Archive | September, 2014

Arts History Update for early October 2014

29 Sep

Arts History Update for early October 2014 by David Cummins

Doris Kim Sung will lecture in the Texas Tech College of Architecture on Tuesday October 7, 2014 at 5:00 pm in the First Floor Gallery. She specializes in designing smart thermo-bimetal and shape-memory alloys for use in creating self-ventilating and self-cooling buildings. She started off in biology and became an architect blending the two nicely. Here is her TED talk eight minutes on Metal That Breathes She is an assistant professor at University of Southern California School of Architecture at Los Angeles Her practice is at dO/Su Studio Architecture in Rolling Hills California. Rolling Hills is south of Los Angeles and west of San Pedro adjacent to Rancho Palos Verdes. Fifty years ago I was in a gambling casino in Torrance and Rolling Hills Road was just south of the location. Here is a street view by Google Earth of 3376 Rolling Hills Road, Torrance CA,-118.3479485,3a,75y,109.3h,84.95t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1szTD12qCNwzqPJgPGWjEAgA!2e0


At its secession from the United States in 1861 and pretentiously calling itself the Republic of South Carolina, a former congressman said South Carolina is too small to be a Republic and too large to be an insane asylum, just the right size to create enduring trouble and catastrophe.


Texas Book Festival is October 25-26 at Austin Texas on the Capitol grounds and elsewhere. It’s preceded by a First Edition Literary Gala October 24 at the Four Seasons Hotel at 6:30 pm at $500 a seat for cocktails and a sumptuous dinner and schmoozing with four internationally acclaimed authors. If that price is too thrilling, there is a Gala After Party at 9:30 pm at Four Seasons Hotel for $75 per person and schmoozing with dozens of authors.
Your correspondent actually has never been to this Festival but attendees, to a person, rave about it and some return for later festivals.
Speaking of festivals Oktoberfest in Bavaria is a traditional early Fall festival emanating from the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig [Later King Ludwig I of Bavaria] and Princess Therese in the Austria-Hungary Empire chain two centuries ago. The marriage occurred in Munich Germany on October 10, 1810. The current 16 day event is a bit soggy and not much other than fun is accomplished. If you can’t get to southern Germany, how about Frankenmuth Michigan ninety miles north of Detroit? It’s called Little Bavaria and has several festivals during which various German style beers and foods are available
There is a Little Bavarian Restaurant in El Paso where many of us have enjoyed schnitzel and other treats There is another Little Bavarian Restaurant at 407 W. Baker Road in Baytown Texas east of Houston The city of Leavenworth Washington is the state’s Bavarian Village Silver Creek Restaurant and Beer Garden in Fredericksburg will delight your palate. There are many German-Americans around in the Hill Country to keep this restaurant authentic.
Twisted Root Burgers opened September 22 at West Loop 289 and North Slide Road next to Alamo Drafthouse Cinema. Known in other cities for being trendy, funky and a little snarky, its patio tables seat 70 for outdoor dining. Interior decoration includes guitar cases, license plates, doors hung from the ceiling, and colorful bottles hung on a wall in the shape of Texas. Full service bar but also interesting sodas. Open daily 11:00 am – 10:00 pm.
It produces zany things like boozy milk shakes: e.g. house-made custard in a shake infused with caramel flavored vodka, whipped cream, and dressed with crumbled cinnamon sugar potato chips, or The Oreo and Amaretto Shake, or The Vanilla Porter & Custard Shake.
A local firm owned by Bobby Skibell has been doing something like this. Wild Burger Grille is located at 3515 50th Street.
“Not everything that counts can be counted and not everything that can be counted counts.” Albert Einstein.


Public Art at Texas Tech – new or recent art

Aaron T. Stephan, Portland Maine “Variation” at Bayer Crop Science Laboratory and Greenhouse on 9th Street and Indiana Avenue. Will be installed March 2015.

Counterpoint Studio: Peter Tonningsen and Lisa Levine, Oakland California “Bridging Localities” photo-collage mosaic at entrance to Jerry S. Rawls Golf Course at Texas Tech Parkway north of 4th Street south of Erskine Street. This mosaic is on their Facebook page on the Internet. It is not photos alongside others but under-laid overlaid and superimposed so there is some abstraction to the piece. Installed August 2014. and

Robert Bruno sculpture that is a piece made to go into the Steel House in Ransom Canyon, is presently located at E. 66th Street and Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard northeast corner, and has been purchased by Texas Tech University and will be installed in November 2014 in front of the College of Architecture Building at 18th Street and Flint Avenue. It will be a sight to watch this large piece be trucked slowly by police escort across town to campus and positioned on site.

