Sunday, November 11, 2012

Camp TLC's Sandy Project

Camp TLC:

'via Blog this'

TLC are friends of my buddies DoArt Foundation.  As you will read, they are in the planning stages but this is such a great program at this time of destruction and devastation that the people of the NY Tri-State metro area has never seen.  To try to create a healing arts space, especially for kids, is an excellent idea.  Young people in particular will bear the brunt of this trama.  Things that can provide some comfort and restore the belief in safety is as important as getting them back into a a safe and secure home, back to school and eventually returning to daily routines.  Please keep TLC bookmarked and help them however you can.  We are all "Together Living A Challenge".


Friday, November 9, 2012

In the eye of the storm - Lucent Dossier gives back to its new home

Untitled Document Lucent Dossier gives back to its new home

Lucent Dossier at The Liberty Theatre, NYC
Huricane Sandy Fund-Raiser this Saturday night
Bring Blankets, Coats and Food
photo by Seze Devres

We hit the ground running and quickly nested inside the Liberty Theater on 42nd Street in Times Square, right in the heart of‘Broadway’, WOW!  After days of rehearsals, costume detailing, lights, sound and tech we launched opening night with a BANG.  The venue was at SOLD OUT capacity all night, a full house of revelers and party seekers. The door reported that they turned away over a thousand amazingly dressed people who
decided to take a chance on last minute door tickets
rather then getting them in advance.  But for those that made it inside, it was a blast!  We saw a lot of friends from the West Coast,
thank you to all of you that made the journey!
photo by Seze Devres
Then we got the news that Hurricane Sandy was making her way to the East Coast. Just a mere two days after our opening night the devastating storm touched down.  It was the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, as well as the second-costliest Atlantic hurricane in history.  The city fell silent; the trains, subways and buses came to a halt and much of Manhattan and the surrounding
cities fell into darkness.

photo by Seze Devres

We had our second show at the theater the following Saturday and though the room filled with beautiful souls excited to feel some joy and playfulness in all the darkness, we definitely felt the effects of the storm that night.  There was a good turn out of people ready to stretch their restless limbs again but there was also a feeling of sadness for those still affected by the storm. 
After all that, this Wednesday brought in the Nor’easter, New York’s first snow storm of the season…Mother Nature just keeps on working overtime it seems… hundreds of thousands of people are still without power as the temperatures continue to drop.
photo by Seze Devres

This Saturday as we go into week three we find ourselves, more then ever, wanting to give what we can to the relief efforts that surround us.  This Saturday the Liberty Theater in conjunction with Lucent will be having a coat, blanket and food drive fundraiser for the victims attempting to put their lives and homes back in order. We will dedicate this weekend and a portion of profits to this effort.

Please come join us, bring coats, blankets and food to donate to the needy. 
We will be waiting for you…
you can get advanced tickets to our event HERE

Take care of one another.

Shine on,


For bookings or sponsorship information:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

How the NY tribe rolls

As news started coming out from the 5 boroughs via social networks, I caught the "Dumbo" section of Brooklyn mentioned but as my internet access was on my phone which I was having to charge in my car or by draining what was left of the battery on my laptop, I couldn't do any further research to learn more.  I've known about Galapagos for a couple of years now thanks to a fellow blogger, "Arjan Writes".  I was generally concerned for the club as they are new and are offering a great arts space.

Well, my concerns were addressed in an email from Galapagos yesterday.  They had indeed sustained serious flooding from Sandy.  Furniture was afloat and stage pieces were under water.



Neighbors and friends came to their rescue and the show will go on.  If you're in the area, want some place warm, bright and friendly to come together with fellow Sandy survivors, swing by Galapagos.


4, 56 Trains now FULLY Operational!
(More subway info / map below)

We Need YOUR help - We're Asking For Your Help:
Please buy Tickets to tonight's Floating Kabarette!

CLICK HERE to buy tickets

We Went From This: 

To This - in FOUR Days!

