Archive | August, 2014

Arts History Update for early September 2014

29 Aug

Arts History Update for early September 2014 by David Cummins

Pieces of public art selected for health care facilities are not chosen casually or idiosyncratically. Laura Landro, More Hospitals Use the Healing Powers of Public Art, The Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2014 http://online.wsj.com/articles/more-hospitals-use-the-healing-powers-of-public-art-1408404629#printMode

Aaron T. Stephan, Paths Crossed (2013) is a series of six wooden undulating spiral and intertwined ladders suspended from the two story ceiling in the entryway of the recently opened Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis Indiana. Stephan is a graduate of the Maine College of Art in Portland Maine. http://aarontstephan.com/resume

The Cleveland Clinic has an extensive collection of contemporary art and has done a study of how its patients and their caregivers react and interact with the art. https://www.herdjournal.com/article/hospitals-contemporary-art-collection-effects-patient-mood-stress-comfort-and-expectations Meghana Karnik et al., A Hospital’s Contemporary Art Collection: Effects on Patient Mood, Stress, Comfort, and Expectations, Health Environments Research & Design Journal, April 27, 2014. Mike Kelley # 1 by Jennifer Steinkamp http://jsteinkamp.com/html/art_documentation.htm is a digital projection of a deciduous tree as it cycles through seasons and has drawn very positive reactions. Some pieces are straightforward abstractions such as Dissolving the Hardness of Ego (2007) by Jennifer Nocon, a textile showing itself wound tightly and then unwinding into a cornucopia shape. http://museoblogger.blogspot.com/2011/02/are-hospitals-becoming-new-museums.html shows many of the Cleveland Clinic pieces as well as those at other hospitals. Others are at http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.com/article/world-class-art-world-class-clinic

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The annual Texas Tech University School of Art Faculty (really all instructional staff) Art Exhibition is now up at Landmark Art Gallery at the School of Art 18th Street east of Flint Avenue through September 21. It’s comprised of new work by the faculty and instructors in a variety of media. Past exhibitions have been amazing and instill in us a respect and admiration for the artists, and provide for us an insight into what these artists may be imparting to their students in classrooms and studios.

The School of Art need not put in graphics or brochures or publications “how good we are”; it’s on view in the annual exhibition. We’re shown the level of excellence by what instructors produce as art.

The opening, and as far as I know only, reception is Friday September 5 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm and in most years several artists are present. They enjoy how we interact with their pieces so it’s a win win situation.

The annual Master of Fine Arts Candidates Group Show exhibit is in the nearby Studio Gallery through September 28. The other galleries in the building are the SRO Photo Gallery and the Folio Gallery, and there is an off-site Satellite Gallery at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in the CASP Charles Adams Studio Projects building at 5th Street and Avenue J.

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Texas Historical Commission leads a free Cold War Oral History Training Workshop “When the Lone Star State Met The Iron Curtain: Recollections of Texas in the Cold War” at Fort Wolters Training Center in Mineral Wells Texas Saturday September 13 from 9:00 am to noon. The workshop is for learning how to conduct and record oral histories and includes hands-on training with digital and video recording equipment. Call 512-463-5833 to register. http://www.thc.state.tx.us Depending on your route, Mineral Wells is about 4 hours 15 minutes, a drive 260 miles east of Lubbock.

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Billy Joe Shaver, Long In The Tooth (CD Lightning Rod Records August 5, 2014 release) is ten songs 32 minutes of delightful singing, outlaw cowboy country style, by the septuagenarian $11.19 at Amazon.com $11.68 at CD Universe.
http://www.billyjoeshaver.com/bio.htm Admired by many as a songwriter of excellence, he sings his own tunes Old Five and Dimers Like Me (1973), http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/billy_joe_shaver/old_five_and_dimers_like_me.html Fit To Kill and Going Out of Style, Black Rose, http://www.justsomelyrics.com/2345705/billy-joe-shaver-black-rose-lyrics.html including a memorable phrase “the devil made me do it the first time; the second time I done it on my own” and Played the Game Too Long. Waylon Jennings’s album Honky Tonk Heroes was chock full of Billy Joe’s songs, eleven of them to be specific, and some will say this album was the best of Jennings career and indeed the best country music album of all time. Billy’s poetic verbiage, obvious sentiment, and bad-ass attitude was a pure refreshment. Waylon’s voice and style made it unique. http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/b/billy_joe_shaver/ You Tube has a video of Billy Joe singing Old Five and Dimers Like Me eleven years later in 1984 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoiuwUa9oZs

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Tim Cole Memorial bronze statuary by Eddie Dixon, Lubbock sculptor, is being installed and will be dedicated on Wednesday September 17 at 2:00 pm at the public pocket park at 19th Street and University Avenue southwest corner http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Cole Cole was charged with the rape of Michelle Mallin in 1985 and was convicted on her testimony identifying him as her assailant. He died in prison in 1999 still proclaiming his innocence. Another prisoner confessed to the crime and DNA evidence proved that Cole could not have been her assailant. By 2009 his conviction was legally overturned and he received a gubernatorial exoneration, not a pardon for a committed offense, but an exoneration for not having committed an offense. Kevin Glasheen, lawyer, paid $25,000 to commission the statuary and the City of Lubbock is supplying the public space. It will be a permanent reminder that our law enforcement and criminal prosecution system is operated by humans and when an error is committed it is devastating. A justice system can occasionally produce injustice.

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A possible California Dreaming World Series in major league baseball looks less likely now that the San Francisco Giants have fallen 5 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but Oakland is only ½ game back of the Los Angeles Angels. A freeway series is still possible and a California Civil War north south series is also possible, but we can cancel out the Bay Bridge Series due to the slumping Giants.

