News and Features

The Paul Slavens Show: January 24 2010

Well, maybe you dont care about the playoffs.
or maybe you already have seen enough.
Whatever the case it’s nice to see you here and I hope you enjoy the music tonite.
I got some great suggestions from the blog last week and I asked my Facebook friends what they thought the most beautiful music in the world was. I will play a bunch of what they said. I will ask you the same thing.
Not the best, greatest music , but the most lovely or beautiful. What say you?
Or if you have some other suggestions or polite comments, leave them here.
New to me this week:
Galaxy
Carolina Chocolate Drops
Rich Woodson’s Ellipsis

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Art&Seek on Think TV: Playwright Douglas Carter Beane

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Will flashy-campy-funny-Broadway musical success strike Douglas Carter Beane again? Beane’s best writing has been in his tart, smart, comic take-downs of America’s obsession with celebrity and fame — as forms of self-creation and self-deception — in such plays as The Little Dog Laughed, As Bees in Honey Drown and Music from a Sparkling Planet. (He’s at it again with his latest stage comedy, Mr. and Mrs. Fitch, starring John Lithgow and Jennifer Ehle as married gossip columnists, opening next week off-Broadway at Second Stage.)

But his most commercially successful work has been his spoof of the dreadful 2000 Olivia Newton-John vehicle, Xanadu (the musical is touring to Dallas in April). Now he and his partner, composer-lyricist Lewis Flinn, have transplanted Aristophanes’ great anti-war comedy, Lysistrata — to a college basketball court. Give It Up! is currently being presented by the Dallas Theater Center at the Wyly Theatre.

We talk to Beane about apathy, his fascination with classic Greek theater (he hopes it gives his writing some depth, any depth, which is why he keeps sticking it into musicals) and his new career as a stewardess.

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Opportunities for Individual Artists

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Categorized Under: Uncategorized

Cathy Hernandez serves as the President of ARTSNET, the Arts Council of North Tarrant County, and also is Adjunct Professor of Arts Administration at TCU.

When thinking of the struggle artists have, I find it amazing that in the North Texas area there are so few opportunities for them to receive support. Indeed, all of us working in non-profit arts management have the opportunity to supplement income with grants and corporate support. However, individual artists are often not granted the same opportunity to supplement their own income through grants. The individual artist is the most vital, intrinsic aspect of our entire industry.  Without them, the arts just don’t survive…period.

As the arts are decreasing from the classroom and even our homes (with the decrease in media coverage of all genres), it is our hope that by funding the individual artist, we are placing the arts back into your day to day activity.  Who doesn’t have a friend, colleague, neighbor, or acquaintance that creates through dance, music, or poetry?  This is a wonderful opportunity to discover who this person is, simply by learning about their creative spirit.  It bridges communities, and it brings the arts back into individual lives in impactful ways!

We at ARTSNET are working to support individual artists by offering grants to individual artists.  If you are or know of an individual artist in the mid-cities region, we offer a wonderful funding opportunity!  Due on January 30, 2010 by 5 p.m., our grants will award up to $5,000 per individual artist to create work within their own community.   Visit www.artsnetc.org to download a grant application!

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Saturday Spotlight: Django Reinhardt Festival

Reinhardt_Django

In the Saturday Spotlight, we’re becoming Francophiles. French guitarist Django Reinhardt would have been 100 years old this year. To celebrate his birthday, Arts Fifth Avenue in Fort Worth hosts the Django Reinhardt Festival, featuring French film, food, and, of course, music. If you’d like to learn how to play like Django, be sure to attend the Gypsy Guitar and Chord workshop Saturday and Sunday.

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This Week in Texas Music History: Janis Joplin

Janis-Joplin-cbArt&Seek presents This Week in Texas Music History. Every week, we’ll spotlight a different moment and the musician who made it. This week, Texas music scholar Gary Hartman remembers a woman who played autoharp and sang folk songs before becoming a rock music legend.

You can also hear This Week in Texas Music History on Friday on KXT and Saturday on KERA radio. But subscribe to the podcast so you won’t miss an episode. And our thanks to KUT public radio in Austin for helping us bring this segment to you.

And if you’re a music lover, be sure to check out Track by Track, the bi-weekly podcast from Paul Slavens, host of KERA radio’s 90.1 at Night.

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Janis Joplin was born in Port Arthur, Texas, on January 19, 1943. As a teenager, she listened to blues, jazz and folk music. In 1962, Joplin moved to Austin, where she joined a folk-country band called the Waller Creek Boys. Joplin, who sang and played autoharp, often performed at Kenneth Threadgill’s bar on North Lamar Boulevard in Austin. In 1963, she moved to California to join the West Coast music scene. In 1967, Joplin got her first big break at the Monterey Pop Festival, where her powerful performance of Big Mama Thornton’s “Ball and Chain” launched her career as an international rock superstar. However, in 1970, Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose. Her posthumous album, Pearl, included the single biggest hit of Joplin’s career, “Me and Bobby McGee,” written by her friend and fellow Texan Kris Kristofferson.

Next time on This Week in Texas Music History, we’ll celebrate a pioneering trumpeter who performed with some of the biggest names in jazz.

