Thursday, December 31, 2009

Interim agreement means Shreveport Symphony Orchestra has a 3-concert purchase on a new life; website returns

The SSO is getting a one day jump on the new year, writes Susan Rogers, with a new home page announcing the three 2010 concerts which were agreed on in the Interim Agreement - January 30, March 5 and May 14. There's still some work to be done on the remaining pages of the website and we look forward to seeing it completed.

Please check out the concert season and pass it along to your friends and colleagues. January 30 concert is All Tchaikovsky.

Also, check out my blogsite which has new photos from the I-49 Brass concert in December in which proceeds were donated to the Salvation Army. Also there: the TSO Holiday concert, which was presented in the Sullivan Performing Arts Centre located at Texas High School, Texarkana, TX. A very, very nice modern theatre with marvelous acoustics, spacious surroundings and comfortable seating. Can't believe it's located at a high school!!

Happy New Year to you all and let's help make this a prosperous Symphony season.

Susan W. Rogers

Neil Johnson on Blue light martinis and the art of photography

Neil Johnson,
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Shreveport photographer and author Neil Johnson writes a background piece each month to accompany a photo sent to his email list. We are happy to publish this month's column:


The assignment was to shoot a series of photos of a new product line by Southern Aluminum, a southern Arkansas manufacturer that makes aluminum tables. The new products are a series of tables with lighted panels. There are small tables with one panel and a larger serving table with three panels. The panel light color can be changed.

There is a very elegant restaurant, The Village Grille, almost next door to my studio. It only opens for the dinner crowd and the owners were generous enough to let us use it as a setting for the shoot. It was the perfect restaurant setting because it has no windows, which meant I could totally control the light. The company reps brought the tables to town and we set them up in the restaurant one morning. While shooting the tables with the glowing panels, we decided the panels looked best with drink glasses on the panels to better communicate the panel lighting. We liked how the glass “pulled” the light up from below.

Then we needed a few “effect” images that would not show the brushed aluminum tables, but would show the sexy lighting effect only. This was one of those situations where I had to dive in, explore it, view the result and just see what I would get. We were all delightfully surprised by how nice the images looked on the laptop screen.

This is where the fun part of photography really kicks in and where the technology of both digital instant gratification and shooting tethered to a laptop are worth the price of admission. Once we determined it was working, I tuned out the commercial part of the shoot and let the artist in me cut loose. It became a matter of playing with the tools at hand: various lenses, composition, line, shape, pattern, form and color. What color works the best for this subject matter? Blue? Green? Purple? Yellow? Red? A little bit of tungsten light from way in the background provided a touch of gold in each glass. I loved that subtle touch of gold against blue, two colors on the opposite sides of the color wheel. With each composition that I liked, I shot all colors, just in case.
I must say that when photographing light, it looks supremely better on a computer screen than it does with ink on paper. Ink on paper does not glow. It reflects light. A completely different animal.

Also, with this image, I felt something like Alfred Stieglitz might have felt in 1922 with his “Equivalent” cloud image series. The glowing pixels here give me a feeling of “equivalence,” a theory which has abstract forms, lines, and colors representing corresponding inner states, emotions, ideas and emotive "vibrations of the soul."

I use the word “playing” because the “work” of shooting the tables was done. It is indeed a challenge to light and communicate the metal tables for a catalog and website, as well as show the effect of the lit panels. Those images were in the can. Creating images of almost nothing but light exhilarates me and in no way would I describe it as work. And it is exciting when a client trusts me (and my muse) with creative images. These glasses are empty of liquid, but filled with light. And they are filled, not from above, but from below, and from the inside out. My heart rate increases when I watch how light enters and caresses glass and interacts with it top to bottom. I am playing with light, darkness, color, depth of field, composition, unusual subject matter, glowing pixels.

This is why I do what I do. I am playing with all that is exciting about photography. Photography has the power to sometimes make me literally a bit giddy. That afternoon, I packed up the photography and lighting gear, straightened up the restaurant and wobbled back to the studio to sober up.

