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Priceless - Take One

Art... Music of the Soul

’ s a x e T East s u o l u b a F ! s e u n e V

August 2011 LMFA’s “Near & Far” Opening ArtsView Celebrates 10 Years Little Texas The “NAC” Scene The NoteBenders Dr. Mary Andrew’s Eclectic Art Collection



Do you remember the first live performance that you attended? Do you remember the venue? I talked to a number of people about this subject recently, and it seems to be that most people remember the venue as much as they remember the performers. When I was growing up in rural Minnesota and South Dakota in the 1950s, live public performances by artists of any kind were not exactly commonplace. So I remember fairly well those instances when I witnessed any sort of performance. For instance, my first movie. Saturday was go-to-town day on the farm, when farmers took their eggs, cream, and other produce to market and did their weekly shopping. The trips usually took up most of the day and often extended into the evening hours. (How late you stayed depended upon what your parents did for recreation. But that’s another story.) This was a highlight of the week for us kids, particularly in the summertime, since we had been imprisoned all week, forced to do chores and otherwise waste our young lives, all at the whim of our heartless parents. When I was about six our market town was the little village of Holland, Minnesota. It so happened that the town offered free outdoor movies on Saturday night, no doubt to entertain, but also to occupy a hundred or more country kids who would otherwise have been roaming the streets. In any event, this is where I saw my first movie, sitting under the open sky on wooden planks propped up by concrete blocks. Most likely the movie was a Three Stooges feature, although I don’t remember for sure. But I do remember the venue. The first live professional performance that I remember seeing was Jerry Lee Lewis at the City Auditorium in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Over the years many have followed: The Who at the Cotton Bowl, CSN at the old Park Central Amphitheater in Dallas, “Rent” at the Nederlander Theater in New York. Some of the venues have been impressive, a few forgettable, and a couple simply awful. But always the venue has played an important part in my experience of the event and the place it has in my memory. As LaDawn Fletcher points out this month, we are fortunate to have several excellent performance venues here in East Texas. She examines two of the more impressive, the Cowan Center and the Belcher Center, plus the newly renovated, more intimate Liberty Hall that is opening in September. There are no wooden plank seats in any of these facilities. In our other feature, Amanda Retallack describes the philosophy, operation and history of Longview’s ArtsView Children’s Theater, on the occasion of their tenth anniversary, in her article “Take A Bow”. Jan Statman gives us a look at the artists featured in the Longview Museum of Art’s newest exhibit, “Near and Far.” On the music side, Jim King covers the versatile band Little Texas, Jan Statman interviews the veteran group The NoteBenders, and Larry Tucker talks with his friend, performer Ovid Stevens. There is much more, of course, as we continue to bring you news and information on the art and artists of the Piney Woods. Happy reading and stay cool!

Gary Krell, Co-Publisher

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cordially invites you to a special opening night . . .

THURSDAY AUGUST 18, 2011 5:00 - 8:00 PM Exhibiting


Featuring works by Venus Art and Heather Hambrick

EXHIBIT AUG. 18TH - SEPT. 10TH 4518 S. Broadway • The French Quarter • Tyler, TX 75703


contents Art is defined as a product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions.

About the cover: About the cover artist, Dana Adams: “I was born in Tyler and grew up in the radio business (KDOK when it was rock and roll and KNUE before it went country). I moved to Fort Worth and worked in advertising. I moved back to Tyler and opened an art/design studio and directed that for many years. I went back to graduate school, got an MA from UT Tyler, a Ph.D. from University of North Texas, and have been teaching English (creative writing and American Literature) for many years at UT Tyler. In the meantime, I have written one true-crime novel and am in the middle of another one, have produced lots of paintings: twelve of downtown historic buildings and churches in watercolor that are available in poster form from Heart of Tyler. My oil paintings have hung in galleries in Kerrville, Angel Fire and Taos, New Mexico. The East Texas Symphony and City of Tyler contacted me at the first of the summer and asked if I’d come up with this painting of the Liberty Theater that they could market as a poster.”

About Liberty Hall:

The Liberty Theater, vacant for decades in downtown Tyler, has undergone a rebirth. Now called Liberty Hall, the venue will have its Grand Opening on September 10 with the East Texas Symphony Orchestra presenting Ralph Kirshbaum. Limited tickets will be available to this event. But then get ready, because Liberty Hall will be having other events in September including music, comedy, theater, and movies. Check out Liberty Hall on Facebook and get continuous updates. For more information or to find out how you can volunteer, please call Anne Payne at (903) 595-7274.

How to reach us: Call the American Classifieds’ Longview Office at 903-758-6900 or 800-333-3082. Fax 903-758-8181 506 N. 2nd St., Longview, TX 75601

Piney Woods Live is an expression of the community it serves. Our Fabulous Venues...............................................................4 The Tyler Civic Chorale opens auditions for new season .........5 Near and Far Exhibit at Longview Museum of Fine Art ...........6 Artist Profiles ..........................................................................8 Get ready to step-out for Gladewater’s Main Street Art Stroll .........................................................10 Downtown Tyler Film Fest announced...................................10 Artist’s World ........................................................................11 Take a bow: ArtsView celebrates 10 years ............................12 Beyond Mere Thoughts ..........................................................14 Quitman Community Theater to present Chaps! ...................14 Tyler Civic Chorale observes 10th anniversary of 9/11..........14 The “B” Side of Music ...........................................................15 Little Texas ............................................................................16 Home Grown ........................................................................17 Healing art project at Newgate Mission ................................18 The “NAC” Scene by Nathan Wayne .....................................18 The NoteBenders ..................................................................19 Art Walk Downtown Longview .............................................20 Theater Spotlight: Bit Parts ..................................................21 The Whisenhunt Center in Gladewater .................................21 Dr. Mary Andrews’ eclectic collection ..................................22 Publishers / Editors Tracy Magness Krell & Gary Krell Advertising Director Gary Krell Public Relations Randi Garcia Contributing Writers Amanda Retallack, LaDawn Fletcher, Jan Statman, Jim King, Randy Brown, Larry Tucker Emmitte Hall, Karen Dean, Nathan Wayne Graphic Artists Tracy Krell, Joni Guess, Mary Hernandez Sales: Donna Vincent, April Harlow, Shannon Dykes, Denise Reid, Randi Garcia, Kathy Hollan, Cookie Bias

Sign up for our newsletter by going to our website: © 2011 by Piney Woods Live. All rights reserved. This publication, its associated website and their content is copyright of Piney Woods Live. Any reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form without the expressed written consent of the publisher is prohibited.

August 2011 - Page 03

venues Our Fabulous Venues by LaDawn Fletcher Dance, live music, Broadway productions and plays are all best enjoyed in venues made with the needs of both the performer and the audience in mind. East Texans are fortunate to have at least three fabulous venues from which to choose. The directors of these locations, with input from the community, work hard to bring the same top notch talent that goes to Austin, Dallas and Houston, to the Piney Woods. Longview’s Belcher Center, the Cowan Center and the brand new Liberty Hall of Tyler were created to serve the communities in which they are located. This mission drives them and frames their decisions for what graces their stages. The Belcher Center, Cowan Center and Liberty Hall were born out of collaboration with private donors. The University of Texas at Tyler took the lead for the Cowan Center and LeTourneau University for the Belcher Center. In order to remain in business, they are supported by revenue generated from performances and to a lesser degree, student fees. Liberty Hall is a City of Tyler project that is funded by private donors. All three exist to provide affordable, quality, and entertaining performances. The Belcher Center, which is entering its fifth season, has seen the community gradually absorb this philosophy into its way of life. The Belcher Center seats a little more than 2,000 people and serves as the home for East Texas Symphonic Band, Longview Ballet and the Longview Symphony among others. They also offer a season of performances that include dance, concerts and plays. Cynthia Hellen, Senior Director for the Belcher Center says that she and the advisory committee she steers strive to provide varied entertainment that will appeal to both residents and visitors. The upcoming season will include well-known names like American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, Weird Al Yankovich and Riverdance. “I spoke with leaders of other new centers around the country and they told me to expect it to take about five years for the community to really understand what you are trying to do, and that has been true.” Belcher also rents its facility to performing artists who want to stage their own works. Like the Belcher Center, the Cowan Center’s director, Susan Thomae-Morphew. knows the delicate dance of selecting and staging works that people want to see. In the 15 seasons that the Cowan Center has been operational, they’ve learned what type of performances their subscribers and members will be excited about. She begins looking for the next season’s performances the year before by attending conferences dedicated to matching venues with performers. The Cowan Center advisory committee is also instrumental in deciding what performances will be featured for the next season. Often for the Cowan Center, that means well known Broadway productions like ”Beauty and the Beast” and “Young Frankenstein”, and world-famous acts like last season’s Gladys Knight and Bill Cosby, who is returning for a second time, in

