Arts History Update for mid September 2016

26 Aug

Arts History Update for mid September 2016 by David Cummins

Andy Rhodes, Waco’s Awakening: Burgeoning Brazos Trail City Becoming Hot Spot for Cultural Tourism, The Medallion by Texas Historical Commission, Summer 2016 at pages 6-9.

Mammoth National Monument, Baylor University Mayborn Museum Complex, Dr. Pepper Museum, Magnolia Market or Magnolia Silos, Waco Suspension Bridge and Waco Riverwalk, McLennan County Courthouse, Alico Building, Waco Hippodrome Theatre, Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, The Art Center of Waco, Cultural Arts of Waco, Cameron Park and Zoo, Anthem Artisan Market, Earle-Harrison House & Pape Gardens, Fort House, Lee Lockwood Library & Museum, Martin Museum of Art, Texas Sports Hall of Fame is a partial listing.


Tim Crowley, Houston lawyer who became a successful class action plaintiff’s lawyer, businessman and philanthropist, moved and lives part-time in Marfa Texas in the northern Chihuahuan desert south of Alpine and Fort Davis sixty miles from the border with Mexico. He owned a downtown property in Marfa and transformed it into Hotel Saint George, the name selected because there once was a Hotel Saint George at the site from 1886-1929 and then it was razed for the building Crowley bought, renovated and expanded into the new four story Hotel Saint George. It opened in March 2016 at 105 South Highland Avenue phone 432-729-3700 and has 50 rooms, a restaurant LaVenture, bar and lobby on the first floor, extending into the display area for Marfa Book Company and was designed by Houston architect Carlos Jiminez and Dallas based engineering firm HKS Inc.

Tim Crowley opened a non-profit theater for use by local people and it is a venue for touring shows

Tim Crowley graduated from Texas Tech University School of Law in Lubbock and here is a picture of him as a law review editor in 1980 I was one of his professors.

The historic Hotel El Paisano from 1930 is north, halfway from the new hotel to the Presidio County Courthouse (from 1886 in a French Second Empire style, quite unique) and this hotel has 41 rooms. I stayed there when touring Marfa several years ago. Another lodging opportunity is El Cosmico a 21 acre nomadic hotel/campground with safari tents, a Mongolian yurt, trailers, tipis, and other wonderful and unusual accommodations. Liz Lambert owns and operates Cosmico and is a seriously spirited lady. There is also a retro-chic 1959 Thunderbird Hotel on offer.

Eclectic art and music shows occur at Ballroom Marfa at 108 E. San Antonio Street and a high-end restaurant is Cochineal Marfa The Wrong Store and Gallery is located in a former church. The Velvet Antler Store is a jewelry and art gallery in a former gasoline service station at 203 E. San Antonio Street. Two thousand residents populate this high desert 4,800 feet altitude ranching town that is now an art center and tourism destination.

Long-time Lubbock residents know Carlton Godbold and his operation of the Godbold Cultural Center opened in 19941 on 19th Street near University Avenue, now Cafe J at 2601 19th Street. Walking around Marfa one locates Godbold Feed Company where Carlton’s parents and grandparents operated their business. Cattle ranchers need feed in a desert where cattle barely survive one head to 30 or more acres. Marfa is on a plateau within nearby mountains, the Davis Mountains to the north, Chisos Mountains to the southeast, and Chinati Mountains to the southwest.

Fort D. A. Russell opened at Marfa shortly after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 occurred and a year later aging President Porfirio Diaz was ousted and then the real fighting, contests and lawlessness occurred until settling down into an operating Republic in 1921. D.A. Russell was a cavalry post from which retaliations across the border would occur in response to Mexican depredations by Pancho Villa and others. Willie Nelson sings a marvelous song composed by Townes Van Zandt in 1972 Pancho and Lefty about this.

During the 1930s the United States Army changed from horse cavalry to mechanized cavalry by order of General Douglas MacArthur and this post was one where horses and cavalrymen ended their careers. A valued parade horse was dispatched and buried on the Parade Grounds at the post. I walked to the site and rendered it a firm salute.2 The post closed in 1946 but some buildings remain such as Building 98 the former BOQ bachelor officers quarters, officers club and dining room/ballroom that is now an art gallery/museum and headquarters for International Woman’s Foundation and contains murals painted by German prisoners of war housed at the post during World War II 1943-1946. Dally for a moment at the dark mahogany bar in the officers club and recall that Captain George S. Patton later to be General George S. Patton “Old Blood & Guts” of WWII fame in Europe, billeted here and had libations at this bar. George Patton 1885-1945. The bar wasn’t serving when I was there but I leaned into it and dreamed about tossing back a cool one with George who said, “why the hell did Black Jack Pershing send me here?” Pershing had command at Fort Bliss way up the road to the west in El Paso.

