free every wednesday | Metro OKCâ€™s Independent Weekly | July 11, 2018
Royal pages Isabelle de Borchgrave's paper fashion sculptures come to Oklahoma City Museum of Art. by nazarene harris, p. 19
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inside COVER P. 19 Isabelle de Borchgrave’s stunning sculptures of period fashion, currently on display at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, are the result of de Borchgrave’s painstaking process of taking discarded paper and transforming it into transcendent art. By Nazarene Harris Cover by Karson Brooks
NEWS 4 Marijuana health department
6 State health care inspector
8 City Ward 7 council election 10 Chicken-Fried News
EAT & DRINK
Carter Sampson W AT C H O N L I N E PL AYITLOUDSHOW.COM
episode 3 june 25
AN ORIGINAL MUSIC SERIES
13 Review Choice Cafe
14 Feature liquor law changes for
15 Feature Just Desserts
16 Gazedibles pulled pork
ARTS & CULTURE 19 Cover Isabelle de Borchgrave:
Fashioning Art from Paper at Oklahoma City Museum of Art
20 Art Identity at JRB Art at the Elms 22 Film 48 Hour Film Project
23 Culture redefining the Tulsa Race
25 Culture Megalodon: Largest Shark
That Ever Lived at Sam Noble Museum
Performing Arts Center summer camp
26 Youth Northwest Optimist
MUSIC 29 Feature unlicensed venues in OKC
30 Event Saint Loretto Summer
Bummer Beach Party at 51st Street Speakeasy
32 Live music
FUN 33 Astrology
34 Puzzles sudoku | crossword
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NEWS from left Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association members Ryan Early, Chris Moe, Chance Gilbert, Chip Paul, Kyle Early and Scott Huffman hold a news conference at Can-Tek Labs. | Photo Ben Luschen
hopes to clear some of that air. “People don’t really understand yet what’s going on,” Paul said. “That’ll be something that the trade organization will be able to help manage and communicate.”
m a r i j ua n a
In the air
Debate over medical marijuana regulations ensues as a special legislative session appears unlikely. By Ben Luschen
For months, there was talk that if State Question 788 won majority support from voters, Oklahoma lawmakers would need to go into special session to set up regulatory framework governing how a medical marijuana program would function in the state. Gov. Mary Fallin even publicly predicted that such a special session would be necessary as recently as a week before the June 26 primary election. Then, days after the passage of SQ788, Fallin announced she no longer believed lawmaker intervention would be needed for the implementation of medical marijuana and that the Oklahoma State Health Department should be left to establish needed guidelines for the new law. Assuming no special session is called, legislators interested in affecting the new law will still get a crack at it during the next regular legislative session in February. Still, those interested in applying for medical cannabis licenses can begin submitting applications in August. Oklahomans for Health co-founder Chip Paul believes the lack of special session gives the fledgling medical marijuana industry an opportunity to prove itself in the state. “If we can operate a program for awhile and basically prove the merits of the program, I think that’ll be a big deal in the upcoming legislative session,” Paul said. Aside from heading the Oklahomans for Health advocacy organization, Paul is one of several co-founders behind the new Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association. The group is primarily intended to promote the industry and facilitate collaboration within it, but it is now working with the health department to help establish regulations. The health department cannot do anything to the medical marijuana law 4
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that was approved by state voters, but it can affect the regulations needed to facilitate that law. Paul, during a recent Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association news conference at Can-Tek Labs, said he is optimistic that lawmakers will respect the spirit of SQ788 during next year’s legislative session. “The attitude of the lawmakers I’ve spoke to has been this: ‘You guys won the day. You put a law on the books. We will not change that law,’” he said. Chance Gilbert, president of the new trade organization, said the group’s guiding principle is a loyalty to patients and the law as approved by voters.
The attitude of the lawmakers I’ve spoke to has been this: ‘You guys won the day. You put a law on the books. We will not change that law.’ Chip Paul “We want to communicate to everybody that we want to be there for the people to be their voice after the 788 vote,” Gilbert said. “That’s what’s important to us and that’s why I wanted to bring everyone together, to just be that singular voice, because we know that’s important.” The dust is still settling in the aftermath of SQ788’s victory. Because medical marijuana is a new thing in the state, there is a lot of confusion around how it will look and work, both for prospective patients and for those interested in the business end of the industry. Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association
A draft of the Department of Health’s proposed rules for implementation can be read at the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s website omma. ok.gov. Paul said he was thrilled when he saw the Department of Health had put out a proposal of their own volition.. A meeting to vote on proposed ruies was pending at Oklahoma Gazette press time. “I was shocked when the Department of Health actually came out with stuff,” he said. “I was like, ‘Yeah!’” Chris Moe, a medical marijuana business advocate and member of the trade organization, said he is very encouraged by the fact that the Department of Health has shown initiative in putting something together. “That was the argument from the no side, that the health department wasn’t ready to handle this,” Moe said. “The fact that the health department stepped up and they’re ready to play ball is a good thing.” The proposed rules cover everything from the documentation required to obtain a medical marijuana license to standards for recommending physicians and requirements for retail facilities and labeling. One passage states that no products should be made in a way intended to attract children, like animal-shaped gummies or candies. Another prohibits doctors from recommending a license to co-workers, family members or women who are pregnant. The proposal also lists procedures for laboratory regulation and testing protocol. Paul said the medical marijuana industry agrees with the great majority of the regulatory framework outlined by the Department of Health. But there are some areas in which the two sides differ — for instance, proposed limits to the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content in medical marijuana products. The working draft of the Department of Health regulations also requires those seeking research licenses to be subjected to a background check, and they could be denied if they have a prior felony, something with which Paul doesn’t agree. “To own a business, yeah, we get that,” he said, regarding felony restrictions. “But these are really good work release programs and things like that.” The trade association has had at least one meeting with the Department of Health. In a video posted on Oklahomans for Health’s Facebook page, Moe said the
meeting was productive and relieving. “I fully believe this is going to work out the way we want it,” he said. “I can say there isn’t one single part of the home grow regulations they want to enact that I have a problem with.”
Path of failure?
Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association is not the only medical marijuana trade organization operating in the state. Another group, New Health Solutions Oklahoma, is less optimistic about what the lack of a special session means for the future of medical marijuana in the state. Executive director Bud Scott said the language of SQ788 was intentionally kept loose and didn’t have any of the enabling language. All sides had the understanding that lawmakers would chisel out those rules in special session. Scott believes not holding a special session is an attempt by opponents to set SQ788 up for failure. “Clearly they understand that this is the best way to stop this program,” he said. “They didn’t just become supporters of this program overnight, and it’s naive to think as much.” Scott said most lawmakers opposed to SQ788 did not want a special session before the November elections because vocal opposition to a popular measure would have jeopardized their electability. “The elections are the only thing holding these guys accountable,” he said. “Once that’s done, they don’t have an election for two years.” New Health Solutions, Scott said, has been supportive of the Department of Health from the beginning. He said their proposals for quality control provisions and testing provisions closely reflect the suggestions New Health Solutions submitted to the department months ago. The group does not support other proposals, like limits to THC. “Honestly, I think it’s arguable whether the Oklahoma State Department of Health has the authority to do any of its rulemaking,” Scott said, “particularly on subjects that are completely silent in 788.” He is also afraid that the Department of Health’s lack of legislative authority sets medical marijuana up for litigation gridlock as soon as they start accepting money for applications. Other states that have approved marijuana have had their programs delayed over pending litigation. “That is very clearly the path [state lawmakers are] laying out there,” Scott said. New Health Solutions is still pushing for a special session, though it said attempts to directly contact Fallin have not been successful. Scott feels that a special session might be the only way to ensure the timely and unchallenged implementation of medical marijuana. “We either address it now and do it right and get something that everyone can live with that’s a functional program,” he said, “or we go down that path which means we may not be any closer to cannabis than we were June 25th.”
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s tat e
An Oklahoma State Department of Health hiring freeze led to a depletion in the number of longterm care facility surveyors. | Photo bigstock.com
Oklahoma’s long-term care facilities are in need of surveyors and ombudsman volunteers. By Ben Luschen
Last year, Oklahoma long-term care facility surveyors conducted around 3,000 inspections across the state. That they managed to get to that many facilities is an impressive feat considering Oklahoma State Department of Health’s surveyor team contained just around 110 inspectors and was capped by a department-wide hiring freeze. Department of Health long-term care director Mike Cook said his team of surveyors had been affected by the hiring freeze since July 1, 2017. The freeze came five months before the department began a monthslong process of laying off more than 200 total employees due to a financial crisis it believed was affecting the agency. A grand jury later found that the believed crisis was the result of internal financial mismanagement and that the agency had funds sufficient for avoiding the layoffs. No state surveyors were lost due to layoffs, but Cook said the hiring freeze was a critical blow to a team with a high rate of staff turnover. Several surveyors retired or left their jobs for other positions in that time, which left the state shorthanded in its efforts to fulfill the core function of maintaining regulated long-term care facilities. “When you have a staff of 110 surveyors and you lose 10 percent and you can’t refill the positions, then you have a problem,” Cook said. Interim Commissioner of Health Tom Bates announced renewed surveyor hiring efforts in May. Cook said the announcement is a relief, but it might be more than a year before the state sees the full impact of new hires. State surveyors travel across the state inspecting the state’s approximately 700 nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The surveyors do regular check-ins at facilities where they inspect for regulation and rule compliance. They also respond to complaints, giving priority to the most serious complaints. If a surveyor finds noncompliance during a routine or complaint-driven visit, they 6
generally when they come here, this is what they want: to have a long career and retire. But then you have retirements. We just had another one the other day.” Cook remembers going through another surveyor shortage around five years ago that was remedied by legislative action. After the new hires took effect, he said the average number of inspections per year actually went down. Keeping a full surveyor staff, Cook said, is one of the most proactive measures a state can make in ensuring the quality of its care facilities. “By being on time,” he said, “you kind of see complaints go down because we’re there more frequently.”
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will also schedule a revisit at the facility to check for correction. Cook said before the hiring freeze, surveyors tried to get out to revisits within 45-60 days. “The way the staff is right now, we’re at 90 [days],” he said.
It will take awhile to see the full impact of new surveyor hires because each new inspector must go through an intensive training and testing regimen. New surveyors also need time in the field learning from experienced staff members during inspections.
While the light at the end of the tunnel is there, it’s really small. But it’s better than not having anything. Mike Cook Cook said it is often a year before someone would be sent on a solo inspection, and even then, it would be to a lesscritical facility. “To have a surveyor that can really do everything we ask, you’re looking at about two years,” he said. “So it hurts to lose one of those.” State surveyor hires are almost always registered nurses with a minimum of seven years experience. Cook said there is a notoriously high turnover rate in health care that can also be seen within the surveyor staff. “It’s just the nature of the health care industry,” he said. “It turns over a lot. I don’t know why that is.” Still, Cook said there is probably less turnover at the surveyor level than one would find in hospitals, which can be a high-stress environment. “It’s not so bad here,” he said, “because
State surveyors are not the only ones making regular visits to long-term care facilities. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services’ ombudsman program advocates for resident quality of life within a facility’s confines. “We investigate claims on their behalf, and we try to find some kind of resolution that is satisfactory to the resident to overcome any problems they might be having in the facility,” said William Whited, Oklahoma state longterm care ombudsman. The ombudsman program has a fulltime staff of about 22, but it also relies on a volunteer team to hear resident needs. Whereas a state surveyor is tasked with making sure a facility itself is meeting guidelines, the ombudsman team works to improve quality of life in ways that might not have anything to do with the facility. That could mean finding ways to increase community interaction or establishing communication with a faith leader. Though their jobs are different, Whited said the ombudsman program frequently overlaps with the work of state surveyors. “If they feel like an ombudsman can help in a situation, they will send us the information and ask us to go out,” he said. “If we get to a point where we feel like there needs to be some regulatory enforcement in a given situation, we make referrals to them as well.” Like state surveyors, Whited said the ombudsman program is short-handed. While he could use a few additional fulltime staffers, what he would really like to see is a swell in ombudsman volunteers. Anyone can volunteer for the program, whether they have a medical background or not. Whited said there is a free two-day training program to be an ombudsman volunteer. After a background check and conflict of interest screening, volunteers are then assigned to a long-term care facility where they spend two hours a week communicating with residents. The ombudsman program, Whited said, is a rewarding experience for its participants. “Every time I get a little bit frustrated with something, I go to a long-term care
facility and I visit with the residents and it refreshes me,” he said. “I feel like I get more out of it than the residents even do.”
Whited is happy to see the Department of Health return to its surveyor hires. He said maintaining long-term care facilities that meet a state standard is a vital function of the state. “The health department is a very critical organization when it comes to enforcing regulations,” he said. “We need to make sure they have the proper tools and resources to do their job the way they’re supposed to do their job.” There have been a few surveyor positions added since the hiring cap was lifted, but the new hires are unlikely to be out in the field before January or February. It will be several more months before they are ready for a solo facility visit. “While the light at the end of the tunnel is there, it’s really small,” Cook said. “But it’s better than not having anything.” Cook said state surveyors work really hard and he is thrilled for any amount of support the state throws their way. “I hope it’s been a lesson well learned that we don’t stop [hiring] again,” he said. “It’s extremely hard to get it going again.”
Oklahoma State Long Term Care ombudsman William Whited said the program’s volunteer branch offers a personally rewarding experience. | Photo Oklahoma Department of Human Services / provided
Department of Health long-term care director Mike Cook said training requirements could keep the state from seeing the full impact of new surveyor hires for at least another year. | Photo Oklahoma Department of Human Services / provided
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A thick field of candidates are competing in the special election to represent Ward 7 on the city council. By Ben Luschen
Former city councilman John Pettis resigned his Ward 7 position at the end of May after being charged with felony embezzlement and one count of intentional failure to file tax returns. His absence left a void on the council that has since been filled by Prospect Baptist Church minister Rev. Lee Cooper Jr. on an interim basis. But Pettis’ resignation was also seen by many as an opportunity to enter city politics themselves. Eight total candidates filed to replace Pettis, including his father, John Albert Pettis Sr. Ward 7 is a broad district that covers the eastern and northeastern portion of the city stretching as far north as NW 192nd Street and as far south as SE 44th Street. It includes Bricktown, the medical community, NE 23rd Corridor, Adventure District and other areas. Residents of the ward can cast their votes for a new councilmember during the Aug. 28 special election. There will be a runoff on Nov. 6 if none of the eight candidates receive a majority vote. Oklahoma Gazette takes a look at the candidates involved.
In the past, Alexander would call councilman Pettis about certain issues but would never get a call back. Over time, he got tired of the lack of communication, so when the Ward 7 seat came open, he saw it as an opportunity to make the position a more transparent and communicative one himself. Alexander, a 71-year-old retired former General Motors manager, said
his goal is to bring transparency and community collaboration to city council. If he were elected, one of Alexander’s primary goals would be to promote neighborhood watch programs as a way of improving safety. He believes Ward 7 includes some rough areas that could be corrected with more awareness and communication. “I would like to get the neighbors together to see what we can do to solve some of the problems,” he said. He also hopes to reduce utility bill payments for the retired and those over the age of 65, many of whom he said live on fixed incomes. “I would like to try to do something to take some of that burden off of them,” he said.
