Art Studio

Kevin Devaney

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A poetry slam is a competition where poets recite original works, focusing on their delivery as much as their poetry. Construction worker, Marc Smith launched the first poetry slam at the ‘Get Me High Lounge’ in Chicago in 1984. In 1991, the first National Poetry Slam took place in Fort Mason, San Francisco. Since moving to Santa Cruz this past Summer, poet Kevin Devaney, followed his dream and scouted the town for a venue to create a weekly poetry event. He landed at the Tannery Arts Center and found Rebecca’s Cafe which possessed all the ingredients for a great poetry event. Kevin now holds a weekly open mic poetry reading every Monday evening from 6-8 PM with Featured poets from around the country. I spoke with Kevin on the patio at rebeccas cafe about poetry.

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Poetry slams started as a way to involve the audience and the poets in a more dynamic exchange.

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Kevin’s poetry nights are made up of an open mic component followed by Nationally known featured poets.

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In the social setting found at open mics the poets delivery is as important as the words themselves.

For more information about Kevin Devaney go to: http://kevindevaney.wordpress.com/

Jamie Abbott and Ron Milhoan

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Interview with Jamie Abbott, above. Interview with Ron Milhoan coming next.

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This year Jamie Abbott and fellow artist and teacher Ron Milhoan are retiring after a combined seventy years at the Cabrillo College Art Department. Jamie has taught Sculpture, Three Dimensional Design and Drawing since 1973. The Cabrillo Gallery has titled its current show of Ron and Jamie’s work “Tribute.”

This includes sculptures made over the last year and 1/2 where Jamie spent hundreds of hours collecting and stripping bark from the branches.

The process of gathering the wood became an important part of the final artworks involving friends, colleagues and frequent roadside stops, as well as paintings by Ron.

The 3D department at Cabrillo’s Art Department has tended to have highly productive faculty.

For more information about the exhibit ‘Tribute,’ which continues through April 26th, go to cabrillo.edu.

Barry Phillips and his relationship with Ravi Shankar

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Six degrees of separation is a theory originally proposed by playwright Frigyes Karinthy and popularized in a play written by John Guare. The theory is that everyone is six or fewer steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. After moving to Santa Cruz nine years ago, I believe the theory is more likely, two degrees of separation. I have often been surprised by how many people are connected to Santa Cruz in some way and yet the only name I haven’t heard mentioned is Kevin Bacon.

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Small degrees of separation is the story behind how Internationally renowned, Santa Cruz based, Cellist, Barry Phillips met Internationally renowned, contemporary Indian composer and musician Ravi Shankar in 1996 and spent almost 20 years working together until Ravi’s death at the age of 92 in 2012.

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Ravi Shankar spent his youth touring Europe and India with the dance group of his brother Uday. He gave up dancing in 1938 to study sitar playing under court musician Allauddin Khan. After finishing his studies in 1944, Shankar worked as a composer, and went on to become music director of ‘All India Radio’ from 1949 to 1956. In the 1960s through his association with violinist Yehudi Menuhin and rock artist George Harrison of the Beatles, Ravi catapulted onto the world music scene. In 2013 he was posthumously awarded two Grammy awards, one for lifetime achievement, another for The Living Room Sessions Part 1 in the world music category. Barry was there to honor Ravi.

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Barry Phillips received a Masters of Music degree in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1990. He went on to be involved with many recordings of American, Celtic and other folk music as cellist, engineer and producer. He has also orchestrated and conducted for several film scores for Orion Pictures and HBO.

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In 1996 Ravi was looking for a cellist to play on his “Chants of India” recording. A friend of Barrys, Martin Simpson saw him play cello in Los Angeles and recommended Barry to producer and colleague of Ravi’s, Alan Kozlowski. That lead to Barry’s first meeting with Ravi in his home in Encinitas, CA. where he played him an Irish slip jig. Ravi loved it and so began a long term partnership between the 2 musicians.

If you would like more information about Barry Phillips you can go to barryphillipsmusic.com.

 

Death of a Gallery

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Good Times readers were impressed.

Good Times readers were impressed. Photos: Stephen Laufer

By Kirby Scudder

In 2009 artist and businessman and Davenport resident Roger Knapp came upon an opportunity to lease a 1,700 sq ft space right on Highway 1 in Davenport. The space had been vacant for a long time and Roger felt that this space and location would be the perfect spot for a gallery.

