Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Brunch...

Gary Clark Jr.: Numb
Texas' Soulful Guitar Man Takes The Blues Into the 21st Century

“I can't feel a thing,” sings Gary Clark Jr. in “Numb,” a track taken from his lauded first major label studio album Blak and Blu, but the Texan guitarist, singer and songwriter’s gritty, powerful riffs are about as passionate as they come. The 29-year-old Austin native counts the likes of Eric Clapton and Barack Obama among his fans—the President notoriously dubbed him the “future” of the blues—and has shared the stage with Alicia Keys, Dave Matthews Band and The Rolling Stones. Clark’s soulful approach to genre-splicing channels the best of rock, R&B, jazz and hip-hop heritage, mashing up Jimi Hendrix’s intensity with The Beatles’ timelessness and vocals reminiscent of lo-fi act The Black Keys, updated with a contemporary hard edge. With his most recent LP ranked among Rolling Stone magazine’s 50 Best Albums of the year, Clark is also growing into something of an accidental style icon: rarely photographed without his signature brimmed hat, he can now add modelling for John Varvatos alongside Led Zeppelin guitar hero Jimmy Page to his reputation for following in the footsteps of greats.
Artist finds new world of fiber in Peoria

PEORIA — Fiber artist Trish Williams is experiencing a whole new side of fiber since moving to Peoria last spring.

"Fiber down here is much more diverse than in Chicago," said Williams during a recent telephone interview. "Up there you have more mixed media, more dyeing. Here you have sheep, goats and rabbits — I never met people that had sheep before."

William's work will be on display at the Downtown Peoria Public Library Monday through Feb. 26. The show is called "P.I.E.C.E.S," which is short for "Precepts Inspirited by Episodes of Creative Expressions of Self."

Williams, 63, lived in inner city Chicago her entire life before she picked up and moved to Peoria. She had the opportunity to work in the art gallery owned by Jonathon Romain, a Peoria-based artist she befriended when he had a gallery in Chicago.

In her early teens Williams started crafting her own wardrobe. She worked by hand with needle and thread until her mother found out what she was doing and bought her a sewing machine.

Williams didn't think what she was doing was art. She just felt the need to create, and clothing was a great outlet. Her unique outfits got lots of attention, and soon she found herself selling her creations.

"We used to do fashion shows at my mother's house," said Williams. "It was a big old Victorian house so there was lots of room. We'd do shows and sell the clothes."

Williams continued to sew when her children came along, but it wasn't until 1997 when she realized sewing could be art. She was at a church bazaar manning the linen and quilt table when she opened a copy of "A Communion of the Spirits: African-American Quilters, Preservers, and Their Stories," by Roland L. Freeman. The quilts pictured in the book opened up a whole new world. Read more...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Brunch...

... twirl and twirl and...

Lorna Simpson: Momentum
The Conceptual Artist Travels Back in Time For Her Surreal New Film

Coated in gold body paint and accessorized with matching afros, the ballet corps starring in Momentum comprises a group of New York dancers handpicked by the Brooklyn native to reenact her own stage debut at the age of eleven. "I was very surprised by a powerful sense of reversal while performing," she recalls. "I had this intense urge to occupy the role of observer, as opposed to being immersed in my well-rehearsed effort. I [wanted] to satisfy my need to be the spectator of this performance." Alongside the video installation, two large-scale felt works silk-screened in gold ink and depicting 1970s postcards of New York’s Lincoln Center, the venue of the original performance, are also on show. 

The pioneering conceptual photographer, who has shown at the Whitney, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walker Art Center, revisits themes of gender, cultural identity and history in her work: a recent series for the Brooklyn Museum saw Simpson recreate vintage 1950s images of African Americans with herself as the subject.

NOTE: From the Director of the Moonlight Coalition...

Happy New Years All,

Our first full time semester has been an amazing experience! We have had 23 graduates since September. The students rallied in the fourth quarter and I couldn't be more pleased.


