Thursday, November 6, 2008

JoAnn Falletta

Wow, Can I say I just love this woman. She is so impressive and kind.

She recently had a chat with Scott Dowd who had the where-with-all to record it for WUOL. You can hear it here.

I particularly like the part where she's talking about the balance of her life and work and she says:
"Sometimes I think my life IS my work of making music, but I really can't complain. Making music is not work, it's a privilege. It's unbelievable to be in the middle of beauty every day of my life. To stand on the podium in the middle of an orchestra is the most unbelievable privilege and honor and pleasure."

Her passion for her work is arresting.

Andrew Adler had a phone interview and wrote a lovely story here.

I was fortunate enough to listen to a little of the rehearsal with the Louisville Orchestra, and wow. She is a compelling conductor.

With JoAnn Faletta on the podium and Robert Thies on piano its going to be a magnificent concert. If you have a chance to see the LO this Saturday 11/8 at the Kentucky Center... do. 502.584.7777 or

Monday, October 20, 2008

Keith Cook Making a Difference with music

Louisville Orchestra violinist Keith Cook had a great feature on WHAS 11, he is making the most of a terrible incident :

Music center for underprivileged children continues operation after burglary

10:46 PM EDT on Sunday, October 19, 2008

WHAS11 coverage

(WHAS11) -Windstorm 2008 brought out the best of Kentuckiana, but apparently it also brought out the worst.

The West Louisville Talent Education Center was burglarized during the power outage.

The center strives to use music as the vehicle to create Metro Louisville’s community leaders of tomorrow.

Violins, computers, and CD players, were all stolen from the center.

Sunday a fundraiser was held to replace the musical instruments.

Louisville Orchestra violinist Keith Cook founded the center 11 years ago to provide first rate instruction for little or no charge.

Cook is a hero to many budding musicians, and he’s not stopping despite burglars cleaning him out.

Cook says, “I was determined that no matter what happened I was going to do this…even if it had to come out of my own pocket, which I’ve had to do to start and operate this.”

Cook has taught violin to more than 200 kids from the Russell, Parkland, California, and Shawnee neighborhoods.

He says learning music helps in the students’ education.

Cook holds the position of first violin with the Louisville Orchestra, and Sunday his students and their parents had the chance to hear him play for a change.

To get involved in the West Louisville Talent Education Center, it is possible to sponsor a Student Scholarship for one year at the following levels:

Young Master- $375

Victory Violin- $300

Suzuki Strings- $200

To learn more about the center and scholarship levels, send an email to

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ben Folds with the Louisville Orchestra

It was a very cool experience to be a part of a sell out night at Whitney Hall. The Louisville Orchestra had a standing ovation after the first part, before Ben came out. That's impressive.

They had a series naming contest and the new name of the series is "Strings Attached". I like it. Ben Folds with Strings Attached...

Here are some links to reviews:

Jeffery Lee Puckett from the CJ
Louisville Magazine
Kentucky Kernel
Magic Mike Nilsson on myspace
I thought this one was very sweet

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A great Saturday

I had a wonderful day with my friend TTT. After K's folks went home, I met TTT at the condo and we took her step-fathers borrowed mustang convertable to the Smoketown USA chili cookoff. I had been past this place many times, and wondered what it was about, and now I know. Good people and down home cooking. We wanted to make the most with the top down so we drove down River Rd. via downtown. We stopped at the Captians Quarters regalla, and there was an "art show" going on. really it was a bunch of beaded jewelry and a couple of mediocre painters. There were a couple of women who had a huge booth with beautiful alpaca wool sweaters, but $150 was out of my range.

There was a festival downtown that we hit on the way back and that was fun. Got a Christmas present for Mom that I think she will love. Since we were in the neighborhood, we wanted to stop by the NuLu gallery grand opening. We found first the Green gallery which is the brain child of Bill Green with the art of Five O Two party - nine months with nine artists with one love. The space was inspired. workable sized rooms with indoor and outdoor options and easy parking.

TTT and I agreed it would be a great location for the VIVA VOCE at some point.

We did manage to find the NuLu gallery. It was fun, but we were late and they were closing up to go to the FiveOTwo party. Its worth a second look.

