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September 2011 Marshall’s Art Scene Donnie Pendleton Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture at the TMA The Nac Film Theory Artist’s World Art in the Home
The Whisenhunt Center • Anup Bhandari’s Art Project
La Cienega by Sonia Semone
This issue contains an article, “A Medley of Arts in Marshall,” on the state of the arts community in Marshall. In the time since Amanda Retallack filed her story at deadline, it has come to our attention that ongoing developments at the city of Marshall may have a significant impact some of the programs Amanda described. The proposed 2012 city budget, announced in August, makes no provisions for the funding of staff at the Marshall Visual Art Center and would result in the elimination of the positions of Director, now held by Brooks Little, and that of her assistant, Sheila Frierson. The savings to the city in wages and benefits are estimated at $92,000 annually. By the time the subject was addressed at the first public budget hearing, significant public opposition to the cuts had arisen. The Marshall News-Messenger reported in its August 17 edition that about 20 citizens appeared to offer support for the MVAC staff. Most pointed to positive effects that Ms. Little and the MVAC programs have had on both the community and the development of individual artists. Most observers agree that the MVAC has played a key part in the successful decade-long effort by Marshall to brand itself as a cultural destination. Certainly our experience covering the arts in the Piney Woods has lead us to appreciate the contribution of the MVAC. A few of the programs and activities that have been created by Ms. Little and operated by the center during her 12 years as director include children’s summer art camps, nine show/sell exhibitions per year for local and regional artists, community art classes for all ages, master art workshops for practicing artists, development of an artist network, and partnerships with local colleges and non-profits. It is difficult for us to imagine how most, if any, of these programs will survive the elimination of the MVAC staff. It should be noted that the MVAC is not the only area to take cuts in the proposed budget. Police, library, planning and zoning, and parks maintenance all sustain reductions. In the end, city spending, as all public expenditures, come down to setting priorities: how can scarce resources be allocated to provide the most common good for its citizens? Are street repairs more important than parks maintenance? Is a golf course more important than an art center? Are two police officers worth a tax increase? These are questions for city officials and the citizens of Marshall to answer. There is still time before the budget is finalized in September for citizens to make their opinions known to the mayor and commissioners and to have an influence on the future of the MVAC. It is important that members of the Marshall community who feel that the MVAC has made a positive contribution to the quality of life in the city make their voices heard. Those who recognize the positive impact of the arts community on the economic development of the city should also speak out. We also want to hear your voice at Piney Woods Live. What do you think? Join the public discussion on our Facebook page or email us at email@example.com.
Gary Krell, Co-Publisher
Page 02 - September 2011
contents Art is defined as a product of deliberately arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions. Piney Woods Live
About the cover:
is an expression of the community it serves.
A note about the art on the cover from the artist, Sonia Semone: “The piece, La Cienega, was inspired after a trip to Los Angeles. It’s actually a long hilly road in the middle of the Sunset Strip. If you’ve ever been to LA, you know that there are streets winding up and down through beautiful cliffy hills. I had been there with my sister, and the scenes truly propelled my brush. If you are curious, La Cienega means swamp in Spanish, a reason I love it even more!”
About Sonia Semone: Sonia Semone was born and raised in East Texas. From a young age, she was always interested in the arts. She received both her BFA and MA from the University of Texas at Tyler. “At the time I went to UT, the art department was two small buildings. I think that closeness led to using one’s imagination,” Semone says. Semone works in acrylic, and over the last few years has added reverse glass painting to her repertoire. She has exhibited all over the United States with participation in recent shows at the Forth Worth Creative Arts Center, Rising Gallery in Dallas, Kettle Arts and the MAC, both in Dallas. You can see more of her work online at www.gallery7517.com.
Shattered by Sonia Semone
How to reach us: Call the American Classifieds’ Longview Office at 903-758-6900 or 800-333-3082. firstname.lastname@example.org Fax 903-758-8181 506 N. 2nd St., Longview, TX 75601 but moving to 100 W. Hawkins, Suite C Sept. 26th
The Whisenhunt Center...........................................................4 Open Mic Nights at Yum Yums in Jacksonville ........................5 Anup Bhandari’s healing art project ........................................6 Jerry Wray exhibition in Marshall............................................7 Jefferson’s Opera House Theatre Players to perform Always... Patsy Cline ..........................................................7 Beyond Mere Thoughts ..........................................................10 Boogie Woogie FireAnt Ball opens Marshall Festival .............10 A Medley of Arts in Marshall .................................................11 Artist’s World ........................................................................12 Donnie Pendleton .................................................................13 Exclusive southwestern appearance at Tyler Museum of Art ..14 The Nac Film Theory - Local filmmakers can’t stop, won’t stop ...15 Dana Cargile is Tyler’s Cattle Baron’s Children’s Artist of 2011 ............................................................................16 The “B” Side of Music: The Truth ..........................................17 Great Texas Balloon Race ......................................................18 Art In The Home: In another realm .......................................20 Old Firehouse to begin third season ......................................21 Theater Spotlight: The Actress, Kimberlee Martin ................22 Publishers / Editors Tracy Magness Krell & Gary Krell Advertising Director Gary Krell Public Relations Randi Garcia Contributing Writers Amanda Retallack, LaDawn Fletcher, Jan Statman, Jim King, Randy Brown, Emmitte Hall, Karen Dean, Amy Desha Williams Graphic Artists Tracy Krell, Joni Guess, Mary Hernandez Sales: Donna Vincent, April Harlow, Shannon Dykes, Denise Reid, Randi Garcia, Kathy Hollan, Cookie Bias
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September 2011 - Page 03
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The Whisenhunt Center’s first event isn’t slated until September 3, yet standing inside the building on the corner of Quitman and Center Streets in Gladewater you can almost hear the “oohs” and “aahs” echoing from the restored seats. The beautiful stained glass windows cast yellow, purple, and green sun rays into the auditorium of antique stained wood floors and large bronze sculptures that purposefully decorate the walls. Toward the front of the auditorium, an oversized oak stage with four mic stands beckons entertainers to come and wow the crowds. “If you want to book quality entertainment, you’ve got to have a quality venue,” said Ron Gage, director and booking agent of the Whisenhunt Center. “This,” he gestures to the windows, the sculptures, the oversized oak stage, “this is quality.”
When Catherine Joan Sturkie — known as Joan to friends and family — was a little girl growing up in Gladewater, she liked crayons. She also enjoyed paints, pencils and anything artsy. In the second grade, she drew a boat, and that’s when she realized she was no artist. “It wasn’t a very good picture,” she said as she wrinkled her nose in playful disgust one recent evening. “I learned at a young age that I was no artist, but I loved all things art!” Still today she has that picture at her home. She keeps it as a reminder of her beginning appreciation of art.
She started seriously collecting art about 25 years ago, and she now owns fine art pieces by artists including Picasso, Chagall, Dali, Erte, along with modern masters such as Martiros, Simbari, Eric Waugh, Michael Godard, Peter Mack, Sharie Hatchett Bohlman and Bill Mack, just to name a few. She was running out of places to hang her pieces when news of a building for sale spread around town. Four years ago, the Church of Christ decided it was time to sell their historical 1930’s building in downtown Gladewater in order to build a new place of worship for their congregation. What some
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venue & news saw as an old, worn-out facility, Joan saw as a building brimming with potential. “I’ve always liked that building, so I bought it to house my paintings,” she said. “I also had plans to turn it into a type of event venue that Gladewater would be proud of.” After she purchased the building, Joan worked diligently day in and day out to restore it. When she wasn’t working at her full-time job at Sturkie Properties, Joan’s hobby became the newly purchased facility which she named the Whisenhunt Center after her mother and father. “They were such good parents; this is a tribute to them,” she recalled fondly. Ron, ever the agent and event promoter, caught wind of Joan’s project and jumped on board to offer his services. They both shared the same dream: art education and live entertainment. With Joan’s affection toward art and Ron’s history in the entertainment world, the team would prove unstoppable. “I instantly saw Joan’s vision, and I knew we could work together to make it happen,” he said. Ron got busy installing state of the art lighting and sound systems, while Joan got busy hanging art in the art center that is housed in the administration building. Three years of updates later, the Whisenhunt Center is open for business. Whether it be a concert in the auditorium, a business meeting in one of the many conference rooms or even a class field trip for a local art program, Joan and Ron are ready to make their center a public hotspot. “I’m confident that we will be super busy, and that our first official event at the beginning of September will be sold out,” Joan said enthusiastically. “We have plenty of big events already in the works,” Ron added, “and Joan and I are just so pleased to bring this center to our hometown.” Note: The Whisenhunt Center has just signed Vegas acts paying tribute to Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and the Beatles, times and dates to be announced soon!
