mark donham's blog

signs of spring!

I can't believe that I haven't published anything on this page since November. There have been a number of reasons for that, the harsh winter being one of them. But we are coming out of winter now. I try to keep track of some signs of spring that I find noteworthy.

Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, KY once again practices censorship but is called on it by local artists

This last weekend was the opening of the "Member's Show" of the Yeiser Art Center in Paducah, Kentucky. This annual event is held in and sponsored by the Yeiser Art Center, the city art organization in Paducah. It is open to all members (who are willing to cough up an entry fee). There is good participation from the membership as a matter of course.

Two music shows I've seen/heard lately. Two important musical females

In the last couple weeks I have seen two music shows of women who have been very influential in U.S. popular music. The shows were in many ways opposite, and in many ways similar. The artists were Cheryl Crow and Judy Collins.

Parties trying to set the stage for coming campaign ads

At this point in the government shutdown, it appears to me that both parties are trying to position themselves for the 2014 elections, with a particular focus on campaign ads - with a more particular focus on TV ads that they will be running.

Sunday News shows: Obamacare and the republicans

I watched the Sunday News shows Sunday. They were focused on the looming "government shutdown" which isn't really - more of a partial temporary layoff for some government workers. That is just indicative of how language is misused by interests to try and persuade. If we had accurate use of language, (which is what George Carlin was always harping about) we would probably have a lot more peace in the world. Unfortunately, language and words are too easy to misuse and twist around.

Sunday News Shows, 9.15.2013

I still watch the Sunday News shows that I have access to most every Sunday. Most of the time they are, overall, a yawn, and I quit feeling self-obligated to write about them every Sunday. But yesterday's discussions have inspired me to write a few comments. What I want to comment on is the difference in opinion between some of the politicians and pundits and Washington Post writer David Ignatius, a recognized middle eastern expert. In my opinion, it demonstrates how the republicans are trying to politicize through mischaracterization of every move of Obama's. Let me explain.

Travis Tritt show at the Carson Center

On August 23, 2013, Travis Tritt performed at the Carson Center in Paducah. Kristi and I ushered for the show. I didn't know what to think going into the show. I knew that I liked some of the top 40 country tunes that he had gotten some good airplay from in our area, but that had been years ago and there had been nothing from him lately. But while I liked some of his songs, they mostly have a commercial side, and thus, I wasn't sure if his show would be more hype than substance.

Thoughts on Syria

Like everyone, I have been watching with interest and anxiety over the Obama administration's threats of military attacks on Syria to "degrade" their capability to deliver chemical weapons. I, like most of my fellow citizens of the U.S., are having a hard time buying into the whole ordeal. It simply smacks of more overt militarism based on shabby evidence and a blind eye to the unavoidable unintended consequences that military action brings on. To that extent, it has been an unpleasant surprise, and a cold washrag in the face, that Obama is so fervently behind doing this.

Cheekwood visit

Last Sunday we visited Cheekwood, a Nashville, TN art museum located in an historical mansion in Belle Meade, an older, very wealthy neighborhood on the west side of Nashville. Cheekwood isn't the municipal art institution that the Frist center is, but it is born and sustained by wealth. And, wealth has enabled the facility to acquire, maintain, and exhibit a great visual art collection.

New Yorker article on Thorton Dial brings thoughts to mind

The New Yorker has a recent story about the man, a Mr. Arnett, who "discovered" Thorton Dial, an Alabama "folk" artist. Of course, it's a kind of ridiculous concept that our society has embraced that you can "discover" something that's been there all along. It's sort of an historical account of how Arnett, a white guy, came to look for "artists," black for the most part, that were creating really great pieces of artwork but were totally unknown to society through the mainstream media. You mean the mainstream media was missing something important?

We also attended the opening of the Southern Illinois Biennial at the Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, Illinois Saturday evening

After we attended Fancy Farm picnic last Saturday, we drove about 100 miles north to Mt. Vernon, Illinois. This is up in the neighborhood where I grew up. We went to see the opening of the Southern Illinois Biennial, a juried art show sponsored and exhibited by the Mitchell Art Museum, part of the Cedarhurst arts complex in Mt. Vernon.

Alison Lundergran Grimes speaks at Fancy Farm Picnic
Kristi and I attended Fancy Farm picnic Saturday. We don't go every year, but this year seemed particularly interesting, with Grimes and McConnell scheduled to speak for the last couple weeks, and then, just recently, the addition of Matt Bevins, the Tea Party republican making a primary challenge to McConnell, and Ed Marksberry, another democrat running against Grimes. Marksberry is pretty insignificant at this moment, though, compared to Bevins, especially after the political speaking at the picnic on Saturday.

Mitch McConnell vs. Alison Grimes for U.S. Senate - early on

By now most everyone knows that Alison Lundagren Grimes, Kentucky's Democratic secretary of state, has announced that she is challenging long time U.S. Senator and Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell in the fall, 2014 elections. Of course, Grimes is a long shot in many ways as McConnell has lots more money, lots more experience, and will do just about anything to stay in power.

Huey Lewis and the News and Exile play the Carson Center in the same week

Several weeks ago I was fortunate to usher at the Carson Center for two concerts. The first was Huey Lewis and the News. That was on June 11, 2013, if I recall. Then, the following Saturday, Exile, opened by the Bellamy Brothers, appeared in the same venue. I ushered for both shows.

Huey Lewis and the News

My History of the Paducah Wastelanders

Art groups are nothing new. Artists have been banding together for centuries for the purposes of exhibiting together, helping each other with techniques and inspiration, financial help, in response to political situations, and other reasons. These groups get together for a variety of reasons ranging from sharing similar theories or philosophies or techniques of art to geographic proximity.

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