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June 22, 2007

Art in the American Outback: News Roundup

Joe Nickell

THE WEST

Rudy Autio, 80, dies

A pioneer of the modern sculptural ceramic movement, Autio was a towering figure in western arts. "Together with Peter Voulkos, Rudy helped change what it meant to be a ceramic artist in America," said Steve Glueckert, curator of the Missoula Art Museum. "Before 1945, ceramicists were potters. They weren't considered artists. Peter and Rudy broke all the rules and transformed what it meant to do what they were doing."

What's in a Word?

Dana Oland of the Idaho Statesman dives into the deep end of the actor's craft with Idaho Shakespeare Festival actor Lynn Robert Berg, dissecting the history packed between the lines of Shakespeare's plays.


This is art?

We usually reserve this roundup for great stories about great art in the far reaches of America. But sometimes, a little public shaming is in order. Here, you can read the lead story in this week's "Arts" section of the Great Falls Tribune. It's about a rodeo. While there may be some artfulness in lassoing calves or...uh....painting the makeup on the clowns, the only mention of the word "art" comes in the section header. What gives?

THE SOUTH

County officials in Miami threaten to takeover poorly run arts center
"... an assessment of the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts found that the independent trust that manages the county-owned facility committed expensive errors in budget planning and failed to control costs, which could have stemmed an estimated $4.1 million deficit."
(Thanks to Daniel Chang of the Miami Herald and thanks to Rafael de Acha for pointing out this article to "Flyover")

The Museum Reborn
"The new Mississippi Museum of Art, set to open June 9, changes the rules on how we interact with art. When it opens its doors, it will offer the public more than just extra square footage; this is the first time in the history of the MMA that the museum's permanent collection will be on permanent display. The museum's collection, now numbering well over 4,000 pieces that have been sitting in a single, over-crowded storage room at the Arts Center for decades, will finally be accessible to the public."
(Thanks to Nientara Anderson of the Jackson Free Press)

The Power of Poo-Poo
"You can't help but stare at his giant, yellow buckteeth. There's some black hair on his upper lip, but it's the teeth that are mesmerizing. Then the camera pans out, and you see the man's entire face. He has small hazel eyes and a black goatee. His long curly hair falls out from beneath a crumpled blue cap. He furrows his brow and speaks in a thick Cajun accent. 'Man, I don't know what it is this time of year when it gets cool like dat, if my lip is too short or my teeth is too long. But man, my lips get chapped this time of year! POOO! They chap, chap! I need some Carmex. Some Blistex or sumtin'. Some Vaseline.' Meet Poo-Poo Broussard."
(Thanks to R. Reese Fuller of the The Independent in Lafayette, La.)

"Flyover" Super-Duper Extra Bonus Feature on Poo-Poo Broussard

THE NORTHEAST

Tragic Correspondence: Winter Harbor's Letters to the NRA

Although there may not be much of it in most communities, political theater--and new works that respond to current events barely after they've passed--still has a place on American stages. This review examines a series of short works on American gun culture that achieve mixed results.

(Thanks to Megan Grumbling of the Portland Phoenix [Maine])

Burning Issues: Global warming is the new hot subject in the art world

In another story from the Portland Phoenix that examines political art, writer Greg Cook looks at visual art addressing the theme of global warming, which he identifies as a growing trend.

(Thanks to Greg Cook of the Portland Phoenix [Maine])

Ask Bob: To MySpace or not to MySpace

I know, I know, D.C. is hardly the Outback, but I couldn't resist this: who knew that former Hüsker Dü frontman Bob Mould now has his own advice column? Not I. This piece is short but looks at a timely issue for musicians (and other artists): how to use new media tools to their advantage.

(Thanks to Bob Mould and Washington City Paper)

Posted by Joe Nickell at June 22, 2007 5:55 AM