Ya really gotta watch out for those blue ones. Especially when you’ve had three.

Neil Johnson
January 2010

Shreveport All Stars at the former Freeman & Harris Restaurant on Sat, Jan 2, noon to 1 pm

Shreveport All Stars
Originally uploaded by trudeau
At least the ghosts of Pete Harris and his staff, family and friends have a place to visit; the site of Freeman's in Allendale has not been destroyed. Today it is called Hospitality House. On Sat, Jan 2, Dan Garner and gang invade the premises - insert memories of Freeman's gumbo here - with guitars, mics and tunes. From noon to 1 pm.

If anyone you know has a cache of photos left over from Freeman's active years, I would be interested in scanning them and producing a Freeman & Harris blog. Former waitress Jessie Singletary and I have often talked about putting those memories online. That's a part of Shreveport history that touched people coast to coast with a distinctly Louisiana vibe. Creating a Freeman's blog might lead to a festival or historic display or who knows what. Email

Be a member or sponsor of the Highland Blues & Jazz Fest; membership meeting Jan 12, 7 pm, Columbia Cafe

If you are a member or sponsor of the Highland Jazz & Blues Fest you are invited to our 2010 General Membership Meeting, says Kenney Koonce. Scheduled for January 12 at Columbia Cafe, the meeting is open to the public. Join us at 7:00 P.M. to learn about the success of the 2009 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival, and our plans for 2010. Members will also elect new members to our board of directors.

You are a voting member if you have completed a membership application and/or served as a sponsor of the 2009 festival. If are not currently a paid member, you may do so at leading up to the festival. You may also join at the meeting.

If you have any questions regarding our meeting, please contact us at

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sci-Port celebrates Tet and New Years at Noon from 10 am to 2 pm Thurs, Dec 31

Tết Việt Nam
Originally uploaded by DulichVietnam360°
As the clock strikes noon in Shreveport-Bossier City, says Eric Gipson, Vietnam will be celebrating Tet Nguyen Dan (the first morning of the first day of the new period). Sci-Port visitors can celebrate the traditions of Tet and then count down to “midnight” with a balloon drop from Sci-Port’s second floor balcony.

Sci-Port: Louisiana’s Science Center will hold that New Years at Noon celebration from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. New Years Eve, Thursday, December 31.

Activities, sponsored by Mrs. Bobbie Cates Hicks, are included with Sci-Port admission and free to Sci-Port members.

Sci-Port: Louisiana's Science Center is a 92,000 square-foot science and entertainment center featuring 290 hands-on exhibits, a Space Center and Space Dome Planetarium, IMAX Dome Theatre, demonstration theater, daily changing programs, gift shop and cafe. Sci-Port is located at 820 Clyde Fant Parkway on the downtown Shreveport Riverfront. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday. For general information call (318) 424-3466, toll-free (877) 724-7678 or see

Review / Me and Orson Welles @ RFC: Clare Danes and Christian McKay vibrant in a flic all about theater

The filmmaker Orson Welles (Citizen Kane, etc) roars to life in the Mercury Theater in Manhattan, 1938, in the movie Me and Orson Welles.

The 114-minute film is playing at Robinson Film Center, Shreveport.

Welles was about a year away from producing his radio shocker, War of the Worlds. He was about 2 years away from making movies but that was not apparent. His ability to live large pre-dated his arrival in Hollywood.

Me and Orson Welles is largely about theater and why it is so addicting. It's also about this charmingly bombastic historic figure and about Manhattan in the 1930's.

Christian McKay plays Welles and is well cast. Clare Danes is winning - what an articulate face - as the principal girl. And you can almost see director Riichard Linklater positioning the actors around Zac Ephron in such a way as to make it seem he can act.

Alas, Ephron is principally a holiday candy.

