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Friday
Feb282014

Hang it up: A professional art curator explains how to hang art at home


By Nicole Tschetter

Democrat staff writer

There’s no better way to spoil the excitement of getting a new p iece of artwork than realizing that you don’t know how to get it on the wall. It’s a daunting process. Luckily, said Amanda Thompson, “It’s not rocket science.”

And if anyone knows how to hang artwork, it’s Thompson. As the exhibi­t ions director with the Council on Culture & Arts,
Thompson works with more than 250 artists and installs nearly 600 pieces of artwork every year.

A lthough Thompson is an expert in this business, she said there are tips and t ricks when it comes to h anging art that can make any beginner look like a pro.


Read the rest of the article: page 1 and page 2

Tuesday
Feb252014

The arts get active: COCA and Theatre Tallahassee both holding walking events this week

The Sunday Paper by W. Stanley "Sandy" ProctorBy Nicole Tschetter
Democrat staff reporter

Organizations that normally sponsor art exhibits and musicals are doing something completely different this week — sponsoring walking events. The Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) is partnering with Move.Tallahassee.com to sponsor the first Public Art Walk and Theatre Tallahassee is sponsoring its inaugural Costume 5K, both on Saturday.

Read the rest of the article

Sunday
Feb232014

COCA Profile: Matthew Pedersen - Grad student creates costumes for ‘Spamalot’

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

Arts graduate student Matthew Pedersen is still paying his dues. As the designer for FSU School of Theatre’s production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” Pedersen invested a lot of energy into the details, all the way down to fleeting elements that blip by the audience.

“There’s a tumbling frog costume that you see for five seconds,” Pedersen said. “I spent a whole weekend sculpting it out of foam and thermoplastic."

Read the rest of the article

Sunday
Feb162014

COCA Profile: Mark O'Connor; Grammy Award-winning violinist visits for classes and concert 

By S. D. Green 

Special to the Democrat
 

Composer/violinist Mark O’Connor carries the rich history of Amer­ican music with him ev­erywhere he goes — literally. On any given day in New York City, you can find him pulling a cartload of his collection of vintage microphones from his apartment to a nearby recording studio.

O’Connor is recording the CD companion to his fourth instructional mu­s ic book, chock full of the techniques and melodies culled from the great American styles of jazz, bluegrass, country and beyond. These styles were passed down to O’Connor from his teach­ers, American legends l ike jazz violinist Ste­phane Grappelli and master of Texas-style fiddling Benny Thom­asson.

“It’s a celebration of music and so it’s been very rewarding,” O’Con­nor said. “I write the music and the arrange­ments and then I produce the sessions and even do my own post-production editing and mixing.”

Read the rest of the article

Tuesday
Feb112014

Dear Colleagues,

Thank you!  

Over the past several days, our community has demonstrated overwhelming support and commitment to arts, heritage and culture and that message was received by the County Commissioners.

This morning, the Commission ultimately supported Option 2, which allows COCA central oversight of the Cultural Plan including the cultural grant process. The Commission agreed to supplement this with the request for a report that explores potential operational efficiencies, such as the sharing of resources.

We would like to thank the County Commissioners for their thoughtful consideration of this issue. They are working diligently on behalf of the entire community and they recognize the value of arts and culture as an integral component to the quality of life in our area. The Cultural Plan Review Committee has spent a great deal of time and effort in crafting their plan and we appreciate their work as well.

In moving forward, it's important that we continue to work in partnership. COCA has served this area for nearly 30 years. We are proud of what we do and we are passionate about the people we serve. We know that, together, we can achieve great things and make this a place where people want to live, work, learn, play and visit.

Monday
Feb102014

URGENT: Special Action Alert from COCA

Dear Colleagues:

The Leon County Commission is considering the recommendations of the Cultural Plan at a workshop on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 8:30 AM (County Courthouse, fifth floor).  COCA has reviewed agenda materials that present several options to the Commissioners.  You can view the agenda item and all the materials at the following link: 

http://cms.leoncountyfl.gov/coadmin/agenda/Workshops/WS320140211.pdf

This email is our attempt to simplify a complicated issue, so please feel free to read the entire packet and draw your own conclusions.

We would appreciate it if you will PLEASE take time to read this email thoroughly as this issue could fundamentally change the way arts and culture are funded and marketed within our community.

