Volume 3 No. 34 |November 12, 2021
Sharing our wealth of arts and culture. We're having an ARTS BLAST!

Promoting The Arts & Arts Councils Everywhere

Notes from the editor:
Thank You for Your Support of Arts Blast & Arts Blast on the Air!
Nothing makes my HoneyNut Cheerios taste better than eating them while reading an email listing new subscribers!
Arts Blast on the Air
Now a Downloadable Podcast
Arts Blast on the Air is not an audible version of Willi Miller's Arts Blast, as you'll discover when you click on a show link. The weekly podcast and radio show offers interviews with people active in the arts locally, regionally, and nationally. The addition of a downloadable podcast is an exciting step for Willi Miller's Arts Blast!

Dick Golden, longtime presenter of the American Songbook radio shows on Cape Cod and on WQCS.org.
Sophie Wood, spokesperson for Vero Beach Museum of Art, with a very long list of events at the Museum.

It would not be possible without our great sponsors, Riverside Theatre and Ballet Vero Beach, collaborator Donna Roberts Mitchell, and our tech guy, Jesse Kriske. Thanks for listening!
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Plan your season with Arts Blast's calendar
In This Issue - November 12, 2021

Blueseum Sessions at the Elliott
Josh McMiller at Center for Spiritual Care
Jazz at the Unity Center
Elf JR at Riverside Theatre for Kids!
Coming and Going at Backus Museum
What's new at WQCS
Plein Air Show at Platts/Backus House
Sebastian River Art Club Artists at ELC

On the Calendar is online with new entries almost every day!

Peace and Jazz at the Unity Center
Unity Spiritual Center will celebrate and dedicate a new Peace Pavilion on Sunday, November 14. It starts at 11:30 a.m., with classical music on the labyrinth performed by the First Presbyterian Church String Ensemble. Following is the blessing and dedication at 12:30 p.m., with guests Reverend Karen Anderson of the Unitarian Universalist Church, Rabbi Birnholz of Temple Beth Shalom, Swami Dhumavati of Kashi Ashram, and Unity minister Reverend Elizabeth Longo. The Stellar Jazz Quartet will accent the ribbon-cutting ceremonies with a "Jazz in the Pavilion" concert at 1 p.m. 
The Source Ministries "Dining with Dignity" food truck will be on hand with mouth-watering meals for purchase. There will be raffles and prizes in a beautiful setting surrounded by a meditation garden, lotus pond, fire pit, labyrinth, and plenty of space to relax. The Pavilion is available to rent for weddings and other celebrations. 950 43rd Avenue Vero Beach. 772-562-1133
Get the Blues at the Elliott Museum
People who know Rob Steele, president and CEO of the Historical Society of Martin County, likely weren't surprised to hear about the upcoming Blueseum Sessions program, kicking off November 18 in the Forum room at the Elliott Museum.

"We are always looking for ways to use our 48,000 square feet of space to its utmost potential in our quest to surprise and delight Treasure Coast residents," he explained. "We have extended the scope of our museum to become a community gathering place for all manner of engagements."

It's too early to tell if the Sessions will get a regular spot on the Elliott's calendar, Steele said. "It looks like this will be a sell-out, so perhaps we are on to something." That doesn't mean it will be all jazz all the time. "At this juncture, we are committed to keeping our options open with regards to what we present. Blueseum Sessions will be used when we present the Blues, and we will come up with other seemingly clever monikers to define them as we create them!"

Steele worked with blues guitarist Gabe Stillman in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. "I have known and loved Gabe since he was ten. He seemed like the perfect musician to 'test the water' with."

Innovation doesn't stop here with Steele. He said, "We are on an ongoing mission to seek out new engagements to assure that the Historical Society of Martin County truly offers something for everyone. Keep your eye on us!”

Historical Society of Martin County
Elliott Museum
Gilbert's Bar House of Refuge Museum
825 NE Ocean Blvd.
Stuart FL 34996
If you want to get technical about the blues, here's blues guitarist Gabe Stillman's brief description:
"The blues has melodic and harmonic attributes that separate it from other styles of music, like the pentatonic scale with added chromatic tones that we call 'blue notes,' that is unique to the blues." Well, okay, but then he went on to say, "I believe the defining characteristic of blues comes from the energy and the vulnerability of the performer. Playing the blues is about digging up and releasing the deepest human emotions. When a performer can do that, the music is undeniable and the audience is able to relate to it instantly."

Actually, he said, as one of the oldest forms of music in America, the blues defies a brief description. "Blues is the root of all American music; its influence is found in every genre. This music has gone through many changes, from first being purely vocal music, to adding acoustic brass instruments, and now being the primary source for anyone who wants to learn to play an electric guitar solo.

Stillman picked up a guitar the first time when he was 11, "and was drawn to the blues almost immediately because it wasn't as technically hard to play as other kinds of music." With his studying of the genre and performing experience through the years, he "learned there are challenges to playing it at a high level."

