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PINEY WOODS priceless - take one

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february 2012

Bidding farewell to Marshall’s Boogie Woogie Man.

Jeannie Folzenlogen’s Labor or Love

ROMANCING THE ARTS: Jeanne & Dolph Miller Lisa & Ben Horlander Isadore Saslav & Ann Heiligman Saslav Sherrie & Randi Martin



& Much More! Photograph of Omar Shariff by Ron Munden



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FRIDAY, FEB. 17 Windstorm Band - Cover Charge $5

SATURDAY, FEB. 18 Magnibrass - Cover Charge $5

Doors open at 4pm. Show Starts at 8pm.

Doors open at 4pm. Show Starts at 8pm.

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January has been an interesting month in the news with stories surrounding two pieces of proposed legislation before Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act, or “SOPA”, before the Senate, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act, or “PIPA”, before the House. I don’t have the space to recap the whole story here, but briefly, the bills were aimed to clamp down on offshore websites that made stolen copyrighted material available for download in exchange for small subscription fees. The bills both contained two major provisions: The first to allow the U.S. Department of Justice to seek court orders requiring Internet service providers to block the domain names of infringing sites and a second to allow rights holders to seek court orders requiring payment providers, advertisers, and search engines to stop doing business with an infringing site. A battle quickly developed between backers and opponents of the legislation. Variously described as “Clash of the Titans” and “Old Media vs. New Media,” it pitted groups including the Motion Picture Association of America, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Federation of Musicians, and the Screen Actors Guild against Google, Yahoo, Facebook, the conservative group Americans for Job Security, and the liberal group Demand Progress. Concerns were raised from various quarters about the effect that any such law would have on innovation, that it would pose security risks, and that it raised the prospect of censorship. The issue broke through to public consciousness when New Media organized a very effective online protest. Wikipedia took themselves offline for a day. Google, ever the master at preventing principle from getting in the way of profit, simply blacked out their logo. Mainsteam Media discovered the story as did netizens everywhere, and the fight was on. Once it was held up to the light, it became readily apparent that this was a bad piece of legislation. To some observers, the legislation appeared to protect the interests of certain groups, by whatever means, while ignoring the interests of other, less well represented stakeholders. Perhaps having bills written by lobbyists from powerful interest groups and then sponsored by a group of lawmakers who are beholden to these groups for campaign cash is not a good idea in general? Faced with public scrutiny and widespread protests, support in Congress quickly waned as co-sponsors of the bills jumped ship. As we go to press, the two bills appear to be stalled, at least for the time being. I found the online discussion that took place to be very interesting. In news story comments, blog posts, and social media, there was a fairly predictable condemnation from the proponents of unfettered free markets and civil libertarians, both of whom seem to recognize the dangers of freeexchange restrictions and the potential for internet censorship, intended or otherwise. I also saw a rather disturbing current, particularly on social media. These folks seemed to be opposing any interruption to their stream of “free” songs and movies. It is difficult to say how widespread this view is anymore, but it is certainly in conflict with the interests of artists and others who do creative work. How do those who create or publish content, but who do not count ourselves among the “titans,” view this situation? Of particular concern to me, as a small publisher, is that these laws seem to have delegated certain enforcement powers to internet service providers. This is dangerous. Could we face the prospect of having our website shut down because the legal department at our web host felt a certain link we published might be illegal? Will providers be motivated to take preemptive action against sites or bloggers simply because they want to avoid the possibility of trouble with copyright holders? And if these sorts of things do happen, what will be our remedies? Similar legislation will no doubt be proposed in the future since it is generally agreed that internet piracy is harmful to the U.S. economy, costing both corporate profits and entertainment industry jobs, and no effective means of combating it have yet been found. This effects all of us... publishers, writers, artists, songwriters, photographers. What do you think? Let me know. Email Gary Krell, Co-Publisher


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About the cover: Our cover photographer: Ron Munden “I spent most of my years photographing in the San Francisco Bay area. I was a street artist in the 1970’s and 1980’s and shot events all over the Bay Area. I find it interesting that from the late 1960’s though 2000, Omar and I lived within 50 miles of each other. We both graduated from high school in Marshall. Both of us left and did not return until some 40 years later.”

Rest In Peace Omar Fresno, California blogger M Mike Oz posted the reactions of local musicians to the death of Omar Sharriff. Ed. Chris Millar, a blues drummer and wrangler of the old blues musicians in town, brought Omar to town to perform. He liked it so much he moved here. Says Millar: “He was as well versed and developed a Blues pianist as you could find on the planet. He could play practically any style of Blues piano known to man and some that were his alone. Omar was a true Blues original...” Local musician Glen Delpit remembers Omar’s time in Fresno well.. He says: “He hosted a Blue Monday ... they were almost overcrowded (like a Saturday Night). It was a jam session and everybody wanted to play or just listen. Omar was an incredibly gifted musician. Truly one of the greatest, if not the greatest, blues pianists in the country -- but he could play anything...” Oz’s readers offered some interesting comments. John Clifton: “I used to jam with him every Monday. I watched him play some amazing stuff, mixing Ray Charles and Charles Brown with Thelonious Monk and Art Tatum, then the Chopin would come from out of nowhere. Just a great player. Our town was fortunate to have him here for the few years we did.” Jeff Hallock: “I learned to play harmonica in Omar’s weekly blues jams and remain indebted to him for making the music possible for me. He was a difficult man to know, a unique personality with strong convictions. That made it tough for him to get along in a world that expects artists to be obsequious, something he was never able to be. But he was always generous with his music. He made some good friends here and has left many who, like me, owe our musical lives to his patient work.” Read the entire blog thread at:

How to reach us: Call the American Classifieds’ Longview Office at 903-758-6900 or 800-333-3082. Fax 903-758-8181 100 W. Hawkins Pkwy., Suite C., Longview, Texas 75605

Art is defined as a product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. Piney Woods Live is an expression of the community it serves. About the cover .................................................................................. 3 Saying goodbye to Marshall’s “Boogie Woogie man – Omar “the magnificent” Shariff ...................................................... 4 Jeannie Folzenlogen’s Labor of Love.................................................... 6 Artist Profiles ...................................................................................... 8 Jeanne and Dolph Miller ................................................................... 10 Fly Kids Concert/Fundraiser .............................................................. 11 Lisa and Ben Horlander..................................................................... 12 Book Club issues grant to promote school literacy ............................ 13 Isadore Saslav and Ann Heiligman Saslav .......................................... 14 Hickory Hill Band at Music City Texas Theater .................................. 15 Karen Dean’s Beyond Mere Thoughts ................................................ 16 New CD Update ............................................................................... 16 Norma and Jim Cotton’s Baskin collection ........................................ 17 Sherri and Randi Martin .................................................................... 18 Tyler Civic Theatre announces upcoming schedule ........................... 18 Jefferson poet is contest winner ........................................................ 19 Randy Brown’s The “B” Side of Music ............................................... 20 Irving Kriesberg exhibit at the LMFA ................................................. 21 Gregg Jones’ Book Release ................................................................ 21 “Chocolate Sunday” fundraiser to benefit theatre............................. 22 East Texas Youth Chorus seeking members for spring ........................ 22 Mineola quilting classes .................................................................... 22 Anonymous donor funds school tours at TMA ................................... 22 Call for artists for Plano Art Association’s 7th annual 125 Show .................................................................... 22 Artist’s World .................................................................................... 23

Publishers / Editors Tracy Magness Krell & Gary Krell Advertising Director Suzanne Warren Public Relations Randi Garcia Contributing Writers Kari Kramer, Jan Statman, Jim King, Randy Brown, Karen Dean, LaDawn Fletcher, Graphic Artists Tracy Krell, Joni Guess, Mary Hernandez Sales: Randi Garcia, Donna Vincent, April Harlow, Fallon Burns Kathy Hollan, Cookie Bias, Suzanne Warren, Carolee Chandler

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.

