News and Features

Flickr Photo of the Week

Categorized Under: Visual Arts

Congratulations to Claudia A. De La Garza of Dallas, the winner of the Flickr Photo of the Week contest. Claudia is a professional photographer (check out her slick Web site) and one of the driving forces behind the DFW Metro Flickr group.  She follows last week’s winner, Wade Griffith.

If you would like to participate in the Flickr Photo of the Week contest, all you need to do is upload your photo to to our Flickr group page. It’s fine to submit a photo you took previous to 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.

Now here’s a bit more from Claudia:

Claudia A. De La Garza

Title of photo: Tamara Cauble of Telegraph Canyon
Equipment: Canon 30d, 24-104mm lens
Tell us more about your photo: I took this at Casa Mañana on Wednesday, July 14.  Tamara plays the violin for a local band from Fort Worth, Telegraph Canyon, who was opening up for Dawes, a band from Los Angeles.  It was a great moment of good light and Tamara smiling while performing.
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Wednesday Morning Roundup

CHECKING IN ON FIT: The Festival of Independent Theatres got going in earnest over the weekend at the Bath House Cultural Center with work from eight companies. If there’s one piece that everyone seems to be able to agree on, it’s White Rock Pollution’s Alice in Wonderland. “Director Tom Parr IV’s return to a Dallas stage after a year’s hiatus is a triumph of physical invention and melodious speech,” writes Lawson Taitte on “Alice in Wonderland on a teensy-weensy budget with minimal props and set pieces in an intimate black box space never looked so fantastic,” says Alexandra Bonifield. Mark Lowry calls it the best show from the first half of FIT. “It’s a treat for the imagination. This is one to see multiple times,” he writes on And rounding out the critical hosannas, Will Arbery writes on D’s Front Row blog, “It is always a joy to see talented performers embody the wide cast of wacky characters, and White Rock Pollution’s version is as good as any, if not better.” Your next chance to see it is Saturday at 2 p.m.

OVER HERE, OVER THERE: Have you been keeping up with Anne’s travels through Turkey? She’s there on a two-week trip with other local artsy types. You can check out her latest entry here.

QUOTABLE: “Squeeze your bottom. That’s the key to high notes. I have a big bottom, and big high notes.”
— Soprano Robin Flynn Jane Eaglen, discussing the tricks of the opera trade. (

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North Texas Artists in Turkey: A Visit to Babayan Artist Residency

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Categorized Under: Culture

Guest blogger Sarah Jane Semrad is Executive Director of LaReunion TX. She’s also part of a group of area artists touring Turkey.

Before this trip to Turkey actually manifested, I had researched a little bit about artist residencies in the country.  Pretty much everywhere I go, I look for them to take a tour, meet with their director if possible and generally do field research.  There were a few residencies in Turkey according to the Res Artis website, but only one that coincided with our itinerary: Babayan Residency in Ibraihmpasa, Cappadocia. 

First impressions of Babayan Residency were at an evening art reception at the Seten Culture Center, located in the neighboring town of Goreme.  The reception was for artist Thanasis Baxopoulos who had arrived ten days prior.  He had heard about Babayan from the Res Artis website and was looking for time to decompress and focus on a body of photography that created a dialogue between Turkey and his home country of Greece. The two countries histories have criss-crossed and intermingled for thousands of years after all.  He works with T-max black and white film and had brought two developing reels for his processing tank plus powder chemicals.  Old school process.  Fitting, I suppose.

The next day Dallas artists Nancy Rebal, Kimberly Alexander and myself headed out to visit the residency itself and meet with its owner / director Dutch artist Willemijn Bouman.  The tiny village of Ibrahimpasa is like a story board out of the Middle Ages.  Men only in the street, women covered head to toe and looking bashfully out upstairs windows and a queer silence that only a town nestled in the caves of Cappadocia can have.  Our taxi parked and we made the short walk up a hill to the small compound.  Willemijn met us at the door and ushered us into a Turkish paradise. 

The multi-level compound wove in and out of caves, with spaces functioning as community rooms, bedrooms, painting studios and even a kitchen.  The cave dwellings are supposed to be around 2000 years old and evidence of continuous use is obvious and confounding.  The director shared with us that artists stay for a minimum of four weeks and as long as a few months.   Around forty artists from around the world apply each year to meet the February deadline and only a fraction are selected for residence by a jury made up of art historians, local townspeople and other artists. 

The residencies challenges are significant.  Each portfolio must be reviewed in depth to ensure a smooth mesh with the local townspeople, who are devout Muslims.  A code of respect as opposed to censorship permeates the jury process. The puzzle of which artists are in residence at the same time is also a challenge as painting studios are limited, for example.  Meals are on-your-own for breakfast and lunch and the director’s husband Paul cooks dinner for all residents, with all dietary restrictions honored.  Artists must be self contained and be able to problem solve all of their materials as there isn’t an art supply store for hundreds of miles. 