Me and Orson Welles is diverting. But don't place your expectations too high for this Linklater project.

Monday, December 28, 2009

NYE at Jayne Marie's on Cross Lake: the Lackadaisies with Dylan LeBlanc, Amelia Blake, Missoni Lanza and the New York Gents

Missoni Lanza, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
New Year's Eve's party at Jayne Marie On Cross Lake, says Jayne, features a stellar entertainment line up consisting of The Lackadaisies with special guest Dylan Le Blanc, singer Amelia Blake and Missoni Lanza and The New York Gents.

Missoni's Gents will include Billy Masters, Doug Yowell, Mike Visceglia and Daniel Weiss. Daniel has been appearing in the Broadway sensation Hair the past several months. Doug has been touring with the Indie artist Ari Hest. Mike just returned from the Suzanne Vega tour and Billy Masters has also been touring with a variety of notable talent. An incredible group of gifted artists.

Ring in 2010, adds Jayne, with a gourmet buffet that includes a Prime Rib Carving Station, Iced Seafood Station, Louisiana Cusine and a beautiful dessert station.

Live music and dancing in both lakeside dining rooms. Champagne toast at midnight included. $42.00 per person.

Jayne Marie on Cross lake
5301 South Lakeshore Drive
Shreveport, LA 71109

Strumming, rhyming, crooning: Will Maranto, John Bundrick, Dan Garner at Noble Savage Wed, Dec 30, 7 pm

Dan Garner's current motto for his songwriter's sessions at Novle Savage is No Cover, No Covers. Here he presents veteran pickers Will Maranto and John Bundrick.

Writers with guitars trying to move you with heart-tugging changes and easy-to-sip melodies.

417 Texas St.

Rob Peterson w Haitian sounds and visuals @ minicine, music by Ghost to Falco on Wed, Dec 30, 8 pm, 846 Tex, downtown Shreveport

Minicine? will welcome back to Shreveport, says David Nelson, Ghost to Falco, and his touring cohort, the honorable, Cornelius F. Van Stafrin III on Wed night... Kaleidoscopes aside, this will be absolute ear pleasure!!!

On tour and returning home to Los Angeles after an extended sojourn in North Carolina, Cornelius will be starting off with some super awesome noisy soundtrack type stuff with reel to reel tape machines and Tibetan singing bowls, amongst an array of other sound experiments... Ghost to Falco, home-based out of Portland, OR, and formerly a guitarist with Alarmist, is the signature solo project of Eric Crespo. As described in his press release, "ranging from psychedelic minimalism to complex looping arrangements"... "makes for an eerily beautiful and unsettlingly hypnotizing listening experience".... minicine? has been addicted to his music since first hearing it in the Zebra Room in 2004.

Also, also, a late addition to this event, minicine? is proud to host Shreveport native, Rob Peterson (in town for the holiday), to share art and sounds from Haiti. Rob has just returned from a three week residency at the Haiti Ghetto Biennale.

On exhibit will be sculpture and wall hangings collected from artists of the Grand Rue of Port-au-Prince, including works by Claude Sentilus, Jean Herard Celeur, Guerly, Mario Guyodo, Louco and Andre Eugene. A sound environment will be induced from collected field recordings from the City of Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Wed, Dec 30 / minicine? swampland / 846 Texas Avenue / 8pm / $5 Donation

Professor Porkchop and the Dirty Dishes every Thurs @ 7 pm in the Celebrity Lounge, Eldorado Casino, Shreveport

One of Shreveport's best-kept secrets: top drawer regional musicians in a comfortable room with fantastic lights and sound - that's the Celebrity Lounge at Eldorado Casino.

Eldorado invites you, says Leslie Peck, to join us for our Blues Jam with Professor Porkchop and the Dirty Dishes every Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

There's a tunesmiths session, too: Join local songwriters Jason Sepulvado, Cameron Meshell, and Daniel Smalley for Song Writers in the Round every Tuesday night in Eldorado’s Celebrity Lounge from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m, says Peck.

