Archive | April, 2012

Arts History Update for just past early May 2012

28 Apr

Arts History Update for just past early May 2012 by David Cummins

 

An addition and correction needs to be made to a previous Update concerning the upcoming May 12 and May 29 elections. The Texas Legislature in 2011 responded to the decennial census by revising election districts for the Texas Legislature and U.S. Congress House of Representatives. Under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, for states with a history of voting discrimination such as Texas, a change in election districts requires pre-clearance with the U.S. Department of Justice. It refused to grant a clearance and offered to negotiate. Texas refused to negotiate so litigation ensued; viz. Perez v. State of Texas, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas [San Antonio Division] # 11-CV-360-OLG-JES-XR. A final decision in that case, imposing a compromise that did not please any of the parties, did not occur until late February 2012 so there was not time for all the pre-filing and filing periods that would need to happen before a May 12 primary election. That caused a deferral of the primary election until May 29. That meant that no precinct conventions could be held on May 29 because delegates to a county convention could not meet in time to elect delegates to the already scheduled state conventions. Thus precinct convention meetings were omitted for 2012 and the political parties held their open county conventions before any election. Lubbock County Democratic Party held its county convention at Cavazos Middle School on Saturday April 21, 2012 and Lubbock County Republican Party held its county convention at United Spirit Arena on the same day. The Democratic Party of Texas state convention will be June 7-9 in Houston while the Republican Party of Texas state convention will be on the same days in Fort Worth.

 

Accordingly, do not expect to attend a precinct convention on May 29 after the polls close. There will be none. If you attended the county convention of one of the parties on April 21 you are permitted to vote in the primary election on May 29 only of the same party whose convention you attended. If you did not attend either county convention you may vote in the primary election of the party of your choice.

 

By the way, some voters travel in the Spring, lucky them, so you may wish to know that if you will be gone during both early voting and election day, [or if you’re age 65 or older, or disabled] you can apply for a ballot by mail and you can fill it out and postmark it by election day and still exercise your electoral franchise. For the May 12 city and school district election the first day to apply is March 13 and the last day is May 4. Apply with Becky Garza, City Secretary, 1625 13th Street, Room 206 Lubbock TX 79401 phone 806-775-2061. For the May 29 primary election the first day to apply is March 30 and the last day is May 22. Apply with Dorothy Kennedy, Lubbock County Elections Office, 1308 Crickets Avenue [old Avenue G] P.O. Box 10536 Lubbock TX 79408 phone 806-775-1339. Here’s the application for a ballot by mail. http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/pol-sub/5-15f.pdf Print it, complete it, and take or mail it to Becky or Dorothy.

 

Below is the prior update language to which the above should be added.

 

May 12 is the upcoming municipal and school district election in Lubbock. Early voting is April 30 – May 8. http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us/department/division.php?fDD=15-84 Here is the sample ballot for my precinct # 60 http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us/egov/docs/1335276121_632293.pdf Only the at large position is open within the school district board of trustees, not my district # 4 position, so I can only vote for mayor, a city councilperson, and one school district trustee. If you live within district # 1, 3 or 5 you can vote for two school district trustees. If you wish to vote early, some locations are open all days from April 30 – May 8 but other locations are open only on one day, e.g. Covenant Medical Center hospital lobby May 1 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Check the website above or newspaper articles during the period. May 29 is the upcoming political party primary election for President, Congress, statewide judicial offices, Texas State Senator, Texas State Representative, Railroad Commissioner, State Board of Education, and Lubbock County Commissioner’s Court. Early voting is May 14 -25. http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us/department/division.php?fDD=15-84 July 31 is the Primary Runoff election date. Notice how many candidates there are for U.S. Senator from Texas and one can imagine a runoff between the top two candidates. There are nine Republicans and four Democrats. My precinct is # 60, Lubbock councilperson district is # 4, Lubbock Independent School District district is # 4, Congressional district is # 19, state senatorial district is # 28, state representative district is # 84, Commissioner’s Court district is # 2, County Justice of the Peace district is # 2, and State Board of Education district is # 15. Do you know your district? Texas Secretary of State Elections Office is http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections Lubbock County Office of Elections is http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us The other state representative district within Lubbock is # 83 and that is a contested Republican Party primary election position. For Republican Party candidates go to http://candidates.texasgop.org/offices For Democratic Party candidates go to http://www.txdemocrats.org/2012/ Here is a list of Independent candidates who have filed a declaration of intent with the Texas Secretary of State http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/candidates/2012ind-cand-dec-intent.pdf Registered political parties such as the Green Party and Libertarian Party are entitled to submit a slate of candidates for the general election at a later date, after their statewide conventions have determined the slate, so you may expect a few additional candidates at the general election. Looking ahead, Tuesday November 6 is the general election date in the nation. If you’ve recently moved to Texas, it is an open primary election state. That means you don’t have to register with a political party in order to appear at that party’s primary election booth. Nor do you have to establish a voting history within any political party, and you may switch political parties at the next or any future election cycle. Election workers will stamp your Voters Registration Card when you vote in a political party primary election, e.g. by stamping “Republican” within the printed “voted in the XXX Party Primary” but the voter may ignore that and vote in a Democratic Party primary in the next or any future election cycle. After the polls close, usually 7:00 p.m., at a political party primary election, you may wish to attend the precinct convention of that party, and if you are selected as a delegate or alternate or just wish to be a visitor, you may attend the later county convention of that party. If you are selected as a delegate or alternate or just wish to be a visitor, you may attend the later state convention of that party. If you are selected as a delegate or alternate you may attend the national convention of that party. Visitors usually can’t gain credentials to enter that arena, and so they watch the national convention on television. One obvious warning. If you vote in one political party’s primary election, you cannot go over to another party’s primary and vote there also. If you vote early in one political party’s primary, you may save the date of the precinct convention and show up after 7:00 p.m. on election day, but it must be the convention of the same political party in which you earlier voted and it must be your assigned precinct, not a different precinct. Actually, when I was precinct chair in a former life, and a person showed up at a precinct convention but was not assigned to that particular precinct, I allowed him/her to be a non-voting convention attendee if s/he wished to do so. One reason for that is because sometimes a political party will have pre-filed issues or resolutions that will be discussed and voted on by the precinct attendees, and it is democracy in action to take part in discussions with your neighbors about such pre-filed issues and resolutions. Each precinct will report out to the county convention the vote tally on each issue or resolution. Later the county convention will report out to the state convention the vote tally on each issue or resolution that gains enough support to go forward. Hah! You weren’t really expecting a tip or preference for any individual candidate, were you? I am not a Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian or member of any other political party, and while I vote regularly in elections, I have to admit to passing on some races since I sometimes don’t know enough about the candidates to make an informed judgment. Hopefully you become informed from trustworthy objective sources, not partisan sources, since they will prefer a demented calumnious incompetent within the political party over all other candidates. —————————-

 

Interested in a mobile or cell phone that is inexpensive? If you’re willing to forego a smart phone, camera, web surfing, etc. and just want a reliable cell phone, try Consumer Cellular and use your AARP membership [or AAA Texas membership] to gain a Doro PhoneEasy 410 phone $25 with free accessories like neck strap lanyard, mini-headphones, wall charger, and battery, $35 activation fee, $19 per month for 300 minutes, no contract to sign for any period, and cancellation within the first 45 days or 45 minutes of usage yields your money back pronto. There is no extra fee for the following capabilities Texting, FM Radio listening when you have the mini-headphones plugged in to the phone, Caller ID, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, 3-Way Conference Calling, Voicemail and International Direct Dialing. They are bundled in. https://www.consumercellular.com/partners/aarpintro.aspx Doro is a Swedish company. http://www.dorousa.us/About-Doro/ Consumer Cellular piggy-backs on the AT&T wireless phone network. Consumer Cellular is a Portland Oregon company. Phone 1-888-345-5509. It doesn’t get more inexpensive than that. If you find yourself to be a more modest user or a more intensive user, you can change plans without charge anytime for fewer or more minutes. Any overage above allocated minutes is 23.5 cents per minute so it’s wise to change a plan upward when you anticipate an overage and change it back downward when life is less hectic. You can choose a white, black or red Doro PhoneEasy 410 phone. Here’s a five minute video on how to use the phone. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq7YaFp2Lm4&feature=related Additional videos are on text messaging, emergency notification, make and receive calls, and phone book usage. Pair that cell phone with a Dell Inspiron Mini Netbook 10-1018 or 10-1012 laptop computer with ten inch diagonal screen for $259 [it’s remanufactured by Dell] with a Microsoft Windows 7 operating system, and you’ve got inexpensive mobile digital technology covered. http://www.dell.com look for Dell Outlet Laptop Inventory. http://www.dell.com/us/dfh/p/inspiron-mini-netbooks?~ck=anav You’re good to go. Get outta this house! ———————