Please Buy FK Tickets HERE

To Reserve Seats Tables for Election Night Tuesday email us here


A trains operate between Jay Street/MetroTech and Lefferts Blvd - 12 minute walk to Galapagos
F trains operate between Jay Street-MetroTech and Avenue X - 12 Minute Walk to Galapagos
R trains operate in Brooklyn between Jay Street-MetroTech and 95th Street making all local stops - 12 minute walk to Galapagos 
D trains operate between Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center and Bay Parkway making express stops between Pacific Street and 36th Street - 17 minute walk to Galapagos
4, 5, 6 trains FULLY OPPERATIONL! Get off at Borough Hall 


Take the fantastical 4,5,6 Train - our Manhattan hero train!

How to get to us from the 4, 5, 6, AFR, ND










The entire Galapagos family sends warm wishes for your safety and strength in rebuilding your own homes and offices. New Yorkers are strong and we know we will get through this together!

We are in the midst of our own effort, as you can see, and we will be back up and running on Saturday.  The entire DUMBO community is pulling together, and yes, there are silver linings to everything.

Thank you so much for your support!



-The Galapagos Team

Monday, October 22, 2012

West meets East-Lucent Dossier is coming to New York

Some wonderful "friends I haven't met yet" are coming to Manhattan and are setting up shop at The Liberty Theater in Times Square. Lucent Dossier Experience have been invited to make the trek from Los Angeles to be "artists in residence" at the recently restored Liberty Theater just off Times Square.  They are kicking off this residency this weekend.  What better way to start Halloween than with this band of silly, crazy, talented, creative performers?  Their costumes may be the best ones in the house.

Who are Lucent Dossier you ask?  Well, if you are/were a fan of Panic! at The Disco or the Dresden Dolls or have attended Coachella you probably know.  If your a TV viewer who has watched the Grammys, the Scream Awards or Top Chef Just Desserts last seaon, you may have seen the cirque troupe They've also performed with Motley Crue, Aerosmith and The Black Eyed Peas.

Lucent Dossier was founded by Dream Rockwell and first performed on New Year's Eve of 2004.  The Los Angeles based troupe is the epitome of post-modern gypsies-traveling performers who create with what is around them.  Wild costumes from repurposed materials, music concocted from instruments and electronic gear members brought with them.  In Dream's own words, "We are curators of environmental experiences and we do it our way. We're a little bent, we're deeply sensual and we love to have fun. The fashion or style of Lucent that people often talk about is super important to us, just 'cause it's imaginative and takes us all on a journey. The technique of our craft, which sort of falls into the realm of carnival or cirque arts is all part of it, but at the end of the day we are most interested in human alchemy.

As for the New York "Encounter specifically Dream went on to say, "I think that what's important about the NYC Lucent Encounter is that people get ready to experience something new. We are creating a little oasis for people to come into and dance and get silly, express themselves, feel a kind of unique connection with other beings, dress wild, be free. We're excited to create a space for people to come into and explore, to find new ways of relating to other humans, to find freedom of expression in all it's forms, a place to celebrate the uniqueness that is inside each one of us, a place to just get your wiggle out! Life can be hard, earth is a tough venue but when we come together in celebration it makes it all worth it, it makes it easier to get through the tough times. We're excited to build community in NY and play with new friends."

As for the Liberty Theater, this renovation and reopening is just another wonderful addition to the make-over Times Square has been experiencing for the past two decades.  The project has been the love-child of Times Square Hospitality Group.  They have not only given the old theater a face lift, they have added the option to provide catered tabled events.  The house can hold up to 1500 people now and the entire lighting and sound system has been upgraded to state of the art including projection equipment.  The design was with the intent to create a new and needed option to New York City nightlife.  Ray Trosa, co-founder of TSHG, who had seen Lucent Dossier perform, believes the cirque is a perfect match for this venue.