For the last 10 years, Butler has lived on a ranch inside Ward 7 with her husband, but before that, she gained city government experience while chairing the board of adjustments for the City of Del City. She also sat on Del City’s parks and recreation commission. Butler, 36, decided to sit out of politics after moving to OKC, but when she heard councilman Pettis was resigning, she thought the timing was right to use her experience in city government again. “We have tons of wonderful local restaurants and businesses here in Ward 7,” she said. “I’m sure a lot of these businesses have been around for years and years and years. I’d just like to get
1700 Northeast 63rd Street Oklahoma City, OK 73111 Mon – Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Sun, Noon – 5:00 p.m. nationalcowboymuseum.org/saloonseries18 (405) 478-2250 from left to right Ed Alexander, Lisa Butler, Chris Harrison, Leslie Johnson III, Nikki Nice, and Kirk Pankratz | All photos provided 8
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someone to say, ‘You know what? There’s something going on in Ward 7; we need to go check it out.’” Butler said Ward 7 is a diverse district that includes both rural and neighborhood communities. “I’m able to be a little bit diverse to know the difference between living in the country and living in the city,” she said.
Harrison believes councilman Pettis’ resignation should not distract from the fact that Ward 7 and the northeast OKC community has seen resurgent growth in recent years. “You don’t want to see the community suffer behind that,” he said, “and you want to keep the momentum going.” Harrison, 43, is a local businessman and owner of Heritage Funeral Home & Cremation Services. He is also an elected official serving as board president for Millwood Public Schools. Harrison also ran for the House District 97 seat in 2016 but lost in the Democratic primary to eventual winner Jason Lowe. If elected, Harrison’s three top priorities would be making health care more accessible, bolstering opportunities for employment and finding ways to work with Oklahoma City Public Schools (OKCPS) beyond what city council is typically asked to do. “A lot of people running for office for the first time say what they want to do, but when you ask them how they’re going to get it done, they haven’t had the experience of putting it together,” he said. “I just don’t think right now is a good time to be quote-unquote ‘learning on the job.’”
Leslie Johnson III
Ward 7 is large and diverse, and Johnson wants to make it his mission to be the best possible representative for each member of the community. The 41-year-old art teacher has long been active in community outreach programs, including his work with the summer program Project Promise, Douglass Recreation Center and the city’s Parks & Recreation Department. Johnson said he would try to promote entrepreneurship in the area and create job opportunities. He also wants to build stronger neighborhoods — places where people actually want to live. Every move he makes will be anchored by community feedback. “I want to go neighborhood by neighborhood, making things better in our ward,” he said. Johnson felt compelled to run because he saw a need in the community and wants to be an active force for good. “I just feel like this is a perfect time and I live in a perfect area within the ward,” he said. “I have neighbors that are really concerned about the growth in Ward 7, and I want to be the candidate to answer that call.”
As co-host of The Open Mic Talk Show on 92.1 FM, Nice said she has learned
a lot about the community just by listening to those who call in to the show. “That has helped me to get more engaged in understanding what’s happening in the community — not just the community that I live in, but other areas of Oklahoma City,” she said. Nice, 37, is a lifelong Ward 7 resident with a background in radio. She said she is a believer in the community and wants to strengthen neighborhoods and school systems. Another goal is to strengthen existing partnerships with community agencies and build new connections. “There’s so many people that have so many stories about the ward that they love,” she said. “My mission is to connect all of those. Moving forward together — that’s what we want to do for Ward 7.”
For years, Pankratz has been deeply involved in the Ward 7 community as the founder and former senior pastor at Church of the Harvest. Now he hopes to represent the area as its city councilman. “What I see in the ward is the opportunity for a lot of progress to be made that will help our community,” he said. Before founding the church, Pankratz, 59, was the founder of an oilfield service and rental company. If elected, he said a major priority would be looking at new ways the city council can work with OKCPS. He also wants to see more economic development in the area. Pankratz said his experience finding success in the oil industry helped prepare him for a leadership role. “I’m not the expert on everything I’m involved in,” he said, “but good leaders know how to bring together the smartest minds and other influencers and find a vision to rally behind and become the sustaining force to help move the project forward.”
John Albert Pettis
Pettis, 67, is the father of resigning councilman John Pettis. Oklahoma Gazette could not reach the senior Pettis for comment prior to deadline. Pettis formerly served as the mayor of El Reno.
Walsh’s name will be on the ballot Aug. 28, but she is asking Ward 7 residents not to vote for her. The 65-year-old OGE Energy employee filed for office after unsuccessfully trying to convince others to run for the vacant seat. She was worried about finding someone who cared to run for the seat; in the absence of finding anyone, she decided to run herself. After seeing there would be eight total candidates for the spot, her fears over a lack of interest were put to rest. She tried to drop out of the race but missed the withdrawal deadline. “I think it’s impossible for [voters] to compare the candidates and find what the differences might be when you have eight candidates,” she said. O kg a z e t t e . c o m | j u ly 1 1 , 2 0 1 8
Just when you thought things could not get any tougher on today’s youth, a brand-new problem is making its way to the hallways of Oklahoma schools. That’s right; our state’s new medical marijuana law is bound to expose innocent younglings to the irredeemably evil cannabis plant. As reported by NewsOK.com, Edmond Public Schools voted this month to expand its drug-testing program in the wake of State Question 788. Edmond had to act fast because there is absolutely no way we could ever allow teenagers to spoil the district’s pure and pristine hallways, bathrooms, parking lots and stadium bleachers with wretched reefer smoke. “I have great concern on medical marijuana and its effects on kids,” said Superintendent Bret Towne at Monday’s regular meeting of the Edmond Board of Education. Yes, it is definitely time to nip this marijuana thing in the bud before it becomes a real problem. There are no other major issues plaguing Oklahoma schools. Please move this one up to the very top priority and take immediate action on it. Edmond kids getting — gulp — high? Not our angels! It is interesting that Towne’s concern is related to the effects of specifically medical marijuana, given that licensees must be 18 years old or have two physician recommendations and parental approval. What’s he worried about, that some suburban teenager might actually find relief from their high level of anxiety? In all fairness, we suppose actually finding solutions for life’s problems as a teenager kind of cheats the whole high school experience. The expanded drug-testing program will include increased random testing, with 600 random tests set to occur sometime over the next school year. Testing had been reduced in recent
years due to budget constraints. In the past, only about 2-3 percent of drug-tested Edmond students have tested positive for drug use. At an estimated $32 per test, that can build up to a lot of money for not a lot of proven use. Superintendent Towne looks at it as more of a preventative measure. “This (testing) gives students a way to say ‘no’ to their peers,” he said. The issue is not that schools are drug testing. It’s the knee-jerk reaction to a weeks-old law in the face of far more harmful problems that seems tone-deaf. Aren’t shootings still something that happens almost each semester in schools around the country? Aren’t the more addictive and far more potentially harmful prescription opioid drugs the most imminent intoxicant threat the children of today face? It seems these issues are usually treated with a lot more slow deliberation. School district energy would be better spent trying to improve actual test scores.
On the afternoon of July 5, the Scott Pruitt voodoo doll that took up residence in Chicken-Fried News World Headquarters on February 17, 2017, started smoking. No, not cigarettes or blunts, but the kind of radiant heat-related smoking that suggests an impending explosion. The CFN team all turned to their smartphones and laptops, furiously checking social media to see what Lil’ Scotty was so peeved about. Then it came up on everyone’s screens: Pruitt, the former Oklahoma attorney general and Environmental “Protection” Agency administrator, had resigned effective the next day. Pruitt’s hot-water swim through 15 separate federal inquiries while in office was at an end, and CFN’s staff just sat there, bewildered like Robert Redford at the end of 1972’s The Candidate, screaming “What do we do now?!” To cap off the end of an era, this is what CFN will do now. We will unpack Pruitt’s letter of resignation, which, according to The Washington Post (WaPo), was solicited by the White House without any verbal conversation between Pruitt and his apparent demigod, President Donald Trump. Fair
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warning: This will be disrespectful. “Mr. President, it has been an honor to serve you in the Cabinet as Administrator of the EPA.” Technically, Pruitt was supposed to be serving the American people, not Trump, but Pruitt, who spent the past 17 months deregulating pollution controls for the energy sector and trying to get his wife Marlyn comfy gigs with Chick-fil-A and the Judicial Crisis Network, was serving himself like he was at Golden Corral. “Truly, your confidence in me has blessed me personally and enabled me to advance your agenda beyond what anyone anticipated at the beginning of your Administration.” We’ll give him this one — Pruitt was an outstanding Trump toady, and that is why he survived so long in an 18-month-old administration with a 61 percent attrition rate. “Your courage, steadfastness and resolute commitment to get results for the American people, both with regard to improved environmental outcomes as well as historical regulatory reform, is in fact occurring at an unprecedented pace and I thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the American people in helping achieve those ends.” CFN darkly laughs at “improved en-
OPEn tO tHE PubLIC
vironmental outcomes” because this is only true if you consider replicating the setting for Cormac McCarthy’s The Road one of your #squadgoals. “That is why it is hard for me to advise you I am stepping down as Administrator of the EPA effective as of July 6.” Again, according to WaPo, Trump ordered his staff to solicit Pruitt’s resignation. It’s only hard because he will not have access to fave rave restaurant Le Diplomate until he eventually secures a cushy K Street job lobbying for increased ground water contamination by factory pork producers. “It is extremely difficult for me to cease serving you in this role first because I count it a blessing to be serving you in any capacity, but also, because of the transformative work that is occurring.” Any capacity? Well, at CFN press time, there are 18 positions available at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., ranging from housekeeping to director of revenue management, something Pruitt might enjoy. Unfortunately, the hotel might see an uptick in the number of lotion bottles and mattresses mysteriously disappearing off the loading dock. “However, the unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a
sizable toll on all of us.” Those were not attacks. That is called reporting. Matt Damon never gets mentioned in tabloids because he and his wife stay home at night and research global water depletion. In other words, they stay out of trouble and maintain relatively boring lives. Pruitt neither stays out of trouble nor does he research global water depletion, which is a great way to get Tulsa World alum and current Associated Press environmental reporter Ellen Knickmeyer knocking on the door of your $43,000 soundproof booth. “My desire in service to you has always been to bless you as you make important decisions for the American people. I believe you are serving as President today because of God’s providence. I believe that same providence brought me into your service. I
pray as I have served you that I have blessed you and enabled you to effectively lead the American people.” This is what people talk about when they describe Trumpism as a cult. If Trump is the Rev. Jim Jones of modern American politics, Pruitt just did a Kool-Aid keg stand. “Thank you again Mr. President for the honor of serving you and I wish you Godspeed in all that you put your hand to.” Three words: Access Hollywood tape. Finally, CFN is sad to report the demise of the Scott Pruitt voodoo doll. When his likeness became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter, Lil’ Scotty screamed, burst into flames and crashed through the editor’s plate glass window. We’ve now been told that the CFN World Headquarters parking lot might be listed as a Superfund site after Lil’ Scotty’s detonation, but after Pruitt’s tenure at E“P”A, we’re not sure who to call anymore.
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EAT & DRINK
Pecan-filled pancakes are joined by excellent hash browns, eggs and toast. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
Choice Cafe delivers good food in a warm environment despite an exterior that connotes speed and convenience. By Jacob Threadgill
Choice Cafe 5205 S. Shields Blvd. | 405-634-9900 facebook.com/choicecafeokc What works: The hash browns are excellent, and the service is very good in a friendly environment. What needs work: The onions on the patty melt needed to be caramelized. Tip: Choice Cafe is open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
We’ve probably all heard the adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” so many times that we judge anyone who uses it. I know I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but I kept thinking about it as it pertains to the venerable Choice Cafe, 5205 S. Shields Blvd. The top comment on its Yelp page includes the dog whistle comment from Matt M., describing its location as a “scary part of town” in a five-star review. It made me want to seek out the restaurant even more, especially when I realized that most of its
Yelp reviews were extremely positive. The only ones below four stars were one placed by someone who meant to review a restaurant in Florida and a one-star review complaining that they haven’t actually been able to eat there because of its hours. For a restaurant that is only open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays, I understand the final complaint, but a user shouldn’t try to impact a business’ score just because it is a family restaurant that doesn’t keep long hours. Owner Saum (Sunny) Seraj is a former petroleum engineer-turnedcook who opened Choice Cafe in 1997. Sunny still dutifully mans the kitchen while an attentive waitress knows the name of regulars and will ask you what brought you in on your first visit. Upon my first trip to the cafe, I didn’t really understand the “scary part of town” comment. It’s located on a busy thoroughfare next to Tyler
Media’s Outdoor Advertising firm and a large recreational facility filled with softball and soccer fields. I guess there were a few motels nearby that looked like they charged by the hour, but I managed to pull into the parking lot without having to dodge any solicitation. With Choice Cafe’s large blue-andyellow awnings, I was expecting to find a restaurant that favored speed and convenience over a comfortable environment where customers could stay awhile and chat over an extra cup of coffee. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Choice Cafe is very clearly a converted house that features about eight booths on the walls and a few tables between them. The walls are lined with Oklahoma football memorabilia (Seraj is apparently a big Sooners fan), and it was a delightful way to spend a meal, especially since dining out has become so dominated by counter service and sleek décor. A diner feels like a diner, but this felt like eating at a bed and breakfast or an estranged great aunt’s house. Its menu is decidedly diner-esque. The breakfast menu (served all day) is centered on the classics. Pancakes are topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar and can have pecans or almonds added. A choice of two eggs can be joined by ham, bacon, sausage, corned beef hash and chicken-fried steak. There are eight large omelets ($6.95$7.95) that include Mediterranean (bell peppers, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, black olives and feta), Spanish (jalapeños, onions, tomatoes, topped with cheese and served with salsa) and gyro (seasoned gyro meat, sautéed onions and fresh tomatoes covered in feta). For lunch, the cafe offers five salads, a soup of the day and nine entrée platters featuring the usual suspects: hamburger steak, chicken-fried chicken and steak, grilled tilapia, fried shrimp and grilled chicken. The menu gets slightly more adventurous on the second page by offering gyros in pita or as a platter and offering four kinds of stuffed baked potatoes. As good as the gyro plate looked, I was drawn to the patty melt ($4.75, with fries for an additional $1.95). I was glad to see
Fresh hamburger is the star of the patty melt, and fresh french fries are topped with seasoning salt. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
they used wheat bread rather than the (sometimes) traditional rye bread, which I think overpowers the burger with caraway seed as opposed to enhancing a Reuben sandwich. I could immediately tell that the hamburger was fresh, not frozen, and the onions were cooked in some Worcestershire sauce for added flavor. I would’ve preferred the onions to be a little more caramelized, and it seemed as if the bread slices were toasted individually, rather than getting crispy on the flattop with butter like a grilled cheese. The fresh burger at its price was a welcome treat, and the semi-curly fries were fresh and soft, but by no means soggy. They were doused in seasoning salt for extra kick. During a morning visit to Choice Cafe, its relaxed and open floor plan promoted lively conversation between guests about the implementation of SQ788 without a special session. It showed that people were comfortable talking about anything. I ordered a short stack ($3.50, plus 50 cents for pecans) and two scrambled eggs with toast, jelly and hash browns ($3.65). The pancakes were large and clearly not traditional buttermilk. They looked like buckwheat flour, but I couldn’t get it confirmed from the waitress or kitchen. The pancakes weren’t overly sweet, which was very nice, with a crispy edge. The hash browns were hands-down the standout of my two meals. The hash browns were cooked on both sides to crisp the edges, and the fresh potatoes had almost a mashed potato quality on the interior. They were excellent, and it’s worth a trip to the cafe for the hash browns alone. Perception is something the restaurant is dealing with. The waitress told me that she has heard from many people who have driven down busy Shields Boulevard but have never thought to stop in for a meal. I hope more people stop into Choice Cafe. It holds its own against other excellent diners like Ray’s Cafe, Sherri’s Diner and The Hungry Frog Restaurant.
