Rick & the All-Star Ramblers Win National Award April 3, 2015Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts.
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By Dan Bolles : sevendaysvt – excerpt
Local songwriter Rick Norcross was on the verge of becoming the Susan Lucci of western swing music awards. Last year, Norcross and his band, the All-Star Ramblers, were nominated for the Best Western Swing Group/Duo award by the Academy of Western Artists. FYI, that’s an organization whose stated mission is to, “recognize and honor outstanding individuals who, through their accomplishments, preserve and perpetuate the traditions, values and heritage of the American cowboy.” Or in other words, Rick Norcross. (Fun fact about the AWA: The organization is based in Gene Autry, Okla. Yes, really.)
Norcross and Co. came away from last year’s awards ceremony in Dallas empty handed. But this year, Norcross and Co. were nominated for six AWA awards. These included Best Western Swing Group/Duo, Best Western Swing Album (for Welcome to OUR Vermont), Best Western Swing Female Vocalist (Taryn Noelle) and three nominations for Best Western Swing Song.
Well guess what? Last weekend, deep in the heart of Texas, Norcross scored a win in that last category for his tune “You Can”t Make It Up.” … Here’s a version of the tune from the Ramblers’ 2013 record Riding My Guitar. Congrats, Rick!… (more)
The whimsical little number from his 2014 record Welcome to OUR Vermont operates on the premise that truth is stranger than fiction. Norcross would know. A few of his career highlights include rambling around London as a songwriter with Paul Simon in the 1960s and working as a rock journalist and photographer for the Tampa Bay Times covering the likes of Led Zeppelin and Janis Joplin.
One of our favorite verses from Norcross’ biographical and now award-winning tune concerns working up the nerve to ask a pretty girl to the prom in Hardwick, Vt., and then having to buy a corsage from the local funeral parlor since there was nowhere else in town to buy flowers.
You can’t make it up.
Here’s a version of the tune from the Ramblers’ 2013 record Riding My Guitar. Congrats, Rick!… (more)
The Gentrification of our Livelihoods: Everything Must Go… February 27, 2015Posted by zRants in Art, Environment, Humanities, Politics.
Tags: community organizations, Deflation, financial profit, gentrificaition, Gentrification, inflation, Intersection for the Arts, politics of art, tech booms
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by Megan Wilson : stretcher – excerpt
Preface: When I began researching and writing The Gentrification of our Livelihoods in early March 2014 one of my primary interests was the impact that the collaboration between Intersection for the Arts and developer Forest City’s creative placemaking 5M Project is having on the existing communities that have invested in and called the South of Market home prior to the tech booms. Having worked with many community-based organizations within the SoMa community for the past 18 years, I’ve had deep concerns about the development’s impact for the neighborhood and its impact on the future of Intersection.
However, I would not have predicted the announcement that Intersection made on May 22nd to cut its arts, education, and community engagement programs and lay off its program staff would come as soon as it did. What began as a reflection on the shortcomings of creative placemaking as a tool for economic development and its implications on gentrification and community displacement has become a cautionary tale for arts and community organizations to question and better understand the potential outcomes of working with partners whose interests are rooted in financial profit… (more)
If we have gentrification without inflation, during a deflationary period, what will happen with the return of inflation when the Fed raises interest rates and things get really expensive?
With gallery in the living room, S.F. home is where the art is February 25, 2015Posted by zRants in Art, Friends.
Tags: creative spirits, home gallery, San Francisco, sharing space
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Anna Conti and husband David Sumner have made opening their home to fellow artists a cornerstone in their lives in the 25 years they’ve rented the Spanish-style typical Sunset District row house at 41st Avenue and Judah Street.
“We had a weekly dinner for a time on Wednesdays, we hosted artist roundtables on Fridays here, and I don’t know how many variations on open studio days we’ve participated in,” Conti, a painter, says from her former living room.
Now the house is giving artists sanctuary in a new way. Conti and Sumner have transformed the front rooms of their home into a roughly 372-square-foot gallery they call BigCrow Studio, with an emphasis on showing works by local artists, many of whom are longtime friends and part of a vanishing working-class artist population in San Francisco that has found itself in a kind of diaspora because of rising rents.
The idea for BigCrow Studio’s public opening came to Conti, 63, and Sumner, 56, in the fall after they sold much of their furniture to pay for medical expenses relating to Sumner’s eight-year fight with leukemia and in anticipation of eventually downsizing their living situation. The couple, who are retired and rely on Conti’s Social Security, looked at the empty walls and saw an exhibition space. After ripping up the wall-to-wall carpet, cleaning the hardwood underneath and giving the walls a few coats of paint, Conti and Sumner curated BigCrow’s first show, “Premiere,” which opened in October, featuring 40 works by over a dozen artists. The show, like all shows thus far at BigCrow, mainly utilized the former living and dining rooms and eventually spread out into the foyer and hall.