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Open Mic Nights at Yum Yums in Jacksonville Yum Yums Texas Style Cafe in Jacksonville hosts an “open mic” night on the second Friday of each month that provides a performance setting where local citizens can enjoy free local music. All singers, songwriters and acoustic musicians are invited. The acoustic event runs from 6:00 to 9:00 PM. Jacksonville musicians, Mike Withrow and David Cooley, host the events and perform on acoustic guitars as Withrow Cooley. They play classic rock and blues and occasionally backup other musicians on guitar, drums and percussion. Yum Yums Texas Style Cafe is located at 215 South Main Street in downtown Jacksonville.
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art Anup Bhandari’s healing art project by Amanda Retallack An art studio doesn’t usually make anyone’s list of what the homeless need. But when Kilgore artist and local philanthropist, Anup Bhandari, decided to start a painting class in the computer lab of Newgate Mission in Longview, people were soon looking in and asking to join. Their art ranges from passive to expressive, cute to crude, whimsical to touching. It occasionally gives glimpses of the realities of street life: drug use, hassles with police, etc. But, for the most part, it’s about hope, redemption or just everyday daydreams of sunshiney places and happy faces. This art is part of Healing Through Art, a program that Anup put into action early this summer. All art produced by these students are currently exhibited at Longview Public Library on Cotton Street. One early Monday morning Quiarah Moore, 13, touches her paintbrush to her 16x20 canvas, each stroke as purposeful as the last as she colors in a Christian cross with heaven above and a fiery hell below. Sitting a few chairs down at the same table, twin sisters Quiana and Quasana Moore, 11, paint their own masterpieces — Quiana, a peace sign symbolizing what she wants in life, and Quasana outlines a heart that spreads across her canvas.
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Each of these young women, along with a roomful of others, was participating in Anup’s art class. This project took aim at teaching homeless community members about art and expression. “This is really a great chance for less fortunate community members to be creative, to express themselves, to relax, and to reflect,” Anup said. “I know art can heal; sometimes I even feel stressed or in bad shape, but then I paint and it heals me. When you express yourself and your feelings, you feel better.” The class began in mid-July after Anup got it in his brain that he wanted to help others. But how? Being an artist himself, he decided he wanted to use his gift to help others. “I had been planning to do this for a long time, I just didn’t know how to get it done,” he said. “The homeless have always affected me deeply. They are people, just like everyone else, but they are often misunderstood or ignored. But they are beautiful people who are expressive and creative.” Anup has history working with homeless members in the community. At Christmas, he organized a blanket drive, which resulted in raised awareness and more than 500 blankets to give out to unsheltered souls. Before that, Anup focused his other talent, photography, on them and created a photo series that has been displayed at Art Gallery 100 inside Shannon’s Beading Basket in Longview. This art class is just one more way to help. “I want to promote awareness and inspire creativity … and show that art heals,” Anup added.
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art & news With the help of Texas Bank and & Trust, Steve Crane from Stragent Foundation, the Longview Public Library, Forbes and Butler Visual Communication and all the wonderful staff at NewGate Mission, Anup was able to get this project underway. Newgate Mission Program Director Leslie Daly said the class really inspired it’s participants to create, express and let go. The Rev. Jennene Laurinec at Newgate agreed. “At Newgate Mission we feed people in mind, body and spirit. Feeding the body has immediate consequences — feeding the soul has eternal ones. The art class gives people an opportunity to express their lives in a creative and personal way,” she said. “Art gives us a venue to release emotion, express pain, celebrate our world, display love and connect with others. The poor, working poor and homeless do not often have the opportunity to do this. During the classes, I saw intense focus, introspection and smiles — most of all the smiles. No matter the technical proficiency of the artist, the art is a delightful display of the resilience of the human spirit.” “The opening was a huge success,” Anup said happily. “Great turnout. It was so nice to see many people who came to see this show.” He said he met some people who came to see the opening from Kilgore, Marshall, Tyler and even Diana. It was encouraging for Anup to see so many community members come out to see the works of these newfound artists. A total of 50 paintings are on display, and the show will remain up until September 2. All the paintings are for sale, with proceeds going to the respective artists.
Jefferson’s Opera House Theatre Players to perform Always... Patsy Cline Jefferson’s Opera House Theatre Players will open their 23rd season on Saturday, September 3, with the highly-acclaimed production of Always...Patsy Cline. The musical features dialogue and about 25 songs of the famous country and western crossover singer who died tragically decades ago. Coincidentally, the house that Ms. Cline lived in for many years in her hometown of Winchester, Virginia opens as a musuem on the same date. Tickets for the show are on sale at Blessings Gift Shop at $20 in advance. Tickets are $25 at the door the evening of the one performance show that will be held at the Transportation-Visitor Center.
Jerry Wray exhibition in Marshall The Marshall Visual Art Center is currently showing works by Shreveport artist Jerry Wray. The show, “Looking Back” continues through October 21. Ms. Wray has won over forty awards in the last thirty years in juried exhibits, has had 28 shows in the last 15 years and many group exhibitions throughout the U.S. including the Virgin Islands. Her paintings have been purchased internationally for both private collections and several Fortune 500 companies. A German firm recently purchased some of her originals and has published and distributed high quality, limited edition worldwide, as far away as Japan. In 1996, she was elected to the National Association of Women Artists. In 1999, she was selected to be a Manhattan Arts Magazine Showcase Award winner. She is represented in seven galleries and seven museums world-wide. The Visual Art Center is located at 208 E. Burleson in downtown Marshall. Call 903-938-9860 for gallery hours and additional information.
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artists artist profiles
Nysa says she expresses her views on life and creates the systems within life through her art making. In adolescence, she was recruited by family friends, organizations, and school functions to assist in creating visual elements for local programs. She won a few “Best of Show” categories in high school and aspired to pursue art as a career. She began to develop her artistic voice and technique during her college years. She graduated from the University of Texas at Tyler with a Bachelor Degree in Fine Art. This gave her a strong sense of direction and created an openness to growth. Nysa also uses poetry and essay writing to inform her artwork, and vice versa. She is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Art History to further develop her academic understanding of art as it informs her style.
Jeanne attended classes at the Anglican School of Theology in Spiritual Direction and Pastoral Care. She graduated from an intense 2-year program at the Haden Institute in Dream study. She is the author of Hidden In Pain: A Life Story of Personal Transformation published by Tate Publishing, LLC and Dream Symbols in Waking Life published on Blurb.com. “I combine my photography and texts to relate to the meaning of dream symbols. I picked up a camera in 2006 to begin the creative expression of photography. I have attended various workshops and one-on-one instruction; however, I am mostly self-taught.”
Nysa can be reached through www.wix.com/artisticloveaffair/Nysa-Love.
Exhibitions or Galleries where Jeanne’s photographs have been shown: Main Street Gallery, Tyler, Texas. (A juried exhibit) Art Walk, a juried exhibit held 4 times a year, Tyler, Texas. Three Columns Gallery, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
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.
email@example.com www.JGMillerphotography.com www.authorsden.com/jeannemiller
DeAnna Hargrove DeAnna Hargrove is managing director for Tyler Civic Theatre Center which offers a year round Acting Conservatory program for ages four years through adults. TCTC is one of only two sites in the states for LAMDA examinations (the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). As an alumni of this prestigious program, DeAnna offers private and group coaching for candidates desiring to develop monologues, duets, musical theatre presentations, mime and speaking auditions. She is also coordinator for performance troupes including an international youth group which travels to Europe every two years representing our region, state and nation. Acting Conservatory classes include beginning, intermediate and advanced skill training including drama, musical theatre class and film training. For more details, please go to her education page at www.tylercivictheatre.com.