Lucent Dossier is managed by Andrew Cohen of Art House Live. "Lucent Encounter" is produced by Lucent Dossier and Jody Levy of Stitch Experience Design.  To purchase tickets and learn more about "Lucent Encounter" and the Liberty Theater click here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Art of Sailing - A New Life for Sloop Providence by Nichole Raab — Kickstarter

Now THIS is a Kickstarter that NEEDS funding.  As a New Englander and an art lover, this has the potential to be an amazing outlet for artists and patrons.  It is also a floating home to a tribe, a tribe that is finding and encouraging other gypsies along its route.  It also takes fellow tinkers and bohemians aboard to travel with them.

This is, seriously, a project that more than deserves funding.  It will preserve a key piece of New England's history, while providing a home to all forms of artisans and giving them a platform to share their talents with you.

As with any Kickstarter you can give as little as a dollar and still receive a return on your investment so please help this project to meet its goal.

Thank you.

The Art of Sailing - A New Life for Sloop Providence by Nichole Raab — Kickstarter:

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Art Room Aid - Give

Art Room Aid - Give:

Please help this effort.  Arts are as important as other academics.  In fact reading and writing are needed to be a literary artist.  Math weighs heavy in music and the fine arts as do some of the sciences.

Thank you.

'via Blog this'

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Art Room Aid - Give

This is the fundraising page for materials for DoArt Foundations mural project at My Friend's Place.  Art is one of the mortars used to hold a community together.  In this case, a community of disenfranchised young people.  Please give what you can to make this project happen.

Art Room Aid - Give:

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kokopelli School Music and Arts - Welcome to Kokopelli

This little treasure just surfaced in my own tiny little hometown.  I noticed their advert sign leaving work this evening.  Reading through their site, it appears they are a work in progress.  I hope they are successful not only in their performance programs but in the eventual addition of fine arts.

Kokopelli School Music and Arts - Welcome to Kokopelli:

'via Blog this'

Monday, July 30, 2012

Hartford youth could use your help!

I received this email the other day.  If you can help, please contact these folks.  Anything any of us can do to help youth especially in the arts is a step in the right direction. 

  Zulu Camacho

We are opening up a Grassroots community center in the Parkville area near Stop and Shop New Park ave. We will be naming it L.X.Y.(League of Xtraordinary Youth) center of Health, Music, Art and Dance

We are asking for any help with office equipment, computers, tables ,art supplies anything that can help us fill in the space to better welcome the Youth and Community our mission is to develop a positive community of empowered youth, who will enact a positive change on society.

We will be doing this through Music, Technology, Dance and Arts. Please contact us if you can help us Thank you

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Calling all artists - Murals for a cause

DoArt Foundation's goal is to bring artists and audiences together on as many levels as possible.  This includes non-traditional art displays.  Currently they are seeking muralists who would like to brighten up My Friends Place on Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.  

My Friends Place is a youth shelter that specializes in providing clothing, food, counseling and other health resources.  The shelter was founded with the understanding that youth have needs very different from adults.  They have developed a non-threatening, inclusive environment that focuses on positive reinforcement.  In these efforts they have learned that the arts can play a big role.  Currently Cirque du Soliel has their own space at the facility where they are teaching kids circus arts.  

The mural project will provide positive inspiration to both the youth and the community.  Artists will work with the youth to insure their final creations truly represent them and that their voices are heard.  Artists who work in subject matter of the streets, homelessness etc - or that can reach out to community members of this kind and integrate the design to reflect them will have priority in the selection process.  This is not a paid commission.  However, all materials will be covered.  For more information please contact

Friday, July 13, 2012

Artists' Survey - A new kind of "Occupy"

This is a call to artists, managers, producers, promoters, "road moms"-ANYONE involved in arts and entertainment.  I want you input on this.  Do not read this post because you want my blog to have hits.  NO!  This survey is to determine not only the viability of this blog but of a project I am seriously considering that will involve, basically?, the investment of a good part of my life right now.

