Archive | November, 2016

Arts History Update for early December 2016

29 Nov

Arts History Update for early December 2016 by David Cummins

Can we talk about the history of West Texas? After reception of Texas into the United States in 1845 the U.S. Army arrived and in May 1846 set off south toward Veracruz to begin the 1846 War with Mexico that had declared its intention to recapture and dominate Texas and more lands above the Rio Grande [Big River]. In the aftermath of that successful war, with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848, Mexico gave up all claims to Texas and to all or parts of New Mexico, Arizona, California [alta California not baja California], Colorado, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. Later in 1848 a gold discovery in the Sierra Nevada [snow-capped mountains] in northern California would spark a Gold Rush and cause

substantial migration and travel to Nevada and California. Later strikes in other locations including Montana and Colorado would spur migrant travel to the west.

By 1852 the U.S. Army established a series of forts from the location on the Red River where the Great Western Cattle Trail Drive was located, south to the Rio Grande and down the Rio Grande to the southeast to its exit into the Gulf of Mexico. These forts protected the western and southern Texas frontier settlements and ranches from Indians [Kiowa, Kiowa Apache, Mescalero Apache, Lipan Apache and Comanche] and Mexicans, and established embarkation points for travel west to Santa Fe, Fort Bliss and onward to more western locations including San Diego, the Los Angeles basin and the lower southern extremity of the Great Central Valley of California.

The trails from San Antonio westward to Fort Bliss and from there then northward to Santa Fe, or farther westward from Fort Bliss to California, were called the Pecos River Trail because that was the major river crossing on the trek. There was an upper trail more often used as a military road, and a lower trail more often used for commercial travel, both called the Pecos River Trail.

The frontier defense series of forts were, north to south, Fort Belknap (Newcastle), Camp Cooper [Clear Fork of Brazos River to monitor nearby Comanche Indian Reservation], Fort Griffin (Albany), Fort Phantom Hill (Abilene), Fort Chadbourne (Coke County), Fort McKavett (Menard County west of Menard east of El Dorado south of US Highway 190), Fort Terrett (1852-1854 ghost town Roosevelt in Sutton County near Sonora), Fort Clark (Bracketville), Fort Inge (Uvalde), Fort Duncan (Eagle Pass on the Rio Grande) and down the Rio Grande to Fort McIntosh (Laredo), Ringgold Barracks (Rio Grande City), Fort Brown (Brownsville) and Fort Polk (Port Isabel on the Gulf of Mexico).

The upper Pecos River Trail extended from San Antonio northwest to Fort Mason (near Fredericksburg closer to Mason) to Fort McKavett and then west to Horsehead Crossing / Castle Gap area on and near the Pecos River and then due west to Fort Bliss (El Paso). The lower Pecos River Trail extended from San Antonio west to Fort Inge (Uvalde), then Fort Clark (Bracketville) and headed northwest to Camp Hudson (on the Devil’s River) [travel stations nearby are Dead Man’s Pass, Dead Man’s Creek, Dead Man’s Run and Dead Man’s Canyon indicating the dangerous conditions for travel on this road], Fort Lancaster (on the Pecos River), west to Fort Stockton, Fort Davis, Fort Quitman (on the Rio Grande) to Fort Bliss (El Paso). The lower Pecos River Trail was also called Chihuahua Trail or Chihuahua Road or Old Spanish Trail or the San Antonio – El Paso Road and also the San Antonio – San Diego Mail Line and also Butterfield Overland Mail Line. What is left of this military forts road that became such a commercial travel route? Fort Bliss is an active U.S. Army post today within a thriving city El Paso. The other forts are historic sites some near or inside cities by the same name such as Fort Davis and Fort Stockton.

Fort Clark closed in 1946 and now is Fort Clark Springs within the city of Bracketville. The springs and pool is where the U.S. Army at this fort developed the ancient Las Moras Springs, used by the Lipan Apache and Comanche for centuries. Then in 1938 the Works Progress Administration arrived and developed the springs into a large swimming pool area, the largest pool on any Army post at the time. Some of the former fort buildings were sold and are now private homes, including the former residence of General George S. Patton, Old Blood and Guts. The current Old Guardhouse Museum is located in one of the fort’s 1870s limestone buildings, open to visitors on weekends.