Celebrity Lounge Headliners:
• Jan. 1 & 2 The Roscoes 8 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
• Jan. 6 Chocolate City 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
• Jan. 8 Paco Estrada 8 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
• Jan. 9 DJ Hurricane 8 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
• Jan. 13 Dale Watson 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
• Jan. 15 & 16 Groove Agents 8 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
• Jan. 20 Earshot Graffiti 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
• Jan. 22 Sugarfoot 8 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
• Jan. 23 Windstorm 8 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.
• Jan. 27 Crossroads 7 p.m. – 11 p.m.
• Jan. 29 & 30 Victims of Pop Culture 8 p.m. – 1:45 a.m.

Photo of Chris McCaa by Barbara Beaird.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Times calls on Atchison, Demerath, Enochs and others to evaluate Shreveport's quality of life issues

Times design: David Wright
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The Times called upon people like Pam Atchison of SRAC, Loren Demerath of and Lampton Enochs of the filmmaking coalition to talk about the state of the city in the Sun, Dec 27, edition.

See their remarks under the banner headline of "2010, what's ahead?"

Call for entries to community art competition: 26X9 mural for Philadelphia Center wall at 2020 Centenary Blvd; deadline Jan 25

Call for Art

The Philadelphia Center is requesting art to be used to create a community art mural on the outside wall of the center facing Centenary Boulevard. The wall on which the mural will be created is brick and measures 26 feet by 9 feet.

The mural will be painted by artist Don Alexander with the assistance of the artist whose image is selected.

All entries will be shown at an exhibition at Artspace. A reception will be held on February 6, 2010 from 5:00 to 7:00 during which the selected artist will be announced. The first place winner will receive $500 in addition to his or her image being used to create the mural. Eleven additional submissions will be selected and announced to be included in a 2011 Philadelphia Center Calendar.

Requirements to participate
in competition:

1. Artists must complete an entrance application and attach it to the submitted art work. There must be no other identifying information on the submission.

2. All entries must be submitted on canvas or illustration board. The dimensions of the work must be 26 inches x 9 inches so that it can be directly transferred onto the wall. Art will be returned to artists following the exhibition at Artspace. The wall mural will be painted with acrylic paint, but submissions may be in any two dimensional media.

3. The imagery of the mural must be positive and uplifting as it will become a part of the surrounding neighborhood community. Artists may incorporate the Center’s concept of “health, housing and hope” but do not have to limit their creative ideas to any specific theme. Artists are highly encouraged to visit the Philadelphia Center to see the wall and learn about the organization as they develop creative concepts and imagery for the mural.

4. All entries must be submitted to the Philadelphia Center no later than January 25, 2010. Thank You!

Brett E. Malone, Rebecca Thomas, PhD
Executive Director Artist / Board Member

Philadelphia Center
N.W. Louisiana AIDS Resource Center
2020 Centenary Blvd.
Shreveport, LA 71104
(318) 222-6633

Teen Artists from across Louisiana to meet in Shreveport March 4 - 6 for state convention hosted by Benton High; donations needed

Youth Art Council of America student president Kayla Green and sponsor Theresa Laws of Benton High School announce that the Northwest LA chapter of YACA will be hosting the State Convention at the Clarion Hotel in Shreveport from March 4th – 6th, 2010.

"State Convention is a three-day, 2-night fun and activity-filled gathering of teens from all over Louisiana. Approximately 300 students participate in art exhibits, competitions, demonstrations, games, performance-based contests, a dance, an awards banquet and much more!" says Laws.

"It costs approximately $150.00 per student to attend convention; we are asking for donations and sponsors to help off-set the costs for the students," says Green.

"Initial deposits are due by January 20th, and at this time we are still $1000.00 short! We also need help in providing door prizes to be given out throughout the weekend and items to be placed in student and teacher goody bags (snacks, notepads, key chains, pencils, art supplies, etc.)."