On our way back to the car, we walked by Chuck Swanson's gallery and shockingly saw the owners own work in the windows. Its about time! We ran into Chuck who said that he had a last minute cancellation, and this was the first time his work hung in his own gallery. Amazing. He was on his way to the LVAA art auction. Sorry I missed it, but I am spread too thin right now to have volunteered for my dear friends at the water tower. Maybe next year.

I met up with K and we went to his friend's house to sample the band who left their equiptment in the basement from the party last weekend. It was a great little set of figuring out songs, and trying to remember words and revisiting pieces they hadn't done in a long time. The lead singer, Tracy is a school teacher with an amazing voice, a little Janice Joplin with a bit of Jewel as well. She has an impressive range and great expression.

All in all it was a great day! The opera last night went well enough, and though I wished I could have gone to my cousins wedding in North Carolina, I think I really needed a day of new experiences and thats what I got.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I have to work the LO's Fanfara tonight. I guess it may be a good time. I am escorting O'Neil, the photographer to the black tie dinner at the Humana building then across the street to the Kentucky Center to capture the magic of the Suzuki String Institute, then outside on the steps where the UofL Marching Band will play while the folks at the dinner cross the street.

Yesterday afternoon a couple of the LO ladies went to the rehearsal with bassist Edgar Meyer. They said it was amazing. Too bad I won't be able to listen tonight. We are going to sell out so that's a good problem to have.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Translations / Transitions

I am looking forward to an Artist's Reception tomorrow at Zephyr Gallery. Deborah Thomas is one of my favorite local artists, the image is one of her pieces that I happen to own. Granted its probably the smallest size she actually sells, but it's one of my favorite things.

I learned about her through the first LVAA Art Auction I worked. The colors were so strong and vibrant and the lines were so passionate, the work was undeniable. I was immediately drawn to her as an artist. Her work could be classified as abstract landscapes. At that point her work had this very interesting box within the paintings, which I later found out was a representation of a photograph. The box was placed as if the photograph was being held up to the actual landscape which continued beyond the paper. I was initially drawn to that box. To me, it was an expression of emotion that cannot be contained.

Alas, her newer work has lost the box, which she feels is liberating. Good for her. Her palate has also mellowed and has gotten deeper. Her passion is still expressed through her brush work and I cannot wait to see what she's been up to lately.

If you go - The Zepher gallery is located at 610 East Market Street and is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11:00am to 6:00pm

Deborah Thomas and Mitch Eckert exhibit will be up from August 22nd - September 27th.

The First Friday gallery hop will be on September 5.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Basquiat at KMAC

KMAC (Kentucky Museum of Art & Craft) will be showing the film Basquiat on Tuesday, September 8 at 8pm. Tickets are only $5 and free for museum members.

I saw this film perhaps a decade ago, and it still resonates with me. It's about a young artist who gains the attention on Andy Warhol during his "factory"days.

Jean-Michel Basquiat struggled as an artist, attempting to sell his small postcard sized pieces on the streets of New York with little success. His encounter with Warhol changed every thing. Not only did Andy purchase every postcard the young artist had with him that day, he also brought the seemingly flea bitten cur into his fold where Jean-Michel found acceptance, adoration and fame. These elements were a bit too much for him and led to his destruction, but his work lives on. Sotheby's says the current auction record for a Basquiat work stands at $14.6m.

If you haven't, see this film!

Friday, August 8, 2008

We had such a great time in Carmel Valley I didn't want to come home. Everything was so idyllic. Coming back to 95 sweaty degrees with humidity making the heat index 115 just about killed me after being in an average of 75 degrees with lovely breezes and amazing ocean views.

We were lucky enough to get a convertible. If you ever go to California in the summer, upgrade to a convertible, it made our trip even more amazing.

The mountains and the ocean were more than my spirit could absorb. Mother Nature has out done herself in Carmel. She is showing her stuff and making sure she is noticed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Unplugging for the week

I will be in Carmel Valley until Sunday!!! Yeah!
4 days at the Bernardus Winery.
4 days in 75 degrees with no humidity!
4 days of sipping wine and playing croquet!
I am sure there will be art galleries. We have reservations for a private tour at Parsonage Vineyard which I am sure will be lovely.
I will miss writing for you, but I will bring back lovely tales (and probably no time to tell them.)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

National Tequila Day

Today is National Tequila Day.
–87% of Americans agree that tequila is not just for margaritas anymore, indicating that top-shelf tequila can be easily mixed into a large variety of refreshing cocktails. K is a fan of Patron, a high end liquor which should be sipped like a brandy not slammed after licking salt off body parts.
Personally not a big fan of Tequila at all, so tonight I will drink wine in a shot glass and say aribba while doing so.

