Week Of 5.23 Various

(All the pics here are from my Flickr photostream. If you click on any of them, it will take you to that image’s page.)

Howard Finster's Paradise Gardens, Summerville GA
At Kennesaw State University in Georgia, their class ARH 4490 is ‘Howard Finster/Outsider Art’.  They also have a nice collection of art at their gallery.

Gee's Bend Quilt Murals, Boykin AL

The Alys-Stephens Center in B’ham as announced their upcoming season, and part of their “World on Stage” festival will be Common Threads “when quilt makers from Gee’s Bend in West Alabama meet mud cloth makers from Mali in west Africa” from November 7-11.  Plus, it’s free.  In conjunction, they add, “ArtPlay: Weave your own story with those of your neighbors with the ALABAMA STORIES COMMUNITY QUILT PROJECT. Send us a quilt square that represents something from your life and our local Quilterin-Residence will connect the pieces during this residency to bring all of our stories together into one amazing quilt. Plus, sign up for a quilting class at ArtPlay this fall!”

Last week I took a class about raising backyard chickens (we’re only interested in four or five tiny little quiet bantam hens for eggs, and feathered pets for the boys).  We are looking forward to one day building our own “coop deville” or “poulet chalet” one day — while looking at coops I found this model for $3500 (!!) which made me wonder why Ikea hasn’t issued their flatpacked design yet.

Anthony and Gail Uglesich will be cooking with Joel Miller, the Chef/Owner of Oxford’s Ravine restaurant to benefit the Oxford charity, More Than a Meal, on Thursday June 2nd.
Tickets are $75 pp available by contacting Ravine.

Blue Ribbon Inn Motel Sign, Shelbyville TN

Tuesday evening, 5/24, on PBS’ Independent Lens (if you love documentaries too, this program should be on your Tivo’s Season Pass), they’re airing “Welcome to Shelbyville” about an estimated 1000 Somali refugees making Shelbyville, TN (pop. 45k) their home in the past few years, and all the cultural, religious, etc issues that arise from that.  The Commercial Appeal in Memphis wrote in part:

Welcome to Shelbyville, whose bucolic hills and valleys are home to the Sharpie marker, the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration — and scores of Somali Muslim refugees who have resettled here, mostly to work at the Tyson Foods poultry processing plant.

Shelbyville isn’t the only Middle Tennessee community grappling with Islam.

In 2008, a mosque in Columbia was burned. Attempts to build new mosques in Brentwood and Antioch have been stopped. Opponents of a new mosque in Murfreesboro have staged protests against it and gone to court to try to stop it.

Last year, failed Republican congressional candidate Lou Ann Zelenik called the Murfreesboro mosque part of “a political movement designed to fracture the moral and political foundation of Middle Tennessee.”

Earlier this year, two Middle Tennessee legislators introduced a bill that would have made it a felony to follow Islamic teachings, including praying, fasting and almsgiving — all part of Shariah or sacred Islamic law.

Taylor, who is giving the new immigrants lessons in speaking English and being Southern, said much of the anxiety about the Somalis is the product of a culture gap.

“A lot of people here think the Somalis are being unfriendly or even rude,” Taylor said. “They don’t look at you or speak to you in the grocery store. They don’t shake hands or hug. But in Somalia, Muslim women are taught not to do those things as a sign of humility and respect. We like to hug, but they don’t even hug other women.”

“Our small community is changing each and every day and we can either resist it or embrace it,” he said.

“We can wall ourselves off, become defensive and rigid and hardhearted. We can exclude those not like us, who don’t look, sound, speak and worship like us. Or we can listen to the word of God and through our faith embrace the stranger and learn from them and them from us.”


Watch the full episode. See more Independent Lens.

Some people try to make art with duct tape.  And you can make your prom outfits with it too.

Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN

Last month, we took Melissa, one of Av’s friends from high school — she’s an artist that has gotten all kinds of recognition for her sci-fi art, but I have to admit that what I really-really like is her children’s art — out with the boys to lunch at Bailey and Cato’s, and to play at the Opryland Hotel.  We’ve stayed at the Opryland Hotel several times, but this was the first time for either of the boys to see what it was all about.  They loved. it.

Opryland Hotel, Nashville TN

How sweet that I was invited to the opening of the newest 20k house by the Rural Studio (I need to send them a thank you note) but the pictures of it are now on their website.  Nice!

In my family, we believe birthdays deserve a doberge — either picking it up in person in Metairie at Gambino’s, or having FedEx bring it to the front door.  There’s a newer company called Debbie Does Doberge which does mini doberge — so cute.  But they don’t ship yet.

*So* happy that someone sells those cupcake toppers that we all remember from childhood.  The pumpkins from fall, the garden gnomes, the green Coke bottles, the creepy clown heads, and I am ordering these today for our summer picnics: the ant toppers!!  Yay!

Leave a Reply