 

Sunday May 6 from 3:00 – 11:00 p.m. EDT is a Performance and Fundraising Event Art21 Telethon at Algus Greenspon Gallery, 71 Morton Street, New York City. You can watch it online, i.e. streamed live in real time, at http://www.art21.org/telethon and if you feel moved to donate you can do so online or by telephone into the event, special phone lines being set up when the event occurs. http://algusgreenspon.com/ this happening gallery is very interesting. Have you been watching season 6 telecasts Art in the Twenty-First Century on PBS-TV over KTTZ-TV channel 5? If not, you may do so in the future on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. You can watch past episodes online at http://www.art21.org . Consider signing up for the free monthly newsletter, the latest issued April 19. http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs015/1102056357892/archive/1109798357247.html If nothing else, the program introduces us to contemporary artists and indicates what is unique and challenging about their art.

 

New approaches, techniques and materials yield outcomes that are so unfamiliar that we may respond “is that art?” but if we calm our instincts for the traditional and just enter into the conversation, we may be surprised by how pleasing the new can be. ——————–

Arts History Update for early May 2012

25 Apr

Arts History Update for early May 2012 by David Cummins

How am I doing? You think? If I don’t meet someone else’s model, how about taking on a model that fits what I’m actually doing? Eric Klinenberg, Going Solo: the Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone (Penguin Press 2012) Texas Tech Library HQ800.4.U6 K56 This sociologist tells us of recent trends whereby more Americans than ever before live alone, and through a sample of people living in Austin Texas, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco and Stockholm Sweden, he tries to assess how that’s working out.

One should be cautious about the kinds of data that social scientists amass, because they are associational data X is associated with high rates of Y and then the observing “scientist” draws a conclusion that is true only if Y is an outcome of X or X was a primary if not proximate cause of Y. When there is no proof for either, the conclusion is both wrong and misleading.

The other thing social scientists often do is that they normalize anything they are studying. It’s often humorous to see them take on as a topic aberrations from normative behavior and get so deeply involved that they project normative conditions or typing or classifications [a taxonomy] by which to describe something they earlier knew to be aberrational but now are viewing as normal within some subset of society. Trust me on this observation, a study by a social scientist does not turn the abnormal into the new normal.

Still, the topic addressed by Klinenberg and the observations he makes are fascinating even if we rightly ignore many of his conclusions. He posits the assumption, as yet unproven, that single living is an outgrowth of mainstream liberal values shared by most people in contemporary societies. He suggests that (1) women’s liberation, (2) widespread urbanization, (3) communications technology, and (4) increased longevity, converge to create cultural boundaries that he asserts give rise to higher than normal, i.e. previous, rates of single living. What his project does is to assess whether the aloneness is a pursuit of happiness outcome, or is an unwanted tolerated condition. Of course he finds the aloneness to be the new normal and these people are quite happy thank you very much.

The whole project is a bit of a construct, since the definition of aloneness for his purposes is not partnering up in the form of a marriage or what passes for marriage today by people residing together. If one were to measure aloneness by how much social contact a person has with other people, some of Klinenberg’s subjects don’t seem to be alone at all. If people are doing pretty well in life’s project, why would they care into which box the social scientist desires to place them? I’ve almost talked myself out of enjoying the book, and preferring something weightier.

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May 12 is the upcoming municipal and school district election in Lubbock. Early voting is April 30 – May 8. http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us/department/division.php?fDD=15-84 Here is the sample ballot for my precinct # 60 http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us/egov/docs/1335276121_632293.pdf Only the at large position is open within the school district board of trustees, not my district # 4 position, so I can only vote for mayor, a city councilperson, and one school district trustee. If you live within district # 1, 3 or 5 you can vote for two school district trustees. If you wish to vote early, some locations are open all days from April 30 – May 8 but other locations are open only on one day, e.g. Covenant Medical Center hospital lobby May 1 from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Check the website above or newspaper articles during the period.

May 29 is the upcoming political party primary election for President, Congress, statewide judicial offices, Texas State Senator, Texas State Representative, Railroad Commissioner, State Board of Education, and Lubbock County Commissioner’s Court. Early voting is May 14 -25. http://www.co.lubbock.tx.us/department/division.php?fDD=15-84 July 31 is the Primary Runoff election date. Notice how many candidates there are for U.S. Senator from Texas and one can imagine a runoff between the top two candidates. There are nine Republicans and four Democrats.

My precinct is # 60, Lubbock councilperson district is # 4, Lubbock Independent School District district is # 4, Congressional district is # 19, state senatorial district is # 28, state representative district is # 84, Commissioner’s Court district is # 2, County Justice of the Peace district is # 2, and State Board of Education district is # 15. Do you know your district? Texas Secretary of State Elections Office is www.sos.state.tx.us/elections Lubbock County Office of Elections is www.co.lubbock.tx.us The other state representative district within Lubbock is # 83 and that is a contested Republican Party primary election position.

For Republican Party candidates go to http://candidates.texasgop.org/offices For Democratic Party candidates go to http://www.txdemocrats.org/2012/ Here is a list of Independent candidates who have filed a declaration of intent with the Texas Secretary of State http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/forms/candidates/2012ind-cand-dec-intent.pdf Registered political parties such as the Green Party and Libertarian Party are entitled to submit a slate of candidates for the general election at a later date, after their statewide conventions have determined the slate, so you may expect a few additional candidates at the general election.

Looking ahead, Tuesday November 6 is the general election date in the nation.

If you’ve recently moved to Texas, it is an open primary election state. That means you don’t have to register with a political party in order to appear at that party’s primary election booth. Nor do you have to establish a voting history within any political party, and you may switch political parties at the next or any future election cycle. Election workers will stamp your Voters Registration Card when you vote in a political party primary election, e.g. by stamping “Republican” within the printed “voted in the XXX Party Primary” but the voter may ignore that and vote in a Democratic Party primary in the next or any future election cycle. After the polls close, usually 7:00 p.m., at a political party primary election, you may wish to attend the precinct convention of that party, and if you are selected as a delegate or alternate or just wish to be a visitor, you may attend the later county convention of that party. If you are selected as a delegate or alternate or just wish to be a visitor, you may attend the later state convention of that party. If you are selected as a delegate or alternate you may attend the national convention of that party. Visitors usually can’t gain credentials to enter that arena, and so they watch the national convention on television.

One obvious warning. If you vote in one political party’s primary election, you cannot go over to another party’s primary and vote there also. If you vote early in one political party’s primary, you may save the date of the precinct convention and show up after 7:00 p.m. on election day, but it must be the convention of the same political party in which you earlier voted and it must be your assigned precinct, not a different precinct. Actually, when I was precinct chair in a former life, and a person showed up at a precinct convention but was not assigned to that particular precinct, I allowed him/her to be a non-voting convention attendee if s/he wished to do so. One reason for that is because sometimes a political party will have pre-filed issues or resolutions that will be discussed and voted on by the precinct attendees, and it is democracy in action to take part in discussions with your neighbors about such pre-filed issues and resolutions. Each precinct will report out to the county convention the vote tally on each issue or resolution. Later the county convention will report out to the state convention the vote tally on each issue or resolution that gains enough support to go forward.