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venues & news performance. Lecturers such as author P.J. O’Rourke and former senator and current actor Fred Thompson are featured as part of the lineup this year. “We try to anticipate what audiences would like to see,” says Thomae-Morphew, “but we also ask our patrons through three surveys each year.” For artists seeking a different environment than that offered by the Belcher Center or Cowan Center, Liberty Hall, located in downtown Tyler, is a much smaller venue seating just 300 people. When the facility opens in September, it will be host to artists desiring a more intimate setting. It’s décor pays homage to the Art Deco era. Director Anne Payne is excited about what Liberty Hall brings to Tyler in general and downtown Tyler specifically. In its inaugural year, there will be no season subscriptions. However The East Texas Symphony will hold several performances made up of smaller groups of its musicians. Movie nights, up and coming comedians, and music groups like indie band Eisly have also been scheduled. Affordability and access are key elements of the vision that led to the restoration of the historic Liberty Theatre building. Armed with a vision from city leadership, but not city funding, Liberty Hall was created to be sustained by the community it is serving. “We are keeping it on a community level, involving the community, keeping it affordable for the community and representing all of the different folks in the community,” says Payne, director of Liberty Hall. The city operates the facility, but revenue generated from the venue and donations will pay for it. Payne expects businesses to rent the facility for meetings because of the audio/visual set up, and also local arts groups and schools that want to stage productions in a place that is easily accessible for the general public. For lovers of performances of all kinds, there are exciting shows throughout East Texas at these performance halls, and many others in the area. Full schedules are available on their websites and Facebook pages.

The Tyler Civic Chorale opens auditions for new season The Tyler Civic Chorale invites interested persons throughout East Texas to audition for its next season. No solo needs to be prepared, but candidates should expect to demonstrate good relative pitch and sight-reading ability. Choristers commit to weekly Monday night rehearsals at First Presbyterian Church, Tyler, and five performances. To schedule an audition no earlier than July 25 and no later than August 12, contact artistic director Donald Duncan at 903-597-6317 or The first rehearsal for the season will be held on August 15, with the initial performance on Sunday, September 11. Art & Soul Poetry Group meets at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts every third Saturday of the month between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Contact Kathleen Hart at 903-234-1386 or


Liberty Hall 103 E. Erwin Tyler, TX 75702 903.595.7274 On Facebook as Liberty Hall Tyler

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art Near and Far Exhibit at Longview Museum of Fine Art by Jan Statman The Near and Far Exhibit of East Texas Regional Artists at the Longview Museum of Fine Arts opened to a record crowd of firstnight viewers. The exhibit, which continues through August 27, features the work of Shirley Hughes Blackman, Connie Connally, Stacy Deslatte, Dennis O’Bryant, Tony Reans, Jimmy Salmon and Beverly Sheveland. Museum director, Renee Hawkins, commented, “LMFA has seven artists featured in the regional show this year providing a fascinating variety of work. Three of the artists, Shirley Blackman, Connie Connally and Beverly Sheveland, work in very different abstract styles. In part of the exhibit, I chose to hang samples of their work side-byside in one corner so that viewers might see the differences in their work. Tony Reans’ cartoon-like food images add a whimsical dynamic splash, and Jimmy Salmon’s Dutch Master inspired photographs fill in the still life void perfectly. We also have two sculptors: Stacy Deslatte, whose highly polished pieces in stone add a dramatic dimension, and Dennis O’Bryant, whose recent ceramics are direct and emotional.” Shirley Hughes Blackman, owner and artistic director of the Austin Street Gallery in Rockport, Texas, has spent a lifetime creating her art. She is proud to say she won her first art award for drawing at just six years of age and, as Miss New Mexico, was the first contestant to name art as her talent in the Miss America Pageant. She graduated from Baylor University, going on to do advanced studio work in Paris, France with Reynold and Marthe Arnould. She has been a full time artist since 1970, exhibiting in numerous solo shows and being recognized in both national and international exhibitions. Her work is in many private and public collections in the United States, Central America and France. In describing her art, Blackman explained that she has always painted figurative works but began experimenting with abstract images, and it is in that discipline that significant changes have taken place. She said, “Music has always been an important part of my life, and the abstract sound of music can be related to the visual abstraction of a painting.” She added, “My non-objective abstracts are not planned in advance. They are pure creativity and express my deepest self. I hope each viewer feels the color, rhythm and energy of the painting and the work speaks to them as good music does.”

art Connie Connally is a Dallas artist who recently moved to Santa Barbara, California. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Wichita State University and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Southern Methodist University. She has exhibited extensively in museum and gallery shows across the nation. She said, “I draw extensively from the dynamic rhythm of the nature that surrounds me, and my greatest desire is to recreate that experience on the canvas.” She spoke of how her new appreciation for the ocean has changed her work. “The coastline of Santa Barbara, my new home, inspires my paintings. The rich color schemes and fluid shapes are informed by this coastal setting: shimmering shorelines dotted with tangled beach wrack, a gray tide shrouded in an evening fog, coastal bluffs blanketed with wild mustard, palm trees silhouetted in the silver light of a fading day, and the ever present tangle of sea grasses and water lilies found in small ponds.” Stacy Deslatte is a native of Belleville, Illinois and was a chemical engineer with Eastman Chemical Company while raising her three children. She became a self-taught naturalist and nature observer and sought creative outlets. A few years before leaving her engineering career in 2001, she began independent study and practice in the field of stone carving and sculpture. She attended sculpture workshops including those of Western & Wildlife Arts and sculptor, Bobbe Gentry, and was mentored by master sculptor, Bill Snow. She has exhibited in museum and gallery shows in Texas and Louisiana as well as in Florida and San Francisco. She explained, “My latest group of pieces is the result of self directed study of gesture sketching and the wonderful serendipitously acquired pile of beautiful stone just begging to be brought out into view. I honestly let the stone decide the shapes, and I continue to strive to coax motion and fluidity of the living world from the static solid stone. I love the intellectual work of studying the stone and deciding how to proceed. I love the physical work of shaping the stone.” Dennis O’Bryant believes that, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” Although clay is a relatively new process for him, he has exhibited his art both on canvas and on paper extensively in the East Texas area and across the country from Florida to San Francisco. Largely self-taught, his recent fascination with clay began when his mentor, Erin Lambers, invited him to a pottery class in Marshall, Texas. He said, “Sometimes, as a stubborn student, I found that a few pieces were broken, but part of my self-taught philosophy is to take what is available and make it work, therefore, some of these works have been fitted back together as finished art.” Tony Reans is a fine art painter and photographer. He has shown his vibrantly-colored paintings at Artspace, Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, Columbia Cafe and at additional places in Shreveport. In addition to his paintings and collage work, his photography has become his latest passion. He enjoys pointing out the often irrational and even more often amusing relationships which people create with the world around them. His collagepaintings are often inspired by clip art

and comic books. He said, “Whether food product labels, fast food bags, or comic books, the pop icons used in these collages are instantly recognizable to the masses who consume the subjects in the pieces themselves. This is an apropos demonstration of pop culture feeding upon itself: art consuming life, life consuming art.” Winner of the Short Exposure exhibit at the LMFA, photographer Jimmy Salmon of Longview is involved in the serious consideration of still life images. He has divided his photographs into two specific categories. One category is based on 17th century Dutch still life painting. It borrows subject matter, composition and use of light from that time. Another category, floral still life, is based on the work of several Russian photographers. He is careful to study the work of the old Masters in order to use their imagery in his compositions. He said, “Since I am new to producing art, I leaned on the classical painters as my primary teachers. Good photography is a technique to be mastered. For me, producing good art began with the inspiration and guidance of these teachers.” Beverly Sheveland of Hawkins, Texas creates large abstract paintings. In describing her work she said, “I have taken my mantra from Hans Hoffmann’s challenge to see with the eyes of an eight-year-old while keeping one’s intellectual integrity. In describing the process with which she works she stated, “I start with a cognitive problem and delve into the painting to solve it while trying to capture that initial delight in the world when it was fresh.“

August 2011 - Page 07

artists artist profiles

Dani Walker

Sean Fuller, Saxman

Dani Walker is an artist working in oils, watercolors, and acrylic who specializes in creating pictures that tell a story or evoke an emotion. “I like to do a blend between realism and expressionism using color to create a mood,” she says. Originally from West Texas, Dani has been drawing and painting scenes based on rural life since she was very young. Many of the techniques she uses are self-taught with the help from occasional books. She took a drawing class during her college days. Dani especially enjoys capturing the personality of people and animals in the portraits she paints while creating expressive landscapes that evoke the feel of sunshine on water, snow, or reflection by metal objects. Her paintings show a variety of styles with one goal constantly in mind: to celebrate the beauty of the world around us. She can be reached by email at:

Saxman Sean Fuller can coax the sweetest notes from his well-traveled alto-saxophone. Since starting out in sixth grade band, he’s played jazz, country, rock, blues, orchestra and with the Pink Floyd tribute band, Brain Damage. He plays solo and often jams with Grant Cook or King Richard and the Bayou Boys around East Texas and is a regular each year at Mardi Gras in Jefferson. “I have a strong, clean-sounding, classical influence from all the years of playing in concert bands, wind ensembles and private lessons through high school and college,” says Sean.

