Arts and Entertainment

Law’s exhibit celebrates nature & the flowering of community

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Painting wasn’t enough for Rebecca Louise Law when she was an art student. As much as she loved the richness of painting, she longed for something more immersive. She tried installations, including some horrendous efforts involving food. Law found what she was looking for in her father’s garden – dahlias. Fifteen years after that first flower-based installation, “Dahlias,” the English artist has created an installation that she said most fully realizes her vision. Law’s “Community” opened Saturday in the Toledo Museum of Art’s Canaday Gallery. The site specific work was created over the past several weeks by Law, her four-member team, and more than 400 local volunteers. It uses 520,000 dried flowers. Of those 10,000 were harvested locally, including some from the museum’s grounds. The rest are the flowers used in her previous 51 installations. She saves everything. After an installation’s run, everything is boxed up for future use, even the dust that the flowers eventually become. These are encased in glass. She will return to Toledo in September for a residency at the Glass Pavilion working with that dust. On Saturday, Law discussed the evolution of her work with the museum’s Director of Curatorial Affairs Halona Norton-Westbrook who curated “Community.” Growing up in the countryside near Cambridge, England, she spent her time in the fields and fens. If it wasn’t raining her mother sent her and her siblings out to play. If they were inside often it was among the dried flowers in the attic. Law went on to study painting. “I felt incredibly frustrated. I wanted to work outside the canvas. I couldn’t figure out how to paint in the air.” Then she had her epiphany. Law started to “paint” with flowers. That led her to discover and study a whole new world of botany. “Personally I’m blown away by nature,” Law said. “That’s my ultimate inspiration. The more I know, the less I know.” The flowers are draped across the Canaday’s ceiling and hang down to the floor. From the entry the effect is a shimmering tableau. Then the viewer walks into the scene to be among the blossoms. During a press preview on Friday Law explained that she stands back while others arrange the flowers at her direction. The arrangement is guided by mathematics and aesthetics. Saturday Law said of the effect she seeks: “I suppose it’s spiritual, the presence…

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Black Swamp Players get OCTA regional honors for ‘On Golden Pond’

From BLACK SWAMP PLAYERS Several members of the Black Swamp Players were recognized on Sunday at the Northwest Regional Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA) Festival. Those who participated in the competition performed an excerpt from the organization’s spring production of Ernest Thompson’s 1979 play “On Golden Pond.” Actors Stephanie Truman and Gavin Miller received Merit in Acting awards, while Bob Welly, Fran Martone, and Tom Edge received Excellence in Acting awards. The cast as a whole was honored with a Merit in Ensemble award and Director Wayne G. Weber received a merit award for directing. The 2018 OCTA Regional Festival was held on June 9-10 at the Owens Community College Performing Arts Center. Black Swamp Players was one of over twenty area community theatre groups that participated. Founded in 1953, The Ohio Community Theatre Association has, for over 60 years, provided support to community theatres through workshops, the annual regional OCTAFests showcasing community theatre productions, and its three-day annual conference each Labor Day Weekend. Black Swamp Players is nonprofit corporation that exists to provide opportunities for area residents to experience quality, amateur, live theatre in all its many aspects. Founded in 1968, Black Swamp Players has been providing community theatre to the Bowling Green and surrounding areas for the past fifty years. Those interested in volunteering for the organization should send an e-mail query to president@blackswampplayers.org.


Art in the Park shines even under cloudy skies

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Rain couldn’t dampen the spirit of the fourth Art in the Park Friday at Simpson Garden Park. It did deter some, but not all, plein air artists. But others came out in force to entertain the attendees, who grew in number as the two-hour event progressed. The rain that arrived mid-afternoon was receding just as folks arrived. So a trio of musicians were heading out to the gazebo. Alice Calderonello, of the BG Arts Council which staged the event with the city Parks and Recreation Department, said the performers took the changes necessitated by the weather in good spirits, even if it meant they were playing in odd corners, and for a shorter period of time. Still by the time the event was wrapping up, musicians had ventured outdoors, and some visitors had wandered off into the garden to admire the garden’s blooms, which are delayed a bit by the cool, wet spring. Phil Hollenbaugh, the volunteer who tends the extensive hosta garden, was on hand checking the plants. Mayor Dick Edwards said that Bowling Green is second only to Dubuque, Iowa, in the number of hosta varieties in its municipal garden. Hollenbaugh said he has 50 more varieties to plant. But he laughed off any competition between the two cities. He’s always happy when people come into the garden to enjoy the plants. Painter Kim Sockman, one of the three artists to arrive to paint outside in the garden, was as close to the outside as she could be while still being inside. The retired art teacher was near the doorway to the Children’s Discovery Garden. With an eye on the weather Thursday, she came out and snapped a photo of the wooden arch in the area. She worked from that image as well as glancing out at the scene. It was good she got a head start on her work because so many people, including her former art students, stopped to chat she wasn’t get a lot of work done. “This is Bowling Green,” she said. “It’s a blast.” That sense of community also attracted newer arrivals to town. Rachel and Phil Beskid were there with their daughters Sylvia and Lucy, who were busy working on a craft project. The family moved to BG about a year ago, and Art in the Park was a way to connect with the community and…