Hah! You weren’t really expecting a tip or preference for any individual candidate, were you? I am not a Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian or member of any other political party, and while I vote regularly in elections, I have to admit to passing on some races since I sometimes don’t know enough about the candidates to make an informed judgment. Hopefully you become informed from trustworthy objective sources, not partisan sources, since they will prefer a demented calumnious incompetent within the political party over all other candidates.

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Arts History Update for late April 2012

23 Apr

Arts History Update for late April 2012 by David Cummins

 

Biggs Museum of American Art, Dover Delaware presents an exhibit Picturing World War I: The American Illustration Collection of the Delaware National Guard May 4 – June 24, 2012. http://www.biggsmuseum.org/exhibitions/upcoming.html Frank E. Schoonover, Army of Occupation – Doughboys Come First (1919) http://img.artknowledgenews.com/files2012mar/Schoonover-Army-Occupation.jpg is an example of a Ladies Home Journal magazine illustration by Schoonover 1877 – 1972. Here is Schoonover’s The Young and the Old of San Mihiel Greet Their Liberators (1918) http://img.artknowledgenews.com/files2012mar/Schoonover-SanMihiel.jpg

 

Lieutenant Ernest Howard Ruffner, Chief Engineer, Department of Missouri, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers surveyed the headwaters of the Red River in 1876. http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1447&context=greatplainsresearch His watercolor painting of the area is the oldest painting of the Texas Panhandle in the collection of Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon Texas.http://www.artknowledgenews.com/2009_08_04_22_21_09_panhandle_plains_historical_museum_to_sell_museum_quality_art.html and see http://www.panhandleplains.org/pages/home.asp Eventually, in retirement, Colonel E.H. Ruffner purchased the William Howard Taft home in Cincinnatti Ohio in 1912 but that’s an irrelevant footnote to the history of art in these parts. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Howard_Taft_National_Historic_Site

 

Here is art relative to the D Day Invasion of Normandy in World War II http://www.paperlessarchives.com/d-day_art.html

 

The Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock always has a D Day Celebration on or near June 6 since the Glider Corps was created and operated in order to be singularly useful when troops crossed the channel into France. Gliders had been used in the North Africa campaign but that was basically training for the main mission of the Corps. http://www.silentwingsmuseum.com/specEvents/allSpecEvents.aspx This year the D Day Celebration will be Wednesday June 6 and the Boogie Baby C 47 aircraft, parachuting people to the ground, will be that weekend June 9-10. Silent Wings Museum is located at the west end of Preston Smith Lubbock International Airport accessed from the Interstate 27 Highway frontage road.

 

Looking ahead, a free Flag Day Concert will be held at the Buddy Holly Center’s outdoor Meadows Courtyard in the Depot District on Thursday June 14 at 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. http://www.buddyhollycenter.org/specEvents/EventsPage.aspx?ID=3416

 

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Fabiola Cabeza de Baca Gilbert 1894 – 1991 was a daughter born on an 1823 land grant in San Miguel County fifteen miles southeast of Las Vegas New Mexico out on the plains. She grew up on the ranch La Liendre as a daughter of a patrin [hacienda owner]. She spoke Spanish, English, and the languages of two Pueblo Indian tribes. She graduated from New Mexico Normal [now Highlands University] in Las Vegas in 1921 and New Mexico State University in Las Cruces in 1929 and embarked upon her 30 year career as a home economics extension agent until her retirement in 1959. She married Carlos Gilbert in 1931 and divorced ten years later. In the 1930s one leg was amputated but that did not interrupt her wide travels to rural areas carrying on her career. Her book We Fed Them Cactus (1954) is a classic in New Mexico http://www.newmexicohistory.org/filedetails.php?fileID=547 reissued in 1979 and again in 1994. Other books by her are Historic Cookery (1946 reissued several times) and The Good Life, New Mexican Traditions and Food (reissued as late as 2005) all in the Texas Tech Library. Here is Fabiola with schoolchildren http://www.nmhistorymuseum.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/FabiolaCabezadeBacaNMschoolhouse_72_3x5-300×171.jpg and Fabiola with other ladies, second from left http://www.sfnewmexican.com/assets/4423913/11107131_w650.jpg

 

Yes, her family is related to the legendary Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca 1490 – 1558 who was lost in Florida on the Narvaez Exploration from Cuba, sailed to the Galveston area and walked as slave and shaman from there to Sinaloa on the west coast of Mexico, the trek lasting from 1528 to 1536. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alvar_Nu%C3%B1ez_Cabeza_de_Vaca#Narv.C3.A1ez_Expedition_and_early_Indian_relations His journal and knowledge of Amerindians became a basic resource and reference for centuries. The film Cabeza de Vaca (1991) is a Spanish language film made in Mexico. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0101529/ Rolena Adorno, Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca: His Account, His Life, and the Expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez (University of Nebraska Press 1999) Texas Tech Library E125.N9 A25

 

Here’s the PBS-TV presentation http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/people/a_c/cabezadevaca.htm

 

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Quentin Blake — As Large as Life is a recently concluded exhibition January 12 – April 15, 2012 at The Foundling Museum 40 Brunswick Square, London England http://www.foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/view/quentin-blake-as-large-as-life/ exhibiting the much-loved British children’s illustrator. Just viewing the pages of items brings on a smile. Here is his website gallery http://www.quentinblake.com/en/ approaching eighty years of age, here is his picture and bio http://www.quentinblake.com/en/meet-qb/bio Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II named him Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE).

 

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Sacred Art in the Ethiopian highlands. Holland Carter visited Aksum the nation’s center of Orthodox Christianity, and Lalibela, a town contining eleven extraordinary churches carved from solid rock in the 13th century.http://www.thesalmons.org/lynn/wh-ethiopia.html Carter’s article follows http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/04/15/arts/design/cotter-africa-art.html?ref=design In the Gonder district on islands within Lake Tana http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Tana there are opulent religious monasteries and other locations brimming with art, priceless religious art. http://www.impetusinmundum.de/documentation/Album.html?Bildliste=5a0c198f-5a0c19cc&Region=Lake+Tana Aksum is in the far north of the country near the border with Eritrea http://wysinger.homestead.com/aksum.html . Lalibela is 200 miles south and a little east. The Gonder district and Lake Tana are 150 miles west of Lalibela. The city of Bahir Dar is on the southern tip of Lake Tana and the city of Gonder is north of Lake Tana, the headwaters of the Blue Nile River.

http://www.ethiopiantreasures.co.uk/

 

Here is a website for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church http://www.ethiopianorthodox.org/english/indexenglish.html Church of St. Mary of Zion in Aksum http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ethiopia/axum-church-of-mary-of-zion.htm The Ark of the Covenant is said to be contained within the Treasury building behind the main Church http://www.sacred-destinations.com/ethiopia/axum-ark-of-covenant Inquirers and visitors have not been allowed within to verify that assertion.

 

Archbishop Abuna Yesehaq Mandefro, The Ethiopian Tewahedo Church: An Integrally African Church (Winston-Derek Pub. 1997) is an English language introduction to the church by its patriarch for the western hemisphere who visited Jamaica and baptized Bob Marley and other Rastafarians. The Archbishop died in Newark New Jersey in 2005. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abuna_Yesehaq More on the Rastafari movement http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rastafari

 

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Huntington, NY .- The Heckscher Museum of Art is pleased to present “Max Weber on Long Island” which will be on view from April 28th through August 5th. Max Weber, who lived on Long Island from 1920 until his death, was among the most influential American artists of the 20th century. Although celebrated today for introducing Cubism to America, Weber was better known during his lifetime (1881- 1961) for his Paul Cézanne-inspired works of the 1920s and 1930s and his later lyrical expressionism. Max Weber on Long Island presents new scholarship on Weber through a selection of two dozen of the artist’s finest Long Island landscapes. Focusing on the land and its domestic and industrial structures at varying times of the year, these works reveal the range of modernist strategies for which Weber was so acclaimed.  http://www.heckscher.org/pages.php?which_page=exhibition_detail&which_exhibition=93

 

The Barn (1922) could as well have been a California scene, and Landscape (1928) an upstate New York rural area, but A Cold Sky (1947) is an expressionist masterpiece for the Island. I lived there once. http://www.heckscher.org/pages.php?which_page=exhibition_more_images&which_exhibition=93 Max Weber lived at Great Neck Long Island from 1929 until his death in 1961. From that vantage one can look across the isthmus of Long Island Sound to the Bronx. http://www.answers.com/topic/max-weber-politician In those days a Long Islander would likely have expressed disdain for what he imagined about the Bronx. During a time before hard drugs and gangs, I rather liked the earthy blue collar teeming Bronx, but then I was not a gentrified Long Islander.

