This Week’s Various

Thornton Dial

Thornton Dial and Bill Arnett in The New Yorker:

“This art wasn’t created to entertain people or to sell to rich people,” Arnett went on. “It was created to commemorate the culture itself, so that it could last, so that grand- mama could tell grandson, ‘This is what we’re about, child.’ ” He looked pained. “Art in America has been removed from all that. It isn’t relevant to anybody walking down the street. It’s relevant to a handful of wealthy people who don’t even collect it — they accumulate it.” He added, “I’m trying to create some documents to leave behind, so that when the system changes, just a little bit, somebody will say, ‘Wow, you mean we had this going on in America in the twentieth century?’ That’s all.”

York, Alabama
York, Alabama is a special place. From the Tuscaloosa News:

“It’s like a transformer,” said Nathan Purath, co-director of the Coleman Center for the Arts in York. “It looks like a house when it’s in its dormant stage, and then it unfolds into stadium seating for 100 people that can be used to do all kinds of things.”

Conceptual artist Matthew Mazzotta created the “Open House” as part of the artist-in-residence program through the CCA. The stadium seating faces a raised earth stage that has played host to concerts and movies since the opening on June 15.

Across the street from the town’s main grocery store, the property was the location of a decaying pink house before “Open House” was built.

“Basically, I’m using the concept of transformation,” Mazzotta said. “I wanted to show how something that doesn’t look like it’s going to be much could be something if you have the right kind of attitude towards it, if people are willing to put the energy to it. … I guess it’s the ugly duckling turned into the swan. Here we have the abandoned house turned into another house, then this house has this secret of being able to transform into a theater.”

A red velvet Jaws cake in honor of Shark Week.

I live in a world in which real icing is always prettier than fondant.

The mint julep ceremony is here.

This is what ‘a Texas smokehouse’ in Japan looks like.  And this is what a Carolina (N or S?) barbecue food truck looks like, from Tokyo.

Broussard’s is getting a $1MM renovation.

McClure’s Barbecue opens Uptown (among their sauces, Alabama white), from Gambit:
During its pop-up run, McClure’s served barbecue and side dishes family style in more-or-less unlimited portions. The restaurant will recreate that service style on Tuesday nights, with a pay-one-price deal (the amount still to be determined).
“We’ll push all the tables together and throw food at people until they cry mercy,” McClure says.

From the NYPost (this is the part where we pause judgment, and consider all the machinations that make this possible):
What is “the cheapest, most nutritious and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history” Hint: It has 390 calories. It contains 23g, or half a daily serving, of protein, plus 7% of daily fiber, 20% of daily calcium and so on.
Also, you can get it in 14,000 locations in the US and it usually costs $1.

Is this a let’s-see-if-this-sticks idea?

 Bone Lick Barbecue in Atlanta now has a ‘redneck charcuterie’ plate which consists of homemade Velveeta cheese, homemade coca-cola jelly, pimento cheese + jerkies…’.  Didn’t realize anyone had ever consumed unheated Velveeta before.

And Popeye’s is now serving ‘chicken waffle tenders‘ with ‘chicken and waffles in every bite!‘. NPR gently put forth chicken and waffles, a dish/combination restaurants in NYC claim, as an example of Southern food earlier this year in a piece about a different subject overall (that really could/should be addressed because what people call our food and what our food really and traditionally is/are = two different things but nonetheless…) and their follow-up that Southerners had their hackles raised about the dish being called ‘Southern’ because of ‘talking about somebody’s mama‘ was flippant and weak.

The Nashville Parthenon‘s exhibit, ‘Paul Lancaster: A World of His Own’ is open.  N’ville Scene just reviewed:
The first time Paul Lancaster went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, he stopped in front of a painting by the 19th century Post-Impressionist master Henri Rousseau and remarked, “This fellow paints kind of like I do.”