Thirty miles west on US Highway 90 is the city of Del Rio in which one can visit Whitehead Memorial Museum that contains a replica of Judge Roy Bean’s courtroom, saloon and jail of “The Law of the West” fame. One can also see a portion of the city’s historic acequia or canal system. Follow Texas State Highway 163 northwest toward Camp Hudson on the Devil’s River 20 miles north of Comstock, present day Baker’s Crossing. The road in this area crosses the Devil’s River twice and at one point through a narrow canyon called Dead Man’s Canyon or Dead Man’s Pass or Dead Man’s Run because there were so many Indian raids on travelers of this roadway and so many travelers were buried there. The Devil’s River runs south into Amistad Reservoir on the Rio Grande north of Del Rio.

Continue on SH 163 to IH-10 then west to Fort Lancaster State Historic Site in the Pecos River Valley on a tributary Live Oak Creek in Crockett County. It is in ruins after having closed in 1874. A scale model of an operating Fort Lancaster is on display in the Crockett County Museum in Ozona Texas east of Fort Lancaster. Some of the fort’s materials were stripped for use in construction in the town of Sheffield seven miles west.

Continue west on IH-10 eighty-one miles to Fort Stockton It like many forts was established near a historic water source Comanche Springs. Today it is a public swimming pool. A few buildings on the long-closed fort remain, officers’ quarters and an 1868 guardhouse. The visitors center informs us about the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers who were stationed there.

Continue west on IH-10 to Fort Davis National Historic Site operated by the U.S. National Park Service and then west to Van Horn and on to Fort Quitman 1858-1882 and on the Rio Grande north of the Mexican town of Banderas, a distance of 143 miles from Fort Davis. Continue on IH-10 up the Rio Grande to Fort Bliss a distance of 77 miles.

Rupert Richardson, Along the Old Texas Forts Trail (University of North Texas 1972) Texas Tech University Southwest Collection TEX 31 R524 A454 (1972) reissued and expanded Rupert Richardson, B.W. Aston & Donathan Taylor, Along the Old Texas Forts Trail (University of North Texas 1990) TEX 20.5 R524 A454 (1990)

Charles M. Robinson III, Frontier Forts of Texas (Lone Star Books 1986) 86 pages Texas Tech Southwest Collection TEX 32 R658 F935

Joan Usner Salvant, If These Walls Could Speak: Historic Forts of Texas (University of Texas Press 1985) Southwest Collection OVERSZ TEX 31 U91 i23

Lawrence John Francell, Fort Lancaster: Texas Frontier Sentinel (Texas State History Association 1999) 70 pages Southwest Collection TEX 27.3 F736 L244 F815 and Texas Tech Library F394.F637 F73 (1999) paperback and e-book $10

History is always a snapshot in time, hopefully seen in the context of events and activities. I asked myself, what was the earlier line of forts or presidios established by New Spain in this general area? Looking at the end of the 17th century and beginning of the 18th century or about 1700 it turns out that the outermost defensive area relative to Indians, who had already proved difficult to bring under control through the mission system of friars, either Jesuits or Franciscans, was largely parallel to the current border of the United States with Mexico, meaning that Santa Fe, Taos and the upper Rio Grande were Spanish outposts beyond the defensible frontier for New Spain. From east to west the presidios were Bahia del Espiritu Santo on the Gulf of Mexico [present day Goliad], San Antonio de Bexar inland, and the following presidios on the Rio Grande viz. San Juan Bautista, Monclova, Santa Rosa, San Saba, Cerro Gordo, Julimes, and Guajoquilla. West of that the presidios were in the Sierra Madre [mother mountains] and high mountain desert viz. Carrizal, San Buenaventura, Janos, Fronteras, Terrenate, Tucson and Altar.

The first of these presidios, missions and civilian settlements on the Rio Grande was San Juan Bautista. It was established at present day Guerrero in the Mexican state of Coahuila 35 miles down the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass Texas and Piedras Negras Mexico. The site was about 5 miles from the Rio Grande itself and was chosen because it was an obvious crossing area for Indians to cross the Rio Grande. It would be used for many years as an access point for Spanish colonialist to cross the Rio Grande and enter and exit Tejas [present day Texas]. Today Guerrero is on Mexico Federal Highway 2 that tracks the Rio Grande all the way down to Matamoros opposite Brownsville Texas.