Part of the former post is devoted to Chinati Foundation and display of minimalist art by Donald Judd [and other art by his buddies] who moved to Marfa from New York City back in the 1970s

KRTS Marfa Public Radio is at 93.5 FM on the dial
and here is a radio interview with Mark Charney, Rich Brown, Gary Garrison and Jaston Williams in August 2016.

In the Summer of 2016 Texas Tech University School of Theatre & Dance operated its Summer Intensive experience at Crowley Theater Marfa Texas and here is critical acclaim for a closing presentation to the public


Why do I not think the newly opened New York City Police Department Academy in the College Point section of Queens, is something less than desirable or aesthetic as architecture. To me it appears as monumental rectangular glass sheets, a forbidding glass box structure that walls off the public whom graduates of the Academy will serve. This is how the architect presents it on its website.

This is how Daily Dose of Architecture blog presents it The 37 acre tract is in an industrial section of Queens east of LaGuardia Airport across Flushing Bay so it can’t hurt the area into which it is placed, but one wonders if it might have helped more. The address is 130-30 College Point Boulevard at 28th Avenue not far from the New York Times Distribution Center. It is astride and encompassing a drainage canal from Mill Creek that leads to Flushing Bay and the East River that empties into Long Island Sound. Two buildings within the Academy straddle and there is an interior bridge across and over the canal between the two buildings. The canal carries industrial waste out of the area into Flushing Bay, and in one of the pictures above it is yellow in color. That’s not a photography error but the actual color of the so-called “water” in the canal.

Both the Academy and the New York Times building are west of Whitestone Expressway and cut off from the Flushing and Mitchell-Linden communities to the east.


Where can an artist go for a subsidized residency with time, space, and studio to find and interact with his/her muse, undisturbed by the world?

Container Art Residency, at sea with containers

The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City

McColl Center for Art & Innovation, Charlotte North Carolina

Lighthouse Works on Fishers Island in Long Island Sound offshore from Connecticut

Indy Island Residency, Indianapolis Museum of Art

Headlands Center for the Arts, Marin Headlands in Golden Gate National Recreation Area north of San Francisco CA at former Fort Barry above Rodeo Beach on the Pacific Ocean have been to this stunning location

Eyebeam, Brooklyn New York

Est Nord Est in the village of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli, Quebec

Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha Nebraska

Charles Adams Studio Project, Lubbock Texas

Galveston Artist Residency Galveston Texas

Marfa Contemporary Artist in Residence at Marfa Texas

Chinati Foundation Artist in Residence at Marfa Texas

CentralTrak Artists Residency & Gallery at University of Texas Dallas in the renovated Fair Park Station Post Office building in the Deep Ellum section of downtown Dallas that historically was settled by “freedmen” former slaves after the Civil War. Today Deep Ellum is a thriving arts nightclubs and cultural section east of downtown Dallas. The name CentralTrak may seem odd but it refers to trackage in the streets of Dallas by which Deep Ellum people could take a street car trolley and ride west into the toney downtown Dallas area with big buildings and commerce.

Houston Center for Contemporary Craft at Houston Texas

Starry Night Residence Program at Truth or Consequences New Mexico

Roswell Artist in Residence Program at Roswell New Mexico

Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Artist in Residence at Taos New Mexico

Bandalier National Monument Artist in Residence near Los Alamos New Mexico

Other residencies


Get thee to San Francisco the city by the bay where you can “leave your heart”. An accommodation not on your radar may be The Inn at the Presidio, 42 Moraga Avenue phone 415-800-7356, a renovated Georgian Revival building that in 1903 was a new BOQ bachelor officers quarters at the former U.S. Army post. The Presidio is now a national park double the size of New York City’s Central Park. This accommodation is only 22 rooms [4 more across the street in Funston House] but has all the needed amenities and is a quiet restful accommodation within a city that’s sometimes too vibrant and clanking. A short walk north across the grassy area takes you to a walkway across the highway and into Crissy Field a former Army air field that’s right on San Francisco Bay with a view of the underside of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Nearby hotels with a San Francisco edge are Hotel Zephyr at Fisherman’s Wharf, Hotel Kabuki in Japantown, and Hotel Vertigo on Nob Hill.