Let me start with a statement of observation.  THE "OCCUPY" MOVEMENT IS NOT WORKING!  Why?  Because no one is working.  They're not even trying to come up with focus issues.  They're sitting on their asses in, albeit public, areas trying to piss off the cops and anyone who will notice them.  As a child of the 60's and 70's I now see why those protests worked.  Because there was a lot of other WORK going on in conjunction with sit-ins and marches.  People were writing their political representatives.  They were voting.  They were supporting businesses owned by minorities, women, whoever the latest FOCUS issue was about.  And they were FOCUSED.  Dr. King rallied the African-American contingent for their fight.  Betty Friedan and Gloria Steinem pumped up the energy of the "girls' club" and charged forth with "womens' lib".  Stonewall is a remembered event because the LGBT community didn't stop with that one act of civil disobedience.  They'd been pushed to their limit and pushed back.  They reclaimed their businesses in The Village.  They took credit for all the work they had been doing in the entertainment industry and their fight continues and they moved forward taking on the AIDS battle, legal protection for their families, their jobs and their property.

Occupiers are not fighting.  They're whining.  Yes, the cops beat you up.  No, police brutality is not right. about fighting back?  I'm not talking violence.  Don't like the banks?  Find private investors and start some good old fashioned savings and loans.  Don't have a job?  Make one.  All you 6-digit engineers and mechanics?  How about some new manufacturing of green products?  Come up with new energy sources.  REINVENT THE FUCKING CAR!!!  Don't depend on Corporate America to save your sorry ass.  They're not gonna change.  They will continue to try to control America and buy out our government.  The only way to win is to DO IT YOURSELF!!!

So here's my survey.  I want to start an Anti-Corporate Arts and Entertainment network.  A place that anyone looking for help can come and find producers, directors, galleries, labels, whatever support they need to get GOOD art out there that is not corporate or government sponsored.  I do not want to take a dime from NEA because I don't want anyone involved to be beholden to a politician or be at the mercy of the any fed budget vote for financial support.  I will however apply for tax-exempt status as a non-profit because why should we give any more money to the people who do NOT support US!!

Many of you know I have my own conspiracy theory in regards to controlling Americans through entertainment.  You'd have to have been living under a rock for the last 30 years to know that GOOD music does not spin on terrestrial radio with very few exceptions.  I would venture to say that at least 75% of U.S. radio is now owned by ClearChannel and CBS who survey the following markets: New York, Miami, Chicago, Houston and L.A.  Playlists are handed down by corporate bosses to PDs who in turn give them to DJs.  TV shows have deteriorated to "reality" contest shows or privacy invasion of the biggest whack-jobs in the country.  Everything is geared for "short attention span theater".  Movies?  Don't even go there.  Thank the gods for Jerry Bruckheimer and Pixar who somehow get big studios to fund their projects.  Every so often we are teased with a British film so that we're thrown off the scent that we are being played.  Even Broadway has sold out.  Reusing old pop/rock music instead of finding original score composers and PAYING them to make good theater.

While pondering the fact that some of my old-school 'Burner' friends have decided against returning to the Playa this year due to the negative changes to the event, I saw an analogy as I considered them spinning off and creating new smaller festivals in other places.  It's like a dandelion.  The base cannot hold the seeds any more so it releases its hold so that the wind can take them where it will.  They land, they take root and the following year they will repeat the process with those seeds going to other places and so on and so on.  Burning Man will always be the parent but the kids are going to take what they learned and build something new somewhere else with it.  That's how this network can work.  I already have connections in Boston, New York, Chicago, Austin and L.A.  Those people are connected to other cities and so-on and so-on.  Get where this is going?  Databases can be created and constantly updated.  People can be connected.  Money can be found in the private sector.  With a national community/tribe of all the satellite tribes working together a powerful thing can happen and when it finally comes to the attention of Corporate America and the government it will be too late.  We will have put good art and entertainment into the eyes, ears, hands and feet of Americans,  seen artists paid what they deserve and all with only "rendering unto Ceasar" what our annual individual income tax returns require.

