Arts History Update for late February 2014

13 Feb

Arts History Update for late February 2014 by David Cummins


Texans for the Arts has a new website a new executive director Ann S. Graham and new energy and enthusiasm. All aboard.




Dying is hard, sometimes extremely hard. Death is the absence of life, a negative, distinguished from what occurred before which was life. Is it more, however? Shakespeare in Hamlet says “death is an undiscovered country from whose bourne [meaning destination or boundary] no traveler returns”. This passage provided the title for the book by Carl Watkins The Undiscovered Country: Journeys Among the Dead (Bodley Head 2013) reviewed at Anthony Sattin, The Observer, January 5, 2013.


This scholarly book by a Cambridge historian about mortuary practices that became traditions devoid of the meaning by which they first arose, or indeed devoid of any particular meaning at all, sets us apart today in contemporary life from the history of the rituals of dying. The question for families today of what to do with the body and whether or not or how to conduct a memorial, is for many a process of fitting grief and loss into a comfortable narrative. If the decedent supplied instructions or preferences for post-death activities, the narrative is pre-written in part and observed in practice.


In Roman Catholic doctrine there is a heaven, hell and a purgatory in between. Residence in purgatory may be extended in time. Protestant Christian doctrine dropped purgatory and assigned the decedent immediately to heaven or hell. There is no need for Protestants to pray for the repose of the decedent’s soul, or to pay the church for masses for the decedent. Various religions have distinctive views on whether or not those people who are not counted among that religion’s faithful, can or cannot go to heaven. What isn’t usually spoken is that denial must assign the person to hell. Most of us don’t feel comfortable with assigning strangers, who may be our neighbors, to hell. A reductionist religious theology loses force in our lives by becoming unjustified and insupportable.


There is no way to validate who has, in the past, gone to any of these destinations. The discussions and distinctions are hypotheses. Since the rise in the practice of cremation and lessening of burial and even less often burial in a cemetery astride the churchyard, the physical body comes to seem separated from whatever exists after death at whatever location. Indeed, disposition of the decedent’s body has come to fit within local public health and safety standards and to become a matter of compliance with community standards represented by regulations or ordinances. It can also be costly. And more often than not, for descendants there may be no physical location to visit that once was the decedent’s home or “final resting place”. Memory and remembrance may for most be the final repose. The comfortable narrative of the life, the dying, and dealing with the death, is all of a piece and becomes one narrative as memories and remembrances are shared, stated and restated.


Most people suggest that post-death residence is a matter for individual speculation and belief, and social practice is to accept anyone’s assertion without contest. All assertions by those who are grieving are accepted as assertions, not as a fact or of anything other than grief itself.





The Labyrinth (2010) at Municipal Beach Park [Lake Carlsbad Park] was the first executed project by Carlsbad New Mexico’s Mural Project Here is a map of eleven murals in town The latest activity is teens co-executing a mural of Guadalupe Mountains National Park for the Pine Springs Visitor Station Auditorium The teens were led by professional muralist Charles Freeman a/k/a Brother Boko Calll Eve Flanigan for more information on the Murals Project 575-642-4825.




Satya Nadella is the new chief executive officer of Microsoft, succeeding Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates. Nadella is a 22 year employee/officer at Microsoft, and before that on the staff at Sun Microsystems. His most recent experience has been with development of Microsoft capabilities using the cloud platforms, that downplays the power of the desktop / laptop / tablet and accentuates the integrity and capability of communication between user and the cloud. Satellite transmissions becomes a new competitive arena.




Torchy’s Tacos opened in Lubbock in the Overton Park district 2407 9th Street at Avenue X one block east of University Avenue. Phone it in at 806-368-8973 hours 7:00 am – 10:00 pm weekdays 8:00 am – 11:00 pm weekends.