County staff offers four potential options in implementing the Cultural Plan (Page 17):


Option 1: Implementation and execution of the Cultural Plan under the Division of Tourism Development.

This option states:

"Direct staff to bring back an agenda item for Board consideration on the implementation and execution of the Cultural Plan, including the granting process, under the Division of Tourism Development and in partnership with the City."

COCA interprets this to mean that, if this option is accepted, the entire cultural grant program (both County and City) would be transferred over to the TDC, as would the oversight and implementation of the entire Cultural Plan.

County staff asserts that this option would provide "operational efficiencies" as the TDC "is fully staffed, experienced in the distribution and oversight of grants programs, and actively markets local culture, arts, and heritage events in partnership with a professional marketing and public relations firm."   


Option 2: Allow it to remain with COCA as outlined in the Cultural Plan.

This option states:

"Encourage COCA to establish and staff its own subcommittee to review its progress relative to the Cultural Plan... Direct COCA to develop its FY 2015 budget request to the County assuming $150,000 for administrative costs and $900,000 in County bed tax funds, in consultation with the Tourist Development Council."

COCA interprets this to mean that the grant program would remain with COCA, and would have the responsibility of central oversight of the Cultural Plan as more specifically set forth in the Cultural Plan.


Option 3: Do not accept the Cultural Plan Committee's Final Report.


Option 4: Board direction.


County staff's official recommendation is Option 4, "Board Direction." In other words, staff want the County Commissioners to tell them how to proceed.

Obviously COCA supports Option 2. COCA believes we are the best agency and most qualified to oversee the grant program and the Cultural Plan.

The TDC does indeed manage a granting and marketing program. However, the TDC's primary mission is to encourage tourism to our community. COCA's mission is much broader and affects the overall quality of life of our residents -- practicing artists, arts/cultural/heritage organizations, local educators, students, local businesses, event producers, arts patrons, supporters, board members, volunteers and many others representing residents of the Big Bend region -- as well as visitors.

A majority of the COCA Board strongly believes that COCA is the only agency with the specific expertise and broad understanding that is critically important to elevate arts and culture in our community.

The County Commission will be hosting a workshop on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 8:30 AM (County Courthouse, fifth floor).  If you believe, as we do, that the Cultural Plan and grant programs should remain with your Local Arts Agency, the organization that understands your mission and has always worked in partnership with you to help you succeed, please click here to CONTACT THE COUNTY COMMISSIONERS IMMEDIATELY and let them hear your voice.

 


Sunday
Feb092014

COCA Profile: David Hemsley Cald­well - Visiting director takes on two shows at The Dixie  

Visiting director takes on two shows at The Dixie 

By S. D. Green
 

Special to the Democrat
 

David Hemsley Cald­well has had many artis­tic careers. After getting h is MFA in acting from Brandeis, he became a casting associate on “The Cosby Show,” where he met a spec­trum of performers f rom Stevie Wonder to Danny Kaye. He’s also been an entrepreneur, s tarting his own theater company, the Otterbein Group, in the 1990s.

“I was the kind of person who said I was going to do something in t he entertainment indus­try,” Caldwell said. “When I saw people (in t he business side of the industry) getting angry because they didn’t get t o do what they wanted to do, I didn’t want to get a ngry, so I said I better go do my own thing.”

Read the rest of the article

Sunday
Feb022014

COCA Profile: Keith Rodgers - Artist brings poetry into community, schools 

Artist brings poetry into community, schools

By S. D. Green


Special to the Democrat


As a poet and host of Talla­hassee’s popular weekly Black on Black Rhyme poetry event, Keith Rodgers has two tools that have served him well on his artistic journey: a quick wit and an expansive memory. He ar­rived in Tallahassee from his native Polk County with his poems stashed where they could not be misplaced.

“I had 300 poems memoriz­ed,” Rodgers said. “I used to go to a poetry show called ‘Night Jazz’ on Thursday nights, and I would do six to 10 poems every week.”

Read the rest of the article

Monday
Jan272014

COCA Profile: ‘An ode to old’: Williams’ art shows the beauty of aging in nature

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

Many artists are inspired by current events or what they see in the news. Quilter Charlotte Williams is more inspired by what she sees on the walk down her driveway to collect the newspaper. Williams’ work focuses on nature, with an emphasis on the later stages of the lives of plants and trees as they slowly weather, change color and decay with age.