Here's what I'm asking you:
1) If you are someone who would be directly involved in this effort, leave a comment
2) If you are a casual arts fan but know people this would pertain to or know people who know people, pass this link on.  You're welcome to leave comment here also.

What I want to know:
1) What is your position currently in the arts and entertainment industry
2) Are you currently corporately sponsored (signed to a major label, studio, publisher, etc)
3) Would you consider leaving that sponsorship for an endeavor such as this
4) If you are already an independent artist, writer, filmaker, performer would something like this help you
5) If you are a philanthropist would you invest in projects involved in this effort
6) How much would you pay for a monthly or annual membership to this organization
7) What would you expect in return for that subscription fee

This is a marketing survey.  I really believe in this project.  I know it will be huge if it works.  I don't expect to be the soul proprietor of it.  I will depend on the networking of the project to provide the experts that can bring it to its maximum effectiveness.  I have the passion and the drive though.  I'm tired of seeing some of the most fantastic talent in the country squelched, stifled, marginalized and sometimes even vilified to keep their music off the radio and out of the racks, their screenplays off the big screen, their gorgeous street painting deemed vandalism and their books relegated to on-line publishing for which they see little or no return.  So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE  take a minute to respond to this, then pass it on.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Phoenix Frederick Nathaniel Close

While you are all waiting for my feature article on William Close because we are all waiting to see how he does in the next round of America's Got Talent, a wonderful event occurred in William and Sarah's lives yesterday.  It took Dad a couple of weeks to actually post the announcement, Phoenix was born on June 15th.  Everyone is doing fine.  

Please be patient.  For those not aware, contracts are things that have to be honored to the letter of the law. In this case both for the artist and the press.  William has assured me that as soon as NBC and AGT give the green light we will not only publish the feature in FourCulture but probably add a follow up interview.  In the meantime, please watch for his next performance with the Earth Harp and vote if you love it as much as I do.  William is blessed with incredible talent as a teacher, instrument inventor and musician.  

Brave! - unexpected inspiration and revelation

I'm a sucker for Pixar movies. Not gonna lie.  And when one of your children says they'll pay for your ticket to go see one of their usually exemplary animated flicks, then that's even more reason to go.  I will say though that I had every intention to see "Brave" after seeing the previews for it a while ago.  I have become very closely connected to my Celtic heritage over the last decade especially spiritually so besides being told a story about strong women, the fact that they were strong Celtic women was even more enticing.

Let me start with just a general movie review.  Most of you have noticed that what we are getting from Hollywood over the past 20 or so years, for the most part, has been 1) subpar 2) lacking intelligents plots and/or 3) repetition of the same story movie after movie.  Sometimes I think we all wonder and worry if there are any truly good writers left in the world.  But then a director comes along who has found a very good, if not excellent screenplay and convinces a studio and producers to actually sink some money into making a decent motion picture.  Jerry Bruckheimer is a producer who usually is a good bet for investing his money and time wisely.  Interesting that one studio who trusts him is Disney. So it shouldn't surprise that "the mouse" has also found a great partner in Pixar.  Some of the best investments Disney has made with the animation geniuses are the entire Toy Story series, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and most recently, UP.  But Brave was a big risk.  It is not necessarily a child's movie.  I would like to warn parents that bringing kids under the age of 10 is probably not advisable.  There are parts that are genuinely scary in the violence depicted.  However, for the middle school crowd up through adults that violence is not superficial.  It is a necessary part of the storytelling.

