|Issue 9.52 | Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2009 | Forward to your friends!|
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WILMINGTON, N.C., Sept. 29, 2009 -- In October my art will be shown and sold at the Wilmington Art Gallery on Castle Street in Wilmington, N.C.! If you are in the neighborhood, please drop in.
This has been a year of expanding exposure for my work. The Agora Gallery in New York City now provides a link from their website to mine. In addition, my work can now be viewed at:
near future, Robert
Genn, the iconic Canadian artist, will include a link to my website
from his Painter's Keys Online Art Director.
All of this web exposure has dramatically boosted my website's ratings with the Internet search engines and nearly tripled the number of visitors to the site over last year.
Actual art production has not been as successful, however. Except for plein air paintings completed on two short trips to Savannah and Gwinnett County, I have produced very little this year.
(Plein air is a French term that harkens back to the Impressionist painters. In the last decade or so it has become popular to describe painting outdoors as opposed to painting in the studio. Most people who use the term "plein air" are indicating that the painting was completed outdoors "from life" as opposed to from a photo and that the painting was completed in a short time period. I usually spend an hour or two on a plein air painting. If you take too long to complete your painting outdoors, the light that forms the scene changes and you begin modifying your painting by chasing the light and shadows all over your canvas. The result is usually a disaster!)
If I am really turned on to a painting site I may produce several painting in one day. This gives me the opportunity to experiment with or "try out" scenes that might make good paintings without wasting a week or more on a large painting, only to decide that I don't like it. I prefer to do a series of plein air paintings, then make larger paintings of the ones I like best back in my studio.
When Judi and I moved to Wilmington a year ago in August, our first priority was to remodel our 74-year old Craftsman's cottage. The remodeling effort turned out to be a bigger production than either of us ever dreamed! In February of this year we moved in, but the second floor addition, which included the studio was still not finished. I continued working to complete our personal "punch list" until the end of June.
Then just as I thought I could begin to focus my attention on painting, we had a flood! Our property backs up to a stream which creates a beautiful garden setting for our back yard, but the house sits in the flood plain. The house is elevated and suffered little damage, but we still had unpacked boxes stored under the house awaiting a permanent home. Much of what was stored there was lost in the flood. It lasted only about five hours! In that time the water rose 17 inches under the house and, just as quickly, receded leaving a waterlogged mess! I spent the entire month of August building shelves under the house above the 100 year flood line. We will be ready for the next one!
I am painting and loving it! My best to you all!
SEPT. 29, 2009 -- Americans are in debt to the Southern Poverty Law Center for several reasons. Among them, the Center annually produces an up-to-date compilation of hate groups in operation in the United States. Sadly, Georgia ranks high among the states in the number of hate groups within its borders.
The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in 1971 as a small civil rights law firm. Today, SPLC is internationally known for its tolerance education programs, its legal victories against white supremacists and its tracking of hate groups. Located in Montgomery, Ala., the Southern Poverty Law Center was founded by Morris Dees and Joe Levin, two local lawyers who shared a commitment to racial equality.
Its first president was a Georgian, civil rights activist Julian Bond. Throughout its history, SPLC has worked to make the nation's Constitutional ideals a reality.
In 1981, the Southern Poverty Law Center began investigating hate activity in response to a resurgence of groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Today the SPLC Intelligence Project monitors hate groups and tracks extremist activity throughout the United States. It provides comprehensive updates to law enforcement, the media and the public.
For 2008, the latest figures, the SPLCs list shows these states as having the most hate groups. (Website: http://www.splcenter.org/intel/map/hate.jsp).
The states with the most hate groups identified are:
The SPLC gets more specific than this. It shows the hate groups by city, and luckily, no Gwinnett cities are represented on the Georgia list. It lists four hate groups headquartered in the cities of both Atlanta and Augusta; three in Athens and tiny Brooks; and two in Macon. No other city has more than one. See the entire Georgia list.
Among the types of organizations within Georgia are listed 14 neo-conservative groups (all the League of the South chapters); six Klan and six white nationalists groups; five black separatist groups; and three neo-Nazi groups. There is one anti-gay and one racist music group in Georgia.
It troubles the mind that we have such groups within our country and within our state. These groups are the antithesis of tolerance, understanding and love. They seek to create division in people, spread distrust and misunderstanding, and constantly seek to recruit similar-minded people to their group.
In todays complex world, we all feel the tugs of individuals and groups trying to enlist us in their cause. Most of these organizations have forward-sounding ideals, and many work for the overall good of the country, according to their well-founded beliefs. Yet not all the groups people get roped into are beneficial to our communities. Obviously these hate groups would fall into that category.