At the western edge of the presidios was Altar, today in the state of Sonora, Mexico. It also is on Mexico Federal Highway 2 a distance of 112 miles southwest of Nogales Mexico across the border from Nogales Arizona.

The mission at Bahia del Espiritu Santo [bay on the Gulf of Mexico of the holy spirit at Goliad] was Nuestra Senora del Espiritu Santo de Zuniga [Our Lady of the Holy Spirit (the Virgin Mary) of the noble lineage House of Zuniga descending from the kings of Navarre] We recall the Battle at Goliad, the cry heard round about Tejas when the Texians [Anglo settlers] and Tejanos [Hispanic settlers] answered the demand to surrender the settlement’s cannon by saying “Come and Get It”. The Spanish soldiers who came for the cannon went back to San Antonio without it. Later the marching army commanded by Santa Ana would destroy Goliad silence the cannon and kill its inhabitants in 1836.


Not entirely happy with an old laptop or desktop computer that seems slower than before and too slow to tolerate? Xtra-PC is a thumb drive / flash drive] you can purchase for $25 [for more powerful versions cost rises to $89] and plug it into a USB port on your computer when it’s turned off. Then start your computer and reboot. In fifteen minutes time a UNIX based operating system is installed that bypasses your previous Microsoft Windows operating system or Apple OS operating system. It contains an e-mail software program, Open Office software, a Web Browser program and other basic software. For those people who use cloud software programs, it has an access to the web where you can use the software in the cloud with which you’re familiar and into which you’ve entered important data in your life.

Why consider this? Only if your Microsoft or Apple operating system has slowed down to the point where cleaning up, defragging, aggregating and compressing files, etc. doesn’t return the computer to acceptable speeds. If the alternatives are spending $500 or more for a new or refurbished computer or living in forced toleration with a slow computer, purchasing this flash drive with a UNIX based operating system is an option. It’s a recoverable step if it doesn’t work out, i.e. you could jettison the UNIX operating system and restore your previous operating system that is still on your hard drive.


The arts in Lubbock in December begins with the First Friday Art Trail on December 2, 1016 from 6:00 – 9:00 pm continues that evening with live music at La Diosa Cellars [wine cellars of the goddess] 901 17th Street from 7:00 – 11:00 pm cover per person $3-$7 depending on the musicians. Spanish tapas, sangria and other wines are on offer [owner’s husband operates McPherson Cellars Winery across the street].

The month ends with an outstanding musical duo Outlier at Skooners Grill & Bar 1617 University Avenue on Thursday December 29 from 10:00 pm to midnight no cover. If you can’t make it, their latest CD album is Outlier released October 24, 2016 $10 at see their website and get to know Anthony Garcia [guitarist, pianist, vocalist] and Melanie Lenau [violinist, vocalist] watch and listen to them on You Tube to be impressed.


Nobel Prize for Literature in 2014 went to French author Patrick Modiano. Try a paperback novella Young Once $12.14 156 pages or another In the Cafe of Lost Youth $10.28 118 pages or another Villa Triste $8.61 170 pages.


Symphony Space 2537 Broadway at West 95th Street upper west side in Manhattan New York City is a multidisciplinary performing arts center where live music, dance, theatre, literary events, and film are provided in an intimate setting A literary event that one rarely finds in West Texas is the reading and performance of short fiction. On Wednesday December 7 at 7:30 pm Paul Giamatti Oscar-nominated actor will curate stories read/performed by others as well as himself at Symphony Space’s Peter Jay Sharp Theatre. Others includes Jane Kaczmarek, Billy Porter and Kathryn Erbe. $30 per person but $15 for those 30 years of age or younger.


A reader asked about how one can thriftily set up one’s computer to prevent hacks, trojans, worms, malware attacks or infestations of all kinds.