Read the rest of the article

Tuesday
Jan212014

Leaves, Limbs and Lichens: Artworks by Charlotte Williams

on display at the Artport gallery from January 22-March 3, 2014

The Beauty of the Spheres by Charlotte WilliamsIn her 84th year, artist Charlotte Williams is well aware of the progression of time. Her new collection of artwork deals with transience, change and the cycles of nature. A noted quilter and quilt historian, she shares her own handcrafted quilts, wearable needlework and drawings created especially for this exhibition. Inspired by and produced with elements found in our local landscape, these artworks depict and mimic bark, moss, lichen, and leaves at various points in their lifecycle, revealing the honest beauty of aging and mirroring our own journey through existence.

Using natural materials that might be considered detritus or past their prime, she hand-dyed fabric creating unexpected depths of color. Rich umbers and moody greys are produced from the outer husks of black walnuts found moldering on the ground. Soft corals are coaxed from fallen wild cherry and red bud leaves. These fabrics are then lovingly stitched together, reminding us that things in decline show a great sense of grace.

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan192014

COCA Profile: PROJECT Trio's Peter Seymour "Trio pushes the boundries of chamber music"

By S. D. Green

Special to the Democrat

In a modern culture where it’s easy to be distracted by the flavor of the moment, musicians like bassist Peter Seymour buck the trends by dedicating themselves to putting the time in to master a classical instrument.

Seymour has diverse interests, having played with the Cleveland Symphony and in other classical music settings, while he has also shared the stage with jazz great Wynton Marsalis.

“I think there’s a sublime connection that a performer who is great at their instrument in whatever style music they play can touch the audience,” Seymour said.

Read the rest of the article

Sunday
Jan122014

COCA Profile: Darko Butorac "New conductor loves his musicians, concert hall, FSU football"

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

An orchestra may be about sound, but a good amount of a music director’s job is really about vision. The Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra hired its new conductor, Darko Butorac, for both his musical skills and his vision.


“There was an extensive two-year search,” Butorac said. “I was chosen as the winner from five finalists, who were selected from a pool of over 250 applicants. It is very competitive, and I feel truly honored to serve as the music director of the TSO.”

Read the rest of the article: page 1 page 2

Sunday
Jan052014

COCA Profile: Emily Fee "Museum Educator Links People to Past"

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

Most 2013 college graduates are focused on the the future. But Emily Fee, educational coordinator for the Florida Historic Capitol Museum, enjoys sharing space with the past.


“I’m a big proponent of the past helping us understand how we got to our present,” she said.“It’s important to have a connection to where you come from.”

Read the rest of the article

Thursday
Jan022014

Arts education gives students skills to create, adapt and take risks in the future

by Harvard President, Drew Faust and Wynton Marsalis
Published in USA TODAY on Jan. 2, 2014

We need education that nurtures judgment as well as mastery, ethics and values as well as analysis. We need learning that will enable students to interpret complexity, to adapt, and to make sense of lives they never anticipated. We need a way of teaching that encourages them to develop understanding of those different from themselves, enabling constructive collaborations across national and cultural origins and identities.

In other words, we need learning that incorporates what the arts teach us.

Read the rest of the article on the USA TODAY web site.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2013/12/31/arts-education-music-faust-marsalis-column/4267705/
Tuesday
Dec312013

COCA Profile: Painting Palms

Yrabedra going on 40 years painting ‘Tree of Life’

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

In order for a palm tree to grow a new frond, it must first discard an old one. For retired FAMU professor Ron Yrabedra, the palm represents the “Tree of Life,” a recurring motif throughout his vibrant paintings that he adopted shortly after coming to Florida for his doctorate in art education.

Read the rest of the article.

Tuesday
Dec312013

COCA Profile: Tallahassee to Nashville and back again

By S. D. Green
Special to the Democrat

 

As Eric Durrance sees it, he’s on his second life. He started his first go ’round as a parent 20 years ago when his son was born, and he’s starting it all over again with his 2-year-old daughter.

Read the rest of the article.