“Texas Rising” at West Village Residential Hall by Tucson artists Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock is seven multidimensional stars or portions of stars in stainless steel with laser cut stylings imbedded with LED colored lights that are subdued during daylight and interesting, create an aura at dusk, and are dynamic and brilliant at night. They change colors by computer design and one star is interactive so the person pressing a button can have the color of his or her choice. Installed August 2014.

Astrolabe by Owen Morrel was installed in July 2014 in the courtyard of the Experimental Sciences Building. It’s a metaphoric structure, an extrapolation from the historic astrolabe used by travelers 800 years ago. Stainless steel, mirrors, aluminum, concrete. Access it by parking in the Biology parking lot at 14th Street and Detroit Avenue. Go into Texas Tech at 15th Street and Flint Avenue travel east on 15th Street turn north on Detroit Avenue to the parking lot. Walk around the east side of the Biology building into the courtyard. Installed July 2014.

At Texas Tech University’s Autumn Fest 11:00 am – 4:00 pm Saturday November 8, location to be announced, there will be a booth for the Public Art Collection and the new brochure cataloging the holdings will be printed by then and available free.

On Friday evening September 26 folks in Lubbock saw something unusual in the sky, causing some to speculate that Lubbock Lights is occurring again sixty years later. In fact it was a NASA Weather Balloon launched from the Fort Sumner New Mexico Municipal Airport entity Scientific Balloon Flight Facility


Lubbock Symphony Orchestra is well-known but perhaps less appreciated than is its due, because while some of us weren’t paying attention its quality and maturity improved. It is now a musical experience that nearly everyone can enjoy, at least occasionally.

The September 26-27 Masterworks Concert was such a musical experience. The young enthusiastic musical director/conductor David In-Jae Cho chose the selections so artfully. The first set was Les Preludes, Symphonic Poem No. 1 (1854) by Franz Liszt 1811-1886 Hungarian composer, followed by his Piano Concerto No. 1 (1855) played by guest pianist Roman Rabinovich [two encores]

After intermission the orchestra played Scheherazade opus 35 (1888) by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov 1844-1908 a continuous 45 minute piece with hardly a pause between the four parts. The players and audience were both thrilled and exhausted by the musical journey depicting how Scheherazade kept herself alive and the sultan yearning to know more of the story tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.

Instinctively the audience knew it was hearing often played music, part of the classical music culture of America. In fact Les Preludes, Symphonic Poem No. 1 was played by Lubbock Symphony Orchestra first on April 27, 1950 and last on February 28, 1986. The German leadership during World War II loved this work and the fanfare motif of the march finale became theme music for the Webrmachberict radio show and the Die Deutsche Wochenschau newsreels. Piano Concerto No. 1 was played by LSO first on May 6, 1949 by Amparo Iturbi pianist [sister of Jose Iturbi] and last on March 31, 1995 by Helene Wickett pianist Scheherazade was performed by LSO first on October 11, 1966 and last on November 1, 1997.

In the week before the public concerts LSO does its educational mini-concerts in the public schools to demonstrate the excitement of well-played symphonic music. Future Masterworks Concerts are October 24-25, January 16-17 2015, March 6-7, and May 1-2. Three Family concerts and three Chamber Music concerts are also presented each year. When opportunity strikes a Special Gala concert is presented, two previously were one featuring Yo Yo Ma cellist and the other Renee Fleming, lyric soprano

There is a Plainview Texas Symphony that will perform on Thursday October 9 at 7:30 pm in Harral Auditorium on the campus of Wayland Baptist University The Texas Tech University Symphony Orchestra will perform next on Sunday October 5 at Hemmle Recital Hall at 7:30 pm and Thursday October 30 at 7:00 pm at Hemmle Recital Hall at a Halloween Concert. The Tech concerts are free events.