Article submissions: Articles are accepted and reviewed by a panel. Photos may accompany articles. Space, relevance, writing and appropriateness play a huge part in the decision making process. Individual artists are more likely to have fewer than 100 words plus a photo published. Deadlines are the 5th of the month prior to publication.

Bobby Hopps Bobby Hopps is one of the newest artists in Edom, Texas but has been in the business of birdhouse making for many years beside his father, Joseph Hopps. Bobby has been an artist his whole life. He came to Edom to help in his father’s business, Arbor Castle Birdhouses. With much enjoyment Bobby will give the history and details of his art to anyone who comes to visit the gallery. He moved from North Texas and has been in Edom for five years. He is active in all things art including his involvement in the startup of Second Saturday 279 Artisians Trail which runs from Edom to Ben Wheeler.

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Melinda Kuykendall I am an artist, writer and a teacher. I love to work in multi-media and junk art, but I also paint. I write prose and poetry, have been published in several obscure places, and am a fixture at the Roxie’s Reading group that meets twice a month where I get to read my work to a lovely bunch of talented peers. I teach elementary art at Hudson PEP in Longview and am currently the only art teacher at the elementary level for the children of LISD. I find this appalling! I also teach the science lab for 1st through 5th grade which may be why I still have a job teaching!

artists Venus Venus is a full time multi media painter and performance artist from Texas. She began her art career only six years ago while studying to be an art curator at the University of Texas at Arlington. Though completely self-taught, in that short time she has completed more than 1000 paintings, many of which are now held in private collections around the world. Known for her bold use of color and expression in her paintings, Venus has been called, as one of her collectors put it, “the Van Gogh of Fort Worth”. She paints in acrylic, oil, watercolor and oil pastel. She has a diverse portfolio that includes expressive abstraction and surrealism, pop art portraiture, impressionism and realism. Her unique style embraces nostalgic artistry while incorporating the youthful fresh emergence of today’s current artists. Venus enjoys telling a story or creating a sense of emotion in her paintings. “I fell in love with art because of symbolism in art. I was fascinated with the stories each painting held beyond just the brush work. Each of my paintings has a part of my own personal story, emotion and travels through life. Painting gives me great joy both during the creative process and by sharing my work with others.”

Maryann Miller

Mary Kosary

Maryann Miller is the Theatre Director at the Winnsboro Center For The Arts (WCA). She has directed numerous shows including The Secret Garden, Dirty Work at the Crossroads, Scrooge, and her original play, There Is A Time. Onstage she has appeared as “Mildred” in Scruples and “Mama Wheelis” in Daddy’s Dyin’ Whose Got the Will at the Main Street Theatre in Sulphur Springs. In July she was involved in the fifth annual Summer Youth Drama Camp held at WCA. This was an intense two-week acting workshop that culminated in a performance on July 23.

“Enchanted by nature and light, I began photographing and painting flowers and glassware while living on the Gulf Coast of Texas. I have been privileged to study with master watercolorists from across the United States. I am a signature member of the Southwestern Watercolor Society of Dallas and a founding member of SPLASH, an East Texas watercolor group. My fellow watercolorists have shared their knowledge and given me encouragement on this wonderful journey. A group of us paint weekly at Greta Faulkinberry’s Art Retreat in Bullard, Texas. The desire to paint, the flowers, the glass and the light are all gifts from God...or in other words, Grace. Creativity is my passion.” Mary Kosary has an art studio in Tyler. Her paintings and photos can be seen at www.marykosary. Contact her at

Venus will be on exhibit at Gold Leaf Gallery from Aug. 18-Sept. 10th.

Jennifer Keohane Jennyfer Keohane focuses on bright colors and uses children with autism and her rescued animals as subjects. She has been a professional artist since her teen years in Brooklyn, NY at Boys and Girls High School where she worked on murals, business signs and cartoons. She continued with her work for the University of Texas as a cartoonist for The Patriot Talon, the college’s student newspaper. She was nominated for Student Journalism awards in 2009. She won awards for Authentic Set Design and as a scenery painter for the Theater Department at Tarrant County College at the ACTF competition. Currently, she is a contract artist for companies such as Ugg Australia and Toms shoes during their fall and spring promotional events. All of her work helps support her Bully Breed Rescue - BHUB, Inc. You can view her work at Pink Pitbull Productions on

August 2011 - Page 09

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news Get ready to step-out for Gladewater’s Main Street Art Stroll Gladewater’s Main Street Art Stroll will “Step-Out” on Saturday, August 13, in the Gladewater Antique District where there is plenty of free parking and easy access to all the amenities. It certainly should be a shopper’s delight for beautiful art works and the uniqueness of ageless antiques. The Art Stroll will get underway at 1 p.m. through 5 p.m. with demonstrations, live entertainment and lots of artists’ displays throughout downtown Gladewater. The antique dealers will also have promotions and huge sales. You will get to meet the artists up close and personal. They represent some of the best talent in our East Texas area. They work in a variety of mediums and subject matters. Whether you’re an avid collector or just beginning to collect, there will be something for everyone. There also will be a silent auction for selected pieces of artwork provided by many of the artists in hopes that you won’t leave empty-handed or disappointed. All artists and patrons will be invited later that day at 6 p.m. to a special reception at the Whisenhunt Center for refreshment, entertainment, tours and camaraderie. Gladewater’s Art Stroll will be a celebration of the importance of art in our lives—presented in a casual format for your enjoyment. The city hopes to see you there for a very special afternoon and evening.

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A new film festival was announced by the film working group of the Downtown Tyler Arts Coalition (DTAC). The Downtown Tyler Arts Film Festival will take place Oct. 12-15 at Liberty Hall. Members of the DTAC filmmaker group are serving as organizers. “Show Us Your Shorts” is the theme of this year’s festival, which concentrates on comedic short films of 15 minutes or less. The event will kick off with a VIP street party on Oct. 12, with films available for viewing Oct. 13-15. Additional activities will be announced at a later date. “Independent film production is becoming a major industry,” said festival Director Chris Abraham, a volunteer with DTAC. Abraham pointed out that major media distributors have a growing interest in small, start-up studios, and filmmaking is now a very popular area of study on college campuses. Abraham continued by saying that new distribution avenues are opening lucrative business models for new media producers. “A film festival is not only great fun, but it is also a very smart business move for Tyler,” Abraham said. Also organizing the event are experienced film festival producers Stephen Self and Donna Gatewood.


One of the best assets I have as a painter is to have a p canvas manufactturer u literally in my bbackyard. Sunbelt M Manufacturing is Dennis O’Bryant always 1st rate!