All Donors and Sponsors will be gratefully acknowledged during Convention on signage that will be displayed in the main banquet hall and will receive a special invitation to attend the art exhibit.

Please help in making this Convention a memorable art experience. For further information on how to donate, provide sponsorship, or if you have questions, please contact Theresa Laws at Benton High School ~ (318) 549-5304 or email me at

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Post-holiday remorse and excess: where to recycle packaging, trees & electronics in Shreveport

Xmas tree arrives
Originally uploaded by trudeau
"Every piece of wrapping paper, cardboard box and aluminum pie pan that lands at Pratt Industries (Shreveport's recycling center), is one less item that goes into Woolworth Road Landfill, said Mike Strong, head of Shreveport's operational services department," writes Times reporter Melody Brumble in her story, "Post-Christmas recycling offers the gift of green."

"John McCoy, a manager at the Shreveport recycling plant, hopes residents will avoid putting garland, strings of Christmas lights and tinsel in their bins this year. Those items wrap around conveyor belts that carry recyclable materials through the plant and have to be untangled by hand."

Also recycling: "Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana takes monitors, printers, all the computer parts and all electronics. We are a Dell-approved recycler," said Jesse Schmidt, Goodwill's vice president of resource development."

The 16th annual tree recycling program: "'Shreveport Green will collect the dried husks of live trees to help combat erosion along Louisiana coasts. The trees are packed into fence-like structures to trap sediment and help rebuild the state's wetlands,' said Donna Curtis, Shreveport Green executive director."

Shreveport Green will accept live Christmas trees for recycling from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 2 in the parking lot of Lee Hedges Stadium, 6115 E. Kings Highway in Shreveport.

The city of Shreveport also will pick up trees for recycling during trash collection the first two weeks of January, says the Times.

Non-LED Xmas lights can also be recycled: the Christmas Light Recycling Program says, "Don't want to throw your old incandescent lights in the trash? Send them to us and we will recycle them for you and send you a coupon for 15% off. The recycling program is now open. The program will conclude at the end of February 2010."

And in enlightened enclaves some of the holiday dross is turned into decorative crafts projects.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Artspace - and Giftspace - open through Dec 23, and Dec 27 - 29 at 710 Texas St

Artspace, where you can shop as well as show off a premier art venue to your visitors, has posted their holiday hours via Julia Foley's email blast.

Monday, Dec. 21st, 10 am - 2 pm
Tuesday, Dec. 22nd, 10 am - 5:30 pm
Wednesday, Dec. 23rd, 10 am - 2 pm
Thursday & Friday, Dec. 24th-25th, CLOSED
Saturday, Dec. 26th, 12 pm - 4 pm

Monday, Dec. 27th, 10 am - 2 pm
Tuesday, Dec. 28th, 10 am - 5 pm
Wed., Dec. 29th, 10 am - 2:30 pm
Thursday-Sunday, Dec. 30th -
Jan. 3rd, CLOSED

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cellist from Shreveport, John Henry Crawford, performs on From The Top, NPR program, via Red River Radio on Sat, Dec 19, 11 am

The radio concert program From The Top presents performances from top young classical players each week. From their web site:

For the past decade, From the Top has been the preeminent showcase for America’s best young musicians. Through award-winning NPR and PBS programs, online media, a national tour of live events, and education programs, From the Top shares the stories and performances of pre-collegiate musicians with millions each week.

This week, from the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Winspear Opera House in Dallas, Texas, one of the performers is cellist John-Henry Crawford, 16, from Shreveport, LA. He performs III. Allegro commodo from Sonata No. 2 by Bohuslav Martinu.