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Sedrick Huckaby Hugs Us at the MAC

Big Momma's Room

Big Momma's Room

Guest blogger Gail Sachson M.F.A., owns Ask Me About Art, offering lectures, tours and program planning. She is Vice-Chair of the Cultural Affairs Commission and a member of the Public Art Committee.

Not many artists since Pierre Bonnard in the early 20th century have been able to paint the mundane contents of a room with such romance and sensuality. Fort Worth painter Sedrick Huckaby is one of the few. The 35-year-old’s  oil paintings of tissue boxes, T.V.s and refrigerators bear a resemblance in their painterly softness to Bonnard’s washbasins, tea kettles and dressing table clutter.

Huckaby, who received his graduate training at Yale, has a passion for paint, which transforms everyday objects into things of beauty. He can do this because he has tapped into a steady and sincere muse: his family. The tenderness he feels for the people in his life – like his grandmother, “Big Momma,” Cousin Ignacio, and his wife and children – tames the paint to soften the things with which they surround themselves – even tissue boxes and coffee tins. Huckaby’s paintings  of the people in his life and their interiors can be seen at Valley House Gallery.

At the McKinney Avenue Contemporary through Feb. 27, you can see other evidence of Huckaby’s  family love in the show “A Love Supreme.”  Part of  the show, which was curated by former African American Museum curator Phillip Collins, fills the large gallery’s four walls: A Love Supreme, Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, (app. 8′ x 20′ each). They are  oil painted depictions of the Huckaby family’s hand-made, home sewn quilts, which first appeared as background in the interior and figure paintings  Now, Huckaby says,  he realizes the quilts themselves  give all the information necessary. They are his history. They are lovingly painted, just as the smaller interiors, and even though we are outsiders and voyeurs, we feel embraced.

The draped patchwork fabrics overlay each other in the paintings and squeeze against the picture frame, as if they were relatives in a large family portrait – too many to fit within the camera’s eye.  It would be an injustice to your visit to run through the exhibit. You must accept the invitation to sit and stay awhile. You will be calmed, but you will also be energized with your own personal memories of birth, death and all that  goes on in between, which of course, is reflected in the everyday objects with which we surround ourselves.  Of the exhibit, Huckaby says, “I hope it’s made in such a way that you want to slow down and contemplate it and think about it  in different ways.”

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Haiti Benefit Concert on Sunday

Tonight, the big Hope for Haiti Now telethon will air on all the major networks. And on Sunday, you’ll have a chance to donate locally.

The Prophet Bar will host a Haiti Benefit concert featuring music and dance groups on Sunday beginning at 5:30 p.m. The $5 cover charge goes to the relief effort. Here’s the schedule:

5:30  – The Venue Live  (contemporary Christian rock)
5:55 – Sol Scoundrel (hip-hop dance)
6 – Island Boogie (calypso)
6:45 – Ayubu Kamau (Afrikan dance/drums)
7- Carabali (salsa/meringue)
7:45 – Waioleka Hula (Hawaiian/Polynesian hula dance)
8 – Inner City All-Stars (Nawlins funk)
8:45 – Mauricio Carrera Show (Latin dancers)
9 – Brave Combo (nuclear polka/world)
9:45 – Nocturna Tango (Latin dance)
10 – Spoonfed Tribe (rock/tribal funk)
10:45 – Salsera Style (Latin dancers)
11 – One Love Uprising (roots reggae)
11:45 – Salsa Dallas (salsa dancers)
12 – Watusi – (reggae/worldbeat)
12:45 drum circle

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Friday Morning Roundup

CHILD’S PLAY: The 26th Annual KidFilm Festival takes over the Angelika Film Center in Dallas this weekend for two days of programming for the youngsters. Among those being fetted with a tribute this year is author Mo Willems, who will introduce films of his books at 3 p.m. on Saturday. He talks to dallasnews.com about some of his upcoming projects. On Sunday, I say lineup early for the Tribute to Aardman Animations. Those are the folks behind Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.

AT HOME IN FORT WORTH: You may remember Christina Rees from her days as owner of the Road Agent gallery. Or you may remember her from her scathing two-part essay on the North Texas gallery scene that ran on Glasstire. These days, she’s known as the director of Fort Worth Contemporary Arts and the Moudy Gallery on the TCU campus. She tells dfw.com that her new position offers her the joy of curating without the headache of having to sell the art. Of a recent show she put together, she says, “The work was not for sale, and I could enjoy it and watch other people enjoying it. I loved that.”

RECENT THEATER REVIEWS: Elaine Liner says WaterTower Theatre’s staging of Laughter on the 23rd Floor couldn’t be more relevant, what with the current dust-up going on with the late night talk shows on NBC. (theaterjones.com) … Lawson Taitte says Project X’s Ban the Tal is both an interesting lesson on the history of violence in Afghanistan and a cohesive multimedia presentation. (dallasnews.com) … This is the last weekend to catch Audacity Theatre Lab’s Hello, Human Female at Teatro Dallas. Alexandra Bonifield says all the weirdness is worth the trip. (Critical Rant and Rave)

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Art&Seek Q&A: Brian Gibb

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Categorized Under: Local Events, Visual Arts

Guest Blogger Tina Aguilar teaches Humanities and Cultural Studies at Brookhaven College School of the Arts.