Stillman will be joined by Colin Beatty on bass, Ray Hangen on drums, and Bronson Hoover on piano and organ for the Blueseum Session November 18. Visit his website for information on hearing his music online and on CDs.

Josh McMiller's Art at the Center for Spiritual Care
Courtesy of Warren Obluck

Josh McMiller debuts on the Vero Beach art scene with his show of new paintings through November at the Center for Spiritual Care. The exhibition, “Revelations of Nature,” captures the intensity of color and energy radiated by the plant life around us. Josh’s most recent address was in New York, where he painted while supporting himself as an in-demand model for the high-powered Ford Agency. He appeared regularly in magazines like GQ, Vogue, and Cosmopolitan and for four years was Abercrombie & Fitch’s go-to men’s medium model.  

He gave that up to paint full time and has been headquartered in Vero for the past year. Center director Carol Ludwig says his paintings crackle with dash and high spirits. “He handles paint beautifully and makes his plants spring off the surface of his canvases,” she said. 
McMiller studied at the University of Alabama before working in New York and Columbus, Ohio. His paintings have been featured in group shows at the Birmingham and Columbus Museums of Art. 
McMiller is one of the featured artists in the Center's new YouTube channel Art Talks, created as in-person conversations with host Ellen Fischer in 2017 to let exhibiting artists talk in depth about what they were trying to do with the work they were showing and how they solved their problems.

When the pandemic hit, Ludwig had to find a work-around to keep them going while large gatherings were off limits. With the aid of photographer Aric Attas, the YouTube videos came to be. Search YouTube for archived Art Talks.
1550 24th St. Vero Beach centerforspiritualcare.org or 772-567-1233.
Can It Be Christmas Without an Elf? (Nope)

It was in 2003 that mean old Mr. Grinch had to slide over and make space on the shelf for Buddy, a Christmas elf. Elf, the film, starred Will Ferrell.

It later became a Broadway hit musical and an NBC holiday special. Next week, another version, Elf JR., comes to Riverside Theatre's Stark Stage as a production of Riverside Theatre For Kids!

In case you aren't familiar with the story, here it is in a nutshell, courtesy of Riverside Theatre:

Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa's bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the naughty list and that his half-brother doesn't even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Director of Riverside Theatre Education Kevin Quillinan said, "Our incredible cast of students have embraced this musical with great enthusiasm and while this has been a tight rehearsal period, our students have met the challenges incredibly well.” He added, "It's been a pleasure and an honor to work with so many awesome kids."
The cast includes: Katie Hufstetler (Santa Claus), Kailin Simmons (Buddy), Timothy Cicco (Walter Hobbs), Brieyana Miranda (Emily Hobbs), Jackson Collontrelle (Michael Hobbs), 
Sasha Martell (Mrs. Greenway), and Lauren Chesley (Jovie). 

The ensemble cast includes: Laila Asha, Addison Blum, Gabriel Conley, Isabella Curulla, Josslyn Haddad, Lilia Hayes, Sebastian Holbrook, Aliyah Kirven, Navah Kirven, Kira Kimes, Elena Kunkle, Patrick Manning, Rylan McLaughlin, Carlee Miranda, Angel Owen, Adam Raynard, Brayden Rojas, Hannah Royals, Keira Taylor, Jenna Wickre, Sabrina Zambrano

The creative team includes: Kevin Quillinan (Director), Deborah Quillinan (Music Director), Katherine Eppink (Choreographer), Emily Luongo (Scenic Designer), Anna Hillbery (Costume Designer), William Gibbons-Brown (Lighting Designer), Ryan Gravett (Sound Designer) and Amy Bowman (Stage Manager).

Elf JR. performances take place on the Stark Stage on:

Friday, November 19 @ 5pm
Saturday, November 20 @ 1pm & 5pm
Sunday, November 21 @ 1pm

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 772-231-6990 or online at www.riversidetheatre.com.
At the Platts/Backus House - Plein Air Painters of the Treasure Coast
Main Street Fort Pierce presents a special art show that will feature three artists whose art captures the beauty of the local area. Lori McNamara, Judi LeBlanc, and Diane Mesagno, all plein air artists, will each showcase their perspectives of local outdoor scenes.

An Artist Reception is Thursday November 18, 2021 at the Platts/Backus House, 122 A.E. Backus Avenue in Historic Downtown Fort Pierce. The show is on only Nov. 18, 5-8 p.m. and Nov. 19, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Artist Diane Mesagno offered this:

When I'm painting outdoors I'm interacting with the space all around me. All the elements influence how the subject makes its way onto the canvas. Studio painting is a two dimensional discipline and its purpose for me is technical and correctional.

Sketchbooks were a constant companion early on and location painting was a natural genesis. Also, mural painting was a big part of my business so I developed speed and had a lot of practice with acrylics.

I love to be outside which is a really good thing because that's where all the beautiful subjects are. 