Elder Mountain man Corky Laing at a new stage in long career

Last December 23 music fans at Howard’s Club H helped Corky Laing celebrate his 70th birthday. What they were also witnessing, the veteran rock drummer said, was something more. “Basically I was born again.’ Magic happened on that stage. Laing was playing the music made famous by his former band Mountain. He was playing with a couple new musical collaborators, Chris Shutters on guitar and flute, and Mark Mikel, a multi-instrumentalist playing bass, on a stage that evokes everything a rock club should be. Laing felt revitalized. Corky Laing Plays Mountain returns to Howard’s Club H in downtown Bowling Green tonight (Saturday, June 9) at 9 p.m. The show comes as Laing is pulling together touring for 2018 through 2019 for the trio, which he said doesn’t really have a name yet. Corky Laing Plays Mountain is a place holder moniker. The trio has also kicked around the idea of calling itself Pompeii. That name is pulled from a little known release that Laing and singer Ian Hunter from Mott the Hoople recorded back in 1976-1978 with a rotating all-star cast. The recording was little known, subtitled “The Secret Sessions,” but when it was released on vinyl by Rouge Records it sold out both pressings. Even though harking back to the old days, Laing wanted it to reflect the present. So the vinyl included a computer card that allowed the purchaser to download four songs by Laing’s Toledo band, including the original “Knock Me Over.”. The trio started when Corky Laing needed a guitar player for a tour. Fellow drummer Kofi Baker recommended Shutters. Laing who has played with “the best of the best” – Eric Clapton and Dickey Betts appear on “Pompeii” – heard a “first division” musician in Shutters. Last year Shutters invited Laing to come visit him in Toledo, and Laing loved what he discovered – a vibrant music scene that had clubs rocking with music. Laing felt he needed a new bass player, so Shutters introduced him to the multitalented Mikel, formerly of the Pillbugs. The drummer was “blown away” by Mikel’s playing. Laing had his trio, and they made their debut in December at Howard’s. But that’s not all that’s occupying the veteran. He’s working with his manager Toija Takala on a memoir, He already has one book out, “Stick It” that chronicles the raucous and raunchy back stage stories fans love. He referred to…


Community exhibit, Now OH 11, to celebrate local artistic talent

From BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONS Artists are invited to submit to Now OH 11, a community art exhibit hosted by Bowling Green State University Art Galleries, opening July 13. For the 11th consecutive year, BGSU Art Galleries will provide a professional setting to celebrate the talented artists of all skill levels from 12 counties in northwest Ohio. Artists who display their work at the exhibition are eligible to win up to $1,500 in cash prizes and gift certificates, including the Best of Show award, the Kiwanis Young Artist Award, Toledo Federation of Arts Society Award and a People’s Choice Award. This year’s show will be juried by Michelle Carlson, who will also deliver a gallery talk at 7 p.m. July 13. Carlson is the artist and youth services coordinator for the Toledo Arts Commission. She has taught at BGSU, the University of Toledo and Owens Community College, as well as private workshops for youth and adults throughout Toledo. Artists are eligible to submit if they are 16 years of age or older and are from the following counties: Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Sandusky, Seneca, Williams and Wood. There is an entry fee of $15 for artists ages 16-18 and $30 for artists ages 19 and older. All entrants are able to submit up to three entries. Online registration is open until June 15. For further information, please visit www.NowOHArtShow.org. Volunteers are also needed, and artists who volunteer will receive a registration discount. Volunteers will assist with the setup and takedown of the event, as well as be gallery hosts during the exhibition. Contact Jacqueline Nathan at galleries@bgsu.edu for more information about volunteering. The Now OH Exhibition is located at the BGSU Fine Arts Center and is free and open to the public. It runs July 13-28, and is open Thursday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Sponsors for this event include Bowling Green Kiwanis, Ben Franklin, the Village Idiot, and Drs. Phipps, Levin, and Hebeka.


