Arts History Update for early April 2014

22 Mar

Arts History Update for early April 2014 by David Cummins


Distilled alcohol beverages is a growth industry in Texas. In 2011 there were 25 distilleries in Texas and now there are 56. New businesses start small so micro-distilling is the topic. While it may be an inaccurate perception, many consumers view national large distillers as engaged in machinery driven assembly line factory processes, and those consumers see craft distilling as a pains-taking hands-on distilling process with trial and error techniques used. People queue up to taste and hopefully like the craft-produced product.


Black-eyed peas or cow peas are used as the source of starch in the vodka being produced by a new distiller TreyMark Vodka Distilling in Fort Worth and its first product is TreyMark Black-Eyed Vodka but the target date for a first batch and bottles is still a month or more ahead


Who are Trey Nickels and his mother Deborah Jane Nickels, long-time residents of Muleshoe Texas? He’s just past 30 years of age and his older brother Chad Nickels is still farming in the area growing, inter alia, black-eyed peas or cow peas. Deborah, their mother, graduated from Muleshoe High School in 1973 and owns Muleshoe Pea & Bean, Inc. that processes locally harvested peas and beans at 1680 County Road 1044 phone 806-272-5589. She moved to Fort Worth in 2012 and is president of Tejas Spirit Inc at 9140 Timber Oaks Drive that processes bulk dry beans. She continues to own Unhinged Productions LLC at 904 West 11th Street Muleshoe TX 79347-4412 phone 806-470-1842 processing distiller’s dried grains and solubles. What this tells us is that this new Fort Worth business will be using Bailey County black-eyed peas from which to make its vodka.


The address of the new distillery is the former Fire Station # 5 building at 503 Bryan Avenue Fort Worth Texas 76104 and here is a photo,-97.325079,3a,75y,92.8h,90t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sPXQ1odUBmC_O47tyCTSCFw!2e0 It is not far from a large successful brewery Rahr & Sons


Raise a glass to mother and son, entrepreneurs in Tarrant County Texas, with hopes for their success.





Paul R. Williams 1894-1980 was the first African-American architect who was a member of the American Institute of Architects AIA and practiced from 1923 through the 1950s in Southern California Here is a website devoted to his legacy Many of the homes he designed in and around Los Angeles used the Spanish Colonial Revival style with which we are familiar in Lubbock because William Ward Watkin adopted that style for Texas Technological College in 1923 shortly after being commissioned to design the first four buildings.


Williams was commissioned to design homes for many Hollywood stars and movie executives. He designed the John Bishop Green home, the Walter D.K. Gibson, Jr. home, and the Katherine B. Flint home in Flintridge California, then about two hours north of Los Angeles, at a time when the deed restrictions for the community proclaimed that no African-American could spend even a single night in the community.


Eventually AIA selected him to enter its College of Fellows, an elite group within AIA for outstanding architectural leaders.


Karen E. Hudson, Paul R. Williams, Architect: A Legacy of Style (Rizzoli 1993) Texas Tech Architecture Library NA737.W527 H84


Karen E. Hudson, The Will and the Way: Paul R. Williams, Architect (Rizzoli 1994)


Karen E. Hudson, Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style (Rizzoli 2012)


Hudson is Williams’s granddaughter. Mr. Williams’s Collection of House Plans (Hennessey & Ingalls 2006) is still in print and includes his Small House of Tomorrow (1945) and New Homes for Today (1946)




The Shape of Texas was a radio program produced by the Texas Society of Architects from 1998 into 2011, more than 500 two minute episodes. They were and sometimes still are broadcast on national public radio affiliates in the state including KTTZ-FM 89.1 in Lubbock. Here is the index of those episodes where you can listen online






Adobe: Building a Nubian Vault in West Texas with Simone Swan, Architect and see a book Dennis Dollens, Simone Swan: Adobe Building (SITES Books 2005) Texas Tech Architecture Library NA7165.D65 that describes what has come to be called Swan House on a bluff overlooking Presidio Texas. Nubia is the historic region south of Upper Egypt, now in the country of Sudan. The historic Nubian style of mud and straw vaulted roofs and thick adobe walls suited for that east African desert was adapted by Simone Swan for Presidio and the city of Ojinaga Mexico across the river. Adobe Alliance is a group encouraging construction of low cost but contemporary functionality in adobe structures.




Brooklyn Museum exhibit Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties March 7 – July 6, 2014 focuses on the anti-war and civil rights protests and those of us who lived through that decade know of those phenomena first-hand but there was much more to that decade. The country had broken free from the constraints of post- World War II production and style and was freely embracing a future style.