La Madeleine Country French Cafe opened in Lubbock at 4406 19th Street one-half block west of Quaker Avenue north side of 19th Street, formerly J&B Coffee. Phone 806-686-3942 hours 6:30 am – 10:00 pm. Having eaten at this cafe, one easily imagines village life in Burgundy, Normandy, Dordogne or Provence far away from cosmopolitan and hectic Paris or even regional cities. Dine in the country at La Madeleine’s.


Pita Pit opened in Lubbock at 5707 4th Street south side, east of Frankford Avenue and west of Loop 289. Specialty is middle eastern sandwiches but co-franchisee Max Bhakti is Indian-American [India, not Native American]. Two friends from Texas Tech days are co-owners of the franchise. Having eaten here, it is easy to recommend – choose your meat or vegetarian, choose wheat or white pita bread pre-sliced to make a pocket and ready to be steam heated while you make a selection from a wide choice of ingredients and dressings. Everything is fresh and tasty and invites experimentation for your palate.


Twisted Root Burger Company will open sometime this year in northwest Lubbock.


All four of these restaurants are chain franchises.




The 23rd Annual Texas Mountain Trail Writers Spring Retreat is April 11-13, 2014 at Mountain Trails Lodge one mile southeast of Fort Davis off Highway 118 to Alpine. The theme is Write Into the Sunset and there are three guest speakers/session leaders Lisa Wingate, W. C. Jameson and Becka Oliver. Early bird registration is $150 that includes one year membership in TMTW, Friday supper through Sunday breakfast meals, all sessions, and attendees’ music, story telling and poetry recitations. Lodging in cabins at Mountain Trails Lodge is limited so if it’s taken or unsuitable look also at Alpine and Fort Davis accommodations.


Lisa Wingate

W.C. Jameson and

Becka Oliver she is Executive Director of Writers’ League of Texas


If you write, this is an opportunity to get out of town, hang with other writers, share insights and experiences, and jump start your passion toward a new level, all at a majestic setting that is itself inspirational. You would miss this year’s Lubbock Arts Festival, but life is a series of tradeoffs. As long as they are good things between which we are trading, feel fortunate and make a selection.


If you already have something, perhaps many things, written and just want to publish and sell it or them, look at The Savvy Book Marketer for ideas and strategies.




Lynn H. Nicholas, The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe’s Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War (Knopf 1994) Texas Tech Library N8795.3.E85 N5 and Lubbock Public Library 709.04 N598R; The Rape of Europa: Imagine the World Without Our Masterpieces (2006 documentary film written and directed by Richard Berge, Bonni Cohen and Nicole Newnham based on the earlier book) Internet Movie Database and


Robert M. Edsel, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History (Center Street 2009) Texas Tech Library D810.A7 E2 and Lubbock Public Library 940.531 EDSE; and Ilaria Dagnini Brey, The Venus Fixers: The Remarkable Story of the Allied Soldiers Who Saved Italy’s Art During World War II (Farrar Straus & Giroux 2009) ABE Books very good condition $8.32 incl s&h; and Robert M. Edsel, Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation’s Treasures From the Nazis (W.W. Norton & Co 2013) Texas Tech Library D810.A7 E234 and Lubbock Public Library 940.5345 EDSE; a current film The Monuments Men (Columbia Pictures 2014) directed by and starring George Clooney with an all-star cast