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music Saying goodbye to Marshall’s “Boogie Woogie man – Omar “the magnificent” Shariff by Jim King The world is full of singers, songwriters and musicians. I doubt if there is any city, town or community anywhere in the world that doesn’t have some place within it that allows for local performances. Music is the international language, good for the soul and crosses all barriers. Although many of these artists would be considered amateur, there are still more who by any standard would be called talented. It’s the offerings of those talented artists that keep each of us coming back for more. In the world of music, there aren’t a lot of people that would ever be considered to have reached a level of greatness in their profession. But Marshall, Texas was home to such a man. Omar Sharriff was born Dave Alexander Elam on March 1, 1938. He was a self-taught piano player and the son of a muleskinner. Omar had his own style of piano playing and quickly became known for his unique flair for music known as blues and boogie woogie. When he sat down at a keyboard, it really did take on a life of its own making his sound, just like his lyrics, distinctively his; in this he was a true musical genius. After graduating Pemberton High School in 1955, he moved to Oakland, California and began what was to become a long musical career and what some might call the birth of a legend. Performing under the name Dave Alexander, he traveled the world entertaining and was a regular


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music performer at major blues festivals around the country with hits such as “Hoodoo Man,� “Fillmore Street Boogie� and “The Rattler.� At the time of his death, plans were underway for a tour of France in the spring of 2012. In 1994, Omar was quoted in Living Blues magazine saying, “When I play music now, I want to break out of the gravitational pull of what everybody is doing and has been doing for so long. I give all the great music a long, hard look and bring it into my blues. I am consistently experimenting to enlarge the way I play.� That’s what he did. He spent his life entertaining crowds, writing his own style of music and performing to fans all over the world. During the same interview, Omar said, “I’d like for people to understand what I’m talking about with my music. It’s about life, about real people, about feelings. I want, even if it’s just for one moment or one beat, to reach them, to find that point of human contact.� Over the years, Omar shared both personal and professional relationships with many other greats such as Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Nina Simone (also one of my favorites) and Bo Didley. When only a teenager and already possessing the skill of a seasoned veteran, he performed with the legendary T-Bone Walker. At age 39, Contemporary Keyboard magazine recognized Omar Sharriff, Ray Charles and Mose Allison as its three “favorite blues pianists� firmly securing his place in musical history. I first met Omar at the T-Bone Walker Blues Festival last year in Linden, Texas where some of the best blues singers, songwriters and performers took to the two stages during the music weekend. Although he must have been tired from just having performed, and I know he was hungry because he had just sat down with a plate full of food, he stopped, smiled and gladly spent time talking to me. First impressions are important and, for me, Omar made a great first impression. Wes Jeans, an incredible guitar player and musician, and a man building his own reputation for greatness, was proud to call Omar his friend. “I’ll never forget the first time I heard Omar. I remember thinking, ‘man I have gotta jam with this cat.’� They later did jam, sharing the stage and performing for audiences several times. In 2011, they took the stage together at the Marshall Fire Ant Festival and many told me that their collaboration was the musical highlight of the festival. “The first time we played together and every time after, I walked away a little wiser, a little more humble, and very grateful for the opportunity to have shared the stage with such an immense talent,� Jeans said. He

added, “Omar had accumulated a wealth of musical knowledge that literally takes a lifetime to acquire. I will always be thankful for the after show discussions, the on stage lessons and the first hand wisdom that I got from being Omar’s friend.� John Tennison, M.D. was a close friend of Omar. He was the man responsible for conducting research that examined the origins of boogie woogie music and traced its roots back to Marshall. Not knowing that Alexander had changed his name to Omar Sharriff in the 1970’s, many, both in and out of the music business, believed him to be dead. Tennison is also credited with searching for and locating the “missing� David Alexander in California. In 2010, he traveled to Sacramento where he met Omar and their friendship was formed. Tennison is also an accomplished boogie woogie piano player and speaks of Omar with both affection and respect. “Although I first became aware of Omar because of his reputation as a boogie woogie player, what I came to admire most about Omar was his desire to truly be creative, to be innovative, to make new music, rather than merely copy what had come before him.� Omar Sharriff moved back to his hometown of Marshall, Texas in February 2011 where he assumed the role of “Boogie Woogie Artist in Residence.� According to his close friends, Nancy and Jack Canson, Omar was affectionately known throughout the city as the Boogie Woogie man and performed regularly at Marshall’s Second Saturday events as well as benefits and concerts. Canson says, “Omar’s music and his concert performances were unique and magical in Marshall. They brought together a diversity of people – old and young, black and

white, rich and poor and created a feeling of unity.� Of course Omar had his regular gig as well. Across the street from the courthouse downtown is a great place for food, drink and live music entertainment. It was here, at the OS2 in Marshall, that you could always find Omar on Thursday night, doing what he loved to do best – make music. Omar is gone now, having left this world January 8, 2012. He would have been 74 in less than six weeks. A memorial service was held at the Marshall Convention Center on January 14. For friends, family, loved ones and fans, the day was one that a man such as Omar would have probably planned. Yes, there was the sadness of his passing, but a celebration of his life in both story and music as many of Omar’s friends took to the stage performing in tribute to a man, his life and his music. There was no denying the sadness at his passing. “He brought much joy to all who ever saw and heard him play. He will be greatly missed and never forgotten,� says Nancy Canson. “The world of music has lost a great artist, but the recordings he left behind will give proof to his genius forever.� As I sit here compiling all my notes together, I am listening to one of Omar’s songs, “The Raven,� which was written and performed by him on his 1972 album of the same name. Closing my eyes I can “see� his hands dancing up and down the keyboard, and the melodies now seem to once again come to life. Yes, in the world of music, Omar Sharriff was “greatness!�









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The first china mosaic she created was a birdbath. It went to a silent auction to benefit one of her favorite organizations, and she was shocked to see how much someone was willing to pay for her work. Her next piece was a statue of the Blessed Mother. That same year she created the first in an ongoing series of china mosaics of St. Francis. Her earliest china mosaics were made on a cement base. “Sweet Abel Hidalgo was so wonderful!” she remembered. “He used to go all over everywhere and find me the best cement based statues to work on!” Unfortunately, adding china mosaics, floral embellishments and other enhancements to the cement-based sculptures made them tremendously heavy. When Jeannie created a piece for the Good Shepherd Hospital’s Gold Rush, they had to send a truck and several strong men to move the sculpture. The nearly life-size sculpture of the Blessed Mother which stands at the side entrance to Saint Mary’s Church in Longview is cement based. The sculpture is so heavy that it is difficult to move. Jeannie said, “My husband Paul was killing himself moving the mosaics, so he was the first to come up with the idea of using designer resin based figures.” Although they are still heavy, they are not nearly as hard to deal with as the earlier cement pieces. These days she will tell Paul that she feels inspired to do “Our Lady of Peace,” or some special statue, and Paul will research the statues available online in order to find the perfect image. Jeannie is careful to explain that she doesn’t simply glue things together. She said, “I have a really good idea of how it’s going to look before I start on it. I can “see” the finished piece in my mind. I’ve got a pattern. I’ve got a plan. The roses and the embellishments come later.” She laughs that in spite of what some of her friends might think, she doesn’t stuff the china into a big sack and hit it with a hammer to break it up. Each small piece of tile,

art glass, or porcelain is hand cut with tile nippers and then carefully placed. She said, “I appreciate it when my friends bring me dishes they have broken, but my friends just don’t break their dishes fast enough, so I buy full sets of dishes to use in my work.” Fine china is her favorite material, and she prefers to use vintage china. Everything she creates uses some pieces of the Royal Doulton Old Country Roses pattern, which is her trademark. She buys full sets of Old Country Roses specifically to cut and use in her sculptures. In addition to china and porcelain, she uses such elaborate embellishments as Capodimonte roses, crystal, buttons, tile, beads, jewelry pieces, and semi-precious stones. She prefers to use the older Capodimonte roses which are more beautiful and more carefully made, but she worries that she may not be able to continue to find the older roses to incorporate into her sculptures. “I buy baskets full of these everywhere I can,” she said. “I find them at Canton First Monday, on the computer, in antique shops, at estate sales, and garage sales.” Jeannie created a large birdbath for the garden of a children’s hospital in Austin. Since the theme for the birdbath included birds, she estimates she bought ten sets of dishes and hand cut hundreds of birds to include in the mosaic. She started working on her art in a corner of the family garage with piles of china and materials all around her. In the wintertime, she had a small gas heater to keep her warm. She had to wear her coat, but she couldn’t wear gloves because, she discovered, “It is not possible to create artwork with gloves on your fingers.” At some point her husband realized she had taken over most of the garage. “When he couldn’t get the car into the garage anymore, Paul decided I needed my own place because he wanted his garage back,” she said. “So he built me a beautiful studio in our backyard.” Her studio is

separate from the house and is approximately the size of the garage. It is heated and air conditioned with large windows and perfect light. She has shelves of china, as well as shelves of such embellishments as birds and flowers, crystal, beads and roses. Every work of art becomes a prayer in Jeannie Folzenlogen’s heart. “These are religious pieces, and they have a religious background,” she explained. “I will actually say my rosary while I am working. I find that when I need to glue a piece down and I hold the piece of china in place long enough to say a “Hail Mary,” it sticks. By the time I get through with my rosary, I have a bunch of work done. It turns out a “Hail Mary” prayer is exactly the right time to hold something down and make it stick. Working on these mosaics and praying with them has taken me through some mighty rough times in my life.” Her religious statues often include the Blessed Mother as well as many of the saints and angels. She expresses a true devotion to the Blessed Mother, and she says she has created a whole choir of angels. For the past twenty years, she has traditionally done a special angel for the Chrisman School fundraiser. Her sculpture of St. Dominic is located out of doors in a gazebo in the prayer garden of the monastery of the infant Jesus in Lufkin. Like every artist, Jeannie’s favorite piece is always the very last one she has completed. She said, “The very latest sculptures I’ve done are two angels who are facing each other which I did in memory of our daughter, Denise. They are on the Folzenlogen stone at the cemetery.” Another of her favorites is the Holy Family including Saint Mary, Saint Joseph and the Christ Child, which is in the Family Center of Saint Mary’s Catholic Church in Longview. Her china mosaic sculptures, such as her Holy Family at Saint Mary’s and the Virgin of Guadalupe at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Longview are often life-size works. With her golden sunburst behind her, the Lady of Guadalupe is six feet high and the entire golden sunburst was created with tiny pieces of gold china. “Since I do a lot of religious statues, each work becomes a prayer,” she said. “That is why I choose to give my sculpture away to organizations that are important to me. My work has gone to churches, convents, hospitals, homes and schools. I’m still thrilled every time I see a piece that has gone to a good location, knowing that I have been able to help these organizations through my prayer and my sculpture.”