“It may seem like we uprooted our lives to do this, but really, the gallery is just a logical extension of what we’ve done for years — inviting our friends to share their work,” photographer Sumner says. “Now we have official hours for the public to visit on Fridays and Saturdays.”
In addition to giving artists opportunities to present work, it was also important to Conti and Sumner that they not take a commission or consignment fee… (more)
This is a story about some San Francisco artists who have the BeauxArts spirit. They are creative people who are getting by and sharing what they can. The italicize the word sharing because it has taken on a dark new meaning in San Francisco. It is part of the language that describes the disruptive technologies that may be coming your way soon if they have not already.
But this is a warm and friendly sharing. Read on for more inspiring ideas coming from Anna Conti, David Sumner, and friends.
City seeks home for St. Francis statue after Candlestick eviction January 28, 2015Posted by zRants in Art, History, Peace.
Tags: Candlestick Park, evictions, San Francisco, San Francisco Arts Commission, statue
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After more than 40 years of blessing the ups and downs of the 49ers and Giants, the patron saint of Candlestick Park is about to find himself homeless…
Like so many San Franciscans, St. Francis is being evicted — along with the memories of Willie Mays and Joe Montana — to make way for a big new development. In this case, a shopping center and hotel will replace Candlestick, which is scheduled to begin coming down within days…
But, unlike the many San Franciscans who find themselves homeless, the statue has the support of the city’s Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure, San Francisco Arts Commission, Rec and Park, and Miami developer, Lennar, to cough up the $150,000 to $200,000 needed for the move and restoration.
It’s a San Francisco statue needs a home story, with some great old photos attached to it.
Morrison Grave in Pere La Chaise July 21, 2014Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts, Jim Morrison, Music.
Tags: Jim Morrison, Morrison Grave, Paris, Pere La Chaise
More Pere La Chaise, Paris 2015: https://www.flickr.com/photos/abazaar/
Democrats’ Florida push calls for US shift on Cuba July 6, 2014Posted by zRants in Beaux Arts.
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Originally posted on zRants:
: AP – excerpt
MIAMI (AP) — When Charlie Crist went to Miami’s Little Havana recently, the Democratic candidate for governor stood before a crowd and said what few politicians have in decades of scrounging for votes in the Cuban-American neighborhood: End the trade embargo against Cuba.
“If you really care about people on the island, we need to get rid of the embargo and let freedom reign,” he said, shouting above a small band of protesters who responded with chants of “Shame on you!”
Crist’s supporters cheered louder.
It was a scene inconceivable just a few years ago, when politicians were careful about what they said on the issue, for fear of alienating Cuban-American voters, many of whom fled Fidel Castro’s Cuba in the 1960s.
But Democrats now sense an opening with newer Cuban arrivals and second-generation Cuban-Americans who favor resuming diplomatic relations with the…
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Rue Legouvé in the Canal district of Paris June 18, 2014Posted by zRants in Art, Beaux Arts.
Tags: Behemian artist, Canal district in Paris, Dali Street
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I call this one Dali Street, but it is Rue Legouvé, off of Rue Lucien Sampaix, between Boulevard de Magenta and Quai de Valmy and the Canal Saint-Martin. The photos don’t do Rue Legouvé justice. The walls are heavily textured brick, with complex textures and jagged cutouts. You can see some of the jagged edges along the wall in the third photo. Across the street is the storefront that comes as closes to Beaux Arts as anything else I have seen. The artist looks like the head in the diamond sign. The sign in the window is Hubert Karaly Bijoux. He is in good health and exactly as Tom would have wanted to be. He took his coffee in the morning down by the cafe we hung out in. Stay tuned for more Paris photos…
Coming soon. Jardin Villemin 14 Rue de Récollets, with the comfortable grass lawn seating.
RIP Eric Beckus March 20, 2014Posted by zRants in Art, Beaux Arts, Books, Film, Friends, History, Poetry.
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Eric was one of Tom’s first students at the Beaux Arts school in Pinellas County. He lived the life of an artist, creating wonderful paintings, sculptures, poetry, and music. When I met Eric, he invited me to visit his home, which was filled with his simple life and diet of art. In addition to expressing his own world of fantastic visions, Eric was adapt at repairing the work of other fine artists. He was a museum quality restoration specialist. Museums and galleries entrusted their finest pieces to Eric.