The narrative we learn in America is that by the Fall of 1944 the Allies were progressing through France and ready to enter Germany and everyone including the Nazis knew the war would soon end with Germany’s defeat. Not true. The Nazis had been blunted by the Russians in the eastern front and were suffering push-backs in France but were nonetheless resolute and defiant. Poles in Warsaw thought the Nazis were weakening and did not realize their forces would soon be reinforced by more Germans, and the un-supplied Polish Home Army called for an uprising that occurred August 1- October 2, 1944 followed by a brutal Nazi response that killed 170,000 and deported 500,000 to Nazi transit camps, followed by a leveling of the city. Alexandra Richie, Warsaw 1944: Hitler, Himmler, and the Warsaw Uprising (Farrar Straus & Giroux 2013) $27.79 [at 752 pages it is uncomfortably long and detailed] Texas Tech Library D765.2.W3 R53; George Bruce, The Warsaw Uprising (Hart-Davies 1972) Texas Tech Library D765.2.W3 B78 ABE Books $3.48 incl s&h. What was lost culturally in the aftermath of the uprising is not at present well documented. I toured Warsaw in the 1990s and the rebuilt city is vibrant and impressive. From speaking with Poles I had the sense they knew how ferocious the German Nazis hated and despised Poles and they expressed a guardedness toward contemporary Germans. The reverse of this stance is evident when Germans avoid speaking about their country’s activities in the 1930s and early 1940s, guardedly distancing themselves from those other Germans at a previous time, and accentuating the contemporary Germany that leads the unification and cooperation in Europe. It is as if the march toward war and conquest were a chapter in a book, now closed, about which we desperately wish to forget. A current movie like The Monuments Men must grate again at contemporary German psyche.



Physicians are peregrines and have large financial commitments, some in properties as well as equipment. Neurosurgical Associates LLP at 3601 21st Street south of Covenant Medical Center once contained Richard E. George, MD Nevan G. Baldwin, MD Harold K. Smith, MD Mark D. D’Alise, MD Albert Telfeian, MD and Johnny Qubty, MD but it’s broken up now. George and Qubty are at Grace Clinic Smith and D’Alise have opened up at a new building 4408 6thStreet, and Telefeian moved to Neptune New Jersey. Apparently Baldwin is still at the 21st location or can be reached through it. These movements are a challenge for people trying to reunite with their medical records when a new medical procedure is needed and the old records are important for current decision-making.


This is a reminder that we should all keep up with the locations and practices of our many physicians, at a minimum so we can give accurate information about our medical history including the locations where those medical records reside. Digital networking of medical records is incomplete and likely to be so for some time.




City of Wolfforth Public Library is available to all Texas residents, one need not be a resident of Wolfforth to use the library or borrow from the collection. An event to introduce new friends to the Library and to raise funds for it is Mystery in the Art Gallery Thursday February 27 from 3:00 – 8:00 pm at which a number of mystery book titles and donated art pieces will be available for purchase.


Lubbock Heritage Society holds its annual meeting Sunday March 2 at 2:00 pm at  YWCA Legacy Event Center 1500 14th Street downtown. Sally Abbe and Cindy Martin will speak on Greetings From Lubbock: A Post Card History. On a Sunday parking is available in the City of Lubbock parking lot south of the Event Center and the building’s south entrance will be open. Phone 806-392-4949 for more information. Attend even if you are not a member or don’t want to be, annual membership is $30 seniors $15 corporations $100 and can be accomplished at the event.




There are a handful of Texas Tech University courses offered in the evenings or on weekends so as to be helpful for students who are employed. Examples this semester January 15 to May 13 include Art 3301 Ceramics Introduction to Handbuilding Monday & Wednesday 6:30 – 9:20 pm; Art 3323 Life Drawing same days and times; Art 3386 Computer Design Methods Tuesday & Saturday 6:00 – 8:50 pm; Art History 2302 Art History Survey Tuesday & Saturday 5:00 – 6:20 pm





Barry Miles, Call Me Burroughs: A Life (Twelve 2014) is a biography of William S. Burroughs II 1914-1997 who was a heroin addict and a beat generation iconic figure, and was the father of William S. Burroughs III “Billy” 1947-1981 also a writer, beat generation figure and addict Naked Lunch (1959) was his third novel and brought him fame and derision since it dealt with both narcotic drug usage and homosexuality. His writing style was as admirable as it was unusual, a darkly humorous sardonicism. A short reading of a journalistic piece [Word Virus: the William S. Burroughs Reader (Grove Press 1998) Texas Tech Library PS3552.U75 A6] is enough to capture that style without enduring the disturbed writer’s disturbances. The beat generation figures have always seemed to me to be pleading for understanding as permanent adolescents, afraid of being adult because its trappings bored them, but in reality afraid because they lacked the discipline to engage in the industriousness that yields achievement. My view probably is unduly harsh but there it is.