I am not a computer expert or geek but I do two things:

1. Since I’m using Microsoft Windows 7 operating system on my desktop and Windows 10 on my laptop, I use the free Microsoft Security Essentials software program and set it up to automatically scan daily at 2:00 am [I leave my desktop on overnight and the automatic scan begins on my laptop when I turn it on for the first use of the day] and I’ve set up both desktop and laptop to automatically receive, download and install updates to the software program. This is what is called “real time” protection because what gets put into the computer are the protections against the most current threats as soon as those updates are sent out by Microsoft.

2. In addition I annually purchase Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Home Premium software program from Cleverbridge Inc. for $32.45 that covers two computers, my desktop and my laptop, and set it up to automatically run a daily scan and repair function, and automatically receive, download and install updates to the program.

In tandem these two software programs perform a good service for me. The rest is up to me to be cautious and smart, e.g. not click on strange or unexpected attachments, not click on links to “my bank account because there’s some problem with a deposit” [the link would take one e.g. to a Bulgarian site where my actual bank account information would be gladly received for performing future thefts], etc.


Erica Richardson, Resident Teacher at Bodhichitta Kadampa Buddhist Center at 6701 Aberdeen Avenue Suite 4 Lubbock, moved back to Dallas and the Lubbock Center reverted to branch status It continues to offer meditation practices and instruction by lay instructors. On occasion in the future a monk or nun will visit Lubbock and offer a practice or instruction. A Buddhist temple is located in Arlington Texas


Arts History Update for late November 2016

23 Nov

Arts History Update for late November 2016 by David Cummins

Pulse Miami Beach Contemporary Art Fair is December 1-4 that spans outward into the greater Miami area from Indian Beach Park in Miami Beach Florida This is the 12th annual Pulse event and attracts cutting edge high-end galleries and their patrons / collectors of the best in contemporary art, or what seems to be the fashion at the moment. I am not sure how one determines the best in contemporary art. It just is what extremely talented artists are doing, leave it at that.

It is easy to categorize where their interests lay. They’re fascinated by the intersection of three dimensional art and pulsed, strobed, or adjusted light forms, and the intersection of two dimensional art with film and high tech projections of film such as images thrown up temporarily onto buildings to place a canvas on the built environment. Unless that is guerrilla art it requires the consent of the owner operator of the built environment. More and more we notice a local chamber of commerce does the arranging of the permissions since it is a means of attracting visitors to the locality. Artistically, the cityscape is aesthetically adjusted albeit for a temporary occasion or period of time.

Here is a list of Art Fairs recently and those that are upcoming Nearby art fairs include Dallas Art Fair April 6-9, 2017, Art Santa Fe July 13-16, 2017 and Houston Art Fair September 2017.

Texas Art Museums
Amarillo Museum of Art
Amon Carter Museum (Fort Worth)
Arlington Museum of Art
Art Car Museum (Houston)
Art Museum of Southeast Texas (Beaumont)
Austin Museum of Art
Chinati (Marfa)
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (Houston)
Dallas Museum of Art
Ellen Noel Art Museum (Odessa)
El Paso Museum of Art
Galveston Arts Center (Galveston)
The Grace Museum (Abilene)
Kimbell Art Museum (Fort Worth)
Longview Museum of Fine Arts
The McNay Art Museum (San Antonio)
The Menil Collection (Houston)
Mexic-Arte Museum (Austin)
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (Houston)
Museum of Cultural Arts, Houston
Museum of Geometric and MADI Art (Dallas)
Museum of the Southwest (Midland)
Nasher Sculpture Center (Dallas)
The Rothko Chapel (Houston)
San Antonio Museum of Art
Sid Richardson Museum (Ft. Worth)
Stark Museum of Art (Orange)
Station Museum of Contemporary Art (Houston)
Tyler Museum of Art

University Art Museums and Art Galleries in Texas
Blaffer Art Museum (University of Houston)
The Blanton Museum of Art (Austin)
The Gallery at UTA (University of Texas at Arlington)
Harry Ransom Center (University of Texas at Austin)
Mayborn Museum (Baylor University Waco)
Meadows Museum (Southern Methodist University, Dallas)
Museum of Texas Tech University (Lubbock)
Rice Gallery (Rice University Houston)
University of North Texas Art Galleries (Denton)
The Wittliff Collection (San Marcos)