 

Weber put together a 64 page book of his work, with his photo on the cover. Max Weber (American Artists Group 1945) Texas Tech Library ND237.W37 A5. See also R. Scott Harnsberger, Four Artists of the Stieglitz Circle: Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin and Max Weber (Greenwood Press 2002) Tech Library N6512.5.S75 H37

 

In looking through libraries be sure to exclude the greater number of works dealing with Max Weber, the German social theorist of an earlier generation born in 1864. Max Weber, the artist, immigrated to the United States from Russia at age ten, studied under Arthur Dow, went to Paris to study modernism, and returned to the United States to present his interpretations of modernism for an appreciative audience. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Weber_(artist)

 

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Arts History Update for mid April 2012

10 Apr

Arts History Update for mid April 2012 by David Cummins

 

On Thursday April 5, 2012 a federal judge, Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia http://www.dcd.uscourts.gov/dcd/collyer , approved a settlement to resolve mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure abuses by major banks and other lending institutions. The approved amount is $25 billion and the five defendants who offered that huge amount are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, and Ally Financial [formerly GMAC or General Motors Acceptance Corporation http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ally_Financial ]. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/judge-approves-foreclosure-deal-with-banks/2012/04/05/gIQAjNpWyS_story.html

 

Plaintiffs were U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as the Attorneys General of 49 states. This is the largest joint federal-state settlement ever obtained. The settlement was reached in February 2012 but was not effective until approved by the court. That occurred on Wednesday and was announced on Thursday. What it covers and which mortgagees will benefit is addressed in Hawaii as follows http://hawaii.gov/dcca/dfi/news-releases/multistate-mortgage-foreclosure-settlement.html

 

The financial institutions collapse in 2008, causing a nationwide recession, was not fortuitous. Some people forget that it occurred because of lack of regulation following the Congressional repeal of the boundary [Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glass%E2%80%93Steagall_Act was repealed by Graham-Leach-Billey Act of 1999] between commercial banking and investment banking that had lasted for 66 years, and some people forget that it occurred because of greedy and tortious behavior by the executives of very large corporations, some self-regarded as “too big to be allowed to fail”. Lehman Brothers Kuhn Loeb was wrong about that, but Goldman Sachs and Ally Financial inter alia were rescued by the federal government. Some of the price for being rescued is being paid in the form of this combined $25 billion settlement. Another price is a bevy of new regulations under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodd%E2%80%93Frank_Wall_Street_Reform_and_Consumer_Protection_Act

 

From a legal perspective, I like to see a number of states through their Attorneys General get together and cooperate with each other and with the federal Attorney General to take on daunting and difficult litigation. In 2010 they formed a temporary entity to carry this through, called Mortgage Foreclosure Multistate Group MFMG.

 

Earlier in 2010 Countrywide Home Loans Inc. settled with the Federal Trade Commission for $108 million because of its collecting excessive fees from homeowners facing foreclosure.

 

Most Americans including me were astonished to learn of such sharp practices by mortgage lenders at big institutions. We thought they were leaders in mortgage lending. It turns out that small market mortgage lenders like those in West Texas were behaving properly while the large market national lenders were behaving badly.

 

Are the benefits of capitalism flowing to the wrong capitalists, the behemoths rather than mid-size and smaller firms that do much of the heavy lifting in our society? Is this what Occupy Wall Street was or is trying to tell us? Are they saying that all of us who have been mini-capitalists and believe in capitalism are witnessing that a few behemoths are sucking all the air out of capitalism and the rest of us are living on fumes within a vapid shell of capitalism that Adam Smith, Scottish economist and moral philosopher, would not recognize. Yes, he the author of An Inquiry Into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (W. Strahan & T. Cadell 1776). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wealth_of_Nations One of the problems may be that the behemoths are financial cronies on Capitol Hill with the folks who make the rules and drool and dribble out the money.

 

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Paul Rudolph designed Orange County New York Government Center (1967) in Goshen New York. It now sits empty and crumbling, amid a debate whether to save or demolish it

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/07/arts/design/unloved-building-in-goshen-ny-prompts-debate-on-modernism.html?_r=1&src=me&ref=general# It is an example of the Brutalism style of architecture that finds few contemporary advocates. Paul Rudolph Foundation http://www.paulrudolph.org/ Paul Rudolph 1918 – 1997 was dean of Yale University School of Architecture and had designed its building prior to his six year deanship commencing in 1958. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Rudolph_(architect)

 

Anytime a single piece of architecture is put up for a public plebiscite, it fails. Architecture is not a function of popularity. Indeed, if it received widespread public approval, that might be reason enough to consider revising if not tearing down the structure. The best that can happen from a New York Times article on April 7, 2012 is that someone with deep pockets will hear of the plight of the building and rescue it by purchase, employ professionals to renovate and retrofit it to total functionality, and search for an occupant[s]. When the people of Goshen interact with a sleek revised dynamic structure their tune may change, but who cares about an ephemeral tune?

 

Charles R. Smith, Paul Rudolph and Louis Kahn: A Bibliography (Scarecrow Press 1987) Texas Tech Architecture Library NA712.S63

 

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Shigeru Ban designed apartment houses in New York City are referred to as Metal Shutter Houses

http://www.metalshutterhouses.com/content/default.htm because when the metal shutter is drawn there is complete privacy from outside views into the apartments and protection from weather. When the shutter is open there is partial privacy. When the shutter is withdrawn the balcony space is open. When the window wall is withdrawn the interior space is itself a cantilevered extended balcony bringing the outside into the apartment [except that there is an invisible air lock barrier that separates air temperature between outside and inside the apartment]. Thus there are zones of relationship between the outside and the apartment’s interior and the occupant controls those zones.

 

Shigeru Ban Architects http://www.shigerubanarchitects.com/

 

In a dense urban setting such as Manhattan, this works best when the apartments are well above street level so that there is no interaction with street movement. One does not want street people or vehicles moving into or near the balcony or withdrawn window wall spaces.

 

In a suburban setting one imagines this scheme would work best on a lower level only in relation to an enclosed courtyard, or onto a securely enclosed back yard. Even then one would have to build up the yard enclosure to deflect viewing by neighbors from their second story windows. When imagining how this might work in a West Texas setting, it is bemusing to compare it to the pioneer settler homes in which there was an open “dog trot” space for wind to cool a shaded area between the occupied framed boxes on either side of the “dog trot”. The Japanese architect updates this concept by making the structure adjustable and then putting the occupant in control of the adjustment.

 

Clarkwestern Dietrich Building Systems is a metal stud and framing producer and supplier for structures that are metal and mechanical in nature. http://www.clarkdietrich.com/ Interior design can then be any material of choice. If a shutter can be metal why not the entire support and framing?

 

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The Guardian (2002) by sculptor Enoch Kelly Haney is a seventeen foot statuary of a generic Indian [Oklahoma is home to 39 tribes] that was placed on top of the Oklahoma State Capitol building dome. It is a composite of physical and spiritual characteristics of Indians from all those tribes, expressed within a single muscular male figure. Haney is a Seminole-Creek enrolled member of the Seminole tribe. He served in the Oklahoma legislature as a representative and senator as well as being a councilman in the Seminole Nation. http://www.kellyhaney.com/Twenty-one inch replicas of The Guardian may be purchased. http://kellyhaney.com/index.php/sculpture-gallery/the-guardian He stands his ground overlooking Oklahoma http://www.seminolenation-indianterritory.org/ekhaney.htm Both the Seminole and Creek are among the Anglo-described Five Civilized Tribes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Civilized_Tribes and the federal government recognizes both the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The latter are descendants of Seminole who were unconquered by government forces and not forced west to Indian Territory in modern Oklahoma.