Artist’s World by Jan Statman Summertime, and the living is frantic.The pitter-patter of little feet stampedes like longhorns across many households. Blood curdling shrieks no longer curdle. The cat has had her third nervous breakdown. The dog is hiding in the tool shed. Six small boys have locked themselves in your broom closet. Kool Aid flows like water. The world in all its majesty is coated with peanut butter. The bleach dispenser has escaped from the washing machine. You automatically slap your neighbor’s hand when she reaches for a cookie. You have worn out two library cards and laundered the third. The time has come to offer the kids an alternative to the disaster of the moment. Creative art activities can provide an exciting substitute for falling out of the tree. If you can find a shady location out-of-doors, you can wash the debris away with a garden hose. If the lure of air conditioning is too strong to abandon, find a good location. Cover the children with aprons or old shirts; cover the table with a good supply of newspapers and let’s get creative. FINGER PAINTING: This is intended for pre-schoolers, but once you start, the big kids will want to get in on the action. To make the paint, combine 1 envelope of unflavored gelatin with 1/4 cup of cold water and set it aside to soak. Dissolve ½ cup of cornstarch in ¾ cup of cold water. When it is dissolved, stir 2 cups of hot water into the cornstarch mixture. Cook it and stir it over medium heat until the mixture is clear. Remove it from the heat and blend in the softened gelatin. Stir in ½ cup of powdered detergent until it disappears. Cool and pour into 3 separate bowls. Add a few drops red, yellow and blue food coloring to the bowls to make different colors of paint. Spoon a blob of each color on wax coated paper. White butcher paper is excellent for this project. Shelf paper works really well. Freezer paper works well too. Be sure to wipe the paper with a damp sponge before you spread the paint. Get those little fingers in the paint and paint away! CORNY CLAY: You will need one cup of cornstarch and two cups of baking soda. Mix them with 1¼ cups of cold water. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until the mixture resembles mashed potatoes. Cool to room temperature. Knead the mixture like dough. When you have a nice doughy consistency, let the kids shape into “sculptures.” You can also roll the dough flat with a rolling pin and cut shapes with a cookie cutter or a butter knife. Allow the finished artworks to dry on waxed paper. When dry they can be painted with felt tip pens. If there is any extra, you can store it in an airtight container to use another time. CARDBOARD BOX BUILDINGS: Everybody knows that cardboard boxes fascinate children. They can be used to fashion the most simple or elaborate playthings. Cut an oatmeal box in half and decorate it to be a doll’s cradle. Glue the top down and decorate it to be a toy drum. Let your imagination be your guide. Larger cardboard boxes can be made into cities, stores, shopping centers, service stations and doll homes. Use glue, scraps of fabric and construction paper to make doors and windows. Very large cardboard boxes can become life-size playhouses, puppet theaters, frontier forts or space ships. PUPPET TIME: The public library has a number of excellent books on simple puppet making for older children. The easiest and quickest way to make a puppet only requires an old sock, some buttons and scraps of string and cloth. Slide the child’s hand into the sock, and let him or her move it around to decide where the eyes, nose and mouth should be. Buttons are fine for eyes. Felt tip pens outline noses and mouths. Yarn or fabric scraps make splendid “hair.” MOSAICS: Mosaics are pictures or designs created from small pieces of material that are assembled to create shapes and images. A wooden board or sheet of heavy cardboard can make a splendid base. Glue, beans, dried peas, macaroni, and rice can be used to make a simple mosaic. Draw or outline a design or picture on the board, the simpler the better. Spread a small area with glue. Apply beans to one area, peas to another, macaroni to another until the design is completed. Mosaics can be made with many things. Small pieces of construction paper glued to cardboard work well too. SCRAPPY ENGINEERING: You will need an assortment of wood scraps and a few simple screws, nails, bolts, spools, string or wheels. Older kids can use simple tools like hammers and pliers to fashion fantastic machines from simple materials and imagination. Fabric scraps make sails for sailing ships. Cardboard can become dinosaur wings and other splendid things. GIANT SOAP BUBBLES: This is guaranteed to get everybody outside. While this is not exactly an art activity, art is beauty and there certainly is beauty in the color and shape of soap bubbles. To get started you will need a really big pan. Bend a coat hanger into a giant loop that will fit into the pan. Mix ½ cup of Joy or Dawn detergent, five cups of cold water and 2 tablespoons of glycerin in the pan. Dip the coat hanger into the liquid and wave it in the air. Art activities add another dimension to your summer. I hope this provides some happy hours and some spectacular summertime memories. Once you get started, you can add any number of activities to this list. I would like to add them for you, but I must run. My California grandson is calling on Skype, and it is time for some transcontinental finger painting.

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theater Take a bow: ArtsView celebrates 10 years by Amanda Retallack Proud parents, grandparents and relatives sat in the audience beaming toward the stage in the middle of the room, taking pictures and recording video of their costumed children. It was a special dress rehearsal Friday morning for “The Princess and the Frog,” the latest production from ArtsView Children’s Theatre. The large cast of youth, along with its many audience members, on a weekday summer morning was something those who created the theater program couldn’t have imagined when they held their first audition. Now in its 10th year, however, ArtsView plays are summer staples in Longview. Back in 2002, Sandi Taylor was very active in the Longview Community Theater. She had noticed that there was a lack of opportunities for children in local productions — as a matter of fact, the closest acting venue where children could submerse themselves in year around theatrics was in Tyler. “The group over in Tyler was doing a magnificent job in their children’s theater program, but we needed to do something for the younger crowd in this area,” Taylor said. That idea paired with the constant question from parents of, “How can my children be a part of this?” made her sit up and think, Why not start a program for Longview? She called on her good friend Vickie Echols,


and ArtsView Children’s Theatre was born. The first major production was “Alice in Wonderland.” There were 33 speaking parts in the play, and Sandi prayed that 33 children would show an interest. She never expected to see the more than 100 little smiling faces standing outside her casting room door the morning of auditions. “It was the very beginning for us,” she recalls. “ArtsView had no building, no stage; First Methodist opened its doors for us to use their facility for auditions. Once all those children showed up for the audition, I knew without a doubt we had something Longview needed.” That number has grown by leaps and bounds over the past decade. “We’ve grown from doing one show per year — no building, no staff, no money — to now doing eight shows a year,” Sandi said in amazement of the feat. “We went from having a few dozen kids at an audition to now literally hundreds of children involved within the ArtsView organization.” “We want to make sure there’s room for everyone who is interested in performing with ArtsView, so we split up our summer camps based on age group. It works out well,” she added. For example, the 6 to 7 year olds may focus on a cute, brief fairytale play lasting 15 minutes tops, while the “big kids” in their teens show off their skills in a 1 - 2 hour long drama such as “The Secret Garden” or “Little Women.”

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theater And their programs within ArtsView knows no boundaries. Their motto is Changing lives through education, outreach and performing arts, and Sandi and Vickie are definitely covering all of their bases. “Everyday someone’s life is changed for the better by one of those three areas; when the children come the first day, they are changed by the time they leave,â€? Sandi said. “Our joy is to make their lives better through these three areas. Most theaters solely focus on performing arts — we want more for our children.â€? For education, ArtsView offers a program called PATHS: Performing Arts Theatre School. This is a new program as of 2011, and it encompasses all education such as Theatre Education Classes, Homeschool Drama Courses, On-Campus School Programs, Workshops, Traveling Show Choirs and Apprentice & Intern Programs, Playwright Competitions and College Scholarship programs, just to name a few. For outreach, ArtsView has traveling troupes who perform for organizations ranging from nursing homes to underprivileged daycares. The ArtsView Players perform in and around the East Texas area. ArtsView’s Fee Assistance Program ensures that no child is ever turned away at ArtsView Children’s Theatre because of inability to pay. ArtsView also initiates collaborations with area arts and nonprofit organizations such as Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs, Buckner’s Shoes for Orphan Souls, SEE SAW, Truman W. Smith Children’s Care Center, Longview Partners in Prevention, Texas Nonprofit Theatres, Longview Public Library, Judson Lion’s Club, Arts Longview and many others. And lastly, for performing arts ‌ that’s what ArtsView is all about! Year round productions by and for children. For the Bagley family of White Oak, ArtsView takes over the summertime. It comes first for enthusiastic daughters Paige, 13, and Erin, 10. “They love this program; they would live at the theater all summer if they could,â€? said mom, Janet. “They are very involved in sports, too, but I think ArtsView is really their passion.â€? Janet said she’s seen a significant change in oldest daughter Paige since her first time at ArtsView in a production of “101 Dalmatiansâ€? when she was only 8. “She played one of the puppies, and she loved it. After that first performance, she was hooked,â€? Janet recalls. “Paige has been in it so long now that her confidence has really blossomed. Even her middle school teachers told me how amazed they were at her ability to speak in front of her classroom. Being in these productions has really allowed her to grow.â€? She also was quick to note that the theater brings together children from throughout the area. Paige and Erin are able to interact with children they wouldn’t ever get to meet otherwise. “It’s just a great group of kids to hang around with,â€? she added. “Children from all over are coming together, working together, to make something for their community. We are so proud of our children and what they are accomplishing through ArtsView.â€?