Texas Art Centers
Art Centre of Plano (Plano)
Art Center of Waco (Waco)
Arthouse at the Jones Center (Austin)
Artpace (San Antonio)
The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake (Nassau Bay)
Bath House Cultural Center (Dallas)
Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (San Antonio)
Creative Arts Center of Dallas
Dallas Contemporary
DiverseWorks (Houston)
Documentary Arts (Dallas)
Eye of the Dog Art Center (San Marcos)
Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (San Antonio)
Houston Center for Contemporary Craft
Houston Center for Photography (Houston)
Irving Arts Center (Irving)
The Kemp Center for the Arts (Wichita Falls)
Laredo Center for the Arts
Latino Cultural Center (Dallas)
Lawndale Art Center (Houston)
Live Oak Art Center (Columbus)
McKinney Avenue Contemporary (Dallas)
Mesquite Arts Center (Mesquite)
Nasher Sculpture Center (Dallas)
National Center for American Western Art (Kerrville)
Oak Cliff Cultural Center (Dallas)
Orange Show Center for Visionary Art (Houston)
Pump Project Art Complex (Austin)
Russell Farm Art Center (Burleson)

Texas Non-Profit Art Organizations
Art Alliance Austin
The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake
Art Groups DFW
Art League Houston
Arlington Arts League (Arlington)
Arlington Visual Arts Association
Art Educatores of North Central Texas
Artreach Dallas
Arts Council of Fort Worth & Tarrant County
Associated Creative Artists (Dallas)
Aurora Picture Show (Houston)
Austin Visual Arts Association (Austin)
Central Texas Watercolor Society (Waco)
Craft Guild of Dallas
Cross Timbers Artists Guild
Dallas Area Fiber Artists
Dallas Arts District
Denison Arts Council (Denison)
Fort Worth Weavers Guild
FotoFest (Houston)
Houston Arts Alliance
Houston Civic Arts Association
Irving Art Association (Irving)
Lone Star Art Guild / Gallery 106 (Austin)
National Association of Latino Arts and Culture (San Antonio)
Plano Art Association (Plano)
Pastel Society of the Southwest
Project Row Houses (Houston)
Southwest Water Color Society (Dallas)
Texas Arts & Crafts Education Foundation (Kerrville)
Texas Clay Arts Association
Texas Commission on the Arts
Texas Cultural & Arts Network
Texas Fine Arts Association
Texas Photographic Society
Texas Pottery & Sculpture Guild (Fort Worth)
Texas Society of Sculptors
Texas Sculpture Association (Dallas)
Texas Visual Arts Association (Dallas)
Visual Arts Coalition of Dallas
Visual Arts Society of Texas
VSA Texas (Austin)
Watercolor Art Society – Houston
Women & Their Work (Austin)
Women in the Visual and Literary Arts (Houston)

Sadly, this list does not include any location, entity or activity in Lubbock except Texas Tech University Museum. That tells us more about how we are perceived by others, than it does what actually exists in the Lubbock area. I believe the art scene in Lubbock is thriving and vibrant and these Updates report on it regularly.

Arts History Update for mid November 2016

13 Nov

Arts History Update for mid November 2016 by David Cummins

On April 6, 1917 the United States declared war on the German Empire, entering The Great War later renamed World War I, mobilizing four million Americans. 100,000 died. An exhibit World War I and American Art is on display from November 4, 2016 to April 9, 2017 at Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. It includes, inter alia, John Singer Sargent, Gassed (1919) borrowed from a London England museum and Gifford Beal, On the Hudson at Newburgh (1918) borrowed form the Phillips Collection in Washington DC. I’ve walked around the downtown in Newburgh and seen that exact view of the Hudson River but not of course with newly conscripted troops marching toward the dock and a troop ship for embarkation.

The exhibit travels thereafter to the New York Historical Society Museum & Library at 170 Central Park West from May 26, 2017 to September 3, 2017 and on to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts Nashville Tennessee from October 6, 2017 to January 21, 2018.