CASP Charles Adams Studio Project is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization committed to the development of a campus where artists can find space and materials to produce art and display it to the public while they are developing their brand, acceptance by the art public, and financial ability to build and operate their own studio elsewhere. It might be called an incubator. LHUCA operates a Clay Studio directly east of the LHUCA main building at 511 Avenue K. The other studios are operated by CASP. The 5th & J Studios are located in a former City Police Garage on 5th Street between Avenues J and K. They face south on 5th Street. From the westerly most studio to the east there are five doors and separate activities:

1. Helen DeVitt Jones Printmaking Studio
2. Texas Tech University School of Art Satellite Gallery
3. 5th & J Gallery used as an event center/gallery
4. Office for 5th & J Studios 1106 5th Street phone 788-1008
5. CH Foundation Metals Studio

For a small fee payable on a daily weekly or longer basis, an amateur or hobbyist or budding professional artist can access any studio pertinent to his/her type of art-making and find the materials tools supplies equipment and machinery necessary for that art. Whatever is produced may then be displayed at the 5th & J Gallery where the public appears regularly, not just at First Friday Art Trail monthly events.

Behind this building 5th & J Studios to the north, a foundry is being built so that what is designed and produced in the Metals Studio can be turned into a permanent piece of art or product.

The Charles Adams Gallery at 602 Avenue J is a private commercial art gallery operated by Charles Adams, the person, and is connected on the west to his residence. That he lives works and makes his art studios charitable contributions to the community all within this area of several city blocks adjacent to and cooperating with LHUCA, is an example of his dedication and vision. CASP built four Studio Flats on Avenue J just south of the LHUCA Icehouse where an artist can reside, have his studio and display his art, all in the same location. Adams discovered that this model of building an artist activity community was very expensive and serviced too few artists and that the studio space for all-comers was a more viable option.

Addresses can be confusing in this part of town because of the presence of railroad trackage into downtown Lubbock, the merging of Texas Avenue and former Avenue H now Buddy Holly Avenue at 4th Street by an underpass relative to the overhead railroad trackage, some renaming of streets, and the presence of the new behemoth Marsha Sharp Freeway. The former 6th Street is Mac Davis Lane. The former Avenue G is Crickets Avenue, former Avenue H is Buddy Holly Avenue, and what would be Avenue I has long been Texas Avenue. The exit/entrance to/from Marsha Sharp Freeway into this Arts District is Avenue L on signage but LHUCA is on Avenue K and Charles Adams Gallery is on Avenue J.

Mahon Public Library facing south is at 1306 9th Street and is east of the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center. To the east of it is the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal Media buildings from 7th to 9th Street. Lubbock Symphony Orchestra offices are located at 601 Avenue K across Mac Davis Lane to the south from LHUCA at 511 Avenue K. The LHUCA Christine DeVitt Icehouse is at 511 Avenue J.

Future development will include acquisition of the property north of LHUCA Christine DeVitt Icehouse, a long-vacant LP&L power station, that is due east of the CASP 5th & J Studios. To the west across Avenues K and L is the former Texas Department of Public Safety building that may soon be replaced by The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences, a project of Lubbock Entertainment / Performing Arts Association LEPAA a private fund-raising organization that would spin off or morph into an operations agency for the Hall.


Arts History Update for late September 2014

20 Sep

Arts History Update for late September 2014 by David Cummins

Those who tell us to read the classics as if we were undernourished, don’t know that many have read literary criticism articles enough to know the value to be found within many classics without trudging through Ulysses, War and Peace, Les Miserables, and others.

If you must read Les Miserables, there is an excellent English translation that even translates the title. Victor Hugo, The Wretched (transl. Christine Donougher, Penguin Books 2013) $19.04 hardcover $10.91 paperback $0.99 e-book at
It has footnotes, end notes, a chronology of Hugo’s life, an historical introduction of the period which is 1815 through the June Rebellion of 1832 attempting to complete the Revolution of 1789 and secure a Republic as a replacement for historical monarchy and its authoritarian equivalent Bonaparteism. The novel was published in 1862 by A. Lacroix, Verboeckhoven & Cie. In French it was published in five volumes running to 1,900 pages. In English it is often 1,500 pages. is an excellent description of what’s happening, and of the long essays within the historical novel that do not advance the plot.

Hugo 1802 – 1885 was initially a Royalist and ultimately after the 1848 Revolution a passionate supporter of Republicanism. He is buried in the Pantheon after his body lay in state at the Arc de Triomphe.

