Arts History Update for mid February 2014

4 Feb

Arts History Update for mid February 2014 by David Cummins

Mery Godigna Collet, an Austin artist, has an exhibit titled Extra Virgin Petrus Oil on display in the Christine DeVitt Exhibit Hall at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts February 6 through March 29, 2014. Here is her website In conjunction with the exhibit LHUCA hosts a panel seminar on Fracking [hydraulic fracturing of oil shale formations to release oil encased within] on Saturday February 8 from 1:30 – 3:00 pm in the Firehouse Theatre. A free event. Panelists are Robert Forbis, Michael Gelberson, Anne Epstein and Karen Porter.


Federal government collection, storage, and usage of technology data including computer and telephone data, has been criticized for a variety of reasons, some directly in conflict with others, by many people including Democrats, Republicans, liberals and conservatives. Each brings his/her own special filter or lens and focuses on a singular aspect that is claimed to be offensive. What they share is that they are mostly all wrong. A clear-eyed view that examines the practices from many perspectives is Fareed Zakaria, The Case for Snooping, January 22, 2014

The reality is that criminals, terrorists, and enemies of the nation each have their reasons for seeking to do physical and economic harm. Zakaria is clear-eyed when he reports the National Security Agency chief’s statement that we must enter into the IT system of banks, communication systems, etc. in order to repel external attacks against those systems, is true as well as sobering. He reminds that if our electric power grid, or banking system, or dozens of other infrastructures public or private were compromised, then the nation would be weak and vulnerable during a period of time before restoration. The privacy of the  typical American citizen can and must be observed and honored while at the same time our government is proactive and initiatory in combating foreign and domestic criminals, terrorists, and enemies. We should realize that what is collected should not be an infringement of anyone’s privacy when it is collected in huge masses of data, nor is there any infringement by the function of storing that data. What can be an infringement of privacy is the usage by the government of a very small portion of that data as it relates to specific individuals or firms.

Whoever in government uses data should be accountable for that usage to someone within and someone outside the agency within which the user operates. Accountability, however, must not compromise or impede the efficiency and capability of the user to perform critical duties working against criminals, terrorists, and national enemies. “We all live, bank, work and play in a new parallel world of computer identities, data and transactions. But we do not seem to realize that this enormous freedom of activity in the cyber-world, as in the real world, has to be defended” Zakaria intones.

One of the many deficits of the political attacks cacophony in the media, is that we can miss a rational sensible discussion of underlying issues within a current problematic.

As with any ongoing system of activity, there can be improvements made, and one that seems reasonable without challenging the system, is to step up and report usage [i.e. snooping] to the person or firm snooped upon, a reasonable period of time after the snooping occurred, when an impact occurs in some form or another to the snooped upon person or firm. This would be an appropriate disclosure well after the fact of the snooping. An example might be that if a person’s or firm’s data were used and eight months later an immigration laws proceeding were started by the government against the person snooped upon [the impact] the government snooping should be disclosed to the person now involved in an immigration law proceeding. The disclosure should be limited to exactly what was observed about the person, and the disclosure should not be extended to his/her associates or others about whom there may be an ongoing need for the government to be concerned and observant. This is my personal suggestion, not vetted or filtered from or through any organization that has its own agenda. This form of transparency is of necessity an after the fact transparency because the disclosure to the snooped upon person or firm cannot occur contemporaneously with the snooping or else it would impair the effect and efficiency of the snoop. Still, the government owes it to its citizenry a duty to be honest about who and what is snooped when the snoop has an impact upon that person or firm. The government can delay an impact and thus delay the disclosure until the moment when its snooping will no longer be ineffectual if disclosed. This seems to me to strike a reasonable balance between the necessity for the government to engage in these activities and the necessity for individuals and firms to be dealt with honestly and forthrightly according to our values as a nation and as a free people.


The 10 states that have done the most to implement the health reform law’s major components—California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Oregon, and Vermont—have set up their own insurance marketplaces, expanded eligibility for Medicaid coverage, and enacted all, or nearly all, of the insurance market reforms to ensure that consumers benefit from the law. At the other end of the spectrum are the five states—Alabama, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming—that have declined to play any role in implementing the law’s reforms.

Katie Keith & Kevin W. Lucia, Implementing the Affordable Care Act: The State of the States, Commonwealth Fund, January 31, 2014.