Yes, the Texas Rangers have the worst record in major league baseball this season and are 26 games back of the Angels. Did we need to mention that? Still, they have won 39% of their games and are poor only by comparison. They were in the top echelon a short time ago and will be again, we hope.

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2014 is the centenary of the commencement of The Great War that convulsed Europe 1914-1918 and, when the second World War began, The Great War was renamed as World War I. This year and last we have seen a spate of new books about World War I addressing it from a number of perspectives.

Here is a top 12 list of books http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/worldwar1/tp/tpww1.htm

An example of a fascinating book is John Lewis-Stempel, The War Behind the Wire: The life, death and glory of British Prisoners of War, 1914-1918 (Weidenfeld and Nicholson 2013) ABE Books new $26.74 in which we learn that the German military incarcerating these prisoners was less attuned to the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hague_Conventions_of_1899_and_1907 and their humanitarian values relative to prisoners, and more animated by the Kriegsbrauch im Landkriege (The Usage of War on Land) that allowed for killing of POWs. It had been written as a manual in 1902 by the German Army general staff. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kriegsbrauch_im_Landkriege This explains why there was so much brutality, death by communicable diseases that could easily have been treated and cured, and death by starvation. It also explains why there were so many attempted escapes and a few notable successes. John N. Horne & Alan Kramer, German Atrocities, 1914: A History of Denial (Yale University Press 2001) Texas Tech Library D626.G3 H67 ABE Books good condition $19.94 incl s&h

Another book is Helen Rappaport, The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra (St Martin’s Press 2014) Texas Tech Library DK258.6 R374 Lubbock Public Library 947.0830922 ROMA in which we learn a good deal about Alexandra the wife of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and mother of these four young women whose individual titles was Grand Duchess. In order of age they were Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia. Empress
Alexandra was sick and abed for years throughout the lives of her daughters and hemophiliac son Alexei although she controlled them from her chamber, and she brought in and fell under the thrall of Rasputin who enjoys a reputation as a reprobate and religious maverick in the Western mind. If we realize that Alexandra was a German duchy princess and a Lutheran by birth and training and had a hard time formally converting to Russian Orthodoxy, it is much more understandable that she might have brought in Grigori Rasputin who was able to provide a syncretistic blend of Russian Orthodoxy and Alexandra’s Lutheranism to assist her in dealing with her many afflictions and troubles.

Nicholas II of Russia, literally Nicholas II, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias from 1894-1917 was known in history as Tsar but Tsardom was nominally ended in 1721. Nicholas came to the throne in Russia from his roots in Germany at the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov and was a cousin of Queen Victoria of Great Britain [House of Hanover 1714-1901] and her husband Prince Albert [House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha 1901 to the present, with a changing of the name to House of Windsor in 1917 during The Great War so that Great Britain could be comfortably at war with Germans even though the British King had an obvious German origin and ancestry]

The lives of Nicholas II, Alexandra, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Alexei ended by execution during internal exile at Yekaterinburg on July 17, 1918 at the hands of the victorious Bolsheviks.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicholas_II_of_Russia

The waterless moat, all 16 acres of it, around the Tower of London is being filled between August 1 and November 11 with ceramic red poppies fashioned by Paul Cummins Ceramics http://www.paulcumminsceramics.com/poppies-to-fill-tower-of-london-moat-in-first-world-war-commemoration/ A dead soldier from Chesterfield wrote in his battlefield holographic will at Flanders “the blood-swept lands and sea of red, where angels fear to tread” and that sea of red is now a sea of red ceramic poppies in London. A total of 888,246 will be planted, one for each British or Commonwealth country fatality during the War. After November 11, Armistice Day in Great Britain and Veterans Day in the United States, the poppies will be removed and sold with proceeds to charitable organizations. Here is a video of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and his brother, Prince Harry, each planting a ceremonial poppy http://www.thestar.com/news/world/2014/08/05/red_ceramic_poppies_spill_from_tower_of_london_on_100th_anniversary_of_wwi.html

Updated to November 11, 2014 http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2014/11/-blood-swept-lands-and-seas-of-red/100851/

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Arts History Lecture Series begins Friday September 12 through Friday December 5, 2014 with coffee goodies and informal conversation from 10:30 am and the lectures begin at 11:00 am with departure promptly at noon. Meet in the Texas Tech University Museum Helen DeVitt Jones Sculpture Court and repair to the Jones Auditorium for the lectures; 3301 4th Street is the Museum address but enter the Sculpture Court through the west doors on Indiana Avenue. The topic this semester is Impressionism, the first distinctly modern art movement and style of painting appearing in Paris France about 1870. It was adopted by a number of American painters and there are countless American examples of Impressionism. The lecturers are Dr. Christian Conrad and Dr. Michelle Kraft. The cost is $40 for the entire semester or $7 per session attended, and the first two lectures on September 12 and 19 are free to encourage persons to attend for the first time and sample the experience. Parking at both the 4th Street and Indiana Avenue parking lots is free as is admission to the Museum. The west entrance to the Museum is graced by a magnificent sculpture Landmark (2001) by Horace Farlowe, a North Carolina sculptor, in Texas pink granite and finely polished to a smooth finish.