His other famous novel is Our Lady of Paris (Hunchback of Notre Dame) (1831) establishing himself as a romantic prose writer, this novel was set in medieval times, after his earlier poetry that began in 1821. He studied law 1815-1818 but did not practice in the profession. He chose a literary career path and published his first book of poetry in a journal Conservateur Litteraire he had started shortly before 1821.

Following the 1848 Revolution a coup occurred in 1851 and Hugo fled France living in Brussels and Great Britain’s Channel Islands until his return in 1870. During this period of exile is when he wrote his biting social and political criticism in the form of an historical novel Les Miserables.

——————— Mary Hunter 1868-1934 departed Carlinville Illinois with her widowed mother and older brother for the San Joaquin Valley California in 1888 and she taught school in the Bakersfield area. In 1891 she married Stanford Wallace Austin and they moved to Lone Pine and later Independence in the Owens Valley on the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada. They had a mentally retarded daughter in 1892. Mary and Wallace separated in 1903 and divorced in 1914. She did not remarry. She wrote under the name Mary Hunter Austin. The success of The Land of Little Rain (1903) allowed her to separate and go her own way, but she was unable to manage her daughter whom she institutionalized in 1905. Mary Hunter Austin moved to Carmel California in 1906 but continued to write about the Owens Valley and its inhabitants. The Basket Woman (children’s stories 1904) Isidro (1905) The Flock (1906) Lost Borders (1909) A Woman of Genius (1912). She moved to New York City for a decade and later to Santa Fe New Mexico at the invitation of Mabel Dodge Luhan late in life, built a home there Casa Queridto [beloved house] and died there in 1934. The Owens Valley extends from Bishop in the north to China Lake [dry] in the south. Due west of Lone Pine is Mount Whitney and due east is Death Valley, the highest and lowest points in continental United States outside Alaska.

Mary Hunter Austin, The Land of Little Rain (Houghton Mifflin and Co 1903 often reissued) Texas Tech Library F786.A93, a 1950 reprint at 133 pages is in Lubbock Public Library 979.4 A937L

Mary Hunter Austin, One Smoke Stories (Houghton Mifflin and Co 1934) stories of Indians with whom Austin interacted 294 pages Texas Tech Library Southwest Collection SWC 44 A937o. Indians included Timbisha Shoshone, Paiute Shoshone, Mono and Coso Indians. In Bishop California there is Paiute Palace Casino on US Highway 395 and Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center and Museum


Short List for the 2014 Man Booker Prize in Great Britain is announced on September 5


Authors attending the Texas Book Festival are announced, all 275 of them October 25-26, 2014 in Austin Texas.


Elmgreen & Dragset, Prada Marfa (2005) is a “permanent” installation art on the roadside of US Highways 67 and 90 east of Marfa Texas. It has the appearance of a small store with shoes and leather goods for sale in the style of the Italian clothier. It is not a store and the door is always locked tight. No one is ever “inside the store”. It is owned by a business in Marfa, Ballroom Marfa. Texas Department of Transportation has regulations for billboards and other signage alongside state highways, classified this art piece as a billboard, and cited the owner for a violation that could be mitigated by removal. After much negotiation Ballroom Marfa came up with a plan, create an art museum on paper, lease the space on which the installation sits to the art museum, classify this museum as a one piece of art in its collection museum, and continue on. Texas Department of Transportation agreed that classified as an art museum it didn’t violate signage laws and regulations. Problem solved.

————————-’s disdain for literary publishing houses is no secret, but the positive side of that disdain is that has attempted its own publishing in digital format. A recent example that is drawing praise is Day One a weekly literary journal with a short story or similar piece and a poem that are connected by a unifying theme including an interaction conversation by the writer and poet. It’s $1.59 per month and the first thirty days of the subscription are free [four issues] and you can unsubscribe before the fifth issue and owe nothing for trying the journal I don’t know if a subscription gives one access to an archive of previous issues, but if it does then this would be an incredible value at 37 cents an issue for well selected, edited and matched pieces.

There are of course free ways to get the same thing, but you have to work at it. One of the writers in Day One is Justin Brouckaert. Here is a very compelling story by him Like Tiny Little Cracks (2014)


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art opened in Bentonville Arkansas November 11, 2011 designed by Moshe Safdie and founded by Alice Walton, a Wal-Mart heiress. A current exhibit State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now September 13 – January 19, 2015 reflects a nine month scouting out of artists across America who haven’t yet been recognized by the art world but are producing thrilling and dynamic pieces of art. 200 works by 102 artists in this exhibit. Some of the works are available for purchase as prints, such as these eight A number of Texas artists are in the exhibit.