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artists artist profiles

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.

Llarmè Palmer “My name is Llarmè Palmer, published author of Bold Enough to Say! with an upcoming project entitled Not by the World’s Standards, A Marriage Thrived Against the Odds! I am a presenter of monthly book writing seminars. Although an LVN by trade, I have transitioned into the area of authorship. I presently contribute to Tyler Community Magazine writing book reviews. They can be viewed at My first literary work has been recognized through radio vignettes via the worldwide web. My aspiration for this new journey is that people aren’t held in bondage from past mistakes whatever they may have been. Forgiveness is available to all who choose to receive it through God’s unconditional love. Through book writing seminars, I wish to enlighten others of the publication process and their expectation thereof. It is free of charge to youth and is portable.”

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The Scrips Brad Wofford, one of the main contributors to the indie rock band, The Southern Sea, spent two years learning the Old Time style of Clawhammer banjo playing. Wanting to experiment more with live performance and acoustic instrumentation and becoming increasingly frustrated with sub-par PA systems that rely on electric amplification, he assembled The Scrips. The Scrips are a four piece string band with an indierock heart, writing original music inspired by Old-Time, Folk & Bluegrass. From darkened Mountain Modal banjo to high-lonesome voices, the Scrips are raw acoustic music with mythical Appalachian origins. Their music is new but played in a forgotten genre. Some songs are lively and square danceable and others are almost trance-like with darkened ringing banjo drones intertwined with bowed strings and melancholy verse. The Scrips were one of only 24 bands chosen to perform for Dallas radio KHYI The Range’s - Shiner Rising Star 2011 Event! Instrumentation: Marci Acheson - Vocals, Singing Saw, Melodica, Guitar Shane Prescott - Upright Bass Kelsey Pate - Vocals, Fiddle, concertina Brad Wofford - Vocal, Guitar, Banjo EPK Discography Chapel Sessions EP - 2011 (Available at and you can name your own price) 1. KOA 03:06 2. Called 03:13 3. Front Porch 03:134. Colorado 03:11 5. Two Loves 02:21

were performed and recorded completely live. You can hear the room in these recordings and we hope it adds depth to the songs and the performances. released 15 October 2011 Marci Acheson (Vocal, Guitar); Shane Prescott (Upright Bass); Kelsey Pate (Fiddle); Brad Wofford (Banjo, Vocal).

Chapel Sessions was recorded in six quiet hours on a bright fall day in a small chapel in the woods. The songs

Leonard Downs Reese A Tatum graduate, Leonard Downs Reese studied Studio Arts and Philosophy at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN. Now, for over two years, Reese has been traveling internationally researching arts and languages and developing his own unique style of abstract painting. From 2009 to 2010, Reese was living in the islands of Zanzibar off the east coast of Africa where he served as the head teacher of a rural community center, Creative Solutions Resource Systems—a non-government organization promoting community engagement through the arts. Reese then moved to southern Japan where he taught lecture classes in medical English at Ehime University Medical School while operating his website. His paintings completed in the past year in Japan were shown in January at P’s Gallery in Longview; Reese himself will soon after be returning to Japan for the spring.

artists Kerian Babbitt Massey

Ashley Foxx

“I was originally born and raised in Connecticut but moved here a few years back. I only really started painting once I moved here. My artwork is currently in Brady’s Coffee Shop, Flying Fish Gallery and Gold Leaf Gallery. I’m taking a breather from painting to do more sculptural work which includes felting, found objects and clay sculpture. I will be blogging my progress. I’m hoping to enter my first sculpture into the El Corazon art show at White Rock Lake Gallery in Dallas. I showed there last year. I’d like to think there’s a strong link to humanity in all that I do, but I’d rather the viewer decide how it makes them feel than to really label its meaning. You cannot predict the emotion a song emotes – only that one will feel something from it. It’s the same with art. I can explain my art, but really at the end of the day, it’s what you take away from it that matters, not what I say. And hopefully you take away something good.”

Artist Ashley Foxx creates and signs her acrylic and mixed media art under the pseudonym, “The Savage Vixen.” The name holds special significance to the methodology she uses to create her work. “When I create my art, it’s as if I am a different person,” Foxx says. “In order to let go and create uninhibited, I have to go to that place in my mind where I become ‘the artist.’ Technically speaking, I am always ‘the artist,’ but when I’m concerned with everyday nuances and the pettiness we encounter in life, it can be difficult to truly express myself in my work and leave out my environment. A pseudonym feels appropriate to represent this process of separation.” Foxx feels that while her work is constantly evolving; every piece she creates falls into one of two categories that make up her alter ego: The “Savage” side of her work consists of art that is of an untamed, primal nature, which is clearly visible through her use of wild creatures and woodland landscapes. The “Vixen” side is based off of her last name, Foxx, and refers to the recurring themes of femininity, or more literally, her repeated use of foxes in her work. Often times, the two categories will overlap. In addition to keeping up with her own art shows, Foxx has another exhibit schedule to maintain: she is the curator for Gallery Main Street; Downtown Tyler’s premier art gallery. “The job description caught my eye,” Says Foxx. “I worked in California as an office manager for several years, so the administrative aspect combined with the arts-related nature of the job made it the perfect blend of my experience and interests. “My boss (Gallery Main Street Director Beverly Abell) often jokes that this job was a good fit for me because I’ve got both hemispheres of my brain running at all times; my creativity as an artist and my analytical nature seem to serve me well when dealing with the varied aspects of this position.” Gallery Main Street hosts quarterly Art Walks and exhibits that rotate every 4 to 6 weeks as well as various events throughout the year such as art auctions, fundraisers and more. “It’s definitely a lot to keep up with,” Foxx says, “but I absolutely love every bit of my job. I applied for the position because art is my passion, and administrative tasks come easy to me. It doesn’t hurt to have a great boss, either. Beverly is an amazing woman. I have only been here a short time, but I have already learned so much from her wisdom, perseverance, and easygoing attitude. She is truly an inspiring person.” “The people in our arts community inspire me too, but in a different way. I regularly interact with artists about their work and visitors about their thoughts on an exhibit. This sort of discussion opens my mind to new ideas and really gets my creativity flowing. As a community, it is important to our growth and culture to share that creative energy with one another.” “The community interaction coupled with working in an art-filled environment makes it very easy for me to go home at the end of the day ready to channel my passion into a work of art – and many times that’s exactly what I do.” The work of The Savage Vixen can be seen at Caffè Tazza on February 23 from 5 – 9 p.m. as part of their Thursday Night Art and Wine Series, a weekly event held to promote awareness of the arts and to help support local artists. She will also be featured in March with a solo show at Revamped Furniture, an edgy furniture store that hosts monthly art shows accompanied by live music and refreshments. When asked what guests can expect to see at one of The Savage Vixen’s art shows, Foxx replies, “It depends which show you attend! My art reveals my life experiences. It’s like a living timeline. Sometimes I create bright, whimsical color schemes; other times it’s very moody. Currently, it would appear that I am a folk artist. My work has taken a path towards these odd little characters in swirling woodland backgrounds with splashes of color and a lot of dimension.” “It’s all done with a sense of humor. My tendency is to sketch what pleases the eye, but it’s far from mindless. In fact, it’s quite emotionally charged. In a very roundabout way, all my work is biographical. Isn’t that the point of art? Selfexpression. I present my art as if to say, ‘Here I am; this is a fragment of me on a canvas, or in a frame.’” 903-469-3989

