Author: Kevin Lee

AIGA covers Optera in local glory

If you wander into Optera Creative (5 N. Jackson St.) you’ll find walls filled with the familiar: album covers you’ve glimpsed for years, some for all your life, but with a twist. Their themes orbit a city at the head of a wide, Alabama bay. The local chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts has boosted its profile with a locally oriented contest. The nonprofit challenged all comers to take familiar albums and reimagine them with a Mobile orientation. “We were very loose with the rules,” AIGA Events Coordinator Katie Vogtner said. “One of the artists who submitted...

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Artist database being built

The Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile Arts Council and Alabama Contemporary Art Center are amassing a database of artists and artisans across the central Gulf Coast. Their intention is to create a resource for promoting the arts throughout the region. The Artists Registry is designed to showcase those who delve into music, visual art, dance, theater, needlework and various creative endeavors. The listing is intended as a resource for exhibitions, programs and events to promote art produced in the area. Registration forms can be found at http://webforms.zenginehq.com/regionalartistregistry. MAC member show solicits submissions The Skinny Gallery at Mobile Arts Council...

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Jazz master joins MSO for ‘Beethoven & Blue Jeans’

Innovation is essential and the Mobile Symphony Orchestra will inject plenty into its mid-November “Beethoven & Blue Jeans” offering. There’s an inventive American slant in nod to its denim component. In addition to Beethoven’s 7th Symphony the show features George Gershwin’s 1925 masterpiece Concerto in F, during which the MSO will be joined by guest jazz luminaries the Marcus Roberts Trio. Roberts’ “groundbreaking” arrangement of the Gershwin work premiered in 2003 with the New Japan Philharmonic and he later recorded it with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Saito Kinen Orchestra. It was the Berlin collaboration that moved MSO Artistic...

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Ballet star returns to his Mobile roots

How do you keep one foot in Mobile and the other in New York City when those feet are typically sailing across the Big Apple’s most celebrated stages? Blaine Hoven has a method. “I usually see it as my time away from being fast-paced. I use the flight down to readjust. Flying through the Atlanta airport, people are already slower-paced there, so it helps,” Hoven said. A soloist with the American Ballet Theatre, Hoven will lead colleagues through the same adjustment before taking the Mobile Civic Center Theater stage for Mobile Ballet’s “Blaine Hoven — Full Circle.” Hoven served...

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ESAC breaks ground on improvements

Fairhope is steadily growing and the Eastern Shore Art Center (401 Oak St.) is growing right along with it. ESAC’s exterior “capital campaign” renovations are set to begin, starting with a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, Nov. 6, at 9 a.m. According to ESAC’s website, the campaign is aimed at bringing mechanical and electrical systems into greater efficiency, renovating the façade and entrance, improving handicapped access and other matters. A general plan can be glimpsed on its web page. Members and representatives of donor organizations will be at the event, including the Fairhope Single Tax Corp., the Poarch Band of...

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New cultural event joins the melee

The third weekend in October was a trick-or-treat bag full of the proverbial “good problems.” There was a wealth of distractions and activities for creatively oriented Mobilians that was also a window into frustration. To start, Mobile Opera’s latest production of “Così fan tutte” ran this past weekend at The Temple downtown. Despite a dramatic venue change in the last few years, audiences have turned out for shows the company billed as an “up-close and personal” experience. On Saturday morning, a new public art initiative titled Mobile Art GO! began with a ceremony at the Mobile Arts Council. Afterward,...

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‘Assassins’ audition late October

Mobile Theatre Guild is holding Oct. 29 and 30 auditions for Stephen Sondheim’s dark comedy musical “Assassins,” to be staged in January. The play is both provocative and outrageous and boasts figures such as John Wilkes Booth, Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, Lee Harvey Oswald and John Hinckley Jr. in its cast. They are looking for strong singers who can move well on stage. Come prepared with a song in the style of the show and a short monologue of 60 seconds maximum. An easy dance audition is included. The cast includes nine male and two females along with up to...

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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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