Gifford Beal (1897-1956) was a popular American painter in the first half of the 20th century whose work is included in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among others.
Gifford Beal had a special relationship with The Phillips Collection. He was the uncle of Marjorie Phillips, the artist wife of museum founder and collector Duncan Phillips, and was instrumental in their meeting. In 1921, Beal gave Marjorie a ticket to an exhibition of Duncan Phillips’ collection at the Century Club in New York, and that is where the two first met. Over time, the museum acquired a strong collection of Beal’s art, and now has more than 21 Beals, including works on paper, ranging from 1918 to 1954.
Born in the Bronx, New York, Gifford Beal began studying painting with William Merritt Chase when he was 12 years old. As a young man, he studied at the Art Students League in New York and later served as its president for a record 13 years (1916-1929). Beal had early successes, winning many painting and watercolor prizes; in 1914 he was elected to the National Academy of Design. The artist’s subjects varied; some of his best known pictures are of holiday crowds, circus performers, and hunting and fisherman scenes. Beal also frequently painted the landscape along the Hudson River and in Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts where he spent many summers. His style was influenced by the Impressionists’ use of light and color, as well as by modern approaches to line and form.
John Singer Sargent is more well known to most Americans, as an American who lived and painted in the United Kingdom. Here is his painting General Officers of World War I Can you pick out Black Jack Pershing from that crowd?

Here is Childe Hassam, Early Morning on the Avenue in May 1917 [a month after war was declared] (1917) Hassam was one of the first Impressionist style American painters.


How about kicking back in the old Great Gatsby style? No better place to do that than at Oheka Castle Hotel & Estate in a French Chateau style resort setting, tennis courts and spa on the grounds landscaped by the Olmsted brothers [yes the Frederick Law Olmsted who designed Central Park (1858) in Manhattan and Prospect Park (1866) in Brooklyn], golf and additional dining at nearby Cold Springs Country Club, all within the package of options when booking. Best of all you need not cross the pond, for this is all in Huntington, New York on fascinating Long Island, address 135 West Gate Drive, Huntington NY 11743-6052, the Long Island Expressway IH-495 to the south and Cold Springs Harbor on Long Island Sound to the north. Call on the telephone for packages and prices 631-659-1334. If you go, consider dressing me in livery so I may carry your bags and attend to your incidental needs and wants.

Financier Otto Hermann Kahn built this castle on a 443 acre plot of land in the Gilded Age of the 1920s spending $11 million to do so. The name Oheka is an acronym from his name Otto HErmann KAhn. Otto’s daughter Maud was married June 15, 1920 in the castle, the first of thousands of brides.

If staying overnight/pampering is out of the question, purchase a tour of the mansion and formal gardens. Then explore nearby areas like the town of Huntington, town of Oyster Bay, and go to one or more of the public parks with waterfront property or hillside overlooks into the harbors, bays, inlets and gaze off into Long Island Sound.

Closer to home try Hotel Settles in Big Spring Texas or Yellow Rose Inn in Nazareth Texas formerly the ranch headquarters for the 12,000 acre McGinty Ranch or Starlight Canyon, Amarillo Texas or for a glimpse into the former hotel in Floydada Texas visit The Covey Smokehouse Barbeque Restaurant in Covey/Commercial Hotel [hotel was Commercial Hotel from 1913 and Lamplighter Inn from 1964 but you can’t book a room today] at 102 South 5th Street phone 806-549-6448 and gaze up at the tin ceiling and other evidence in the public rooms of the former hotel,-102-S-5th-St,-Floydada,-Texas


Appreciation for the arts wouldn’t exist were it not for … the candle. This indispensable wax-and-wick marvel is so humble that history has no record of its beginnings, but they probably trace back to two innovative civilizations, the Romans and the Egyptians. Centuries before the Common Era, both developed the candle that is similar to what we use today. There have been refinements—braided rather than twisted wicks, better wax—but Caesar and Ptolemy would surely recognize today’s candle as the direct descendant of theirs.

In its most basic elements, there are only two components, wax and cotton, and it can be made equally well by machine or by hand, inexpensively. It has burned steadily through the Iron Age, the Dark Ages, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Atomic Age, and has served as metaphor, symbol, and inspiration for almost as long.

What has changed most over time is the form of the candle, the arrangement of multiple candles to express style and mood, and the base or basin in which a flammable thing is placed. Quite often the latter is uncolored and translucent so as not to take away from the aura cast by a flickering flame atop a soft texture bio-morphic mass.