Page 08 - September 2011
Laurie Pace Laurie Pace’s journey in life has encompassed many careers from modeling, music, teaching and art... and has come full circle to include international art honors. Viewing a Pace painting is a rich experience that drips with color and emotion. Her passionate works are alive with movement, boldly created with brush and palette knife. She loves the energy created while carving out her painting. Pareidolia is the name for what happens when Ms. Pace gazes at her thickly applied strokes of oil paint and begins to visualize forms. It’s the same term used to describe the phenomena of seeing animals in clouds or faces in the moon. Pace’s artwork is represented by galleries in Jackson Hole, Denver, Santa Fe, Hong Kong, Dallas and New York. Her art has been featured on the cover of several international publications. She is cofounder of Artists of Texas, Contemporary Fine Artist International and The Five Graces. www.ellepace.com
artists Varya Ignatchenko
Varya Ignatchenko is a Russian native who lives and paints in Longview, Texas. Her passion is capturing a person’s likeness and personality in realistic oil portraits. As well as traditional portraits, she enjoys drawing evocative caricatures. Varya supplements her skill with an ability to shoot and edit photographs. Light plays a central role in her images. A nature-lover at heart, she can spend an entire day outdoors playing with a camera. Varya graduated from the University of North Texas in 2009 and has shown work in many galleries across North and East Texas.
Ramoth is a Greyhound bus riding, prize winning singer-songwriter hailing from East Texas. He is the modern day version of the troubadours of yesteryear. He learned the guitar in the summer of 2004. Since 2005, he has been sharing his gift of song from Oshkosh to Tampa, from Boston to Hollywood and many points between. He shares his gift to communicate through cleverly worded song in coffeehouses and churches, in universities and on street corners, with audiences from ages nine to eightynine. He writes songs that are bluesy but not blues, jazzy but not jazz, from deep in the country but not too twangy, poppy but unpopular. He rocks, but is no rock star. His songs promote thinking, toe tapping, and laughter. Ramoth will perfom in the East Texas All-Star Showcase on August 27 at downtown Tyler’s newly renovated Liberty Theatre.
“I would describe myself as “full-time caregiver, part-time photographer.” At this point in my life, my main focus is caring for my loving husband of many years. Photography is my creative outlet. Often in my day-to-day life, I forget about the beautiful things of this world. But, in stopping to capture a beautiful sunset or admire the petal folds of a rose, I find peace, serenity and a spiritual renewal. I was once described by a friend as an “old soul.” This is true, for I find my passion to be in capturing images which reflect a slower pace or simpler time. Currently, some of my work is on display at Art of Coffee in Lindale or at
Mike Hall “As an actor, I have been fortunate enough to have been part of many wonderful productions in East Texas including several at the Tyler Civic Theater: 12 Angry Men, To Kill A Mockingbird and many others. At present, I am working with Lagniappe Productions in Grapevine, Texas as one of the Gun Fighters at Six Flags Over Texas. I have been cast in two upcoming films being shot in Shreveport, LA, and another, The Merchant, right here in East Texas. I am proudest to say that I got my start in acting right here in East Texas. No matter where this road may take me, this is where I always want to return.” firstname.lastname@example.org
Lauri Osburn Thomas “My love of art began at an early age. As an elementary teacher, I specialized in art. As a librarian, I used art to make stories come alive for students. My career path took some twists and turns as I went into nursing and obtained my BSN and then MSN. I am the Director of Surgical and Procedural Services at the University of Texas Health Center at Tyler. Established career-wise, it was time to get back to my passion, creating art. I have taken various classes through the Longview Museum of Fine Art and Gallery Main Street. The support and encouragement I received from other artists and my family gave me the courage to submit work for juried exhibits, the latest being the Surrealism and Alternative Abstract exhibit at Gallery Main Street. I work in a variety of mediums including metal sculpture, photography, mosaic, steampunk jewelry and mixed media.” fineartamerica.com/profiles/lauri-thomas
September 2011 - Page 09
writing & news Beyond Mere Thoughts by Karen Dean
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THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 15, 2011 5:00 - 8:00 PM Exhibiting
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As a writer or illustrator, it’s necessary to be tucked away for hours at a time in a quiet, peaceful place. I happen to enjoy embracing the challenge of pulling multiple concepts together in the silence of my creative space for as long as it takes. The alone aspect is simply a part of the job description which works well for me. I do realize, however, the importance of connecting with other like-minded authors. Attending an occasional book signing and discussion at a bookstore or library can be informative on a small scale. However, if you want to step into a festival where creative writing juices abound, you’ll need to attend a multi-faceted book festival. The atmosphere of so many interested, book-hungry readers interacting with talented authors, eager to share their expertise, is electrifying. For anyone interested in writing or illustrating, this is the place to be, not only for adults, but children as well. There will be hundreds of books to read and books to buy, while having face-to-face contact with approachable authors who love to tell their stories with a receptive, captive audience. You just might get answers to some nitty-gritty questions about how to handle your writing dilemmas. A variety of genre will be represented which could include children’s books, novels, graphic novels, mysteries, Christian, cooking, self-help and more. Sometimes there are poetry or other readings happening. I have been attending book festivals since the beginning of my writing journey. The most beneficial and educational aspect for me has been the presentations and discussions, whether it’s one author or a varied panel of authors. This often includes a moderator asking questions that delve into the formations of the writers’ mindsets. It helps immensely to see that there’s not a set pattern for the writing lifestyle. The interaction with audience questions can get quite entertaining. 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. www.KarenDeanArtist.com email@example.com
Boogie Woogie FireAnt Ball opens Marshall Festival Marshall’s FireAnt Festival kicks off Friday evening, October 7, with the Boogie Woogie FireAnt Ball, starring Boogie Woogie & Blues piano master, Omar Sharriff, playing with nationally recognized guitar phenom, Wes Jeans. Co-starring is one of the hottest R&B/Soul groups in the Ark-La-Tex, the Anthony G. Parrish Band. The show kicks off at 7:30 PM at the Marshall Visual Art Center, 208 East Burleson Street. Tickets are $100 for VIP Seating and $20 General Admission while they last. They are available online at www.boogiewoogiemarshall.com. Omar Sharriff, who was raised in Marshall as David Alexander Elam, and performed as Dave Alexander before changing his name in the mid-1970’s, is regarded by many to be one of the greatest and most unique Blues and Boogie Woogie performers of all time. After 55 years on the road playing with such legendary artists as Muddy Waters, Big Mama Thornton, Albert King, Freddie King and Nina Simone, Sharriff returned to his old hometown where he is now artist-in-residence in the Birthplace of Boogie Woogie. Music lovers will be thrilled to see and hear a side of Wes Jeans they have perhaps not heard before. After hearing Omar Sharriff play in a downtown club recently, Jeans began sitting in whenever his schedule permitted. The old master and the young pro connected, and they have created an electrifying sound that puts the boogie into blues, and vice versa. This is a combination not to be missed. The Anthony G. Parrish Band combines solid musicianship with extraordinary showmanship along with Parrish’s outstanding vocal work. This is the band that had over 1500 people dancing in the streets on a hot July night after Marshall’s Second Saturday Classic Car Show. VIP seating is limited. Every Boogie Woogie show at the Marshall Visual Art Center has sold out, so advance ticket purchase is strongly recommended. Cash bar and casual dress. People lucky enough to get tickets to this show should be prepared to dance.