Choice Cafe is located at 5205 S. Shields Blvd. | Photo Jacob Threadgill O kg a z e t t e . c o m | j u ly 1 1 , 2 0 1 8
EAT & DRINK Bryan Kerr is owner of Moore Liquor and president of Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
have announced that they will close rather than commit the capital needed to retrofit their stores with refrigeration. At Western Avenue, Chris Hancock, owner of Freeman Liquor Mart, is dealing with the recent news that Jarboe will only deliver products once a week, down from four times a week. “The hardest thing [about SQ792] is the disruption in the supply system,” Hancock said. “There is no competition between suppliers as there was before. There’s been a lot of increase in markup in the last year. We’ll see what happens in the last 90 days [before the law goes into effect]. They’ll probably bring wine prices down for awhile to make the big-box stores happy.”
f e at u r e
Approaching law changes have liquor stores bracing for increased competition and decreased suppliers. By Jacob Threadgill
When State Question 792 passed with an overwhelming 65 percent of the vote in October 2016, many Oklahomans celebrated the opportunity to buy fullstrength beer and wine at grocery and convenience stores. As the law is set to take effect Oct. 1, it is already having an impact on local liquor storeowners and retail prices for consumers. Much more quiet than the publicized modernization of Oklahoma alcohol laws with the phasing-out of low-point beer, the addition of refrigeration to liquor stores and the ability to buy wine and liquor at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market, SQ792 changed the state’s liquor distribution system to a franchise system. The move decreases competition between wholesalers by allowing the state’s two biggest wholesalers to have exclusive rights to large national distributors. Bryan Kerr, owner of Moore Liquor, represented Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma during negotiations with SQ792 authors and state Senators Stephanie Bice (R-Oklahoma City) and Clark Jolley (R-Edmond, now retired). Walmart contributed $4.8 million to Yes on 792 Inc. and made donations to each legislator’s campaigns. “It’s very obvious that Senator Bice and former Senator Jolley’s names were on it, but [SQ792] was written by Walmart,” Kerr said. 14
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Oklahoma City’s wholesaler Central Liquor Company partnered with Republic National Distributing Company (RNDC), and Tulsa’s Jarboe Sales Company formed a joint venture with Miami, Florida-based Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, the country’s largest wine and spirits company. RNDC is the second-largest distributor. Kerr said that under the old system, national distributors sold to every wholesaler at the same price and wholesalers competed against each other’s bids. RNDC and Glazer represent about 90 percent of the liquor that comes into the state. Instead of being able to buy Jack Daniel’s from seven wholesalers, which he could do a year ago, he can now only get it from one. Over the past five years, the markup on spirits averaged 6 percent, and now it is 17 percent, Kerr said. A bottle of Crown Royal that retailed for just under $42 last year now sells for over $46, he said. “That one wholesaler doesn’t have competition, and now they’re only one phone call away from colluding with the distributor on raising prices or decreasing selection,” Kerr said. The markup on wine affected Mindy Magers, general manager and sommelier at The Pritchard, as early as February of this year. “I’m out of a lot of things that I would normally carry,” Magers said. “They
keep jacking up my costs. It’s going to be an adjustment period to the new laws. A lot of the things I was selling by the glass we can’t do anymore because it is too pricey.” Bice told The Oklahoman in January that liquor stores have the economic benefit of now being able to sell 85 percent of the beer in the market that was made up of low-point beer. “For those businesses willing to be innovative and willing to adapt to this change, they’re going to be fine,” Bice told The Oklahoman. “I think there’s a tremendous amount of upside from an economic development standpoint.”
There is no silver lining for anyone who owns a liquor store. Bryan Kerr
In a pre-election letter written by Bice and Jolley, they said a vote in favor of SQ792 is a vote for the free market that will create jobs. “How is it a win for the free market?” asked Ali Jones, owner of Express Wine & Liquor at 4015 N. Pennsylvania Ave. “When I started in the 1980s, there were 10 or 15 wholesalers with which you could do business. Now there are only two. There are some estimates that in a year or two, the new laws will put 250 to 300 small liquor stores out of business. We have to wait and see how much business we lose. It was a win-win for grocery stores.” Kerr said that at least three liquor stores in the Moore and south OKC area
Liquor stores have to update stores with refrigeration to sell beer and wine by Oct. 1. Kerr said that the investment is as small as a few thousand dollars for a small corner store and as large as $30,000-$130,000 for larger stores. He said he is putting in about $50,000 for refrigeration. Stan Stack, owner of Beau’s Wine Bin & Spirit Shoppe, will create a private refrigerator wine room for high-end bottles and another larger case for beer. “In a good business model, you always invest capital to increase revenue,” Stack said. “We are putting money into our capital just so we don’t lose as much. Over the last 16 states that have passed similar legislation, the loss in revenue [for liquor stores] has been a minimum of 25 percent and a maximum of 65 percent.” Under SQ792, liquor stores’ non-alcoholic sales are being capped at 20 percent. Kerr said that many liquor storeowners were ready for the law to change. Utah is now the only state that doesn’t allow refrigerators at liquor stores, and he understands that consumers want more choice to buy wine and liquor, but he took exception with how the 20 percent cap was implemented. During his meeting with Jolly and Bice, he asked if grocery and convenience stores’ liquor sales would be capped at 20 percent, but no concession was made. Tennessee put its grocery liquor law into effect in 2016 and marked up wine by 20 percent in grocery stores to protect liquor stores. “I got to experience how the political system works in real life and got run over in the process,” Kerr said. “There is no silver lining for anyone who owns a liquor store. If people want to stay in the business, they’ve got to get creative and put their head down and power through. There are liquor stores in every state, and the lucky ones will find a way.”
f e at u r e
Just Desserts OKC offers non-dairy ice cream that fools its customers. By Jacob Threadgill
There is no quantifying statement by the word “ice cream” at the Just Desserts food trailer as it sets up shop at its permanent weekend location at the corner of Western Avenue and 47th Street by design. Owner Matthew Harding made the switch to veganism about two years ago and began the process of expanding his Italian ice business by adding non-dairy ice cream when the trailer closed down over the winter. “I would try these pints of ice cream from health food stores that were $7, thinking it was a great ice cream,” Harding said. “They were not good. I would take them home and throw them away. I got frustrated because I loved ice cream.” Cognizant of the fact people might be scared away by seeing “vegan” or “non-dairy” ice cream on the sign, Harding prefers to allow customers to try it first. “Everyone that has tried it doesn’t even know it is dairy- or lactose-free,” he said.
This past winter, Harding said he went through about 100 gallons of the testing process to find a non-dairy ice cream that didn’t taste like wet chalk. Working in his food trailer equipped with a batch freezer that can turn out pints in about 30 minutes, he worked with a variety of dairy replacements: coconut, cashew and almond milk. Harding brought in ice cream batches to his day job at a Chevrolet dealership where his co-workers gave him feedback. He eventually settled on an ice cream base made out of a blend of coconut and almond milk. “I’m like Colonel Sanders; I’m not going to give away the recipe,” Harding
said. “The flavor profiles are very different, depending on what you make. I haven’t found a mass-produced [nondairy] one that is as good as super premium [dairy ice cream]. I wanted my product to taste like super premium.” Just Desserts sells eight flavors of ice cream: cookies and cream, banana fudge, piña colada, Key lime pie, chocolate, strawberry and lemon. The trailer offers five flavors of Italian ice: watermelon, cherry, mango, blueberry and sour apple. Single scoops are $3 in a cone or bowl, double scoops are $5 and pints are $6.
I’m more interested in putting out a highquality product than making a huge profit. Matthew Harding All of the products have as little added sugar as possible, Harding said, and there are no additives. Organic beet sugar is used when extra sweetness is needed. He said many mass-produced ice creams add chemicals to prevent the final product from melting at a normal rate, even when left under the sun. Just Desserts’ products have relatively few ingredients, compared to the long list of hard-to-pronounce chemicals found on a mass-produced ice cream. It’s something Harding learned from watching a lot of cooking shows hosted by Gordon Ramsay. “One of the things I learned from him is that if you want a quality product, you have got to start with the very best ingredients,” Harding said. “It’s the different between my stuff and what you get at the store, which is made by huge
Blaine, 11, pauses before biting into a double scoop. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
Key lime pie ice cream is filled with organic and gluten-free graham crackers. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
manufacturing companies. I’m more interested in putting out a high-quality product than making a huge profit.” The addition of ice cream to the menu at Just Desserts has invigorated Harding. In the previous four years, he only took the food trailer out for events and private bookings. At the end of May, he secured a permanent weekend spot in the parking lot at 47th Street and Western Avenue (1229 NW 47th St.), across from a 7-Eleven. The trailer will be up and running at that location every weekend unless it is has been booked for a private event. He said sales are up 40 percent compared to last year. “People are routinely coming down from Edmond, people have come from Blanchard and even a few places more than a hour away just to try the ice cream,” Harding said. “The ice cream has been a big boost for business.”
Path to veganism
Harding’s journey to veganism was admittedly one of twisting trails and bumpy roads. Ultimately, he felt called to a way of life that reduces harmful impact on the earth’s resources and other animals. “I was brought up on the wrong side of the tracks,” Harding said. “I survived an extraordinarily abusive alcoholic father. I was like a lot of young adults who were raised in an environment like that. I hated everybody on the planet, and I was a very angry person. It’s why so many kids are in prison; it’s the way they were brought up.” Harding began to look for something different, a way to break the cycle. He went to church but decided to go on a more personal, autodidactic path.
“Throug h that journey, it started studying stuff I didn’t know anything about: love, compassion and forgiveness. It was foreign to me as walking on the surface of Mars,” he said. “It was a long journey; I shook my fist at the creator more than once. Through that journey, I finally learned forgiveness for the things that happened to me. I learned to forgive myself, which is much harder.” Harding used the help of groups like Red Earth Vegans and the Facebook group Vegan OKC to pick up tips for converting to a vegan diet. Ultimately, his full transition came out of a love for animals. “If you’re doing it for yourself, becoming a vegan is very hard,” he said. “If you’re doing it because you have compassion for the animals, it becomes very easy.” Just Desserts is by no means only catering to vegan customers. Harding wants people to realize that 65 percent of the human population has a reduced ability to digest lactose after infancy, according to the National Institutes of Health. Lactose intolerance is as high as 90 percent in people of East Asian decent. “The human body was never designed to drink milk from another species,” Harding said. Call 405-401-6378 or visit facebook. com/justdessertsokc.
Emery, 11, indulges in a double scoop of Just Desserts’ non-dairy ice cream. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
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eat & DRINK
Pulled pork is a menu item that is immensely popular, but the difference between freshly smoked and pulled varieties and the overcooked and mushy versions can be vast. Make sure you get seven good versions with these seven restaurants. By Jacob Threadgill with Gazette / file and submitted photos
9148 N. MacArthur Blvd. eatatsunnyside.com | 405-722-8262
It’s been an exciting 2018 for the Sunnyside Diner brand, opening a south side location on SW 89th Street in February and the MacArthur Boulevard location in April. Sunnyside’s pulled pork is featured prominently in the Hillbilly Hash: barbecue pork and sauce over roasted potatoes topped with eggs. Also, get the pork with an omelet or inside the new Classen breakfast burrito with hash browns, eggs, pico and ranchero sauces.
Bill Kamp’s Meat Market
Serving customers since 1810, Bill Kamp’s certainly has the reputation for a great selection of fresh, high-quality meats. Its daily takeout specials also have plenty of fans. Its Friday pulled pork sandwich is the most popular because it offers more than the usual with its Weepin Willie red cabbage spicy slaw. Regular coleslaw is available if you don’t want heat, and the pork is served with North Carolina vinegar sauce or a sweet version made in Oklahoma.
The Okie Pig has been a signature sandwich at Interurban since 1976. As the restaurant has expanded to include eight locations, the sliced pork sandwich has remained the same until recently. Management made the switch to pulled pork last week to promote a juicier sandwich. Its bright green dill relish is still a sandwich staple that makes it stand out from other pork sandwiches. It can be topped with hot sauce, barbecue sauce or both.
7310 N. Western Ave. billkampsmeatmarket.com 405-843-2455
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The Butcher BBQ Stand
What started as a food truck has continued its success since opening a brickand-mortar location in Bethany. MOB’s pulled pork is smoked for 12 hours with a combination of mesquite and pecan wood and is seasoned with a roasted garlic rub. It gets finished with apple juice for added sweetness. You can get pulled pork on its own sandwich, added to a grilled cheese or topped on a hamburger with the MOB Butcher sandwich.
Good pulled pork is well worth a road trip. Father-son pair Levi and David Bouska, who appeared on the reality series BBQ Pitmasters in 2016, runs The Butcher BBQ Stand. Prepare for a weekend getaway as the bright red food trailer is only open Friday-Sunday. The Meat Locker ($32) includes a sampling of all eight meat varieties offered, but its pulled pork is a standout item well worth the trip.
Chef Stephen Schmidt’s smoker nicknamed Norma Jean is on full display at Hacienda Taco. Whether it is the juicy brisket or pulled pork, there is plenty of smoky flavor in the meat not normally found at a Mexican restaurant. The al pastor is not the traditional sliced meat; instead, it’s a pulled pork that gets a boost from pineapple, roasted red peppers and feta cheese.
The menu is science-themed, but a pop quiz that ends with a baked potato topped with house-smoked pulled pork is much more fun than having to do equations. Psychology tops a fresh baked potato with hickory-smoked pulled pork. William Myles serves as pitmaster, bringing his Memphis roots with him to develop juicy pulled pork and an indemand barbecue sauce for the restaurant owned by sons Kevin and Marcus.
6213 NW 39th St., Bethany mobgrill.com | 405-206-6437
3402 W. Highway 66, Wellston butcherbbqstand.com | 405-240-3437
12086 N. May Ave. haciendatacos.com | 405-254-3140
6241 Northwest Expressway spudology.com | 405-721-1533
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ARTS & CULTURE
Pulp art Isabelle de Borchgrave’s elaborate paper-based work takes a page from baroque fashion. By Nazarene Harris
Isabelle de Borchgrave does not waste crumpled paper. The 72-year-old, Belgium-born contemporary artist makes treasure out of what so many of us regard as trash. Be it the rough draft of a novel, an expired to-do list, a grocery store receipt or an old love letter that has lost its lure, de Borchgrave could give it an extra crumple, smooth it out and make from it a masterpiece — durable furniture, wearable jewelry or a life-sized 17th century-inspired ball gown like the ones currently on display in Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper at Oklahoma City Museum of Art. “We are thrilled to host Isabelle de Borchgrave’s work in Oklahoma City,” said Michael Anderson, museum director of cultural affairs. “Visitors will be amazed at the intricacy and beauty of her artwork and surprised to know she crafted the work in this exhibition using just paper and paint.”
It is said that de Borchgrave’s fascination with creation began early in life, having drawn all over the hardwood floors in her bedroom as a toddler and teaching local neighborhood children how to paint and draw as a teenager. De Borchgrave went on to study art at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels where she specialized in painting, sculpture and interior design. A visit to New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1994 sparked the artists’ interest in the potential of paper. Using the same technique she uses today, de Borchgrave began painting large pieces of plain white sheet paper, cutting the pieces into smaller ones, crumpling them up and then smoothing them back out again. After she repeats the process long enough, the paper even-
from left “A Russian Lady” and Isabelle de Borchgrave’s versions of a variety of costumes initially designed by Natlia Goncharova for the Russian Ballet Le Coq d’Or in 1914. | Photo Karson Brooks
tually resembles fabric. De Borchgrave began creating paper replicas of some of history’s most iconic fashion moments, from a gown worn by Queen Elizabeth I to elegant dresses designed by Coco Chanel. In 1998, her dresses went on display in an exhibit titled Papiers à la Mode that traveled throughout France, Asia and the United States. De Borchgrave’s exhibit grew as she traveled with it. She added paper replicas of historic clothing worn in Turkey and Japan, among other nations. In 2004, a Chicago department store commissioned her to create an exact paper replica of the wedding gown Jacqueline Kennedy wore when she married President John F. Kennedy. “It was dusty and fragile,” de Borchgrave recalled for an interview with the popular British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph. “It was wrapped up in black tissue paper and the silk was dead; you couldn’t touch it. The paper one brings it to life again.” The replica is currently on display at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum in Boston.