Sunday
Dec292013

Golden Anniversary: Artworks by Ron Yrabedra and Nancy Reid Gunn

on display from January 8 – March 10, 2014 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the LeMoyne Center for the Visual Arts and the Council on Culture and Arts (COCA) is helping them kick off a year of celebration by mounting this exhibition. On display at the City Hall Gallery are artworks by Ron Yrabedra and Nancy Reid Gunn.

Rainforest by Ron YrabedraRon Yrabedra has been a LeMoyne affiliate artist since 1977 and was the director of LeMoyne from 1983 to 1986. As an artist and a leader, he has played a major role in the evolution and development of LeMoyne as a local treasure. Yrabedra creates his iconic stylized portrayals of flowers, bulls, and palm trees in acrylic and gold leaf. Though officially colorblind, he uses vibrant, saturated color which resonates with viewers. His works reflects his knowledge of art history and his concern with humanity's spiritual quest for balance. Yrabedra's influences are Egyptian, primitive African, prehistoric American Indian, and ancient Aegean, but his work reflects his own interpretation of ancient motifs. He says, "I've always been interested in how certain basic images seem to go through many, many cultures. From prehistoric cave-paintings through Classical Greek art.”  The artworks on display in this exhibition are examples of Yrabedra’s larger paintings created, primarily, in the last ten years.

Love Sampler by Nancy Reid GunnThough she died in 2007, Nancy Reid Gunn was one of the original artists that helped establish LeMoyne. In the late 1950s, she developed her own process for encaustic, a technique of painting with melted wax mixed with pigment. Using household items such as a broom handle, space heater and electric skillet, she refined the technique which would dominate her work for the rest of her life. Though her creative process would generally start from a place of pure color and abstraction, images and symbols would often break through into the artwork.  A popular local artist in the 1960s and 1970s, Gunn lent her talent to a variety of projects but it was LeMoyne that held her attention. In 1997 she wrote, “I was one of the artists who signed LeMoyne’s charter, but had I not been an artist I would support LeMoyne as a citizen.” Her artworks on display are all from LeMoyne’s permanent collection and represent a body of work that spans more than 30 years from 1950 through the late 1980s.

A public opening reception is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 10, 2014 from 6:00pm-7:30pm at the City Hall Gallery. There is no charge for the reception or the exhibition.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec202013

Quark De-install

Words cannot express how grateful COCA is to artist, John Henry and his entire team. Because of his generosity, Tallahassee was Quark's home for the last five years. From Dec. 16 through Dec. 17, John Henry and his crew (Isaac, Val, Jeremy and Steve) worked to bring her down safely and prepare her to be transported to her new, permanent home at the Orlando Museum of Art. May she continue to awe and inspire!  

 

To see more images of the Quark de-install, please click below.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec172013

COCA Profile: Diane Sams "Jewelry and gems speak to artist Diane Sams"

 

Jewelry and gems speak to artist Diane Sams

By S. D. Green


Special to the Democrat


Artist Diane Sams has a special pas­sion for creating handcrafted sculpture and one-of-a-kind jewelry.

She studied art at the Cocoran Gallery in Washington, D.C., but there were no jewelry making classes at the time, and she learned how to craft unique pieces using silver, gold and later pewter through a combination of trial and error and intuition.

“I must have done it in another life because it just came too easy,” Sams said.


Read the rest of the article

Thursday
Dec122013

Annual Winter Festival Youth Art Exhibit Reception and Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to all the student artists who are a part of the exhibition this year and to those who were selected as award winners!

2013 Winter Festival Award Winners

Middle School
1st Place- Alissa Carroll, Florida State University School

2nd Place- Sean Macalacad, Cobb Middle School

3rd Place- Tyler Woods, Gretchen Everhart School

Honorable Mention-
Alexis Bolte, Montford Middle School
Kathryn Goodman, Cobb Middle School
Becca Kim, Deerlake Middle School 

High School
1st Place- Phil Linden, Leon High School

2nd Place- Carina Krehl, Florida State University School

3rd Place- Shelby McCrackin, Florida State University School

Honorable Mention-

Dillon Berry, Gretchen Everhart School
Jennifer Gibson, Florida State University School
Seana Heiman, Chiles High School

Mayor’s Award, Best in Show- Hunter Hanstein, Florida State University School

Click below to see exhibition reception and awards ceremony photographs

Click to read more ...