Page 10 - September 2011
art A Medley of Arts in Marshall by Amanda Retallack When you think about a small townâ€™s â€œart scene,â€? what comes to mind? Itâ€™s a common ideaâ€”the too familiar opinion that a small townâ€™s approach to art is simple or bored. In Marshall, population 23,000, the art scene is delightfully diverse in both concept and genre, triumphantly proving that all types of art are valuable to a cityâ€™s culture and identity, no matter its size or current population. Thereâ€™s no question â€“ art improves the quality of our lives. Whether itâ€™s a traditional painting of a landscape hanging from a courthouse wall or a colorful assortment of musicians jamming in the downtown streets on a sleepy Monday evening, diversity is the key here. Marshall offers a versatility that is seldom seen in â€œsmallâ€? towns; it adds a touch of whimsy to East Texas that artists from far and wide want to share in. â€œArtâ€™s in everything â€” even the simplest objects can become art,â€? said Bo Ellis, Marshallâ€™s Main Street Manager. â€œIt energizes, improves, helps educate our children. Itâ€™s just as important as any subject. Think about it â€Ś how boring would anything be without art?â€? An enticing contrast of creative approaches is obvious throughout the city, from a medley of museums to a variety of venues that randomly invite singers and songwriters to play some tunes. For museum movers and shakers, thereâ€™s the Michelson Museum which houses world-famous art; the historic Texas & Pacific Depot is a favorite destination for railfans of all ages; the Harrison County Historical Museum is home to 22 rooms of exhibits ranging in topic from the Native American Caddo culture to the history of Wiley College. And thereâ€™s the Marshall Visual Arts Center â€“ a laundry building in its original life, the beautifully redone space houses a variety of activities. Itâ€™s a facility that holds art classes for kindergarten to college students; artist studio space for rent; gallery space; a clay sculpture room; photography labs with dark rooms; art supplies for sale and more. Music-lovers have a range of options: a Marshall Convention Center that seats 1600 audience members or Telegraph Park which offers an open-air venue for musical talents and unlimited seating. A long list of restaurants showcase local and regional talents such as OS2 Restaurant & Pub â€” a venue that offers live tunes nearly every night. The Blue Frog Grill welcomes singers and songwriters to their Words and Voices series to downtown the second Saturday of each month, and Cajun Tex Restaurant/CafĂŠ boasts music entertainment every weekend. And the festivals! Marshall has its fair share. Thereâ€™s the Wonderland of Lights in December, the FireAnt Festival in mid-October, and a monthly gathering called Second Saturday where artists of all genres and backgrounds gather downtown to spread the gospel and gifts of artistry to the masses. For instance, their staple â€œArt Partyâ€? invites up to 30 participants to come paint, sip wine and listen to music as an instructor teaches her students how to paint artworks from Van Gogh to Rembrandt. There are even a couple of small theater troupes, Maverick Theater Players and Piney Woods Theater, that bring performing arts to the already-roused public. Marshall is also home to the Marshall Regional Arts
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Council, the only arts council that serves three counties: Panola, Marion and Harrison. The council is responsible for putting dollars and art into the hands of area schools and the children within the classroom. The council may be the three countiesâ€™ biggest cheerleader. â€œThe value that a community places on art is indicative to how livable that community is, and I think weâ€™re getting more livable every day,â€? Bo said. â€œWhen we can expose citizens to a wide range of arts daily, we know weâ€™re doing well.â€? So well, the fact that Marshallâ€™s economy isnâ€™t suffering too much during the economic downturn seems to be the topic of conversation over the casual cup oâ€™ joe. â€œEveryone is affected; itâ€™s not a completely unique time in US history,â€? Bo commented. â€œWhatâ€™s certain about Americans, and definitely Texans, is that we will prevail and meet our goals however we can. Our directors and volunteers have to be more creative in their problem-solving. Weâ€™ve economized where we can and try to keep the same level of services because people depend on us and the environment we provide.â€? And that environment is the artistic one that Marshall has developed for itself in the past 15 or so years. A lot of that is due to local talent â€” so much talent! â€” but much of that depends on the merchants of Marshall, as well. â€œThe community is working diligently to have more of a presence of art in Marshall,â€? Bo said. â€œWe have a lot of art here, definitely, and tourists are driven by their interests. They want to see Marshall Pottery. They come here to do that for awhile, only to realize that we have so much more to explore and engage in. They are driven here by their main interest, sure, but they enjoy all over venues or topics while theyâ€™re here, from the art of debate at Wiley College to an interactive art experience at the Visual Arts Center. On top of our activities, weâ€™re in a beautiful and diverse setting. Marshall is itself a beautiful and diverse setting â€” and inspiration for art. Itâ€™s a fantastic inspiration for creation.â€? The town of Marshall is constantly ushering in new artists and their art to the town. And each time an exhibit is opened or a new singer/songwriter strums his or her guitar for the responsive crowd, Bo hears about it. â€œFrom the community members, we get an immediate response by counting the number of people who attend events we put on,â€? he said. â€œThe immediate feedback is the attendance at the events, and itâ€™s always a positive one. Long-term, we are seeing a continued support of the local arts movement and arts-related activities.â€? For awhile now, Marshall has not only accepted but encouraged a transition into an arts-based community. It has embraced its abundance of local skill and talent and supported the versatility of a small townâ€™s method of presenting art of all kinds. â€œArt-wise, if where we are today is good, and anyone would agree that itâ€™s good, in 10 years we should be fantastic,â€? Bo mused. â€œI hope that we have music on every corner and public art installed in every available space. I hope that we have murals on the sides of buildings, and I hope that in 10 years we continue to see that type of activity happening.â€?
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art Artist’s World by Jan Statman I don’t know anything about Football but I know what I like. This makes about as much sense as saying, “I don’t know anything about art but I know what I like.” Art is not all that intimidating. Football cannot be all that intimidating either, but the sad truth is, I honestly do not know anything about football. This might sound like a strange confession to those of you who grew up with the bright lights of Friday nights, but please understand that it was baseball, not football that ruled the streets of New York, a place where the word “Yankee” was not an expletive. Football players might be recognized as the “Boys of Autumn,” but baseball players will always be “The Boys of Summer.” The Boys of Summer were adored with the kind of adoration that is normally reserved only for Rock Stars and high fashion models. The World Series was so important that high powered business executives would huddle with their stock boys, and serious-minded high school physics teachers would halt classroom exams in order to get the latest play by play. Celebrations were loud, they were cheerful and they were not optional. When the World Series ended and the Boys of Summer finally hung up their well-worn leather gloves, it was basketball, not football, that took center stage. Hard to believe, but once upon a time, basketball was not a contact sport. Those who required contact sports would cheerfully turn their attention to the hockey rink. This involved fierce men with sharp skates and curved sticks. Goalies all wore those frightening “Jason” masks even when it was months away from Halloween. It was always possible to recognize the hockey players because they were the muscular young guys who had no front teeth. Still, it is difficult to ignore the game of football while living in Texas. It is even more so when living in the same house as an Aggie. Like all football playing universities, Texas A&M has its own individual customs, some incurably strange, some incredibly charming. For instance, Aggies always kiss their dates when something called a “touchdown” occurs. This is a nice idea. The game itself, however, is confusing. It all begins when several large gentlemen in brightly colored shirts and extremely tight trousers crowd together in a circle. They nod and frown and whisper softly to each other. Possibly they are retelling the different histories of their teams? No one will ever know. When the brief story telling session ends, the smallest man among them seizes the ball and tries to run away with it. The larger men chase after him, attempting to knock him down and leap on him. At the same time, men in striped bee costumes run alongside tossing small flags at the ground. There is some odd sort of magic in these banners as they cause every one of the spectators on either side of the stadium to either moan or cheer. Not knowing any better, I think the moaning or cheering depends on the color of the banner? In art I know that Red is exciting. Yellow is dynamic. Magenta is pretty. Blue is supposed to be calming. There seems to be quite a good deal of whistle blowing and arm waving by the men who run around in bee costumes. When this happens, several red-faced older men wearing team ball caps and unhappy expressions race up and down the sidelines waving their fists and shouting. After that the ball will sometimes be pitched up into the air. The best runner of the group catches it and heads toward a kind of safety shelter he hopes to find under tall square posts at the end of the field. These possibly symbolize the ancient standing stones of Stonehenge? If the runner becomes eager to rid himself of that dangerous ball, he is allowed to toss it to someone else. If the runner is lucky enough to outrun the large men who want to knock him down and leap on him, he reaches the safety zone. When he gets there he performs a sort of ritual dance ceremony. If his teammates are pleased by the quality of his ritual dancing, he is rewarded by a good deal of friendly hugging and rump patting. After that the huge scoreboards light up and play music. The “Boys of Autumn” reign as giants. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of them in person. Weighing in somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 pounds and standing as high as the average door, they really are giants. I was afraid they would forget I was there and accidentally step on me. I am an artist. I make art. Art is my thing. Football is not, at least not yet. While it is possible for whole collections of people to live comfortable lives without ever looking at fine art, I suspect that might not be the best way to enjoy a complete life. Same goes for football. So here’s the deal: I will try to learn something about all those stripes and shoulder pads if the rest of you will try to learn something about art. This will be a win-win for all of us. Then we can all say we know a lot about something, and we will all be pretty sure we know what we like.