The people at the Backus House are supportive and helpful and embrace artists. And it feels good to be a part of such a powerful artistic legacy.
The Plein Air Painters of the Treasure Coast are on Facebook and we all post our work after our weekly paintouts.
Photos: left - Diane Mesagno; right - Lori McNamara
Lori McNamara said this about plein air painting:

They have an immediacy about them, the artist wants to catch that day, that view right now. They don't fuss over the paintings. They are painting what they see right then. The light and weather can change, it is more difficult and challenging with so much going on.

Studio paintings can be more perfect, posed, sometimes stiff and labored. Sometimes they are hard to tell from a photo. Plein air painting is more of an adventure, you never know what you will see. I sit and paint, so I am mostly still so birds and animals feel comfortable coming right up to me. (The donkeys in the painting) kept me company the whole time I was painting. This sort of thing doesn't happen in the studio.

Painting outside gets me away from home, away from my troubles. Every time I go painting it is like a vacation. It is fun to visit with the other artists in the Plein Air Painters of the Treasure Coast. We all have painting in common and learn from each other and find new techniques to try out.
It is very special to get invited to show at the Platts/Backus house. I am always thrilled to be able to exhibit there! It is such a cool place to visit where Beanie Backus lived. He gave me a few lessons years ago when my dad repaired one of his clocks. He told me to be sure to put some new green straight fronds at the tops of cabbage palms, otherwise they look sick. He said it would bother him when he saw other artists paint droopy top fronds. He would want to fix them.

You can see more of my work at my blog here: 
Comings and Goings at Backus Museum and Gallery
November 12 is the final day to see The Best of the Best at the A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery in Fort Pierce. This annual event began in 1981, known then as the Four County Juried Exhibition. The eligible-participant base has expanded over the years to include "amateur and professional artists throughout Florida and even beyond," said Executive Director J.Marshall Adams.

By next weekend, a well-loved show will be ready to view. Made By Hand: 50 Years of Collecting from Florida CraftArt is the year-ending exhibition, closing Dec. 31.

Photos - The Best of The Best: Left - 2021 Best of Show – Red-Winged Blackbird - Scott Woodward; right - 2021 Directors Choice – Coupled - Lynn Morgan
November 19 – December 31, 2021
Made By Hand: 50 Years of Collecting from Florida CraftArt 
Florida CraftArt was founded more than 70 years ago as a statewide organization to recognize and document the artistic and cultural significance of Florida’s skilled crafts. The exceptional collection assembled over five decades celebrates the beauty and creativity of handmade works in ceramics, wood, fiber, metals, jewelry, glass, and mixed media. This exhibition features examples by distinguished Florida craft artists including Laura Militzer Bryant, Kimberli Burns Cummings, John Eckert, Christine Federighi, Nneka Jones, John Mascoll, and Duncan McClellan. 
Made By Hand: 50 Years of Collecting from Florida CraftArt is organized by Florida CraftArt, St. Petersburg, Florida.
Opening Reception – Friday, December 3, 6:00-8:00 pm | Remarks: 6:30 pm
At the Environmental Learning Center:
Sebastian River Art Club Members Trish Bannon and Sandra Johnson
Opening Reception Wednesday November 17th from 4:30 - 6:30 pm.

From the Laura (Riding) Jackson Foundation:

Laura's Wish List

Laura did most of her writing on a 1935 Alder Typewriter. We are looking for one to add to Laura's historic house and museum. If you know anyone who owns one and would like to donate it to us, or if you can help us track one down, please contact us at admin@lrjf.org.
On the Move at WQCS - DO Touch That Dial
In case you didn't get the memo and have been wondering what happened to your favorite programs on WQCS, the NPR affiliate based on the Fort Pierce campus of Indian River State College, I'll share the email sent by Station Manager Chris Puorro a month ago:

WQCS 88.9 FM has moved to a full-time News & Talk lineup. Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Fresh Air are exactly where they have been for the past few years. Additionally, you can hear an entire slate of great NPR programming all day long. BBC News is now available late nights and overnights, and the weekends will feature the best of what was previously on HD1 and HD2. Click on the link here to see our entire schedule:  88.9 FM WQCS Program Schedule
Remember, classical music fans now have their own station as well: 91.1 FM WQCP has an incredible schedule of classical programming from around the country and around the world. We understand there are some listeners on the edge of the 88.9 FM signal that are having issues receiving 91.1 FM on their radios. We encourage you to continue to use our streams available on wqcp.org or the WQCS Skill on Alexa to stream WQCP.
Since almost all of the talk programming on WQCS-HD2 is moving to WQCS, we'll be launching a new station on HD2 and our Lake Okeechobee station, WQJS. That format will feature great jazz music and will retain BBC News coverage from 5am to 9am.
Miami Book Fair kicks off November 14 but online events are happening now.
Event schedules can change, often at almost the last minute. Verify, double check, and then do it again before you head out the door. And when you do go out, take a mask. Without one, you risk being turned away.
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