Nothing inexpensive in The City but also nothing forgettable, with years of memories and stories of time spent there. In the 1960s I was stationed at U. S. Army Presidio of San Francisco and stayed in a BOQ not the one that is now an inn, ate at the officers club, and mistakenly thought I was a working man doing a soldierly duty. Occasionally I raised my head and experienced the setting and grandeur. Off duty I went to the Hungry I and Purple Onion cellar clubs in the North Beach area. Never forgotten memories.

If you go to glitzy areas, look for a way to enjoy the area in a down to earth manner. In Nob Hill there are three down to earth locales that real San Franciscans attend. Swan Oyster Depot at 1517 Polk Street is a counter nook in a fish market and the seafood is so fresh and tasty. Katie’s Cordon Bleu serves Vietnamese Chinese fusion meals at 1574 California Street with large portions so be hungry or bring a take home box. Contraband Coffee Bar at 1415 Larkin Street is newly turned out as a sleek coffee bar, but the coffee is special and good with light sandwich fare or pastries to accompany it. If you’re even more low brow try Bob’s Donut & Pastry Shop at 1621 Polk Street. This is not healthy food but an occasional indulgence may be okay. Once you’ve ducked into a few of these street havens where locals live their lives, you’ll know why San Franciscans love “The City” even on a budget.


Commercial companies know that many of us care about the arts. Bank of America provides its debit and credit card holders one free admission per month on the first weekend of the month to a number of museums, botanical gardens, science centers and other cultural institutions. In Texas this is the list of participating institutions

Bullock Texas State History Museum
The Contemporary Austin (Laguna Gloria)
The Contemporary Austin (The Jones Center)
The Thinkery (at the Meredith Learning Lab)
Perot Museum of Nature and Science
Fort Worth
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
The Children’s Museum of Houston
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
San Antonio
McNay Art Museum
San Antonio Museum of Art
The DoSeum: San Antonio’s Museum for Kids
Witte Museum

The website with more information is at

We are reminded by focusing on this that free admission is granted on a daily basis at Texas Tech Museum, Southwest Collection Special Collections Libraries at Texas Tech University, Lubbock Christian University Art Galleries in the Diana Ling Center for Academic Achievement, Wayland Baptist University Museum of the Llano Estacado and Malouf Abraham Family Arts Center , and LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts in Lubbock. Even more appreciated, since public attendance is modest, the staff at these places are welcoming and ready to answer questions or guide a person to the location of his/her interest.

Admission to the Buddy Holly Center and Science Spectrum in Lubbock is modest.


Doug McDonough, Where Buffalo Roam, Plainview Daily Herald Newspaper, August 12, 2016
The first three of perhaps a dozen or more aluminum sculptures of prehistoric American Bison are now in place, mounted on concrete pedestals at the Plainview Point Kill Site south of Fifth and Joliet. City Parks Department workers installed the bison statues earlier this month, just inside a semicircle of newly planted hackberry trees which serve as a backdrop for a Quanah Parker Trail Arrow and National Registered Historical and Archeological Site marker at the entrance. The site is being developed by Wayland’s Enactus student group in cooperation with the City of Plainview. In addition to more bison, the group plans to erect a gazebo-style visitors’ center, brick patio, interpretive signage and off-street parking. The aluminum bison sculptures were delivered in May after being cast by Denver-based Aluminum Yard Art at its El Paso foundry. Unlike the curled horns of modern bison, the sculptures show wider horns of the prehistoric bison. Fossilized bones of prehistoric bison were discovered at the site during the 1940s, along with distinctive flint spear points which were subsequently named Plainview Points. Carbon testing dates the site to some 9,000 years ago – about 7,000 B.C.

Here are images of the aluminum bison statuary


International Criminal Court in The Hague defendant Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi pled guilty August 22, 2016 to a war crime relating to his destruction of nine ancient mausoleums and a mosque in Timbuktu. He was born in Mali and is an ethnic Tuareg. He is alleged to be a member of Ansar Dine, an Islamic extremist group. This event is important because it is the first time that a destruction of a religious and historical site, in this case a UNESCO World Heritage site, was charged and prosecuted as a War Crime in the International Criminal Court. Timbuktu is 20 kilometers north of the Niger River on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, population 54,453.