 

Allan Houser [Anglicized from Haozous] is another Oklahoma born sculptor and painter who was a Warm Springs Chiricahua Apache http://www.allanhouser.com/ whose home ground was southern New Mexico and Arizona. That tribe and their leader Geronimo were captured in 1886 and taken to Florida and then Alabama and finally to Indian Territory and the Fort Sill prison and later the nearby reservation. His parents were released and chose to remain in Indian Territory whereas some freed Apache made the trip back to southern New Mexico. Allan Haozous, known to the art world as Allan Houser, was born a free Apache in 1914 near Apache Oklahoma and died in 1994. His sculpture As Long as the Waters Flow (1989) is installed on the Oklahoma State Capitol grounds. http://images.search.yahoo.com/r/_ylt=A2KJkK26IYRPgXEA0eujzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBpcGszamw0BHNlYwNmcC1pbWcEc2xrA2ltZw–/SIG=13vkc87b8/EXP=1334088250/**http%3a//www.arts.ok.gov/Art_at_the_Capitol/Capitol_Collection/Houser/As_Long_as_the_Waters_Flow_Details.html Here’s another view http://www.flickr.com/photos/joe_butler/1101599609/?q=as%20long%20as%20the%20waters%20flow

 

His sons Phillip and Bob Haozous worked on a studio for their father at a rural location 25 miles south of Santa Fe New Mexico. It is now known as the Allan Houser Compound and contains his Studio, the Sculpture Gardens, House Archives, Visitors Center, and Gallery located between the towns of Cerrilos and Galisteo. It is open to the public by appointment and may be rented for special occasions. Phone 505-471-1528. http://www.okhistory.org/unconquered/index.html This is an excellent overview of the Allen Houser legacy titled Unconquered: Allen Houser and the Legacy of One Apache Family.

 

A series of You Tube videos depicts the life, career and works of art by Allan Houser http://www.youtube.com/user/allanhousergallery?feature=watch He left Oklahoma in 1934 at age 20 to attend the Santa Fe Indian School studying in Dorothy Dunn’s newly established Indian Art Studio, and the rest as they say is history. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Houser Shortly before his death he was presented the National Medal of the Arts by President H.W. Bush in 1992 in the White House.

 

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Charles Barsotti cartoons are on sale here http://www.condenaststore.com/-st/Charles-Barsotti-Prints_c146951_.htm?utm_medium=email&utm_content=4488930&utm_campaign=201204-Barsotti-TNYS&utm_source=TNYS-Customers No it may not be great art, but everything has its place. A bad jest may redeem itself by having a better for its sequel, but it may partially redeem itself by being followed by silence…. suitable blessed silence. Some cartoons are satire and “the province of satire is wit, and when wit goes wrong it signifies not a tactical error but a defect of mind” says David Bromwich. This it seems to me, is too heavy a verdict.

 

A recent exhibition September 13, 2011 – March 4, 2012 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2011/infinite-jest–caricature-and-satire-from-leonardo-to-levine Caricature alone lets the image do the speaking by taking the features of a well-known person and extending them to depict a quality of that person, not often to his own liking or even recognition. Satire can extend it further by providing a verse.

 

David Levine 1926 – 2009 could tell a story in caricature http://www.nybooks.com/galleries/david-levine-illustrator/ he drew many political figures and repeatedly drew presidents during their term in office. Who can forget The Vietnam Scar (May 12, 1966) depicting Lyndon Johnson pulling open his shirt to expose a gall bladder removal scar in the shape of Vietnam? http://www.themontrealreview.com/pics/johnson_lyndon.gif Here’s some detail http://pasleybrothers.com/jeff/writings/showing_the_scars.htm regarding the October 25, 1965 shirt-lifting episode at Bethesda Naval Hospital.

 

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Arts History Update for Friday April 20, 2012

8 Apr

Arts History Update for Friday April 20, 2012 by David Cummins

 

By request from two Update readers, you are invited to consider the annual Spring Into Green Conference on April 20 from 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. followed by a reception with the speakers http://www.lubbockspringintogreen.org/ registration is only $25 and that includes a Chipotle catered lunch. The location is LHUCA the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts at 511 Avenue K in the Firehouse Theatre with lunch in the Icehouse building, also on the center campus at 511 Avenue J.

 

Green for this purpose means the United States Green Building Council, a national organization, and the West Texas Branch of that organization puts on the annual Spring Into Green Conference in Lubbock. Now you know the genesis of the title. The branch has monthly lunches and other events throughout the year and it’s fascinating to listen to enthusiastic professionals in the construction landscaping and ecology industries, especially when they are introducing technologies and techniques that are on the cusp.

 

The theme this year is Water: The West Texas Update and what could be more appropriate as we experienced two years of drought, are under stage 2 water restrictions in Lubbock, and may be headed into a third drought year. One person’s difficulties can be another’s good fortune, and in the case of T. Boone Pickens and Mesa Water being unable to sell the DFW Metroplex on financing a water pipeline from Roberts County wells to the Metroplex, that allowed the Canadian River Municipal Water Authority to purchase those groundwater rights from Mesa Water and keep water flowing in Amarillo and South Plains cities even though the Lake Meredith reservoir had dried up during the drought. A reprieve is not a solution. For that, attend the conference and learn about previously unknown options.

 

A free event the evening before, on Thursday April 19, begins with a reception at 5:30 p.m. at the new Rawls College of Business Administration 703 Flint Avenue at Texas Tech University, followed by a presentation of the 4th annual GREEN award, and then a short 8 minute film virtual tour of the building, the first large structure in the South Plains to be LEED Certified. http://www.rawlsnews.ba.ttu.edu/index.php/2012/03/fourth-annual-spring-into-green-conference/ Then Brock Dolman, director of a Water Institute at Occidental Arts & Ecology Center in Sonoma County http://www.oaecwater.org/ , will speak. Who is Brock Dolman? He’s “pragmatically active in the social and political application of permaculture principles for regenerative cultural transformation”. That mouthful means he lives in an “intentional” Sowing Circle Residential Community that he co-founded, translate: Utopian ecologically focused community. He walks his talk. If the Russians drop a bomb he survives whereas you and I are flotsam. http://www.regenerativedesign.org/brockbio He is an instructor at Regenerative Design Institute at Commonweal Garden in Bolinas California. Here’s the website for the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center 65 miles north of San Francisco in Sonoma County, specifically 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental CA 95465. It looks like a fascinating place. http://www.oaec.org/

 

I have been on two tours of the Rawls COBA building since its opening in January and haven’t yet seen it all. Go with a knowledgeable guide to learn about windows in which the glass is constructed so as to block some ultraviolet rays and decrease air conditioning costs in warm weather and heating costs in cold weather. When it does rain, water is caught, channeled and recirculated. In the restroom the urinal has no external control to flush and it doesn’t flush after each use. It’s obvious that in some way there is a measurement of liquid displacement by weight or mass so that a flushing is triggered on an as needed basis. Urine is not pooled visibly and there is no odor so the function is not offensive. When one recalls that two former dormitory buildings were demolished to make space for Rawls COBA, be aware that many basic materials from those buildings were folded into the base of the new Rawls, a recycling use of building materials. Urge your guide to tell you about it. There have been advertised public tours of the building but you may call the Dean’s office and schedule one or discover the next pre-scheduled event; phone 806-742-3188 or email rawls_inquiry@ttu.edu The building cost about $70 million.