Painting/Art Classes For Sandi, it’s all about the kids and their transformation from timid tykes who dream of being cast as the Little Mermaid on stage to grown actors who perfect their craft on a daily basis. “When the children first join ArtsView, they’re excited about the makeup and the cute costumes, but as they mature in the program, so does their attitude about what they’re doing,� Sandi said. “They become part of this family; they make new friends. Their attitudes change from what they get out of it to what they give by being a part of it. They give their time, their friendships and their caring attitudes.� It’s the hope of those involved in ArtsView that these students continue their appreciation for acting once they leave the walls of their beloved theater. “I love seeing kids grow up together,� she continued. “I’ve been in the business 10 years — our first little guys were 8; now they’re 18. One of our alumni is going to London to the Dramatic School of Arts; we have a couple of kids in New York, one in California ... even the ones that are still close to home are using what they learned with us, and they come back to ArtsView to support the little children who were just like them 10 years ago!� “Theatre is about teamwork, confidence, discipline, problem solving, learning how to stand up in front of a crowd,� Sandi added. “ArtsView allows participants to take this small little slice of life with them into their big life when they grow up.� For more information, please see website at

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writing & news Beyond Mere Thoughts by Karen Dean Sometimes I wonder why I bother to write anything. There are already plenty of books and articles available for people to read covering every possible topic and more. Would anybody really care about what I think? Have you been there? Have you done that? To my amazement, there are people who actually want to read what I write. Many have been impacted by my words. Great satisfaction comes from knowing my books or articles bring entertainment, inspiration, or hope to my readers. I never expected my cute and simple children’s books to be anything more that sweet stories. Who knew that Let’s Go to Mackinac Island! would be used as an educational tool in Michigan elementary schools, and I would be invited to speak at schools about being an author and illustrator. As a result, I’ve inspired some children to write and create their own works of art. They are full of ideas and need to see someone who is doing what they dream of doing themselves. When I wrote Let’s Go to Chicago, I didn’t know I would be signing books at the Chicago Children’s Museum at Navy Pier for visitors from Chicago, other states, and other countries. I was even asked to have my picture taken with a little boy from Germany. Who knew that Kitty Kate’s Tea Party would be motivating little girls to plan their own tea parties, thus creating wonderful bonding, memory-making experiences with mommies, grandmas and aunts. I’ve also received feedback of adult appreciation for the helpful manners section at the back. It opened the door for some to have conversations of how to be polite. Silly me, I thought these books were just for fun. We all have a story inside that needs to be told to someone for some reason. If you have the desire to write, then get it out of your head. Start jotting something down on paper and see if it goes somewhere. When I started this article today, I had no clue where I was going, until I began to write. Since I’m writing from my own experience, I recalled those experiences and then the article flowed. Everyone has a pile of experience to draw from. Even if it seems like it isn’t related to a topic you wanted to write about, it’s quite possible that there are tidbits from your life or what you’ve seen first hand in others that can supply great starting points for taking your words from paragraphs to chapters, and beyond. Your words are important to others, so don’t be afraid to share them. Your possibilities are endless. Stop by next month for a few more writing tips. In addition to being a published author and illustrator of children’s books, Karen Dean is also a Classical Realism portrait painter in oil and watercolor. Visit her website to view the gallery.

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Quitman Community Theatre to present Chaps! Mark your calendars now for Quitman Community Theatre’s next production, the hilarious musical comedy, Chaps!. Performances will be held July 29 & 30, August 5 & 6 at 7:30 pm, and July 31 and August 7 at 2:00 pm at the Carroll Green Civic Center in Quitman. Cost is $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 12 and under. Whoa, Brittania! Panic at the BBC! The year is 1944, America’s favorite singing cowboy and his troupe are late for a special broadcast at the BBC in London. Out of desperation, Mabel, their tour manager, and Miles, the frantic young producer, grab whomever they can... a snobby announcer, an amiable sound man, a passing soap opera actor... slap them into costume, hand them scripts (after all, it’s radio!) and shove them in front of the studio audience. The resulting performance is one England will never forget. QCT’s cast consists of Hanna Graham, Keith Haisten, Michael Phifer, Terry Casburn, Bob Hibbard, and Randy Parrish. Musicians are: Glenda Schill, Ann Norris, Jeff Norris, Christine Gomez, and Jeannette Peel.

Tyler Civic Chorale observes 10th anniversary of 9/11 The Tyler Civic Chorale invites persons throughout East Texas to join in a service of remembrance at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 11, 2011, at First Presbyterian Church in Tyler, led by clergymen from various faiths. The purpose of the concert is to memorialize those who perished and to honor first responders and others who worked following September 11, 2001. Donald Duncan, the Chorale’s artistic director, says, “As choral musicians, we are seeking to present a musical remembrance of September 11th that joins our various diverse voices into one chorus of hope, peace, love and tolerance. Music is a powerful force that helps us remember and grieve and yet gives voice to our deepest desire for peace in an often violent world.” The doors of the sanctuary will open at 6:00 p.m. The concert is free to the public, but donations are accepted. The event is the first of the Chorale’s 2011-2012 season. The five-event season will also include a November concert of Jewish music given at Temple Beth El, the traditional Lessons and Carols service in December, “Mass Appeal” in March, and the Chorale’s traditional May gala featuring popular selections. The 9/11 concert of remembrance is jointly sponsored by the Chorale and the Music and Fine Arts Series of First Presbyterian Church. The church is located at 230 West Rusk Street in Tyler, and free parking is available adjacent to the building. For more information, e-mail or visit and the Chorale’s Facebook page.

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Stage Fright See the man with the stage fright Just standing up there to give it all his might. And he got caught in the spotlight, But when he gets to the end He wants to start all over again. “Stage Fright” by Robbie Robertson (The Band) This month’s lyric is from a song written by Robbie Robertson and recorded by The Band. It was also the title track of The Band’s third album released in 1970. The lyrics are about a musician so paralyzed by performance anxiety that he drinks too much to the point the doctor warns him his health is in jeopardy. However, you will notice at the end of the chorus he wants to start all over again because he is no longer afraid. Welcome to stage fright. I got an email from Ron Hall, a reader and harmonica player who goes by the moniker of “Mr. Easy”. In his email he mentioned a problem with stage fright. He wrote that the way he finally came to grips with it was to perform as much as possible. I totally agree with Ron and would like to say a little more on this dreaded affliction. I think stage fright is common to all performers: actors, musicians, public speakers, storytellers, poets and anyone else who has to perform, speak or be the center of public attention. I always say, if you aren’t a little afraid then you aren’t taking it seriously enough. So, yes it is common and it is uncomfortable but it isn’t necessarily bad. In fact, I think that you should use the experience of stage fright as a launching pad, so to speak. For me, the biggest problem of stage fright is thinking too much during the early part of my performances. I find myself thinking ahead - what is the next line, what is the next chord, what song am I going to do next, how is this going over? This type of mental activity takes me out of the moment where the performance is happening and deposits me precisely where I don’t want to be - in a place I call “hyper-aware”. Sounds good, but it certainly isn’t. My mind is moving forward at the speed of light by over thinking, over reacting and under performing. Performance is not about thinking. It is about being there wholly in the moment while riding the wave of attention from the audience, making the most of that feedback loop that is public performance. What I mean by feedback loop is that you put excitement out there, and the audience gives you that excitement back along with a little of their own. You take what they have returned and send it back to them along with even more energy. When it works, it brings you and the audience into an ecstatic, almost mystical experience. This experience is what every audience craves and what every performer that ever fully experienced it chases like a junkie does a high. In fact, I would go so far to say that it is a high. When you get there, you will find that you are so empowered by the audience’s energy that you can surprise yourself with your own power and energy. I have even had an

Music out-of-body experience while performing. Discussing this with other performers I’ve found that it has happened to them too. Once you have such a truly mystical experience performing you cannot stop. You do become a junkie, chasing that feeling again and again and again. Okay, so how do you avoid stage fright? Well, for me, a lot of it is being prepared as a performer. One thing that has always worked well is to open my performance with a couple of songs I am so familiar with I can play and sing them in my sleep. Something with energy, not a low key ballad, but something that is memorable and representative of what I do. I don’t have to pull out all the stops yet. No over top solos or vocal gymnastics. Think of this as an introduction. “Hi, I’m Randy and I’m very happy to be here tonight. Here is a taste of what I do.” Let yourself flow with the performance, and don’t think too much. I know this is easier said than done, but I like to use the quote from Ram Dass of “be here now” as my mantra. In fact, if I am playing more than two or three songs, I will have a set list somewhere in front of me and on that set list I will write in very large letters, “BE HERE NOW.” Those words help anchor me and can help me keep my mind from running away. Not that I always or even often succeed in following my own advice. But, at least I know what I should be doing. In the end, Mr. Easy’s is the best and simplest approach. If some aspect of performance bothers you, simply do it over and over until it doesn’t. Oh yeah, and by the way, I almost forgot to mention, Ron (Mr. Easy) has one arm and he is out there playing harpoon with the best of em’. So why should you have stage fright? By the way, if you have comments, suggestions or criticisms about this or any of my columns, feel free to send them to me: But be careful, you might wind up in this column like Ron. Go to, listen to a few songs and let me know what you think.

July 30 – Matthew Davidson Band August 6 – Ovid Stevens August 27 – Rhett Butler September 17 – Brian Burns


See you next issue. Randy Brown is a small business owner and singer/songwriter living in East Texas and has been involved with many sides of the music business over the years, from being a sideman, a sound man, touring songwriter, operating a venue and a recording studio owner/engineer. He still suffers from stage fright and still thinks too much while he is performing. But you know what they say; “those who can do and those who can’t, write columns”.

