Wednesday, April 29, 2009


After an explanation of the Arts Congress, how it came about, its principles by Major Brock, Bossier Mayor Walker introduced Tom Murphy, mayor of Pittsburgh 1994-2005 and now with the Urban Land Institute. Mr. Murphy spoke last night at the Strand Theater, about how the Arts Mean Business. He reiterated his own experiences "in a rundown, rust-belt city" and proudly displayed the success Pittsburgh now enjoys as a result of their embracing the Arts. He also gave other examples of Arts as Business success in Denver, Asheville and Charleston and suggested that more cooperation within the arts community and with government would yield good results for our area's economy and quality of life.

I noted that he included a quote about Pittsburgh from Richard Florida's article in the March, 2009 Atlantic Monthly. Florida's premise is that a critical mass of people is necessary for a creative, thriving economy and that large cities will lead the way. He implores us to change the home ownership paradigm that created suburbia and put into place, tax structures, etc. that will reward those who live in the city, whether renters or apt. owners. Imagine if we abolish the Downtown Development Authority, and the city gives tax credits, etc. to businesses and persons to live and work downtown. SRAC started well a few years ago w. providing one building of low cost housing for those involved in the arts, but sans groceries, hardware stores, etc. downtown, these tenants till have to get into their cars and go elsewhere for their needs. Thus there's no downtown community to attract others who'd enjoy a thriving, lively environment within walking distance.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Reunion at Ogden Museum

On April 23, 2009, at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans, "Timex All-Star Jazz Show 1958: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic opened. Jerry's son, Grayson, is archivist of his late Dad's work. Jerry's wife, Cynthia, a well-known artist, author and teacher(LIU), has been my dear friend since we met, as 7th graders, at Montauk Jr. H.S. Though we exchange cards, a few phone calls, this was our first meeting in 30 years, and it was so fantastic, so great. We agreed that time was treating us well.

The exhibit is marvelous with Jerry's insightful photos of Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Jaye P. Morgan, Gene Krupa, Gerry Mulligan, Dave Brubeck, and other jazz greats as they rehearsed for the Timex Show. The video of that TV show was running, but because of music loudly echoing in the museum atrium, couldn't be includes so many great jazz number by these musical giants. The show closes in New Orleans on July 19, and I have my fingers crossed that we'll be able to exhibit these works at Artspace in Shreveport, shortly after that.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Indigo Bunting

We've had the usual visitors at our single birdfeeder: cardinals, blue jays, grackles, cedar waxwings, sparrows, robins. A while ago, we spotted a woodpecker; another one time visitor was a brown wood thrush. Today, a single indigo bunting joined the nibbling waxwings, sparrows and squirrels on the patio beneath the feeder, adding an elegant touch of soft blue to the black, white, brown and gray group. My bird book didn't give any info re migration patterns or preferred food, but I hope he returns and brings his family.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


If you missed last pm's opening because of the heavy rain, other commitments, whatever, don't miss seeing the marvelous exhibits; each fabulous in its own way.
"A new Revolution" on the main floor (see my You Tube video) gives the viewer a first look at what's been happening in the art world of a Cuba forbidden to US citizens. These artists work from a variety of perspectives, but their country and way of life is seen in every work, be it in the bkgd. of a map, an environment of flora and fauna native to Cuba, or the ideal of national brotherhood.

Graham Mears' works are awesome. They are so huge and doused w. intense color that the viewer can enter at will into the artists' quirky, wonderful world and enjoy the experience. The photography exhibit featured w. the Mears show, has an anonymous artist as creator. (The photos are recent and thus a US citizen may be prosecuted for illegal travel.)These works reflect some nostalgia for the artist's father's country of birth, and gave me a kinder, perhaps even tourist, view of Cuba, with its beautiful vistas, colorful Caribbean island scenes, haunting street scenes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A New Revolution

Go to You Tube ( Artsmaven 75) for my video clip re the new show at ARTSPACE: A New Revolution. This exhibit of contemporary Cuban art was curated by T. Iturralde of Los Angeles. Isn't it great that we in Shreveport have these works when international media headlines are shouting and discussing Pres. Obama's new stance re Cuba!
When the Exhibition Committee first suggested this exhibit, Mr. Obama was nowhere on the scene..Today's ARTSPACE show has to be the timeliest event ever! Join us for the opening at 7 pm. and enjoy the art, Cuban food, Cuban music, the Havana Social Club decorated in black and white.

The full installation of our new spa can also be seen on YouTube: A New Spa

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Spa outshines 16 yr. old predecessor

This is an unedited clip of Ira in our new Hot Springs spa. Wow! Amazing features make the old hot tub that we enjoyed for so many years seem like a Model T. Digital controls, underwater colored lights, a massage group of jets that actually moves up and down your back, another set gently massages while others create massaging body luxurious. And when the tub is covered, no motor noise! Its a bit smaller than our former spa, so we have more space in the spa hut...this morning we enjoyed breakfast there, listening to and watching the birds at the feeder.

I did shoot footage of the installation process, but need time and patience, and probably a new computer program, to edit the AVI format clips into a video for YouTube.

Note: Do go to for a delightful article about my Mr Palisades grandson, Wyn Delano.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kissing a Stingray

Received this amazing photo, taken by Brent Reed of Jeanne Reed kissing Fifi, a stingray on a reef off Grand Cayman. Jeanne is a gutsy lady...I keep great distance between myself and such sea life that can sting, wound, bite. But its obvious that Jeanne loved every second of this experience.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Digital Camera Bait&Switch on Internet

I was shopping on line for a Canon digital camera body and came across a large # of suppliers offering the model I wanted at a very low price. Though sceptical, I told myself that the price was low because there were fewer buyers for this high priced item.
At the first, PhotoProNation, the salesperson tried hard to sell me a pkg..lenses+ the body and the price for the lenses were not much below their listed price. When I refused, suddenly they no longer had the camera body in stock. At SLRGenius, they assured me that that they had it in stock and I ordered it online; received an order and tracking#. But when I saw no activity on the tracking# and called, they told me that it was an all plastic body. (Canon does have some models in polycarbonate, but not this one), and rather than have my $ tied up for an indeterminate amt. of time, or losing it, I cancelled and informed my card company.
Canon tells me that there are about 50 suppliers using this bait and switch tactic; that there is nothing that they can do about it. I have reported the 1st incident to the FTC, but I don't expect any action as no doubt they've received many thousands of reports and have done nothing. Friend, photographer Tim Schrein tells me he's been the victim of this more than once. So proceed with care when ordering a camera online; order only what you want and don't be pressured to buy add-ons.