Nessia Pope, How The Grid Conquered Contemporary Art, Art Space Magazine, September 12, 2014 The cubists in France, Kazmir Malevich in Russia, and Piet Mondrian from Holland taught us that the grid is a visual structure that lies at the heart of contemporary art. We’ve been exploring that concept ever since. It can take us inside a face as in Chuck Close’s work or it can take us into abstraction and the uses of color. It can become real and gain definition by juxtaposing a grid astride an absence of anything.


Peter Fountain is a pianist and he will be in concert as a guest of the Texas Tech University School of Music on Thursday September 25 at 5:00 pm in Hemmle Recital Hall. Free event. Remember that if you can’t attend one of these events, you can watch it on your computer monitor as it is live streamed online on the Texas Tech School of Music You Tube channel. If you have to be somewhere else and actively engaged at that hour, you can watch it after the concert is over as a past event on the Texas Tech School of Music You Tube channel. then click on Browse Channels then type Texas Tech School of Music then press Enter then click on Texas Tech School of Music and up comes a list of future events, presently live streamed events, and past events. One of the future events is Peter Fountain’s concert on September 25. A past event is TTU Annual Summer Jazz Concert one hour 28 minutes in length recorded on June 30, 2014. Click on it to test how the channel appears on your computer monitor and how well your computer speakers emit the sound. In the lower right of the video click on the expansion button and the video will fill your entire monitor. Press the Escape button upper left on your keyboard and the video will return to a smaller part of your monitor.

One prefers to attend School of Music events in person but when you can’t, you can watch it live on the live streaming option at You Tube channel. When an event is missed, you can watch it afterward on the You Tube channel.


Want to know more about ISIS the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria? The Torch is The Great Courses Audio Podcasts Service and episode 20 in September 2014 is ISIS: A Cultural and Historical Perspective by Mark Berkson, Ph.D. Professor of Religion and Chair of Religious Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts, Hamline University, St Paul Minnesota. The podcast is 24 minutes in length


A reader of these Updates said that I am repeatedly guilty of optimism, to which I can only say that optimism is a choice. It is an attitude that is as spiritually necessary and proper as it is intellectually suspect.

We can write and think about the way things are, or we can essentially say the same thing by writing and thinking about the way things might be. The description isn’t different, there is however a dynamic introduced because we realize things as they are can get better or worse. Why not choose better?


An exhibit Virginia Woolf: Art Life and Vision is at the National Portrait Gallery in London July 10 to October 16, 2014. a prose stylist, she wrote as no one else of her time. At first folks were shocked. Then they realized the story was well told. Then they were liberated to tell their own stories. She took conventional and conforming out of the language of literature, making it first an option and then simply boring by comparison. She found A Room of Her Own and invited us to do so also.

Leslie and Julia Stephen were parents of a second daughter Virginia in 1882

1895 – mother Julia died. Virginia was age 13

1904 – father Leslie died. Virginia was age 22. F.W. Maitland, The Life and Letters of Leslie Stephen (1906) a biography

1904 – Virginia Stephen and her siblings moved from Kensington to Bloomsbury.

1907 – Virginia’s older sister Vanessa, a painter, married Clive Bell

1912 – Virginia married Leonard Woolf

1917 – Virginia and Leonard founded Hogarth Press that declined the opportunity to publish James Joyce’s Ulysses but published T.S. Eliot’s The Wasteland

Virginia Woolf, The Voyage Out (1915) her first novel and Night and Day (1919) her second and Jacob’s Room (1922) her third and Mrs. Dalloway (1925) her fourth

The Mark On the Wall, Two Stories (Hogarth Press 1917) short story

Virginia Woolf, Modern Novels, London Times Literary Supplement (1919) essay that was revised and reprinted in The Common Reader (1925 many later editions) and Three Guineas (1938) essay relative to the Spanish Civil War after Virginia’s nephew Julian Bell was killed fighting on the Republican side in 1937.