Galleries are in abundance in North Texas, and one of the more original spaces is Deep Ellum’s The Public Trust. The gallery’s current show is a group affair called “The New Deal.” Blakely Thomas Dadson’s, Bring Down Babylon is intense and permeates the psyche. Brent Ozaeta’s Why Children Fail shows a particular filtering of online imagery. His intricate stitch work and installation in progress offer viewers a chance to see the creation of the mass of culture he references. Jeremy Smith’s Untitled, a darkly curious piece, conjures up different stories as I gaze into it. As he explains, it “shows the weight of your personal demons and you dealing with them.” And Steven Hopwood-Lewis’ figures in Untitled entrance me with those shimmering eyes.

Gallery owner Brian Gibb recently took a break from installing “The New Deal” to speak with me for this week’s Art&Seek Q&A

Tina Aguilar: In recent years, many galleries have relocated to the Dragon Street quadrant. You are a point of origin for contemporary art seekers and have a history with artists pushing the edges. Tell me how you picked your location here in Deep Ellum and about its sustenance.

Brian Gibb: When we were looking to move from Denton, I met an art patron named Gianni Madrini who heard we were going to make a move towards Deep Ellum. She introduced me to Lou and Susan Reese, and they said they loved what I was doing and said they had a building for me to consider. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for the Reese’s encouragement. They understood me. Susan has been wonderful. Deep Ellum has friends and environment. There is traffic down here to enjoy the arts, and its gaining momentum again. I attribute my success to having good relationships. I think Deep Ellum is a great neighborhood and changing in positive ways. It is pedestrian and urban, like Brooklyn, and I hope in the future we have more parking, less meters, more free parking, but we’ll see.

T.A.: How would you describe the art climate at present?

B.G.: I hope it is coming back. Across the board, I feel like there is a change. It was very difficult to hear stories with the market decline. There were individuals that declined and said, “I am sorry I can’t buy right now.” I think a lot of people left to assess their situation, and I feel a sense of resurgence for our area. Relationships are the best part of doing this work.. There is a synergy happening.

T.A.: You also connect to art discourse in the community with your gallery artists, most recently with Richard Garet in collaboration with Southern Methodist University’s Doolin Gallery at the Owen Fine Arts Center. Can you tell me about these partnerships and the importance of such efforts?

B.G.: You want to create a second opportunity with the artist. At an opening, you get random blips. But when you can take the time to learn about them and their work, hearing about it adds to the experience. The Dallas Museum of Art is another great venue. I was able to go see Mark Bradford when he was here, and it was amazing. If I can be a part of that experience and help another person have one or more of those encounters … I am happy to do that.

Brian Gibb

Brian Gibb

T.A.: Where does your eye wander?

B.G.: I look at so much work, and I am in search of it all the time. I travel and see the art fairs, Miami is great, and when you do it this way you are dealing with new art. I can bring new artists to Texas, and it is an opportunity for me to see strong work. You are really seeing prime examples. I also like this region. In a few weeks, I look forward to the Dallas Art Fair. It’s also about creating opportunities and finding new points of interest.

T.A.: Tell me about the current show? There is a range of work by artists that stimulates the senses and mind.

B.G.: This show and amount of work is understated. I really wanted to create a quiet space for everything to happen. The execution from all of these artists is exact. There has definitely been a shift with what I show. In Denton, the content was more underground and portrayed something about counter-culture. There are often things I show now … that are of a different background. The longevity of what these artists create is promising, and they are not cranking out fast work. They are so considerate of what they are doing and what leaves the studio. The subject matter and narratives challenge people to really look at the work.. It’s not something that is hard to look at … it’s not controversial, but you have to think and you find yourself asking: What is this about?

“The New Deal” runs through February 27.

The Art&Seek Q&A is a weekly discussion with a person involved in the arts in North Texas. Check back next Thursday for another installment.

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DSO Produces Frisky and Graceful Sounds

This weekend’s concerts by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra spotlight a guest conductor and a key member of the orchestra. On Thursday night they produced one of the more pleasing programs of the season.

Conductor James Gaffigan, a young American, and concertmaster Emanuel Borok teamed for Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, one of the composer’s most lyrical musical statements. The sweet tone of Borok’s violin has often been evident at DSO concerts and was very much a factor in the success of this performance of Beethoven’s lovely masterpiece. Gaffigan and the orchestra gave Borok graceful support and some gentle drama when needed. It was a performance that lingered long in the memory.

A piece of a very different sort is Shostakovich’s First Symphony, which Gaffigan and the orchestra presented before intermission. This is a work of great originality, often frisky but with a foretaste, in the slow movement, of the gloominess that was so characteristic of much of the composer’s later work.

Gaffigan made it sparkle with life, and the solo work of many of the orchestra’s principal players was a great dividend.

A performance of Mussorgsky’s prelude to Khovanshchina established an evocative Russian atmosphere to set the stage for the Shostakovich.

The program will be repeated Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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