Grounds for Thought

Ann Beck celebrates her paintings in first solo show

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Ann Beck often sees her art hanging from people’s ears. Her handcrafted earrings are a familiar fashion statement in Bowling Green, where she sells them at the Black Swamp Arts Festival and at the Christmas Boutique hosted by Grounds for Thought, and elsewhere. Less common is a chance for her to see her paintings hanging from walls. Beck and art lovers have that opportunity this month during an exhibit at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. The paintings are clearly by the same hand as the earrings with their bright colors and bold shapes, styled figures set in vivid landscapes. Though the paintings were created in the past three years, they represent a life in art that’s taken Beck, 49, from her native Colorado, to New Mexico, New Zealand and Bowling Green. The nature and myths of those places are all infused in the paintings. “I was one of those kids who always draws constantly,” Beck said of her start. In high school she had an inspiring art teacher. “I have a lot of success, and got a lot of awards.” But when she went to Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, she hesitated about making art a career. She wanted to keep her art close to her and wasn’t willing to “work for anyone.” She’s still not sure what she was thinking. “I was just young and dumb,” she conceded. “I took a ton of art classes, and just dropped out.” She traveled always continuing to draw. “An artist doesn’t give up.” Then she planned to return to study art…


Irish duo to give listeners a taste of what’s coming to Black Swamp Arts Festival

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Even though Irish piper Cillian Vallely has performed before audiences of thousands around the world, he’ll still find time after a gig to sit in at a local jam session, or seisiun. The camaraderie of those spontaneous music gatherings have become a huge part of the propagating Irish music. “You can go all over the world and go into an Irish bar and find people playing this music. There’s a common repertoire,” said Vallely, who grew up in Northern Ireland. “A lot people are not taking it up to be a performer or a top player, they take it up because they like the company.” As a member of Lunasa, called “the hottest Irish acoustic group on the planet” by the Irish Times, he’s now at the pinnacle of Irish music, but he still likes to sit in. Vallely, on pipes and low whistle, and Lunasa bandmate Kevin Crawford, flute and whistle, will play a free show Friday May 12 at 7 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. The concert, sponsored by local Irish group Toraigh an Sonas, is a preview for the full quintet’s performance at the Black Swamp Arts Festival on Sept. 8. There was a time, Vallely said, when the music was dying out in Northern Ireland. Then in the 1960s folk revival brought it back to public attention. His parents were catalysts in helping bring the music back. Though avocational musicians, they founded Armagh Pipers Club in 1966, taught and went on tour. A few years later Cillian was born. “I grew up in this…


Music rings out up & down BG’s Main Street

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Music brought people together in downtown Bowling Green Friday night. On South Main Street more than 100 people gathered at Grounds for Thought for “Singing for Our Lives: Empowering the People through Song” a protest song singalong led by three of the four members of the Grande Royale Ukulelists of the Black Swamp. A couple blocks north more than 100 people celebrated the ageless power of rock ‘n’ roll with The Welders, who for more than 30 years have been staging a spring break show at Howard’s Club H. Mary Jane Saunders, co-pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, opened “Singing for Our Lives” at Grounds by explaining her rationale for suggesting the event. Many are feeling stressed and uncomfortable in the current political climate, she said. That’s been expressed in several rallies, most held in the green space next to the Presbyterian Church.             The sing-along of classic songs was offered as an occasion “to have fun together” while not forgetting the cause that has united so many in the community. “Music has the power to empower and to energize us,” she said. Pop music historian Ken Bielen gave a brief introduction to protest music, much of it by simply quoting memorable lines. He recalled that it was gospel singer Mahalia Jackson who urged Martin Luther King Jr. to deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech. “When people get together in the right combination, history is made.” He then recalled Country Joe McDonald’s admonition to the throngs at Woodstock singing along to “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die…


MLK food drive needs help to reach all corners of BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News More volunteers are needed so the annual BG Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Food Drive reach out to more households throughout Bowling Green. The drive to collect non-perishable food and hygiene items will be held Saturday, Jan.14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 15, noon to 4 p.m. The drive is being coordinated by the Brown Bag Food Project working out of Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green. According to Amy Jo Holland, of Brown Bag, said last year about 100 volunteers were able to canvas about two-thirds of Bowling Green. About 70 boxes of food was collected and was distributed to six area food pantries. The aim this year is to have enough people to reach all neighborhoods. In a Facebook post the organizers wrote: “We have had a wonderful response in previous years and hope to set a record with this year’s endeavor. As many of you are aware, there is a dire need for food donations in our area; we have a large number of food insecure people, and the area food pantries are extremely low on supplies.” They are asking residents to have their donations ready, so that volunteers can reach as many Volunteers will also collect monetary donations. Checks should be made out to:  Brown Bag Food Project. Those donations will be divvied up among participating pantries. Volunteers will meet at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St. at the beginning of their chosen shift on either Saturday or Sunday. Shifts are two hours long. To sign up, go to: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc_P-u0wQX5gYCFWTPEs2pItvbEuwt06jOnEnp3MHXiON84iQ/viewform?c=0&w=1  


Musicians to sing for the climate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Activism and musical entertainment will come together in a Concert for the Climate Saturday starting at 7 p.m. at Grounds for Thought, 174 S. Main St., Bowling Green. The goal, said musician Dustin Galish, is “to try to register people to vote and generate a dialogue about environmental and green energy issues.”                   Grounds for Thought is a good venue for the event. It’s a place people come to discuss issues, he said. “Music has inherently always been anti-establishment and about stirring things up, doing that in a positive way,” he said. “There’s always a history of when the time is right of talking about the issues you care about. Music does bring people together. It’s a good bridge.” Galish’s own band Tree No Leaves will headline the event. It’s been awhile since he’s had a show at Grounds and as a field organizer for NextGen Climate, the timing seemed perfect.   NextGen is a national effort geared up to register voters and promote action to combat climate change. Galish said the group has been active registering voters every day since students arrived back on campus. NextGen Climate is helping with the show, and there’ll be tables set up for other environmental groups including those from campus. “There’s a good amount of environmental activism in the area.”   He called around to bands to see who was interested in playing. Sage Rozzel’s Beats by Sage will spin tunes, including originals at 7 p.m., as people gather and converse. Tim Concannon will open the concert at 8 p.m. The show will also feature singer-songwriter…