The Lecture Series will resume in Spring semester Friday mornings January 9 through April 3, 2015 although the topic has not yet been announced for that semester. This popular program of the Museum of Texas Texas University Association, Jouana Stravlo, Executive Director, began with lectures by Rabbi Alexander Stanley Kline in the 1960s http://www.mottua.org more information by phone at 806-742-2443

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Arts History Update for late August 2014

20 Aug

Arts History Update for late August 2014 by David Cummins

Friday evening August 29 from 7:00 – 8:00 pm is the ribbon cutting and formal acceptance of the new public art installed at the West Village Residence Hall on the Texas Tech University campus 19th Street west of Indiana Avenue and Texas Tech Parkway. The several sculptures in the courtyard at the entrance to the Hall are called Texas Rising (2014) by Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock, Tuscon Arizona artists. They are lighted from within so will create quite a light show for residents of the Hall and their visitors and friends. This is a free for the public event and the artists will be present to interact with patrons of the art, us.

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Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage (transl. Philip Gabriel, Alfred A. Knopf 2014) is a much anticipated novel after his wildly successful The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel (transl. Jay Rubin, Alfred A. Knopf 1997) and later works. In its first week in Japanese book stores it sold one million copies. We’ve all read “coming of age novels” but this is a “not coming of age novel” and most revealing of life anywhere in a dense urban landscape. Artfully reviewed at Patti Smith, Deep Chords, The New York Times Sunday Book Review, August 10, 2014.

Lubbock Public Library has The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (1997), Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche (2001), After The Quake: Stories (2002) [in 1995 the Kobe earthquake occurred in January killing thousands, and in March the poison gas attacks occurred on Tokyo subways frightening the populace, so Murakami writes about the aftermath], Kafka On the Shore (2005) Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman: Stories (2006) ABE Books good condition $6.98, After Dark (2007), and 1Q84 (2011) (an ode to George Orwell’s 1984 but a caution at 925 pages).

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle is 611 pages and Colorless Tsukuru is 386 pages “The new novel–a book that sold more than a million copies the first week it went on sale in Japan–from the internationally acclaimed author, his first since IQ84 —
Here he gives us the remarkable story of Tsukuru Tazaki, a young man haunted by a great loss; of dreams and nightmares that have unintended consequences for the world around us; and of a journey into the past that is necessary to mend the present. It is a story of love, friendship, and heartbreak for the ages. -”

Texas Tech Library has The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche, After The Quake: Stories, Kafka on the Shore, and 1Q84. It also has What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: A Memoir (2008) 179 pages [he is a long distance runner including 26.2 mile marathons] ABE Books good condition $4.99 and Vintage Murakami (2004) 182 pages his selection from his writings ABE Books good condition $3.48

Neither has Norwegian Wood: A Novel (1987 in Japan, transl. Jay Rubin, Vintage International 2000) adapted into a movie Norwegian Wood (2010, with English subtitles 2011). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neK1yJAWyYs An earlier movie Tony Takitani (2004) was taken from Murakami’s short story by that name.

Matthew C. Strecher, The 10 Best Haruki Murakami Books, Publishers Weekly August 8, 2014, reveals as it describes Murakami’s social deconstruction of an economic phenomenon Japan Incorporated, whereby the novels interrogate advanced capitalism highlighting its tendency to commodify and sell anything, nearly everything, including basic human relationships.

Murakami blends the surreal with hard-boiled deadpan comedy, and delicate introspection by his characters. He is age 65 and considered a candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Danh Vo is a Vietnamese-American sculptor who has an exhibit We The People http://www.publicartfund.org/view/exhibitions/6042_danh_vo_we_the_people at both New York City’s City Hall Park and at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The former is http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/08/arts/design/outdoor-sculpture-and-more-in-the-new-york-region.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=Moth-Visible&module=inside-nyt-region&_r=0 recognizable as a portion of the flame in the Statue of Liberty torch, rendered in copper, and the latter is http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/places/public-art#dahn recognizable as the draped sleeve of the Statue of Liberty’s right arm, again rendered in copper, and a great photo opportunity for a selfie.

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Texas Legislature House of Representatives District # 83 is a vacant seat since Representative Charles Perry withdrew his filing for re-election and filed to run for an open Texas Legislature Senate seat. At a Republican Party candidate forum http://www.myfoxlubbock.com/news/local/story/House-District-83-republican-candidates-meet-in/6ouYNfyBw06A-pWDHB4uBA.cspx each of the candidates announced that s/he is against the federal government and would scale it back in size and strength. Why is this an issue in a state representative position and what does this attitude signify as a mind-set of those candidates? The Republican Party county and voting precinct chairs will elect one of those six whose name will appear on the Tuesday November 4 general election ballot, but other disappointed candidates might launch a write-in ballot candidacy. No Democrat filed for this seat in the Spring so unless there is a write-in ballot candidacy by a Democrat the Republican Party designated candidate on the ballot will be the likely winner of the seat and become one of 150 members of the 2015 Texas House of Representatives.

There is a special election on September 9 to fill the open Texas State Senate District 28 seat and unexpired term, occasioned by Robert Duncan’s resignation from the Senate to become Chancellor of Texas Tech University System. The filed candidates are:

Jody Arrington, Lubbock, Republican
Delwin Jones, Lubbock, Republican
Charles Perry, Lubbock, Republican
Epi Garza, Wolfforth, Republican
Greg Wortham, Sweetwater, Democrat
Kerry McKennon, Petersburg, Libertarian

Early voting is available August 25 – September 5 with the exception of Labor Day Monday September 1 http://www.sos.state.tx.us/elections/voter/d28-candidates.shtml Should there be a runoff election, if the top vote-getter does not have 50% plus one vote, Governor Perry will set the runoff election date but it likely would be November 4 the general election day. Election day locations on September 9 in Lubbock County http://www.votelubbock.org/election-information/election-day-information/ are identified at this website. Early voting locations http://www.votelubbock.org/election-information/early-voting-information/ on a daily basis are identified at this website.