The program was recorded Fri, Nov 13, 2009.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dirtfoot at the Capri on Sat, Dec 19; opening are Lackadaisies, Shreveport band, and Yazoo Shakes, Memphis group

Originally uploaded by lindsayloveshermac
"Gus and Hank Productions along with Rest My Head Entertainment presents: A Front Porch Christmas on Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at the Capri Theater, 620 Milam St, Shreveport, LA
$10 Cover - 21+

Writes J Bratlie, "Dirtfoot wants everyone to have a great Christmas and do some good for those in need, so we've partnered with the Northwest Louisiana Food Bank to raise much needed canned goods for the less fortunate. For every can you bring, you will get $1 off the ticket price (up to 4 cans per person). Also, the bar will be offering a free Jello Shot (christmas flavor of course) for everyone that shows up before 11:00pm to help get the night started right. Dirtfoot will be featuring new songs, along with a brand new TShirt and giveaways all night long.

We're also pleased to be bringing in a sonic wonder from Memphis TN, The Yazoo Shakes.

"The Shakes specialize in a gypsy-gusto sound that's propelled by minor chords and a Southern shuffle. Mixing culinary, movie, and musical metaphors, the Shakes' repertoire is the aural equivalent of the spicy ramen served up in Tampopo combined with the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink attitude of Babette's Feast. If you're a fan of Tom Waits, Captain Beefheart, the Squirrel Nut Zippers, or the Asylum Street Spankers, your ears will never go hungry again." Andria Lisle, The Memphis Flyer, June 4-10, 2009

To open the night is Shreveport's own The Lackadaisies. This local group has some great things going for them and are an up and coming band on the Shreveport scene.

Don't miss this night of great music, and help some people at this most important time of year"

J Bratlie

P.O. Box 44052
Shreveport, LA


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Coming to the RFC: "Disturbing the Universe" with Producer Vanessa Hope on Tues, Dec 22, 7:30 pm

The Robinson Film Center, says Chris Jay, will host a very special one night-only presentation of the Sundance Grand Jury Prize-nominated documentary WILLIAM KUNSTLER: DISTURBING THE UNIVERSE with Executive Producer Vanessa Hope in attendance on Tuesday, December 22 at 7:30 PM.

The film tells the story of infamous civil rights lawyer William Kunstler, who defended such iconic figures as Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and the inmates who led the uprising at Attica Prison.

The filmmaker will introduce the screening and participate in a post-screening Q&A. Normal admission rates apply.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Audra Caitlyn Moss plays Medea at LSUS Black Box Theater on Dec 11, 12, 13; cast includes Kent Jude Bernard and James Palmer

The ancient Greek tragedy Medea, directed by LSUS senior Eric B. Whitt, is a classic myth about betrayal and revenge, says Robert Alford.

Performance dates are December 11, 12 (8 pm) and 13 (2 pm).

Medea is being played by Audra Caitlyn Moss. The cast also includes Libby Ashlock, Kent Jude Bernard, Dan Farris, Chase Hill, Devon Hill, James Palmer, Nicholas Sewell, Barbara Webber-Hall and Tianna Williams.

LSUS Black Box Theatre
Bronson Hall 111

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Joey Cush's City Bar and artists Joe Bluhm & Adam Volker throw down an Indie Night on Wed, Dec 9

Writes artist Joe Bluhm, "Adam Volker and I (of the new Moonbot Studios) recently met a proprietor and fellow lover of the arts here named Joey Cush. Joey has opened a new bar, the City Bar, and was looking for consultation on design and a mural from his friend - and our boss - William Joyce. Adam and I took on the mural as a personal project, to give it our touch and give something that we could to the area.

Well, the mural is finished and the bar is open, but that wasn't enough for Joey... he wanted to give something special to the area, and in meeting Adam and I and our friends, he saw something special that is sometimes ignored in Shreveport... the artist and creatives community.

Though it is merely a BAR, it is still part of a bigger puzzle, and can go a long way for helping creatives socialize, so myself, Adam, and my girlfriend have orchestrated one evening a week for Joey at City Bar.