…But unlike Rousseau, Lancaster never received formal training. The 94-year-old artist taught himself to paint as a child in the 1930s and ’40s, and he continues to work from his studio just outside Nashville — several of the paintings in A World of His Own, the current exhibition of his work at The Parthenon, were created within the past 10 years. 

…If only every artist was playful enough to have a collection of such childlike elements in their oeuvre, Lancaster might not be seen as “naive,” but instead as trailblazing.

Also must-see in Nashville — the Bruce Munro LIGHTS exhibit at Cheekwood each Tuesday evening in September and some October dates.

Camellia Grill, New Orleans
(above, a pic I took post-K in which people had stuck little love notes, asking Camellia Grill to reopen, on its front)

The Historic District Landmarks Commission will study the S Carrollton Camellia Grill for historic designation, and this further stirs the pot for the ongoing litigation between the previous and current operators.

My beautiful friend Amy was featured in the news.  She truly is ‘The Egg Queen’.  Ah, this article needs a slideshow of two thousand of her beautifully decorated eggs (not just Easter eggs!).  She is amazing.  Proud of you, Amy!  Mwah!

From The Verge:
Much of the world’s great artwork is tightly controlled, but the Getty Museum just announced a significant initiative to open things up — its new Open Content Program has made some 4,600 pieces of art from the museum’s collection free to use. Users can visit the Getty Search Gateway to browse through the entire collection of high-resolution images, and they can all be used for commercial and non-commercial purposes so long as they’re properly attributed to the museum.

Faulkner House Books

A judge has dismissed the suit brought by Faulkner heirs against Sony for the version of “the past is never dead” quote used in ‘Midnight in Paris’.

Emery Blagdon and his Healing Machine on Nebraska PBS:

If you’re in NYC and want to see the Bill Traylor exhibits at the American Folk Art Museum, the shows close September 22.

Padma’s Picks just started on — 10 New Orleans chefs compete (this is showing online only) to be the one representing the city in the latest Top Chef, which begins airing October 2.  I think I got to see some of the season being filmed earlier this year, and I’ll post those pics later.

The Marion Greenwood social realism mural at the University of Tennessee has been removed and is being restored in Oak Park, IL for display next summer, although where the mural will be displayed next is in question.  It has been mostly hidden by the university for decades due to — as the slideshow puts it — a ‘controversial face’ (can be seen at 1:13):

One of the best things on Retronaut last month.

Feast the eyes on the wonderfulness that is the work of Charles Dellschau, art undiscovered until decades beyond his passing in the early 1920s.  His notebooks were found in a junk shop.

The Memphis Flyer visits John Jerit’s (he owns the worlds largest 3D paper glasses corp) folk art collection, which includes several Dargers and Ramirez, and he has just a terrific Elvis piece, shown in the feature.

Truckhenge near Topeka makes the AP.

16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham AL

The American Association for State and Local History is having its next conference in Birmingham, next month: “Turning Points: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Change“.

The Rise of Self-Taught Art in The Atlantic.
In the U.S., outsider art had a different trajectory. Ground zero wasn’t the psychiatric wards, but rather the South. One of the first American self-taught artists to reach star status was William Edmondson (1874–1951), the son of former slaves, who, after losing his job as a hospital orderly in Nashville, had a vision that set him on his course: “I was out in the driveway with some old pieces of stone when I heard a voice telling me to pick up my tools and start to work on a tombstone,” he recalled. “I looked up in the sky and right there in the noon daylight He hung a tombstone out for me to make.”

NPR’s Weekend Edition speaks with Bill Ferris on his new ‘The Storied South: Voices of Writers and Authors‘ which includes interviews with Eudora Welty, Robert Penn Warren, Bill Dunlap, and more.

The National Museum of African American Art is being built in Nashville and should open early 2015.

The NYT on ‘For Art Dealers, A New Life on the Fair Circuit‘ and how air conditioning develops the appreciation of art, in Escaping the Heat in Art’s Fortress.