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Local growers, producers and restaurants come together for the 5th annual Great Harvest Marketplace. The event offers complimentary samples of a variety of local food, wine and beer. McPherson Cellars will be pouring wine. Guests receive a punch card with 15 opportunities for free tastings from 24 local venues including food wine and beer.

A representative for the Lubbock Restaurant Association said the purpose of the event is to expose the variety and quality of local food and drink. A chef will demonstrate cooking styles for Texas Gulf shrimp [local has an expansive definition sometimes]. At the previous year’s event there was live music as well.

The event is hosted at Bayer Museum of Agriculture 1121 Canyon Lake Drive in Mackenzie Park from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on Thursday August 28. Free event but a $10 donation is suggested.

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Non-degree seeking students at Texas Tech, including you, may register free on the e-learning portal and then select the course or courses you wish to take online
http://www.depts.ttu.edu/elearning/non-degree-seeking/ Costs for enrollment vary. Some universities like Arizona State University at Tempe have committed to having their entire curriculum available online so theoretically one could never physically be in Tempe and still graduate.

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The Blue Inside by Peter Mangan is the latest Art on the Llano Project installation on the median adjacent to the on ramp for South Loop 289 eastbound frontage road at Quaker Avenue. It is similar to Mangan’s Gemini Song at the Benini Foundation Galleries and Sculpture Ranch at Johnson City Texas in the Hill Country
http://sculptureranch.com/sculptor-mangan-hc-gemini.htm and is described as an untreated, already oxidized stainless steal silhouette frame of two humans male and female with three contrasting copper bands to contain the outline of those figures. All framing bands have two, three or four squares of blue-tinged translucent glass hanging from them. The glass is not noticed when one is exactly perpendicular to the sculpture but is on display from all other angles. http://www.petermangan.com The artist resides and has a studio in both Blanco Texas and San Francisco California.

The sculpture stands atop a two feet similar steel pediment to raise the sculpture to a height necessary for it to be appreciated by vehicular traffic at the intersection. There is little pedestrian traffic at that location but I parked in Doc’s Liquor Store parking lot and walked across the ramp to the median and closely inspected the piece.

Transportation costs were paid by Melissa Grimes at Studio West Interior Design http://www.studiowestid.com 26th Street and Canton Avenue and installation was performed gratis by the Texas Department of Transportation District based in Lubbock serving 17 counties http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/district/lubbock.html Douglas Eichorst, P.E. [professional engineer] is District Engineer. Kudos to these leaders.

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Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock together are The Flatlanders. At one time they all lived in Lubbock Texas and met and liked each other. They still do. Here are their albums in CD format in chronological order: Live at the One Knite Austin TX June 8, 1972 (1972), More a Legend Than a Band (1994), Unplugged (1995), Now Again (2002), Wheels of Fortune (2004), Hills and Valleys (2009), and The Odessa Tapes (2012). They are live, in concert, at the Cactus Theater on Friday September 26, 2014 at 7:30 pm $35 or $30 in balcony.

These artists are successful individually, but there is a special magic about them when they appear together. Garrison Keillor knew that when he scheduled a live production of the Prairie Home Companion radio show at City Bank Auditorium in Lubbock on April 27, 2013 and asked The Flatlanders to be his guest band for the event. They were wonderful.

Do you remember Woody Guthrie and his ballad about leaving the Dust Bowl for California, something he did himself? The Flatlanders recently wrote a reversal of that phenomena called Homeland Refugee about a family picking up and leaving California to go back to their dust bowl roots. The chorus is

“Now I’m leaving California for the dust bowl
They took it all, there’s nowhere else to go
The pastures of plenty are burning by the sea
And I’m just a homeland refugee”

Lyrics at http://www.lyricsmania.com

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Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC has in its archives a good deal of old typewritten/with erasures and inter-lineations and hand-written materials, and it would take the staff eons of time to transcribe it all into digital format, so the Smithsonian came up with the idea of inviting volunteers anywhere on their own time to do the transcribing. It uses the crowd sourcing software in its Transcription Center https://transcription.si.edu/browse Here are a list of the current projects if you are interested. Earlier this year the Smithsonian put 200 documents from the collection on the World War II Monuments Men online in the Transcription Center and within one week 49 volunteers had transcribed and reviewed every one of the documents. They are now digitally archived and word searchable by anyone. This is a great way to use volunteers at museums and galleries for everyone’s benefit.

Larry Kirkland sculptor did El Intercambio (The Interchange) (2009) four granite sculptures and granite flooring designs on the pedestrian mall leading from the Medical Sciences Research Building to the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso Texas. http://elpaso.ttuhsc.edu/ Here are several pictures of those pieces on that pedestrian mall interweaving with excellent landscape architecture by Jason Hodges of Prairie Workshop http://prairieworkshop.com/paul%20foster%20som.htm and here are pictures from Larry Kirkland http://www.larrykirkland.com/el-intercambio.html The largest of the four sculptures is Portal and is striped Imperial red granite and Kashmiri gold granite that reflects the building style at either end of the mall. The second sculpture is Mind crafted from the same two granite stones and is a positive silhouette head engraved with a floral pattern and tools of daily life. The last two smaller sculptures are made from Absolute black granite slabs with a cutout keyhole. The oblique view of Mind is even more revealing of contrasts in granite material http://www.pinterest.com/pin/129689664241982704/ This sculpture has already received awards http://www.stone-ideas.com/2010/05/01/art-more-than-mere-facades-tiles-or-sculptures/

The campus at the moment in El Paso is comprised of three academic units, the Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing, and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. To the west of this campus is the non-profit teaching hospital University Medical Center of El Paso at 4815 Alameda Avenue http://www.umcelpaso.org [prior to 2009 it was R. E. Thomason Hospital of El Paso Hospital District] that recently expanded by opening an East Tower building and is adjacent to El Paso Childrens Hospital (2012) and TTUHSC Physician Clinics. To the northeast is Medical Center of the Americas Foundation http://mcamericas.org/ that is constructing new research buildings. The entire area is bounded by Alameda Avenue on the south and Interstate Highway 10 and Gateway Boulevard East on the north and is east of downtown El Paso.