 

What is LEED Certification? LEED is an acronym for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design that arose out of the U.S. Green Building Council’s project to create nationwide standards for constructing better buildings, and to educate people in the building industry in how to do that. Individuals can become certified in their careers, and structures can be given a LEED rating at different levels depending upon outcomes that are tested and measured. It is for this reason that we know the Rawls COBA is and will be LEED certified but we actually don’t know at what level until some time passes and it can be fully tested and measured. It was designed to be a LEED certified structure. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leadership_in_Energy_and_Environmental_Design

 

The Student Services Building (2010) at University of Texas at Dallas is the first academic structure in Texas to be awarded a LEED Certification at the Platinum level http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:UT_Dallas_Student_Service_Building.JPG

 

For further information about this event or inquiries about United States Green Building Council please contact USGBC West Texas Branch, P.O. Box 94873 Lubbock TX 79493 or email westtexasbranch@usgbcnorthtexas.org or hugh.cronin@ttu.edu

 

 

Arts History Update for just after early April 2012

6 Apr

Arts History Update for just after early April 2012 by David Cummins 

Photos: The Hotel World’s Most Striking Architecture, Budget Travel Magazine from an article Eleven New (within last four years) Hotel Wonders http://www.budgettravel.com/slideshow/photos-the-hotel-worlds-most-striking-architecture,8367/?src=inset Only a few of these are less than $250 per night so this is not budget traveling as the name of the magazine would imply. Still, one is sleeping and wandering about in a building and space that is the product of genius exuding from the minds of architects, engineers and interior designers. The hotel is the destination so the price is for the physical and aesthetic journey, not the sleepover. Splurge.

 

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The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival is steeped in history and prestige and consists of a range of talks, discussions, debates and literary lunches and dinners in the surroundings of the Christ Church and Corpus Christi Colleges at Oxford University. It featured more than 550 speakers over 9 days March 24 – April 1, 2012. http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/news Here’s the final weekend lineup of speakers, awards and events. http://oxfordliteraryfestival.org/news/article/award-winners-head-line-up-for-festival-finale Literary phobics must be salivating and planning their trip next year.

 

If you can’t make it across the pond, the Texas Book Festival, on a different order of prestige and magnitude, is scheduled for October 27-28, 2012 in Austin http://texasbookfestival.org/2012_Festival_Details.php The Festival has financed more than $2.3 million in grants to public libraries in Texas so it’s a good cause as well as a good event. In fact it’s more than an annual event since there are post-Festival and pre-Festival events in Austin, San Antonio and other locations but not yet in the Llano Estacado. Literary discussions, author meetings and book signings are free while party or music events carry a modest price. Annual membership in the non-profit organization is available for $50. Test out their sense of humor by telling them you live close to the New Mexico border and enclose a check for $8.50. My guess is that you will be a new member.

 

Won’t go out of town? Texas Tech University Press has a Literary Lubbock event on Thursday May 3, 2012 featuring seven of the Press’s authors introducing their recent books, hawking and signing copies. Andy Wilkinson is the master of ceremonies at the dinner and wine pairing gala, tickets at $60. http://ttupress.org/LiteraryLubbock Top Tier Catering is a fancy [image driven] name for Texas Tech’s own catering and dining facility that serves many Tech locations including the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. When it performs for a sit down white tablecloth dinner, you can expect a high quality meal and on this occasion a series of wine-pairing sippings and sloshings. If you go overboard with the nectar of the Gods you’re among friends who will pour you into their cars and drive you home.

 

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The Thundering Herd, Official Newsletter of Caprock Canyons State Park & Trailway near Quitaque Texas can be obtained by contacting Park Ranger Le’ Ann Pigg at 806-455-1492 or email le’ann.pigg@tpwd.state.tx.us website http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/caprock_canyons/ the current issue describes with photographs the Spring blooming that is going on.

 

Another tour into nature is northwest of Lubbock toward the National Wildlife Refuge http://www.fws.gov/southwest/refuges/texas/muleshoe/ [two saline lakes and a series of playas with fresh water at some times of the year, probably on the trail route of U.S. Army Captain Randolph Marcy in1852 and later explorations http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fma43 because on the earlier Comanchero route and earlier than that on the Native American route across the fearful and sometimes waterless llano] outside of Muleshoe Texas twenty miles to the south. Jude R. Smith is the manager. http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2012/mar/threedays_muleshoe/?utm_campaign=march2012&utm_medium=email&utm_source=tpwmageblast In town one visits the Muleshoe Monument and Muleshoe Heritage Center, learning how the XIT Ranch embraced this area. When it was being broken up E.K. Warren purchased several pieces and named it Muleshoe Ranch. The town was named for the ranch which was crossed by a railroad at the point that is now the town. At the Center one explores the Santa Fe Railway Depot that was moved to this location and restored in 1987, and the John H. Janes two-story historic ranch home moved to this site. Leal’s Mexican Restaurant and the Dinner Bell are two tasty restaurant choices in Muleshoe. There may be others.

 

No fewer than 25 items in the Texas Tech Library relate to the explorations of Captain Randolph Marcy in the Southwest following his service in the War of 1846 with Mexico and preceding his service in the Civil War in 1861. He explored the headwaters of both the Red River and the Brazos River so he definitely traversed the South Plains and recorded the experience. His writings were studied by Colonel Ranald Mackenzie during the Red River War of 1874-1875. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Randolph_B._Marcy

 

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Architectural marvels are sometimes a one upsmanship game. On Friday March 30, 2012 the final bit of steel was hoisted up on the new Shard building being constructed at London Bridge in London England. With that bit of steel it stands at 1,017 feet tall, Europe’s tallest building [for the moment]. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/the-shard-draws-itself-up-to-its-full-height-7604142.html Renzo Piano is the architect and construction is financed by Qatari investors http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shard_London_Bridge while Great Britain is in financial doldrums. June 2012 is still on the schedule as an opening date for the building. http://rpbw.com/ At Piano’s website Renzo Piano Building Workshop it is known as London Bridge Tower and you may see drawings and images.

 

Yes it’s on the south side of the Thames River, that section of the city known as Southwark. At one time this was low rent district London that looked across the stream toward the gentry. http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/200159/history_of_southwark Playhouses like The Rose, The Swan, The Globe, and The Hope, all slightly risque in Shakespeare’s day, were in Southwark at Bankside. http://www.southwark.gov.uk/info/200159/history_of_southwark/1013/shakespeares_southwark The Anchor Bankside Pub is centuries old, visited by Dr. Samuel Johnson repeatedly in the 18th century, but tracing its history back to the 16th century. http://ronald-campbell.suite101.com/five-historic-london-pubs-a283295

 

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Art21: Art in the Twenty-First Century http://www.pbs.org/art21/watch-now/trailer-season-6-of-art-in-the-twenty-first-century-2012 season six begins Friday April 13, 2012 on KTTZ-TV channel 5 at 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. focusing again on contemporary artists and what impels and motivates their boundary piercing work. Sometimes it’s so novel we have to ask, is that art? We should do so not in a dismissive or negative way with a conclusion built in to the question, but in a querelous manner to invite revelation of the characteristics of the piece that reflect qualities that make something art.

 

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Lawyer-Nursing Home Owner George D. Houser on Monday April 2, 2012 was Convicted in a $33 Million Health Care Fraud. He opted for a bench trial without a jury, in part because he had endured previous civil lawsuits that went to jury verdict resulting in $43 million in judgments against him. He filed for bankruptcy prior to those civil judgments http://rn-t.com/pages/full_story/push?article-Houser+found+guilty+on+all+charges%20&id=18083159&instance=home_news

The Rome Georgia newspaper said: An attorney faces a maximum of 20 years in prison after being convicted of failing to provide nursing home services for which he collected $32.9 million in Medicare and Medicaid payments. A federal court concluded that the evidence revealed such poor conditions, including “food shortages bordering on starvation … that, in essence, any services that defendant actually provided were of no value to the residents.” Prosecutors said George D. Houser is the first defendant ever convicted in a federal court trial for submitting payment claims for “worthless services.”

 

Here’s the 34 page indictment in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Rome Georgia Division 4:10 CR 12 http://assets.matchbin.com/sites/274/assets/JKF2_Houser_Indictment.pdf in April 2010.