I left inspired for La Reunion and grateful for the opportunity to meet with the good people of Babayan Residency.  Willemijn shared she had purchased the compound for next to nothing about ten years ago and had only opened the residency in 2006 after six years of preparation.   For more information, please visit their website and please note the photos do not do it justice.  I’ll post some of mine on flickr upon our return to the United States. 

Gobble gobble.  Over and out.

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DISD Partners with Museum of Nature and Science to Give Teachers a Boost

KERA radio report:

On Tuesday morning, about 20 DISD 5th grade teachers gathered in the library at Caesar Chavez Elementary for a little role reversal.

For four days this week, they are the students. Doug Frasher is their teacher.

Frasher is the Professional Development Coordinator for the Museum of Nature and Science. This week, he will show the teachers demonstrations that they can bring back to their schools. Many of them are trained in general education, not science.

“My hope is that this program is able to give these teachers ideas and suggestions of things they can do in their classroom that aren’t intimidating. These are easy activities to do,” he said.

That’s welcome news to Josie Denis, a teacher at Central Elementary School in Seagoville

“This is my first year teaching science, so this is great for me, because it’s given me a scientific background,” she said.

The program is called Leaders in Science. Fifth-grade teachers are targeted because they are responsible for preparing students for more advanced middle school science. The program will also send museum staff into DISD classrooms armed with everything from experiments to animal skeletons.

Leaders in Science is funded by $285,000 raised by the Dallas Citizens Council, an organization made up of business leaders.

In the next three years, 160 DISD teachers will take part in the program.

Image outfront from When Sodium Goes  Wild

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Tuesday Morning Roundup

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Categorized Under: Music, Uncategorized

BIG STAR LOSES ANOTHER: It’s been a rough year for the influential Big Star. In March, singer Alex Chilton died right as South by Southwest was getting going, leading to an all-star tribute during the festival. And now news comes via that former Big Star bassist Andy Hummel has died after a two-year battle with cancer. Hummel lived in Weatherford.

UPON CLOSER INSPECTION: If you haven’t spent much time on our local museum’s blogs, they’re a great resource for insight into their respective collections. Recently, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth blog has been taking a look at the life and work of Ellsworth Kelly. Part 3 of the series has just been posted, in which parallels are drawn between Kelly’s interest in bird-watching and his approach to shape and color. Interesting stuff.

WHAT UP, HOLMES?: In August, Theatre Three begins its 2010-11 season with Sherlock Holmes in the Crucifer of Blood. According to the theater, the show, “takes us from India’s Red Fort, into an opium den in London’s Limehouse district, across a dark and foggy Thames and, of course, into the fabled Baker Street detective’s study.” Sounds pretty ambitious. If you’re curious as to how all this might look, check out this video produced by Theatre Three, which includes several sketches of the costumes.

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Ticket Giveaway: The Full Monty at WaterTower Theatre

This week, WaterTower Theatre opens the final show of its 2009-10 season, The Full Monty. For the uninitiated, the show revolves around six unemployed steelworkers who hatch a plan that will hopefully earn them some much-needed cash. As you can tell from the attached picture, the guys are forced to cash in on the only assets they have left.

Which naturally begs the question: Just how full monty will The Full Monty be? I don’t have the answer to that, but I do have a way for you to get it. If you’d like to go to opening night on Thursday, shoot me an e-mail ( with “Full Monty” in the subject line. First three people who e-mail me win a pair of tickets each.

UPDATE: Tickets are all gone, folks. Thanks to everyone who e-mailed in.

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Monday Morning Roundup

GERONIMO!: University of North Texas graduate Lori Giesler took home the top prize at a Visual Arts Society of Texas recent competition. The painting depicts a woman and child in a state of free fall and is the ninth in a series of people falling. So what’s with all the falling? “It seems to me that the people who do the worst in this kind of economy are single moms and kids, and this painting is about that,” Giesler tells “I don’t know if that’s true, but it seems so to me.” The painting will be on display at the Texas Woman’s University Fine Arts Building through Aug. 6.

BACK ON STAGE: We haven’t heard much from Metropolitan Classical Ballet this year. The company canceled all the shows in its season except for The Nutcracker over the holidays and a performances this past Saturday called Summer Repertory. “We were one among, I suppose, all of the artistic groups and 501(c)3 charitable groups in the area who had to do some paring to survive,” Frank Hill, the company’s chairman of the board, told “And we did that, and we’ve survived.” So how was the Saturday performance? Writing for Theater Jones, Margaret Putnam says it depends on which of the company’s co-artistic directors is providing the work.

A PEEK BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Ever wonder what authors are thinking as they write a new book? Farrar, Straus and Giroux is now doing its best to satisfy your curiosity. The book publisher has started a new website,, that speaks with authors as well as editors, book jacket artists and others involved in creating a book. Its most recent entry features Pulitzer winner Jeffrey Eugenides discussing the novel he’s currently working on. The Los Angeles Times books blog has more.