This night is called Indie Nite. It is a gathering of creatives to simply socialize at a bar that we all are missing here. There will be great music, a great vibe, a dance floor, some other fun surprises, and most importantly, it's made for creative types and alike.

I really think this has potential to be a great meting place, even if just to wind down and get a drink or let loose and dance to some great alt or indie rock."

Edwin Pinkston, Louisiana abstract painter based in Ruston, opens a show of recent work in Bossier at Gallery Fine Art Center on Th, Dec 10, 6:30 pm

The recently-opened Gallery Fine Art Center, a Brunner Gallery Affiliate, says "Please join us for a Meet the Artist Reception on Thursday, December 10,
6:30 – 8:00 pm. On display will be the exhibit Edwin Pinkston: Recent Paintings."

Edwin Pinkston began teaching painting and drawing in the School of Art in 1968, says the LaTech School of Art web site, and was named Professor Emeritus upon his retirement in 2004. Other honors while at the University include being selected as University Distinguished Professor in 1989 and Alumni Foundation Professor of the Year in 1988. Pinkston served as Graduate Coordinator of the Master of Fine Arts Program for twenty years and taught in The Louisiana Tech Rome Program on three occasions.

Residing in Ruston, Pinkston enjoys his unlimited studio time where he is currently engaged in developing abstract paintings in three formats. His work can currently be viewed at Brunner Gallery locations in Covington, Louisiana and the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge. He and his wife Dawn enjoy visiting their three children and two grandchildren. They also enjoy traveling, and have recently returned from a second trip to Turkey.

"Arrays of tensions and counter forces are cultivated in my paintings. In a matrix of opposites, a friendly dichotomy between spontaneity and rigor is encouraged. A stage
is set where forms aren’t fully reconciled to their positions, where color and mark-making struggle for dominance, where lateral and spatial considerations jockey for recognition. Holistic in sensibility, most of these compositions have no obvious hierarchy, as passages tend to share equal emphases." Edwin Pinkston

The show will remain from December 10 to January 30.

2151 Airline Drive, Suite 200, Bossier City, LA
Phone: 318-741-9192

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Review: Holiday season performances opened by the colorful and warm Amahl and the Night Visitors as presented by Shreveport Opera

Lori Lusted's voice and energetic interpretation of the boy, Amahl, capably engaged the large audience at Sat's production of Giancarlo Menotti's modern opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Shreveport Opera's presentation of the now-classic piece - it was written for television broadcast in 1951 - was suffused with warmth, melody and a holiday vibe.

Making an auspicious Shreveport debut was Dean Anthony, who played the amusingly hard-of-hearing King Kaspar. Anthony, newly appointed Resident Stage Director and Director of Production of Shreveport Opera, played the comic role and directed the show.

The kings entered from the lobby of Riverview Theater and sang as they made their way to the stage. Alas, no one thought of a way to light them as they made their stately entrance.

Amahl, an operatic fantasy, does not put an emphasis on Bethlehem as location. But an imaginative staging might have brought more Arabic awareness to the show (in dance, in costume detail, body language, etc.). Shreveport has a growing population of people of Asian background (the Middle East is, indeed, SW Asia). The community looks to its artistic leaders to better the appreciation for the cultural gifts that come with new populations.

Carols sung by Centenary Camerata opened the evening. While the choir was large and well-rehearsed, there was little sense of drama to their singing. Singing several pieces a capella and adding a flute to one number were lovely moments. But those moments were muffled by the lack of turns by soloists or other embellishments. Camerata seemed competent and bland.

That was not true of the quartet that opened for Camerata. The Shreveport Opera Express, a group that specializes in seducing the young via piano and voice, was vaudevillian.

As usual, we saw few people with children at the opera. Regrets. Amahl was a terrific opportunity for families.

In fact, if there had been a special performance for children and parents or grandparents, the entire city would have been enriched. The Shreveport Opera Chorus, some 21 strong, made a joyous noise that contrasted well with the solo voices. The 20-member orchestra, directed by Marc-Andre Bougie, was like hot chocolate. The dance numbers were performed by young dancers.