August 2011 - Page 15

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Page 16 - August 2011

The group Little Texas has been around for many years and rightfully so. Having photographed a lot of musicians over the years, it becomes very easy for me to tell the difference between passion and a performance when an artist takes the stage. These guys are very passionate about what they do, and even a person going to their first ever concert would both see and appreciate what each member contributes to their overall success. Porter Howell (lead vocals & lead guitar), Dwayne O’Brien (vocals & rhythm guitar), Duane Propes (vocals & bass guitar) and Del Gray (vocals & drums) have contributed collectively to a sound and stage presence that is uniquely their own, and they have been doing it for over 20 years now! So this is the part where you start asking yourself, “Why is this guy writing about a group that doesn’t even live here?” The answer to that is simple. Two of the four members of Little Texas have roots right here in East Texas. Porter Howell and Duane Propes both grew up in Longview with Porter graduating from Pine Tree High School and Duane Propes from Longview High School. Both of them return home regularly to see friends and family, and when they are in town you may very likely see them out and about looking and listening to local musical talent and even occasionally jamming with them on stage. Though Porter and Duane make their homes around Nashville, Tennessee with the rest of their band, there is something to be said about people that remember their roots and where they came from. It keeps them grounded. I saw them perform at the Levee in Longview a few months ago. As expected, it was a packed house with standing room only, a live radio remote and all the “frenzy” associated with a big name band in a small town. Also, as expected, people stood around in the parking lot after the show chatting about how great the band sounded and how fun the show was. Yes, many of those in attendance were already Little Texas fans, but there were just as many newcomers to their music. Those people got quite the surprise when the band members walked outside to just “hang out” with their fans. Some were shocked, yes, but I wasn’t, for this is the kind of guys they are. They are real people and down to earth. They love what they do and appreciate the response from others. They mingled for over an hour as people would walk up, shake their hands, take photos,

or just make conversation. Just regular guys who, if you didn’t know better, would think had just got off work at any kind of job and were hanging out with friends. Ironically, that’s exactly how they make their fans feel ~ like they are hanging out with friends. Little Texas started singing together in the late 80’s - just a group of guys, each in there 20’s determined to play music. While by any standard they would be considered “big time”, it certainly wasn’t always like that, and nobody gave them their success. They did it the old fashioned way and earned it! Playing clubs, bars, honky tonks and any place else that would have them, the guys traveled from coast to coast for three years. They hit the road hard and toured relentlessly doing 300 shows a year without the luxury of a tour bus or any financial or label support. While traveling or whenever time would allow, they continued to write music and perfect their showmanship and stage performances. They quickly got the reputation for their hard work, dedication and own unique style of southern rock /country. Many have called them trendsetters to what is now a very popular genre. Over the years they have released numerous albums and had a lot of hit songs, many of which you may have heard, even if you didn’t know it was Little Texas singing them. Songs such as “Some Guys Have All the Love” and “First Time For Everything” were their first two single releases, and both made the Top 10 on the charts. Following that, “What Might Have Been” and “My Love” both went #1 on the charts, as well as “God Blessed Texas” which even today can be heard on radio airplay and television commercials and advertising. Over the years, their work has earned them a lot of accolades, including: ACM award for “Top Vocal” Group for 1993, CMT award for “Top Video” for 1994, as well as Billboard Awards, Radio & Record Awards and Grammy nominations. The band has slowed down on their touring. They do about 70 dates a year so that they can spend more time with their families though they all remain busy. Writing music for the band and even co-writing with other musicians and playing music in the studio is still the norm. Dwayne O’Brien even teaches music at Belmont. They are now enjoying both the collective and individual success and comfort that comes from 20 years of being together as friends and coworkers. As I am reading back over this, I admit it looks like some kind of a music review or “push” for the band. Maybe I should apologize, for that was not the way it was intended. I just appreciate anyone that works hard doing what they love. Little Texas is comprised of “good old boys” who made it good, and yes, they made it big. In doing so they have worked hard, played hard and have never forgotten their friends, family or where they came from. Over the years (giving away all of our ages) I have photographed these guys in concert 13 times. Not because I had to, but because they give their audience that kind of show, and I thought that was worth writing about. If you get the chance to see them perform, you should go. You won’t be disappointed.

Home Grown The Dalai Lama said, “Compassion is the radicalism of our time.” A few months ago we wrote about the importance of words, and in my column I praised songwriters as remarkable wordsmiths. I told readers about my friend, Ovid Stevens, an incredible musical talent, who traveled the world and “came home” to the woods between the East Texas villages of Hainesville and Crow on FM 778 a few years ago. At the time, I had not seen Ovid in a while, so we decided to actually make time to sit down, have dinner and talk about what is going on in each other’s lives. What struck me this time as I saw and heard the man, not so much the musician, speak about and show great compassion for the people he loves: not just family and friends, but those around him who need a spiritual lift. That made me think of the Dalai Lama quote about compassion. And then I thought of another word that I feel describes the man, Ovid Stevens, and that would be “passion.” He has a unique passion for his music, why he does it and how he performs it. I would love to share a few of those thoughts with you, if I may. Where did his unique name come from? Ovid was Larry when I knew him back in the Grove (Pleasant Grove/southeast Dallas). He was given the name Ovid by a fan in California. Ovid was a first century Roman poet who wrote of love. To many, Ovid was a god, but he was, in fact, a man who was passionate about his love poetry. So Larry became Ovid many moons ago in California, and the name is quite appropriate for the man we know today by that name. He got his first guitar from his parents, a Sears and Roebuck Silvertone acoustic, and then he got his first electric guitar, a Fender Broadcaster. “And I still have my first guitar,” he said. In the 1960’s, as a fighting Spartan from W.W. Samuell High School, he put together a group of fellow musicians. Among those fellow Spartans were Dan Seals and John Ford Coley. The group was called Theze Few. They were the first band I ever heard live. They played dances at the local roller skating rinks, National Guard Armories and teen clubs. They played great covers of popular songs at that time and experimented with their own tunes. After a few name changes, they settled on Southwest F.O.B. and signed a contract with Stax/Volt Records of Memphis. They toured the Texas music scene and had considerable chart success with their song “Smell of Incense” in 1969. Their last record was “Feelin’ Groovy” recorded in November of 1969 shortly before the record company folded. They opened for Led Zepplin on Zepplin’s first American tour. Ovid remembers fondly, “Led Zepplin used our P.A. equipment in Houston. They were great guys and incredible musicians.” The headlines in a newspaper after one of the shows claimed, “Southwest F.O.B. Flies over Zepplin”. “That was a really exciting time for us, and it was great to be on the same stage with them,” he added. Ovid decided to head to Los Angeles to make his mark in the world of rock ‘n roll. He was playing in a nightclub in L.A. when Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts (Seals and Crofts) were in the audience. He was asked to join the group where he played lead/slide guitar. While with Seals and Crofts, Ovid was able to travel the world, record, do television and basically hone his professional craft. Fate brought him back together with Dan Seals and John Coley from Southwest F.O.B. days, and they became England Dan and John Ford Coley. They would stay together six years and record such hits as “Nights are Forever”, “Love is the Answer”, “It’s Sad to Belong” and “We’ll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again.” From there he went on to play with former Eagle bass player Randy Meisner who wrote and sang “Take it to the Limit” for that super group. Ovid played bass for Meisner in his band.

music by Larry Tucker In 1987, after 23 years on the West Coast, he moved back to the Piney Woods of East Texas to regenerate and pursue his passion of songwriting and composing music. In that time, he has worked with other bands from time to time while writing and at times performing. He played a while with Linden’s late great T-Bone. He has painstakingly taken his time to put together The Ovid Stevens Show, a unique musical journey that flirts with the past and emerges full force into today. It is him and a bunch of guitars, along with tracks, all that he recorded in his home studio. His new CD is all Ovid, each instrument and all the vocals done by himself. The songs are thoughtful and energetic, taken from real life scenarios. The music makes listening an extremely enjoyable experience. “I have put together the show just like I want it to be. I’ve got some surprises for the show that I think will be wellreceived,” he hinted. “I have done the arenas and the big shows, and now I just want to see smiles in the audience. I want to make people happy when they come to one of my shows. That’s why I want to play the listening rooms. I want to see the people, not just the bright lights.” Ovid has added a unique twist to his shows. He his asking everyone to bring canned goods to donate to local food shelters. “Man, times are hard and I have been blessed in my life, so I want to at least be able to give to local food organizations. Hopefully, we can be able to bless someone else with a little food. It’s something anybody can do to give back just a little to others who are down on their luck,” Ovid said. “My heart goes out to folks right now who are trying so hard just to keep their heads above water, pay their bills and feed their family.” The new journey on Ovid’s travels will begin August 6 at Crossroads Music in Winnsboro where he will debut his show and new CD at a special concert. It costs $15 in advance ($18 at the door) and $20 for special reserved seating. And bring some canned goods, its time for all to do a little for somebody else. Until next time, keep Texas Music in your heart and Texas Blues in your soul!