Airing out the arts in Simpson Garden Park

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Art in the Park allows the arts to blossom right along with the flowers in Simpson Garden. For the fourth year, the festival of arts will take place at the garden, at the intersection of Conneaut and Wintergarden, Friday, June 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event packs in a lot of activity into a two-hour span. It features plein air art – artists working in the open air, as well as strolling musicians, theater, at every turn, and children’s activities in the Simpson Building. That’s where performances will happen if the rain comes. But Alice Calderonello, of the Bowling Green Arts Council, urged people not to give up on the weather. Last year the rain threatened all afternoon, but then the skies cleared just in time for art walk. “For some reason heaven smiles on us,” she said. This year, said her husband, John Calderonello, there are more performers than ever. They will be spread from the upper healing garden where strolling performers from the university’s doctorate in contemporary music will do their musical version of plein air art, improvising to suit the mood. Also, new to the event will by the vocal ensemble Inside Voices, also near the healing garden. Down the way in the peace garden the Kaze No Daichi Taiko drum ensemble will perform. In stages closer to the building singer Tom Gorman, the old time ensemble Root Cellar Band, Irish tunes by Toraigh an Sonas, and the Black Swamp Drum Circle will entertain. In the amphitheater, Horizon Youth Theater will stage a preview of its summer musical, “Dorothy in Wonderland,” at 5:15 and 6:30 and in between the Black Swamp Players will read a section of Scott Regan’s original play “Peanuts and Crackerjacks.” The play will be part of the Players’ 51st season. Spread throughout the garden will be artists at work, though not so intently that they won’t take a time to chat with guests. Last year eight artists took part, but organizers are always hoping for more. Jules Webster of Art Supply Depo is again sponsoring a $100 gift certificate to go to one artist voted the favorite by those attending. While artists can sign up on the day of the event, Alice Calderonello encouraged them to register in advance to make sure the council can get their names on the ballot and has contact information…


Area musical acts set the stage for Firefly Nights

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Michelle Elson won’t play favorites. When asked if she’s particularly excited about any of the action is booked for Firefly Nights, she says, “I’m truly stoked about everyone I could get into the lineup.” The lineups for the three summer street festivals on Main Street Bowling Green nave been announced. Firefly Nights runs 6-10 p.m. the third Friday of June, July and August with music, food, a farmers market, kids activities, and arts and craft vendors. Main Street will be closed from Court to Washington, with east-west traffic still able to cross at Four Corners. Stages will be set up on each end with performers alternating sets. Acts booked to perform in order of appearance. June 15 Boo Lee Crosser Sam Dell Chris & Shellby Amelia Airharts July 20 Vester Frey Dooley Wilson Ryan Roth & The Sideshow Minglewood Labor Camp August 17 A.S. Coomer Craig James Groove Canoe Freight Street Elson got involved when the organizers started asking around for support. She was enthusiastic about the idea and offered to help. She took on booking the music. That assignment was a natural. Elson operates Twin Owls Photography, specializing in photographing bands. She’s started branching out into promotion and booking. And she’s married to a musician. So she has a lot of connections on the scene. “Many of my friends are musicians in the 419,” Elson said. As soon as she started asking around for bands wanting to play Firefly Nights, she got an immediate response. “Everyone was very excited.” She said a lot of regional performers are interested in breaking into the Bowling Green scene. Elson wanted a variety of performers and leaned toward acts that performed at least some original material. “When someone does their own songs the art is coming from their soul,” she said. She’s passionate about music, and to see that same passion expressed by performers “is a great thing.” The June 15 lineup illustrates her pursuit of variety. It opens with Bowling Green singer-songwriter Boo Lee Crosser, who Elson described as “an up and coming musician.” He composes all his own material and has a distinctive delivery to match his original music. Next up will Sam Dell from Bryan. He will play a solo set. Elson described him as a “good old country singer” who will mix a few covers in with his original songs. The duo of…