-glamorous but fundamental arts activities. And it comes from Betty and Steve Suellentrop and Hunt Consolidated, Inc. Steve Suellentrop is the incoming board chair for the DO — and the president of Hunt Oil.

Here’s the full release:

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