Tag Archives: The Art of the Steal

The fine art of vinyl

I was listening the other day to a Bruce Spingsteen concert recorded in Paris on May 26, 1979 — the year I turned 19.

Springsteen was sharing with the audience a bit about his upbringing, reflecting on the relative dearth of arts and culture in his young life.

But he recalled coming downstairs on school days dressed in the green Catholic school uniform he describes as “oppressive” to hear the sound of rock ‘n’ roll.

Seems his mother was fond of spinning the vinyl. Springsteen says the records disparaged by others were his only source of arts and culture — his lone introduction to life outside his small New Jersey neighborhood.

The records opened his eyes to other people and places, inspiring Springsteen to consider for the first time the vast expanse of possibilites for his own life. From vinyl, it seems, his dreams were born.

As I listened to Springsteen’s narrative, I was reminded of one of my favorite haunts in Tempe — an “indie” store called “Hoodlums Music & Movies.” Their love and respect for vinyl is really quite something.

There's still time to submit artwork for an album art show in Tempe

Hoodlums periodically exhibits artwork from Spraygraphic — which is currently calling for vinyl art submissions as they ready for their next Hoodlums gig — titled the “Fill in the Groove Art Show.”

I lingered over the last exhibit with my 19-year-old daughter Jennifer, and recall that my favorite piece (by a Tempe artist whose name I didn’t hang on to) featured small tiles that looked like irridescent red glass.

Knowing their gifts for poetry and other types of toying with words and images, I hope my daughters will consider submitting at least one entry this year — assuming the vinyl “canvas” doesn’t come from my own cherished collection.

My son Christopher, now 21, thinks it’s cool that he sees album covers on his iPod screen as he’s scrolling through song selections. I remind him that most of the original covers line the shelves in our living room, but somehow that seems less impressive in the 21st century.

A vinyl record, whether pristine or painted, is a thing of beauty. Check out the Spraygraphic art exhibit when it hits Hoodlums on Feb 26.

Take along some children or teens. Sometimes kids who disparage art develop a hidden passion or talent once exposed to art that feels relevant and accessible.

Catch this film at "Community Movie Night" in February

Remember too that the crews at Hoodlums and the neighboring “Local First Arizona” bookstore called Changing Hands come together each month to present a free movie with post-film discussion.

Next month’s “Community Movie Night,” scheduled for 6pm on Fri, Feb 25, features a Don Argott documentary titled “The Art of the Steal” with guest speaker Timothy Rodgers, director of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art.

“The Art of the Steal” examines the art collection of a Philadelphia doctor and medical researcher whose founding of a pharmaceutical firm made him a millionaire.

Albert C. Barnes’ art collection — featuring original paintings by Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Cezanne and others — was scattered, against his will, after his death. The film explores how and why it happened.

I think I’m especially drawn to Springsteen’s vinyl memories because they remind me of all those bloggers working their craft out there in the world of more traditional journalism.

Words and music matter. But there are a million ways to explore and enjoy them. Who’s to say that any one is truly better than another?

Long live vinyl, and the hoodlums who spin them.

– Lynn

Note: Click here to explore other “Local First Arizona” organizations and here to learn about the “Fill in the Groove Album Art Show.” And thanks to my hubby James for sharing this link to an article about the impact of a 1964 album on the life of one little girl with her own rock ‘n’ roll heroes.

Coming up: Spam meets musical theater?, Art tackles name calling, Children’s theater from jungle to farm, Lynn’s library: Latest finds, Equity 101 for beginners, The fine art of civil discourse

Art for lunch?

There’s plenty of news about Arizona nightlife. But what of daytime arts offerings? Several Valley venues offer morning or afternoon performance art.

The ASU Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale offers several daytime options.

“Coffee at Kerr” is an informal series of free performances and discussions with guest artists. Patrons are encouraged to bring a can of food or sealed personal item for the Vista Del Camino Food Bank. The next performance (Jan 5, 2011) features an “Introduction to Turandot” presented by Arizona Opera.

ASU Kerr co-presents “Tuesday Morning Music Concerts” with the ASU School of Music. The free concerts feature performances and commentary by  ASU faculty and graduate students. The ASU Student Jazz Combo performs Dec 7.

“Monday Morning Musicale” performances at ASU Kerr feature intimate chamber music — and are also free of charge. The next event takes place Dec 6.

The Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix has a “Lunch Time Theatre” program that showcases the work of young, emerging theater companies.

Each one-act play lasts 30-45 minutes — and patrons are free to bring their own lunch or pre-order a box lunch through the Herberger’s caterer.

In most cases, shows open their run with a Monday night preview with tickets at a reduced price (or free for actors who bring resume and headshot).

The next show, a seasonal cabaret titled “A Dreamers Holiday,” is sold out — so don’t delay if you’d like to see the first 2011 offering. It’s a one woman play about the first African American female correspondent to receive White House credentials.

Mesa Arts Center presents an “Out to Lunch Concert Series” and invites patrons to bring their own lunches to enjoy during these outdoor performances.

December concerts include jazz/pop by Kirsten (Dec 9) and jazz by Nuance Jazz Trio (Dec 16).

Phoenix Art Museum hosts film and musical performances, which are free or included with museum admission (depending on the event).

December films include an art world documentary titled “The Art of the Steal” and an Italian comedy titled “Swept Away” (in Italian, with English subtitles).

The Phoenix Art Museum presents the film “Waste Land” (English and Portugese with English subtitles) on Jan 16, and a “Music Inspiring Vision” performance on Jan 29 (featuring the photography of Brett Weston and the music of Bach).

These performances are typically free or very affordable, and feature artists you might not otherwise get to enjoy.

Consider daytime art offerings next time you’re meeting a friend for lunch, looking for something unique to enjoy with co-workers, needing a little time away from children during the day or just looking for ways to support some of our newer or smaller arts organizations.

– Lynn

Note: Please confirm all event details before attending — including date, time, location, ticketing policy, pricing, parking and such.

Coming up: Symphony in the schools; Christmas, cacti and candles