P.S. Our overall total graduates since we started at Proctor is well into the 40's.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Creole Cowboys
Tabitha Denholm Shines a Light on Louisiana’s R&B-Infused Zydeco Trail-Riding Culture

“I loved the idea of going to massive parties on horseback,” says British director Tabitha Denholm of filming the Louisiana trail-riding scene. “Its word-of-mouth element reminded me of the early-90s raves in the UK—it is huge, but it’s outside of the mainstream media. You find out about events from flyers or from your mates.” 

Filmed in rural areas outside Lafayette over four days that included a raucous Labor Day weekender, Denholm’s short captures the fundamental relationship between horses and zydeco music and Louisiana’s Creole population. While Cajun grew from the white tradition in Southern Louisiana, zydeco evolved as a faster, more rhythm-driven incarnation of Creole or ‘la la’ music as it used to be called. 

Trail riding combines both riding and dancing elements, as groups of young and old set out through the countryside until they reach a designated party spot. Zydeco has always absorbed other types of music, and the scene has been reinvigorated by the influence of hip-hop and R&B. 

As loops and breaks have bolstered the traditional accordion and washboard, so a new audience has saddled up to find the party. “In New Orleans they told me, ‘The real action is in the countryside,’” says Denholm. “And it’s true. These dudes are so proud of their horses. They customize them, paint their hooves, plait their hair. They're like mods with their scooters.”

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Bruce Weber and David Bailey Pay Homage to the Storied Manhattan Neighborhood

Life-long friends Bruce Weber and David Bailey collaborate for the first time to capture the spirit and soul of Harlem, New York, in today’s candid short dedicated to the late, revolutionary “bluesologist” Gil Scott-Heron. Similar to Spike Lee’s 1989 movie Do the Right Thing, Weber’s series of vignettes, filmed this summer, take place over a sweltering 24 hours. But while Lee focuses on a street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, A Harlem Poetry Lesson is a study of the historic uptown borough and its cast of characters, such as poet Jeffrey Hollington and landmarks the Apollo Theatre and the Carrie McCracken TRUCE Community Garden. Scott-Heron’s expressive growl adds lyrical tension to the Harlem imagery in the film, which includes excerpts from “Small Talk at 125th and Lenox,” taken from his 1970 debut album of the same name, through to material featured on the poet-musician’s haunting final album from 2010, I’m New Here.


Sunday, December 1, 2013

A late Sunday Brunch...

Janie Taylor for Chloé
The Prima Ballerina Models the Fashion House’s Ethereal Collection

New York City Ballet principal Janie Taylor road tests Chloé’s dance-inspired spring/summer 2011 collection with choreographer and corps de ballet member Justin Peck in today’s short by director Bon Duke. Set to Philip Glass’s “String Quartet No. 3, 'Mishima': IV. 1962: Body Building," the impassioned routine was conceived by Peck in a bid to capture the multidimensional aspects of the performance on camera. “You always see ballet from the front,” he says. “Here was an opportunity to show it from the side, from the back, from every angle, and create a really unique viewing experience.” Staged at NYCB’s studio at Lincoln Center as part of a fashion shoot for Canada’s The Block Magazine, the film was styled by creative director James Worthington DeMolet.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Spike Jonze: Mourir Auprès de Toi
The Celebrated Filmmaker and Designer Olympia Le-Tan Co-create a Tale to Pierce the Heart

Designer Olympia Le-Tan's embroidered clutch-bags spring to life in director Spike Jonze’s tragicomic stop-motion animation Mourir Auprès de Toi (To Die By Your Side)

On a shelf in famed Parisian bookstore Shakespeare and Company, the star-crossed love story of a klutzy skeleton and his flame-haired amour plays out amidst Le-Tan’s illustrations of iconic first-edition book covers. "It's such a beautiful and romantic place,” offers Le-Tan of the antiquarian bookstore. "The perfect setting for our story!” 