David Landau, ARIK The Life of Ariel Sharon (Knopf 2014) $25.82 Kindle $11.89

Shimon Peres, Ben Gurion: A Political Life (Schocken 2011) Texas Tech Library DS125.3.B37 P47

Michael Bar-Zohar, Shimon Peres: The Biography (Random House 2007) DS126.6.P47 B3713

Robert Slater, Warrior Statesman: The Life of Moshe Dayan (St Martin’s Press 1991) DS126.6.D3 S57

Avi Shilon, Menachem Begin: A Life (Yale University Press 2012) DS126.6.B33 S5413

Elinor Burkett, Golda (HarperCollins 2008) DS126.6.M42 B87

The biographies of recent Israeli leaders tells us much about those perspectives on the tenuous but tenacious state of Israel. Max Blumenthal, Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel (Nation Books 2013) $17.70 Kindle $9.45 provides another perspective. Texas Tech electronic library download is available on this book.

La Luna and El Sol (2012) acrylic painting by Chris Ramos is a marvelous depiction of the meaning of Dia de los Muertos It uses the vibrant colors of southern Mexico and tells the story of the Day of the Dead as two light bulbs who are skeletal corpses, the female as the softness and nurture of the moon, and the male as the life generating force of the sun. Of course a light bulb comes on only when triggered as we do in that Fall season when everyone in the village walks out of the village to the graveyard and returns with the spirits of the departed family members who are delighted by the remembrances of their lives decorating the home to which the spiritsare brought. A family celebration of reuniting is experienced that day. To teach us how and when to reunite, the Aztec tradition embraced the Roman Catholic tradition, October 31 being Halloween or the Eve of the Hallowed Ones. The day after, November 1 is the Day of the Hallowed Ones or All Saints Day, and the day after, November 2 is the Day of all Persons or All Souls Day or Dia de los Muertos the Day of the Dead.

Chris Ramos is an established Lubbock artist who has a tremendous future. Examine his gallery online at his website and you can see a masterful use of abstraction, as well as expressionism, as well as color field, as well as pop art style, as well as pointillism, as well as representational landscape and destination. To paint so well in so many different styles is rare. At the current moment, he has some works at McPherson Cellars downtown Lubbock 1615 Texas Avenue and you can wait until Friday February 7 First Friday Art Trail 6:00 – 9:00 pm or you can just go to the Cellars immediately. If they are as good on the wall as they appear online, you might make an offer to collect a Chris Ramos piece, not because it will be more valuable later, although that will assuredly happen, but for the sheer enjoyment of looking and inter-acting with the piece over and over again in your home or office. He has often exhibited at Downtown Underground Art Gallery 1406 Texas Avenue so look for his work there. Ramos has a day job at the Texas Tech University College of Education Burkhart Center for Autism Education & Research as a learning specialist and job coach.

An additional attraction at McPherson Cellars is that occasionally at lunchtime the Twist’d Texan food truck will appear by invitation and you can purchase a tasty unusual lunch. Twist’d Texan [phone 806-438-9559 to determine where it will be located and when, and to book it as a catering service for an event] will be offering food at the February 7 First Friday Art Trail at McPherson Cellars. Here is a video of owner Chad Montgomery in his food truck


A reader of these Updates was visiting in Los Angeles and sent me his photograph of a mural at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County The mural is Millard Sheets, Industry (1934) that incorporates both cubist and expressionist techniques, and was part of the Works Progress Administration Art Project during the Great Depression. A more well-known piece by Sheets isTenement Flats (1934) oil on canvas is now at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and was hung by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the White House as an example of the consequences of the Art Project. It depicts the Bunker Hill section of downtown Los Angeles. Angel’s Flight (1931) oil on canvas is in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in downtown Los Angeles, and is on display and it depicts the Bunker Hill area as well. Here are some quotes related to Millard Sheets 1907 – 1989

Yes, this is the same Millard Sheets whose murals at the former Lubbock National Bank now Lubbock County Courthouse Annex Building at 916 Main Street first floor, are viewable there and whose mural Tribute to Our Heritage (1986) in the south hallway Civic Center Theatre lobby at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center is viewable. Millard Sheets, Tribute to Our Heritage (1985) watercolor painting, is the design for the mural painted on the hallway overhang and was recently priced at $17,000 by the Millard Sheets estate

Visit Lubbock, The Convention and Visitors Bureau on the 6th floor of Wells Fargo Center 1500 Broadway Street is well aware of the arts in Lubbock as an attractant The chief executive officer of Visit Lubbock and Lubbock Economic Development Alliance is John Osborne. The communications director is Holly Givens e-mail her at or telephone John at 806-747-5232 ext 237.

If you’ve been wondering what’s been going on at Lubbock Business Park in northeast Lubbock east of Interstate 27 Highway and south of the airport, here’s the deal Lubbock Rail Port is north of Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport and here is information on Reese Technology Center and



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