With the collapse of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra the Shreveport region has learned what its like to live without a center for fine arts music. Particularly for the educated class, there's a void in the city.

Wouldn't it be healthy if some of the region's wealthy families decided to dig deeper and make a larger financial commitment to the opera and orchestra? It would enable special performances such as the family performance I described above.

Basically, Shreveport remains stuck in a vacuole. There's no clear voice that calls for excellence in the arts. Or for a higher commitment to excellence in urban life. Such a waste.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Giancarlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors by Shreveport Opera on Sat, Dec 5, 7:30 pm, Riverview Theater

RCA LSC-2762 Menotti Amahl
Originally uploaded by brandonb23
As the opera opens, says the Shreveport Opera web site, Amahl is very excited. He has seen a truly strange and wondrous star outside, one with a long tail the likes of which he has never seen. His Mother, knowing that he likes to make things up, grows angry with him and dismisses his news.

Soon there is a knock at the door. When the Mother opens it, she is astonished to find three kings. They tell her that they are in search of a very special king and show Amahl and his Mother the gifts they bring. The Mother leaves to alert the neighbors to the king's presence, and they return with gifts for the three sovereigns. Later that night, the Mother gives in to temptation and tries to take some of the kings' gold for her and Amahl.

Director: Dean Anthony
Conductor: Marc-Andre Bougie
Amahl: Lori Lusted
His Mother: Gale Odom
King Kaspar: Dean Anthony
King Melchior: Steve Aiken
King Balthazar: Horace English
The Page: Kevin Doherty

Tony Reans: Pop Sensations exhibit at WDC on Line Ave at Margaret Place from Dec 1 - 18

Says artist Tony Reans, "I’m exhibiting my recent cartoon paintings at the Woman’s Department Club of Shreveport, from December 1-18 (it’s a civic organization, and not just for women, thank you very much).The exhibition is called “Pop Sensations, popular culture in fun bite sizes.

I was invited to exhibit after a suggestion from a fellow Shreveport artist, Ginger Briggs.

The paintings reflect my own interpretations of America's often oversimplified mindset, in which all subjects seem to undergo a reduction to mere icons. Sometimes banal, sometimes poignant, these paintings challenge the viewer to go beyond the canvas and put the subjects back into the larger whole, into their proper places in the zeitgeist.

Meaning, we have a tendency to oversimplify things, replacing the important bits with icons, symbols or scaled-down, easy-on-the-brain concepts. Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just the way things are. A good example is the we reduce “I love you,” to “I heart you,” with a cartoon drawing of a heart.

I’ve used newspaper and magazine clippings in the backgrounds of the paintings. These introduce an element from the real world into the cartoon icon, creating juxtapositions and (hopefully) thought-provoking social commentaries.

The image above is a space alien robot of my own design. I call him Cog. The clippings are real UFO sighting reports that I found on the National UFO Reporting Center’s website.

To see the exhibition, contact the WDC to find out when the facility will be open."

Holiday Brass concert from the I-49 Brass Quintet at Broadmoor Presbyterian on Sat, Dec 19, 7 pm

One of the most active and lively of regional serious music groups, the I-49 Brass Quintet is comic and lighthearted in addition to seriously rehearsed.

Their winter concert is at 7 pm on Sat, Dec 19, at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, 1915 Grover Place, says Rick Rowell.

The Band House and Broadmoor Presbyterian are jointly sponsoring the event, allowing all ticket proceeds to go to the Salvation Army. Tickets are $10 ($5 for students) and are available at Broadmoor Presbyterian, The Band House, and the Salvation Army.

Says trumpeter Rowell, "It would be great if this concert could be a truly community-wide event and a very successful fund-raiser for the Salvation Army."

524-3090 or 834-7370.

Photo: Susan Rogers.