Jacob Lawrence, Soldiers and Students (1962) is in the exhibit on loan from Hood Museum of Art and




Announced on March 20 for viewing on March 25, thus with insufficient time to build an audience or appropriately publicize it, is the free screening of a classic film A Fistful of Dollars (1964) directed by Sergio Leone starring Clint Eastwood at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts Firehouse Theater at 6:30 pm Tuesday March 25, 2014. If you learn of this in time, it will be enjoyable. 99 minutes running time, it is the first of Sergio Leone’s “spaghetti westerns” so enjoyed by Italians and also Spaniards as it was filmed in Spain. It set the template for this genre of western movie.


This is a showing by the Texas Tech University College of Media and Communication International Film Series that replaces the Global Lens Series of Spring 2013. Contact person in the college is Robert Peaslee, Ph.D. phone 806-834-2562





It was Spring, the vernal equinox, on March 21, 1965 when thousands of marchers led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. left Selma Alabama on foot on a highway headed for the state capitol Montgomery. They had attempted this trek twice before during the month, and had been viciously beaten on the first and ordered back by state troopers and county sheriff’s deputies on the second. President Johnson interceded and a federal court order was issued to state and county officials ordering them to allow the marchers to proceed. King and the few marchers who had started before, were now joined by thousands as they left Selma and proceeded to Montgomery. A small number of watchful federal troops and marshals were observers rather than escorts.


I watched from afar in Seattle Washington, a young lawyer working hard to make partner in a law firm, and a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army Reserve with a keen eye on what was happening in Vietnam and imagining when and how I would participate. I had gone to college with Black students and didn’t see overt discrimination on the streets of Seattle but knew things were different in the Deep South. It would be years later when I would meet lawyers who had closed their law offices and traveled cross country to join the marchers in Selma, like Bruce Babbitt who became governor of Arizona, and national Secretary of the Interior. I would then wonder if I had been selfish and self-centered not to have gone to the aid of southern Blacks when that aid was needed. In the back of my head Granny’s advice spoke “don’t borrow other people’s trouble and make it your own” but the Good Samaritan parable in the Bible taught otherwise, and those ceaseless contradictions throughout life would always make well-intentioned advice meaningless and require each of us to quickly assess the situation and make a choice to act or not, and then live with that choice. There were Black soldiers in my Army Reserve unit and I cogitated about how they were free to fight and perhaps be wounded or die for our country, but were not free to walk an Alabama highway or eat at any lunch counter of their choice.


I watched from afar, and saw joinder of 25,000 people with King by the time they reached Montgomery. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel marched in the front line and later said: “For many of us, the march from Selma to Montgomery was about protest and prayer. Legs are not lips and walking is not kneeling. And yet our legs uttered songs. Even without words, our march was worship. I felt my legs were praying.” King had marched to establish the spirit or tenor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (signed July 2, 1964) and was present in Johnson’s office later in the year when he signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (August 6, 1965).


King had received the Nobel Peace Prize on October 14, 1964, symbolizing planetary approval of his non-violence approach toward seeking cultural changes. King had organized several voting rights marches in Selma in January 1965. Each ended by violent clashes with police. On February 1, 1965 King was arrested in Selma for violating an anti-parade ordinance. King was sitting in jail on February 4 when Malcolm X arrived in Selma and publicly stated that many civil rights leaders like himself did not believe in King’s non-violence approach. The next day King was released from jail and his Letter From a Selma Jail was published in The New York Times as his earlier Letter From a Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963, had been published.


Dead by an assassin’s bullet at age 39 he would posthumously receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would become a national holiday.





Wendy Brown, Walled States, Waning Sovereignty (Zone Books 2010) 168 pages hardcover (Zone Books 2014 paperback) Texas Tech Library JC327.B75 is an appropriate book to read in light of Russia’s takeover and annexation of the Crimea section of The Ukraine, a former republic in the Soviet Union and independent nation-state too weak to resist the takeover. The author reflects on the current proliferation of nation-state walls in a time of eroding nation-state sovereignty mostly due to globalization of commerce and communications. The phenomenon of walling off one’s internal population and reducing passage by foreigners, essentially weakens the nation-state that participates in this activity. Both Russia and The Ukraine are thus weakened by this current wall. If The Ukraine promotes egress and ingress across its western border with European countries, it can counteract the wall created on its eastern border with Russia.


The bellicose action invites reprisals by those who feel themselves victimized. A current major pipeline of Russian oil to Europe passes through The Ukraine and one can expect disruptions in that flowage. Russia is building a major oil pipeline to Europe from its eastern sector oil fields that bypasses The Ukraine. One can expect attempts to sabotage that endeavor. Sanctions by economic power nations including the United States are not the only consequences for Russia’s taking this unilateral action.






































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