Hitler’s Black Book included a list of Brits who would be taken into custody after Germany seized London # 115 was Leonard Woolf # 116 was Virginia Woolf

Between The Acts (1941 but first published posthumously) her last novel

In early 1941 she began hearing voices and thought she was not just having another nervous breakdown, but was losing sanity. She wrote parting notes to her sister Vanessa and husband Leonard and she walked to the River Ouse in Sussex near Lewes on March 28, 1941, left her walking stick on the bank, and at age 59 strode into the river until its thread swept her away and she drowned.

British literary people have never gotten over this lady. A bronze bust of Woolf was erected in Tavistock Square in London England in 2004.

It was because she was inadequately treated by physicians, into which was read speculation about the inadequacy of medical care, physicians treating her as a man and dismissing her “female” maladies, misunderstanding eccentricity and otherness for illness and vice versa, that one speculator wrote a book whose title is as often recalled as anything else about Virginia …. Irene Coates, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf: A Case Study for the Sanity of Virginia Woolf (Brandl & Schlesinger 1998)

Edward Albee, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962 play) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (movie black and white 1966 director Mike Nichols starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis, often regarded as a classic, two of the stars Taylor and Dennis receiving Academy Award Oscars but as Best Picture it was unchosen in favor of A Man For All Seasons)

If we have demons, and are afraid of them, we are Virginia Woolf and she told us about herself and us. We are sometimes uncomfortable seeing ourselves depicted in art, especially in a public place. Much easier to read a book, in private, and share in our imagination only with a deceased author whose imagination remains alive on the page.

Texas Tech Library has 80 entries under her name as an author.


West Texas Watercolor Society’s Fall Art Exhibit is September 19 – November 2, 2014 at Legacy Event Center YWCA of Lubbock 1500 14th Street. Also showing are oil paintings by Laura Lewis, jewelry by Linda Adkins, and Remembrance and Renewal photographs by Ann McDonald. The juror is Julie Schumer Santa Fe New Mexico abstract expressionist. The Center is open Mon-Fri 9:00 – 5:00 pm and for select evening events.

The website is not currently operational


Museum of the Desert Southwest at 409 South Gaston Street in Crane Texas will dedicate a new mural painted by Stylle Read titled Overland Mail Route Stagecoach at Horsehead Crossing (2014) at 10:00 am Saturday September 27, 2014. For more information about this event e-mail or phone 432-558-2311.

Here’s Read’s website at which you can see that he has experience painting a stagecoach

Crane is south of Odessa on US Highway 385 travel south to McCamey and then southwest to Girvin and then onto Texas SH Farm Road 11 travel northwest 12 miles and trek a mile east [by permission on this private land] to the Pecos River, the border between Pecos County to the west and Crane County to the east, and you’re at Horsehead Crossing over the Pecos River, so famous in history including the Overland Mail Route that extended from St Louis Missouri all the way to Los Angeles and then up to San Francisco its terminus. When the mail route mentions Franklin Texas, that’s an old name for El Paso the mid point between St Louis and Los Angeles. On August 1, 1859 a ferry was installed at Horsehead Crossing to take the stagecoach across. This was a federal government mail service so the Civil War interrupted the operation in 1861. Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving followed the route to Horsehead Crossing in 1866 after the War and across the Pecos River and then went north on the west side of the Pecos toward their Colorado destination, the Goodnight Loving Cattle Trail. Yes, this circuitous route from North Texas to southern Colorado was all about avoiding Comancheria, the land of the Lords of the Plains who fearsomely stole the Anglo’s cattle and horses and went back to the tipi with scalps. Once the Comanche were safely ensconced on an Indian Territory reservation [Oklahoma] a railroad line would be built in the 1880s directly from Fort Worth to Amarillo to southern Colorado and finally to Denver.

The name “horsehead” derives from the many horse skulls placed on the bank as a warning to travelers that it may be the best place to cross, but many horses had been lost in the attempt. From 1839 – 1850 travelers and Army surveyors mapped the Crossing and Henry Skillman drove the Butterfield Overland Mail across in the 1850s.