Page 12 - September 2011
music Donnie Pendleton by Jim King Photographing and writing about live music takes me to a lot of places around East Texas. I am always listening to people “talk” about musicians. Many of them can be slow to praise and quick to talk trash, so when I hear several people saying great things about a certain guy, I naturally think there is a photo opportunity and story to be had. With so much talent and so many places to display that talent in this part of the country, I believe that it is inevitable there are a lot of great musicians who simply go unnoticed. I had heard about Donnie Pendleton. With a reputation as a solid and talented musician, I thought I would go watch and listen to a couple of his shows. The first time I saw him he was playing with Ricky Lynn Gregg at the Party in the Pines Rally. A few weeks later he was performing with the Alan Fox Band at the T-Bone Walker Blues Fest in Linden. I was immediately surprised, or should I say impressed, at how this guy, who is almost 50 years old, works that guitar with the passion of a teenager doing his first live show! He does not portray a stage presence of jumping around or even overly interact with the crowd. What he does do though is bring his music to life. Donnie came by the studio one evening, and we spent over three hours reminiscing over his life, his music and the changes in music in general. We talked about the fans, the crowds and his career over the past 35 years. Okay, I am a man not easily impressed, but this guy had my full attention. I quickly learned that he loved every aspect of music, yet he was in fact a very grounded and
family oriented person in his beliefs. His mother was a talented and successful musician, as were his grandparents and two of his uncles. Donnie isn’t bashful about giving his wife, Vicki, her part of the credit. Having been married for over 32 years, her part of his success is having always been that “rock” for him. Donnie Pendleton has been playing professionally since he was 14 years old. By the time he was in his 20’s, he was touring the United States extensively as a member of The Cauze: singing, songwriting and playing the guitar with a band that sold 80,000 copies of their first album in 8 weeks back in the 80’s. For you young readers, that was when VH1 was new and iTunes and YouTube were still many years away. For that time period it was a considerable feat. Donnie later played and released albums with Rafferty Rule, 4 Play and the US Lords, who he played with for 13 years. Now, as a creative and active member of the Alan Fox Band, Donnie still does about 200 shows each year. Through it all, his passion for the music has stayed the same, and it was easy for me to see that there was so much more to not only this musician but to the world of music as we have come to know it.
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art KEEL BOAT SAILING
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Exclusive southwestern appearance at Tyler Museum of Art The Tyler Museum of Art will open a new exhibition, Object of Devotion: Medieval English Alabaster Sculpture from the Victoria and Albert Museum on September 4 that will run through November 13, 2011. The TMA is the only scheduled stop in the southwestern region of the United States for this touring exhibition. The 60 alabaster panels and freestanding figures in the exhibition are drawn from the world’s largest collection of medieval alabasters, that of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Dramatic and intricately crafted, these pieces are some of the finest examples of the elegant, yet neglected art form of alabaster sculpture. The sixty prime examples, including a complete set of panels from an altarpiece, have been carefully selected for this exhibition, representing all the major types produced by English sculptors. The exhibition is organized in six sections which include: Martyrs and Miracles: The Lives and Deaths of the Saints - Saints served numerous roles in everyday medieval society including
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protecting the souls, well-being, health, and even wealth of believers. Alabaster images of saints were made for private homes, intended for private worship and comfort. These objects were often affordable – within the reach of “ordinary” people – and the works included here illustrate a folk art aspect of the medium. Word Made Flesh: The Life of Christ Over time, styles and techniques for carving alabaster changed, as did the designs and compositions. This section presents scenes from the life of Christ exploring the changes in alabaster production as well as those in Christian iconography. The Altarpiece: Worshipping at Church - Altarpieces played an important role in late medieval devotional practice and public worship. Most alabaster altarpieces took the form of rectangular relief panels designed to be fitted into wooden casings in groups. In contrast to the folk-art aspects of private devotional alabasters, altarpieces in churches sought to hold the attention of crowds of churchgoers through sophisticated carving techniques and elaborate, multi-episode compositions. Business and Religion: Making and Selling Holy Images - The working methods of the alabastermen and the actual stages involved in the production of reliefs and sculpture – from the mining of the stone and its transport to the artists, to the actual carving of objects and the coloring of them -- are explored in this section. End of an Era: The Reformation - The Reformation of the 1530s ended the alabaster industry in England as part of its wholesale rejection of religious art. In England, mobs defaced and destroyed much alabaster sculpture. Examples of defaced and vandalized sculpture are included to illustrate these dramatic social changes and the end of alabaster production in England. The Legacy - English alabaster art was forgotten or dismissed as ‘folk art’ up until the late 19th century. At that time, the Arts and Crafts movement was concerned with ennobling the more modest home of the rapidly expanding middle class, not unlike the work of the alabastermen. The Arts and Crafts movement encouraged our ability to empathize and understand the strange, mystical aesthetics of medieval English alabaster sculpture. In continental Europe, artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cézanne, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso and Auguste Rodin also displayed an affinity towards English alabasters. All share a delight in expression through abstraction, shapes and color, and the creation of dreamlike realities. Later, the fabulously surreal, conceptualized images of English alabaster were to have a profound influence on 20th-century sculpture, particularly on artists working in abstract or conceptual styles. Today, it is possible to detect the powerful legacy of these anonymous master craftsmen in the work of more recent artists such as Henry Moore and Jacob Epstein, the American-born British Expressionist sculptor. In North America, traces of the ‘alabasterers’, as medieval writers call them, is evidenced in the work of 20th-century figurative sculptors like Elie Nadelman.
film Local filmakers can’t stop, won’t stop by Amy Desha Williams Create one short film a month. That’s the simple idea that two local movie enthusiasts, Brandon Selman and Gabriel Carmona, set out to turn into reality when they teamed up earlier this year. Dubbing the plan “Nac Film Theory,” the pair has brought this unique form of artistic expression to Nacogdoches and beyond. In the past five months, Selman and Carmona have done just what they said they would, with four films under their belt and the fifth in its final stages of editing. When asked what the core idea behind the Nac Film Theory is, Carmona replied, “The ‘Theory’ is that we can make relevant films without nudity, excess violence, or the use of course language.” The duo’s first film, Tina, inspired by an episode of the classic TV series, The Twilight Zone, set the bar high for the Theory’s future films. Their second, Love in the Time of Albino, draws you in as it reveals a sad and realistically beautiful end to a romantic love story. The third film, a comedy, Horse Thievin’ in the USA, was born as a result of the 48 Hour Guerrilla Film Competition. In this competition, all parts of the film making process had to be executed within a 48-hour time restriction with three unknown requirements provided by the film competition’s sponsors. The Kidnapping of Robert Rodriguez, Nac Film Theory’s fourth film, while undoubtedly the roughest of the Theory’s films, was intended to capture the attention of a certain someone. “ August’s film, Pedro Pan is a children’s tale that will inspire the imagination of the innocent,” says Carmona. The idea for the film originated years ago as a bedtime story he would tell his baby girl, Izzabella, now nine. Carmona says, “The story grew as she grew.” When complete, it is anticipated that Pedro Pan will be entered into this year’s Sundance Film Festival. All of the team’s short films can be accessed through YouTube.com and the Nac Film Theory Facebook page. Carmona seems to thrive on film making’s unforeseen challenges, stating that overcoming adversities is the most rewarding aspect of film making. “There are times when the main character bails out at the last minute, you don’t have a gar-
bage truck when you need one, or finding a girl that will fit into a certain dress with minutes to spare. All of these interruptions have to be solved using quick thinking and creative solutions.” Selman says, “While editing is still my favorite part of the movie making process, the ability to evoke emotion in our audience and give viewers credit in their ability to think for themselves is what it’s all about.” The Theory co-founders are full of ideas for the future. With the next several months booked with promising short films that will be scheduled to premier sometime later this year, Carmona comments that his head is full of stories, some going back as far as ten years. Working with a sparse crew and relying on the donations of other locals, individuals and businesses that lend a generous hand for the sake of something compelling and unique, the film makers have a strong desire to showcase their love for the Oldest Town in Texas. “I believe that we live in a beautiful city that should be showcased in a positive light.” says Carmona. He continues, “I would like to thank all those who have generously offered their land, cars, clothes, and places of business to aid in our films. It’s not the easiest thing to work with a zero budget, but as you can see, that hasn’t stopped us.” For information on how you can contribute to the successes of Nac Film Theory and the future of artistic short films for the whole family, simply go the group’s Facebook page, Nac Film Theory. Carmona adds with a smile, “If anyone out there has a helicopter we could use, that would be awesome.”
Join us Sept. 29, 2011 for Artwalk Downtown on the Square in Tyler.