One of my favorite bloggers, Jason Falls, has done a nice video blog for Food Rants about 5 things to keep in mind before you celebrate. Its hilarious!

Tonight TTT and I will go to the Forecastle Festival preview party on the roof of the Glassworks building. Should be a good time.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A new Painting!

K has purchased a piece of art for his living room. We are very excited about it as it has a Monet quality to it, but it is by a local artist and it is of Cherokee Park.

I don't know a lot about the artist, but we found it at Chuck Swanson's gallery. It was the right price and a pretty good size, and the colors are as if the artist had swatches from K's house.

I just love it.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

An evening with Juile and Bob

As promised, here are some pictures from the evening with Julie Andrews and Bob Edwards, Thursday, July 10. All photos are by Stephen Driver of Stephen Photography.

Brad Broecker, Bob Edwards and Brad Sidio wait for Julie Andrews to arrive

Members of the Louisville Orchestra entertained guests.

Music Director, Jorge Mester greeted Ms. Andrews and her manager, Stephen Sauer while Brad Broecker introduces them.

Julie meets her interviewer, Bob Edwards while her hosts, Owsley & Christy Brown look on.

Mrs. Brown shows Ms. Andrews the grand view.

Mr. Edwards has Julie on the hot seat.

She had to borrow Bob's glasses to read the passage from her autobiography, "Home".

This is Julie with the Louisville Orchestra staff after Friday's performance at the Meet & Greet.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Once in a life time

There was a Louisville Orchestra fund raiser last night that I was fortunate enough to attend. Julie Andrews was interviewed by Bob Edwards at a lovely Louisville home.
I will post pictures soon.

Suffice to say it was a real treat to be in the presence of these two icons. They are both so on, and professional. The interview was a little short, but what was told was candid and fun. Bob had her read a bit from the latest book "Home". Its quite something to hear Julie Andrews say the words sex and opium in the same sentence. She was speaking metaphorically, but with the elegance of her voice and the distinguishing nature of her presence, it was quite a shock.

The event was a part of tonights concert, "The Gift of Music", I will be there but will not review the show.
There was a rumor (and if you watch the video from my last post, you will know from where this rumor derives.) that Julie Andrews will sing tonight. It is very exciting, but that is one of the reasons the interview was cut short last night. She was trying to preserve her voice for the show!! What a dame!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Julie Andrews is here!!

Julie Andrews arrived in Louisville today and is rehearsing RIGHT NOW, for the world premier of "The Gift of Music" with the Louisville Orchestra this Friday! There may be tickets left, call 584-7777, they will know.

Barry Bernson of Fox 41,
interviewed Dame Andrews.

Stephanie Saunders did an interview with Julie Andrews for WFPL which aired on Studio 619 last weekend and you can hear the podcast here.

Tomorrow evening there will be a fundraising event for the Louisville Orchestra where Julie Andrews will be interviewed by Bob Edwards. A small group of people will be able to witness this wonderful event, and one of them will be me!! I will post pictures I promise!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cinci Opera

This is creative marketing from Cincinnati Opera. Makes me want to go...

Monday, July 7, 2008


I went to my first ROARchestra performance this weekend, what a special evening. The Louisville Orchestra sounds wonderful at the zoo. The weather behaved and while it was a little warm, the crowd seemed pleased to be out on a July night.

The opening act was the 113 Army Band. They were a wonderful addition playing patriotic favorites as well as some big band era tunes.

Baritone, Lewis Washington joined the LO for some selections. He seemed to interact with the musicians and Bob Bernhardt very well, and he sounded wonderful singing Aaron Copland.

There was a bit of confusion at the end of the evening when some thought there would be fireworks. Unfortunately, the fireworks scared the animals in the past, and for their benifit, the LO & the Zoo staff thought it would be best that the pyrotechnics were left to the waterfront.

The next ROARchestra concert is Saturday, July 12 and will feature the Contours (Do you love me??). You can win tickets by going to

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Etudes just did a ticket give away for the Louisville Orchestra's ROARchestra concert this weekend. The winner, Daniel Light, is a piano teacher and a very good photographer. Check out his site, Etudes.