Gold stars for everyone who embraces vulnerability.  Sweet Antoinette Tuff, a school clerk, shared her own story with a would-be shooter and saved an elementary school in Georgia this week. Via NPR.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s list of 22 required-reading books.

When the time comes that the boys get ready to start playing baseball, we’ll take them up to Louisville and go to the Slugger factory (we believe in Nokoma ball gloves too — American made for an American game).  The recent WSJ slideshow in ‘My Old Kentucky Home‘ is making me ready to go now.  And The 21C needs to be my address there (and I didn’t realize they have a 21C now in Bentonville — perfect for that Crystal Bridges visit).

And: the Crystal Bridges logo looks like three yarmulkes.  Just can’t hold that observation in any longer.

Rickwood Field, Birmingham AL
The Museum of Alabama reopens this weekend, and the big Alabama Voices exhibit is expected to open later this year.  There’s now a traveling trunk for schools teaching Faulkner, available later this month from the University Museum at Ole Miss.  Birmingham is going to build a museum to honor Negro League baseball.  The Georgia Museum of Art at UGA will exhibit ‘The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South’ October 5 – January 5.  A Georgia History museum is being considered.  The Knoxville Museum of Art closes Monday for renovations but will be open in November. ‘Walter Inglis Anderson: Everything I See Is New And Strange’ is open at the LSU Museum of Art, through October 13.  And there really is a Guy Hunt Museum.

The oldest resident of New York, 113-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones, was born in Lowndes County, Alabama.

Publisher’s Weekly reports that the new Southern Literary Journal, China Grove, lands August 28 with an unpublished Mark Twain Letter, and that the journal will be published twice in 2014 with each issue featuring an ‘interview with a renowned Mississippi author’.

Jamie Gass, the director of the Center for School Reform at Pioneer Institute in Boston writes that ‘Common Core Robs Kids of South’s Literary Giants‘.

Pecan Party Biscuits
Like so many other festivals, the newish Athens, Alabama Grease Festival will be crowning a queen.  But perhaps sensing that not too many of us would want to go around as ‘grease queen’ they’re going to be doing it this way:
Hollman said Athena of Greece was known as a wise goddess who loved and protected the City of Athens, could be a warrior, had a creative side and had interest in the arts, crafts and agriculture. Organizers are looking for the Alabama version, a Limestone County woman who is involved in the community, such as volunteering within the city through non-profit organizations, serving on city boards, supporting environmental projects, working with youth or supporting the arts.

“Since this festival is about honoring how Southern mothers and grandmothers made cooking an art form, Athena, Grease Goddess should be a good cook, and since this festival is about honoring how our Southern mothers and grandmothers made cooking an art form, our Athena, Grease Goddess should be a good cook,” said festival chair Betsy Hyman.

Hazlenut in New Orleans has a new Clementine Hunter line of ceramic serving platters and bowls.  Hazlenut is where I bought my New Orleans toile for the bookcase backs.

Lonnie Holley’s album, ‘Keeping A Record Of It’ will be released September 3.

Sal & Mookie's, Jackson MS
Above: half ‘Meat Packing District’ and half ‘South Street Seaport’: old bay bechamel, provolone, mozzarella, crabmeat, shrimp, and crawfish tails pizza from Sal and Mookie’s in Jackson, which was a terrific pizza.

And: I was one of the hostesses for a baby shower earlier this month — the theme for the nursery is owls, so I made this owl out of egg salad (egg, olive eyes, carrot ears and nose, lettuce for wings, cucumber slices for tummy feathers, later on I added pretzel sticks for the nest):
Baby Shower Egg Salad Owl I Made

…and I made this roasted salmon nicoise platter (went with asparagus rather than haricot verts), verrry inspired by this recipe:
Baby Shower Food: Nicoise Salmon Platter I Made

If you’ve known me for a while, I set my friend Jeff (best friend from 6th grade on) and my friend Leslie (best friend since 1998) up on a date about three-four years ago, they got married, and they’re now expecting a little girl!!   Aunt Ginger = super happy.

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