Someone once told me there are seven basic plots for fiction.  This is the one about trying to change ones destiny but having it backfire because your motives are purely selfish.  Yes, just like the lyric from Beauty and the Beast, "a tale as old as time", Brave is that story...but it is also that plotline, within the plot.  Our heroine sees first-hand how horribly her wish could have gone wrong.  There are also a number of subplots within this script that make it "not just your average cartoon movie".  It is indeed a hidden treasure and one that deserves award recognition but probably will not get it because "it's just a cartoon".  Sadly it probably won't be recognized for the amazing quality of the art work in it either.  My hat's off to the animators who, even though done digitally, successfully pull you into a world that is so realistic down to the blades of grass.  This rendition of the ancient highlands is gorgeous.

My experience with Brave is, most likely, very different from the average person who will see this picture.  It spoke to me on an incredibly deep and emotional level.  Recently refocusing on remaining humble and holding on to childlike wonder, this story grabbed my key and said "lock away pride and ego".   Destiny is something that must happen organically.  One must follow the path, adjusting their pace for the terrain.  Resting when necessary.  Taking time to find food and nourish one's self.  So many times I have wanted a shortcut.  I've considered dropping names or calling in favors to speed up the process.  But then I look at where I have been.  All the things that it took me to get here and I cannot discount a single person, place or event.  Pride and ego are not only the destroyers of creativity, peace, and joy.  They destroy love.  Without love?  None of this is worth anything.  I can have all the accolades in the world.  People will know my name.  But I will have lost the trust and the love of the people who mean the most to me.

To my family, my friends, my artists, my creators...I commit to keeping ego and pride under lock and key.  I commit to unlocking humility.  I give you all permission to call me out when I fail at these.  I'll also work on getting trust to unlock its door from the inside.  It pokes its head out occasionally but it's still kind of scared.  Thank you all.  I may find it hard to show it, but I do love you.   Now go see the damned movie so you don't think I'm completely nuts.  Thanks.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Michael Divine: creating the Glass Onion

This time-lapse of still shots shows the intricate and amazing creation process of the gorgeous "Glass Onion" by Michael Divine. In my definition of art; "the attempt to recreate emotion taking audience from observer to participant", Divine does this in the actual painting itself and in the way that he chose to archive each step of the process. I think after you watch you will have a whole new appreciation.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Ideat Village, New Haven, CT 6/16-7/1

Ideat Village:

Better late that never.  You still have a few days to enjoy this alternative arts festival that runs in tandem with the larger (more corporate) Arts & Ideas Fest.  THIS is where you will find the real arts.

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Fourculture Magazine

Fourculture Magazine:

Here is a brand new arts zine that features members of "the tribe" from around the U.S. and Europe.  This mag' covers the four pillars of art and takes you outside the box of current mediocrity.  The stories are intriguing and show sides of artists not usually represented in interviews or features.  Fourculture writers like to get inside the hearts and heads of creators.

Yes, I'm a little biased about the publications as it is a new outlet for my writing and a new place for me to introduce the world to some of the special people that cross my path. In the debut issue you will find an interview with Hans Haveron about his mural at Facebook and some of the work he does for the DoArt Foundation.  Then there's a feature on Calling All Astronauts which even I learned from.  I was assigned this article and went in cold.  Since then I've spent time on Twitter getting to know Dave and his musical inspirations and feelings about the state of the industry.

Please check it out.  Leave comments.  Subscribe.  Next month I have a feature on AlexanderDcD who is now one of the most complex street artists I've connected with.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Do Creative People Age Differently?—THE FIVE-STIR: At the intersection of creativity and commerce

Do Creative People Age Differently?—THE FIVE-STIR: At the intersection of creativity and commerce:

This article explained a lot to me as recently I realized that most of my arts friends and acquaintances are much younger than I am while being more experienced.  Our communications seem to adjust naturally so that everyone is on the same maturity wavelength.  I joke that "I'm old enough to be your mom" and yet many of these people are my teachers and guides.  In the end it is definitely right-brain, non linear living.

'via Blog this'

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Scratch the surface

Today I was, again, given the opportunity to be grateful that I've grown into a person who got over assuming that I know or understand a person based on their public persona.  Over the past six years I've learned the very distinct differences between being aware of someone in the public arena, meeting them and knowing them.