 

The evidence showed that Mr. Houser drained funds from the three nursing homes he owned and operated to support his flashy lifestyle while patients were malnourished and inadequately cared for. The funds were received from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. We regret that the system for serving vulnerable people was gamed by this very bad person, but we are glad that folks stepped in, both private folks and public law enforcement, to put a stop to this and render him accountable and to prosecute the offender. Operations of the nursing homes were turned over to other people even before the indictment was filed. Now that he’s convicted of a felony involving moral turpitude we assume the Georgia bar will strip him of his law licensure. Wouldn’t it be ironic if, as a former lawyer untrusted and unemployable and broke, he ultimately found his way into a nursing home as a patient?

 

This jerk stretched my patience to the breaking point. When we know where he’ll be incarcerated and for how long, I am planning to ship him a copy of Dostoyevsky’s Crime & Punishment.

 

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Under Performing is a recent solo exhibition January 7 – February 25, 2012 by the film video artist Brian Bress at Cherry and Martin Gallery in Los Angeles

http://www.cherryandmartin.com/exhibitions/98 If it’s not immediately clear what he is doing in an exhibition the following is the initial image of a 30 minute looping [repeating] video on a high definition television type monitor situated on the Gallery wall. This one’s called Cowboy (2012) http://www.cherryandmartin.com/exhibitions/98/3 This exhibition was reviewed favorably by Doug Harvey in Art In America Magazine http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/reviews/brian-bress/

 

Another film video artist Robert Heinecken was featured a year earlier in the same gallery, and the following write-up is very clear about what happened during that exhibition http://www.contemporaryartdaily.com/2011/03/robert-heinecken-at-cherry-and-martin/

 

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Billy Collins, poet, is coming to the Student Union Building’s Allen Theatre on the campus of Texas Tech University Friday April 20, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. Here are 42 of his poems that you may read and ponder. http://www.poemhunter.com/billy-collins/poems/page-1/?a=a&l=1&y= At a price of only $15 the evening will likely be a sellout so get your tickets quickly at Select a Seat http://www.depts.ttu.edu/cvpa/college/president/2011-12/BillyCollins.asp He was the United States Poet Laureate, and the New York State Poet Laureate. He is regarded by many as the most accessible American poet of all time. So if you remember reading T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland (1922) and scratching your head, promising yourself to give serious poets a wide berth, you can give Collins a try without jarring your brain. Test that proposition by clicking on one of those 42 poems above, and do this, read it, but then the second time speak it, and you will quickly discover that speaking a poem seems to bring its potential to life. http://www.ticketsage.com/_lubbock/ $12 plus $3 service charge at Select a Seat.

 

Here’s another group of Billy Collins poems http://www.poetryfoundation.org/search/?q=billy+collins Garrison Keillor and Billy Collins combine on an American Masters film in a You Tube 8 minute segment http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BdCUMm-aas that is more slapstick than poetry. It proves that Collins is a playful soul.

 

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Arts History Update for April 6, 2012

2 Apr

The Art of Elizabeth Skidmore Sasser & Friends

 

 

Art Show andSale

OpeningApril 6, 2012

FirstFridayArtTrail

Charles Adams Gallery

604 Avenue J

 

 

Elizabeth Skidmore “Betsy” Sasser servedTexasTechUniversityon the faculty of theCollegeofArchitecturefrom 1949 until her retirement in 1990.  Throughout her time in Lubbock Elizabeth wrote a number of articles on artists and their work along with numerous books on art, architecture, and ethnography. Elizabethpassed away in 2005.

 

Tom Sasser taught art atLevellandJunior High Schoolfrom soon after his arrival inLubbockin 1949 until his retirement in 1990.  He worked withElizabethon numerous books and has been a practitioner in many artistic pursuits to this day.

 

Last year Tom made the decision to discontinue maintaining a residence and has moved to an apartment in Carillon.  Hard decisions had to be made regarding which pieces of art accompanied him to his new one bedroom apartment and which did not.  The pieces that have not made the move are the content of this show and sale.

 

AlthoughElizabethstopped producing artworks in the mid-1950s, there is a wonderful group of works in this exhibition.  The variety is staggering with works produced when she attendedOhioStateUniversityand studied under the pioneer watercolorist Alice Schille; student projects; commercial art works produced for the Columbus Coated Textile company and freelance art presentations.

 

Tom and Elizabeth collected works by Texas Tech faculty and students as well as southwestern and other nationally known artists.  Artists whose works are in this collection include Frank Cheatham, Ken Dixon, Hugh Gibbons, Lynwood Kreneck, Real Musgrave, Francis Stephen, and Jean Verame among many others.

 

This exhibition is a window into the exceptional lives of two very special people.  Take a few minutes and visit Charles Adams Gallery.  It will be time well spent.

 

Tom Shubert

Arts History Update for early April 2012

2 Apr

Arts History Update for early April 2012 by David Cummins

 

 

County Court at Law Judge William Adams, Aransas County, Rockport, Texas was caught on video beating his 16 year old daughter Hillary, afflicted with cerebral palsy, in 2004. http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=/watch%3Fv%3D0drbwtv6c-w That daughter, now a 23 year old, posted the video on You Tube in the Fall of 2011, causing a firestorm of outrage and disapproval for the sitting judge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FtZkBr2Icc&feature=related His “that was then this is now” defense for what he did to a daughter who ended up in the custody of her mother after a divorce, did not gain traction. The county prosecutor announced that the statute of limitations had run on the offense of physical mistreatment of a child, and that Judge Adams would not be criminally prosecuted. Public reaction expressed further disapproval. A complaint against the judge was filed with the Texas Commission on Judicial Conduct in Austin. The Commission issued a public statement on Nov. 3, 2011 http://www.scjc.state.tx.us/pdf/PublicStatement.pdf The Supreme Court of Texas ruled on November 22, 2011 that pending a full evidentiary hearing on that complaint, Judge Adams is immediately suspended from his office as judge, with pay. http://www.supreme.courts.state.tx.us/miscdocket/11/11923000.pdf We await the full hearing and wonder if Judge Adams’s suspension will be vacated and if he will be allowed to resume his office, or if his office will be vacated.

 

County Court at Law judges exercise jurisdiction over family law and domestic relations matters, inter alia. Is the public’s confidence in Judge Adams irrevocably lost? Would this be an appropriate use of a recall election technique to let the electorate decide? Just starting the recall procedure might draw an immediate resignation and put an end to this sordid affair. First, we should be patient and let the Commission on Judicial Conduct perform its function.

 

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Tate Modern is located south of the Thames River in London and is the site of a former public utility steam power plant that was retrofitted as a museum. The area is called Bankside. www.tate.org.uk/modern here’s a great photo http://assets.artfinder.com/181/b9f77e23a02e1a2a5f459ebfb5125b04da48-tate-modern.jpg that captures the enormity of the facade as one approaches the museum. It reminds one of Moscow and the Stalin era architectural monumentalism devoid of aesthetic, but that is only because it was once a power plant and the exterior remains of that visage.

 

Tate Britain is located on the A3212 road in the Millbank Westminster section of London. www.tate.org.uk/britain

 

Victoria and Albert Museum is on Cromwell Road south of Hyde Park in the Knightsbridge section of London. www.vam.ac.uk

 

National Portrait Gallery is on St Martin’s Place in The City section north of the Strand road. www.npg.org.uk

 

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Francesca Woodman: Photographs is at the Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street) in the Upper East Side, New York City March 16 – June 13, 2012. http://www.guggenheim.org/new-york/exhibitions/on-view/francesca-woodman Woodman 1958 – 1981 picked up photography at age 13 and nine years later jumped off a building in lower Manhattan at age 22. In her short life she often posed for the camera “because I’m available”. She left as a body of work 800 photographs and videos, surreal in the tradition of Man Ray and Claude Cahun. The exhibit was organized by and first appeared at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Here’s a slide show of eleven photographs in the exhibit http://www.artfinder.com/play/collection/francesca-woodman/1/#1 from the collection of her parents George and Betty Woodman. http://www.artinfo.com/news/story/753440/see-the-haunting-portraiture-of-francesca-woodman-at-sfmoma

 

Her last large scale project was Caryatid (1980), caryatid being a female-shaped supporting pillar, usually a column in the shape of a draped female figure supporting a structure such as a frieze or porch of a classical Greek temple. She was a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and could make the leap from 2,500 years ago to post-modernism. Here’s a recordation of her life and its significance to others including writers of books and two documentary films about her http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francesca_Woodman Because of all this current interest, now seems to be the period of time for addressing her, albeit thirty years on. Perhaps the shocking and tragic manner of her death prevented the art world from doing so in the 1980s.