February 2012 - Page 9

Zonta Club of Longview


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February 2012 - Page 10

Jeanne and Dolph Miller by Kari Kramer It didn’t take long for Dolph and Jeanne Miller to make a connection after meeting at a church function more than 16 years ago. Art had long been a large part of Dolph’s life: He received a degree from Louisiana Tech in advertising/graphic design and later went on to work as an art director and own an agency. It was during college that he first became interested in photography. “As a designer/art director, it is important to understand what can and cannot be done photographically and how to work with photographers to produce a finished product as originally conceived,” he said. “In short, photo direction is a big part of art direction. My experience conceptualizing and directing photo projects enhanced my interest in my own personal photography.” In the early 1990’s, he began exploring the works of other photographers by examining the technical and motivational side of their works. “Then I wanted to meet and learn directly from the photographers I felt were on paths similar to mine,” he added. “Interestingly, my path in photography has been parallel to my spiritual path. As my interest in photography was beginning to take direction, I was also led to further explore my spiritual path.” It was his spiritual path that led him to Jeanne. After attending Our Lady of the Lake University with a Master’s Degree in social work, she built a successful career as a psychotherapist. Her work eventually took her to Tyler where she met Dolph and

went on to become an author and photography enthusiast. “We both love to visit museums, and we started going to them early in our relationship,” said Jeanne. “Jeanne would join me as I explored the work of other photographers and began to share my interest,” added Dolph. “As I became more involved in photographing, and digital technology began to become more available, Jeanne started to photograph and now she is unstoppable!” With Dolph as her biggest supporter, Jeanne has grown as a photographer. “I started as a novice not knowing anything about the camera or any of the software to digitally develop the photograph,” she admitted. “I knew nothing about printing, or even which paper was best to print on. Dolph has been patient and an excellent teacher.” Today, the two work closely, exploring their interests and photography. “We office together so that we can share printers and other equipment as needed,” said Jeanne. “Being in the same office gives us an opportunity to discuss any aspect of photography.” “I think it is always helpful to have an artistic cohort to learn from and to share ideas with,” added Dolph. “It is also important to have individual private time and space. Jeanne is fantastic about understanding these needs, so while we live and work together, we are not crowding one another. I think we are fortunate in this way. She has her pattern of work and I have mine. Her reasons for photographing are not the same

photography & news as mine. We both get something different out of the process, and therefore, have something to share.” In their spare time, they enjoy each other’s company, traveling to various locations and events. “We enjoy visiting the work of other photographers in shows, galleries and museums,” said Dolph. “Workshops take us to interesting places where we are with other photographers.” And while their love of the arts was not why they chose to marry, they both agreed that it has greatly complemented their relationship. “The neatest thing is the sharing of something we both enjoy and watching the other grow in photography and personally,” said Dolph. “I admire Dolph’s insights and creative eye,” added Jeanne. “His photographs capture the light in a most inspiring way. I love the way he uses color to create a special mood. Dolph’s ability to see design and then photograph it seems like second nature for him.” “Over the last several years, photography has become a larger part of our lives, but we both have different reasons, approaches and methods for our creative expression,” said Dolph. “It is fun to observe the different vision Jeanne expresses. We photograph together and are often standing in front of the same scene but come away with completely different images. So, though we share the same artistic tools, our expression is individual.” “Jeanne sees and processes differently than I do. We are able to point things out that the other might have missed. We have our vision expanded by the other. Having the same inter-

est, but different perspectives, expands our experiences and learning. So far, it has worked very well for us.” Married for the last 16 years, the couple has supported and encouraged each other as their interests expanded. Dolph recently began sharing his work publicly. His photographic works have been featured at juried shows and local events. He also teaches various levels of photography to groups and private individuals. Jeanne’s art has been displayed in juried shows as well. She has works at Harvard University’s Three Columns Gallery in Cambridge, MA. She has written several books, many of which feature her photographs in conjunction with her other interests, such as the study of dreams. It’s been quite the journey for the pair since first meeting all those years ago. “The years following have been an incredible adventure in seeing through the lenses of the camera the beautiful and mysterious world that God has made,” said Jeanne. “Every photograph tells a story of the place where the photograph was taken.” “Photographing this beautiful world with Dolph has become a spiritual experience. We have a mutual reverence for the beauty and wonder of the earth.” “I enjoy her ability to have fun with her photography,” Dolph said. “Jeanne is smart, fun, talented and a great life partner.” “I would never have begun the adventure of photography had it not been for the support of Dolph’s teaching and for his belief in my ability,” Jeanne added. “He is my best encourager and critic.”

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Decorate Ornate FLY KiDS Concert/ Fundraiser

Stephani Chance

Saturday, February 11 at 7:30 p.m., FLY KiDS hosts its annual Concert/Fundraiser. Concert pieces will feature fantastic costumes, real hip-hop moves and tricks, and artistic choreography with music and staging to entertain the audience. They are “Firebird” (music by Stravinsky), “Lose Yourself” (music by Eminem), “Blazing Pianos” (piano music including Jerry Lee Lewis), and “The Four Elements” (hip-hop music including Rozelle). Each one will be performed with the FLY KiDS patented BAM! (Bust-All-Moves!) style. Between pieces, raffle prizes will be won including jewelry, handmade handbags, T-shirts, baked goods. More items (yet unknown) will be bid on in the silent auction, and shopping trips can be made to the FLY KiDS Store for fun, affordable items. You can stay up-to-date on the fabulous raffle and auction items you can win and store items you can buy at Admission tickets are $1.00 for kids, $3.00 for adults, and $5.00 for VIP seating. Raffle tickets are $1.00 each. The event will be held at the Glass Recreation Center, West 32nd Street, Tyler, Texas 75702. ALL proceeds, and we mean ALL, go to the free FLY KiDS program, on down!

Together! Sound of Music

For more information, go to and click on “Concert/Fundraiser” or contact Mike Wood at (713) 419-4611 or flykids@

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February 2012 - Page 11


Lisa and Ben Horlander 1415 McCann Rd. • Longview, TX 75601 Monday - Saturday • 10 AM - 6 PM


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February 2012 - Page 12

by Kari Kramer When Lisa Horlander, 28, met her husband Ben, 30, in 2004, she was already an experienced artist. Growing up as a child, she dove into creative outlets. “My parents are both creative and artistic,” she said. “My mom is brilliant with a piano and can draw, but she never took it further than doodles. My daddy went to college for fine art and jumped into it. They were my inspiration, more so for their praise, until Ben came into my life. I played piano and flute and took dance, but drawing was always my great enjoyment. I started painting when I was in high school and find this is what I hold as my main medium in art.” When the two met at a coffee shop, they had something in common. Ben had been raised with an appreciation for art, something that appealed to his future wife. “My grandma was very good at landscapes; however, she painted a masterpiece and just put it in the closet to start the next,” said Ben. “I haven’t really tried my hand at art much until quite recently. I have always had a flair for the written word despite not being able to spell. Growing up, my father and I poured and painted our own toy soldiers.” “Me being an artist was a major encouragement in our relationship becoming more than just friends,” added Lisa. “He loved art and I made it. I liked that he wasn’t an ‘artist,’ since it let me get all the credit. But, it was our creative and artistic personalities that drew us together.” Eventually, the couple married and a

year later had a son, Asher. Ben spent three years overseas serving with the U.S. Marine Corp. While he was gone, Lisa used the time to expand her artistic horizons. She finished her associate’s degree at Tyler Junior College and pursued art full time. “Ben was in the Marines for the first four years of our relationship, and so I was home a lot,” she said. “He encouraged me to not stop (with art) and said that if he came home and the apartment was filled with canvases and paint, he would be fine with it. I painted away, and drew and sewed as much as I could.” “If it’s an art form, craft or creative venue, I try it. I love to draw the most, and sew. I have been doing both since my earliest memories and find that is what I go to when I am bored, stressed or in a rut.” After his return, Lisa began introducing Ben to art in a bigger way. Admiring the small figurines he had painted with his father, she realized he could likely apply his skills on canvas – and a new journey was underway. “Lisa inspired me to try my hand at drawing and painting,” he recalled. “This started as something fun and rewarding. Also, I was good at photography and wanted to learn pottery.” “I think I inspire him more than intimidate him to keep absorbing and practicing art,” Lisa added. “Our two personalities force us to look at things differently. “It inspires us both to do our own things, but it also encourages us both to try new things… While, being able to give each other different points of view, we draw on

art & news each other’s experiences for our art, but also to keep our relationship close. Any idea we have, we can bounce off each other without fear of being critically judged by the other, only having a like-minded person analyzing our idea. So, neither one of us is put in a disadvantage within our creativity. We find the same kind of fun and we can understand the same kind of frustrations.” Lisa works as a self-employed artist: drawing, painting, sewing, teaching and painting shoes (she has an internet store). Ben has been exploring different artistic mediums (painting, photography and pottery) while finishing his computer communications degree at Tyler Junior College. Realizing that art is becoming a growing interest, he is considering getting an Associate’s in Arts degree. As a pair, the Horlanders have grown over time. Their mutual appreciation for art, and the ideas of their partner, has encouraged their relationship to mature. “We might not have started our relationship with an artistic viewpoint, but we have always had similar ideals and enjoyments,” said Lisa. “It’s so fantastic to have someone who inspires me, and yet, who is inspired by me…” “I appreciate Ben’s whit and humor in his art and personality. I tend to be serious in my art, and he will give me ideas that are out of my comfort zone but end up being exactly what the painting, shoe design or even doodles needed to be better. His humor can be seen in all of his art, even his photography. Humor adds such a great spice to life.” Featuring their art (and Ben’s photography) in shows has been exciting for the couple. But, even more thrilling was realizing the love of art they were raised with had survived another generation. “Recently, we have been amazed that our son has mastered the creative ability too,” said Lisa. “Our son has grown up surrounded by art, creative thinking and going to shows, and it’s rubbed off. Having another creative person in our world, a little someone who is self-assured and excited about drawing, has inspired us to teach each other, and him, more than we would have.” What began with a mutual appreciation of art grew into true love for Lisa and Ben, and today they have built a creative family from those roots. “Art is part of our family life, just like enjoying a meal together or watching television,” Lisa explained. “It’s just part of everyday fun.”