I am very impressed with his Louisville photos, they are romantic and fun. Like this one of the Twig at night. Shooting at night is hard, but he gets so much color in the sky... I wonder if he uses filters. Some of his work on Fliker is in black and white with one added color, so I guess he does digital editing. If you look at this picture larger, the restaurant is fairly empty. You can make out maybe two figures. It has that lonely feeling of Night Hawks, with the colors beaming through the dark sky.

étude, a brief musical composition, usually for piano, fashioned to instruct an instrumentalist in a particular technical problem, such as scales or trills. Succeeding the toccata, popular in the baroque period, the étude was developed into a compactly crafted musical form by Frédéric Chopin and Franz Liszt.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A Bloggers Opera

Here is an interesting take... How do you combine Opera with social media? Looks like Sweeden and Vietnam have figured it out together. An odd coupling of cultures and medium. I would be interested to see the result.
Vietnamese and Swedish artists collaborate on the new opera being devised by bloggers from the two countries.
What a great idea. This would be an interesting education program...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Arts Funding

The media is a buzz with the Mayors new budget. There are a lot of small arts groups that got completly left out and people are more than pissed. I don't blame them either. The Leo article talked about the Juneteenth festival that has been relevantly bringing African American issues to the stage for 9 years. They went from $15,000 to ZERO in no time flat.

Some of these groups are taking it upon themselves to raise the money needed. Louisville Music News's Paul Moffit says in his blog that John Gage of Kentucky Homefront is having a fund raiser on July 25 & 26 at Iroquois Amphitheater.

The Louisville Orchestra and the Fund for the Arts is consistently Mentioned in all of these articles as they both received the lions share of the funds. None of the articles suggested that this was inappropriate accept perhaps a slight slant with Moffits blog suggesting the LO ticket sales were SO good that the LO didn't need or deserve this money. Interesting... I wonder if he has tapped the box office computers? Obviously not, if he is suggesting that ticket sales actually fund any of the arts groups. In for-profit endeavors that may be the case, but with orchestra and opera, ticket sales only account for 1/3 of the budget income.

I applaud John Gage for taking control of the situation. Go to the event, and support Kentucky Homefront!!

Here are some of the articles:
Courier Journal
Business First
PRWeb Release

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Video Games Live!

Here is a great review from the Video Games Live performance in Toronto.

The Louisville Orchestra will be putting this show on at the Kentucky Center on July 18. W00tz! will be doing some pre-concert events with costume contests and video games in the lobby. Super fun.

The ladies at Secret Life of Girl Gamers will be doing a podcast interview soon. I will let you know when its up and running.

Get your sneak peek here!
I have decided I dislike agents as much as social media folks dislike PR people.

I'm Back

Spent the weekend in VA. It was lovely and remote. No cell service, no wireless internet access, just expansive vistas of the Shenandoah Valley and lovely food with lovely people.

Monday, June 16, 2008

It's a Quiz!!

I just got a great idea from parterre box, It's like a contest of sorts, but I don't know what you will win yet. Posted here are two images from a previous Kentucky Opera production. All you have to do is guess which production. If you want extra credit, when did KYO produce it, and who is shown.

Post your answers in the comments and the first correct answer, I will figure out what you win!
Yeah! I love a QUIZ!

Friday, June 13, 2008

National Performing Arts Convention

I am at the National Performing Arts Convention in Colorado. The session I tried to get in, the results of the MET Broadcast surveys, was so full they wouldn't let us in. Alas.

Its been going pretty well. A lot of discussion about new media. I have been asking every blogger I meet if they twitter, digg, stumble upon etc. and basically its a big fat doughnut. Some bloggers look at me as if I just landed from a UFO.

When I have a bit more time I will detail my sessions.
Right now, I will forge for food.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fringe Festivals

Has anyone ever heard of a fringe festival? Has anyone ever been to one? Apparently Louisville is in dire need of one.

Check out these links if you (like me) have never heard of this.

New Opera Reviewers

Apparently Opera North (thats in the UK not in Phili) is doing a wonderful job at pulling in new audiences. Their recent Macbeth was reviewed twice today by seemingly new opera goers.

