Archive | September, 2016

Arts History Update for late September 2016

11 Sep

Arts History Update for late September 2016 by David Cummins

The Bauhaus 1919-1933 in Germany didn’t last long but was of enormous worldwide influence. Here is the digitized archive at Harvard University Art Museum Walter Gropius and Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe both died in 1969.


There are three new pieces in the Texas Tech University public art pantheon, The CEO (1994) by Glenna Goodacre in the south courtyard of Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration, Illuminated Arboreal Data Codes (2016) by Koryn Rolstad at the west entrance to the new addition to the Rawls College building, and a sculpture in front of the School of Art 3d Art Annex Building on Main Street by Jonathan Whitfill

I don’t know if the CEO piece is a current recasting from the retained mold, or is a formerly owned secondary casting back in 1994. The original larger than life bronze is in Avon Colorado. Those who know Glenna’s family recognize the woman in stone as Glenna’s daughter Jill now age 52 who is married to the musician and actor Harry Connick Jr. They were married in 1994 when Glenna sculpted this piece. Glenna lives in retirement in Santa Fe New Mexico near her studio but does not sculpt since she fell and suffered a closed head injury a decade or more ago.

Tuesday September 13, 2016 from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm there is a building dedication at Rawls CoBA for the new addition to the building on the west side, and for the two new pieces of public art. There will be ribbon cutting, lunch nibbles on the south outside courtyard, and opportunities to schmooze with Dean Paul Goebel, faculty, and the people from the Provost, President and Chancellor offices who are present. This is a public event.


The design of seating is a cultural art. Here are seven classic designs.

1. Klismos Chair from 5th century BCE Greece

2. Windsor Chair from 18th century CE many found in George Washington’s home at Mount Vernon

3. French Fauteuil a la Reine [armchair of the Queen] from 18th century with fabric back and seat and filigree wood carving.

4. No. 14 Brentwood Cafe Chair by Michael Thonet in 1859

5. Cesca Chair by Marcel Breuer made of tubular steel, springy cantilever design and woven cane seat, with or without arms

6. Round Chair by Hans Wegner in Danish Modern style with a cane seat and

7. Monobloc Plastic Chair from the 1980s injection-molded one piece polypropylene without any joints, a global favorite at a low price, surprisingly comfortable

If this intrigues you read Witold Rybczynski, Now I Sit Me Down (Farrar Straus & Giroux 2016) 242 pages $18.37 e-book $12 author is Professor of Architecture Emeritus at University of Pennsylvania.

A chair cushion can revive nearly any worn chair. A crewel embroidered overstuffed four inch deep chair cushion can be a place for lengthy comfortable repose the papasan pillow styles chair frame and cushion originated in India


2.4 million tickets were sold to the Edinburgh Scotland Festival Fringe August 5 – 29, 2016 the world’s largest theatrical or performing arts festival, transforming the cultural capital of Scotland and area 3,269 different theatre pieces were performed in 294 venues across the city and area.

For three weeks Edinburgh seemed like the capital of the world’s performing artists. Yes there are fringe festivals in the United States. Here is a list

Not listed there but very much alive in Texas are:

Houston Fringe Festival

FronteraFest at Hyde Park Theatre in Austin

Out of the Loop Fringe Festival at Water Tower Theatre at the Addison Theatre Centre in Addison Texas

Fort Worth Fringe Festival

DFW Fringe Festival

San Antonio Dance Fringe

What is fringe theatre? Theatre that is experimental in style or subject matter. The term comes from the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. In London the Fringe is the term given to small scale theatres, many of them located above pubs, and the equivalent to New York City’s Off-Off-Broadway theatres and Europe’s “free theater” groups.


The outdoor Plaza Stage and landscaping is complete at LHUCA Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts and the ribbon cutting is at 4:30 pm Friday September 30, 2016 kicking off a party with music by Beto and the Fairlanes, food trucks and a cash bar. Free event. Experience the outdoor amenities east of the main building at LHUCA that is now a campus between 5th Street on the north and Mac Davis Lane on the south, Avenue K on the west and Avenue J on the east, north end of downtown Lubbock northeast of Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.