When I last saw Eric he was working on writing a children’s book. He allowed me to shoot some of the illustrations and shared some drafts with me that I will look for. Eric had a great sense of humor. We will try to get more of his work posted, as well as some of his music soon. Meanwhile fest on this. Don’t miss the YouTube footage: http://www.beauxartsbook.com/art/Eric.html
Eric’s Beaux Arts Story, 11/7/06
I first visited the Beaux Arts gallery around 1953. I was a student at St. Petersburg Junior college and I wanted to find a gallery to attempt to exhibit my drawings and watercolors. The galleries in the city were beyond my capabilities as an artist. But the Beaux Arts was and continued to be, a place anyone could be seen at least.
The gallery was an old hotel. It had porches around its perimeter and Pinellas Park was small and quiet. The door was open like a church and I went in. I called out and Tom Reese came from a back room. He came thru a curtain and stood before me in a pose. His shirt was off and he had a chest covered in black hair and his head too was jet black and wavy. He was handsome and muscular with no belly or flab. I knew I wasn’t in a traditional gallery.
Tom sat with me and looked over my small collection of work. He was not caustic in those days although his prize insights were blunt, it was usually the fact. Some art is bad. As if the person set out to make it so.
Each meeting seemed to convince him I could have a show of my poems and pen line watercolors. Finally I did have the show on the side room which was a small gallery for art that could not compose a whole show in the main gallery.
Tom had two watercolors printed in color in the St. Petersburg Times. They were the first color plates used back then. and he had given that all to me. In a sense he saved my life because without his encouragement I would truly be a different person today. He was a saint in the true sense that is a man or woman that subjects themselves to a belief system and is always trying to live up to the rules. The rules of art as well as religion are the same except in regard to the human body. Beaux Arts was freedom to be true to yourself. Tom was the one that first showed me the variety of people I could at last fit in with. this family of artists.
As a man Tom was the man that sells the tickets in a carnival. The ‘Beaux Arts was that to me. As I went in the door, those carnival images painted on trailers were now in a gallery, dignified, not comic book paintings. It was a rarified world with people like carnival people, odd balls with a tent to live under together.
Tom was attracted to fame at an early age. He went to see the famous pianist Paderewsi who was a Polish hero visiting St. Petersburg. He got up early and went to the train station to wait. He got to say hello, and shake hands, and perhaps that handshake, to an 8-year-old boy passed fame, because he never stopped his craving for fame or the talk of famous people. The desire to have the whole world know your name was his burden as well as his reason to be able to see others with the same eye to try to help another get what he knew he could never get.
He was famous but the never felt it was enough. I’m so glad he never achieved the fame he longed for. I wouldn’t have gotten to know him.
– Eric Beckus
Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age June 27, 2013Posted by zRants in Film, Jim Morrison.
Tags: before the end, independent documentary film, Jim Morrison, Tom Reese
I’m hoping to speak with you about the late Tom Reese in regard to an independent documentary film my wife, Jess, and I are producing about Jim Morrison. I’m flying from Los Angeles to Clearwater and will be in town conducting research and interviews from June 28-July 1.
Jess and I run a two-person production company called Z-Machine. We’re nearly a year into the making of Before the End: Jim Morrison Comes of Age, a full-length documentary film. With BTE, we investigate all aspects of Morrison’s life [including the Doors] and death, but our primary focus is his formative years, a key era that’s seen little serious study. We have access to the Morrison family, including an exclusive first-ever on-camera interview with Jim’s brother, Andy.
Here are a few pertinent BTE links:
Thanks for your time, Mari. I look forward to speaking with you at your earliest convenience.
~ Jeff Finn
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Hi There! I just found your site after hearing a story from my Mom about my late father’s fond remembrances of his time spent at Beaux Arts around 1970/71/72. His name was Lawrence (Larry) Honaker. It was like an unexpected gift dropped from the sky to hear that my father enjoyed spending time and being part of that eclectic creative community. I had hoped to be able to visit it when I travel to Florida, but was saddened to see that Beaux Arts Coffee House is no longer there. Daddy was a musician, but Momma says he talked most about his love for gardening there at the house. He had his little 2 yr old son with him at the time too. It’s wonderful to glimpse this little piece of my Dad’s past when so much of it shrouded in the veils of time. If you happen across any mention of him in your records/stories, it sure would be a wonderful verbal gift to be able to share with my mother and siblings. Blessings of Creativity, Free-expression, and Peace to you all. – Sarah H.