Roger Knapp, photographed March 27, 2013, after the closing. Photos: Stephen Laufer

Roger Knapp, photographed March 27, 2013, after the closing.

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The gallery was a stones throw from the Davenport jail.


The Davenport Gallery bird flyeth.

The Davenport Gallery bird flyeth.

 
Later that year, after an extensive remodel, Roger opened up the Davenport Gallery which would be a membership driven gallery allowing artists to take responsibility for the gallery as well as participating in the sales of their art. After 3 1/2 years and $150,000 in art sales this week the Davenport gallery closed. I caught up with Roger at the closing reception this past Sunday to talk about what the gallery has meant to him.

The gallery had a membership base of 30 local artists that would share in the responsibility of keeping the doors open and interacting with the public. The gallery’s location at 450 highway 1 is right down the road from the original odwalla plant and next door to the historic road house cafe. Gallery artists benefited from daily tours stopping for lunch on their way from San Francisco to Monterey.

Early in the development of the gallery Roger consulted with other galleries on the Central Coast to gather information on everything from lighting to selling.

The gallery had no shortage of lighting.

More than 130 lights, including 20 spotlights designed for sculpture.

Although this chapter of the gallery is now in the past, some of the artists represented in the gallery such as Ed Dickey are pursuing other opportunities in Davenport for exhibiting the work of local artists.

To follow future developments go to http://davenportgallery.org/. I’m Kirby Scudder

Thomas Campbell, Work in Progress

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Listen to Kirby Scudders report above.

Thomas Campbell’s work, a 75-foot-long three-dimensional mural incorporating paint, collage, and sewing evolved over a two month period. Some of that is touched on in the photos below. (Image 3 is a smaller study for the piece).

Below: Thomas Campbell, Working in the Solari Gallery from Santa Cruz MAH.

Lisa Silas and Jonathon Chorn – Rebuilding the Tradition of Figure Drawing

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The human figure has been the subject of drawings since prehistoric times. in Bologna in the late 1500s, the Accademia set the standard for art schools by making life drawing its central discipline. students drew from a model for six hours each day, while the model remained in the same pose for one week. Santa Cruz sculptors Lisa Silas and Jonathon Chorn who were both trained in classical drawing techniques in Italy are making those techniques available in a four day figurative drawing workshop and seminar this Month.

 

 

 

 

 

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Figure drawing was a central curriculum in art schools until post world war II when abstraction and expressionism became the predominant trend with young artists. Although figurative art has taken a back seat to other trends over the last 50 years, the last several years has seen major figurative exhibits dominating the art scene. Some art critics have suggested that the US is experiencing a renaissance in classical figurative art and Lisa and Jonathon are helping to get the word out.

Jonathon carries on the classical tradition of figurative sculpture with his intricately detailed sculptures of the figure in motion. He also hones those skills doing form and finishing work for the internationally renowned sculptor Richard Macdonald in Monterey.

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Because many of the Nation’s art schools have reduced their curriculum in the figurative arts, Lisa and Jonathan have started their own school The Neoteric Renaissance School of Art. Through lecture series, workshops and seminars the school helps to inform and instruct both new and seasoned artists about the classical tradition of figurative art.

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You can find out more about the work of lisa and Jonathan and their up coming workshop at lisasilas.com. I’m Kirby Scudder

Ian MaCrae

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Ian MaCrae in ‘Clown School’

Santa Cruz County Actors’ Theatre just wrapped up their 18th season of 8 tens at 8 a series of 8 10 minute plays written and acted by local artists. Many considered this years run the best in years. Actor and playwright Ian McRae debuted his own play “DUDES LIKE US” while acting in“Clown Camp” in this years 8 tens at 8. Ian who taught acting for years continues to perfect his crafts as an actor and playwright here in Santa Cruz.

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Ian who grew up in Santa Cruz has performed throughout the country. After many years of working on local productions he continues to find a lot of support in the local Theater community.

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Many playwrights come to their vocation through a writing background. Ian who studied acting with some of the best teachers in New York approaches playwriting from an actor’s perspective.