I am old school so multiple candles of varying lengths taper and mass on a dining table or coffee table near a sofa or chairs, when lighted with soft music in the background, transforms the physical and metaphysical space.


The Nose (1836) by Nikolai Gogol is a satirical short story. It tells the story of a Russian Empire official in St Petersburg whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of its own Dmitri Shostakovich composed his first opera based on this absurdist tale and it premiered in Leningrad in 1930 but was not well received by the Stalinist cultural critics, and was savaged by the press as decadent nonsense. The run of the show was curtailed and it was not performed again for decades.

Shostakovich was not impeded as his third opera was an adaptation of Gogol’s The Gambler.

The Nose just enjoyed a handsome response at the Royal Opera House in London England’s Covent Garden October 20 – November 9, 2016. It was directed by Barrie Kosky and the orchestra was conducted by Ingo Metzmacher, sung in English subtitled in English on a translation by David Pountney. Everyone in the cast wore a fake nose except for the principal character Kovalyov.

It’s now available for watching on the Royal Opera House You Tube Channel since the run ended and watching online won’t interfere with ticket sales.

For those of us who read Gogol’s The Overcoat so many years ago, and never forgot it, this is a cultural treat.


Leonard Cohen age 82 died Thursday November 10, 2016 He was a minstrel Canadian Jew but also spent almost a decade living in a Buddhist monastery and was an ordained Buddhist monk. The philosophy of longing and perilous insight in so many of his songs, is part of our cultural heritage.

He saw the paradox in our lives famously writing the lyric “everything is cracked, that’s how the light gets in”

There Is a Crack in Everything, That’s How the Light Gets In: Leonard Cohen on Democracy and Its Redemptions


Arts History Update for early November 2016

4 Nov

Arts History Update for early November 2016 by David Cummins

Lubbock Music Now 2016 is a project of Civic Lubbock and the following are the area musicians who applied and were selected to go into an annual CD recording this year titled Lubbock Music NOW 2016. When it’s released I plan to purchase it and listen to the music that’s currently being played in Lubbock at various venues.

The winning performers [individuals or bands] and songs, with songwriter[s] in parenthesis, are:
■ Alma Quartet: “Day After Day” (Jerry Serrano).
■ Derek Bohl: “I Can’t Sleep Through This” (Bohl).
■ David Brandon: “Country Jamboree” (Brandon).
■ Phlip Coggins: “Dying Day” (Coggins).
■ Jim Dixon: “Tonto” (Dixon).
■ Fellow American: “Curfew” (Fellow American).
■ Morri Hartgraves’ Flea Market Pickers: “As the Drifting Rains Encircle” (Hartgraves).
■ Dustin Garrett: “Devil’s Hand” (Garrett and Zakary Wyatt).
■ Ryan Todd Garza: “Pieces” (Garza).
■ Caleb Jude Green: “Working Hard” (Green).
■ Hogg Maulies: “Wildfire” (Rode Morrow).
■ Hannah Jackson: “Rare Flower” (Jackson).
■ Wally Moyers: “Don’t Fret” (Moyers).
■ Curtis Peoples Collective: “Cicada” (Peoples).
■ Ron Riley: “Long Hot Texas Summer” (Riley).
■ Cathy Whitten: “You & Me” (Whitten).

A CD Release Party was scheduled for Sunday afternoon October 23 at Blue Light Live in the Depot Entertainment District on Buddy Holly Avenue

CD Release Party
■ Attraction: Inaugural Lubbock Music NOW CD Release Party & Concert.
■ What: Featuring live music by the 16 musicians and bands featured on first Lubbock Music NOW CD.
■ When: 2 -6 p.m. Sunday. Oct. 23 Open to all ages.
■ Where: Indoor and back patio stages at Blue Light Live, 1806 Buddy Holly Ave.
■ More: Food trucks, drink specials, sales of Lubbock Music NOW CDs and T-shirts.
■ Information: 762-1185.
On stage
Indoor stage Sunday
■ 2:40 p.m., Ron Riley.
■ 3:05 p.m., Hogg Maulies.
■ 3:30 p.m., Flea Market Pickers.
■ 3:55 p.m., Hannah Jackson.
■ 4:20 p.m., Caleb Jude Green.
■ 4:45 p.m., Ryan Todd Garza.
■ 5:10 p.m., Fellow American.
■ 5:35 p.m., Phlip Coggins.