OCTOBER 12–15, 2011 Tyler Film Fest
903-595-5389 Contact @ tylerﬁlmfest.com
September 2011 - Page 15
news Dana Cargile is Tyler’s Cattle Baron’s Children’s Artist of 2011 Dana was commissioned to paint an abstract heart on gallery wrapped canvas to be used for the Little Wrangler’s Event for Tyler’s Cattle Baron’s Gala benefitting the American Cancer Society. Children affected by cancer came and placed their handprint on Dana’s art. They created a beautiful painting that was auctioned off at the Cattle Baron’s Live Auction the next evening. A special thank you for all those who bid on all the art, of which 100%
went to the charity. Dana is a local Tyler artist who studied art at Baylor University and attended art workshops in Mississippi and the Museum of the Southwest, Midland, Texas. Dana loves to paint for art shows and art walks! You can see more of her art at www.danacargile. blogspot.com and My Back Porch Art Studio on Facebook.
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The “B” Side of by Randy Brown The Truth Truth is a rabbit, is a rabbit, is a rabbit Truth is a rabbit in a bramble bush
art, that is for you to decide. At this point in the process, the opinions of others might as well be lies. In my mind, the honesty of art is the most important aspect that it can have. If there is no personal truth, then there is no purpose, and consequently, there is no art. A strong statement for sure, but please let me explain. Now please understand that the truth we are discussing is relative to the teller. What is true to me, let us say, “I don’t care for peanut butter,” may or may not be true for you. But in the end, what is true for you has no impact on my truth and vice versa. Now, I know this sounds like so much philosophical double-talk, but this is very important. While your art may or may not move others or express their truth, it cannot be real unless it first expresses your truth. Now hear this: Art IS truth or it isn’t art. In my view, this is the crucial place where most folks lose their way in art. Remember that your art is your truth, and you will be where you need to be from the beginning. Art is not a thing, it is truth incarnate. To be that truth, it must first be the truth of the creator – the artist. No matter how simple, complex, silly or serious your art is, it must be true. We humans seem to have an innate, imbedded B.S. detector. We can smell it a mile off. We know if the artist is being honest or not, we KNOW if they are telling us their truth or not. I can’t even begin to explain how this works, but it happens every day to every one of us. We meet someone who tells us something, and we know if they believe what they are saying is true or not. Now you will notice that I did not say that it was absolutely true in the sense of black/white, on/off or one/zero. No, I said that “they believe” it is true. As humans that is all we have to go on, our beliefs and perceptions. These are not absolute truths but instead are personal truths. Use that built-in B.S. detector on your own creations. Do they feel/sound/ring true to you as the artist? That is your only criteria. Now, just because they pass the “true to you” test doesn’t mean that you will be successful or accepted as an artist. It only means that you have passed
“Truth is a Rabbit” by Randy Brown from the CD, Dream Big
This month’s lyric is from one of my own songs for a change. The song was written after I read a quote attributed to Pete Seeger’s father. The statement burned me with its raw power. I saw the honesty in that statement telling me that truth is right in front of us but still very difficult to pin down. Consequently, it really makes the point I want to cover this month. Which is: the truth! The music business, and all the business of art for that matter, has one thing in common: The truth, the REAL truth, is VERY hard to come by. When you come off stage, folks will tell you that you were great even when you know you weren’t. You will be told that your new material isn’t as good as the old stuff even when you know damned well it is. It tends to be a business of lies and half truths at least on the surface. The truth is often left to fend for itself backstage and behind the scenes. So how do you handle it? One deceptively simple ploy is all that is required: always tell yourself the truth about your art. To really tell yourself the truth about your art is very difficult. But since you are the one who is responsible for creating that art, you must decide what you really think about it. Sorry fans, but in the beginning, that is all that really counts, the artist’s opinion. (Don’t worry fans, your part comes later and is just as important.) As the artist, only you know whether or not you truthfully communicated what you intended and if you hit the mark you were aiming at as an artist. The fans and critics may tell you what they think, but as far as the honesty in your
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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 performing songwriter, operating a venue, and a recording studio owner/ engineer. He likes to think he tells the truth to himself about his art but knows deep down inside that sometimes it is simply a bald-faced lie.
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that test as the artist. The next step is to pass the test with the patron. You have all heard that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The same holds true with art. Art is in the eye/ear/ touch/taste/nose of the beholder. Herein lies the ultimate test of art. Can your truth, the artist’s truth, be transferred to the beholder? In that act of agreement lies the mystical/magical power of art; the transfer of your experience/ perception to another. That doesn’t mean that the artist is being agreed with in their statement of truth, but instead that the beholder is agreeing they are experiencing what the artist believes is their truth. Now this is not a subtle difference. You don’t have to agree with Vincent Van Gogh that the Starry Night looks like what you see when you look up after dark. Nope. But what you know for sure when you see that painting is that it was his truth. Vincent was allowing us to see that sky through his eyes. In reality, that is the sole purpose of art. It is a communication of truth from one to another. So simple, yet so difficult at the same time. You should have thought about that when you became an artist, shouldn’t you? But now you know the truth, and I think you can handle it. So, set a few snares around the perimeter, then dive right into that bramble bush, get bloodied by the thorns, and who knows, you may catch that rabbit. But even if you only get a few hairs from his tail, you will have more than most, and I’d say you were successful. After all, truth is an illusive little critter, but in my opinion, a very worthy adversary. By the way, if you have comments, suggestions or criticisms about this or any of my columns, visit me at my website: www.brownrandy.com and leave them there. Just in case you are curious, here is a link to the song “Truth is a Rabbit“ that is quoted in the introduction of this column tinyurl.com/3b5gplx. See you next issue.
C O U P O N
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September 2011 - Page 17
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Page 18 - September 2011
music & ballooning Great Texas Balloon Race by Jim King July in East Texas just wouldn’t be the same without the Great Texas Balloon Race. As I sit here, I am suddenly reminded (once again) of how old I am, as I remember the very first balloon-racing event back in 1978. Dr. Bill Bussey convinced a few other pilots to bring their balloons to the Longview Mall, itself a new addition to Longview, and an East Texas tradition was born. Over the years, this event has become so popular around the country that many of these pilots travel from faraway distances to participate. The site of them taking to the air is truly amazing, and 33 years later that hasn’t changed for me! This year, there were approximately 55 balloon entries of varied shapes, sizes and colors entered into the races, with eight of them being what is known as “special shaped” balloons. To see these special shapes on the ground, their size is almost overwhelming, but to see images such as the Purple People Eater, Coco the Clown, Ark-tastic (which resembles Noah’s Ark), Jack in the Box and the monstrous Well’s Fargo Stagecoach floating through the skies is a site to behold. Though there was a Pilot’s Reception Thursday night, for me the event didn’t officially begin until 6am on Friday. That’s when the pilots and their “chase crews” descended upon Maude Cobb Activity Center to find out their “targets” for the day’s race. This year, I got to go along. On Friday, we lifted off from a spot south of Hwy 31. On the drive there, the team was busy with charting, calculating GPS points, looking at topographical maps and all kinds of technical stuff, and the whole trip I’m thinking, “Wow, I thought we were just going to fill it with air and float.” The reality is that balloon racing is serious business and just a little complex at times. Once in the air, we drifted north across Longview and landed a few miles north of the Post Office on McCann Road after making two calculated “drops” on designated targets. We were in the air about 25 minutes, and I must say that it is truly an incredible feeling moving with the wind, all the while feeling
like you are standing still. My pilot, Steve Lombardi, is a National Champion balloon pilot and one very focused individual. My thanks to him and his team at Remax for letting me accompany them on their flight. For those of you who attended any or all of the weekend long event at the East Texas Regional Airport, you already know about the rows of vendors selling everything from balloons to jewelry, clothing, homemade furniture and there were even hot tubs out there. For those that wanted to get an aerial view of the place, there were helicopter rides available as well. Of course, there was the usual great food (did I mention I love funnel cakes?) and plenty of cold beverages. There was even a huge fenced area for the kids to play, and from the number of children in there all weekend, I can imagine a lot of parents were happy to have them entertained. It’s nice to see the camaraderie of a community just coming together to have a good time. Even with the outside temperature, it still made for a great weekend. There is something for everyone to see or do all day long. For me, the favorite part of each day is the evening. Yea, I know it gets a little cooler once the sun goes down, but the nights at the balloon races are a guaranteed good time. First there is the balloon “glow” which is truly a site to behold. If you have never witnessed one in person, I’m not sure it can be adequately described in words and photos: the noise, the excitement, the flood of colors as the balloons seemingly come to life, all the while children standing in awe as balloon pilots and crews inflate their balloons and allow spectators to come up close. The pilots will answer your questions and sometimes spectators are even allowed to climb inside the baskets, but the real fun is the magnificent site as these pilots pump the fuel into their burners and the balloons begin to “glow” in the night. It’s always a crowd favorite!
