Arts History Update for late April 2014

9 Apr

Arts History Update for late April 2014 by David Cummins

The Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Singers Program Spring Tour has Lubbock on its schedule Sunday April 13, 2014 at 3:00 pm at Talkington Great Hall within the YWCA Legacy Event Center at 1500 14th Street a free event.


In October 2007 the Lubbock City Council voted to name a series of streets Cesar Chavez Drive. On March 29, 2014 an annual Celebration Cesar Chavez Walk proceeded from the Buddy Holly Recreation Area at Canyon Lake # 1 to Cavazos Middle School on North University Avenue. On March 28 the film Cesar Chavez: History Is Made One Step at a Time opened nationwide (2014 directed by Diego Luna) and is screened at Movies 16 in Lubbock at 5751 58th Street. Miriam Pawel, The Crusades of Cesar Chavez: A Biography (Bloomsbury Press 2014) 560 pages, and in his own words Cesar Chavez, An Organizer’s Tale: Speeches (Penguin Classics 2008) Texas Tech Library HD6509.C48 A24 Cesar Chavez lived 1927 – 1993


Judy Chicago has an exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum titled Chicago in L.A.: Judy Chicago’s Early Work, 1963-1974 April 4 – September 28, 2014. In conjunction with the exhibit she is doing a performance art piece live in Prospect Park Brooklyn. Stay tuned for that. She did a fireworks performance art piece in Pasadena California in 1974. At age 75 she’ll be doing another in 2014.

The Dinner Party (1979) sculptural art is permanently displayed at the Brooklyn Museum on the fourth floor since 2007 and she authored three books about it, the latest The Dinner Party: From Creation to Preservation (Merrell Publishers 2006).

She has a recent book Institutional Time: A Critique of Studio Art Education (Monacelli Press 2014) $28.52 see also Beyond the Flower: The Autobiography of a Feminist Artist (Viking 1996) Texas Tech Library N6537.C48 A2

She will open another exhibit Local Color: Judy Chicago in New Mexico 1984-2014 that will go up June 6 through October 12, 2014 at New Mexico Museum of Art 107 West Palace Avenue Santa Fe New Mexico. The exhibit marks her thirty year residence and art studio in New Mexico. This is an opportunity to see some of her recent work.


Texas Tech Museum exhibit Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Samara, A Mid-Century Dream Home” goes up April 27 through June 7 and here is the gallery description when the exhibit was at Penn State University The Samara home for the John and Kay Christian family in West Lafayette Indiana [both were employed at Purdue University] was completed in 1956 just three years prior to Wright’s death.

Here is a teacher’s guide about Samara and Wright A samara is the fruit of a tree that carries within it the seeds of that tree, and is often in a winged shape fluttering along the branch of the tree during a breeze. The samara of a sycamore tree was what Wright had in mind when designing this home and he designed a carpet runner for the living room of the house with multiple samara.

In driving around Lubbock you will see many Usonian style homes, one story, no attic, no basement, carport rather than garage, basic building materials used for both exterior and interior walls to reduce cost of installation finishing and maintenance, clerestory windows at the top of exterior walls to allow light to enter the living space and no need for curtaining or shuttering for privacy, and more features. Wright had designed more than 100 plans for such low cost high style Usonian homes and real estate developers mimicked those plans, especially in the southern United States where the climate made such homes more practical.

One of the features of Samara not duplicated in Lubbock homes is the floor radiant heating system that Wright devised. He laid copper water pipes in the cement slab for the home so that entry water would not be colder than 58 degrees and then routed it into the home boiler that would send steam into extended piping underlying the wooden floors that would serve to radiate the heat into and through the rooms. In the northern United States this system was used extensively and successfully.

The first Usonian house was the Jacobs House in Madison Wisconsin in 1936 so Wright was building many of these houses over the years.

I toured Robie House in Chicago, Unity Temple in Oak Park, Taliesin West in Scottsdale, and the Guggenheim Museum in New York City, all Frank Lloyd Wright designed structures.


Apollo and the Muse of Forgetfulness was the topic of a lecture April 1, 2014 by Catalina Popescu Ph.D. assistant professor of classics at Texas Tech University Here’s what I learned from the lecture. Zeus, an Olympian, bedded one of those Titan ladies Mnemosyne, on nine consecutive days and the outpouring from her was nine female daughters The Muses whose main virtue was their memory of all past events and the ability to impart chunks of that memory to poets, artists, historians, politicians and others who needed it. An unfailing memory is a good thing for many and when needed to move a community of mortals forward, but an un-faulty memory can be a hindrance to good relationships.