Once again, history is being brought back to life through de Borchgrave’s work. For the first time ever, all four of the artist’s fashion collections have been combined into Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper. The exhibit boasts 78 life-size paper costumes that encompass over 500 years of global fashion history. “This exhibition is the culmination of a fruitful collaboration among several institutions,” Oklahoma Museum of Art
president Michael Whittington said. “The work began several years ago when the OKCMOA team and our colleagues met with the artist in her Brussels studio to explore the possibility of a retrospective that would tour throughout the United States.” De Borchgrave’s four fashion collections on display are The World of Mariano Fortuny, which showcases 20th-century Venice fashion; Splendor of the Medici, which features Florenceinspired dresses, shoes and jewelry; Les Ballets Russes, which pays tribute to artists Sergei Diaghilev, Pablo Picasso, Leon Bakst and Henri Matisse, who all designed for Russia’s iconic ballet company; and Papiers à la Mode, which takes a fresh look at 500 years of fashion history through 25 life-size paper replica ball gowns.
After a tour of de Borchgrave’s exhibit in June, two of the artist’s fans posed for a picture while each wore a piece of jewelry designed by her. Brooke Baum proudly showed off her maple leaf-inspired gold paper earrings while her friend Phi Nguyen showcased her gold paper necklace. Both women purchased the Isabelle de Borchgrave jewelry from the museum’s gift shop. They are both members of Moderns, a group of young professionals throughout the metro who support the museum’s efforts to showcase the works of celebrated artists like Isabelle de Borchgrave. Nguyen raved about de Borchgrave. “When you walk through these halls and have almost a hundred elaborate life-size historical dresses take you back to a place of grandeur and luxury and then leave wearing this stunning piece of jewelry designed by the same artist who made those dresses ... then you know you are in the presence of something pretty special,” Nguyen said. Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper is on display at Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive, through Sept. 9. The museum will host exhibit tours, paper art classes, family art and fashion workshops and museum play dates throughout the summer. Visit okcmoa.com.
“Portrait of Charlotte-Marguerite de Montmorency, Princess of Condé, circa 1610” by Peter Paul Rubens with Isabelle de Borchgrave’s dress interpretation. | Images Oklahoma City Museum of Art / provided and Photo Karson Brooks
from left Isabelle de Borchagrave’s paper dress inspired by Agnolo Bronzino’s circa 1544 portrait of Eleanora of Toledo and “Mantua,” based on a ca. 1750 court mantua in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. | Photo Karson Brooks
Museumgoers view a portion of Isabelle de Borchgrave’s recreations of historical fashion by early 20th-century Spanish designer Mariano Fortuny. | Photo Meg Cherie
Isabelle de Borchgrave: Fashioning Art from Paper through Sept. 9 Oklahoma City Museum of Art | 415 Couch Drive okcmoa.com | 405-236-2100 Free-$12 O kg a z e t t e . c o m | j u ly 1 1 , 2 0 1 8
ARTS & CULTURE
“For Rose” by Rick George | Image Rick George / JRB Art at the Elms / provided
“Building 7.2 (Malecón), Havana, Cuba” by Catherine Adams | Photo Catherine Adams / JRB Art at the Elms / provided
Exploring Identity JRB Art at the Elms features the distinctive work of three artists in July. By Eric Miller
What does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to be a noncitizen? What does it mean to be human? These are among the questions that JRB Art at the Elms owner Joy Reed Belt hopes visitors and patrons will ponder as part of a series of three solo exhibitions in July. The featured artists — Catherine Adams, Ginna Dowling and Rick George — could hardly be more different stylistically, yet each contributes to a greater thematic unity that lends the presentation its name: Identity. “It’s an essential theme of humanity,” Belt said. “But besides that, it’s beautiful work.”
Old and new
Adams’ exhibition, The Acute Charm of Ruin & Development, focuses on Cuba as a photographic subject. While her work documents the troubled nation at a specific political moment — the brief period that promised a warmer, economically beneficial relationship with the United States — Adams sought to capture deeper truths. “I do not want to give the impression, via my photographs, I do not want to repeat the cliché that Cuba is just a mess,” Adams said. “I would like people to know people are living with happiness, with joy, with enthusiasm, with dignity.” Viewers of Adams’ work are invited to make an aesthetic connection with that lived-in reality. In doing so, they 20
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might recognize an undeniable humanity — even as Cuba grapples with its own issues of national identity in the post“Noir’s Tale” by Ginna Dowling | Image Ginna Dowling / JRB Art at the Elms / provided
Castro era and questions about the possibility of rapprochement persist. “There are places that, for whatever reason, we as a country, we as a community are not encouraged to know or encouraged to understand, and I would like, through my work, to build a bridge to knowing something a little more about people from whom we are blocked off,” she said. Meanwhile, Adams’ exploration of the changing relationships between countries continues. She has already embarked upon travels across the Middle East, the Caucusus and Central Asia, tracing a path that echoes the ancient Silk Road. She is especially interested in recording the effects of the tourist industry. “Tourism is becoming a force internationally, particularly for countries where economic revenue is not necessarily easy to come by, and so they’re reinventing themselves as tourist destinations,” she said. “It’s like a new form of Silk Road. It’s a new connection that they can create with the outside world.” Vaguely similar themes reverberate through Dowling’s contribution, Contemporary Hieroglyphy, whose much more abstract designs tell the stories of
individuals from different countries and all conceivable demographic backgrounds. The project took conceptual root with a trip to Ireland, where Dowling observed the millennia-old hieroglyphs on the walls of several Neolithic monuments. Some were mysterious; others suggested immediate interpretations embedded somewhere in the collective human psyche. She began to think about what modern-day hieroglyphs would look like, ultimately arriving at a kind of communal art. She invited participants to tear shapes and symbols from pieces of paper to represent objects or ideas that they consider central to their identities — for example, the resilience of a cancer patient. She then altered the glyphs according to her own artistic vision, careful to retain their intended symbolism. “I have been able to work with people and individuals enough to know what the glyphs mean,” Dowling said. “I feel kind of like the keeper of the stories.”
I would like people to know people are living with happiness, with joy, with enthusiasm, with dignity. Catherine Adams As an artist with extensive installation experience, Dowling initially found it challenging to tailor her work to the gallery space. But she ended up with an exhibition that did justice to her project. “It’s fun to come in and try to figure out what they all mean,” she said, “and they mean different things to everybody, which is very appropriate about art anyway.” Artist and illustrator George rounds out the group. Titled Illustrated Portraits, his exhibition centers on recognizable human figures that are exaggerated in a
sympathetic manner, Belt said. “They’re not caricatures, but they have some of that quality,” she said. The portraits in question skew heavily toward famous rock musicians of the 1960s and ’70s, now in their “old age,” plus a few pieces on buildings and objects, George said. “I’ve been a musician longer than I’ve been an artist, so I kind of gravitate toward musicians,” he said. Belt calls George’s contribution the most personal — in the sense of being the most focused on the individual — out of the three artists on display. In this way, the combined effect of the exhibitions is to encompass countries, communities and individual people — three layers at which identity can exist, Belt said.
A positive note
To label the Identity series as purely political would be a mistake. For one thing, it was not scheduled to coincide with any recent headlines. “We book our shows a year or two out, and I wasn’t thinking about today’s news when I booked it,” Belt said. “But I was thinking that Cuba was a story that needs to be told, and as it turns out, it’s very relevant.” For their part, and to varying degrees, each of the artists seems to convey elements of hope and joy in their work, a conscious defiance of the nihilism to which modern life makes it all too easy to succumb. “Hardly anything I do should be taken very seriously,” George said. “It’s all got a little bit of humor in it.” Visit jrbartgallery.com.
Identity through July 31 JRB Art at the Elms | 2810 N. Walker Ave. jrbartgallery.com | 405-528-6336 Free
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ARTS & CULTURE
48 Hour Film Project puts moviemaking on fast-forward. By Jeremy Martin
Last year, Oklahoma City’s 48 Hour Film Project resulted in a 911 call. “I am looking at the dumpster, and there’s something very disturbing,” said the caller. “I’m not sure if I’m looking at it right. … I hope I’m looking at it wrong, but I don’t wanna touch. It’s in a plastic bag, and there’s red.” Fortunately, the caller was just looking at a person-sized bit of movie magic created by the WAFTI Show team for their entry The Bar at the End of the World. “At the end of The Bar at the End of the World, there is a fake dead body that’s hanging from the rafters of the stage,” said producer John Souders. “When we were done filming, we threw it in a dumpster and it was seen by another person that thought it was a real body.” The 48 Hour Film Project, now in its eighth year in Oklahoma City, challenges filmmakers to complete an entire short film in the course of a single weekend. Typically the emergencies that arise during the competition are artistic differences or technical issues that don’t merit police investigations. Ben Hlavaty, who has served as producer for the project for six years, said the purpose is to get filmmakers to give themselves a strict deadline and then figure out how to meet it, often through imaginative, improvised problem solving.
If you’re not doing it for the fun of it, why are you doing it? Brian Gililland
“You’re kind of forced to be creative and it really makes your creative juices flow,” Hlavaty said. “You’ve got to work with people you might not know that well, ’cause you build a team and get people that have specific skills that you don’t have. You put this team together and you kind of learn a lot about yourself over that weekend — how well you cope with intense pressure … and see how you work on no sleep, because nobody gets any sleep that weekend. It’s a tiring process, and it kind of pushes you.” To ensure that the film is created entirely within the 48-hour time period, participants must draw the genre for their film from a hat 7 p.m. July 20, at Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., when they’ll also be informed of a specific prop, character and line of dialog they must include. The finished product, a short film 4-7 minutes long, must be turned in by 7:30 p.m. July 22. 22
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Hlavaty, who works as a digital media instructor at Eastern Oklahoma County Technology Center, said he encourages his students to participate in the project because it’s a hands-on introduction to the filmmaking process and teams are always looking to add members at all experience levels. “You always need more help on a shoot like this because there’s never enough time, and there’s never enough hands to get it done in such a short amount of time,” Hlavaty said. “We have a lot of people that show up to the meetand-greet events that have no filmmaking experience whatsoever. They just want to know what it’s about, and the filmmakers are like, ‘Hey, if you want to know, come hop on our team,’ and they can get an opportunity to see what it’s like and see if it’s something they’re interested in. Whether they like it or not for a career, they’re like, ‘You know, I had a great time working on that. I want to do it again.’ Nine times out of 10, people just can’t wait to do it again next year.”
Brian Gililland, who has led the Okie Show Show team in competition for three years and will serve as a judge in this year’s competition, said that as an experienced professional filmmaker, he still looks forward to the 48 Hour Film Project every year. “As a sound guy, I work on everybody else’s stuff constantly, and sometimes it’s super fun and sometimes it’s just mind-numbingly bad,” Gililland said, “but for 48 … I get to come together with the whole group of my friends and just get to spend the weekend with them making something that was super fun, and just doing it because we love film.” The Office Case, the film Gililland’s team completed in last year’s project, won eight awards including best film — their second time earning the top prize. However, Gililland said that winning awards is the wrong goal to have when making a movie in 48 hours. “My number one word of advice is just, ‘Have fun,’” Gililland said. “If you’re not doing it for the fun of it, why are you doing it? I think too many people get into the 48 with this personal expectation. They just want to win … and that might be great for that one guy who wants to slap his name on the movie as a ‘Whatever Production,’ but for the team, it’s not a whole lot of fun. It’s super stressful. It eventually just seems kind of like a waste of time, a waste of effort. When you’re doing it for the pure fun of it and you’re doing it for the celebration of film in the first place, it just makes it so much more of
an enjoyable experience for everybody and so much more rewarding for everybody. I feel like you get a lot better stuff out of it anyway because everybody’s there for a purpose. … What you don’t want to do is do the 48 and then lose all of your friends.” Last year, Hlavaty said 31 teams initially set out to make films in 48 hours and three teams failed to finish within their allotted time. One of those teams, as chronicled in Souders’ The Documentary at the End of the World, was WAFTI Show, who turned their film in one minute late because they couldn’t get it transferred to a flash drive in time. “You’re sitting there watching this data transfer,” Souders said, “and then you’re watching the clock at the same time and it’s like, ‘85 percent transferred. One minute left.’ And you’re like ‘Wait!’ … That’s a hard thing to deal with.” The Bar at the End of the World was
Behind the scenes on The Bar at the End of the World, WAFTI Show’s award-winning entry for 2017’s 48 Hour Film Project. | Photos John Souders / provided
still included in the screening and won an audience choice award. Souders recommends the 48 Hour Film Project to aspiring filmmakers and anyone curious about how movies are made. “Not only is it a great way to get your foot in the door and learn how to make a film, it is the most valuable networking experience that you’re going to get in this filmmaking community,” Souders said. “Not only is it rewarding, it’s a high unlike any other.” Oklahoma City’s 48-Hour Film Project kicks off 6 p.m. July 20, and all films must be turned in by 7:30 p.m. July 22. Films will be screened 4-10 p.m. July 29. All events will be held at Tower Theatre. Visit 48hourfilm.com/oklahomacity.
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Oklahomans work to redefine one of the state’s most shameful incidents. By Joshua Blanco
On the morning of May 31, 1921, a young black man by the name of Dick Rowland was arrested in the Greenwood area of Tulsa for an alleged assault on a white female that took place the day before. Sarah Page, the victim of the supposed assault, refused to press charges. While the events that transpired remain shrouded in mystery, many individuals in the white community believed it to be an incidence of rape. Despite a lack of evidence, word spread like wildfire. What might have been a simple misunderstanding turned into a bloody massacre that lasted through the first of June 1921. “In those days, that was a no-no. They took you out and hung you. No recourse; no trial,” said Art Williams, former professor of sociology at Langston University. Soon after his arrest, a mob gathered to remove Rowland from his cell in an effort to have him lynched. However, a group of African-American individuals took up arms in an attempt to put an end to the madness. “[The African-American community] were armed after World War I. And they just kind of got to the point where they were not gonna take it anymore,” Williams said. The fight that ensued escalated into a full-blown assault on the area fondly referred to as Black Wall Street, an event known today as The Tulsa Race Riot. According to Karlos Hill, interim director of African and AfricanAmerican Studies at University of Oklahoma, Greenwood “is noted to have been the wealthiest black community per capita in the country at the time.” For those familiar with the event, labeling the incident as a riot is a poor
The burning of Greenwood. | Photo Tulsa Historical Society & Museum / provided
understatement that implies a subtle denial of the severity of the matter. “I think it’s more appropriate to refer to it as a massacre, and that’s because when we talk about it as a massacre, we get closer to what actually happened, which was the indiscriminate killing of black people — men, women, children — the systematic destruction of … the community,” Hill said. “Every significant building — whether a church, a business, a home — was destroyed or severely damaged. That was done on purpose. … It’s clear it wasn’t just an outburst.”