The project started after Jonze asked for a Catcher in the Rye embroidery to put on his wall and the plucky Le-Tan asked for a film in return. Enlisting French filmmaker Simon Cahn to co-direct, the team wrote the script between Los Angeles and Paris over a six month period, before working night and day animating the 3,000 pieces of felt Le-Tan had cut by hand. “I love getting performances from, telling stories about and humanizing things that aren’t human,” said Jonze of working with Le-Tan’s characters. 

After spending five years adapting Maurice Sendak’s Where The Wild Things Are, Jonze’s recent shorts include robot love story I’m Here and an inspired G.I. Joe-starring video for The Beastie Boys. “A short is like a sketch,” he says. “You can have an idea or a feeling and just go and do it.” 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Cutie and the Boxer
The Japanese Neo-Dadaist Makes a Slow-Mo Splash
A paean to eternal themes of love, sacrifice and the enduring pull of the creative process, Zachary Heinzerling makes his filmmaking debut with Cutie and the Boxer, a meditative observation of painter and boxer Ushio Shinohara. This exclusive sequence, shot on a Phantom camera, shows Ushiro pummeling the glass ‘canvas’ with affecting vigor. The former enfant terrible moved to New York from his native Japan in 1969 in search of international recognition that has never quite materialized. In the Sundance-fêted documentary, Heinzerling captures the Octogenarian and his long-suffering wife and de facto assistant Noriko preparing for their first joint exhibition: Ushio will present a selection of his ‘box paintings’––Jackson Pollock-inspired abstractions created by hurling paint-covered boxing gloves across a massive canvas, and Noriko, a showcase a series of witty illustrations entitled “Cutie and the Bullie,” which satirize their turbulent 40-year-old marriage. “Ultimately, my goal was to absorb the audience in the raw spirit and beauty that emanates from the couple,” explains Heinzerling. “To open a door onto the creative and very private world where the rhythms of the Shinoharas’s lives play out.” The result is an intimate tapestry of a challenging partnership, cemented by a bond that transcends their various artistic and financial impediments.

Illinois Valley Fuller Center for Housing
Located in the north central area of the state, the Illinois Valley Fuller Center services Peoria, Tazewell and Woodford counties in Illinois, known as the Tri-County area. Their primary focus is to help low income families and veterans with critical repairs. They have joined forces with other local non profits to help improve the existing housing stock not only for existing homeowners, but to help families with vacant properties that might be available.

Willis and Linda Thomas with volunteer Woody Dees.
Woody and his wife did the whole porch repair themselves.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

On Collaboration: Solange Knowles x Toyin Odutola 
The New York Pair Share Their Mutual Appreciation in the Last of Our Series with EDITION Hotels

“I think the essence of collaboration is being able to lay yourself on the line,” says singer and songwriter Solange Knowles, discussing visual artist Toyin Odutola’s powerful pen-and-marker works that explore identity in the fifth and final part of NOWNESS’ series created in conjunction with EDITION Hotels. “The best collaborations are not knowing what to expect; being completely open-minded and having a sense of vulnerability.” 

In this episode entitled “Inspiration,” the pair unpack their shared appreciation for one another: Knowles' first correspondence with Odutola was after she looked to track down the artist’s intricate, embossed pieces after a sold-out exhibition at New York’s Jack Shainman Gallery; she went on to commission an artwork which brought the two creatives closer. “I thought how can I address this in a way that's poignant and feel like I can really connect with you?” says Odutola. “So I did this series of myself looking down in this exhausted state, then looking up like I’m going to tackle you, and then down again.” 

The pair have a mutual muse in Africa, as reflected in Knowles’ most recent EP release, True—co-written with Dev Hynes—which gave rise to the Cape Town-filmed video to “Losing You,” and My Country Has No Name, the third solo show from Odutula, who was born in Nigeria and grew up in Alabama. “It was months and months of creating, so it was really nice to have Solange’s voice in my head as I'm working,” explains Odutola of listening to her friend’s music. “Your message is something that really connected with me; I see myself in your work.”

Come join in the discussion next Tuesday:
November 12, 6:30-8:00 at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria
a panel discussion as part of the Citywide Celebration of Women Artists with artists Cathie Crawford, Kate Kaminsky, Trish Williams, Meda and Veda Rives with moderator Margaret LeJeune.