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An interest in writing came early on for Ian as he read the works of great writers in pursuit of perfecting his acting craft.
With years of acting and teaching behind him, Ian still finds it hard to define what good acting is.
You can learn more about Ian’s recent play Before the Crash at bookshopsantacruz.com

Glenn Carter

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That’s artist Glenn Carter in his studio talking about his latest work a 12’ high mixed media work that consists of 2 panels both painted and drawn with a large sheet sprawled across the top and an agave root protruding through the center of the cloth. Glenn is completing this piece along with six other major works for his one man exhibition ‘Passing Through the Veil’ at the Monterey Peninsula College Art Gallery. The show runs March 12 through April 12

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Glenn is a combination of assemblage artist, alchemist, Eastern Philosopher and poet.
His mixed media large scale wall works reveal Glenn’s exploration into diverse philosophical and theistic approaches to the mysteries of creation and degeneration.

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In his 15’ high work entitled “Reflections through the Bridal Veil” a large waterfall is the backdrop for a 12’ high altar adorned with candles. In the work Glenn pays homage to his parents and memories of his youth.

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The veil is a recurring theme in each of Glenn’s works. He uses thin layers of materials and paint to cover the work below, revealing the faint image left behind. Many of the works have layers of string applied in different configurations to define the material beneath.

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For more information about Glenn Carters work glenncarter.com.

Celebrating Steinbeck in Music

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By Kirby Scudder

The Santa Cruz Public Library will be presenting a concert including numerous musicians performing music inspired by John Steinbeck and the times he lived in. Concert producer Neal Hellman explains.

In 2011, Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Library and the Santa Cruz Public Library partnered to apply for the NEA’s Big Read grant and Santa Cruz Reads was formed. This year Santa Cruz Reads received a grant to pay tribute to John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath. As part of a series of events throughout the County commemorating John Steinbeck , Nationally acclaimed musician and performer Neal Hellman was invited to produce a remembrance of the music of Steinbeck’s time. Months in the making, Neal has assembled world class performers for ‘A Musical Celebration of the Life and Times of John Steinbeck’.

Many musicians of the time were influenced by the post depression/pre war writings of Steinbeck. This music celebration includes the works of Woody Guthrie, Glenn Miller, Harold Arden, Consuelo Velazquez, Jimmie Rogers and more.
Steinbeck grew up in Salinas and spent much of his life on and off in the area. Salinas is now home to the National Steinbeck Center. This musical tribute will take place on Saturday March 2nd at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center and on Sunday afternoon at the Steinbeck Center in Salinas. The Sunday event includes a day at the museum along with this incredible music compilation.
If you would like more information on ‘A Musical Celebration of the Life and Times of John Steinbeck’ go to santacruzreads.org.

Mapping a Changing World

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“Tibet is the High Ground” one of the pieces on display at the Sesnon Gallery. Courtesy of http://art.ucsc.edu/

By Kirby Scudder

Artists Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison have been pioneers in the eco-art movement since the early 1970s. Both are professors-in-residence at UCSC with the Digital Arts and New Media graduate program . For the past 40 years the Harrisons have worked closely with biologists, ecologists, architects, urban planners and other artists to initiate dialogues and present solutions which support biodiversity and community development.

Mark Shunney co-curated the exhibit “The Harrison Studio: On Mixing, Mapping and Territory.” The exhibit runs through March 15 at the Sesnon Gallery on the UCSC campus and opens this Wednesday at 6pm. The exhibit includes a series of large maps of Tibet and the European Peninsula and it’s water ways as well as images from their limited edition book The Seventh Lagoon. The show presents their artistic process with a focus on global warming.

The Seventh Lagoon series started by the Harrisons in 1974 and completed in 1984 examines the lagoon cycle. This is the second of the Harrison’s works on the effects of global warming from which future works develop. This series explores a 30 year old prophesy on the rising of oceans.

On one wall is a series of large drawings and paintings of the body of water that makes up the Salton Sea. Each image has a series of writings by Helen Mayer Harrison on top.

Video courtesy of Artists on Art / Nada Miljkovic:

Artists Newton and Helen Mayer Harrison’s work displays a combination of traits of historian, diplomat, ecologist, investigator, and arts activist. Their work proposes solutions based on their extensive real world studies of the changing environment.

If you would like more information on the Harrison Studio go to http://theharrisonstudio.net/

Opening: Wed. Feb. 6, 6-7:30 p.m. Show runs through March 15th.
Also upcoming: First Friday, March 1 @ 2pm:  artists and curators discuss work in gallery