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Stick Shift

“My mind immediately began somersaulting,” wrote Raleigh artist Jonathan Brilliant after he heard his exhibition at Greenhill — made using 300,000-500,000 coffee stirrers — would be named Jonathan Brilliant: On-Site. “To Sight. To Site. To Cite,” Brilliant homophoned. “I realized these three words are the three main things I try to do with my current work.” He explains that while “flying by sight,” he “sites his work” in the gallery, “front loading my work with ‘citations’ of other’s works.” The result is a sight to see — a laborious, painstaking and monumental sculpture made from a flurry of repurposed, coffee-shop products — stirrers, lids, cups, sleeves —fashioned into a nest-like structure that snakes throughout the gallery. But Greenhill wants to make sure that museumgoers do a lot more than just look. For instance, there’s a separate visitor-experimentation activity station in a corner of the gallery where Brilliant invites viewers to help him assemble a smaller version of his sculpture. Then each week, Greenhill will host a family-oriented ArtQuest Hands-on Studio Exploration that allows parents and children to co-create art from the same sort of coffee shop products as in the exhibit. For details, see www. And looking toward August, what could be more participatory than the closing party on Wednesday, August 26, beginning at 5:30 p.m? That’s when partiers will pitch in to disassemble what Brilliant so carefully created. As any museum curator knows, what goes up, must come down.

If You Love Decapods . . .

The state’s most delicious ten-legged creatures — shrimp — will be most abundant in July and August. That, according to N.C. Catch, a nonprofit eat-local-seafood advocate. Jay Pierce, the former Lucky 32 chef who’s moved on to Rocksalt in Charlotte, says “when eaten with bare hands in sun-drenched locales, shrimp may very well be the perfect food.” But that doesn’t keep him from telling you how to wrap them in bacon, pickle them, fry them with a coconut crust or incorporate them into gumbo, jambalaya and étouffée. All that in his contribution to the Savor the South cookbook series, Shrimp (, $18). However, there’s one thing Pierce says he wants to emphasize more than anything else in the book: “Consumers should demand to know more about the provenance of their food and, especially their seafood.” With such a rich supply of fish and shellfish up and down the United States East Coast — and so many jobs depending on them — ask where your shrimp were caught, Pierce says. “That was a cornerstone of my time at Lucky 32 and it continues to this day under chef Felicia McMillan’s very capable guidance.”

The Bee’s Knees

They may look like archivists, historians and pointy-headed intellectuals, but staff members at the Greensboro Historical Museum are actually party animals of the first order, always eager for a celebration. “While the Historical Museum was founded in November 1924,” says the museum’s community historian Linda Evans, “it opened as a museum for the first time on November 11, 1925, so we’re still happily celebrating our founding decade.” July’s party begins on Saturday the 11th beginning at 11 a.m. with a Roaring 20s Flashback celebration. The razzle-dazzle will feature storytelling, 1920s era cars from the Piedmont Car Club, Wally West and the Gate City Hot 5 Jazz Band, plus free Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Mack Sennett silent films and a make-up station so you can get your pencil-thin mustache or flapper headband on. Have a ducky day. And no lollygagging. Maybe you’ll find your inner flapper Info: (336) 373-2043 or

The Art & Soul of Greensboro

Ogi Sez Ogi Overman Yes, the Fourth of July brings fireworks, but that is hardly the only day of the month to celebrate. From Fun Fourth to the sizzling 31st, the music scene is absolutely pyrotechnic. So let’s light the fuse. • July 12, Carolina Theatre: Don’t sit around helplessly hoping. Head downtown to the Carolina Theatre to see the legendary Stephen Stills, and let your freak flag fly. • July 12, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park: Arguably the best pairing of the Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park (MUSEP) series, pack a picnic and a blanket and catch two of our favorite country-pop-Americana acts. Lisa Dames and the Radials get the afternoon started, followed by Carolina Coalmine. Both bring it. • July 17, Cone Denim Entertainment Center: If you’re not familiar with the term “sacred steel,” you seriously need to find out from its most revered practitioner, Robert Randolph. He and his Family Band will have you shouting “hallelujah” before the night’s over. • July 22, Blind Tiger: This is about as big an act as the ever-popular B.T. can handle. Tonic’s creds include Platinum sales and Grammy nominations. They’ll cure what ails you. • July 31, Greensboro Coliseum: Saving the best for last, James Taylor, aka Sweet Baby James himself, rolls into town. He may bring the month to a close, but his music is timeless. Sing along with me, “In my mind I’m going to Carolina . . .” July 2015

O.Henry 13

O.Henry July 2015  
O.Henry July 2015  

The Art & Soul of Greensboro