Welcoming and overcoming challenges at Proctor Center:
The numbers continue to grow on the Proctor Center Moonlight Coalition's list of GED graduates

The Men's Chess Club, which is another component of the Moonlight Coalition program is currently seeing a resurgence at Proctor Center. During downtime, students and visitors to Proctor Center can take part in a friendly game of chess.  Recently, the Center received the gift of an outdoor chess table, donated by the Friends of Proctor Center, in celebration of the Center's 100th Anniversary. The table, scheduled to be delivered by the time warm weather hits, will no doubt be put to good use during the warm weather months, especially after the guys get their skills and confidence up over the winter months.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

Kahlil Joseph's Film Meditates on the Origins of an All-Black Rodeo in Oklahoma

A dreamlike narrative binds cowboy and an angelic specter clad in white in director Kahlil Joseph's exploration of a little-known African-American rodeo subculture. Joseph, who is part of the Los Angeles-based What Matters Most film collective, visited the annual August rodeo in the sparsely populated Oklahoma town of Grayson (previously Wildcat), an event that attracts African-American bull riders, barrel racers and cowgirls from all over the Midwest and southern USA. He set out to celebrate the origins of the rodeo by paying respect to the spirit of Aunt Janet, a member of the family who founded the event, passed away last year and is embodied as the young girl in the film. 

“Black people are light years more advanced than the ideas and images that circulate would have you believe. The spaces we control and exist are my ground zero for filming, at least so far, and there are opportunities for me to tap into the energy,” says Joseph who has also made films for musicians including Shabazz Palaces and Seu Jorge. “So an all-black town with an all-black rodeo in the American heartland was a kind of vortex or portal through which I could actually show this.” 

Wildcat is scored by experimental musician Flying Lotus, who has previously collaborated with Joseph on a short to accompany his 2012 album Until the Quiet Comes, which is showed during Sundance London.

In the penitentiary, homie? Uni-ball cares...
Shame on the "creatives" at TBWA Chiat/Day for taking a subject matter they know to be taboo in the United States and selling it to an international client. You guys are sooooo cool:

From kissmyblackads:

Credits: Creative Ad Agency: TBWA Client: Uniball Pens Executive Creative Directors: Matthew Brink, Adam Livesey Art Director: Jade Manning, Sacha Traest Copywriter: Vincent Osmond Production: Sandra Gomes Account Manager: Morgan Wanckel, Niki Cinnamon, Claire Peters Production Company: Frieze Films Director: Rob Malpage DOP: Rob Malpage Sound: Sterling Sound, RobRoy Music.

Clearly, the Grand Wizards and Dragons over at Uni-ball labor under the misconception that Black people neither read, write nor have the gifts of sight and hearing, because this ad is not marketed to us. 

Though the burly, Black actor who decided to literally sell-out should not be allowed to dodge accountability, there is something sinister about a corporation that would purposely capitalize on the degradation, marginalization and oppression tactics used to destabilize Black communities in America.

Bottom line: The product doesn’t matter. There will always be certain corporations — whether peddling reality television, gangsta rap, soda or pens — that are dedicated to perpetuating the image of Black men as criminal, hyper-sexed, uneducated and sub-human. And if we remain silent, we are complicit in allowing a caricature of our culture to become a minstrel show — with no ticket needed for admission.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

The New York Artist On the Roots of His Provocative, Pop-Infused Work

Gary Simmons unravels the influence that hi-tops, boom boxes and Public Enemy have had over his work in the latest installment of Matt Black’s Reflections series. Whether depicting the Hollywood sign ablaze or using watercolor varnish on large-scale, apocalyptic landscapes, Simmons twists American iconography with poetic vigor. First gaining art-world fame in the 90s with his “erasure drawings,” using chalkboards found in an abandoned school as canvases, Simmons smudged Disney cartoons with his fingertips to probe misconceptions of class and racial identity. Director Black sat down with him in his Chelsea gallery Metro Pictures—which also represents the likes of Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo and Andy Hope 1930—and was struck by both the intensity of Simmons and the breadth of his work that has shown at MoMA and the Whitney. “We spent the afternoon talking about New York, music, boxing and tattoos,” he says, citing Simmons’ installations “*uc* Hollywood” and “Line Up” as his favorite works, before adding: “In both he uses sneakers to tell a story of America. The result is always both subtle and powerful, with a haunting quality.”