The Oresteia (458 BCE) by Aeschylus is in three parts Agamemnon, The Libation Bearers, and The Eumenides It was Apollo who saw the need for help when Orestes was being tried in Athens for murdering his mother Clytaemnestra because she had murdered his father, her husband Agamemnon, who had murdered their daughter Iphigenia in order to gain favorable winds for the military fleet to sail across the Aegean Sea to Troy and conduct the ten year war with the Trojans. Apollo brought forward a muse of forgetfulness to assist in defending Orestes in this trial and encourage the good citizens of Athens to acquit Orestes, forget the heinous act, come together in conciliation and accord to work together as a community, and put these murderous events behind them. Break the chain of murder. That was the sense of the excellent presentation Apollo and the Muse of Forgetfulness by the new assistant professor of classics.

We see contemporary manifestations of Apollo’s invocation of the Muse of Forgetfulness when the Union of South Africa established a peace and reconciliation commission dredging up the awful events of apartheid but refusing to prosecute or hold accountable its perpetrators. We all recall when Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for 27 years because he contested apartheid, offered his jailers immunity and forgiveness. It took our breath way. A similar commission was used in Bosnia. Germany went about its healing and reconciliation after the Nazi administration in a different manner.


Poetry and Jazz is the title of the final Presidential Lecture & Performance Series event for this academic year, on Friday April 25, 2014 at Texas Tech University Student Union Building Allen Theatre at 7:00 pm $18 ticket. Poetry by National Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky and Jazz by Laurence Hobgood, former musical director and pianist for the All Star Orchestra band supporting popular singer Kurt Elling. Here is a You Tube video where you can watch and listen to an impressive solo piano performance by Hobgood on the first tune Come Fly With Me and here is Robert Pinsky reading his poem Shirt recalling the New York City Triangle Waist Company fire in 1911 when garment workers were unable to get out of the factory and 129 people died inside it or jumped to their deaths from eighth ninth or tenth story windows. Triangle Fire Archive Object by Voice of America (2011). [in early 20th century vernacular “waist” was a blouse, so these garment workers were sewing blouses for sale to women]

You can hear them recite and play piano at

Now you know that the quality of this concert is way over the top, as are all in this series. The first ten rows seat could easily be sold for $90 and the last row $65 so you know that $18 is a heavily subsidized offering by Texas Tech University to the community. Pinsky, a 73 year old New Jersey native, is not going to be sojourning on the South Plains again anytime soon, or ever, so jettison lethargy, pile your friends and relatives in the suburban and motor to the Allen Theatre for this unique and thrilling event.

High culture is rare on the South Plains but if you heard the Anonymous 4 quartet, and watched The Parsons Dance Company, you know how memorable and enervating it is. Please take advantage. This duo was so well received in eastern cities that they made a CD of a performance so POEMJAZZ (Circumstantial Productions 2012) is available for $15 and includes a booklet of the poems.

Pinsky’s breakthrough came with Sadness and Happiness: Poems (Princeton University Press 1975) Texas Tech Library PS3566.I54 S2 and his maturity was shown in An Explanation of America (Princeton University Press 1979) 80 pages paperback $14.49 new at and $3.47 incl s&h at ABE Books in good condition Texas Tech Library PS3566.I54 E9 and see Poetry and the World (Ecco Press 1988) Lubbock Public Library 814 P658P

If all this is available in libraries and on the Internet, why go to a performance? Because a product is not a performance. Watching and listening in community with others in a concert space where human talent performs for you, enhances your humanity as a person and as a member of your community, and is entirely unlike spinning a CD or DVD product or reading a book or folio. If you absolutely can’t attend, then spin and read and whet your appetite for a later attendance.

At the risk of being hortatory, if you’ve ever caught yourself half way between your dreams, and the crushing reality of your life, and realized you were stuck … that’s when you can see a performance and realize what’s happening. The performer is inspired and his/her inspiration is transported to you in the seat. Do what you love, the money status and 21st century life goods will catch up with you. You may even discover that you love your present job but had let it become a job as described in a manual when it’s really the vehicle for you to make a singular contribution to a nearby world.

Lubbock Arts Alliance office moved from 1717 Texas Avenue to Court Place Lubbock National Bank building Suite 606 at 1001 Main Street in downtown Lubbock. Phone remains 806-744-2787


Annual Frontier Day at Caprock Canyons State Park near Quitaque is May 10 and a free event with a paid admission into the Park, home to the Texas State Bison Herd Here is the history of the Park The editor of Caprock Canyon News is park ranger Lee’Ann Pigg and you can get the free newsletter by contacting her



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