Beto and the Fairlanes or Beto y Los Fairlanes is a world beat, Latin, pop, jazz and salsa band from Austin Texas.


Two recent news events have caused reactions that make me wonder about the capability of our minds to analyze behavior and speech.

Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco Forty Niner quarterback sat on the bench while the national anthem was being played at the initial football game of the NFL National Football League season. He announced that his action was a Black Lives Matter protest against the United States government and that he will repeat that behavior each game day. Huge response.

University of Chicago dean of students John Ellison sent a letter to incoming freshmen/women welcoming them but warning that they shouldn’t and couldn’t rely on “trigger warnings” or “safe places” on campus. This campus he said is one in which political correctness is not allowed to stifle free speech and intellectual inquiry even if some speech and inquiry makes some people uncomfortable at times. Huge response.

The quality and intensity of the responses, rather than the action and words of Kaepernick and Ellison, intrigued me. Various people who purport to be spokesmen for their cause or agenda, either strongly praised or decried the behavior of Kaepernick or Ellison. In the course of their reaction they exhibited an understanding and interpretation of what was done and said, as a support or opposition to the responder’s cause or agenda. They felt confirmed or took umbrage. They analyzed the action and speech not for what they were, but for what they were interpreted to be or mean by the responder’s own special interest organization and perspective. Accordingly, the reactions replaced the actions and become propaganda or further offense for or to a cause.

The responders were trying to “suck the air out of the room [and replace it with their air]” of the public media debate over the action and words of Kaepernick and Ellison. The public media gave so much attention to the responders and their responses, as compared to the alternative of maintaining a focus on the action and words of the two persons, that the reactions did replace the actions.

This process has happened many times, so many that it can be said to be typical. The outcome is that the media’s public simply divides up into the responder camps to which the members of the public feel most comfortable. No one pays close attention to the action and words of the two persons, and no one examines and analyzes them. The media’s public is saved from critical thinking.

I am part of a wider public that often eschews the media and its inept refusal to even attempt a critical thinking of its own. I want to examine and analyze the action and words of the two persons, and enjoy the opportunity to engage in critical thinking. Thus I would encourage anyone to ignore the responders’ attempts to hijack the news event to and for their cause, and encourage people to maintain a focus on the news event and address it directly. Examine and analyze it to help yourself understand what verbal and non-verbal speech say and mean, according to your own thinking, not that of some special interest organization with its cause and agenda.

Just to open the conversation and thinking, what about Colin Kaepernick seated on the bench while the national anthem is played? He explained his non-verbal speech as a protest of United States government action or inaction relative to mistreatment of African-Americans under the current rubric Black Lives Matter. My first thought on this is, a professional football athlete who knows that millions of people are watching on national television, wants to make his opinion on this non-sport issue known. Why do I care about his opinion? There are more than a thousand NFL players, is anything significant about Colin’s opinion? It seems insignificant and unhelpful in our understanding of the Black Lives Matter paradigm.

The second thing I think about is how Colin Kaeprenick expressed his opinion or stance on Black Lives Matter, by sitting rather than standing as all other people in the stadium, about 60,000 people, respectfully did during the playing of the national anthem. Whatever he says he was expressing, what other people saw him expressing was disrespect for our nation. He must have known he was expressing disrespect that would offend many thousands or millions of viewers, and must have wanted to be offensive. Whether or not I am offended, in fact I’m not, it seems to be a trash talking mode of speech designed to inflame or hurt and gain attention that way. To me it’s a sophomoric or adolescent way of attracting attention. I want to ignore it for that reason.

I conclude that it is not actually a newsworthy event, it’s only one football athlete choosing an inappropriate manner to express his personal opinion in which we are rightly uninterested.