Gripped by First Opera - Evening Chronicle

Opera Was No Tragedy - Journal Live

I hope that Kentucky Opera's upcoming Otello will fair as well.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Blogging problems

I am totally new at this and I am having some major questions about Feed Burners and RSS feeds. I look at some blogs like Jason Falls' and am in awe of all the "Stuff" on his page. For Example, his FIND ME HERE section
What the F is all that and how do I use it?
Then (same example) he's got his twitter messages on his site. Then he has the RSS Feed link at the top as a very cool talk bubble with the RSS logo, I can't seem to figure out how to add any of that. Of course he is in the biz, and I am a complete idiot on these things. I am learning (I hope).
Twitter is one of those things that totally confounds me. I sat at the Social Media Club meeting last month and every one was a twitter with Twitter. I signed up for Twitter and have no idea how or why to use it. I am also a new member of Digg what ever that is and am seriously thinking aobut because I like the sound of it, but I don't think I should spread myself too thin at this stage of the game. Then there is Techtori, who knows what that is and I did stumble upon StumbleUpon, Anyone? anyone? Bueller? Bueller? I will say that I am Linkedin, MySpace is ignored, and my Facebook is embarrassing.

Any one who wants to tutor me, I am all for it.

I also found on DavidSFinch's site, a cute video on Social Media from the good people from The Common Craft.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Opera Star

Here is a sweet story. Brittan's version of American Idol has found another opera star. This time its a 12 year old girl. Hear her sing here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

A Convenient Opera

A new opera is in the making and expected to be at La Scala in Milan in 2011. Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" will be transformed into an opera by Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli.
Not a lot of news about this but I thought it was worth mentioning.

Here is the story from the Wall Street Journal, Image from NY mag blog.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Elijah's Kite

I learned about an opera created for school kids in 2006 about bullying. Elijah's Kite was created by a Canadian group called Tapestry and was composed by James Rolfe and writer Camyar Chai.

Elijah’s Kite is a morality tale that deals with bullying and school violence. It is written with tenderness and humour, and explores the issues of friendship, loneliness and self image. Nine year old Elijah feels alone in the school yard and is often bullied by Big Billy Brett. For comfort, Elijah brings his favourite kite to school and dreams of flying away. One day, Elijah meets a
strong new girl named Miriam who isn’t afraid of Billy and stands up to him. However, Miriam soon learns to use her new power in the peer group in a negative manner and begins bullying others herself. In the end, by developing empathy for each other and appreciating diversity, they all discover what it takes to make Elijah’s kite fly: caring and cooperation!

What a wonderful way to bring opera to students with issues that directly effect their generation. The performance I read about included a hands on art activity where students got to make kites and then launched them with the opera singers. The study guide is available on line for teachers and students.

FYI: I am still absorbing the art from Chicago, I will blog about the good the bad and the ugly when I have processed.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Food Shopping and Art

I didn't finish wendesday
We ended our very jam packed day with dinner at Cafe Louis which is not the dinner with the prefix, but the very tiny french bistro that had a wonderful free range chicken. We shared the onion tart and it was lovely.

The Prefix dinner that I was so nervous about was Thursday evening. After a day at the art museum and more shopping, we went to Charle Trotters where 8 courses would have been perfect, but for some reason they decided to make our 3 deserts 5 deserts. They just kept bringing things out... It was all too good not to eat. and so we did. I will have to have K elaborate on our dinner when we get back, but as we are paying for internet minutes, this is just a brief sketch of our time.

I must move on to last night. Friday. All day SHOPPING. got great deals at Filenes and Ann taylor but we went to Nordstroms, and some huge shopping area where they had a million different bathroom sinks. We found this place because of a gallery that K was interested in, we found it and it was more of an antiqe shop on the sixth floor of a30 some odd floor ware house market place. It seemed like the entire place was dedicated to kitchens and bathrooms with the occasional furniture place here and there. It totally confused us both.

We went past the Cheezbooga, cheezebooga, cheezbooga place, Billy Goat Strut (?) made famous by the guys on Saturday Night Live.

Nordstroms was having a great sale, and I TRIED to buy the Kate Spades but even on sale they were $160. I am sure to some that is a great price for Kate Spade ballet flats, but with a non profit salary, I must get more out of my money and DID I ever!! our next stop was Ann Taylor where I got a suit & two pair of pants for $80. Not bad.

On our way back to the hotel, K wanted to stop at one last gallery. He purchaced a giclee of Frank Senatra for his office, and we looked at two floral pieces by a Parisian painter for the living room. K was more inclined for her work than Wednesday's wire. I don't have all the information on the artist yet. So I will blog about her when we get back.

