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May 16, 2007

Art in the American Outback: the Southeast

John Stoehr

How to (righteously) piss off a certain kind of Southerner
One day artist John Sims decided to create a work of art in which he dangled a Confederate flag from a noose swinging from a gallows. He called it "The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag." It got some attention. The Sons of the Confederate Veterans demanded the work be removed from the Mary Brogan Museum of Art and Science in Tallahassee. The museum demurred. The story doesn't end there, though. Flushed with confidence, Sims has invited performance artist Karen Finley to put on a seance to evoke the voices of the past to comment on the ole Stars and Bars. "I told her she should call up some African slaves and see what they have to say," Sims said. "I'm excited to see what happens and who turns out for this."
(Thanks to Mark Hinson of the Tallahassee Democrat)

More than framed posters of flowers and trees
A new hotel is downtown Memphis is using original artwork to enhance its decor. "The people at Westin thought about art from the very beginning," said Mark Weaver, an architect with Hnedak Bobo Group and lead designer for the project, as he showed a reporter through the building that bustled with activity. "They want a hotel that addresses all the senses, and art is a big component."
(Thanks to Fredric Koeppel of the Memphis Commercial Appeal)

Yet more attempts to seduce those elusive 'younger people'
Hoping to nurture a new crop of concert-goers, the San Antonio Symphony has launched an advertising campaign, along with programs and events, catered to teens and young adults. "Successfully appealing to young people could mean survival for the nation's orchestras. With that in mind, local symphony leaders have launched the rock 'n' roll-style ad campaign this season and, among other efforts, added audio clips to their Web site and started a 'Future Stars Competition' that will culminate today with three students joining the orchestra."
(Thanks to Michelle Koidin Jaffee of the San Antonio Express-News)

It's never too late to start
"At 25, Walter Kovshik reached a crossroads: Would his career be in music or business? He chose business. He faced a similar choice at 50. Did he want to continue his work as a fundraising consultant or revisit the world of classical music? This time, music won out -- at least temporarily. At the end of May, Kovshik will fly from Orlando to Fort Worth, Texas, to compete in the Fifth International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs, sponsored by the Van Cliburn Foundation. He will be competing against 74 other pianists from around the world."
(Thanks to Jean Patteson of the Orlando Sentinel)

Posted by John Stoehr at May 16, 2007 1:01 AM

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