Mahdi is now repentant and asks forgiveness for what he did. The trial proceeds so that judges may be satisfied that the charged crime was committed, and committed by this defendant, despite his plea of guilt. The maximum sentence within this jurisdiction is thirty years in prison.

The northern Mali conflict, or Mali Civil War, or Mali War from 2012 to the present is described here

The United States is not a participant in this Court and its jurisdiction because the President and Congress have not been willing to subject American military and political leaders to a uniform global standard of justice. It seems clear from negotiations that they would be willing to subject private American citizens to the Court’s jurisdiction. This is a governmental or sovereign immunity sort of argument, a curious elitism that implies that government leaders can do no wrong, only private citizens can do wrong, or that if leaders can do wrong it is only a political wrong and punishment can only be removal from office, not anything criminal in nature.


Former factories re-purposed and renovated as hotels include 1. Hotel Fabric in Paris France a former textile factory, and 2. Factory Hotel in Muenster Germany part former factory, part former brewery, it’s now all 44 room upscale hotel.

In Texas we do this with a wild west flair. The Cell Block in Clifton Texas 35 miles northwest of Waco on the North Bosque River is a quirky one bed one bath boutique hotel $225 per night, a former rural two cell jail with steel doors still in place so you get to proclaim truthfully that suspicions are correct and you’ve spent a night or more behind bars. address 120 Clifton Art Alley, Clifton TX 76634 phone 254-227-5656 e-mail

Think of this as performance art and you are one of the performers.

In the South Plains the former headquarters of the 12,000 acre McGinty Ranch is now Rock’n N [for Newsom] Bed & Breakfast with four rooms one bath accommodation at Plains Texas fifteen miles from the New Mexico border and near the Newsom Family Vineyards that grow grapes for award-winning wines. Neal Newsom and wife Janice are your hosts e-mail phone 806-782-5873. History buffs will enjoy staying in a former ranch headquarters building.

In the Panhandle the Fisk Building was constructed in 1927 in Amarillo designed by architect Guy Carlander and used as Fisk Medical Arts Building in the downtown area at 724 South Polk Street. It was renovated re-purposed and re-opened in 2011 as Marriott Courtyard Downtown Amarillo, a 107 room ten story hotel, retaining its Gothic Revival style exterior including a cast stone gargoyle ornament on the Polk Street alcove. Parkhill Smith & Cooper was the architect/engineering firm in charge, and NewcrestImage, a Dallas hotel development and construction firm, is the owner/operator of the property in the Marriott chain of hotels. This is a project of the Amarillo Center City Tax Increment Reinvestment Zone offering property tax rebates. Currently NewcrestImage is building, from the ground up, a new Embassy Suites hotel across from the Amarillo Civic Center.


Southern California’s early twentieth century’s Spanish Colonial Revival building style mirrored that chosen by William Ward Watkin for Texas Technological College in 1923-1925 except that the exteriors in California were whitened and the exteriors in Lubbock were the color of dirt from bricks made with West Texas clay. Casa del Herrero [House of the Blacksmith] near Santa Barbara and the Lobero [wolfhound] Theatre in Santa Barbara are examples of that style of building.

Watkin’s buildings include Texas Tech University Administration Building (1925), Houston Public Library (1926) now the Julia Ideson Library Building Las Lomas Hotel (1926) in Junction Texas [currently not open for guests], Southwestern Bell Telephone Building (1931) in San Antonio Texas now the AT&T Building as enlarged. Other Spanish Colonial Revival buildings were Michie Building and Hotel Childress (1926) in Childress Texas West Texas Utility Company Outlet (1931) in Anson Texas, and Bryant-Link Building (1926) in Stamford Texas.

Bottega Veneta’s new store in Beverly Hills California at 320 North Rodeo Drive is a throwback to the Spanish Colonial Revival building style, popular a century ago and


Sears Roebuck an American retailer icon lost another $395 million in the second quarter 2016 and has lost $8 billion since 2011. It may simply fold into bankruptcy. It still has many valuable pieces of real estate but its retailing mojo is gone. Sears Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) Analysts grade it at D and its rating is Sell.


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