Welcome to

7KH6FUHHQ'RRU ANTIQUE MALL Come join us as we celebrate the addition of

Oil Patch Fresh Roasted Specialty Coffee to our line of My Southern Bliss Loose Leaf Tea. Coffee or Tea... We have the blend for you! In front of one of Lisa’s paintings. Ben is holding one of the figurines like he used to paint with his father. It was his first experience with art.

120 S. Main Street Gladewater, TX Asher is holding one of his paintings. He has had his art featured at juried shows, just like his parents.

903.985.1133 Tuesday-Saturday 10am-6pm

Book Club issues grant to promote school literacy Kathy Patrick, founder of the Pulpwood Queen Book Club, and Pulitzer Prize finalist author John Berendt presented checks to librarians from Jefferson and Linden-Kildare school districts during an awards ceremony at the 12th Anniversary Girlfriend Weekend Author Extravaganza in Jefferson, Texas. The checks presented were from the Burt and Nancy Marans’ Charitable Fund with East Texas Communities Foundation. Totaling $20,000, the grants were distributed to six Northeast Texas school districts allowing these area schools to purchase over 1,300 books for

school libraries. With ongoing budget cuts to school libraries, Patrick’s local book club chapter has stepped forward by working with donors to fund book purchases for school libraries. An advocate for literacy, Mr. Marans hailed literacy and education as keys to individual success and advancement in life. Prior to his death, he frequently participated in volunteer reading programs at elementary schools. Kathy Patrick’s Pulpwood Queen Book Club is based in Jefferson, Texas and is the nation’s largest book club with 522

chapters nationwide and in 15 countries. The Pulpwood Queens’ primary focus is promoting literacy. East Texas Communities Foundation is a nonprofit corporation serving 32 counties in East Texas. In 2010, the Foundation distributed a record $4.89 million in grants and manages over $46 million in 173 unique charitable funds which support non-profit organizations and student scholarships.

Texas Gospel Music Hall events The Texas Gospel Music Hall in Athens has announced their concert lineup for 2012. The first concert of the year is on February 25 and will feature appearances by The Perrys and by The New Grace Trio. An April 14 concert will showcase the Mark Trammel Quartet along with the New Grace Trio. Show times are 6:00 at the Hall, located at 8513 Highway 19 South in Athens. Season and individual performance tickets are now on sale. Go to or call 903-677-2492 for more information.

Get daily updates on the art & music scene in the Piney Woods! FOLLOW US ON


February 2012 - Page 13


Isadore Saslav and Ann Heiligman Saslav by Jan Statman

Cordially invites Women Cancer Survivors to the 6th Annual

Life Beyond Cancer Retreat February 24th & 25th Holiday In Express • Tyler Call to Register. Space is Limited.

903-579-9800 February 2012 - Page 14

Pianist Ann Heiligman Saslav, originally from Overton, Texas and Violinist Isadore Saslav, originally from Detroit, Michigan have been making beautiful music together for nearly half a century. So how did this pair ever manage to find each other? Of course they will tell you it was their music that brought them together. They were both attending Indiana University. She was working on her masters degree, and he was working on his doctorate. They were both accomplished young musicians when Josef Gingold introduced them to one another. Their famous teacher was considered to be one of the twentieth century’s most influential and celebrated musicians and string teachers. He intended to encourage the gifted pair by asking them to work together. They immediately realized they had found the perfect person in one another. They were married four months later on March 12, 1961 at the Beck Chapel of the Indiana University campus. “Besides his encouragement and support, Gingold became our matchmaker by putting us together as a collaborating pair in his studio,” Isadore recalled. “Not only that, he sent us off by playing at our wedding. And he convinced two of our other teachers who were his colleagues, Menachim Pressler and Janos Starker, to join him! We have been told that never before

or since had this particular group of three stars ever performed publicly together as a chamber music ensemble, except on this one very special occasion.” “It was a fabulous first year for our marriage,” Ann Saslav remembered. “We were tremendously busy. We had each other, we had world-famous artists as teachers and as friends, and we were graduate assistants with students of our own to teach. Isador had to prepare for eight doctoral recitals. I had to prepare piano works for my masters degree. We were surrounded by beautiful music with all the promises of life stretching out before us as a grand adventure.” After they were both graduated from Indiana University with their respective degrees, Isadore became First Concertmaster for the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra in Buffalo, New York. They went from Buffalo to Minneapolis, Minnesota and later from Minneapolis to Baltimore, Maryland. Isadore has served as concertmaster of the Indiana University, Dallas, Kennedy Center (Washington DC) Terrace Theater, and Baltimore Opera Orchestras and has been a member of the Detroit Symphony, the Chautauqua Symphony, and the Orchestra of the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico. He was concertmaster under the world famous batons of such conductors as Pablo Casals,

Stained Glass Studio

music & news Aaron Copland, Sir Neville Marriner, Leon Fleisher, Eugene Ormandy, and Arthur Fiedler, and in collaboration with Isaac Stern, ltzhak Perlman, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo-Yo Ma, and Arthur Rubinstein. Anna was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Vienna, Austria where she attended the Akademie fuer Musik und darstellende Kunst. She has appeared as soloist with the Baltimore, Houston, Akron, San Antonio, Longview, Marshall, East Texas, and Northwest Louisiana Symphonies, as well as with the Orchestra of the Pines and the Orchestra of the Round Top Festival in Texas, the Chamber Soloists of Philadelphia, the Orchestra of the American String Teachers in Gmunden, Austria, and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. The Saslavs have two children, David and Leanora. Leanora was named after Beethovenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heroine. Now adults, both of them live in California. David is a graduate of MIT. Leanora is a graduate of Harvard. They grew up in a home filled with chamber music where many of the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most famous musicians were guests and friends. Although they are talented musicians, they have both chosen to pursue careers in other fields. After a life of exciting travels, both in the USA and abroad, the Saslavs decided to return to East Texas where they settled in Annâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hometown of Overton. They own her parentsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; home as well as the building which once housed her fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medical office. Her father was Overtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s well-loved Dr. Haskell Heiligman. Built in 1938, their home is surrounded by three and one-half acres of land. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a lovely place which affords us a great deal of very welcome privacy,â&#x20AC;? she explained. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Being here allows us to practice our music at three in the morning if we feel like doing it with no danger of causing our neighbors any loss of sleep. In addition to that, Isadore is a great admirer of George Bernard Shaw. He has been able to fill the seventeen rooms of my fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s office with his collection of Shaw Memorabilia.â&#x20AC;?

Isadore is a Founding Member of the International Shaw Society and maintains an extensive literary collection centered on the great Irish playwrightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life. He has lectured widely on Shaw both in the U.S. and New Zealand and makes his collection available for visits by serious Shaw enthusiasts. After settling permanently in Overton, Isadore was appointed Visiting Professor of Violin, Viola and Chamber Music and later, Director of String Studies at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches where he co-founded the Sylvan Chamber Ensemble and established the String Quartet of the Pines. He served as head of the string department, strings co-ordinator of the annual Chamber Music in the Pines Festival, concertmaster of the Orchestra of the Pines and Stephen F. Austin Chamber Orchestra, director of the annual Stephen F. Austin Strings Camp, and the East Texas Institute for Strings. Since 1999, he has served as concertmaster of the Longview Symphony Orchestra under Tonu Kalam. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A fine symphony orchestra is a cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pride, and I am so proud of Longview for supporting a great orchestra,â&#x20AC;? Anna Saslav said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thanks to its incredible symphony director Tonu Kalaam, the Longview Symphony Orchestra has achieved remarkable stature and is able to produce music of elegance and beauty.â&#x20AC;? When asked what advice they might give to young artists who are starting out in married life, they both agreed that it would be a good idea to play different instruments if they are planning to perform together. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In that way you will be able to encourage each otherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s careers. It is important to work together,â&#x20AC;? they said, and added that married life is similar to the give and take of chamber music. â&#x20AC;&#x153; Just like in chamber music where you arrive and depart but always to return to the basics â&#x20AC;&#x201C; make your own music sing, but listen to the other personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suggestions and always be part of the other personâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music.â&#x20AC;?

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Hickory Hill Band at Music City Texas Theater Hickory Hill Band will headline the annual winter bluegrass show at Music City Texas Theater in Linden on Saturday, February 25. Hickory Hill features a unique brand of musical entertainment blending country and folk influences into an accomplished bluegrass foundation. Celebrating their 32nd anniversary in September, 2011, Hickory Hill has proven to be one of Texasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; most popular and enduring acoustic groups. Through the years, the band has won considerable recognition starting with third place in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;Best New Bandâ&#x20AC;? contest at the Bluegrass Festival of the United States in Louisville, KY in 1981. In 1993, Hickory Hill was named â&#x20AC;&#x153;Band Of The Yearâ&#x20AC;? by the Arts and Entertainment Committee of East Texas, and in 1996 was selected for a showcase performance at the International Bluegrass Music Associationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s annual World of Bluegrass in Owensboro, Kentucky. Hickory Hill has been the host band of the Overton Bluegrass Music Festival since the festivalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s inception in 1989. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s program includes a guest performance from musical virtuoso Milo Deering. Besides recordings and appearances with his wife Rachel as Dallasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; popular Acoustic Kitchen, Milo is a member of Beatlegras and also appears regularly with Heather McCready and Rebecca Henricks. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also well known for his recordings and appearances with LeAnn Rimes and Jack Ingram among a number of others. The theater doors will open at 6:00 p.m. and admission is $15.00. The concession will feature its usual variety of refreshment choices including homemade barbecue sandwiches, chili, hot dogs, nachos, fries, popcorn, candy and soda. The theater does not serve alcoholic beverages but does allow guests to bring their own. Check the theater website at or call the box office at 903-756-9934 for guidelines.