Let me start with a huge thank-you to all those people who have allowed me a moment with them on the other side of the veil.  Some of you let me open you up like a can of worms.  Believe me when I say that that was never my intention.  We just found a point of trust and you showed me a little of the real you.  I hope I have and will continue to deserve that trust.  "Off the record" actually means something to me.

I'm glad that I am not formally schooled/trained in journalism.  It has allowed me a freedom to do what works for me and not be concerned about if or how "legit press" judges me.  The style I have built is more conversational and seems to put myself and my subjects at ease.  From there, I do my best to convey a better picture of that person to my readers than what they get from a stage, gallery, TV or magazine.  What gets published is, hopefully, enough for readers so learn that these people have things in common with them and are fully dimensional creatures.

Of course I need to take a moment to put a caveat on this.  Just because people choose an occupation that puts them in the public eye, doesn't mean that they want their entire private life out there for scrutiny.  They are not inviting you into their living room for coffee.  In fact, most artists are actually introverts.  One of my favorite experiences is musicians I have met that are commensurate performers on a stage but when they are out of the public view, become very quiet and almost shy.  In fact one in particular comes to mind and this happens to be an artist I actually know.  I know this is my ego getting in the way but I still think I did the best interview ever with him and it was the best because we found a little corner where he could open gently and quietly like a gorgeous flower.  An hour later, on-stage with the rest of the band he became an integral part of what I will always describe as a charisma tsunami.

But here is the point of this post.  Scratch the surface.  America has become a nation of moving too quickly.  People are suffering from entitlement on one hand while accepting low quality goods and information on the other.  Corporations work hard to brainwash the masses into being too fearful to ask for better or gods-forbid, the truth.  We are not encouraged to go beyond eye level except to look up either in awe of people who are not worth the attention or in fear of what will fall from the sky.  But looking beneath the veneer is, possibly, number one on the list of things that are super scary and should be avoided.  This is why sub-par performers, fine artists and writers are making millions and monopolizing the headlines while the really good stuff lingers in the shadows.

I challenge you to first, scratch the surface of what you are being feed as good art.  Turn off the radio, the TV, ignore the magazine rack and steer clear of your local cinema.  Grab a copy of the local free weekly paper and look for neighborhood galleries, small clubs and repertory theaters.  Open your eyes and your ears as you travel in your area.  Oh!  You didn't know that gorgeous mural/street art graced the side of that building?  You hadn't heard that really cool gal who plays guitars and keys then uses computer loops to make crazy good music?  You weren't aware that the guy down the street from you was a goldsmith and has a trunk show going on at a local boutique?  See?....  You're starting to catch on.

Next is the beauty of getting into that part of the arts world.  These artists are passionate.  They love what they do and they'll tell you about it if you ask and then really listen to what they have to say.  I smile at the number of indie artists I've interviewed and because they don't have a manager or a publicist breathing down their neck will talk for twenty, forty-five, sixty minutes or more.  They'll talk as long as you are really listening and asking good questions.  Today, I talked to a street artist for an hour.  We covered every base possible.  I followed my gut and went into this one list of questions.  I just felt like this guy would have a story to tell and I just needed to chill out and let him tell it and tell it he did.  A few weeks ago I sat down with a musician, who six years ago was literally a pretty face and a nice voice to me.  But he's so much more than that.  Again it was intelligent questions and listening.  Most girls still think of him as just a pretty face.  But I've done my part to show them and anyone else who reads my columns, what is inside that pretty head, heart and spirit.