Between Fort Chadbourne and Horsehead Crossing was a “desert” so there were water stations on the Overland Mail Route, from east to west at Colorado River Station, Grape Creek Station, Head of Concho Station, Camp Johnston Station, Llano Estacado Station, Mustang Waterholes Station, and Horsehead Crossing Station. Fort Chadbourne is in the process of being restored and is on US Highway 277 northeast of Bronte that is on the Colorado River as it flows southeast. At each station fresh horses [mules were often used] would be hitched, food was prepared in advance for the expected drivers and passengers, and an emergency water cask would be replaced. From Preston Texas near Lake Texoma to El Paso would take seven days, twenty-seven to get to San Francisco from St Louis. Freight, mail and passengers was a needed service and $200 would buy passage of one person from St Louis to San Francisco.


The Roosevelts: An Intimate History (2014) is a seven part made for television documentary film by Ken Burns focused on Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Part # 1 Get Action 1858-1901 Part # 2 In The Arena 1901-1910 Part # 3 Fire of Life 1910-1919 Part # 4 The Storm 1920-1933 Part #5 The Rising Road 1933-1939 Part # 6 Common Cause 1939-1944 Part 7 A Strong and Active Faith 1944-1962.

For a time, at the web site, you may watch the full series of episodes on your computer monitor or downloaded into your television set or tablet or smart phone. Eleanor was Teddy’s niece, and Franklin his fifth cousin. The film has a companion book by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns hardcover 576 pages with marvelous pictures $60 at the website $37.82 $18.99 e-book


Arts History Update for mid September 2014

7 Sep

Arts History Update for mid September 2014 by David Cummins

Texas Rising (2014) by Joe O’Connell and Blessing Hancock was dedicated on August 29, 2014 at the West Village Residential Hall west and south of Texas Tech Parkway at 18th Street. O’Connell’s website is and Blessing Hancock’s website is but they collaborate on public art projects including one in San Antonio under a freeway Ballroom Luminoso (2013) , another in San Marcos on the campus of Texas State University Fish Bellies (2013) and one in The Woodlands Texas north of Houston Seedpods (2011). Their separate studios are in Tuscon Arizona.

It consists of seven multi-dimensional star sculptures laser-cut in stainless steel and etched patterns that are not graphics. Four stars are partially formed on the ground and the largest in front of the main entrance to the Residence Hall is 18 feet tall and 21 feet wide and fully formed on top of the ground. Two stars are hanging in portals ten feet above a walking area. The stars on the ground are illuminated from within by LED lights that gradually change colors and are dramatic in the evening. The largest fully formed star’s lights are interactive so people can press a button and interrupt the computerized lighting program and cause shifts to whatever color the controller wishes. The lights and colors from within five stars are interesting and subtle during daylight, but once dusk arrives they take on an aura, and at dark they are a dynamic and dramatic display. Better yet, residents of the Hall say that when viewed from above on the second third or fourth floors of the Hall, the stars are especially dramatic.

The moorings for the five stars on the ground, are hidden from view underground in reinforced concrete pads using steel reinforcing bars (rebar). Concrete is strong in compression but weak in tension so the steel bars supply the tensile strength.

West Village Residential Hall is an upperclasswomen and men and graduate student residence.

Here is the brochure of commissions that O’Connell and Hancock have performed


El Grito or El Grito de Dolores “The Cry” or “The Shout” by father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a parish priest in Dolores Mexico on September 16, 1810, recalls that he rang the parish bell and called on Mexicans to rise against the Spanish crown and fight for independence. That was achieved by a long struggle in 1821. Many people celebrate El Grito on September 15 by ringing bells and shouting, and celebrate Mexican Independence Day as September 16. At Texas Tech University El Grito will be celebrated in the evening of September 15 at 9:45 – 11:00 pm in the Texas Tech North Plaza between the Student Union Building and the Main Library.

Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Belize, El Salvador and Costa Rica all celebrate their independence from Spain on either September 15 or 16 so Central American independence celebrations are often aligned with Mexican independence celebrations.

In Lubbock there is often a Fiestas Patrias Parade and Celebration on a weekend in mid-September. is the schedule this year beginning Thursday September 11 ending Sunday September 14 with a pageant at Estacado High School on Thursday evening at 7:30 pm $5, a parade on Saturday morning at 10:00 am on Broadway Street and Avenue V marching east to the Civic Center, and musical events on Friday Saturday and Sunday at Lone Star Amphitheater 602 E. 19th Street. All are welcome to participate.