Headwaters (2005) by Larry Kirkland is a sculptural piece located on the Texas Tech University campus in Lubbock north of the College of Education Building south of the English and Philosophy Departments Building in that courtyard https://www.flickr.com/photos/11324122@N08/1078499642/ the hands and alphabet pieces are sculpted from Kashmiri gold granite and the base in the form of a book is from African black granite, a metaphor in its entirety.

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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. http://www.observer.theguardian.com

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 often pre-written in part and usually is dutifully 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 drops purgatory and assigns 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 the 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 where the decedent had attended services, the physical body seems 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”.

Many would suggest that since we know what became of the protoplasm or body of the decedent, it is the soul or psyche of the decedent whose location is debatable. There is no agreement as to the existence and quality of the soul during the decedent’s life and even less after his/her death. Speculating about something we were so ignorant of during his/her lifetime, causes most of us to fall silent.

Memory and remembrance by others, may for most be the final repose of the decedent. The comfortable narrative of the life, the dying, and the dealing with the death, is all of a piece and becomes one narrative as memories and remembrances are shared, stated and restated. The dead themselves are simply absent. These narratives often begin immediately after a death in the memorializing process often called “a celebration of his/her life”.

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.

Arts History Update for mid August 2014

7 Aug

Arts History Update for mid August 2014 by David Cummins

Spirit of ’45 Day will be celebrated Saturday August 9, 2014 at Silent Wings Museum http://www.mylubbock.us/departmental-websites/departments/silent-wings-museum/special-events/2014/08/09/default-calendar/spirit-of-%2745-day as many of you realize that V-J Day was August 14, 1945 ending World War II after the earlier in the month bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Millions of lives, American and Japanese, would have been lost if we had to invade the Japanese homelands. Many feel indebted to President Harry S Truman for the horrific bombings that caused so much death injury and destruction to two important cities and civilian populations. The use of atomic bombs on civilian populations was arguably a violation of the law of war but the Japanese leadership was shocked and impressed enough to agree to an unconditional surrender that was announced on August 14 and formally signed aboard the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_over_Japan_Day Congress set the second weekend of August each year as a Spirit of ’45 Day of Remembrance.

Silent Wings Museum will be open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm free admission, and the Spirit of ’45 Day ceremony will take place at 2:00 pm. Address is 6202 North Interstate Highway 27 at Exit 9 on west side of Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

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The Blue Inside by Peter Mangan is the latest Art on the Llano Project installation on the median adjacent to the on ramp for South Loop 289 eastbound frontage road at Quaker Avenue. It is similar to Gemini Song at the Benini Foundation Galleries and Sculpture Ranch at Johnson City Texas http://sculptureranch.com/sculptor-mangan-hc-gemini.htm and is described as an untreated, already oxidized stainless steal silhouette frame of two humans male and female with three contrasting copper bands to contain the outline of those figures. All framing bands have two three or four squares of blue-tinged translucent glass hanging from them. The glass is not noticed when one is exactly perpendicular to the sculpture but is on display from all other angles. http://www.petermangan.com The artist resides and has a studio in both Blanco Texas and San Francisco California.

The sculpture stands atop a two feet similar steel pediment to raise the sculpture to a height necessary for it to be appreciated by vehicular traffic at the intersection. There is little pedestrian traffic at that location. Transportation costs were paid by Melissa Grimes at Studio West Interior Design http://www.studiowestid.com and installation was performed gratis by the Texas Department of Transportation District based in Lubbock serving 17 counties http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/district/lubbock.html

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Historic Granada Movie Theater in Plainview Texas is coming to life after decades of non-use. It’s located at 812 Broadway in Plainview. In early Summer the restoration/renovation began with the removal of the dividing wall and framework for the two movie screens. The drop ceiling panel was removed, and the stage area was restored and expanded. Rest rooms were updated into functionality. The exterior marquee was restored. Much remains to be done. As fundraisers by the 501(c)(3) organization in charge, four concerts will occur over the Labor Day Weekend, as follows:

Friday August 29 at 8:00 pm Texas Tornados $25 general admission seating

Saturday August 30 at 8:00 pm Jason Boland & The Stragglers $25 general admission

Sunday August 31 at 7:30 pm Natalie Grant $30 general admission

Monday September 1 at 7:30 pm Asleep At The Wheel $30 general admission

Seats purchasable at Select A Seat in Lubbock

https://www.facebook.com/GranadaTheaterPlainview information on Darryl Holland http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2012-08-08/granada-theater-has-new-owner#.U-JvL6PG_CY and website advertises these events http://historicgranada.org/

Darryl Holland only raised 53 pledges totaling $12,102 of the requested $100,000 on Kickstarter in late Fall 2013 so that fund-raising project failed. http://www.kicktraq.com/projects/137849208/historic-granada-theater-restoration-in-plainview/ Am guessing he will raise much more than that by these concerts. Don’t tell them, show them how it can be used, and they will gather to get on board.

Darryl and Stephanie Holland own and operate Holly Hop Ice Cream Parlor on 34th Street near Indiana Avenue, and the Lubbock Fun Club http://www.lubbockfunclub.com/

Greetings, friends! 

I am extremely pleased to announce the completion of “phase one” in the major restoration work being done at the HISTORIC GRANADA THEATRE located at 812 Broadway in downtown Plainview, Texas!