Tensions were running high between members of the black and white communities, leading to a number of discriminatory issues across the state years before the massacre took place. According to Williams, the Ku Klux Klan had been pushing to expand its membership to urban areas in 1915. By 1916, anti-black sentiment had only worsened. “Tulsa passed an ordinance that mandated residential segregation by forbidding blacks or whites from residing on any block where three-fourths or more of the residents were of the other race,” Williams said. A supreme court ruling overturned the measure, but the ordinance was kept on the books. Racial tensions were further exacerbated by the Red Summer of 1919 that followed, and while Tulsa was in the midst of an economic slump, Black Wall Street prospered. continued on page 24
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“Anytime the piece of pie gets smaller, you’re gonna find some scapegoats,” Williams said. “[African-American citizens] were the culprits of who did what.” The Tulsa incident finally broke out in a culmination of violence and bigotry leaving 100-300 people dead over the course of 18 hours. The bulk of the death toll was primarily comprised of African-Americans. When the citizens of Greenwood sought to rebuild their part of the city, more complications arose. “In historical context, the word ‘riot’ was used during that time because many insurance clauses prohibited companies from rebuilding if their damage was due to riot,” said Jamaal Dyer, director for the centennial commemoration of Tulsa’s 1921 race riot. “And so that was, at the time, the city government’s way of trying to ensure that the black businesses were unable to rebuild by utilizing and claiming the name ‘riot.’” But that’s not what it was. Aside from an outright denial of truth, mislabeling the event was a major step in a plan to halt the regrowth of the prominent African-American community residing in Greenwood. Nonetheless, the area continued to thrive despite a horrific blow. Freeman Culver, president-elect of Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, explained there were barbershops, doctors, hotels, grocery stores — just about everything you could possibly need or want in a town. “After the massacre, those entrepreneurs, churches and other establishments built it all back without insurance money,” Culver said. “That’s the story that must be told.” Homes and business alike were eventually forced out of the area following the approval of urban renewal, a program Dyer refers to as “urban removal.” “Through the massacre, they were resilient. From its inception, you know, finding a place for black entrepreneurs and black people to live and claim their own … they bounced back and they showed strong leadership and strong fortitude,” Dyer said. “Being able to come back and bounce back. That’s resilience.” cultu r e
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At that point, the truth about the massacre was still largely untold. “For more than 80 years, the white supremacists’ version was the official version — that the riot was caused by black men coming downtown … firing upon a crowd of white people. And then the white community responded in the way that they did … was justified because, you know, the AfricanAmericans were in rebellion,” Hill said. In 2001, Oklahoma Commission issued a report to set the record
straight, releasing an investigation in an attempt to recover the facts and make amends. Referencing the report, Williams said, “The city has conspired with the white mob against the Tulsa black community. It also recommended a program of reparations to survivors. … Most of them were deceased.” Hill stated there was $1.5-$4 million of damage incurred in the community. And those who lost their lives will never be repaid. Relabeling the event is one way to pay homage to those individuals.
The burning of Greenwood. | Photo Tulsa Historical Society & Museum / provided
“I would think we do a disservice to those who died and those who lost everything when we call it a race riot,” Hill said. “When you tell it from the vantage point of those who suffered, the destruction and death fell most heavily on, it’s a different narrative than what was told in the days and the months and the years after it occurred.” Still, many people remain ignorant of the events that took place after Rowland’s arrest. “Tulsa Public Schools would not incorporate it in the curriculum,” Williams said. “It’s history. It was a bad history, but it’s still American history.” Hill is currently working to engage teachers with the subject matter so they might be better suited to effectively pass the information on to their students. For example, he initiated a seminar at Wilson Teaching & Learning Academy that lasted four days. “It’s something that has to be taught,” Hill said. “If there’s a way, and there surely is a way, to empower teachers to do it more confidently. … I wanted to be a part of that. I wanted to help to initiate that.” Three years away from the centennial commemoration, the Greenwood community shows no signs of slowing down. “My sincere hope is that the anniversary won’t just be a moment to commemorate, but it’ll be a moment to say, ‘You know, there’s been work done in the 100 years’ and try to address it instead of continuing to look past it, ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist,” Hill said. “It’s all about what can we do now, what can we do today.”
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Big chew Megalodon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived separates fact from fiction. By Ben Luschen
Though his net worth and killer business instincts help celebrity businessman Mark Cuban figuratively eat fledgling entrepreneurs alive on Shark Tank, the outspoken billionaire would be a literal snack to megalodon, the real king of sharks. “As a human, you would just be an hors d’oeuvre,” said Kyle Davies, a museum preparator at University of Oklahoma’s Sam Noble Museum in Norman. Megalodon, which reached 60 feet in length and 50 or more tons in its largest known form when it last swam oceans around 2 million years ago, has long had a hold on mankind’s imaginations. But megalodon fever seems to have grown to its own epic scale in recent years, fueled partly by the popularity of the controversial 2014 mockumentary Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, which Discovery Channel ran as part of its annual Shark Week programming. The television special depicted a fictional search for a living megalodon but presented it in the style of a factual documentary without much indicator that the film was intended as entertainment. The buzz has continued to grow from there and might be meeting its apex Aug. 10 when actor Jason Statham’s Jawschanneling summer thriller The Meg hits movie theatres. Outside pop culture, megalodon is also the toothy subject of the touring exhibition Megalodon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived, open through Jan. 6 at Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., in Norman. The exhibit was developed by Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville with support from the National Science Foundation.
Excitement surrounding megalodon has perhaps never been higher than what it will be this summer, but Davies said Sam Noble Museum didn’t necessarily plan for its turn with the exhibit to overlap with The Meg’s film release. “To be perfectly honest, we lucked out,” he said. “You have to schedule these things about two years in advance of actually getting them.” Pop culture helped raise the shark’s profile, but mankind has been fascinated with the ancient creature since first finding its fossilized teeth (the largest being more than 7 inches long) over 1,000 years ago. It is natural that people would be drawn to a colossal predator like megalodon. The sharks alive today are fascinating enough, so imagining one nearly as long as two school buses is a lot to think about. “When people are doing anything in the natural world, they always start asking, ‘What’s the biggest and what’s the smallest?’” Davies said. “And when you start talking about sharks, megalodon is the biggest shark that we know.” Aside from its sheer size, megalodon also earns naturalist cred for the clear power behind its mighty jaws. “Let’s be honest,” Davies said. “Humans are fascinated by things that want to chomp on you.”
Visitors to the Megalodon exhibit can actually step inside a reconstructed model of the creature’s enormous jaws — if they dare. The full display is packed with scientific and historical accounts
Sam Noble Museum visitors can step inside the a reconstructed frame of what the largest estimated megalodon shark would have been. | Photo Sam Noble Museum / provided
of the creature. Davies said a major goal of the exhibit is to tie megalodon in with the conservation challenges facing many contemporary sharks. “Modern sharks don’t actually have a fast reproductive system,” he said. “So if you overfish them, it takes the populations a fair amount of time to recover.” Megalodon is often depicted as simply a larger version of the popular great white shark, but truthfully, no one really knows what the creature looked like. Because shark skeletons are made of cartilage, they are not preserved on the fossil record. All scientists have to observe are their enormous teeth, and megalodons’ size has been calculated from there with knowledge of living shark species. One thing scientists do know about megalodon is that it was a big eater. Great white sharks are known as fearsome predators, but megalodon makes those sharks look meek. “A great white would just be less than a day’s meal [for megalodon],” Davies said. “You would have to eat a couple of those if you want to be satisfied.” Megalodon most likely fed on whales, large marine mammals and even other megalodons. The shark swam the oceans from the Early Miocene to the end of the Pliocene periods. Megalodon died out long before the first humans walked the Earth. “Now, if it was lucky, megalodon could have eaten some of our ancestors like Homo erectus,” Davies said. The shark might have had a role in eating itself into its own extinction. Davies said scientists have found the end of megalodon seems to coincide with the transition of whales from their larger prehistoric versions to the smaller, faster whales we know today. There is reason to believe whales evolved into more elusive versions of themselves in order to evade the lumbering megalodon. Many whales even became cold-adapted and moved to waters near the Arctic far away from the warm-watered megalodon.
The Megalodon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived exhibit uses the ancient megalodon to bring awareness to the conservation of contemporary shark species. | Photo Sam Noble Museum / provided
Once whales became a scarce food option, it is likely that the shark could not scrounge up enough food to support itself. “If you’re not getting that regularly, you starve to death,” Davies said. “And you yourself become a big pile of meat.”
The ocean — and particularly its dark and mostly unexplored nautical depths — is full of mystery. There are all sorts of bizarre-looking creatures swimming around the ocean floor. Could it be possible that there is a living megalodon hiding somewhere unnoticed by man? Davies said he is skeptical of the possibility. “It would be a complete change in the animal for it to become adapted to be in those super-deep oceans where we wouldn’t have seen it,” he said. The ocean’s deepest waters are not only incredibly dark, but cold. As the fleeing ancient whales likely noticed, megalodon appears to have not liked the cold very much. “While you find megalodon [teeth] around the world,” Davies said, “you never find it outside of the temperate zones.” The colossal shark is very much alive in the sea of our imaginations. But Davies said the notion that one might find megalodon anywhere other than the silver screen should go extinct. “It’s always a fun idea,” he said, “but I sincerely doubt it.”
Megalodon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, 1-5 p.m. Sundays through Jan 6. Sam Noble Museum 2401 Chautauqua Ave., Norman samnoblemuseum.ou.edu | 405-325-4712 Free-$8
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ARTS & CULTURE
Northwest Optimist Performing Arts Center gives children an affordable crash course in stage production. By Jacob Threadgill
The key marked “Home” doesn’t take Toby Tobin into her house. It unlocks Northwest Optimist Performing Arts Center, 3301 NW Grand Blvd., which under Tobin’s leadership has gone from being a vacant building to a center for accessible performing arts education sponsored by Oklahoma City’s Parks & Recreation Department over the last 20 years. During the center’s summer day camp series, kids age 6-17 get a crash course in choreography, stage and voice lessons, resulting in a fully formed stage production on its intimate stage every two weeks. The cost is $190 per person, and the program includes two snacks. “I love the kids I come into contact with. I feel like if I can offer them a little bit of the love that I have felt in creating this place and being part of something, then I’ve done my job,” Tobin said. A group of about 30 children were going through the early dance routine for the Friday performance of The Frog Princess with head choreographer Kelsey Faulk, who is also the owner of Everything Goes Dance Studio in The 16th Street Plaza District and an alumna
of Northwest Optimist Performing Arts Center. Faulk got involved at age 7 helping build its current stage, which led to a lifelong love of dance. “I don’t think that my parents would’ve been able to afford sending me to another children’s theater because they’re harder to afford,” Faulk said. “It was much more accessible for us. I don’t know that I would’ve made it as far and had the experience to grow myself as a performer than what I got here.” More than a few people who started their acting careers with her at Optimist Center now staff Tobin’s center. Isaiah Williams and Angelica Bishop came to the center as teenagers and now help in its costume department. Williams graduated from Oklahoma City University with a degree in acting and is moving to Chicago to pursue his career. Bishop discovered a love of design at the center and, after graduating with a degree in theater management and design from the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, plans to pursue a graduate degree. “I’m going to cry thinking about this place,” Williams said. “I’ve been in com-
Musical director Bonita Franklin plays piano to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” for a production of The Frog Princess. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
Choreographer Kelsey Faulk leads students through a routine for an upcoming production of The Frog Princess. | Photo Jacob Threadgill 26
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mercials here locally as well as a few projects domestically and internationally. It’s all thanks to [Tobin.]” “If I didn’t find this place, I’d probably be decorating cakes or working in a museum as a historian,” Bishop said.
Our program gives students a chance to build their confidence, and that is so incredibly important. Toby Tobin
Tobin’s daughter Audra Mae is a graduate of the program and has gone on to a successful career as a Los Angelesbased performer and songwriter. Mae’s song “Fall in Line” is a single on Christina Aguilera’s latest album and was performed with Demi Lovato at the recent Billboard Music Awards. Mae has written songs performed by Kelly Clarkson, Miranda Lambert, Celine Dion and others. “Our program gives students a chance to build their confidence, and that is so incredibly important,” Tobin said. “I stress the fact that when they come in, they are company and we are a company. What you do matters to everyone.” The NWO version of The Frog Princess includes performances of a few Motown hits like “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” under the direction of musical director Bonita Franklin, who was chair of the music education department at Langston University before finding her way to Optimist. Franklin is behind the piano as kids go through the number but also works with kids individually during the summer and offers lessons in the fall and spring. “I want to make stuff fun but also give them some building blocks for voice and how to sing loud and project your voice,” Franklin said. “This is dear to my heart because kids are more musical when they’re younger. They’re little sponges and some have a natural talent we can build on.” If Marvin Gaye sounds like a non-
Toby Tobin is the performing arts coordinator for Oklahoma City Parks & Recreation. | Photo Jacob Threadgill
traditional pairing for a Disney musical, it’s because that’s part of Tobin’s design. She writes many of the production scripts and waits to see how many people sign up for each two-week production, tailoring parts to ensure each child gets a speaking part. “I used to laugh at the fact that when I was in high school, I was a townsperson and never said a word,” Tobin said. “It wasn’t until I got to college that I got cast in bigger roles. I want the kids to have their moment in the spotlight.”
Tobin went to St. Gregory’s University for a two-year degree and received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Oklahoma under professor Charles Suggs. She worked with Oklahoma Children’s Theatre right out of school and toured with a group called Lucky Penny Players. She worked part-time for the city’s Parks & Recreation Department for about five years before convincing her boss to create a new position: performing arts coordinator for city’s community arts centers. She booked performers and held an annual citywide performance but found a home for the center when she asked to store some costumes in the building on Grand Boulevard near Lake Hefner 20 years ago. “When I got here, there were some old statues from the optimist club, a podium and a lot of dust. We cleaned it out and started doing day camps here, and it just grew,” Tobin said. “It’s not as nice as some of the other community theaters, but it is filled with a lot of love, and I’m proud of that. When you see that spark of performance in a 6-yearold, it’s all worth it.” Classes continue in the fall and include dance, acting and musical instrument lessons. Tobin said the staff is flexible and they only need five children to sign up around a desired dance style to put it among the semester offerings. Classes are $25 per month in the fall and spring. The summer camp series concludes with a teen production of Fame Monday-July 27. Visit okc.gov/departments/parksrecreation.