The letter by Dean Ellison is more substantive and deserves more critical thinking. First I ignore all those people who have invested themselves in a variety of actions and positions on a spectrum known as political correctness, and reflexively responded to Dean Ellison’s letter as appropriate or inappropriate depending on the person’s previously fixed opinions on or against or about political correctness. I prefer to take the letter to incoming freshmen/women and its exact language on its own terms and in the context of a dean of students offering advice to those people new to the culture and exegesis of the University of Chicago.

He told those students they should not expect or require “trigger warnings” on campus. Many people might not know what a trigger warning is. When we watch television films broadcast on KTTZ-TV a Texas Tech University station, some shows will begin with a warning that graphic violence or offensive language may appear in the film, and viewer discretion as to whether one wishes to view or not view the film or some parts of it, is advised. That’s a trigger warning. What Dean Ellison told the students is that conversation and discussions in and out of class will touch upon subjects that some students may find distasteful or offensive. They shouldn’t expect to be warned in advance that such is going to occur before it occurs. They must be ready to deal with such conversation and discussions. Hopefully they will get beyond distaste and offense and inquire as to the meaning of the assertions or perspectives; i.e. engage in intellectual inquiry.

The second thing he told those students is that there are no “safe areas” on campus where they may go to be recluse and avoid foreign or unacceptable or offensive or distasteful language or ideas. The campus is open to all and not exclusively populated by anyone.

I look at Dean Ellison’s letter and understand immediately what he was trying to impart to these students. Whatever cocoons some helicopter parents may have created for their progeny before this semester, they won’t be found or replicated on the campus of the University of Chicago.

The content of his letter clearly falls within the ambit of discretion and appropriateness for a dean of students in caring for his newly arrived freshmen/women. It’s a fair enough description about something which would concern many and be of absolutely no concern to others. The culture of the campus will be more clear to these students as the semester progresses and they actually experience the expression of perspectives and ideas they hadn’t previously heard or wanted to hear. That is the real welcome to university life.

What is your critical thinking on these two news events?


Early voting begins October 24 and ends November 4, 2016. Election Day is November 8, 2016. To plan ahead contact Dorothy Kennedy Lubbock County Elections Office downtown at 1308 Crickets Avenue (former Avenue G). Unregistered voters must register on or before October 11. Aged, infirm, or temporarily out of county on election day voters, may apply to receive a mail in ballot at any time. Fill in the form on the website or go downtown to the office to complete it.


Art League of West Texas Foundation annual Membership Show is Monday September 12 through Tuesday October 18 at Legacy Event Center downtown 1500 14th Street.!/HOME The theme for the show is Casting Shadows. The juror is David Bondt

Legacy Event Center is open daily Mon-Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm and for select evening and weekend events. Luncheon and dinner is offered there at Pickle & the Pig Mon-Fri 11:00 – 2:30 and 5:00 – 9:00 pm.


The second season of the PBS Masterpiece series Poldark begins this month on television. The screen adaptations are based on the novel Winston Graham, Ross Poldark: A Novel of Cornwall 1783-1787 (Bodley Head 1945) Lubbock Public Library FIC GRAH 2002 and 2015 reprints, Texas Tech University Library PR6013.R24 R8 length 344 pages. ABE Books good condition $5.02 incl s&h.


For those who enjoyed Sir Paul McCartney’s tour concert in Lubbock Texas, it’s possible to travel to his roots in Liverpool England. Hard Days Night Hotel at 41 North John Street is around the corner from the legendary Cavern Club and so many things Liverpudlian, 110 rooms.


To promote its Study Abroad Programs in the Middle East and north Africa a live camel Rango was brought to the Free Speech Area at the Student Union Building Texas Tech University on Thursday September 8 from 11:00 – 1:00 pm. Some people got to pet a camel or have their picture taken with that leggy thing.


Fahim Rahimi is director of the National Museum of Afghanistan and speaks on Saving Our National Cultural Heritage at Texas Tech Museum Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium Wednesday September 14 at 6:00 pm reception afterward in the Sculpture Court, a free event for the public.