music & ballooning While the balloons are what get many people out there, it is the music that keeps us there late into the evening. The Great Texas Balloon Race has always enjoyed the reputation for bringing top rated entertainment to the stages, and as expected, this year was no exception! Taking the stage Friday night was Stoney LaRue, whose real name is Stoney Larue Phillips. Though he was raised in Oklahoma, LaRue was born in Texas and is still considered by many to be a “Texas Boy,” and the crowd responded as such. From the moment he took the stage, the audience was all his. He gave the crowd 90 minutes of solid entertainment for an audience that stretched back as far as the eye could see. Interacting with those closest to the stage and singing hits such as “Oklahoma Breakdown” and “Down in Flames,” LaRue seemed to have endless energy as he belted out his songs and coaxed the crowd into singing along. With three albums under his belt, Stoney has built a large following of fans with his honest lyrics and stage presence. In appearance, Stoney could be anyone in the crowd, and it was obvious that his fans accept him as “one of their own.” Singing to a packed house, he seemed as comfortable as if he was on the back porch at home with a few friends. His show was delivered as was expected: first rate entertainment and great fun! Don’t miss a chance to see him the next time he is close by!
wards, the one word I kept hearing repeatedly was “awesome.” I would agree with that! Yes, from the majestic view of dozens of colorful and uniquely shaped balloons floating across the East Texas skies, the seemingly endless food and merchandise vendors, and two nights of great music entertainment, the Great Texas Balloon Race is the place to be each July.
No matter the medium, we’re pleased to support the Arts in East Texas. “There is incredible power in the arts to inspire and influence.” Julie Taymor, American Director
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From the moment Jack Ingram stepped into the stage lights Saturday night, he owned the place! His non-stop music and energy kept the crowd pushed up against the stage wanting more, and that’s the way he likes it. Ingram is also a “native son” having been raised in Houston, and he has been on the road playing his style of country music ever since he was 22 years old. Traveling back and forth predominately between Dallas and Houston, Ingram has been packing venues with his unique style of music since 1992. Now, almost 20 years later, Jack Ingram is at the top of his profession with 8 studio albums, 6 live albums and a string of 18 singles to his credit. He has had 7 songs make it into the Top 40, and in 2005, Ingram had a #1 hit with “Wherever You Are.” To see him perform live, it’s easy to see how passionate this guy is about what he does, and it’s that kind of passion and dedication that won him a 2007 CMT Video of the Year award and a Top New Male Vocalist award in 2008 from the ACM. With his clear and strong lyrics, you just have to close your eyes to visualize the story Jack is telling. With success like that, it’s no wonder he captures an audience from the start with nonstop hits such as “Big Dreams & High Hopes” and the ever-popular “Barbie Doll”. His performance was as energetic as any I had ever seen, and as the crowds were leaving after-
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September 2011 - Page 19
art in the home In another realm by LaDawn Fletcher
By Joseph Kesselring Directed by David Woody
SEPTEMBER 29 & 30 OCTOBER 1, 6, 7 & 8 Reservations are recommended. Please call 903-885-0107 and leave a message.
MAIN STREET THEATRE 227 Main Street • Sulphur Springs, Texas Performed by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Page 20 - September 2011
Crossing the threshold into Huey Keeney’s living room takes you to another realm. The antique, wooden Italian table laden with English, Japanese and Chinese Imari porcelain is as majestic in its own right as the treasures it holds. Just as your eyes begin to take in the beauty of the delicate and intricate designs, more treasures in a beautiful glass case will beckon you. And flanking those cabinets are the mounted heads of deer and other animals. Drink that vision in quickly, because you really do want to see the paintings—oil and watercolors, landscape and nature scenes. The room is an appetizer of sorts, preparing you for what is to come as you venture further into the house. Keeney loves and lives art. His house is not a museum. Every magnificent antique is functional, though not necessarily as it was intended. So he allows people to sit on the Chippendale sofa, walk on the antique rugs, and press their noses up close to the original works of art that cover every potential empty space. Growing up in Houston, his parents made regular jaunts to New Orleans to purchase the antiques that furnished the home in which he grew up in the ‘60s. That initial introduction would lead to a lifelong appreciation for storied pieces of furniture. Since the time he bought his first antique piece, a bed, as a law school student, many beautiful antiques have come in and out of his life. In his spacious home, they anchor each room, serving as the perfect backdrop for his voluminous collections of art and artifacts. Work from well-known artists like Robert Wood and Thomas Moran, whose painting he hopes to have authenticated, nuzzle up to Texas artists like William Slaughter, Julian Onderdonk and Daniel
Maldonado. Keeney chooses paintings because he likes them, so his collection also includes unknown local artists. The paintings are numerous, the work intricate, and all of it appreciated by his self-taught eye. Keeney determines where each piece will go. The framed paintings cozy up to each other, sometimes displayed in rows on the wall. No space is overlooked. Small rooms, set off from larger rooms, are lavished with beautiful work, some purchased and some given to him by the artists. Each painting has a story, and Keeney seems most animated when sharing that part of the art journey. In his library, he lingered on a portrait given to him by an inmate. The beautiful watercolor rendering of Jesus was created on a prison bus. It started to rain as the artist worked on it. The streaking from the rain falls on Jesus’ face and into his collar giving it a striking appearance that still fascinates Keeney when he looks at it. From ceiling to floor, Keeney’s house is a showcase. Underfoot are antique rugs — some woven, some hunted like the polar bear rug in the small sitting room he created just off from the game room. Antique chandeliers hang in most of the rooms. Two pre-revolutionary Russian chandeliers with striking blue crystal adorn the family room where nestled among antique furniture is a well-loved La-Z boy recliner. This room demonstrates a perfect marriage of function and beauty that Keeney has created. His television is housed in a gigantic Louis XIII armoire. In one corner, Native American artifacts—cribs, war gear, and a feathered headdress command attention. Just a couple of feet away stands a floor to ceiling cabinet with vibrant blue and orange porcelain. Keeney, father to twin eight-year olds, is not the
art in the home & news least bit nervous about his belongings. His attachment is genuine but not consuming. â€œIt could all burn up tomorrow, and Iâ€™d be okay,â€? says the devout Christian. â€œGod gave it all to me, He could take it all away.â€? Keeney enjoys his collection, but it is not where his joy comes from. That sentiment also allows him to buy and sell at will. While his knowledge about pieces is vast and ever expanding, he almost always buys things because he loves them and will enjoy them. That method has resulted in some unexpected profits. While in Colorado, lamenting a melanoma diagnosis, he wandered into an antique shop where he saw a painting for sale for $125. He bought it for $115, and two months later discovered a request for works by that painter in a catalogue. He sold it for more than $40,000. To make money from his finds is nice, but for Keeney, itâ€™s never been about that. In his spare time, he peruses catalogues and makes weekend treks with his twins to estate sales and auctions throughout the state. It is really simple. â€œItâ€™s the hunt,â€? he says, with a twinkle in his eye.