 

Mirror Images: Women, Surrealism, and Self-Representation (ed. Whitney Chadwick, MIT Press 1998) Texas Tech Library N8354.M57 these pages include extracts from her journals and portfolios

 

Chris Townsend, Francesca Woodman (Phaidon 2006) Texas Tech Library OVERSZ TR647.W65

 

 

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 I am following the U.S. Supreme Court’s sessions on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act of 2010. It is quite unusual for the court to set aside six hours over three days for oral arguments. That is now completed and the matter is in the court’s hands. We can expect a decision by late May at the earliest. In the larger scheme of things, the court’s decision is not the final word.

 

If the court upholds the individual mandate, then the matter is in the electorate’s hands with Republican presidential and Congressional candidates firmly promising to repeal the statute and Democratic candidates promising to retain it. Hypothetically, If Romney were to be president but the Congress partially Democratic the statute would roll down the road and become fully effective. If Obama were re-elected and the Congress continued to be split with a Republican House and Democratic Senate, the statute would also roll down the road and become fully effective.

 

If the court strikes down the individual mandate, whether or not it allows the rest of the statute to stand, the Act cannot effectively address the health care crisis in the country so the political alternative will be to go to a single payer “Medicare for everybody” plan or to junk the statute and ignore the crisis for twenty or thirty years. Why is that so? Because the Congressional compromise in enacting the statute was to gain relatively universal coverage by (1) large employers providing group health insurance coverage, (2) individual mandate to purchase health insurance subsidized by the federal government [lightly for middle class and heavily for lower class], and (3) government mandate for elderly through Medicare and for military and other federal employees and for poor people through Medicaid / CHIP. It’s a three-legged stool and if the court knocks out one of the three legs, the stool cannot stand. Without the individual mandate the portion of the act that requires private health insurance companies to ignore pre-existing health conditions of an insurance policy applicant, can’t work because issuing those policies won’t be offset by issuing policies to generally healthy people without pre-existing conditions. Translated, the “patient protection” portion of the statute is integrated with the “universal coverage affordable health care” portion of the statute. The “insurance exchange” portion of the statute does allow health insurance companies to write greater than average risk policies and then shuck a large portion of them off into the exchange where other health insurance companies are forced to pick them up, thus spreading the greater than average risk between insurance companies, but this feature alone without relatively universal coverage isn’t sufficient to lower health insurance costs.

 

I thought it was unwise for the Obama Administration to address the issue by folding health care financing into a private health insurance commercial market. That seemed to me to be unworkable then in 2009 and now in 2012. The reality is that if the federal government were the single payer, it would contract out that functionality to contractors. Guess who they would be, the present health insurance carriers. They will make their money off the system either way. The only way they lose is if the Republicans win big in November and the statute is stricken down by the court or repealed by Congress. Then we are back to square one and 100 million Americans [some with health insurance coverage that pays half or even slightly more of the very large bill] are within one serious illness of exhausting their savings / investments and having to start over their economic life with only their equity in their home [fair market value less outstanding mortgage debt, locked in place because if the home were sold then the equity would be available to medical creditors]. If the illness imperils their employment they are thrust into poverty. No other developed country on the planet allows this to happen.

 

Realpolitik involves a government / private industry partnership. Guess who was a primary although not sole contractor in the United States for payment of social security benefits, for many years? EDS Electronic Data Systems, Ross Perot’s company http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Perot . It made hundreds of millions of dollars as the paymaster for social security. Who is the federal contractor paymaster for your and my Medicare benefits? A Dallas Texas company Trailblazer Health Enterprises. www.trailblazerhealth.com  Who is the federal contractor paymaster for retired military members’ health care benefits? Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Company of Madison Wisconsin [if the retiree lives in Texas, if s/he lives elsewhere other companies serve other regions]. www.wpsic.com Who is the federal contractor paymaster for retired military members’ pharmaceutical drugs? Express Scripts of Phoenix Arizona www.express-scripts.com/TRICARE . The reality is that a government / private industry partnership is the model for achieving large scale functionality. That will not change anytime soon.

 

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Unlike Popes in the Roman Catholic Church, the titular head of the Anglican Church of England and the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is retired and sidelined before his sell by date. That doesn’t keep him from writing for publication. George Carey held these offices from 1991 – 2002. After he stepped down he was granted a life peerage as Baron Carey of Clifton PC, FKC and is currently addressed as Lord Carey. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Carey Ten years into his retirement he writes We Don’t Do God: The Marginalization of Public Faith (Monarch Books 2012) wherein he asks for exemption from contemporary life and values for those curmudgeons in the Church who pine for days of privilege and status they don’t realize are long gone and unmissed by so many. The most recent example of Prime Minister Cameron proposing gay equality in public life, is anathema to Lord Carey as it is to Scotland’s Roman Catholic Church Cardinal Keith O’Brien. These clerical gentlemen stand for exactly the kind of prejudice and injustice that contemporary people wish to eliminate.

 

In 2008 Gary McFarlane, a sex therapist counselor employed by the National Counseling Service, refused to counsel a same sex couple based, he said, on his views as a Christian that their activities were evil. He was fired from his public employment position as counselor, and he sought protection from the courts to regain his employment position under his terms. He lost in the lower tribunal and in the Employment Appeal Tribunal and was seeking an appeal to a higher Civil Court of Appeal. In support of that application to appeal he submitted a letter from George Carey dated April 9, 2009. Rt. Hon. Lord Justice John Laws, Lord Justice of Appeal in the Privy Council, denied the McFarlane appeal April 15 2010 while quoting at length from Lord Carey’s letter in addressing the merits. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/sacked-christian-counsellor-gary-mcfarlanes-appeal-bid-dismissed-1958048.html The full letter from Lord Carey is here thinkinganglicans.org.uk/uploads/On%20behalf%20of%20Gary..

 

It is sad for me to state the above for I am an Anglican, known in the United States as Episcopalians [literally meaning “being led by Bishops” since the office of Bishop is the Episcopate]. In this country we granted ordination to women back in 1976, staunchly but unsuccessfully opposed and later restricted by George Carey in England, and we realized that a number of our clergy were and are gay, and when the Diocese of New Hampshire selected a known gay Rev. Canon Gene Robinson to be its Bishop, the Episcopal House of Bishops and House of Deputies approved his 2003 consecration. George Carey strongly objected. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Robinson When the American Church selected a female, Bishop Katherine Jefferts Schori, to be its Presiding Bishop in 2006, George Carey strongly objected again. In 2009 the American House of Bishops formally approved ordination of clergy at all levels regardless of sexual orientation. George Carey objected again. “Oh those unruly Yanks”.

 

The serious issue that author Carey presents is a weak case for good people who have religiously based objections to otherwise lawful behavior, to be able to ignore the law and apply their religious convictions to discredit and counter the behavior of another person. Two sets of laws, one secular and the other religious [really many religious laws because there are so many different religions with differing views on different matters], within a society presents difficult issues that strike at the heart of universal application of a single law that helps to Americanize Americans and provide cohesion and unity within a diverse and pluralistic society. The Carey perspective is much like an adolescent who wishes to pick and choose, when presented with social interaction, what law or laws s/he acknowledges as applicable. What feels good to him/her at the moment is the standard.

 

In Lubbock such teenagers commit juvenile delinquency infractions [petty crime] and are sent to pre-trial diversion to avoid gaining a criminal record and are assigned to Fourth Corps where they gain some measure of discipline, mostly learning how to self-discipline themselves, a survival skill. Those who are foolish enough to only think of the experience as punishment, and don’t learn self-discipline, commit further infractions and gain a criminal record, incarceration, limited employment possibilities, and a life in a sub-class of the wider society.

 

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