September 19, 2009

Joe Goodwin at Ferrin

Megan Moore and Joe Goodwin in front of one of his paintings, Kilauea, at the Ferrin Gallery on Third Thursday.

If you want to see the work of a pro, drop in on today's opening reception for Joe Goodwin's A Recent Epoch at the Ferrin Gallery at 437 North Street, Pittsfield.

He is an epic, full-time painter whose work I've admired since I first saw it a few years ago. He paints in a large studio on the third floor of his Pittsfield home, a studio shaped by the lines of the roof.

I'm not an art critic. So instead of talking about his stunning show of paintings and monotypes at Ferrin, I'll show you a few of the works hanging there.

This painting is Spectral Emission, 21"x29", acrylic, 2009.

And this is Untitled, 36 X 42, acrylic, 2009.

Sold prior to the opening was, Storm Cradle (diptych), 20×16x2, acrylic, 2000-2009

A native of Oklahoma, Joe got his bachelor of fine arts at Oklahoma State University and his masters of fine arts at the University of Illinois. He has had solo shows in New York; Sante Fe; Aspen; four German cities, Wiesbaden, Baden Baden, Frankfurt and Budingen; Tokyo; Lakeville; Chatham; Kent; Salisbury; Lenox, and Williamstown. His work is in the collections of seven museums.

If you don't get a chance to see Joe tonight, he's giving a talk at the gallery on Sept 30 at 7.

I took the pictures in this post. They may not conform exactly to the colors in the works. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

September 17, 2009

Third Thursday

This little girl is figuring out that there's something fishy about this guy's legs. Michael Wolski was sailing up and down North Street last night as part of Third Thursday in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

This painting of President Barak Obama is the work of Brian Sweener, whose one-man show opened last night at the Berkshire Community College Gallery downtown.

The Berkshire Bateria was just one of the bands entertaining the people.
These guys were having some down home fun at the Transit Center on Columbus Avenue.

This sweet green car was one of the hot rods lined up along North Street.

And this mobile art gallery was the coolest rod I saw.

Photos by Grier Horner. To enlarge photos click on them.

Alice's therapist cried

"Alice hated the taste of booze but loved being drunk."

Hi Grier,
Your August 25 blog brought back memories of the summer of
'92. Mike took me to Saratoga 2x and it was fun to dress up and wear a big hat at the race track.

He had good friends whom we stayed with who had a bar just across from the entrance to the race track. I think it
was called "King's Bar".

We met some interesting characters at the
bar. Some of them became Mike's friends for life and they used to visit us on the Cape.

All were pretty hard boozers and many have since died.

Alice was notorious for the huge quantity she could put away.

She used to come visit me because Mike didn't like her around due to her 300 lbs of flesh. The bar owner is dead now but I'm still in touch with his wife Patty.

I wonder if the bar you went to was the same one? Next time you go ask if it was Dick Bendon's bar? He was certainly a character; addicted to his own adrenalin. He drove poor Patty crazy.

On my 2nd trip there, I skipped the races and spent 5 hours walking up and down the main drag with the big beautiful hotels. Saratoga must have been quite the destination at one time.

I've always wanted to go back to Saratoga someday. I know I would be welcome at Patty's.

Getting back to Alice. She had a dear male friend Joe whom she met at King's bar. His wife wasn't interested in horses. So Alice and Joe traveled every year to The Kentucky Derby. He could drink Alice under the table.

Alice died a few years ago at 62 of a massive coronary, just a few weeks before her scheduled stomach bypass surgery. At 55, after she had had a heart attack, she decided to give up boozing and cigarettes. Then she became addicted to food.

She told me she hated the taste of booze but loved being drunk! She became very depressed when she couldn't get high anymore. She spent 6 months talking to a therapist. Alice was from a large Irish family and she was funny as hell.

At her last therapy session, her therapist broke down and cried; said he would miss seeing her every week. Everyone loved Alice. I certainly miss her calls and her visits.

P.S. I forgot to mention that Alice had a heart of gold and always put her friends' needs ahead of her own.

This email was from Carol Haeberli, my wife's sister and a good friend. None of the people in my Saratoga photographs are those mentioned in this post. Click on the photos to enlarge them.

September 15, 2009

Out of the loop

I'm watching Jay Leno's grand opening on NBC last night and as usual he's cracking me up.

A while into the show, he brings on Kayne West, the rapper, who he congratulated for not backing out of the appearance after what happened Sunday night.

West sits in a blue chair next to Jay and he's contrite. It looks like he's going to cry when Jay asks him what his mother would have thought of his behavior.

So there I am feeling out of it because I have no idea what West did, an act I realize everyone must know about because Leno doesn't even explain what West is apologizing about.

I go to Google and find that during the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall something wild happened.

Taylor Swift, the young country singer, was just starting her acceptance speech for her surprise win for Best Female Video.

West bounded onto the stage and took the mic away from her.

"Taylor, I'm really happy for you and I'm gonna let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time," West said.

After his outburst Swift stood there looking lost. The crowd applauded Swift. (To see the thing on video click this MTV link.) She didn't get to finish her speech.

"Poor Taylor," writes Elizabeth Snead in the Los Angeles Times website. "First Joe Jonas dumps her by phone. Now Kanye West spoils her VMA memory!"

Poor Grier, I say. He knew nothing about the mic-grabbing incident. He didn't even know Joe Jonas dumped Taylor, by phone no less. He didn't even know who Joe Jonas was. In fact he wasn't really sure who West was.

To his everlasting credit he had heard of Taylor Swift and liked Beyonce, who was sensational as she sang "At Last" at President Obama's inaugural ball. This is a photo of that.

And I did see Serena Williams tell the foot-fault-calling line judge she'd like to stick "this [expletive] ball down your [expletive] throat."

That drew a one-point penalty that sealed the victory Kim Clijsters was about to win on her own.

Of course none of these outbursts came close to the level of offensiveness obtained by Representative Joe Wilson, a South Carolina Republican, when he shouted "you lie" during the President's health-care speach to Congress last week.

Getting back to Sunday at the MTV awards, Beyonce came to the rescue. It turns out she won the Big Kahuna Video of the Year, which is a bigger deal than Swift's award. Beyonce turned her time over to Swift. (See the picture below.) Pretty nice of her. And now you're up to date on the latest news in case you're as out of it as I am.