Women Writers Hour
Oct 28, 6pm-7pm
Peoria Library North, 3001 W Grand Parkway

Please join us for the second Women Writers Hour with Terry Bibo, Brenda Rothert, Monica Vest Wheeler and Demetrice Worley.

They will read a passage from a favorite writing, tell us about the moment they knew they wanted to write, why writing is important to them, the challenges and rewards of published writers, and about the women who mentored them and those they most admire. Marcia Burnside will host.

Jonathon Romain1919 North Sheridan RoadPeoria, IL 61604www.jromain.comromainart@aol.com708-829-9578

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday brunch...

Limber Notes
An Impassioned Portrait of A Street Dancer Named Olivier

“Sometimes, I don’t control my body, so I don’t know what to expect,” says dancer and sometime model Olivier Chapusette, in this intimate short from Irish photographer-turned-filmmaker Linda Brownlee. “This isn’t just dance—it’s everything,” he says, while the therapeutic nature of dancing, he suggests, “helps me to be a better person.” The Haitian-born, Brussels-based street dancer is among the subjects of Brownlee’s Limber Notes, a series of compelling vignettes spotlighting performers of all ages and backgrounds. “I wasn’t looking for professional dancers or even people who were really good at it, just people who were really passionate,” she says. She has long been fascinated by the physical brilliance of dancers, which has inspired her work for The New York Times, AnOther and Twin. Limber Notes captures performers such as Chapusette in their own environment and homes, so immersed in their dance, adds Brownlee, “they forget about you.”

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday Brunch...

I remember when Prince came to the Civic Center. I impersonated a local important person and got him on the phone at his hotel. When he answered we screamed and hung up. Later that night we went to the concert. I wore a mid-thigh length, white, ruffled collar, ruffled sleeved, pirate shirt that my Moms made especially for me. That concert was the bomb!

Breakfast Can Wait - Prince

By Randy Lewis
October 11, 2013, 11:52 a.m.
The folks at Waffle House and IHOP might not swoon over the message at the heart of Prince’s new video, “Breakfast Can Wait,” but the Purple One has found plenty of sensual fun in the kitchen to keep pop music fans engaged in this work directed by and starring 18-year-old Danielle Curiel.

Who else could make a lyric that includes a menu rundown — “Grits and gravy, cheese eggs and jam” — sound positively sexy but Prince, who reportedly gave his young collaborator complete artistic and directorial control over the video. He chose her to direct it after being impressed by reading a treatment she sent him for the song.

The track is a pulsing R&B slow-jam filled with rhythmic bumps and pauses as Curiel’s mis-en-scene alternates between what looks to be an attempt to prepare a morning-after meal in the kitchen and a tightly choreographed dance number in old brick workout space.

And yes, that's Curiel under the curly wig and painted-on mustache while playing peek-a-boo from behind the neck of a guitar as she serves as stand-in for the artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince.

"Prince wanted this video to be a creative encounter, offering fresh, young talent [the chance] to 'visualize' together," a spokeswoman for Prince told Pop & Hiss. "He was there for the shoot and approved the treatment, but gave all control to this 18-year-old. There were no managers, agents [or] label people there -- just young talent collaborating for a very unique experience." Source



Soup & Soul
Come enjoy delicious food and soulful music to support the programs and ministries of Dream Center Peoria! Soup & Soul for the Shelter will be November 19th from 5-8:30pm at Rhythm Kitchen in the Contemporary Arts Center at 305 SW Water Street in Peoria. Cost to join us for the night is $20 ahead of time or $25 at the door.