The museum’s website is It was established in 1922 in Kabul.


Want to watch a golf tournament without traveling to wherever? The women’s golf team at Texas Tech University hosts a Red Raider Invitational Monday-Tuesday September 12-13 at The Rawls Course 3720 4th Street but actually on Texas Tech Parkway north of 4th Street. Alumnus Jerry S. Rawls donated $8.6 million to make this facility happen. Come on out and enjoy it. It’s managed by Troon Golf and includes Jerry’s Grill where you can eat a meal salad or snack and enjoy a beverage 7:30 am – 6:00 pm daily. Phone 806-742-4653 for more information. Jojo Robertson is the head coach of the women’s golf team. She has Oregon, Oregon State, Iowa and Tulsa coming in for the Invitational.

Thirty thousand rounds of golf are played here annually. Have you seen one?


Looking at art in art galleries, museums or other locations often results in the viewer wanting to know more. Now there’s an app down-loadable into smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices, called Magnus [named for the person who devised it, Magnus Resch]. You take a picture of the piece of art and in seconds the database is explored and returns to you the name of the artist, title of the piece, when it was created, the materials used, where the art was previously exhibited and its price over recent time including the price at the gallery where it’s being viewed.

However, it only works on iOS devices currently [Apple devices] and only works in Berlin, London and New York City currently. It’s in the early stages and its capability is being expanded to other operating systems like Android and Windows devices, and other cities on the planet. For the moment it’s a free app but that will likely change as more money and effort is placed into the project. Don’t look for it in Lubbock anytime soon. Many travel to major cities with excellent art on display and this capability will be useful.

Here is the website The founder is an author Magnus Resch, Management of Art Galleries (Hatje Cantz 2014) (reissue Phaidon Press 2016) $30 hardcover at 151 pages Texas Tech Library N420.R4713


Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth hosted a lecture by Alice Martin head of historic collections for Mount Stuart Trust, Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, Scotland on Friday September 9 at 6:00 pm. Bute is in the Firth of Clyde (bay or estuary of the Clyde River that flows through Glasgow and west to the sea). It has been a Stuart clan property since the 15th century. Mary Queen of Scots was a Stuart. Here is information on Mount Stuart House


Texas Tech University researchers Philip Smith and Greg Mayer studied airborne dust in the Panhandle South Plains and were surprised and alarmed to find that near cattle feed lots where 80% of the nation’s 92 million head of cattle get fed out, some fecal material was cast into the air and fell downwind with illness the result. Worse, they found that some anti-biotics fed to cattle were spread downwind. Worse still, the processed anti-biotics were now a medicine resistant bacteria Texas Cattle Feeders Association tried to put a muzzle on publication of this research. Texas Monthly, a magazine known for its muckraking when muck is available for raking, published this article.

Professor Smith is in the Department of Environmental Toxicology and professor Mayer in the Institute for Environmental and Human Health.


Vincent Valdez has a multi-panel painting The City on display at David Shelton Gallery 4411 Montrose Boulevard Houston. It depicts a gathering of robed Ku Klux Klan members on the scrubby outskirts of a metropolis city. They carry an iPhone, wear Nike sneakers, and a contemporary Chevrolet truck is in the background so this is not a history painting. Valdez said that the current presidential political campaign has normalized racist talk about Hispanics and he wanted to depict his feelings and reaction to that in this painting. The painting is part of a solo exhibit titled The End Is Near (part 1) from September 9 – October 8, 2016


Los Hermanos Familia [The Human Family] holds its fifth annual West Texas Latino Artist Art Show & Dia de Los Meurtos Celebracion [Day of the Dead Celebration] on Sunday November 6 at Lubbock Memorial Civic Center admission $5 adults $3 children. 12:30 – 6:00 pm on the day.


Robert Nickas, Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting (Phaidon Press 2009 revised 2014) publisher $50 $41 352 pages 250 illustrations