Author: Kevin Lee

Transplant finds old dreams in new town

For Guy Marcinkowski, a new situation stirred old aspirations. What started with a geographical change became a show that has overtaken Mobile Arts Council’s galleries for October. “I really do like Mobile. In the seven years I was in corporate, it sucked all the creativity out of me and I really didn’t do any artwork. The last four years I was there, it was so overwhelming I had stopped going to shows or openings or anything like that even though I was in Manhattan,” Marcinkowski said. The corporation was Macy’s, where he was creative director. He put an end...

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Gypsy sounds roll into MOJO

Django Reinhardt is one of the most mesmerizing and influential jazz guitarists in history. Despite an accident that left him with full use of just two fingers on his left hand, he became one of the most legendary of jazz virtuosos and birthed a genre — gypsy jazz — through his astounding musical vision. On Monday, Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m., the Mystic Order of the Jazz Obsessed (MOJO) will salute the mysterious genius at Gulf City Lodge (601 State St.) in their monthly event. The Pensacola group Caravan featuring William Howell will interpret Reinhardt’s music in a replication of...

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‘Posing Beauty’ stirs internal journey

Questions of power and resolution will resound through the Mobile Museum of Art (4850 Museum Drive) through Jan. 21. They stem from the “Posing Beauty in African-American Culture” exhibit, and their answers dwell in the observant. Initially curated by Deborah Willis, Ph.D., chair of the New York University Department of Photography, the shots cover more than a century of the black American experience. Their specific analysis? Aesthetics and its place in cultures large and subsumed. Maybe no American city is more appropriate for this exhibit than the one that received the last shipment of African-born slaves smuggled into the...

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Scandalous opera at Temple

Mozart was never one to skirt the daring. So a tale of buddies coaxed into a wager they can woo each other’s fiancees certainly tickled his fancy and the result was another of his operatic masterpieces. “Così fan tutte” (“Thus do they all”) is more than just an illustration of the tenuous human heart, but its acceptance of swapping lovers gave it a risqué and scandalous reputation in the Victorian era. It was too often “adapted” for the sensibilities of the times. Modernity has brought it back to its Viennese form, and Mobile Opera brings it to Azalea City...

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Cultural nexus on the verge of new life

Now I know at least one person reads this column. Good thing that reader has foresight and capital. In mid-August, Artifice discussed a unique cultural nexus of art and history in downtown Mobile: Gulf City Lodge at the corner of State and Warren streets. A building that began as another post-Reconstruction, two-story abode became a brothel for decades, until the city finally outlawed its red-light district in 1918. It was repurposed and expanded when the Improved Benevolent Protective Order of Elks of the World bought it in the early 1920s. Under their guidance, it was the parade-day hub for...

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Beautiful questions at MMoA

Cultural pressures on standards of beauty fluctuate from era to era, group to group. In the United States, they vary among ethnicities as well. With “Posing Beauty in African-American Culture,” historian Deborah Willis, Ph.D., explores those definitions through photography, film, video, fashion, advertising and pop culture. The exhibit spans the 19th century to the advent of the internet. Subjects range from Huey P. Newton to Lil’ Kim, Fannie Lou Hamer to Grace Jones. Artists in the exhibition include Anthony Barboza, Sheila Pree Bright, Renee Cox, Bruce Davidson, Leonard Freed, Charles “Teenie” Harris, Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe, Gordon Parks, Mickalene Thomas and...

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Ballet lawsuit fallout still echoes

When lawsuits against individual board members and the development director of Mobile Ballet were dismissed by Mobile County Circuit Judge Jay York in an order signed Sept. 6, matters didn’t end there. A separate claim for injunctive relief against Mobile Ballet Inc. was allowed to stand, and a status conference on possible mediation is in the works for early October. The individuals named in the now-dismissed suits were Becky Tate, Sandra Parker, Jim Parker, Jill Reingold, Liz Kirby, Chris Burgess, Mary Byrd, Leslie Johnson, Julee Waldrop, Barbara Corte and Mobile Ballet Director Karen Kennedy. Lagniappe contacted defense counsel for...

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New director tops MAC news eruption

There’s a lot of good news at the Mobile Arts Council these days and at the top of the list is the top of the staff. The umbrella arts organization recently named Shellie Teague as its new executive director. The 32-year-old owner of Teague Branding Strategies fills a spot that has been vacant since previous executive director Bob Burnett stepped down in January 2015. She joins Program Director Lucy Gafford and Administrative Coordinator Angela Montgomery on the MAC staff. “I’m honored and humbled to serve the Mobile arts community in this new role. We’ve already got a lot of...

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