Old Firehouse to begin third season The Old Firehouse will kick off its third season September 17 as they continue to bring live acoustic music to the East Texas area. This small, intimate, smoke-free and alcohol-free â€œcoffeehouseâ€? music room has made a name for itself by bringing national folk musicians, who perform all original music, to the stage in Edom. The 70-seat venue typically attracts listeners from towns in Henderson, Van Zandt, and Smith counties, but also as far away as Denton, D/FW, Waco, Austin and Houston. Once each month, audiences have an opportunity to really â€œconnectâ€? with the performers, many of whom are winners of esteemed songwriting competitions nationwide as well as veterans of the Kerrville Folk Festival and Richardson Wildflower Festival. Judy Gottesman, who operates the venue with her husband, Jeff says, â€œWeâ€™re excited about the singer/songwriters who will perform this year, and weâ€™re sure folks will find some new favorites in our line-up.â€? A concert evening typically begins with coffee and dessert available in The Old Firehouse Visual Arts Gallery followed shortly by admission to the music room. Jeff and Judy operate the venue as a labor of love not expecting to make any profit; they just want to pay the musicians and cover their overhead. Expecting record attendance this season, Jeff says, â€œFrom the interest weâ€™ve seen from folks coming out to our gallery all summer, weâ€™re hoping to see some new faces in the audience mixed with our friends from previous seasons.â€? The word continues to spread about this wonderful venue, but as Judy says, â€œWe always need and appreciate everyoneâ€™s help in spreading the word about our Concert Series.â€? The 2011-12 Season opens with David La Motte on Saturday, September 17 as part of his â€œArt of Peaceâ€? gathering in East Texas. David is an award-winning songwriter, itinerant peace activist, and a veteran of ten CDs and 2000 concerts on four continents. According to the Boston Globe, his music â€œ...pushes the envelope with challenging lyrics and unusual tunings, but he also pays homage to folk tradition.â€? Bill Nash will open for La Motte, and
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September 2011 - Page 21
theatre Theater Spotlight: The Actress, Kimberlee Martin By Emmitte Hall
903.984.1420 120 N. Kilgore Street Historic Downtown Kilgore
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I finally scored an interview with the actress Kimberlee Martin, soon to be Kimberlee Martin hyphen Ross. We set it for Tuesday, late afternoon, Starbucks at four. I knew her from her roles in Fiddler on the Roof, George M, The Sound of Music, The Miracle Worker and other plays. She is always a standout in local theater, and I was excited to meet with her in person for an exclusive interview for Theater Spotlight. I said I’d be the guy in an orange shirt with a black Nikon camera bag. Turns out I was easy to spot, as black is still the new black, and anyone at Starbucks not wearing black or gray stood out like a Brazilian coffee bean in a bag of Jamaican Blue Mountain. The Hawaiian shirt I wore had more colors than the artwork on the walls. (Note to self, beach shirt better at Breakers than at Starbucks.) I arrived early and was scoping out the menu. This is Texas, not even June yet but still hot enough to choke a fire ant and too hot for 185 degree Seattle burned dark roast java. Kim came in looking fabulous. I was the only one not wearing black, and she recognized me right off. “Try the Mocha Coconut Frappuccino,” she said. “Sounds good,” but ordered the Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino because it sounded cooler than chocolate on this steaming hot day. People were staring at Kim, trying to figure her out, and who was the island reject with all the camera equipment, and why would he be taking pictures of her, and why would she be seen with a guy with a shirt like that. “Let’s go outside,” I suggested, seeking privacy. I found a spot on the terrace (terrace in Tyler means metal chairs placed outside at the edge of the parking lot and with the haze of automotive exhaust fumes serving as ambiance.) This corner had a nice brick background, good light and privacy and I set my video camera on the tripod. Kim pulled her hair off her neck and twisted it into a bun. I turned on the video camera and reviewed the resume she had sent. Five foot-three, 98 pounds. Eyes hazel, hair brown. Vocal range Mezzo Soprano, (translation: she can hit the notes from the A below middle C up two octaves to the A way up there). Associate of Arts in Theater-TJC, BFA from SFA (Translation: Bachelors of Fine Arts from Stephen F. Austin). Three pages worth of onstage experience, acting, directing, set design, costumes, make up, stage management, voice lessons, teaching gigs, dance and acting lessons. (Impressive). Me You did Beauty and the Beast at UT Tyler when I was taking a playwriting class during my undergrad studies. The Actress Kimberlee Martin Yes, I thought you looked familiar.
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Page 22 - September 2011
Me I wrote Scratch Off Sally that semester, did you see that?
The Actress Kimberlee Martin No. Me Oh. The Actress Kimberlee Martin “But didn’t you have a play in the first Tyler Civic Theater Play Festival?” she asked, being polite. Me Yes, I did The Keys to Nevermore. Did you see that? The Actress Kimberlee Martin No. The sunlight was turning into a heat lamp, and we were getting warm. My frappuccino was sweating, and the colors began to look gooey. Me How did you get into acting? The Actress Kimberlee Martin I grew up in Dallas and went to a huge 5A High School, South Grand Prairie High and was in a big choir. My family moved to East Texas and I transferred to Lindale High School because they had sports and choir, but after my sophomore year they cancelled the choir program, so I was without a creative outlet. A friend of mine suggested I try out for the musical and may have regretted it because I got the lead in that show, and that was the end of it from there, because I was involved with theater after that. I love it. She paused and reflected on this life changing moment, having made theater her life and passion. The Actress Kimberlee Martin You find that place that feels like home, I belong here. Referring to being in the theater and around that quirky bunch of theater people who, in High School, were referred to as ‘Theater Freaks.’ Me You did a lot of college and community theater. What was your goal? The Actress Kim Martin I never felt like I had to go off to make it big in order to make a difference in the arts community in East Texas. If people don’t stay and try to build something and get more kids interested in the
theatre artsâ€Ś thatâ€™s what I wanted to do, that was more of my goal than anything, to learn the craft and be able to pass it on.
Me Where do you think the future of theater arts in East Texas is going?
Kim started teaching Theater Arts at All Saints Episcopal School in Tyler three years ago, conducting classes and directing plays such as Godspell; Guys and Dolls; and Youâ€™re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Students learn creative dramatics, audition techniques, play analysis and can participate in class productions. Before that she worked with students at Tyler Civic Theatre.
The afternoon sun began baking Kim to a nice shade of pink.
The Actress Kim Martin You find a lot of kids that are very passionate about theater in the community. Hot wind blew across the asphalt parking lot in shimmering waves like a scene from an old western movie with the blare of car horns from the Loop sounding oddly like Sergio Leone whistling in the background. Sweat began dripping from her face. Me Have you ever done TV or commercials? Kim Martin No, Iâ€™ve always preferred stage acting, because I love that rapport you get from the audience, that energy you get from them. It is funny that they will sometimes talk to you like they were watching TV, that is highly amusing. There is nothing better as an actor than when you are on stage in the middle of a monolog and you hear someone sniffle on that row (pointing to an imaginary audience member on the left) or you say something funny and you hear someone laugh over there (pointing to the right, more imaginary friends). Itâ€™s a great feeling. Me What kind of roles do you like to play? Kim Martin I like to play characters with a lot of depth, not necessarily what is written into the script, but something you can play with. Character roles are probably the most fun. Do I play a lot of character roles, not really? She stated that while being a lead was great, there were limitations to what an actor could bring to the role, because the characters were so welldefined. Character roles, she explained, had more room to establish the character and their motivation. Me Why do you act? What drives you go to auditions, take on other personas, make the commitment it takes to do a play?
Kim I see it growing a lot, I see the community expanding and branching out in subject matter. Henderson Community Theater just did One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, which was a really good production. There are a lot of great community theaters in this area, Tyler Civic Theatre, Lindale Community Theater, Quitman and Lake Country Playhouse in Mineola. Me You majored in Theater at Stephen F. Austin. Kim Iâ€™ll tell you one thing, I worked harder than any of my friends in other majors in college. Business majors had free time. I never had free time, because if I wasnâ€™t in class, I was in a scene shop or costume shop building something for one of the productions we were doing. Then I was off to rehearsals from 6:30 until after 10 at night, and then it was back to the dorms for homework. Kim says that majoring in theater in college was a huge commitment; it is not a â€˜blow offâ€™ major as some may think. But if you want to make money and be employed, she says, get into technical theater. You will rarely see a stage manager out of work. Besides plays there are concerts, Disney on Ice and many other productions need technical crews and stage electricians. Me What would you say to someone who has never acted and wanted to do some acting, be on stage, work with community theater? K Just do it; the only way to get better at auditioning is by auditioning. The nerves may never go away, but youâ€™ll get more comfortable with it. Just relax and have fun.
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Sweat dripped down Kimâ€™s face and she was slowly getting sunburned. Asphalt grit blew in from the overheated parking lot, our frappaccinoâ€™s had been sucked dry and the 5 oâ€™clock street noise was giving me a headache. The actress, Kimberlee Martin-Ross, had been a trouper, answering questions, talking about her experiences from the theater and sharing tips on auditioning for an upcoming article for closet thespians. I cut the interview short because of the heat. Kimâ€™s on-stage talent says it all: hard work, dedication, and a love of the theater and her desire for instilling that love for theater in her students. Thanks Kim!
Kim Martin Itâ€™s different for everyone. I donâ€™t really do it for the attention. I get a sense of fulfillment from it. I think acting and entertaining others is very worth while.
September 2011 - Page 23
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A monthly magazine of artists and artistic happenings in the Piney Woods region of Northeast Texas.