Patio stage Sunday
■ 2:30 p.m., Cathy Whitten.
■ 2:55 p.m., David Brandon.
■ 3:20 p.m., Dustin Garrett.
■ 3:45 p.m., Derek Bohl.
■ 4:10 p.m., Alma Quartet.
■ 4:35 p.m., Curtis Peoples Collective.
■ 5 p.m., Jim Dixon.

CD may be purchased at any United Supermarkets, Market Street or Amigos store.


Ammon Bundy, Ryan Bundy, Shawna Cox, Jeff Banta, Kenneth Medenbach, David Lee Fry and Neil Wampler are on trial in a federal district court in Portland Oregon that began September 7, 2016. The trial concerns their 41 day occupation of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service station at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns Oregon.

The case went to the jury on Thursday October 20 after which the jurors were allowed a three day weekend off and jury deliberations resumed Monday October 24. On Friday October 29 the jury returned verdicts of not guilty on all defendants on the charges of conspiracy to deprive federal employees of U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from doing their jobs, and a weapons charge. Prosecutors expressed shock at the verdicts.


Annual Artist Studio Tour is Saturday November 12 from 10:00 am – 6:00 pm and Sunday November 13 from noon-6:00 pm at eight locations in Lubbock. Five or six artists will be at each of the locations to display their art, interact with patrons who visit the art, and sell a piece on display or another from the artist’s studio not on display at this event. It’s a great event for patrons who get a chance to align the art that informs and stirs them, with the person who created it. So much contemporary art is constructed using more than one medium that a familiar question in a patron’s mind is, how was that piece created and what are the components? website has a list of the artists and where they are located with a map of Lubbock. This is a free event for the public. Everyone is invited all ages.
Some of the locations are actually working studios of one or more artists and patrons can see the locale in which art is created.
Event is a project of the Lubbock Arts Alliance, the arts council for this area, Elizabeth Regner, executive director. Many people choose to support the arts in general by donating to the Alliance.


Texas Tech’s College of Visual and Performing Arts is now J.T and Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts due to another gift of $10 million for renovation and expansion of the Maedgen Theater complex. In total the Talkingtons during their lifetimes and the Foundation afterward have donated $66 million to Tech. It’s fitting, the Regents thought, to name the College in their honor.


City Bank annually sponsors a $60,000 contest between and among Lubbock area charities on the basis of their following by area citizens. To gain a part of that sum, people can vote online daily [no more than once per day for one charity only among six categories of charities] to designate which charity those people believe is the charity that should be favored. Here are the categories and charities within those categories Daily voting began Sunday October 30 and continues through Sunday December 11. Winners and their amounts will be announced December 18.


National Geographic Live events are as near as Dallas Texas usually at the Perot Museum of Nature & Science. 2201 North Field Street phone 214-428-5555
Thursday January 5, 2017 at 7:00 – 9:00 pm $ 35 Hilaree O’Neill will speak and show films of her mountaineering escapades.
Thursday March 2 at 7:00-9:00 pm $ 35 Zeb Hogan will discuss his planet-wide search for the largest freshwater fish.
Thursday May 4 at 7:00-9:00 pm $ 35 Mireya Mayor (female Indiana Jones) raised in Cuba will discuss her primatologist discoveries.


108 years later the Chicago Cubs won the World Series on Wednesday November 2, 2016. It wasn’t easy, or is that obvious, as the Cubs exploded early and got to a 5-1 lead, then were holding at 6-3 in the bottom of the eighth when the bottom fell out and Cleveland Indians tied the game 6-6. Teams struggled in the ninth inning scoreless. The rain came so the extra innings game was delayed. The rain departed, the tarp was pulled off, and in the tenth inning Cubs scored two runs and Indians responded with only one. Cubs won 8-7.

Great Britain’s High Court ruled on November 3 that the government cannot take the United Kingdom out of the European Union without the approval of Parliament. The government will appeal to the Supreme Court but will go forward with BREXIT planning. Parliament is revving up to hold hearings and gather information in order to make a decision.