Many of you receiving this note know that this project has been a total leap of faith – and an all-encompassing labor of love –  that has taken many twists and turns since Stephanie and I began this very personal journey EXACTLY TWO YEARS AGO TODAY.   As some of you may know, my late grandfather, Price Holland, was a partner in the operation of this historic theatre as well as the builder of the drive-ins and other “walk-in” theatres in Plainview from the late 1940s through the early ‘70s.  After his retirement, the GRANADA was eventually sold and “twinned” by an out-of-state corporation….without regard to the historical significance and ornate beauty of this once-majestic “movie palace.”  It has been my personal mission since 1977 to one day re-claim this theatre and restore it – as near possible – to its original glory.  On August 1, 2012….we took that first leap.

Now, as we reach this two-year milestone….we can report the following accomplishments:

• ROOF REPAIR AND REPLACEMENT along with additional cleanup of balcony and original projection room spaces.

• TOTAL RESTORATION of the ORIGINAL, 1940s-era MARQUEE – this work will be fully completed within the next 10 days!

• REMOVAL of the interior dividing wall, drop ceiling and stage obstructions from the 1978 “twinning” of the original theatre space – JUST COMPLETED!

• NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION and INITIATION OF CAPITAL CAMPAIGN for future renovations.

To highlight these events, showcase the re-claimed space and provide a window into the future, we have taken another leap by booking a full-slate of AWARD-WINNING ACTS – to present over the entire LABOR DAY WEEKEND – in the newly-reclaimed theatre space.   We’re even offering an optional barbecue meal for the Sunday and Monday shows as an added option for those interested in an “upscale concert experience.”  (Please note…special combo tickets required to insure enough “fixins” for everyone!)

This stellar lineup of artists include:

Friday, August 29…………Texas Tornados………the ultimate Tex-Mex supergroup, anchored by Texas music icons Augie Meyers and the “King of Tejano Accordion Players”, multi-Grammy winning legend Flaco Jiménez.

Saturday, August 30……..Jason Boland & The Stragglers….This “Red Dirt/Texas Country” star leads the pack of the independent, non-Nashville, country rockers working today and is the most highly-regarded talent in his field.

Sunday, August 31………..Natalie Grant….5-time Gospel Music Association “Female Vocalist of the Year” and 2014 Grammy nominee…perhaps the most admired and successful contemporary Christian pop star of this generation.

Monday, September 1…..Asleep at the Wheel……The 9-time Grammy-winning “Post-Modern Kings of Western Swing”….carrying on the Bob Wills tradition for 44 years and counting!

For those in the publishing arena (or simply interested in more detail), I’ve attached a full PRESS RELEASE and accompanying color photos of the four acts we are featuring during this upcoming holiday weekend concert series. 

It is our hope that the people of the South Plains will appreciate hearing about our renovation efforts and will make plans to support this fundraising effort for our newly-formed non-profit organization so that we may continue in the process of bringing back this treasured movie palace and performing space.  Our goals for the future include showcasing additional concerts; screening independent and classic film; presenting theatrical plays and community-themed events.  We envision the theatre space also playing host to all-school reunions, private functions, weddings and all manner of special occasions.  In short, we endeavor to provide cultural enrichment and a social meeting space that promotes downtown revitalization, historical preservation and tourism.

Your help in delivering that message to friends, followers – and fans of great music that might embrace our project by attending – would be forever appreciated!

Complete concert information and ticket locations are included in the attached press release and through the links listed at the bottom of this note.

Lastly, if you or someone you know, would be interested in underwriting, sponsoring or perhaps buying a block of tickets to any of the concerts, please let me know directly.  We are offering a group discount of 10% for sales of 20+ tickets.

Please consider sharing this news with as many outlets and resources as possible to assist in widespread coverage for this special fundraising concert series.  Your help would be forever appreciated!

With heartfelt thanks,

Darryl Holland

Executive Director

Historic Granada of Plainview, Inc.

Physical address:  812 Broadway

Mailing address:  P.O. Box 812

Plainview, TX 79072

We are officially a pending 501(c)(3) organization

http://www.historicgranada.org

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Jeffie Brewer’s Purple Bull (2014) is now installed at Marsha Sharp Freeway off-ramp to Avenue L as part of the Art on the Llano Project. http://www.jeffiebrewer.com/#!Purple-Bull/zoom/c1psg/image1jhh

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Joseph Mitchell 1908 – 1996 came to New York City from North Carolina the day after the 1929 stock market crash. He had just graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and was 21 years of age. After eight years as a reporter and feature writer at various newspapers, he joined the staff of The New Yorker Magazine, where he remained until his death in 1996 at the age of eighty-seven.

His books include My Ears Are Bent (1938, reissued and revised and expanded in

2001 by Sheila McGrath and Dan Frank), McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (1943), Old Mr. Flood (1948), The Bottom of the Harbor (1959), and Joe Gould’s Secret (1965) each a collection of stories or articles. His stories focused on people living on the fringe in New York City. They featured gypsies, alcoholics, the homeless, fishmongers, and a band of Mohawk Indians who worked as riveters on skyscrapers and bridges and had no fear of heights. Much of his journalism is included in the book Up in the Old Hotel (1992) Texas Tech Library PS3525.I86 U6 1992 that includes all of the previous four books collections of magazine pieces. While at The New Yorker, Joseph Mitchell interviewed criminals, evangelists, politicians, and celebrities. He said that he was a good interviewer because he had lost the ability to detect insanity. He listened to everyone, even those who were crazy, as if they were sane. He said, “The best talk is artless, the talk of people trying to reassure or comfort themselves.”