Peter Schjeldahl, The Outlaw: The Extraordinary Life of William S. Burroughs, The New Yorker Magazine, February 4, 2014 is a review of the Barry Miles biography.


Billy” wrote Cursed From Birth: The Short Unhappy Life of William S. Burroughs, Jr. (Grove Press 2001) Texas Tech Library PS3552.U752 Z46 that he thought justified his addictions and their physical consequences including liver failure.




Hilary Mantel’s historical novels about commoner Thomas Cromwell’s life in the court of King Henry VIII Wolf Hall (2009) and Bring Up The Bodies (2012) are soon to be on stage and screen. The television series script by Peter Straughan, direction by Peter Kosminksy, starring Mark Rylance as Thomas Cromwell, will be on BBC 2 television in 2015. Mike Poulton’s adaptation of both novels for the stage of the Royal Shakespeare Company at the Swan Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon premiered in January 2014 with Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell directed by Jeremy Herrin. Scheduled for performance there to March 29 and reviewed well in London Times Literary Supplement by Ruth Scurr, The pit bull from Putney, January 15, 2014.


Mantel’s completed trilogy novel The Mirror and the Light is expected in 2015. It covers Thomas Cromwell’s last four years from the execution of Anne Boleyn 1536 to his own execution in 1540.


Wasn’t Henry a dear?





Art on the Llano Committee selected and Texas Department of Transportation installed the fifth sculpture in the project at 19th Street and Quaker Avenue Prairie Dancers (2013) by Jerry Daniel Here is Daniel’s website Installation took place November 4, 2013 and the loan will be there for two years. It’s on the southeast corner of the intersection. Here is a You Tube video of his installations of other metal dancers Jerry Daniel is a 1963 graduate of Texas Tech University. His studio is near McKinney Texas.  For more information on the Art on the Llano project telephone Dianah Ascencio at TEXDOT 748-4472 or Elizabeth Regner at Lubbock Arts Alliance 806-744-2787.

As of February 2014 while driving by that intersection, I noticed a third dancer and it was emplaced appropriately to interact with the other two metal dancers.




Steve Teeters Levelland – Steve Teeters was born in Brownfield on Nov. 19, 1955, and died at University Medical Center in Lubbock on Jan. 15, 2014 (age 58). He is survived by his son, Seth Teeters; and by his widow, LaGina Fairbetter. Gruff, gentle, and generous, Steve was an artist of audacity and vision, and a caring man who felt deeply for his family, his friends, and his community. Steve Teeters made indelible contributions to the city of Lubbock as a sculptor, a teacher, and, in 2002, as co-originator, with artist Kathryn Oler, of the First Friday Art Trail that continues to draw thousands of spectators. He often joked that he had a tough boss, demanding, exacting, and hard to please – the boss was himself. That was the joke. Steve Teeters did a great job for that boss and for the rest of us. Services will be held at Second Baptist Church in Levelland, Texas, at 10 a.m. Monday, Jan. 17. – See more at:


Steve Teeters metal art is all around us: the out-size metal glasses of Buddy at the entrance to the Buddy Holly Center, the four seasons on the sides of the Flint Avenue Parking Facility at Texas Tech University, the wild horses Mustangs on top of a hill separating Mackenzie Park from Meadowbrook Golf Course, Crossroads of Time figures near the south entrance to the Fairgrounds and Wells Fargo Amphitheater, Legacy of the Land at Rodeo Plaza in Fort Worth, The Tree of Life in Abilene, and more. His foundry in Lubbock is named Texas Bronze located at 2202 East Broadway Street. He formerly operated St. Eligius Studio at 719 Buddy Holly Avenue [former Avenue H].



































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