calendar are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
Books Bard’s Book Club read plays by Shakespeare and several other authors and join a discussion about the characters, language, plot and more, 6-7:45 p.m. July 17 and August 21. Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo St., 405-235-3700, oklahomashakespeare.org. TUE Cookbook Swap and Shop take cookbooks you no longer want to trade them or shop from a selection of cookbooks being sold to benefit the Friends of the Norman library, 10 a.m.-noon July 14. Pioneer Library System, 225 N. Webster Ave., 405-701-2600, pioneerlibrarysystem.org/norman. SAT
That Thing You Do! (1996, USA, Tom Hanks) a band with a single hit song experiences the highs and lows of temporary stardom in this musical romantic comedy, 7 p.m. July 12. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, towertheatreokc.com. THU Poolside Movie Night: The Lion King (1994, USA, Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff) Simba learns hard lessons about the circle of life in this Disney classic, 7:3010:30 p.m. Pelican Bay Aquatic Center, 1034 S Bryant Ave., 405-216-7649, pelicanbayaquatics.com. THU
Happenings Across the Aisle hosted by Women Lead Oklahoma, this legislative panel and Q&A features Representatives Cyndi Munson and Tammy West, 5:30-7 p.m. July 11. Vito’s Ristorante, 7521 N. May Ave., 405-8484867, vitosokc.com. WED
Noah Milligan the author will read from his short story collection, Five Hundred Poor, 2 p.m. July 15. Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405307-9320, pasnorman.org. SUN
Cocktail Cruise this evening offers stunning views of the downtown skyline with cocktails; all ages are welcome, $15 - $20, 8 p.m. Regatta Park Landing, 701 S. Lincoln Blvd., 405-702-7755, okrivercruises.com. FRI-SAT
Reading Wednesdays a story time with nature-themed books along with an interactive song and craft making, 10 a.m. Wednesdays, Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. WED
Exploring the Forces of Change hosted by The Human Community Network—Coalition of the Underheard, this event seeks to build a coalition of local community activism organizations to pool resources and decide priorities for legislation, 2-4 p.m. July 15 Walker Center for Arts and Sciences, Room 151. Oklahoma City University Campus, Kirkpatrick Auditorium, 2501 N. Blackwelder Ave., 405-208-5000, okcu.edu. SUN
Speeding Bullet’s 20th Anniversary Party sketch artists, sales and special guests are some of the attractions at this anniversary celebration, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. July 14. Speeding Bullet Comics, 614 N. Porter Ave., 405-360-6866, speedingbulletcomics.com. SAT Woody Guthrie Poetry Reading hosted by Jessica Isaacs and Terri Cummings and featuring readings from poets Ron Wallace, Darrell Dionne, Alice Byrd and more, 7-10 p.m. July 13. IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-232-6060, iaogallery.org. FRI
Film Finding Dory (2016, USA, Andrew Stanton and Angus MacLane), a blue tang fish named Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) has memory loss and must remember how she was separated from her parents, 1 p.m. July 15. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu. SUN Floating Films: Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017, USA, Rian Johnson) Rey seeks out Luke Skywalker to help develop her Jedi powers in this installment of the popular fantasy franchise; watch it screened outdoors from the banks of the river, or rent a tube or raft, 9:15-10:45 p.m. July 14. RIVERSPORT Rapids, 800 Riversport drive, 405-552-4040, riversportokc.org. SAT Interstella 5555 (2003, Japan, Daisuke Nishio and Hirotoshi Rissen) Daft Punk soundtracks this animated sci-fi musical, 7 p.m. July 11. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-708-6937, towertheatreokc.com. WED Paddington 2 (2018, USA, Paul King) the marmaladeloving bear matches wits with a book thief, 9-11 p.m. July 11. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. WED Sonic Summer Movies: Space Jam (1996, USA, Joe Pytka), to win a basketball match, the Looney Tunes seek the aid of retired basketball champion Michael Jordan, 9 p.m. July 18. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. WED
Family Feud League teams of five compete to win a game patterned after the popular TV show, 7:30-9:30 p.m. Wednesday. FlashBack RetroPub, 814 W. Sheridan Ave., 405-633-3604, flashbackretropub.com. WED
French Film Week Cineastes have plenty of reasons to celebrate Bastille Day at this year’s Oklahoma City Museum of Art French Film Week, starting with a 4K restoration of a rarely screened Olivier Assayas classic and ending with a sneak preview of a Xavier Giannoli film ahead of its official US release date. In between, we get experimental dramas, dark comedies, a Joan of Arc musical and more. Vive la France! The screenings begin with Cold Water 7:30 p.m. Thursday and finish with a 5:30 p.m. Sunday screening of The Apparition at OKCMOA, 415 Couch Drive. Tickets are $5-$9. Call 405-236-3100 or visit okcmoa.com. thursday-saturday Photo provided
Friday Evening Glow take in the OKC skyline at sunset from the bank of the Oklahoma river with live music, food and drinks at this weekly patio concert series, 6-11 p.m. Fridays. RIVERSPORT Rapids, 800 Riversport drive, 405-552-4040, riversportokc.org. FRI
Small Wonders – Microgreens & Shoots features demonstrations of how to plant and grow pea shoots, kale, radish, dill and basil microgreens and teaches how to avoid common problems, 11 a.m.noon July 14. $10/person, $15/couple (pay on-site). CommonWealth Urban Farms, 3310 N. Olie Ave., 405-524-1864, commonwealthurbanfarms.com. SAT
History Comes Alive learn about Oklahoma’s past from a colorful cast of characters on this interactive ferry ride, 11:40 a.m.-1:10 p.m. Saturdays. Oklahoma River Cruises, 1503 Exchange Ave., 405-702-7755, okrivercruises.com. SAT
Summer Oklahoma Bridal Show more than 140 wedding vendors will meet face-to-face with brides at one of the largest bridal shows in the state, July 15, 1-5 p.m. Cox Pavilion State Fairgrounds, 3001 General Pershing Blvd., 405-948-6700, okstatefair.com. SUN
Hotdogs for the Homeless Volunteer Day pack lunches to distribute to the homeless population in Downtown OKC, 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays. Old School Bagel Cafe, 10948 N. May Ave., 405-286-2233. SUN Live! on the Plaza join the Plaza District every second Friday for an art walk featuring artists, live music, shopping and more, 6-10 p.m. Plaza District, 1618 N. Gatewood Ave., 405-426-7812, plazadistrict.org. FRI Open Fiber Night a weekly crafting meetup for knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers, 5-8 p.m. Thursdays. Yarnatopia, 8407 S. Western, 405-6019995, yarnatopia.com. THU Paws and Paint submit a photo of your pet to cara@ pet-vetsupply.com to have it traced on canvas so you can paint it at this art workshop benefitting Underdogs Rescue, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. July 15. Tony’s Tree Plantation, 3801 S. Post Road, 405-455-7700, tonystreeplantation.com. SUN
Food Dutch Oven Cooking Class participants will learn how to clean, maintain and cook with Dutch ovens at this outdoor class that culminates in preparing a shared group meal, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. July 14. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. SAT Paseo Farmers Market shop for fresh food from local vendors at this weekly outdoor event, 9 a.m.-noon Saturdays. SixTwelve, 612 NW 29th St., 405-2088291, sixtwelve.org. SAT Wednesday Night Trivia put your thinking cap on for a night of trivia, beer and prizes with Geeks Who Drink, 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Anthem Brewing Company, 908 SW Fourth St., 405-604-0446, anthembrewing.com. WED
Scholastic Summer Reading Road Trip meet authors, take photos with costumed characters, win prizes and more at this event for children age 0-12, 10 a.m.-noon July 12. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth Road, 405-340-9202, bestofbooksok.com. THU Storytime Science the museum invites children age 6 and younger to hear a story and participate in a related scientific activity, 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. TUE Summer Camp Contemporary children in grades K-9 can learn about clay, robotics, hip-hop, and many other artistic topics in a variety of camps, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. through August 10. Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-9510000, oklahomacontemporary.org. MON-FRI Summer Explorers: Cool Cretaceous Creatures this educational program teaches children ages7-8 about dinosaurs that lived during the Mesozoic Era, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. July 16-20. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405-325-4712, samnoblemuseum. ou.edu. MON-FRI Summer Explorers: Dinosaur Detectives hunt for fossils of all shapes and sizes like a paleontologist does, 8-10 a.m. July 16-20. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405-325-4712, samnoblemuseum. ou.edu. MON-FRI
Arts in the Park interactive arts classes for children age 6-12, including drama, music, storytelling and dance workshops, 1-3:30 p.m. Wednesdays & Thursdays. Schilling Park, 539 SE 25th St., 405-631-2466. WED-THU
Summer Explorers: Ologist 2.0: Behind the Scenes take a peek behind the scenes to discover how museum exhibits are put together, 2-4 p.m. July 16-20. Sam Noble Museum, 2401 Chautauqua Ave., 405-325-4712, samnoblemuseum.ou.edu. MON-FRI
Fit For Youth Day Camp a camp of engaging activities including sports, arts and crafts, swimming, recreation games, nature and outdoor activities and more, 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon-Fri. $90/week. Foster Recreation Center, 614 NE Fourth St., 405-297-2409, okc.gov/parks. MON-FRI
Summer Thursdays presented by the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, this free family event features movie screenings, story times and crafting projects, 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, through Aug. 30. Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum, 1400 Classen Drive, 405-235-4458, oklahomaheritage.com. THU
History Pioneers Junior Curator Camp students age 8-12 will have the chance to go behind the scenes at the Oklahoma History Center to learn about the role a museum’s curator plays and to create their own exhibits at this week long camp, 10 a.m-3 p.m. July 16-20. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. MON-FRI
Weekly Walkups each day has a different theme including crafts, reading, scavenger hunts and more, 10 a.m.-noon June 25-August 10. Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave., 405-445-7080, myriadgardens.com. MON-FRI
Living History Summer Camp children age 6-12 are invited to learn about life in the early days of Edmond by making tin-can phones, sending Morse code, typesetting newspaper headlines, playing horseshoes and having a tea party, 9 a.m.-noon through July 19. Edmond Historical Society & Museum, 431 S. Boulevard, 405-340-0078, edmondhistory.org. TUE-THU
Kicklahoma Sneakerheads can get their kicks at this shoe-centered apparel trade show featuring vendors from across the state and country selling rare and custom footwear. Ticketholders can also carry in up to three pairs of their own shoes to sell or swap with others. Tread carefully. This is the last place you’d want to step on any toes. The event is noon-5 p.m. Sunday at OKC Farmers Market, 311 S. Klein Ave. Tickets are $15-$40. Visit thekicklahoma.com. sunday Photo bigstockphoto.com
Rock and Roll Camp for Girls counselors teach girls 8-17 how to play instruments for bands and write and perform original songs, July 16-21, July 16-21. Rock and Roll Camp for Girls OKC, 6608 N Western Ave. PMB 475, rcgokc.org. MON-SAT
OKC Drag Queen Story Hour children and their families are invited to a story and craft time lead by Ms. Shantel and followed by a dance party, 4 p.m. Saturdays. Sunnyside Diner, 916 NW Sixth St., 405.778.8861. SAT
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Western Explorers Summer Camp Campers age 8-15 can explore trails, view museum exhibitions and participate in crafts, games and art projects in weeklong sessions, June 18-July 27. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. MON-FRI Young Company Shakespeare Camp an interactive theater camp offering daily performance opportunities and presented by Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 9-13. Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo St., 405-235-3700, oklahomashakespeare.org. MON-FRI
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Performing Arts Arab After Hours a weekly belly-dancing performance featuring dancers from the Aalim Belly Dance Academy, 8:30-10:30 p.m. Tuesdays, through Dec. 25. Hubbly Bubbly Hookah & Café, 2900 N Classen Blvd. Ste K, 405-609-2930. TUE
Bang Bang Queer Punk Variety Show a monthly variety show featuring drag, burlesque, belly dancing and more, 11 p.m.-1 a.m. July 13. HiLo Club, 1221 NW 50th St., 405-843-1722, hilookc.com. FRI
My Brilliant Divorce a comedy about an American in London whose British husband leaves her, through July 21, Carpenter Square Theatre, 806 W. Main St., 405-232-6500, carpentersquare.com. FRI-SAT OKC Tinder Live 2018 a panel of comics and guest stars comments on the dating app profiles of audience members at this interactive comedy show, 8-10 p.m. July 12. 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St., 405-463-0470, 51stspeakeasy.com. THU Picnics & Potlucks: Anything Goes Opera a variety of pieces performed by local collective Opera on Tap, 8-9:30 p.m. July 14. The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave., 405-655-5889, therootokc.com. SAT
Dylan Scott the Chicago-based standup comic returns to Oklahoma to record an album, 8-11:30 p.m. July 13. Tower Theatre, 425 NW 23rd St., 405-7086937, towertheatreokc.com. FRI
The Revolutionists Lauren Gunderson’s comedic quartet chronicling the fates of four women during the French Revolution, July 5-21., Through July 21. Shakespeare on Paseo, 2920 Paseo St., 405-2353700, oklahomashakespeare.org. THU-SAT
Experiment One a standup showcase hosted by Caleb Collins and featuring Alex Sanchez, Cameron Brewer and more, 6-8 p.m. July 14. The Root, 3012 N. Walker Ave., 405-655-5889, therootokc.com. SAT
The Trailer-Hood Hootenanny join Rayna Over and friends for a night of comedy, music and drag performances, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays. Frankie’s, 2807 NW 36th St., 405-602-2030, facebook.com/frankiesokc. FRI
Girls Night Out an all-male dance revue offering the “ultimate Magic Mike experience,” 8-11 p.m. July 11. Oklahoma City Limits, 4801 S. Eastern Ave., 405-6193939, oclimits.com. WED
Hello, Dolly! the story of widowed matchmaker Dolly Levi as she hunts for a bride for “half-a-millionaire” Horace Vandergelder, Through July 15. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker Ave., 405-297-2264, okcciviccenter.com. TUE-SUN
Co-ed Open Adult Volleyball enjoy a game of friendly yet competitive volleyball while making new friends, 6-8 p.m. Wednesdays. Jackie Cooper Gymnasium, 1024 E. Main St., Yukon. 405-350-8920, cityofyukon.gov. WED
Learn-to-Swim Program Giving residents of all ages and financial situations the opportunity to learn to swim with proper technique and basic water safety at their own pace offered by the King Marlin Swim Club, ongoing, Through Dec. 31. Lighthouse Fitness (Front), 3333 W. Hefner Road, 405-845-5672, marlinswimamerica.com. SAT-WED Monday Night Group Ride meet up for a weekly 25-30 minute bicycle ride at about 18 miles-per-hour through East Oklahoma City, 6 p.m. Mondays. The Bike Lab OKC, 2200 W. Hefner Rd., 405-603-7655. MON OKC Dodgers vs New Orleans 7:05 p.m July 16-19. Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Drive, 405-218-1000, okcballparkevents.com. MON-THU
Visual Arts The 46th Annual Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition & Sale features more than 300 Western paintings and sculptures by contemporary Western artists of landscapes, wildlife and illustrative scenes, Through Aug. 5. National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63rd St., 405-478-2250, nationalcowboymuseum.org. FRI-SUN Best in Show view art from fan favorites Colby Bowers, Erin Curry and Holly Wood, chosen by patron votes, 6-9 p.m. July 12. DNA Galleries, 1709 NW 16th St., 405-525-3499, dnagalleries.com. THU Big, Bold, and Beautiful an exhibition of acrylic paintings by Norman-based artist Vikki McGuire, who specializes in colorful nature scenes, July 6-29, Contemporary Art Gallery, 2928 Paseo St., 405-601-7474, contemporaryartgalleryokc.com. FRI-SUN A Burst of Color artist Tim Kinney’s latest exhibition features brightly colored and thickly textured paintings, July 13-Sep. 1, Mondays-Fridays. Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. FRI Chiyoko Myose: Sojourning Gallery Talks a staff-led tour through the artist’s ongoing exhibition, free, 6-7 p.m. July 17, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org/exhibits/upcoming-exhibits/ chiyoko-myose/. TUE Connie Seabourn Wonderful Watercolors Workshop learn to paint in watercolors from an award-winning artist in this class for all experience levels, 9:30 a.m.4 p.m. July 18-19. Norman Santa Fe Depot, 200 S. Jones Ave., 405-307-9320, pasnorman.org. WED-THU Ink & Draw a weekly meet-up for illustrators, artists and comic book creators, 4-6 p.m. Sundays. The Paseo Plunge, 3010 Paseo Plunge, 405-315-6224, paseoplunge.org. SUN Into the Fold: The Art and Science of Origami features origami artists from around the world and displays the techniques of artful paper folding and other unique applications of origami, through Jan. 13, 2019., Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St., 405-602-6664, sciencemuseumok.org. FRI-WED
Patriots Combining avant-garde music and political satire, thingNY’s multimedia performance art adds an ominous opera soundtrack to overblown rhetoric about immigration and love of country to provide an inside-out look at the ugliness of populism minus the “pop.” Catch it on the campaign trail on a shared bill with “Marxist body horror act” Forced into Femininity and local artist Blair Summers. The performances begin at 7 p.m. Monday at Resonator, 325 E. Main St., in Norman. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Visit resonator.space. monday Photo Amanda Pinto/provided
Irmgard Geul and Cheri Wollenberg an exhibition featuring the works of abstract painter Geul and Wollenberg, who paints farm animals and flowers, through July 18, Through July 18. Whispering Willows Art Gallery, 226 E. Main St, 405-928-5077. THU-WED Norman Art Walk a monthly event featuring art exhibitions, live music, samples and demonstrations from local vendors, food trucks and more, 6-9 p.m. Fridays. Norman Arts Council, 122 E Main St, Norman. 405-360-1162, normanarts.org. FRI
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Print on Paseo Among the works by more than 80 artists on display in more than 20 galleries at this month’s First Friday Art Walk will be several Oklahoma printmakers selected to participate in the fourth annual Print on Paseo, which seeks not only to display the varied types of print art but to inform the public about the different methods used to make them. While you’re looking, keep an ear out for live music by singer/songwriter Paxton Pennington. The art walk is 6-9 p.m. Friday, and the prints will be on display at Paseo Art Space, 3022 Paseo St. Paseo Art Space, 3022 Paseo St., 405-525-2688, thepaseo. org. FRI-SAT Reflection: An Exhibition of Glass and Light featuring works by artists Rick and Tracey Bewley using glass and light to creative reflection of colored geometric shapes mixed with metal structures., Through Aug. 24. Oklahoma City University School of Visual Arts, 1601 NW 26th St., 405-208-5226, okcu.edu/artsci/ departments/visualart. WED-FRI Sojourning features fiber installations by Chiyoko Myose, a Japanese artist, expressing her experiences living in a foreign country, June 2-August 12. Free, Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, 3000 General Pershing Blvd., 405-951-0000, oklahomacontemporary.org. SAT Space Burial an exhibit using satellite dishes as a burial object for a space-faring culture and facilitates the dead’s afterlife journey, through Sep. 2., Through Sept. 2. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. TUE-SUN Visual Voices: Contemporary Chickasaw Art an exhibition featuring more than 65 works in oil, watercolor, textiles, metals and more by 15 contemporary artists, through Sept. 9. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, 555 Elm Ave., 405-325-3272, ou.edu/fjjma. FRI-SUN
Welcome Home: Oklahomans and the War in Vietnam explores the impact of the war on Oklahoma families as well as the stories of Vietnamese families relocated to Oklahoma, Through Nov. 6, 2019. Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive, 405-521-2491, okhistory.org. MON-WED
Submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
For okg live music
see page 33
MUSIC Mom & Dad’s DIY house venue closed in June. | Photo provided
f e at u r e
drinking age to come in, permitting that you put X’s on their hands or what have you, really changes the game because that’s the heart of where the scene is born,” Vannostran said. “It’s a necessary component of the scene. Otherwise, you starve it.” Gray Hendrix, who currently books all-ages hardcore shows at a karate school in Oklahoma City known as The Dojo, agrees. “We have a smaller music scene than most places,” Hendrix said. “We have, I’d say, at most 75 kids on and off that come to shows, so it’s definitely a challenge that we’re lacking in DIY venues. … It’s more inclusive if you do it in places where everyone can come. There’s more exposure for bands, and it gets kids involved as well.”