Our dinner last night was very different. We took the advice of Larry Levine, who said we should go to Gennero's. Its a small mom and pop shop in little italy with authentic italian food. Thats what we were looking for and we found it. Jeff our waiter reminded us of Jimmy Fallon. the "gravy" was smokey and light at the same time. Good choice. We went from there to POP's for Jazz and Champagne. Odd combo but it worked well. K & I talked about the possibility of having such a place in Kentucky. It wouldnt work, but it would be nice.
We made it through one set of the Jazz quartet and one bottle of bubbly and I was cooked.

We will be leaving today. There is a parade that we hope won't get in the way of our departure. Randy also let me know that the Gay Lether convention is in town this weekend. We tried to see the piano player at the Knickerbocker that my brother reccomeneded and the place was filled to capacity with bears. Ha ha. Good times.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


WOW what a great city! Chicago has great art and great food. We have had full days of both.

Wednesday, we checked into the Drake Hotel. It is very similar to the Sealbach in Louisville. An older plalce that has seen better days, but they have great bellservices and they try to anticipate your every need. Immediatly after check in, we went to Filene's basement where shopping ensued. We both made modest purchaces with the promise that we would return for more damage. We went to lunch at Ralph Lauren where we shared the Crab Louis and the Lobster Club both of which were well complimented by the champaigne. After lunch we returned to the room to drop off our wares and headed out again to find art, and boy did we ever.

We headed to the gallery district in the 300 block of Superior Street. We probably hit about a dozen galleries and saw art that ranged from amazing to just plain awful. Three places hit the high marks for me. Melanee Cooper Gallery at 740 North Frankin had an unusual artist who was using frescos with oil. A very interesting effect when you add a high gloss enamel on top. The intense colors and the simple designs gave me the inital impression of enamals. In the office off to the side I saw a few piceces from the previous show of Allen Bently. The first one that caught my eye was "Wire". It is a long thin piece with a bright red back ground and dancers viewed from the top. These are great fun and make me want to dance.

Some other highlights include the Habatat Galleries Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg pieces were wonderful uses of color light and line with use of glass balls heavy wire.

Gabriela Morawetz was another favorite. Her Egospheres were at maya polsky gallery. They were paintings with a

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am taking off for Chicago tomorrow! Super excited!

Tonight there is a meeting for the local bloggers at  my offices at ArtSpace.  I am looking forward to that as well.  I found these people by accident, and they actually inspired me to start this blog (indirectly).  I had been looking for someone to blog about the opera for about a year, and I found I thought this might be just the place for me, and low & Behold there was a Social Media Club meeting that week. I was able to meet Michelle, and some other bloggers, and thought this is a good group.  They met at the Fox & Hound which was very loud and not good for discussions.  I offered the ArtSpace and after a preview by Jason Falls it was a done deal. 
I hope it  goes well tonight. 

I will actually be able to blog a bit in the windy city as K is bringing his lap top.  So I can tell you wether I make it through the full 8 course pre fix at Le Bouchon. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Food is art

So K wanted me to make sure I mentioned the Art of Charlie Trotter.

His dishes are more than filling for your mouth. They are exotic visual creations that tantalize the senses beyond most visual art.

Some of his "pieces" are essences rather than digestible food bits. I hope we have some of that in our 8 courses. K assures me that its only 5 because 3 courses are deserts. That somehow doesn't make me feel better, but I will be brave.

I also wanted to say we will be going to Le Bouchon. A Parisian cafe which features Jean Claude's Onion tart. K says (in a romantic and nostalgic kind of way) "You step off the mean streets of Chicago and are immediately transported to Paris!"

Looking forward to both dinners, and a nice rainy day to hang out in the Art Institute. Apparently we will have a few rainy days to choose from... This will be my fourth visit. It's been a while, and I may have to review some notes (if I can find them in my relatively unpacked condo.) I believe I have a cataloge which can help our direction, I don't know that I will be able to put my hands on it.

We are going to try to find a jazz bar my brother told me about (PK if you are reading this, you will need to refresh my memory). There is a piano player there that he likes a lot.