We are all so much more than our high school yearbook photos and quotes.  We all have a story.  We've seen good and bad.  We have something to add to the human tapestry.  We are all a piece of the puzzle.  We need to get past fear, probably the most primitive emotion.  Fear cuts us off from so much.  Not every experience will be happy.  We will cry.  We will be angry.  We will be bored but unless we pull back the curtain, we don't know what's on the other side.  We cannot trust others all the time.  True, it's not a good idea to throw a lit match into a pail of gasoline or jump off the top of a skyscraper without a parachute.  But honestly, there are enough photos and videos of that stuff that you didn't need someone to tell you not to do it.  But when someone tells you to be afraid of another person because they're a different color, follow a different spirit path, make more or less money than you, speak a different language or are of a different sexual orientation when there is no basis for their argument?  That's just stupid.  The same with venturing into the arts.  Just because radio's not spinning it, network TV's not showing it, it's not on the best seller list or it's not hanging in the MoMA doesn't mean it's not good.

I challenge you this week to scratch the surface.  Pick a person, a genre of music, a style of painting, a theme of storytelling, whatever and go deeper.    If someone intrigues you but you've been avoiding them because they're some how "different", say hello.  If they say hi back, strike up a conversation.  Pick your favorite music style and Google it.  Pick a track from an artist you've never listened to before and listen...openly.  Do the same with a genre of fine art.  Google images will introduce you to all kinds of things.  Then see if an artist that "speaks" to you has work on display near you and go see it.  Learn something new about your favorite actor.   The more of the picture is revealed the better judgment you can make.  I'm not saying that you're going to find out that someone with a horrible public persona is actually the Good Witch Glinda in disguise or that you'll suddenly become a die-hard fan of post-modern cubism.  At the end of the day, I don't like asparagus.  I've tried it raw, grilled, steamed.  Still don't like it.  At least I faced my fear.  I can go to my grave saying I tried it.  I respect people who love the stuff.  Good on them.  Doesn't make them any lesser people in my eyes.   Still not going to eat it ever again.  However, I will die being able to have told people what it tastes like, the nuances of different preparations of it along with what it looks like and why it's good for them.


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Home | StyleWeek Providence

Home | StyleWeek Providence:

Who knew that the little big city Providence has its own fashion weeks.  Check this out and leave some room in your schedules at the end of August-beginning of September to visit "Little Rhodie" for the event.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lightning in a Bottle 2012 |

Lightning in a Bottle 2012 |

Michael Divine and Hans Haveron met at LIB this year and decided to work together on a painting.  This is what they did.  Currently the work is in Hans' studio where both artists intend to complete it.  This blog post is Michael's synopsis of the collaboration.

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Monday, May 21, 2012

OUR LADY rises in NYC by Our Lady — Kickstarter

OUR LADY rises in NYC by Our Lady — Kickstarter:

This project speaks to me in a number of ways.  It is a battle cry for the LGBT community.  It is a cry for help.  It is about saving our kids.  It is about the amazing, painstaking art of drag. It is a tribe-like event in my part of the world.  Please check out this Kickstarter and help if you can.  I think this is a project that needs to happen.

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Thursday, May 17, 2012

Skins & Stones presents 2012 Lightning In A Bottle commemorative pendate

Memorial Day weekend is around the corner which means it's time again for DoLab's arts festival "Lightning In A Bottle.  This year, jeweler Shannon Shiang has desiged and produced the medallion to commemorate the event.

2012 holds a great deal of significance to many artists as our creativity is rooted in spirituality.  In celebration of the Mayans, Skins and Stones presents this gorgeous antiqued bronze medallion that uses the well-known head at its center in a reflection of the Mayan calendar.  Around the head are symbols of the festival; dance, music, meditation and art.  This motif is ringed with "Lightning In A Bottle".  On the outside edge is "DoLab" at the top and their signature "pods" (functional art) at the bottom.  The detail on this piece is so delicate and captures the spirit of Lightning In A Bottle  so perfectly.  It comes threaded on a leather thong.  

For the next week until the festival, you can get this medallion at $5.00 off the festival price. Instead of $40, you can do a presale purchase for $35. Those who purchase through May 23rd, can check in at the Skins and Stones booth in the vendor village. Shannon will have the list of the presale purchases available.  Only 100 will be sold for this special pricing. Please visit to place your order.