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February 2012 - Page 15

writing & news Beyond Mere Thoughts As a published author or illustrator, you will have a platform for speaking that you would otherwise not have. I never expected to be a speaker, but after the release of my second book, Let’s Go To Chicago!, I had a marketing director who changed my impression of myself and what I could accomplish. She insisted I develop a presentation about what it’s like for me to be an author and illustrator, then share it at elementary schools. My preference is to quietly do my own thing in my studio by myself. Not only did she insist that I branch out and grow, she also scheduled my speaking engagements and book signings and personally delivered me to them. She was quite the cheerleader on my behalf. Her input spurred me on to do things I would never have considered. She helped me believe in myself and my gifts. That was many years ago. Now I push myself and boldly mention how I speak at service clubs and various events. My husband gets me some connections, and now others are inviting me to speak about my publishing journey through much adversity. My presentation, “It Starts With a Thought,” has encouraged many to consider moving from complacency to possibility. Once you are published, people raise your expectations for you. It has been quite rewarding to see children’s faces light up as I tell funny stories about how I get my ideas. Sometimes I do a small watercolor painting demonstration as they curiously watch an image develop before their eyes. Their questions are wonderful, and there are always some who want to give me a new story idea or tell me their name so they could be a character in my next book. Sometimes I get thank you letters from the students letting me know how I’ve inspired them to write or paint.

by Karen Dean

The adults I speak to share their gratefulness as well. Some tell me what’s hidden in their hearts. My mission now is to inspire young and not so young to release hidden treasures so that others will be touched by their stories. Many people I meet have great stories but seem afraid to move forward. I want to encourage you. If I can do it, so can you! In January, I had the privilege of being on a children’s author panel at an event called Girlfriend Weekend in Jefferson, TX ( There I was, branching out again, but this time in a much larger capacity. I am expecting bigger and better things in 2012 and stepping out to make it happen. I hope you will step out as well. 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.

New CD Update by Randy Brown First of all, Happy New Year everyone!! I can’t believe it is 2012, well tempus fugit is what they say and it certainly does fly. Speaking of time flying, it is really flying with creation of my new CD, But Wait, There’s More. There will be 13 songs as of this moment, and we have completed guitar, bass and scratch vocals on everything. We had the wonderful Austin based drummer, Brian Ferguson, in the studio to put down the 10 drum tracks I needed for the project. With drums, bass and acoustic guitar complete, my good friend, co-producer, studio owner and extraordinary bassist, Rhandy Simmons, and I will be listening to each song to see what other musical elements it tells us is required. Our motto for this project is “The song will tell us what to do.” With a little luck and considering current schedule conflicts, I expect a completed CD by June. We are moving along quite well, but there is still much work and many decisions to make. I am really excited for you all to hear what we have created. I believe the wait will be worth it.

February 2012 - Page 16

art in the home Norma and Jim Cotton’s Baskin collection by LaDawn Fletcher Few art lovers could disagree with the way that Norma and Jim Cotton have integrated art into their home. The modern exterior opens up into a luminous foyer where your eyes can’t help but drink in the vibrant colors, shapes and figures on canvases and pedestals on almost every open space. The Cottons are art lovers. There are works from a smattering of different artists, but their collection is dominated by one: Stuart Baskin. After discovering a Baskin piece at auction, they began to seek out more of his work and eventually even the artist himself, commissioning pieces for themselves. The collection has grown and has come to be a fair representative of the artist himself. Throughout the Cotton home are sculptures, prints, drawings, paintings and even rare books printed by Baskin. When the Cotton family found themselves having to rebuild a portion of their home, they used the opportunity to create a climate controlled “gallery” for many of their Baskin pieces. With museum precision, the sculptures, paintings, and even the relief wood etching for some Baskin prints, are lovingly and expertly displayed. Against the white walls of the gallery, bold black and red wood cut prints at the far end of the room pop out, commanding attention. The bold images and saturated colors are hulking from afar and jarring and scary up close. Norma Cotton shares tidbits of the history surrounding the six companion pieces, all Baskin’s attempt to speak to the holocaust. The inscriptions on the bottom are Yiddish slogans written in a Hebraic script. Seemingly at odds with the serene, peaceful paintings also by him that share the same space, it is an interesting glimpse into the psyche of a thoughtful artist that is perhaps best appreciated in the collective works that the Cotton’s have amassed. The gallery is stunning, but equally breathtaking is the ease with which the Cottons have managed to integrate their home life with their art. Even in the Pollack-canvas like bathroom, art is displayed, and it feels accessible, not showy. The Baskins at either ends of the wall flanking the winding staircase beckon you to look closer. Admiring them up close doesn’t feel forbidden even though you know you are seeing something really special. In the master bedroom, three large paintings, also by Baskin are perched above expansive windows, warming the room and inviting you to have a seat. While paintings are the first thing you notice in the Cotton home, it also has a fair share of what Baskin is most noted for, his sculpture. He created the bas relief of a funeral cortege for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington and an anguished, heavily draped seated cast-bronze figure, seven feet tall, for the Ann Arbor Holocaust Memorial in Michigan. Jim and Norma Cotton have deftly managed the task of having museum quality art in an environment that still feels like home. To actually live among the work of one of the century’s most respected artisans is a rare treat indeed.

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Ladies’ Day Out

Rain or Shine!

Grab the girls and bring the guys, too – they can listen to the music! The Merry Merchants of Mineola offer sales, games and refreshments. You choose the winner of the Merchants’ Hat Competition.

Music on the Streets

Talented East Texas musicians gather in town to play! Bring your instrument and join the fun. Or just have fun strolling the streets and enjoy the magic of this charming town.

The Magical East Texas

City of Mineola

February 2012 - Page 17

art & news

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Sherri and Randi Martin by Kari Kramer When Randy and Sherri Martin met as teenagers, neither knew what was in store for them. “We met on a blind date when we were 16,” said Randy. “It was the first time either of us had a date. We were so young when we met that we didn’t know art was going to play an important part in our lives.” After 40 years of marriage, both have become well-known artists. They are surrounded by art at their gallery and store in Ben Wheeler. The Flying Fish Gallery, housed in a rustic building, showcases pieces made from metals and collages. In addition, they feature the works of several other area artists, providing guests with a variety of eclectic options for their home and garden collections. Becoming artists and gallery owners wasn’t an overnight decision, according to the couple – It was a process that took years. “Art was slow to grow in our marriage,” explained Randy. “We both liked interesting, odd, vintage things we would find and we started making reclamation art for our home.”

After unemployment became a factor in their lives, Randy said they decided “to take that next, scary step” and devote themselves full-time to earning a living through art. “It took over our life to the point we would do nothing else,” he said. Today, sitting over morning coffee discussing their ideas, the pair doesn’t doubt their decision. “We both see everything with an artist’s eye, and it’s fun to examine a can or scrap and see what it can become,” Randy said. “When we work together on one project, we both push for a different outcome, and that’s when we both can become hardheaded.” At 16, they never imagined what life would hold, but they’re happy with the result. “The gallery has opened our lives to so many new people and caused us to stretch our horizons,” said Randy. The Flying Fish Gallery is located in downtown Ben Wheeler on Farm-to-Market Road 279 in Van Zandt County.

Tyler Civic Theatre annouces upcoming schedule Crowns, a black gospel celebration, opens February 24 with auditions (8 black vocalists ages 18-60ish) January 16 & 17 at 7 p.m. The Curious Savage, a poignant comedy-drama, opens March 23 with auditions (5 men & 6 women) February 13 & 14 at 7 p.m. The Tyler Civic Theatre Center is located next to the Rose Garden at the East Texas Fairgrounds. 903-592-0561 or for more information.

February 2012 - Page 18

news Jefferson poet is contest winner The National Cowgirl Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, recently held their Holiday Poetry Contest. The winner of the Adult Category (18+) was Jefferson Tourism Director Jeff Campbell. Jeff won for his poem “East Texas Christmas.” Besides writing poetry in his spare time, Jeff also writes for the Jeffersonian Magazine and for his blogs “Jeff in Jefferson” and “Jeff’s BBQ Joint” and is presently writing a book about barbeque in the southeast.

As a winning poet, Jeff will receive recognition on the National Cowgirl Museum website, in their newsletter and other various museum publications. He will also receive in the mail four complimentary tickets to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, a 1-year family membership to the National Cowgirl Museum and a complimentary copy of Mush Creek Mustang with Rhonda Sedgwick Stearns, judge of the Holiday Poetry Contest.