Mitchell published his last book in 1965, Joe Gould’s Secret, about a man who said that he learned the language of seagulls and was now writing the longest book in the world. Gould’s writing block was mirrored because, for the next 30 years, Mitchell kept going to his New Yorker office without publishing another word.

Joe Gould’s Secret (2000) is a film in which Stanley Tucci plays Joseph Mitchell and Ian Holm plays Joe Gould.

My copy of Up In the Old Hotel is well-worn, an antidote when occasionally I think the world makes sense and is rational and well ordered. I like Mitchell better than H. L. Mencken 1880-1956, although a similar personality at The Baltimore Sun, because Mencken shared his opinion and some vitriol whereas Mitchell just presents the story of an amazing person as if it were normative reporting of life, without opinion or evaluation. Mitchell allows the reader to identify the beat and determine just how off-beat this character might or might not be. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H._L._Mencken

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Peter Heller, The Painter: A Novel (Alfred A. Knopf 2014) $19.05 hardcover $10.00 e-book

Peter Heller, the celebrated author of the breakout best seller The Dog Stars, returns with an achingly beautiful, wildly suspenseful second novel about an artist trying to outrun his past.

Jim Stegner has seen his share of violence and loss. Years ago he shot a man in a bar. His marriage disintegrated. He grieved the one thing he loved. In the wake of tragedy, Jim, a well-known expressionist painter, abandoned the art scene of Santa Fe to start fresh in the valleys of rural Colorado. Now he spends his days painting and fly-fishing, trying to find a way to live with the dark impulses that sometimes overtake him. He works with a lovely model. His paintings fetch excellent prices. But one afternoon, on a dirt road, Jim comes across a man beating a small horse, and a brutal encounter rips his quiet life wide open. Fleeing Colorado, chased by men set on retribution, Jim returns to New Mexico, tormented by his own relentless conscience.

A stunning, savage novel of art and violence, love and grief, The Painter is the story of a man who longs to transcend the shadows in his heart, a man intent on using the losses he has suffered to create a meaningful life.

Lubbock Public Library FIC HELL and CD AUDIO FIC HELL

Texas Tech Library PS3608.E454 P35

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Major League Baseball continues to excite after the All-Star Game break especially in California. In the National League West Division the Los Angeles Dodgers lead the San Francisco Giants by 1-½ game and in the American League West Division the Oakland Athletics lead the Los Angeles Angels by 1-1/2 games. Fans are getting stoked for three possible but not likely World Series. One would be a Bay Bridge Series with Giants against the Athletics, another would be a Freeway Series with Dodgers versus the Angels, and another would be a California Civil War North versus South Giants versus Angels or Dodgers versus Athletics.

Teams in contention are making trades to try to repair areas of weakness and put themselves in the best position to make the playoffs, win their league title, and enter the World Series. Good luck all around.

Back in Texas the Houston Astros are 23 games back but not in the cellar where Texas Rangers are 23 ½ games back. Ouch.

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Electra Waggoner Biggs, Riding Into the Sunset (1947) is a bronze statuary of Will Rogers on his horse Soapsuds at the entrance to Will Rogers Memorial Center including an Auditorium & Coliseum in Forth Worth Texas and four slightly smaller versions are at Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Forth Worth, Will Rogers Memorial Museum and Home of Will Rogers in Claremore Oklahoma, Texas Tech University Memorial Circle (1949) and at Hilton Anatole Hotel (1989) in Dallas. The sculpture was completed in 1939 but world events took over the process of building the coliseum in Fort Worth.

Lineage of The Waggoner Ranch and its heirs:

1. Daniel Waggoner (1828-1902) cattle baron, based on a ranch near Decatur Texas in Wise County since leaving Hopkins County in 1853 with 229 head of cattle after his father Solomon’s death in 1849 and his wife Nancy’s death in childbirth in 1853.

2. son W.T. William Thomas “Tom” or “Pappy” Waggoner, (1852-1934) cattleman and horseman who bred thoroughbred horses and built Arlington Downs racetrack in Arlington Texas in the 1930s in part from oil discovered on the ranch, founded the Waggoner Ranch on and near the Little Wichita River extending to above the Wichita River and west into Clay County, Wichita County, Wilbarger County and Baylor County

3. daughter of W.T. Waggoner was Electra Waggoner Wharton 1882-1925 for whom the town of Electra was named in 1907 it formerly being called Beaver Creek, and son Guy Waggoner 1883-1950 and son E. Paul Waggoner, 1889-1967 quarter horse breeder and western lore promoter,

4. Electra Waggoner Biggs 1912-2001 was the daughter of E. Paul Waggoner and she died at age 88 in a Vernon Texas hospital near her family home Santa Rosa Roundup Ranch within the Waggoner Ranch. She became a sculptor and completed Riding Into the Sunset in 1939 but it was installed in 1947 due to world events delaying and displacing construction of the Will Rogers Memorial Auditorium and Coliseum in Forth Worth.

http://www.waggonerranch.com/MrsBiggsArtTribute.htm shows some of her commissioned sculpture.

She was a beautiful and stately woman for whom the Buick Electra car was named as well as the Lockheed Electra airplane.

5. Electra’s daughters are Helen Biggs Willingham (Mrs. Gene Willingham) who still lives on the ranch home and Electra Biggs Moulder (Mrs. William Moulder) of Jacksonville Florida.