Do-it-yourself shows like those staged by Mom & Dad’s are running afoul of city ordinances. By Jeremy Martin
When Trinity Slough and Nicolaus Vannostran, aka Mom and Dad, had friends over to their Norman house to watch Limp Wizurdz play last summer, they didn’t know what it would lead to. “It went pretty good,” Vannostran said. “I mean, the turnout wasn’t fantastic, but it was fun. … We didn’t realize it was going to be anything. We just thought maybe occasionally we’d have our friends over to play, one band at a time.” But word of their laid-back, all-ages house shows soon spread through the music community, and after they made a venue page for Mom & Dad’s on Facebook, their home/DIY venue gained even more notoriety. “It was just the easiest way to organize the information,” Vannostran said. “I guess that was ultimately our downfall.” The venue’s popularity, which would eventually create problems for its proprietors, continued to grow. In November 2017, Megan Wiggins of Me Oh My organized Chill Fest, a daylong local music event with the largest turnout the venue had seen, and Vannostran was pleasantly surprised by the results. “There was a ton of bands on the bill, and hundreds of people showed up, Vannostran said. “It was way bigger than we expected, but it was so calm. … It was just very peaceful, and it was just everything we could’ve hoped for. From that point forward, my inbox was blowing up.” The venue began to receive booking requests from out-of-state bands. Vannostran, who also plays in lo-fi psychedelic duo Skeleton Museum, origi-
nally just wanted to use his house to host shows to fill a gap he saw in the local music scene. “I never expected that I would do anything like this,” Vannostran said. “I grew up just outside of Denton, Texas, and the culture there, there’s just house venues all over the place. So when I moved here to Norman, it seemed hip on the surface, and I was like, ‘Oh, I can expect similar things from Norman.’ But once I started feeling around for where the cool shows were, there weren’t any.” Elecktra Stanislava, who grew up attending house shows in the OKC metro area and hosted house shows with Kelsey Birnbaum under the name The Unkempt Beaver, said seeing a band play in a private residence can be much more enjoyable than seeing them in a bar, and the audience is often more considerate and supportive. “It’s just more relaxed,” Stanislava said. “People are more interested in listening, I think, at house shows, and the ones that aren’t interested in actually paying attention to music are more likely to be respectful and walk away to have a conversation, as opposed to a bar where people are there to drink and music and performances are more or less background noise.” Norman’s Dope Chapel, later taken over by the First Pastafarian Church, hosted some all-ages concerts, but when the church closed its doors, Vannostran began to worry about the future of a local music scene that barred minors from participating. “Allowing people that aren’t of legal
When Vannostran and fiancée Slough married in April of 2017, they hosted an after-party at their home. Then, realizing they couldn’t afford to keep running a venue and take a vacation, the couple decided to celebrate their honeymoon by hosting shows during Norman Music Festival. The threenight event culminated in the largest, loudest, longest event Mom & Dad’s would host. “We were at capacity,” Vannostran said. “We were featured on Spotify. It was amazing. I’ve never seen anything like that before.” The show also attracted unwanted attention. “Saturday night of Norman Music Fest was, I think, the first time that we had the cops called on us by our neighbors,” Vannostran said. “We regularly communicated with our neighbors and let them know. We left letters on their door. Anytime things would change or we planned on going a little later, we’d let them know, give them our phone numbers and give them a way to contact us, and so we never heard anything from them, but then Saturday night, the music went on until 3:30 in the morning.” Even after the police arrived, Vannostran wasn’t really worried. He said he often saw them driving by after shows, but this was the first time they’d arrived while a band was still onstage. “The cops were really nice,” Vannostran said. “We just walked up. I shook the cop’s hand, and I was like, ‘I guess it’s that time, huh?’ And the cop was like, ‘Yep.’ So we just pulled the plug and that was it.” However, that wasn’t the first time Vannostran said he had talked to the police about the venue. “I’ve called the police several times to communicate what we’re doing there, and I’ve asked them for advice on exactly how to properly do this so that we’re not stepping on any toes,” Vannostran said. “We’ve been IDing at the door, wristbands for 21 and up, and
we just walk around the place and make sure nobody who shouldn’t have a drink in their hands has one.” Vannostran and Slough’s efforts to ensure that legal drinking didn’t get out of hand originally inspired the nickname Mom & Dad. “There were a couple of times that someone would get sick, and they’d be on the floor in our bathroom or something and we would just help them up, get them water and then figure out whether a friend could take them home or if we needed to call them an Uber,” Vannostran said. While proactively preventing underage drinking and public intoxication helped the house venue stay legal, City of Norman’s municipal code states that a social gathering can be deemed a public nuisance if it violates ordinances against noise, disturbing the peace, parking or the fire code. If three public nuisance citations are issued at the same property within a single year, the City may elect to shut off the building’s water, making it legally uninhabitable. After discussing the issue with the property manager, Vannostran said he and Slough “reached a compromise that put [them] in the position of ceasing operations” but will prevent them from being evicted from their home. They are currently raising money to open new venue, with a GoFundMe page and two benefit shows hosted by The Unkempt Beaver at Sauced on Paseo. They are currently working with the owners of Red Brick Bar to ensure that their next venue is properly licensed, but Vannostran said they are going to “do [their] darndest” to keep it all-ages, even if that means not serving alcohol to anyone because they view the venue as more of a “safe space” than a bar. “We are a community center, essentially,” Vannostran said. “I think that’s definitely the direction we’re headed when we move into a commercial space. We’re going to have all sorts of optional volunteer work that can be done, and we’re really going to make people shake hands and look each other in the eye.” Stanislava said she and Birnbaum wanted to host benefit concerts for Mom & Dad’s return because the house shows they were putting on were better and more responsibly run than the ones she remembers going to as a teenager. She’s confident that the couple will continue to be a force in the local music scene once they have a new place to call their own. “When you have great people like Nicolaus and Trinity who are doing it ’cause they love it,” Stanislava said, “they’re going to get another go-round.” Mom & Dad’s Fundraiser Concert Series is Sunday and July 22 at Sauced on Paseo. Visit gofundme.com and search “Mom & Dad’s Club.”
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MY SO CALLED BAND July 14
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RAY WYLiE HuBBARD
Saint Loretto’s Summer Bummer Beach Party beats the heat inside 51st Street Speakeasy. By Ben Luschen
Oklahoma is not necessarily the best place beach goths could select to spend their summer vacation. For one, there is no beach. Aside from that, it gets too darn hot outside to wear all that black. So what is a summer-savoring emo enthusiast to do when temperatures rocket into the triple digits with no relief in sight? Move the beach party inside, of course. Oklahoma City-founded and Austinbased alt-pop soloist Saint Loretto, whose birth name is Evan Crowley, returns to his home city Friday for the Saint Loretto Summer Bummer Beach Party at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51st St. The free show also features local bands Swim Fan and Cavern Company. The bands will be decked out in their own beach gear, and all attendees are encouraged to do the same. Crowley might also be known by local fans for his contributions to the band Paperscissor. He released DEPTH/S, his ’80s-influenced debut EP as Saint Loretto, in April 2017. Though he has been living in Austin since September, Crowley frequently returns to his home state for Saint Loretto shows. He held his DEPTH/S release show last year at IAO Gallery. Saint Loretto played both this year’s Norman Music Festival and the Uptown Getdown New Year’s Eve celebration at Tower Theatre. Crowley has always had a love for shows based around a particular event or theme. Likewise, Speakeasy has grown a reputation for hosting concerts and art shows with obscure themes. It felt like a natural marriage. “We’re known for doing these things, so that it’s more like an experience than just a band playing,” Crowley said. “As I was thinking about it, this
Saint Loretto | Photo Anna Lee Media / provided
idea just became more and more fascinating to me.” Though Crowley recorded DEPTH/S almost entirely on his own, his new single, “Aisles,” due out later this year, features more contributions from his live band, which includes drummer Clay Vaughan, bassist Reed Hoppe and Marcus Jackson on guitar. Bassist Clayton Stroup will stand in for Hoppe during the Summer Bummer show.
As I was thinking about it, this idea just became more and more fascinating to me. Evan Crowley
Crowley’s impression of summer depends a lot on location. During his time in Oklahoma, summer usually meant near oppressive heat bearing down on patches of dry, yellow grass. Those trademark summer scorchers are exactly why he sought an indoor location for his Summer Bummer party. “I thought it would be a great time to book an indoor show where everybody could come, dress beachy and still enjoy the vibe of that aesthetic without going out into the heat or actually being at the beach,” he said.” But growing up in Florida, where his parents still live, Crowley said summer usually meant feeling the cool ocean breeze and enjoying a general sense of freedom. “To me,” he said, “I think of the
beach and sometimes just late-night, dreamy music you’re listening to in the car driving to the bar to hang out with your friends, windows down and just a fun overall vibe.” Having moved to Austin in September, this is Crowley’s first full summer in his new city. So far, the season has been spent floating the San Marcos River and cookouts with friends. Though he still frequently plays in Oklahoma, Crowley’s move to Austin was motivated primarily by a desire to focus in on becoming a career musician. Though there is a high level of talent in OKC, he felt there was more opportunity in the Texas capital. “[Austin] is known for its live music scene, and there’s just so many venues and things going on here,” he said. “That was part of it.” Still, Crowley’s relocation represented more than a career move. It was the result of some self-reflection.
About a year before his move to Austin, Crowley was going through a divorce. It was a life-altering moment that forced him to sit down and put a lot of thought into how his future should look. “I found myself reevaluating my plan and what I wanted to do,” he said. “All of these things came together to push me in the direction of, ‘OK, now is a great time to look at what my options are.’” Prior to his move, Crowley had formed a close relationship with guitarist/bassist Matt Novesky of the Texas-based alternative rock band Blue October after opening for them several times in OKC. Novesky always used to tell Crowley that if he was ever looking to move to Austin, he should let him know. After Crowley’s divorce, he considered moving to a few other cities, but taking Novesky up on his offer to help set him up in the new city always seemed like it made the most sense. Despite the invitation from Novesky, moving was still a risky move. He did not have any employment lined up and didn’t have many connections. But settling in a place where he did not have substantial ties forced him to make music his top priority. “Before I moved down here, music was definitely a big part of my life, but I wasn’t pursuing it full-time,” he said. “When I moved down here, I basically decided I was going to move down here without a job or any kind of in.” Crowley said he has been meeting a lot of new people and cultivated a lot of connections within the Austin music scene. He has also held a number of different music-related jobs and experiences — studio recording, producing, making music for film, hosting his own shows and playing guitar for some friends at South by Southwest. Novesky is one of the owners of Austin’s Orb Recording Studios, and Crowley said he owed a lot of his expe-
rience in the city to working closely with the studio. “I don’t know where I would be without those guys,” he said. “That’s helped me out a lot.”
Crowley might be Austin-based now, but tributes to Oklahoma still pop up in Saint Loretto’s music. His newly released music video “Head Over Heels” was gorgeously filmed in Norman’s Star Skate roller rink. Children skate to the electronic pop vibes of Crowley’s band through most of the video, but the Saint Loretto crew goes mobile at the conclusion of the song, showing impressive skating chops as they circle around the rink mid-song. The video felt like a healthy bit of nostalgia for Crowley, who was inspired to film the video inside Star Skate after attending an adult friend’s birthday party there a few years ago. “I’m not a young teenager anymore going out on a Friday night to the roller skating rink,” he said, “but it takes you immediately back to that feeling.” A new music video for the single “Aisles” should be released around the time of the Summer Bummer party. Crowley hopes to release a second Saint Loretto EP sometime later this year. “We’re just picking it up a notch every time we can,” he said. “We’re trying to involve as many of our friends as possible.” Visit saintloretto.com.
Saint Loretto | Photo Billy Muschinske / provided
Saint Loretto Summer Bummer Beach Party w/ Cavern Company & Swim Fan 10 p.m. Friday 51st Street Speakeast 1114 NW 51st St. 51stspeakeasy.com | 405-463-0470 Free
O kg a z e t t e . c o m | j u ly 1 1 , 2 0 1 8
ALL AC C ES S
LIVE MUSIC These are events recommended by Oklahoma Gazette editorial staff members. For full calendar listings, go to okgazette.com.
Saturday, Jul. 14 Asleep At The Wheel, Tower Theatre. COUNTRY David Carr Jr., UCO Jazz Lab. JAZZ Felina & the Feels/Layers of Pink, Bluebonnet Bar.
EvEry night is ladiEs night! no covEr for ladiEs! (ExcEpt for during pErformancE)
Great drinks & free snacks, Wed. & thurs.
July 11th - chad todd Band July 20th - BrEnt KrugEr July 27th - Jimmy dalE & thE BElt linE (spEcial appEarancE only) home of the true country Western
Oklahoma’s finest recording facility is now offering an affordable membership program for all artists at a low monthly fee. Experience unlimited studio time, discounts on services, and access to venue space. Limited memberships available. Contact us for more details to reserve your spot as an All Access Member.