For more information on the Museum and the Holiday Poetry Contest follow this link:


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February 2012 - Page 19


Music by Randy Brown

Call or Email to book. Checkin’ It Twice He’s making a list He’s checking it twice He’s gonna find out who’s Naughty and nice Santa Claus is coming to town

106 W. Main St. • Henderson, TX

903-392-8200 Email: Mon.-Thurs. 7am-10pm Fri. 7am-12am • Sat. 8am-12am

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From “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by John Coots & Haven Gillespie This month’s lyric is from a song that has been sung by literally everyone in the western world and even by quite a few folks in the rest of the world. It was written in 1934 by John Coots and Haven Gillespie and was first publicly performed on Eddie Cantor’s radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day and more than 400,000 copies sold by Christmas. It has been recorded literally thousands of times by artists as diverse as Alice Cooper and Gene Autry. Since I am writing this in early December with Christmas on my mind it seems very appropriate, because it includes within its lyrics something every artist who ventures out into the world to share their art should remember: to make a list and check it twice. So let me share a little experience from two days ago to tell you why it is so important. I want to start this month’s column with a bit of a confession: “I AM AN IDIOT.” Okay, so I feel better now that I have gotten that off my chest. Here I sit every month pretending to share wisdom about how to get by gracefully in the music business, and just this week I broke one of my most often repeated rules: “check the list to make sure you have everything you need for your gig.” Well, the truth is that I went to play a show and wasn’t prepared. I knew the songs. I had my guitar, mandolin, strings, thumb-picks, capos, tuner, cords of every description, mixer, microphone & stand, set list, tip jar and speaker stands. Oh, did you notice, I forgot one small thing – speakers!! Can’t make much noise without those, and in a room full of people you can’t scream to be heard for more than about one minute before you have shredded your vocal chords and broken every string on your guitar. I

had even gotten to the gig an hour early, which is my norm for shows. However, my one miscalculation was not welcome at all. My speakers lay 25 miles away tucked neatly under an ice chest in my barn. Dang it!! How could I be so stupid? So, what started as a leisurely setup before a show turned into a high speed adrenalin-fueled chase of 50 miles an hour cursing at semi trucks loaded with bales of hay who were only doing 70 in a 70 mph speed zone, only to show up at the gig five minutes late with setup still to do. How mortifying is that? Especially for a “professional” as I profess to be. So, let’s do a little postmortem on my little fiasco. What did I do wrong? Let us set the stage. It is Friday morning, and I have a show starting at 7:00 this evening. I expect to get there at 6:00, so I will have a leisurely hour to set up, relax, have a beer and visit with the crowd before the show. I know I need to leave about 5:30 to make the 25 mile drive, so I plan my day to accommodate those facts. So far, so good. Well, my wife and I head out that morning to run errands and do some Christmas shopping. We get back home about 2:00 p.m. with plenty of time to spare. I gather up my inside stuff, like guitars, and put them in the car. Then, I go out to the barn to get the big stuff like the mixer, stands, cord bag and speakers. I am putting that stuff in the car and notice that a brush pile I plan to burn after the next rain needs to be finished. So, now totally distracted, I stop my hauling and loading of equipment to the car and jump on my tractor and spend the next 45 minutes tidying up around the brush pile. While working outside, I remember I need to check for an important email so I stop before I am finished with my brush pile, put my tractor up, and wander back into the house to check my email. I turn on my computer. While I am waiting for it to boot up, I wander into the kitchen for a glass of water. Standing in the kitchen with a glass in my hand, I realize I am hungry, so I put down the still empty glass and open the fridge for a snack. Standing there, I hear my phone chime and walk over to pick it up and read a message from Allen, my drum-

mer, to say he would be at the show about 6:00 too. Then I notice my computer is open and on, though I can’t remember why. So, I sit down, trying to remember why I had opened it and get sucked into a little Facebook discussion with friends on some minutia related to the real reason for the recession or something like that. I never did check my email, get a glass of water or get a snack. Then I remembered that the car needed gas, so I decided I needed to leave about 15 minutes early (at 5:15) to have time to do that. Then I check my watch and noticed it was 5:15. I run out to get in the car to leave and notice part of my stuff is still sitting next to the car. I whack myself in the forehead for being so scatterbrained, load up the stuff sitting there, jump in the car and head out to the show. You know the rest. Do you see a pattern emerging here? I didn’t go over my mental list of what to take; I didn’t make sure one task was finished before I started another. In fact, I don’t think I finished anything that afternoon. Instead, I wandered from unfinished task to unfinished task to end the day unfinished. I will admit I tend to have a problem with getting distracted, but I outdid myself on this particular occasion. Who knows, with some luck, this little confession may even save you some grief. If not, I can at least say “Do as I say, not as I do.” To be honest, the management at the show was understanding. They did notice me load in my stuff an hour or so before and weren’t upset at all. But that doesn’t make it easy to start setup late with a room full of folks waiting for you to start. So, take my advice, because as you have heard, it is based on real experience and in this case, a very recent, real experience. So please, do yourself a favor. Make a list and check it twice or maybe just for fun, you might even try three times. Though often less fun, it is certainly less stressful to be nice rather than naughty. By the way, if you have comments, suggestions or criticisms about this or any of my columns, feel free to send them to me: If you ever simply get curious about what the heck this rambling old man does then go to Listen to a few songs and let me know what you think. 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 wishes he could learn to take his own advice. The good advice anyway.

art & news Present

Irving Kriesberg exhibit at the LMFA

Photograph: Matthias Kriesberg

The Longview Museum of Fine Art is exhibiting a collection of paintings by the American artist Irving Kriesberg through February 25. Irving Kriesberg (1919 – 2009) was a visionary for modern painting and one of the prototypical American Figurative Expressionists. He was a “rare bird,” whose painting style developed not solely from outside sources but from within as images “well up behind his eyes.” His innovations in painting that include the use of sequential imagery, minimalism, as well as his unique color palette and the way he created his compositions, made him a bridge figure between abstract expressionists and the conceptual postmodernist painters. Kriesberg’s worldly travels and dreams become the motifs for his figurative expressionist works. There is no allegorical intent in Kriesberg’s process. It is the result of the artist’s subconscious mind at

Book Release Honor In The Dust by Gregg Jones (non-fiction) to be released the 7th of February...available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Costco and as an e-book. Public Reception and book signing Tyler Public Library Sunday, February 19 2-4 pm

work that through the paint, images start to reveal their probable intent. This exhibition will examine the paintings of Irving Kriesberg created over the course of six decades and look at his progression from a seminal figurative expressionist into one of the most unique and influential painters of the 20th century. Scenes of yearning angels, curious animals, and other creatures remain in most of his works. His figures have the ability to project their own identities rather than depicting blatant iconography and invite the viewer to partake in a brave new world that is a dramatic labyrinth of colorful characters. Kriesberg’s painted environments touch the observer deep into the subconscious mind, evoking a sense of the primeval, and tapping the collective sense of an archetypal visual language. Undeniably, there is an implied spirituality in the figuration, in animals, humans and humanoids alike.

Kriesberg called many of his creatures “sheep.” In addition to sheep, there is the white owl, the blue monkey, the Satan figure and, for a period in the sixties, frogs. Drawing animals seemingly came naturally to Kriesberg who was raised on drawing museum taxidermy at Chicago’s Field and the comic strip Krazy Kat by George Herriman (1880-1944). Unlike many of his contemporaries who painted the figure as human representation, Kriesberg’s animals have been the medium for the greater part of his work and their relationship to humans or humanoids is mysterious. These are not animals in a literal biographical sense, nor do they blatantly represent or reflect other species. In fact, the meaning depends on the attitude of the painter rather than the specific species. While certain creatures reoccur in different paintings, they often exhibit different emotions or roles. Sometimes they are figures of worship, friends or guardians; at other times they are predatory or burlesque. As is the case in Dogfield I (1988), figures seem to have multiple roles within the same painting. They can be menacing but also benign, like the white owl that hovers over the migrating figurations in the painting. The owl initially appears to be guarding them from evil, but the look on its face also suggests it might be guiding them towards malevolence. In the painting “Impudence” (1984), the white owl again exhibits conflicting personalities. It is often presented as an angel, but many times the owl engages in conspiratory actions with a red devilish figure. Longview Museum of Fine Arts Hours Tuesday-Friday: 10:00 am-4:00 pm Saturday: noon-4:00 pm Closed Sun-Mon Admission: $5.00 for non-museum members

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903-342-0686 February 2012 - Page 21

news “Chocolate Sunday” fundraiser to benefit theatre Jefferson Opera House Theatre Players will hold their second annual “Chocolate Sunday” fundraiser at the Russell Building on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 2:00 p.m. If last year’s successful event by the city’s community theatre group is any indication, it will be an afternoon of tasting the most alluring desserts and dishes ever created by the talented cooks of Jefferson and surrounding areas. Last year’s winner, Ben Mauldin, whipped up a beautifully presented and delicious dessert dish that won the “Best Overall Winner.” One wonders what he’ll do as a follow-up when he enters the contest this year. Because “Chocolate Sunday” is being held close to Valentine’s Day, those entering dishes may use that theme in any special decoration for their dish. Table decorations and music appropriate for chocolate lovers will be furnished by the theatre group to add to the Valentine’s Day theme. For information about enterting the contest, contact theatre director Marcia Thomas at 903665-2310, email, or go to the theatre’s website:

East Texas Youth Chorus seeking members for spring The East Texas Youth Chorus, open to home-schooled youth from the eighth grade and up, is seeking singers for spring 2012. “The youth chorus offers home-schooled youth an excellent fine arts component to their academic schedules and the opportunity to sing great music with friends in a challenging but fun setting that prepares them for college singing,” said Jim Taylor, director of the ETYC and Kilgore College’s Director of Choral Activities. Members must pass a simple audition to determine that they can carry a tune—no music reading requirement is necessary. Sight-singing skills are taught in rehearsals. The ETYC will perform a concert May 1 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Longview. “On the program will be a performance of

Pergolesi’s ‘Magnificat’ with string orchestra, as well as lighter music for the spring season,” Taylor said. Cost to join the choir is $50. Juniors and seniors can also enroll for dual credit for an additional dual enrollment fee. The chorus will rehearse 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. each Wednesday in the Anne Dean Turk Fine Arts Center beginning Jan. 18. Singers may join through the end of February. Singers interested in joining may set up an audition ahead of time, or can simply come to a rehearsal and audition afterward. The ETYC is part of Kilgore College’s Continuing Education Department. For more information on the ETYC, please contact Taylor at 903-983-8122 or e-mail him:

Mineola quilting classes Quilter, Lynn Astumian, will teach two quilting classes in February at the Mineola League of the Arts. Blooming Nine Patch Pattern class will be on Saturday, February 11th and the Strip Tubing class will be Saturday, February 25th. Both classes run from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and are for beginners as well as advanced quilters. Interested parties should call the League at 903569-8877 for information on course fees, supply lists, or to register.

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February 2012 - Page 22


Anonymous donor funds school tours at TMA – Grant provides free tour & art activity to students The Tyler Museum of Art has announced that financial support has been made available to assist schools with the cost of field trips to the Museum. The TMA received a grant from a local foundation to support the 2011-2012 School Tour Program by partially or fully funding round-trip bus transportation costs (via district or school buses or private bus companies). The grant will also cover fees for school tours, which are available for all class levels elementary through college and include a guided tour by a Museum docent for the younger students and an art activity. “As school districts are forced to make difficult financial decisions in this tough economy, many programs are suffering great reduction, if not total elimination. Fine arts programming, as well as field trips have, in many cases, been suspended,” said Ken Tomio, TMA Head of Education. “Through this generous grant, our school children will be able to enjoy a real museum experience and learn something potentially life-changing about the world of visual arts, all at no cost to our local schools.” School tours lead students of all ages and grade levels through a tour guided by Museum educators and docents. Following the tour, students are encouraged to create their own original works of art during an art activity designed to enrich each student’s understanding of the works featured in the tour. During the spring semester, students will tour the exhibition of 51 maritime paintings

titled Reflections on Water in American Painting – The Arthur J. Phelan Collection. This exhibition demonstrates a fascinating history of the United States following the development of our nation as it took place along shorelines and riverbanks. There are still funds available for interested schools. To apply, simply call the Museum at 903-595-1001 and ask for a member of the Education staff. Teachers and administrators may also download the application form from the TMA website where it is located on the “School Programs” tab under “Education & Programs.” Funding is provided on a first-come, first-served basis and the TMA assumes no responsibility nor will it provide any insurance coverage for passengers and school buses or school-arranged transportation or their operators to and from the Museum. The Tyler Museum of Art, accredited by the American Association of Museums, is located at 1300 S. Mahon Ave., adjacent to the Tyler Junior College campus off East Fifth Street. Regular hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. (The Museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.) Lunch is available in the Museum Café from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and the TMA Gift Shop is open during Museum hours. For more information, call 903-595-1001 or visit www.

Call for artists for Piano Art Association’s 7th annual 125 Show Visit the Plano Art Association’s website at to apply to the 125 Show, the annual exhibit that will show at the ARTS Gallery (part of Collin County College Arts Department) in March. This year, the Plano Art Association is excited to have artist Ryder Richards and Valley House Gallery & Sculpture Garden’s Director Laura Green as jurors. They will select works for the exhibit and choose the recipients of our Grand Prize of $1000, as well as first, second and third place cash awards in each category.

art Artist’s World by Jan Statman It’s hard to imagine, but there is still a lot of confusion about why an artist would want to paint or sculpt a work of art that does not look like a photograph. Even at this late date in history, there are people who still do not understand what is worthwhile about a painting that seems to be made out of nothing more than lines and blots and squiggles. They are confused by a painting where the paint has run or the canvas might still show. They wonder why anybody would paint soup cans. Why would an artist make a sculpture that is not a statue? Why did artists abandon perfectly lovely fields of blooming flowers, big bowls of fruit and vegetables and people’s pretty faces? Why do artists make pictures that don’t even look like pictures anymore? What are they trying to pull? Are they trying to deceive me? What makes these nice folks think artists have nothing better to do than to play tricks? We are definitely not trying to deceive or even to confuse the public. Artists must always respond to the times in which we live. We are the mirrors that reflect our times. We have to respond to our changing lives by changing the way in which we make art, and our world is changing so rapidly it makes all our heads spin. We see more, we know more, and we do more than our grandparents or even our parents could ever have dreamed possible. We are running on a treadmill even when we are standing still. First there was electricity, and then we had telegraphs, telephones, radios, and televisions which brought the world in all its beauty and all the ugliness of its wars right into even the most modest of our living rooms. There was a time, not too long ago, when we received our information from morning newspapers, weekly magazines and black and white newsreels at the movie theater. Now we have the internet to bring us instant information. Sometimes it’s right, sometimes it’s wrong, but it is always instant. Our fast planes span continents in a matter of hours; our oceans are no longer barriers to trade nor are they securers of safety. We have gone from steam engines, turbines, automobiles and airplanes to atomic submarines, space ships and space stations. Humans have traveled from the depths of the sea to the wild reaches of outer space and back. Computers have helped

us look inward to the intricate world of the cell and outward beyond the vastness of the stars. Space telescopes promise to share the mysteries of the cosmos. We are no longer restricted by the limitations of the past, not even our most recent past. Our lives bring new horizons, new expanses and with them, new challenges. We don’t phone; we text. We don’t visit; we Skype. The way we see ourselves and the way we see the world around us has changed. If you don’t believe it, just ask Siri on your phone. You will get a simple, precise and technically correct, although totally unemotional answer. Art can help us imagine the new cultural images we are going to need in order to grow our hearts and our souls in keeping with our growing technologies. All artists start out with the ability to reproduce what we see, but in a time of such rapid change a field of flowers, a nice big bowl of fruit, or even a mountain sometimes lose their fascination. Faced with growing mechanization and growing anonymity, we are challenged to interpret the importance of human involvement instead of simply reproducing what we see. We become more connected with how and why we paint or sculpt than with what it is that we paint or sculpt. The key to enjoying twenty-first century painting does not lie in trying to discover some object you recognize somewhere on the surface of the canvas. A painting is not some glorified game of “Where’s Waldo.” Art is a way to communicate without using words. It is no longer understood in terms of things. What artists “say” either has something to do with how we experience the world or else we are trying to tell you something about how we experience our work. Some artists are telling you something about space. Not necessarily outer space, not even the space that is all around you, but the magical space that exists only in a particular canvas or sculpture at a

particular time. Making the work appear to be deep and far away so that the image appears to be three-dimensional can do this. Accepting the flat space of a canvas can do this so completely that colors and lines seem to glide across the surface. Some artists are involved with the way the paint can give you a feeling of light shining in and through their work. Others have line or form on their minds. Some are involved with the thick juiciness and the thin runny qualities of paint. Some of us are trying to tell you things about color and the way color affects people – the way it seems to draw you forward or to push you back. Sometimes you discover that a painting that seems to be all white or all black at first glance will turn out to be filled with the subtle effects colors have on each other. Some artists can be extremely technical. Their art is like a Bach symphony that you can see. Other artists are extremely emotional. Their work is like a Beethoven symphony for your eyes instead of for your ears. Some artists will go out of their way to tell you about the way life has transformed us all by using images of the culture we have come to take for granted. We might paint or sculpt or even glue the everyday familiar things you recognize into unfamiliar spaces. A work of art might include the image of Mickey Mouse along with a Steinway piano or Marilyn Monroe. Sometimes we will do this because it is disturbing and uncomfortable, and sometimes we do it because it is pleasant or amusing. The key to enjoying the art of our century may well be found in the words of an old song: “It ain’t what you say, it’s the way that you say it.” So open your eyes, open your heart, and allow yourself to enjoy the vast, various and amazing works of art that are all around you.

Live Music 2nd Saturdays Clearly Vocal – Feb. 11 Shannon Monk Trio – March 10 Dale Cummings – April 14

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Piney Woods Live February 2012  
Piney Woods Live February 2012  

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