April 6, 2008

Downtown gallery visitors experienced all types of art, from multi media, to photography, to oil and water-color paintings during last weekend's Downtown Gallery Walk.

The nonprofit Thomas Gallery on College just north of Kirkwood, is a not-for profit gallery, where the artists put on their own shows and all proceeds go to the artists. Mary Connors and Kurt Larsen were the featured artists this weekend for Gallery Walk.

"Acrylic on canvas and water color on paper are Connors' favorite painting mediums," says Tom Gallagher, the owner of Thomas Gallery.

February 10, 2008

Murray McGibbon sits on a plush beige sofa, surrounded by native African Zulu masks that scream of far away places. The 2 p.m. sunlight streams in on the native South African and IU theater professor as he discusses The African Tempest Project.

The project, he says, "was a hands-on workshopping of Shakespeare's play within a South African context."

McGibbon's receipt of a Lilly Endowment New Frontiers grant enabled six students from IU and 14 from the University of KwaZulu-Natal to produce The African Tempest Project this past summer in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

And it all might happen again. If more funds are granted through the Lilly Endowment, IU will return the favor, housing several South African students while rehearsals for The Tempest are underway in Bloomington.

January 27, 2008

I became familiar with the name James Alexander Thom at age 12, when my mother handed me Follow the River, his novel about the true ordeal of Mary Ingles, the white woman who was kidnapped by Shawnee Indians in 1755 and then made her way home with the Ohio River as her guide.

The book resonated with my mother and me -- it was such a powerful testament and tribute to one woman's strength and courage -- and from our multiple readings, the paperback cover fell off at one point. I know my mother ended up buying a new copy later, but I still have that one worn copy on my shelf in my childhood bedroom at my parents' house.

January 13, 2008

If David Baas had lived his life according to what other people told him to do, or followed a typical societal timeline, his life would look very different. After all, a biology professor couldn’t keep 12 dusty guitar cases lining the perimeter of his new office. Nor would it be professional to keep a cherry-wood acoustic leaning against his desk for easy access.

His walls would be adorned with diagrams of the DNA double-helix structure and magnified images of the HIV virus rather than a vibrant watercolor portrait of Ringo Starr.

Baas’s office, in the back of Roadworthy Guitar & Amp, has a sort of systematic disorder to it. Loose papers threaten to consume the desk space, music magazines pile up in the corner, and thumbtacks hold countless stray notes to a cork board, far above eye level. If it were neat, Baas joked, he’d never find anything.

December 5, 2007

While most know that Monroe County is home to modern folk hero John Mellencamp, many aren't aware of the fact that the universal symbol of benevolence and charity himself, Santa Claus, is also an area homeowner.

The remote regions of the North Terrestrial Pole is where the globe's most recognizable jet-setting do-gooder spends most of his time, but the merry man in red escapes to his Bryan Park neighborhood getaway bungalow a few times a year.

Fresh on the heels of unseating Bill Gates as the world's top philanthropist as named by Business Week, and in town for a jug band extravaganza at Max's Place, Father Christmas recently sat down for an exclusive interview with The Bloomington Alternative.

October 24, 2007

At the IU Art Museum’s special exhibitions gallery, two unique exhibits share an emphasis on the artists’ techniques and experimentation with their crafts.

“Sculpture Transformed: The Work of Marjorie Schick” features 67 works of art from the internationally renowned contemporary craft artist Schick, who received her MFA with distinction in jewelry and metalsmithing in 1966 from IU.

“The Second Wave: Modern Japanese Prints from Bloomington Collections” features 40 modern Japanese woodblock prints, including prints from the museum’s collection and some borrowed from local collectors.

August 1, 2007

Chronicles of Rachel: Adventures of a Transwoman in the Heartland
WFHB 91.3 or 98.1 FM
Thursday, August 30
6 p.m.

The term transgender can be defined as a person appearing as, or wishing to be considered as, a member of the opposite sex. Sometimes the word transsexual is used - to describe a person whose sexual identification is with the opposite sex.

Tune in to WFHB, Indiana's first community radio station, on Thursday evenings for bloomingOUT, part of the Firehouse Forum. The hour-long show is the only media program in Indiana - and one of only a handful in the Midwest - that offers a clear perspective on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersexual queer and questioning (LGBTIQ) community and culture.

Once a month bloomingOUT features Rachel, a local transwoman, who shares vignettes from her daily life. When approached by producer Carol Fischer about being a part of the show, Rachel did not hesitate.

July 18, 2007

At first glance, Beth Lodge-Rigal's classes and workshops are a refuge for women writers or women seeking to be writers.

But in actuality, Women Writing for (a) Change is a venue for all women seeking clarity, consciousness and community. The tool just happens to be the written word.

WWf(a)C seeks to inspire women to "craft more conscious lives through the art of writing and the practices of community," according to its brochure.

July 18, 2007

Craig Brenner and Lori Wallace
House concert
Friday, July 20
6-8 p.m.

Keep live music alive! Craig Brenner is donating his keyboard talent for a concert benefiting District 5 City Council candidate Isabel Piedmont, plus feeding the need for great music in an intimate, friendly atmosphere.

Piedmont's platform includes sustainability, collaboration and addressing poverty. “Enhancing environmental sustainability, reducing poverty and nurturing the local economy are achievable if we think outside the box and work together,” she says on her Web site,

House concert, you ask? Definitions of this welcomed phenomena include a live performance before an assemblage of music enthusiasts in a private residence; a unique opportunity to experience a favorite performer, up close and personal, without musical amplification or other artificial barriers; a lively, economical alternative to those noisome, crowded, hard-to-get-to venues; and an interesting addition to the itinerary of a touring musician.

For details about this event, contact Lorraine Farrell, campaign chair, at . Requested donation is $10 for a perfect evening of food, music and community involvement.

July 4, 2007

Bloomington Party for the Planet!
Ivy Tech Campus
200 Daniels Way
July 7
6 p.m.

The climate crisis can be solved! Join more than 2 billion people worldwide for this event – a pitch-in supper, conversations about what we all can do about our climate and the chance to learn more about the presidential candidates.

Bring a dish to share (a main dish for last names beginning with A-M, all others a salad, side dish or dessert), as well as a beverage and place setting for yourself. Alcohol is not permitted, as the gathering is in the student commons room.

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