To combat the causes of hate, SPLC in 1991 established Teaching Tolerance, an educational program to help K-12 teachers foster respect and understanding in the classroom. Teaching Tolerance is now one of the nation's leading providers of anti-bias resources, both in print and online. Its award-winning magazine is distributed free twice a year to more than 400,000 educators, and its innovative multimedia kits are provided at no charge to thousands of schools and community groups. To help fight for justice and tolerance, go to How You Can Help.
The public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com to you at no cost to readers. Today's sponsor is Howard Brothers, which has outlets in Duluth, Norcross and Oakwood. John and Doug Howard are the owners/operators of the Howard Brothers stores, which specialize in hardware, outdoor power equipment and parts and service. Major trade brands are a hallmark of Howard Brothers. And did you know that Howard Brothers is the largest seller of Stihl Outdoor Power products in the United States. Howard Brothers also carries Makita Power Tools. Visit the web site at www.howardbrothers.com.
The 31st Elisha Winn Fair will be held on October 3-4 at the house where Gwinnett County was founded, 908 Dacula Road, near Dacula. Hours are from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on October 3 and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on October 4. Admission is free for ages 0 to 12; and $3 for those over 12. Live bluegrass music featuring local artist including Phil Tanner and the Skillet Lickers will be continuous both days of the fair.
Spence Roberts, president of the Gwinnett Historical Society, says that the first annual Elisha Winn Fair was scheduled for July 4, 1979, but because of planning requirements, it was postponed until September 22. Thus began many annual fairs to follow on the grounds of the Elisha Winn House in Dacula. At the time the fair was called 1812 Fair. The first fairs were to raise money, and more importantly, to raise awareness in the community and county of the importance of the Winn house and family to the early history of Gwinnett County.
In 1980, the Elisha Winn 1812 Fair had many skilled crafters attending demonstrating shingle splitting, whittling, musket shooting, mule plowing, basket weaving, chair caning and butter churning, along with live music and dancing featuring the Skillet Lickers under direction of Gordon Tanner, Phils father.
Everyone was invited to come dressed for an 1812 party in 1981; in 1982 horse and buggy rides were the added attraction along with an Indian exhibit.
The non-juried clothesline quilt show was added in 1983, along with a quilt raffle. The Elisha Winn house was open for tours with the addition of a few new pieces of furniture. In 1987 Dave Averyt was a new addition, demonstrating the art of blacksmithing, and will be on hand this year.
The 1985 September issue of the Gwinnett Historical Society Quarterly issued an invitation to the fair, saying: - Theres a fair wind blowing and goes on to say There is something about these cool, crisp mornings that bring to mind boiling peanuts, bright juicy apples and long rides in the country. Fall is a wonderful time to be alive and to reflect on the beauty of the earth and the changes of the seasons. There is no better place to celebrate these sentiments than the Elisha Winn Fair in early October. At the Fair, we can lapse into a slower, more wholesome way of life, even if the magic only lasts for two days.
During the Fair, the Elisha Winn House will be open for tours; and the blacksmith shop will be bellowing. Civil War re-enactors from the 42nd Georgia Company along with the Kings Battery Mountaineers from Walton County will be on the premises. The yard will be bright and beautiful with the clothesline quilt show. For photos of previous Elisha Winn Fairs, go to this site.
Forum for grandparents raising children set Wednesday
The Gwinnett Coalition Senior Issues Action Team and Gwinnett Senior Services is sponsoring a Grandparents-Raising- Grandchildren Forum at the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center near Buford on Wednesday, September 30, from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.
This forum will help grandparents in Gwinnett find answers to questions, connect with resources, and gain support from other grandfamilies. Amy Goyer, nationally known speaker, will be directing the forum. Goyer has been involved in intergenerational issues and programs at the local, state, national and international levels for 25 years.
There are at least 4 million U.S. families that have three or more generations living under one roof, according to a new U.S. Census Bureau report. Here in Gwinnett County, it is estimated that over 5,000 grandparents are raising their grandchildren. Linda Bailey of Gwinnett Senior Services states: We hope to provide valuable information and resources to help through this forum.
If you are a grandparent raising grandchildren, call Shawn Valadez at 770-822-8846 to register. The cost of the forum is $10 per person or $15 per couple.
A new home down payment assistance opportunity in Gwinnett County has been announced by The IMPACT Group. Known as the HOMEStretch-II, this new program will provide qualified homebuyers with up to $6,500 through an interest free loan that can be forgiven after five years. The program is designed to help bolster the financial ease of homeownership in Gwinnett County while laying the foundations to prevent future foreclosures.