The shares in the W.T. Waggoner Estate (a business trust from 1923) that operates the Waggoner Ranch are roughly owned 50% by Wharton heirs and 50% by Biggs heirs. http://www.texasmonthly.com/content/showdown-waggoner-ranch

Waggoner Ranch http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/apw01

The Waggoner Commissary erected in the 1870s on the ranch near Electra Texas was preserved and moved to the National Ranching Heritage Center in Lubbock Texas in its Proctor Park section http://nrhc.ttu.edu/structures/waggoner-commissary/

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On Saturday October 18, 2014 there will be an opening of an exhibit at Wichita Brazos Museum & Cultural Center in Benjamin Texas 200 E. Hays Street featuring the Adolph Bayers showcase of spurs, bits, jewelery and other items made by the master metal worker from Gilliland in northeast Knox County. Frances Hamm, daughter of Adolph Bayers, will speak at the event that lasts from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Call 940-459-2229 for details of when her talk will occur. Bayers lived 1912-1978 and worked from his home in Gilliland. J. Martin Basinger et al, Artistry in Silver and Steel: The Adolph Bayers Legend (Southwestern Color Graphics volumes I-III 1996, 1997, and 2007) http://www.oto-spurs.com/ and see Cowboy Showcase http://www.cowboyshowcase.com/adolph-bayers-spurs.html#.U-BlfuNdXco

Wichita Brazos Museum opened June 27, 2009 and its normal hours are Mon-Fri 1:00 – 5:00 pm free admission. Its name derives from the location of Benjamin just south of the South Wichita River and just north of the Brazos River, hence the name. In Lubbock we know that the North Fork of the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River runs through Lubbock beginning at Mackenzie Park, confluence of Blackwater Draw and Yellowhouse Draw, and runs southeasterly until it meets the main Double Mountain Fork east of Justiceburg that itself joins with the Salt Fork of the Brazos River northwest of Rule Texas in Haskell County and then the Brazos River runs by Knox City and south of Benjamin toward Seymour in Baylor County before turning southeasterly and running through central Texas to Freeport on the Gulf Coast.

Benjamin is the site of Knox County Veterans Memorial http://www.knoxcountytexas.org/vetsmem2.htm that was completed in 2001 and is an impressive granite gateway structure at the corner of Texas Highway 6 [north-south highway] and US Highway 82 Texas SH 114 [east-west highway]. State Highway 6 runs from the Red River border above Quanah to Galveston Island on the Gulf Coast and since 1997 has been designated as Texas Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_State_Highway_6 It is most appropriate that a memorial alongside the highway would honor all veterans from Knox County from the Civil War through the War in Iraq.

Wyman Meinzer, former official photographer of the State of Texas, makes his home and studio at the Knox County Old Jail (from 1887) in Benjamin Texas. http://www.wymanmeinzer.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/wymanmeinzer Here is a night lighted scene of Meinzer’s home and studio photographed by Ken Pruett http://kendallpruett.com/blog/?cat=74

Benjamin is 126 miles east of Lubbock and a rather scenic drive.

A few days earlier there will be an art event in Seymour that is 32 miles east of Benjamin on Texas SH 114 October 13th, 2014. ‘TOM LEA AND THE ITALIAN RENAISSANCE’ WITH LUCIANO CHELES 7 PM at the Whiteside Auditorium for the Performing Arts 301 North Washington Street in Seymour, Texas. For more information contact Myra Busby, Executive Director, Seymour Chamber of Commerce at scoc@nts-online.net.

The Tom Lea Institute and the Seymour Chamber of Commerce Invite you to the presentation– ‘Tom Lea and the Italian Renaissance’ with Luciano Cheles that will be featured along the Tom Lea Trail. In addition to the Seymour presentation other venues include the Bullock Texas State History Museum, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the Ellen Noel Art Museum of the Permian Basin, and the University of Texas at El Paso.

In 2003 as he was looking through art books, art history scholar Luciano Cheles came across one on Texas murals, noticing a similarity in the volumetric figures of Tom Lea and those of the great Italian Renaissance muralist Piero della Francesca. After receiving an e-mail validating his trained eye – “at the end of his life, Tom Lea wept when he spoke of seeing Piero’s work in Aretto, and getting to touch it with his hand” – Luciano applied to become a fellow at the

Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., winning a coveted spot. While in the United States he studied Piero’s influence on American artists with a special focus on Tom Lea.

In 2013, Texas Highways and Texas Monthly announced the Tom Lea Trail during October’s Tom Lea Month. This year Luciano Cheles will travel that trail, comparing a Texas master to those of the Italian Renaissance.

Luciano Cheles is a lecturer in the Department of Italian Studies at The University of Lancaster, Lancaster, England founded in 1964. http://www.lancaster.ac.uk/

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A new museum that will be dedicated at the Oldham County Round-Up on August 9 is the Milburn-Price Museum and Cultural Center in Vega Texas https://www.facebook.com/pages/Milburn-Price-Culture-Museum/1448761355376339 established by the renovation of an existing building by Greg and Karen Conn. The mural on the side of the building was painted by Joshua Finley and Valerie Doshier http://www.joshuafinleyart.com Denver artists depicting a comanchero making a trade with an Indian, an oxen team hauling a wagon, and of course cattle, a saddled horse and the Indian’s pony. A Quanah Parker Trail arrow was installed by Charles A. Smith on August 5, 2104 so this historic town on Route 66 is humming. Is the Boot Hill Saloon & Grill still open? Yes indeed and chef Rory Schepisi has a Black Angus steer steak waiting for you. http://www.examiner.com/article/vega-texas-boot-hill-saloon-and-grill-along-route-66

Vega is 36 miles west of Amarillo on Interstate highway 40 and about that mileage east of the New Mexico border. It is bisected by US Highway 385 that extends south to Hereford, Dimmitt, Littlefield and Levelland. It extends north to Channing, Hartley, Dalhart and the Oklahoma border.