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1446 McCann Rd. • Longview, TX 903-757-5300 August 2011 - Page 17

Back-To-School Sale! July 18th - August 21st 15% OFF

on Back-To-School Items

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Page 18 - August 2011

art & music Healing art project at Newgate Mission Kilgore artist, Anup Bhandari, has reported that the first session of his “Healing Art Project,” in which he conducts hands-on painting instruction for homeless individuals, has ended with great success. Held at the Newgate Mission in Longview during July, Bhandari says that few of his students had ever painted before. “They were so focused. Everybody did an amazing job. I asked them to draw a rough sketch first [and] they all finished with realy nice work. They left with a glow on their faces.” Bhandari says that the aim of the project is to show that “people who are suffering from homelessness are no different from the rest of us. They also have feelings and emotions. Through art they are able to express their thoughts and emotions in a creative way that could lead to their healing.” The project, sponsored in part by Texas Bank and Trust, will continue for a number of weeks with a new group of students each week. It is planned that the artwork created in the project will be displayed at the Longview public library at a future date.

The “NAC” Scene by Nathan Wayne Brick streets. Deep history. Friendly faces. Amazing art. Inspiring music. Movies being filmed every month. This is Nacogdoches, Texas. The oldest town in Texas has its fair share of history along with a booming supply of the finest artists in Texas. In Nacogdoches, a connoisseur of the arts will find great works just on Main Street alone. Always known for great antiques, other staples in downtown Nacogdoches include hand-made jewelry and fine art. One shop in particular, The Runaway Mule, boasts a small collection of incredible pieces created by Moses Foster, among others. Manager of “The Mule”, Tim Bryant said, “There’s not a lot of emphasis on art and culture in today’s education, in today’s world in general, but I think people crave it. There are a lot of talented artists in Nacogdoches, and their options are very limited when it comes to presenting what they do. But each one of them has their own audience - friends and supporters who are interested in them. We just give them all a place where it can all come together.” And then you have writing. Joe R. Lansdale is a writer living in Nacogdoches. Joe’s books can be found all over the world in many languages. As these words hit the press, a new movie based on one of Lansdale’s books is being filmed and edited, so stay tuned for details. Filmed in Nacogdoches, with a large cast of local extras, you’re bound to know someone in the movie. When planning a visit to Nacogdoches, you should experience a dose of live local entertainment at the PineKnot Music Co-op. Millards Crossing Historic Village, in North Nacogdoches, provides a comfortable site for this fabulous, unpredictable, and

soulful venue. John Hazlewood, aka “Nacogdoches Red”, the charitable proprietor of “The Knot,” has kept this small venue going for over ten years. The tenth anniversary show featured Hunnicutt Slim and Country Willie Edwards. Local entertainers perform live, mostly acoustic, shows on the last Friday of every month, except for July when it’s just too darned hot. In addition, regional artists, such as singersongwriter Keith Whitton, perform live concerts and have held album debuts there. If you’re lucky, you might catch a show by a singer-songwriter or group such as The Old Time Gospel Project, 2Take Tim Bryant, Grady Truchelut, James Hutchison, Nacogdoches Red, Chris Edwards, and the list goes on. Nacogdoches is simply incredible… a jewel in Texas where you can truly experience the pleasure of the Piney Woods... Live.

Dennis O’Bryant said on Facebook: “Testimony to the Power of the Press: Unbelievable! - A couple from Chicago installing a manufacturing plant in Tyler saw the article on me in Piney Woods Live, drove to Marshall and bought one of my steel sculptures. - Thank You Piney Woods Live for a Great Article! Keep up the Good Work.

music The NoteBenders


by Jan Statman The NoteBenders of Longview insist that old guys rock. Well, maybe their group doesn’t rock, but they do play Country & Western, Latin and Blues, as well as cool, sophisticated ballroom dance numbers. They credit their combined one hundred fifty plus years of musical experience with their band’s ability to move among different types of music. Lead singer and guitar man, Al Heard, explained, “We all had a well-rounded background. We all knew where we were, what we were doing, and we all know what our audiences want to hear.” Heard, a native of Naples, Texas, recently retired from his electrical business. He spent his early years on the bandstands of East Texas playing in the not entirely sophisticated atmosphere of the Gladewater honkytonks. Together with Charles Dryden, and known as “The Pebbles,” he was featured on the popular Hub Brando Show on Shreveport television’s Channel 3. He was one of the Fowler Playboys. Many people in East Texas still fondly remember the early Tyler Fowler Playboys Television Show, which was sponsored by Tyler’s Fowler Furniture Company. He formed his own band, The Pendulums, which played private parties and clubs from 1965 to 1976. Proud to be a native of Oklahoma, Mack McCormick, who sings and plays base with the NoteBenders, is retired from Eastman. He spent his early years performing with several popular musical groups playing in venues across Texas and Louisiana. Longview native, Bobby Waldron, not only sings but plays keyboard and guitar as well. He was a nightclub owner for many years and is the former owner of the Alley Club and The Levee in Longview. He explains that his music took him to college in Houston and provided him with “a well-rounded education.” He worked his way through college by playing with a variety of bands in a variety of places that he admits were not particularly academic.

Strength. Stability. Service.

The simple of summertime.


“RUUUNNN” by Bryan Boyd Honorable Mention, Human Nature TB&T 2009 Photography Show



Heard, McCormick and Waldron came together after playing for what they called “the fun of music” during Open Mic Nights at Leon’s Steak House and Saloon in Longview. When Leon’s owner, Jerry Simmons, decided to close the tradition of Open Mic Nights, he joined the group. Along with Dutch, the cigarette-smoking fiddle player, they played together for several years. During those years they never found time to choose a name for themselves. Heard likes to mention that he, McCormick and Waldron have been involved in making music “since pretty much the beginning of time.” They have been playing together as the NoteBenders for the past eight years. Heard said, “We perform at places that range from informal parties and formal weddings to fancy country club soirees.” They can be heard playing at Leon’s every Thursday evening where they make it a point to encourage their audiences to put on their best dancing shoes, because their music gets people up on their feet and out on the dance floor.

...for your


of Lights

2900 Gilmer Rd. • (903) 295-9516

2900 GILMER RD. • LONGVIEW Mon-Fri. 8:30-5:30 • Sat 9:00-4:00


MONDAY - FRIDAY 8:30 - 5:30 SATURDAY 9:00 - 4:00 August 2011 - Page 19

news ArtWalk Downtown Longview, July 28 from 4-7pm The Longview Downtown ArtWalk is holding their summer event in conjunction with the Great Texas Balloon Race this year, starting July 28 from 4-7pm. Two new first-time venues, Willy G’s and Ellie B’s, both on Tyler Street, have been added to the tour. Tammy Cromer-Campbell, a prime-mover in the artwalk organization and the owner of TCC Photo Gallery, said that the event was moved to coincide with

the balloon race because of the many out-of-town visitors that the event attracts. “We feel like it might bring in more people, and it will give the balloon pilots something extra to do,” she said. Cromer-Campbell also said that next year Longview will be hosting the National Balloon Races. She said her gallery will soon issue a call for entries for a photographic exhibition to be held during that

event. The theme will be “Hot Air Balloons”. “We encourage you to think outside the box and to enter your most creative shot of hot air balloons”, she said. ArtWalk Downtown Longview is a cooperative event among the businesses in downtown Longview who believe in the promotion of art for the benefit of the Longview Community. ArtWalk Downtown Longview occurs four times a year.