The HOMEStretch-II program is targeted to benefit moderate-income homebuyers. Applicants to the program will receive a 3-1 match for each dollar they contribute towards the down payment or closing costs of a home in Gwinnett County built after 1977. Recipients must be new homeowners or not have owned a home for at least three years. To qualify for the assistance, the potential homeowner must meet income guidelines and take eight hours of homebuyer education prior to receiving the assistance. This assistance comes in the form of an interest free loan which will not need to be repaid as long as the homeowner occupies her or his home for five years. The IMPACT! Group will be one of the HUD-certified agencies providing this education.
The HOMEStretch-II program comes on the heels of the successful Northeast Georgia Down Payment Assistance Program, in which the IMPACT! Group partnered with the Northeast Georgia Community Foundation and Brand Bank to provide free down payment assistance to homebuyers who received homebuyer education through The IMPACT! Group. To date, that program has distributed almost $419,000 to some 63 homebuyers in the community.
The new HOMEStretch-II program will be administered by Gwinnett Countys Community Development Program. Interested applicants for the assistance need to first submit a Waiting List package that contains vital information to ensure that applicants qualify for the program. To learn more about the steps involved, or to obtain a Waiting List application package, please contact Program Specialist Doris Tarver at 770-822-5190 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch out for flood damage when buying a car
The Better Business Bureau of Atlanta urges used car buyers to be cautious of unscrupulous businesses and individuals who may try to sell flood-damaged cars as standard secondhand cars, without revealing the vehicles' history. To determine if a used car is flood-damaged, auto shoppers should:
Lake Lanier at normal pool for this time of year
deluge of rain in recent weeks, many may wonder if Lake Lanier is at full
pool. As of September 23, Lake Lanier was still three feet below full,
at 1068 feet, which is normal for this time of year, says the 1071 (normal
pool level) Coalition. Releases remain consistent for water quality, water
supply and hydropower. However, there may be more withdrawals by the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers in the coming weeks in order to maintain proper
water quality during the flooding in the river basin. The 1071 Coalition
representatives remain vigilant about monitoring the operations, even
with the increased rainfall.
from Previous Edition)
Riegger left the academic world for the insecurity of living as an
independent musical artist. For the remainder of his life, he earned his
living as an editor and by arranging other musicians' works.
late 1920s Riegger had become a musical modernist, inspired by Arnold
Schoenberg's atonal school. In his major orchestral works, including Study
in Sonority (1927), Dichotomy (1932), String Quartet no. 2 (1948), Symphony
no. 3 (1948), and Music for Brass Choir (1949), Riegger composed in a
highly advanced, dissonant style that appealed much more to his fellow
musicians than to the average concertgoer. Composer Henry Cowell admiringly
described one of Riegger's works as "the choiring of angels."
A critic, however, heard sounds resembling "a dying cow emitting
1930s Riegger composed music for America's most innovative dancers, including
Martha Graham, Hanya Holm, and Doris Humphrey. His best dance scores,
composed for Humphrey, are New Dance and With My Red Fires, and with these
works modern dance emerged as a true symphonic ballet. New Dance is generally
regarded as the first modern dance work of extended length.
1955 Riegger traveled to his hometown of Albany for the world premiere
performance of Dance Rhythms, a genial orchestral work that brought him
a standing ovation from a capacity audience. Far less pleasant was his
appearance in April 1957 before the notorious House Committee on Un-American
Activities in Washington, D.C., which was investigating subversion and
communism in the musical world. Riegger refused to answer the committee's
questions, standing on the rights guaranteed him in the First Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution. The New York Post columnist Murray Kempton praised
Riegger for his display of personal integrity in the face of governmental
In October 1958 conductor Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic honored Riegger by performing his Music for Orchestra. Bernstein praised Riegger as a pioneer of musical modernism in America, a creative artist who was "salty, peppery, crusty, unconventional and eternally young in spirit."
March 1961 Riegger fell, having tripped on the leash of a dog fighting
with another dog in New York. Despite emergency surgery the trauma proved
to be fatal, and Riegger died on April 2, 1961.
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>> SPECIAL NOTICE TO GWINNETT
Those interested in the history of Gwinnett need to know that the recently published book: Gwinnett: A Little Above Atlanta, has sold fast, with the first editions about sold out. There are less than 50 books remaining unsold. If you want the book for yourself, or to buy for a present for someone this year, you need to take action. Go to www.elliottbrack.com to order, or buy the book at a local bookstore shown on the site.
(In full disclosure, the book is authored by the publisher of this Forum, and this notice is intended not so much to hawk, but to inform, those who have delayed purchase. -eeb)
The books are available at these sites:
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