401 S. Meridian like uS
Wednesday, Jul. 11
Highway 420, Iron Horse Bar & Grill. COUNTRY
Hawthorne Heights/Overcast/Bellwether, 89th Street-OKC. ROCK
Jillian Sulley/Marty Summers/Robert Reeder, Rodeo Opry. COUNTRY
Johnny Manchild/Tripsitters/S.M. Wolf, Red Brick Bar. ROCK
LCG & the X/Sun Riah/Maddie Razook, 51st Street Speakeasy. ROCK
The Mentors/Los Eskeletos, The Drunken Fry. METAL
Lil Baby, Bricktown Events Center. HIP-HOP
Rachel Lynch, Bluebonnet Bar. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Lost Highway, Sauced on Paseo. ELECTRONIC
Shane Henry, Sidecar Barley & Wine Bar. BLUES
Matt Moran, Anthem Brewing Company. COUNTRY
Thursday, Jul. 12
Midas 13, Brewskey’s. ROCK
Garrett Jacobson, Saints Pub. BLUES Jessica Tate, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. JAZZ Koolie High & the Tap Band, Ice Event Center & Grill. JAZZ
Rainbows Are Free/KLAMZ, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK Ravens Three, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK
The Smashing Pumpkins/Metric, Chesapeake Energy Arena. ROCK Typecaste/Tourniquet/Atonement, The Dojo. HarDCORE
Merel & Tony/The Woe Woe Woes, Opolis. ROCK Social Repose/Secret Tree Fort, 89th Street-OKC. POP
Unlikely Blues Band, Bedlam Bar-B-Q. BLUES
Thirty Seconds to Mars, The Zoo Amphitheatre. ROCK
Well Now Margery, Full Circle Bookstore. FOLK
The Twotakes/Tribesmen/Schat & the Skeleton Trees, Red Brick Bar. ROCK
Sunday, Jul. 15
Friday, Jul. 13 36 Inches, Belle Isle Brewery. ROCK
Chris Lake, Farmers Public Market. ELECTRONIC Holy Wave/Yellow/Kaisoku Tokyo, Opolis. ROCK Jack Waters & the Unemployed, The Weekend Saloon. ROCK
Lee Brice, Diamond Ballroom. COUNTRY
Milagro Saints/The Okie Tramps, The Root. ROCK
T H U R S D AY, J U LY 1 2 , 7 : 3 0 P M
Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc F R I D AY, J U LY 1 3 , 5 : 3 0 P M
Milla F R I D AY,
OddFellas/Saturn/Brujo, Blue Note Lounge. ROCK Stealing Saturn/Chronik Kondition, Oklahoma City Limits. ROCK Steve Crossley, Louie’s Grill & Bar. R&B What She Said, Okie Tonk Café. ROCK
The Mulligan Brothers, Lions Park. BLUES Quinn Deveaux/Kyle Reid, Opolis. BLUES
Monday, Jul. 16 C.W. Stoneking, Tower Theatre. BLUES Honey Blue/Matt Sanders, The Deli. ROCK Jason Hunt, Sean Cumming’s Irish Restaurant. FOLK UADA/The Black Moriah/Wolvhammer, 89th Street-OKC. METAL
Tuesday, Jul. 17 Kyle Reid, Scratch Kitchen & Cocktails. SINGER/
Silent Planet/My Epic/Comrades, 89th Street-OKC.
Back to Burgundy S A T U R D AY,
Jimmie Vaughan, Tower Theatre. BLUES
Oh Wonder/Sasha Sloan, The Jones Assembly. POP
J U LY 1 3 , 8 P M
Culture Cinematic, Myriad Botanical Gardens. HIP-HOP
J U LY 1 4 , 5 : 3 0 P M
Wednesday, Jul. 18 3 Doors Down/Collective Soul, The Zoo Amphitheatre. ROCK
S A T U R D AY, J U LY 1 4 , 8 P M
Langhorne Slim, Tower Theatre. COUNTRY Lydia Can’t Breathe, Red Brick Bar. METAL
S U N D AY, J U LY 1 5 , 2 P M
Reverend Hylton, Bluebonnet Bar. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Seether, Diamond Ballroom. ROCK
S U N D AY, J U LY 1 5 , 5 : 3 0 P M
Stephen Clair & the Pushbacks, The Blue Door. SINGER/SONGWRITER
Brujo Released to streaming platforms in May, Brujo’s EP Lines confidently connects fusion jazz to indie guitar rock in 15 minutes, but given the space to stretch out live, the band (whose name translates to “wizard” in Spanish) magically makes perfect sense on a lineup with cosmically minded Saturn and Pluto Rest in Peace supporting touring act Oddfellas for what’s being billed as “the wacko-heavy-space-rock event of the season.” The show blasts off 8 p.m. Friday at The Blue Note, 2408 N. Robinson Ave. Admission is $5. Call 405600-1166 or visit facebook.com/bluenoteokc
Sworn Enemy/Thy Will Be Done, 89th Street-OKC. METAL
Live music submissions must be received by Oklahoma Gazette no later than noon on Wednesday seven days before the desired publication date. Late submissions will not be included in the listings. Submissions run as space allows, although we strive to make the listings as inclusive as possible. Fax your listings to 528-4600 or e-mail to email@example.com. Sorry, but phone submissions cannot be accepted.
friday Photo provided 32
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go to okgazette.com for full listings!
free will astrology Homework: Send your secrets for how to increase your capacity for love to: Truthrooster@gmail.com.
glitches as learning opportunities. Use them to cultivate more patience, expand your tolerance, and strengthen your character.
ARIES (March 21-April 19)
CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Your key theme right now is growth. Let’s dig in and analyze its nuances. 1. Not all growth is good for you. It may stretch you too far too fast -- beyond your capacity to integrate and use it. 2. Some growth that is good for you doesn’t feel good to you. It might force you to transcend comforts that are making you stagnant, and that can be painful. 3. Some growth that’s good for you may meet resistance from people close to you; they might prefer you to remain just as you are, and may even experience your growth as a problem. 4. Some growth that isn’t particularly good for you may feel pretty good. For instance, you could enjoy working to improve a capacity or skill that is irrelevant to your long-term goals. 5. Some growth is good for you in some ways, and not so good in other ways. You have to decide if the trade-off is worth it. 6. Some growth is utterly healthy for you, feels pleasurable, and inspires other people.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
You can’t sing with someone else’s mouth, Taurus. You can’t sit down and settle into a commanding new power spot with someone else’s butt. Capiche? I also want to tell you that it’s best if you don’t try to dream with someone else’s heart, nor should you imagine you can fine-tune your relationship with yourself by pushing someone else to change. But here’s an odd fact: You can enhance your possibility for success by harnessing or borrowing or basking in other people’s luck. Especially in the coming weeks.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
You wouldn’t attempt to cure a case of hiccups by repeatedly smacking your head against a wall, right? You wouldn’t use an anti-tank rocket launcher to eliminate the mosquito buzzing around your room, and you wouldn’t set your friend’s hair on fire as a punishment for arriving late to your rendezvous at the café. So don’t overreact to minor tweaks of fate, my dear Gemini. Don’t over-medicate tiny disturbances. Instead, regard the
I pay tribute to your dizzying courage, you wise fool. I stage-whisper “Congratulations!” as you slip away from your hypnotic routine and wander out to the edge of mysterious joy. With a crazy grin of encouragement and my fist pressed against my chest, I salute your efforts to transcend your past. I praise and exalt you for demonstrating that freedom is never permanent but must be reclaimed and reinvented on a regular basis. I cheer you on as you avoid every temptation to repeat yourself, demean yourself, and chain yourself.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
I’m feeling a bit helpless as I watch you messing with that bad but good stuff that is so wrong but right for you. I am rendered equally inert as I observe you playing with the strong but weak stuff that’s interesting but probably irrelevant. I fidget and sigh as I monitor the classy but trashy influence that’s angling for your attention; and the supposedly fast-moving process that’s creeping along so slowly; and the seemingly obvious truth that would offer you a much better lesson if only you would see it for the chewy riddle that it is. What should I do about my predicament? Is there any way I can give you a boost? Maybe the best assistance I can offer is to describe to you what I see.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)
Psychologist Paul Ekman has compiled an extensive atlas of how emotions are revealed in our faces. “Smiles are probably the most underrated facial expressions,” he has written, “much more complicated than most people realize. There are dozens of smiles, each differing in appearance and in the message expressed.” I bring this to your attention, Virgo, because your assignment in the coming weeks -- should you choose to accept it -- is to explore and experiment with your entire repertoire of smiles. I’m confident that life will conspire to help you carry out this task. More than at any time since your birthday in 2015, this is the season for
unleashing your smiles.
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)
Lucky vibes are coalescing in your vicinity. Scouts and recruiters are hovering. Helpers, fairy godmothers, and future playmates are growing restless waiting for you to ask them for favors. Therefore, I hereby authorize you to be imperious, regal, and overflowing with self-respect. I encourage you to seize exactly what you want, not what you’re “supposed” to want. Or else be considerate, appropriate, modest, and full of harmonious caution. CUT! CUT! Delete that “be considerate” sentence. The Libra part of me tricked me into saying it. And this is one time when people of the Libra persuasion are allowed to be free from the compulsion to balance and moderate. You have a mandate to be the show, not watch the show.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)
Emily Dickinson wrote 1,775 poems -- an average of one every week for 34 years. I’d love to see you launch an enduring, deep-rooted project that will require similar amounts of stamina, persistence, and dedication. Are you ready to expand your vision of what’s possible for you to accomplish? The current astrological omens suggest that the next two months will be an excellent time to commit yourself to a Great Work that you will give your best to for the rest of your long life!
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)
What’s the biggest lie in my life? There are several candidates. Here’s one: I pretend I’m nonchalant about one of my greatest failures; I act as if I’m not distressed by the fact that the music I’ve created has never received the listenership it should it have. How about you, Sagittarius? What’s the biggest lie in your life? What’s most false or dishonest or evasive about you? Whatever it is, the immediate future will be a favorable time to transform your relationship with it. You now have extraordinary power to tell yourself liberating truths. Three weeks from now, you could be a more authentic version of yourself than you’ve ever been.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
Now and then you go through phases when you don’t
know what you need until you stumble upon it. At times like those, you’re wise not to harbor fixed ideas about what you need or where to hunt for what you need. Metaphorically speaking, a holy grail might show up in a thrift store. An eccentric stranger may provide you with an accidental epiphany at a bus stop or a convenience store. Who knows? A crucial clue may even jump out at you from a spam email or a reality TV show. I suspect that the next two weeks might be one of those odd grace periods for you.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)
“Reverse psychology” is when you convince people to do what you wish they would do by shrewdly suggesting that they do the opposite of what you wish they would do. “Reverse censorship” is when you write or speak the very words or ideas that you have been forbidden to express. “Reverse cynicism” is acting like it’s chic to express glee, positivity, and enthusiasm. “Reverse egotism” is bragging about what you don’t have and can’t do. The coming weeks will be an excellent time to carry out all these reversals, as well as any other constructive or amusing reversals you can dream up.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20)
Poet Emily Dickinson once revealed to a friend that there was only one Commandment she ever obeyed: “Consider the Lilies.” Japanese novelist Natsume Sōseki told his English-speaking students that the proper Japanese translation for “I love you” is Tsuki ga tottemo aoi naa, which literally means “The moon is so blue tonight.” In accordance with current astrological omens, Pisces, I’m advising you to be inspired by Dickinson and Sōseki. More than any other time in 2018, your duty in the coming weeks is to be lyrical, sensual, aesthetic, imaginative, and festively non-literal.
Go to RealAstrology.com to check out Rob Brezsny’s expanded weekly audio horoscopes /daily text message horoscopes. The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700.
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New York Times Magazine Crossword Puzzle DRIVING AROUND By Sam Trabucco | Puzzles Edited by Will Shortz | 0708
93 Had a leading role? 96 S or M 1 Played for a fool 97 Sam of Watergate hearings 5 Total mess 98 Ipecac, e.g. 11 Big piece of cake 99 Openly gay 15 Buzzed 101 Fix, as a mess of wires 19 “It’s all good” 103 Singer Garfunkel 21 Guido ____, painter of the 104 Big part of an orchestra “Crucifixion of St. Peter” 108 Bottle for a beachgoer 22 “Do I ____!” 23 Trying to show no signs of life 109 It’s left on a highway … or a path used by five answers in 24 Show out? this puzzle? 26 Metaphorical time in hell 111 ____ about (approximately) 27 Future exec, maybe 112 A little 28 Began a PC session 113 “Yeah, that makes sense” 29 Seminary study: Abbr. 30 One who “went a-courtin’,” in 114 Nota ____ 115 Had too much, for short a children’s song 116 Go on a drinking spree, in slang 32 Hurried along 117 Nuggets in Poor Richard’s 33 Asian berry marketed as a Almanack “superfood” 36 “Darth Vader is Luke’s father,” DOWN e.g. 1 Not using sensitive language, 38 Kind of yoga 39 Lily Potter’s maiden name in say 2 Dis-banded? the Harry Potter books 3 List ender: Abbr. 41 Fair 4 Not wait till evening to crack a 42 Attention getters bottle 44 Longtime CBS police 5 Semester’s end procedural 6 Rapper ____ Azalea 48 Voodoo, e.g. 7 General’s assistant: Abbr. 50 Quite a bash, in slang 8 Tool for undoing stitches 52 Partner of shock 9 What many runners do before 53 Wrecks, as chances a marathon 55 Relating to gaps 10 Senectitude 59 Norm: Abbr. 11 “r u 4 real?” 62 Burrow 12 Jared of Dallas Buyers Club 63 Bit of office greenery 13 Nerd’s epithet for the 65 Dead-end sign president? 67 Kind of state 68 Was forced to turn down an 14 Lions and tigers 15 Tidbit with rice in Creole invitation cuisine 69 Big character? 16 Sidestep 71 Take as a bride 17 It’s under helium in the 72 News commentator Navarro periodic table 73 Ball of yarn and others 18 Dog’s warning 74 Confession inducers 20 Endure 77 “Jeez, you should keep that 25 Per private” 30 ____ News 78 Get down 31 Annoy, in a way 79 Go as far down as 33 Goal for many a H.S. dropout 84 ____ diagram 34 Donations to certain clinics 86 Green surroundings? 35 Pantry item 88 Seize 37 David ____, CIA director 90 Work under Obama 91 “You betcha!”
27 29 36
77 85 91
38 “Watch it!” 40 Took a breather 43 Possess, as thou might 45 Old Testament land 46 “Pick me! Pick me!” 47 Certain Spanish murals 49 Elapse, as years 51 Braided floor covering 54 Where coal miners work 55 Doesn’t bother 56 Telly pitch 57 1040 reviewer, for short 58 Humerus connection 59 “How uncool!” 60 “Yer darn ____!” 61 It may bring a tear to one’s eye 64 ____ Is Us (65-Down drama) 65 See 64-Down 66 Bout result, in brief
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95 Certain domain suffix 97 Subject of a 2001-02 scandal 98 Caught congers 100 Strong desire 101 ____ Reader 102 Shade of green 104 “Absolutely!” to Alejandro 105 Capital of Okinawa 106 Chew (on) 107 Match makers? 108 Get all blubbery 110 Show with Kate McKinnon, for short
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New York Times Crossword Puzzle answers Puzzle No. 0701, which appeared in the July 4 issue.
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67 Like a game with equal winners and losers 70 ’Vette option 71 Happenin’ place 75 Election that’s too close to call 76 Peachy 78 “Phooey!” 80 Like many clowns and beachside houses 81 Kennedy Library architect 82 Nickname for a devil 83 Flowery poem 85 Help grow 86 “You agree?” 87 Enjoy consistent, favorable luck, in poker lingo 89 Story line 92 Sort of rooftop unit, familiarly 94 Another name for a porpoise or dolphin
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