Downtown Kilgore DAILY LUNCH SPECIALS Beer • Wine • Margaritas

EXTENDED DINNER MENU To Go Orders • Catering


• Fine Oriental Antiques • Antique and Estate Jewelry • Fine Silver • China and Crystal • Unique Gifts for all Ages

903-984-1420 120 N. Kilgore St. • Kilgore, TX 75662

903.984.8700 218 N. Kilgore St. • Kilgore, TX July 1 – February 1 Mon–Fri 11am–8pm • Sat 10am–1pm

Page 20 - August 2011



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by Faith Nicole

Theater Spotlight: Bit Parts By Emmitte Hall TEXAS DRAMATISTS Playwrights interested in networking with other writers, actors and directors are invited to join the Texas Dramatists, an association set up to shrink the big geography of Texas through the web. “Texas Dramatists was created to foster playwrights of the greater southwest by providing performance opportunities through development, support, and recognition,” (Texas Dramatists at index.htm) . The website lists upcoming events, festivals, contests, readings and more. Facebook fans can join the group at txdramatists@ to keep up with area playwrights and events. Everyone is welcome from fans to future playwrights. PLAYWRITING WORKSHOP Texas Dramatists held a workshop for playwrights at Tyler Junior College on June 10 with lectures on the ‘Elements of Drama’ by Dr. Marion Castleberry, Professor of Theater Arts at Baylor University and ‘A Playwriting Method’ by Dr. David W. Crawford, from Tyler Junior College. The workshop gave insight into the playwriting process and gave playwrights a chance to workshop plays in progress. A summer reading for aspiring playwrights will be held at Navarro College in Corsicana on August 13, 2011 offering readings and critiques by

professional colleagues. Interested playwrights should contact Dr. David Crawford at for information about submitting plays for consideration. TJC 2011-2012 THEATRE SEASON Tyler Junior College announces their upcoming season: Macbeth ................................... October 12-16 Godspell .....................October 24-25& 28-29 Lion in Winter ...... November 30December 4 Chicago .................................. February 22-25 Beggar’s Opera ............................ April 25-29

903.984.1420 120 N. Kilgore Street Historic Downtown Kilgore

Call the box office one week prior to opening night reserve your tickets at 903-510-2212. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees begin at 2:00p.m. DALLAS SUMMER MUSICALS Since 1925, the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas has offered Broadway musicals with international talent. This summer the grand hall will feature Monty Python’s Spamalot and the beloved musical Guys and Dolls. For information on tickets and other events, check out the website at

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The Whisenhunt Center in Gladewater The Whisenhunt Center provides a performing arts auditorium featuring beautiful stained glass windows, antique stained wood, theater seating, art sculptures and dressing rooms. The center also provides a separate meeting center for business meetings and executive planning sessions with break out rooms. Each room is filled with works of art from internationally known artists providing a peaceful and inspiring environment. The Whisenhunt is a premier event center for everyone in the Piney Woods to enjoy. “”

August 2011 - Page 21

Live Music 2nd Saturdays August 13 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Matt Tolentino September 10 â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Clearly Vocal

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Production of

Music by

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Page 22 - August 2011

art in the home Dr. Mary Andrewsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; eclectic collection by Jan Statman Dr. Mary Andrews has a vision. The promian antique chest in the company of a sculptured nent Longview Ophthalmologist believes people angel and a crystal vase. Near the painting is a should surround themselves with objects and pastel by Cadenhead. It is interesting to note that images of beauty. Art belongs in homes and Queen Elizabeth owns workplaces because, she several of Cadenheadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Art is nourishing. It works. The same room has nourishes the senses in the lithographs by the avant same way that food nourgarde French painter, Fini, ishes the body.â&#x20AC;? as well as a Ruth Bernhard Dr. Andrews explained vintage photograph. that she clearly remembers A tall antique bronze the first time she became figurative lamp by A. Raaware of the emotional nieri guards the entrance power of art. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was eight hall. The exquisite female or nine years old when my figure is titled â&#x20AC;&#x153;Virtuose.â&#x20AC;? cousin showed me a poster Art finds a place in every of Andrew Wyethâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s famous corner of her home includpainting, Christinaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s World. ing the kitchen and hallway The loneliness of the figure where several paintings by in the painting created a popular Louisiana Primitive strong emotional effect for artist Clementine Hunter me. The girl lying in the share wall space with phofield was so close to her tos of Dr. Andrews with the beautiful home, and yet she artist herself.Clementine could not reach it. Many Hunter lived at Melrose Landscape Painting of LaNapoule by Albert Ozenfant years later I realized that the Plantation in Natchitoches. model for the painting was The kitchen also boasts a physically challenged, but colorful Clementine Hunter even now the painting is a metaphor for life. So flower-painted lamp with a lampshade of happy many people have an idea of what their happimarching figures. There is a decoratively painted ness might be, but they simply cannot reach that gourd and a dustpan that is cheerfully adorned place.â&#x20AC;? with primitive flowers. Dr. Andrewsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; interest in art has continued to be Clementine Hunterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s primitive paintings tell an important part of her life. At first she collected stories about life on a Louisiana plantation. The Wyethâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prints. Later she expanded her horizons smallest was probably a memory of Monday, for and collected prints by various artists. She still it shows a wash hanging on a clothesline while a keeps several of these in her garage because they woman wearing an apron stirs a huge, black cast are pleasant, and she enjoys seeing them, but she iron pot while her chickens and her dog stand believes commercial prints lack the immediacy by. Another shows the cotton harvest with men and visual impact of original art. working loose cotton while completed bales stand She began to collect original works of art ready to be transported. when she inherited several paintings by Albert Ozenfant, a European artist who lived at Meaux, France. A large Ozenfant painting is featured in her dining room. She described the bright, sunny painting as her perpetual image of summer. Even in the darkest and gloomiest days of winter, this cheerful painting brings the warmth of a summer beach into her home. At first she didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know whether this was an authentic scene or an image from the artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s imagination. A French sculptor friend told her this was indeed a painting of a real place. This on the French Riviera, and the building is actually a famous sculpture academy. She later visited the site and made photographs of the scene as it exists today. She described a favorite Ozenfant landscape as having a calming influence. Hand Painted lamp with art objects Another Ozenfant painting is seen above

art in the home When she became interested in Native American art, Dr. Andrews began to fill a room with the work of contemporary Native American artists as well as with

pieces by other artists whose color and sensitivity reflect the spirit of the southwest. Sharing space on a bookcase wall are several spectacular Kachina figures, assorted art objects, a small painting from my Santa Fe series, and a painting of a coyote. A nearby reading stand holds a gilt framed Victorian portrait and an embroidered fabric. “Prairie Fire” by Navajo artist Beatin Yazz is featured above a mantel. Several small Robert Draper watercolors share a wall. A Ben Konis painting has its own space. A large Robert Parkison painting of an adobe wall and door captures the brilliant sunlight of the Southwest. A painting by New Mexico artist, Albert Handel, is particularly prized because the artist painted the work while Dr. Andrews was a student in his painting class. “I had the opportunity to see this painting created, starting with bare canvas until it was a completed work,” she said. “That was a special experience for me.” As a collector, she felt it important to take painting classes, which deepened her appreciation for how artists work. She discovered how difficult it is to create works of art and what the artist can accomplish. She became so proficient that several of her own pieces were blue ribbon prize winners! An old photograph of a talented relative dancing in a meadow inspired Dr. Andrew’s interest in collecting antique and vintage photographs. Light is particularly important to the study of the eye, and the antique black and white works emphasize the special beauty of line and light. An early silver gelatin print has an almost dreamlike quality. A simple photograph of a New Orleans street sign can transport the viewer with images of shape and space. A favorite Willy Ronis photograph of a woman pouring wine for a happy man is treasured for its hearty, earthy quality. Dr. Andrews joked that she has always been a collector. She collects all sorts of things: books, dolls, objects d’art, and even matchbook covers. “A friend laughs at my matchbook cover collection. She asks why I would collect them when they have no value. Not only are they not expensive, they are free. I explain that they remind me of places I have been, places I enjoyed, and they are as satisfying a collection as any other.” “I only buy things that I love, pieces that speak to me, works of art that encourage me to look at them

over and over again. Every time I look at them, I find something more significant to enjoy. I love the works I own, and I enjoy keeping them around me,” Dr. Andrews explained. “I collect art so that I can see it whenever I want to see it without having to go to a museum to look at it.” “The only reason to buy a work of art is because you love it and you want to share space in your home with it,” Dr. Andrews explained. “Of course, it is true that works of art do increase in financial value, but that is hardly a reason to buy a work of art. While it is nice to hear that work in my collection has increased in value, it doesn’t make much difference to me since I have no intention of selling them. The genuine value that works of art have is what they have always had. They are works of art.”

Landscape with Angel and


A small vignette in the library includes several small dolls seated on antique doll furniture while a miniature harp waits to be played. A tiny tapestry and a diminutive painting in an ornamental gold frame cover the walls. Even the dolls in Dr. Andrew’s home have tiny art collections in their tiny little doll homes!

AnsigSn IV D Co d men mite




Tues. - Fri. • 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sat. • 10 a.m - 3 p.m.

2125 S. Eastman Rd. • Longview, TX 75602 • 903-746-7925

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Even the Dolls have tiny art collections.

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August 2011 - Page 23


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Page 24 - August 2011

Piney Woods Live August 2011  

A monthly magazine of artists and artistic happenings in the Piney Woods region of Northeast Texas.