Michael Singer Studio in Vermont is the artist for Uplifted Ground that connects the airline terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport at Austin Texas with a new building for renting cars to travelers. In essence the space is a 300 foot walkway through a current parking building to the new car rental building It’s a $1.6 million public art project. A suspended and grounded series of plinths referencing natural geological formations, at different sizes for the cubes, provide the traveler with the feeling of an uplift as one walks forward. A public bond issue is financing the construction of the new building and this public art project.


Upcoming book festivals are:

14th Annual West Texas Book Festival in Abilene September 22-27

Books in the Basin in Midland and Odessa October 10-11

Texas Book Festival in Austin October 24-26


Cher is coming to Lubbock in her nationwide Dressed To Kill Tour or D2K Sunday November 9 at 7:30 pm at United Supermarkets Arena [formerly known as United Spirit Arena]. She was last here on February 7, 2003 at the same venue performing to a sold out crowd for her Living Proof Farewell Tour. Tickets went on sale Friday September 5 at 10:00 am at $152 for the best seat through Select A Seat. pre-sale online at this web site one day early on September 4.

Her 25th CD Album is Closer To The Truth (2013) so you can purchase it for $14 and hear her but not see her, the costumes, and extravaganza on offer in November.


An exhibit Texas Moderns: George Grammer is at The Old Jail Art Center in Albany Texas September 20 – January 4, 2015. The website displays Grammer’s Off Shore (1953) a blend of Cubist, American and Italian Futurist, and Surrealist abstraction. He is a Fort Worth Circle artist post World War II. Here is Gull Roost (1951) and here is Oil Wells at Night and Winter Night (Derrick in the Snow) (1959) Here is a biography of Grammer living for the past forty years in New York


In this election year we’ve all been listening to candidates and their advertisements. One of the themes in Texas is “border security” heightened by Governor Perry’s recent deployment of Army National Guard troops to the border in the Rio Grande Valley. This of course is a federal issue not a state issue so one wonders why state legislature candidates are talking about it so much.

Maybe singing would be better. Butch Hancock wrote Borderless Love and the Flatlanders sang it on their album Hills and Valleys (2009). It says a great deal for me about “border security”. Here is a three minute video of the Flatlanders singing it the first time at Waterloo Records in Austin. Here is another event at which they sang it in DFW and here are the lyrics including

A wall is a mirror that can only reveal
One side of a story that passes for real
But break it all down, it all becomes clear
It’s the fearless who love and the loveless who fear

Borderless love, the land of the free
Borderless love, how far can you see?
Borderless love, there’s no fear at all
In a borderless love there’s no need for a wall

I’m a fan of the Flatlanders Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Butch Hancock and they are in Lubbock Friday September 26 at the Cactus Theater at 7:30 pm $35 for a seat. The Cactus opened as a suburban style movie theater and operated for twenty years 1938-1958 then lay dormant, and was renovated by Don Caldwell Entertainment in 1993 as a live performance venue. It is on the National Register of Historic Places since May 8, 1998,_Texas


Robert Vijay Gupta made his violinist debut at age 11 with the Israel Philharmonic. He is now an adult age 26 and virtuoso violinist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. He is passionate about music and despairs at how music education is only sparingly available to the masses. He will be in Lubbock on Thursday September 18 and will speak on Why Music Education Is Essential at the International Cultural Center Auditorium at 6:00 pm. A free event. Public invited.

Gupta is a passionate and dedicated advocate for the presence of music in ostracized communities. He founded and serves as Artistic Director for Street Symphony, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing free, live music to men, women and youth living in homelessness and incarceration. A gifted spokesperson for human and mental health advocacy through a musical medium, Gupta is a TED Speaker, and a 2011 TED Senior Fellow.

Not familiar with TED? The verb ted means to turn over and spread out. The organization was founded in 1984 and is currently managed by the Sapling Foundation as TED Ideas Worth Spreading and features a wide array of short videos on matters not currently known by large numbers of people. TED is basically a platform for spreading out ideas across the planet.

Gupta next appears in concert with the Los Angeles Philharmonic on October 28 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.


Virginia Quilt Museum is in Harrisonburg Virginia in the Shenandoah Mountains near James Madison University Eastern Mennonite University Massanutten Resort Grand Caverns and Skyline Drive It’s just a couple of blocks south of Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint. It’s 61 miles west of Charlo
ttesville Virginia and to the west of Harrisonburg is West Virginia and rugged country. The exhibits are unusual and cultural including an exhibit Men Who Quilt and bring their engineering aptitude to the art form