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North Texas Artists in Turkey: Cappadocia

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Categorized Under: Uncategorized

Art&Seek Director Anne Bothwell is traveling in Turkey with a group of North Texas artists and writers. Read her previous post here.

Today we were in Cappadocia  and Goreme,  landscapes where lunar meets Doctor Seuss: fairy chimney after fairy chimney, dotted with cave windows.
The Hittites created underground cave communities here, when  BC had more than a  millenia left to go. They lived  underground for up to 6 months at a time, when their above ground cities were under siege. Over the centuries the caves were expanded. The largest has 19 levels. The one we explored today, Kaymakli,  had 6.  There are 38 of them in the area, and one theory is that all are connected.
It’s mind-blowing to walk through this cave, lit fairly well, crouching through passages and imagining what it must have been like to feel one’s way through in the darkness, with only linseed candles and some holes in the wall that, braile-like, helped the cave dwellers find their way.

They lived without light, yet thought of everything – ingenious ways to store dried fruit, wine, water. To ventilate the caves, to create chimneys for weekly baking sessions. Handle human waste and the dead. To seal their doors and defend themselves.

Above ground, it was early Christians carving caves into the soft rock, to be used for hermitages, churches, monestaries, nunneries and living spaces. And then decorating them with stunning frescoes, now slowly eroding, that taught an illiterate population the story of Jesus. Wish I could show you pictures of them, but it’s forbidden to take them these days, to protect the frescoes.

Gotta run now; Checking out of our hotel (in a cave). The bus is here to take us to the airport. We’re off to Antalya.

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North Texas Artists in Turkey: Our Guides

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Categorized Under: Culture, Uncategorized

Alp and Alpay in Cappadocia

Art&Seek Director Anne Bothwell is traveling in Turkey with a group of North Texas artists and writers. Read her previous post here.

We have three main folks leading us through Turkey.  Two of them live in  Dallas:  Alp Yaradanakul is affiliated with the Gulen Institute and is from Bursa; Alpay Seven is  working on his doctorate in biophysics at UT-Southwestern, and he’s originally from Izmir. Our third, Ufuk Ozsoy, is from Ankara, and met up with us in Istanbul. He’s a civil engineer, and may be moving to the states this year. (I’ll add a pix of him soon.)
All three are super patient with a crowd of first time visitors to Turkey. They are Muslim, and have provided invaluable context and answered endless questions as we explore this country with a secular government and a majority Muslim population. They are also scientists herding around a group of cats… I mean, artists. And so far, neither  of them has lost his temper.

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The Paul Slavens Show : Live Blog for July 18 2010

Categorized Under: KXT, Music, Paul Slavens

Good evening to y’all,

It was a great weekend of music in Dallas and more to come with the Observer Awards.  This is where you can leave your polite comments and suggestions for music. Please leave a link to where the music can be purchased, if possible.

New to me this week:
Reni Lane

Tonight’s Playlist:

Dusty Springfield, “The Windmills Of Your Mind,” Dusty In
Efterklang, “Scandinavian Love,” Magic Chairs
Bush Chemist, “East Of Jaro, ” Raw Raw Dub
Old 97’s, “Five Years,” Mimeograph
Mike Oldfield, “Tubular Bells, Opening Theme,” Tubular Bells Digital Box Set
Dirty Projectors, “No Intention,” Bitte Orca
Twang Twang Shock-a-Boom, “Quiet,” Me So Twangy
Reni Lane, “Place For Us,” Ready
Ratatat, “Grape Juice City,” LP4
Jacques Dutronc, “Mini, Mini, Mini,” Lessentiel Dutronc CD1
The Knife, “The Height of Summer,” Tomorrow, In A Year
Secret Chiefs 3,  “Labbiel,” Xaphan
Stornoway, “We Are The Battery Human,” Beachcomber’s Windowsill
School Of Seven Bells, “Camarilla,” Disconnect From Desire
Buffy Sainte Marie, “The Vampire,” Illuminations
Stan Ridgway and Drywall,  “New Blue Mercedes,” The Drywall Incident
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, “Musica Ricerata – VIII: Vivace. Energico,” György Ligeti Edition 3: Works for Piano
Brave Combo, “Kiev Waltz,” Kikiriki
Ken Nordine, “Gold,” Colors
Broken Social Scene, “Art House Director,” Forgiveness Rock Record
Frankie Lane, “High Noon,” Frankie Lane’s Greatest Hits
Jimi Hendrix,  “Mr. Bad Luck,” Valleys Of Neptune
Backsliders, “Regular Nights,” Regular Nights
Frank Zappa, “Peaches En Regalia,” Hot Rats
Crowded House, “Amsterdam,” Intriguer
David Bowie, “Cactus,” A Reality Tour [Disc 1]
Marlene Dietrich, Go ‘Way from my Window,” Dietrich Live
Bob Dylan, “It Ain’t Me, Babe,” The Essential Bob Dylan

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