I will not be blogging on my trip. I will take notes though and give a full report when I return.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

And I think a painting has such a limited life anyway.

on a sad note...
He mixed media, mixed formats, and mixed genres of art - Robert Rauschenberg died last night at age 82 in his Florida home due to heart failure. (This post's titleis a quote from Robert Rauschenberg)

on the up beat...
A robot named ASIMO will conduct the Detroit Symphony tomorrow night.
One thing about both of these stories, I learned about them on NPR. I have several sources for my art information, I get emailed every day, several times a day on various art subjects. I had heard about ASIMO through one of these emails, but the details, such as the Detroit Symphony and Yo Yo Ma and the Impossible Dream were not included. So while I link these images to other news outlets, the source for me, NPR - they have this news thing down to an art form...

Monday, May 12, 2008

We are going to Chicago to buy a piece of art. I am so very excited about the trip and the possibilities. K has purchased from the Mary Bell Gallery in the past and feels confident he will find the perfect painting there.

I have done a little searching for other galleries and found a good number in the area.

K is especially excited about the diners: we have reservations for Charlie Trotters but will not be sitting in the kitchen which has its own menu apparently and is the VERY COOL place to be. I am hopeful the 8 course pre-fixe will not be a huge and heavy meal. K assures me it will be fine. I have not been successful with pre-fixe dinners in the past, they are usually so heavy and I leave in pain and takes days to recover. In any case, I am sure Mr. Trotters will be a grand experience.

I will be talking about Chicago until I get there, so be warned...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mothers Day

Went to the Art in the Arbor art fair today with my mom. We were going for mother's day but the weather is supposed to be bad tomorrow so we opted for the more beautiful eve of mother's day.

The fair was fair. 

There were a few good booths.  I did see Brad Devlin whose work is always fun and inspiring. We also saw Robbie Moriarty who is a charming charm artist. 

Mom's friends Cindy  & Michael Fess had a booth where her wire wrapped jewelry were well displayed. 

We both LOVED the kaleidoscope artist.  She used antique metal objects like old spoons and tray handles to decorate the stained glass. She used marbles, beads and crystals.  Very unique. 

It was a fun way to spend mothers day. 

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Surreal Art Experience

I had the unexpected pleasure last night to visit the studio of Barry Motes.

Barry does very interesting surreal abstractions in oil. He creates ethereal backgrounds with great movement and places iconographic line drawings floating in space. His palate is almost neon in hue, bright pinks, blues and greens. The effect is a bit disturbing and alluring at the same time. I had a sense of Miro but with a bit more realism in his figures and more movement & color in his backgrounds.

I saw pieces from a previous show, Heaven & Hell, where devils and angels did battle on backgrounds that seemed other worldly (not like where the hobbits live, more like where the aliens mêlée). The juxtaposition of the human ideas of metaphysical creatures, who in our construct reside in the clouds or the fiery pits of the underworld, interacting in the strange environments of space create a dizzying complexity in his large scale paintings.

He carries a similar yet opposite theme in another body of work, whose title escapes me but has something to do with disease on the cellular level. He takes an image of say cancer cells magnified so a single cell is about the size of a softball. Again he uses intense and bright palate and then superimposes a black and white image of his parents. In this series, he has gone from the macro (grand space like backgrounds with universal and iconographic figures) to the micro (cellular backgrounds with very personal themes). He is moving from the grand talk to every one to the intimate talk to me…The people in all these images are known to Motes, yet they have the quality of universality in a personal way. His parents could have been my grandparents, his mother died of the cancer that Motes used in the background and, my father died of cancer… these concentrations are extremely personal to some if not most of us, and even more so for the artist himself.

I wasn’t supposed to see what he was working on currently, so I will only say that he has moved into the third dimension and is flirting with Magritte-esque qualities of space, light and themes.

It was a delight to stumble on such a great opportunity, another reason to be grateful.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Photo exhibit at PYRO

Hanging Together

Poverty, Prosperity, Portraiture by John Fitzgerald

Hanging Together is a collection of portraits of individuals representing a wide range of socioeconomic status. While society and reality may treat these individuals quite differently, the photographic technique of this project seeks to view each individual much the same as God would – with absolute equality. The artist’s objective is to challenge the viewer to approach poverty and wealth through a more divine and personal lens than what their human perceptions, stereotypes, and experiences may allow. Photographic intimacy and a minimalist simplicity of artistic style are the means by which I attempt, - not to obscure, but to transcend the inequalities between those who are included in a wealthy, consumer culture and those who are left out. Learn more...