Arts + Life

Arts + Life
6:59 am
Tue July 22, 2014

'Our Birds': Migratory Journeys Converge In Baltimore Gardens

Members of the Bird Ambassadors program painted and planted a broken canoe at a Baltimore charter school in November. The canoe was filled with species native to Maryland, providing food and habitat for local birds.
Susie Creamer Courtesy of Patterson Park Audubon Center

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:13 pm

A couple of times a month, a group of migrant women and their children gather to plant shrubs and flowers in Baltimore's expansive Patterson Park.

The gardens feed and shelter migratory birds as part of the Patterson Park Audubon Center's Bird Ambassadors program.

Neotropical birds like the black-throated blue warbler and the Baltimore oriole migrate from the East Coast down to places like Mexico and Central America for the winter, says Susie Creamer, director of urban education and conservation at the center.

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Arts + Life
6:56 am
Tue July 22, 2014

With Swirls Of Steel, These Sculptures Mark The Passage Of People And Time

Albert Paley's iron and steel gates, archways and free-standing sculptures are eye-catching landmarks. His 2010 steel work Evanesce stands in Monterrey, Mexico. "American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley" is on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art until September.
Agencia para la Planeacióndel Desarrollo Urbano de Nuevo León Courtesy Paley Studios

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 1:13 pm

Growing up in Philadelphia in the 1940s, Albert Paley played with blocks and Legos. And he loved wandering the streets, scavenging bottle caps, matchbook covers, cigar bands and "picking up pebbles that I thought were interesting," he recalls.

Now 70, the American sculptor has moved from pebbles to monumental gates. His iron and steel works adorn Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Rochester, N.Y. His gates, archways and free-standing sculptures are eye-catching landmarks.

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Arts + Life
5:08 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

This Year, Avignon Festival Is A Stage For Both Plays And Protest

Dutch actors perform during a dress rehearsal of the show HUIS at the 68th Avignon Theater Festival in France. The festival has been international since 1966 and today French performances make up only 20 percent of all acts.
Boris Horvat AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 6:35 pm

Every July, for one month a year, the southern French city of Avignon becomes a theater. Actors, directors and playwrights converge on the walled, medieval town, where thespians perform in every playhouse, opera house, church and even in the streets. It's all part of the Avignon Theater Festival, which was started in 1947 by renowned French actor and director Jean Vilar.

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Arts + Life
11:07 am
Mon July 21, 2014

At Monty Python Reunion Show, The Circus Makes One Last Flight

Michael Palin, left, and Terry Gilliam perform on the opening night of Monty Python Live (Mostly). The final performance of the reunion show, on Sunday, will be live-streamed at theaters around the world.
Dave J Hogan Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 12:08 pm

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Arts + Life
10:15 am
Mon July 21, 2014

With Humor, 'Dead And Breathing' Dives Into End-Of-Life Struggles

Lizan Mitchell (left) as the wealthy and crotchety Carolyn and N.L. Graham as Veronika, her nurse, in the play Dead and Breathing.
Seth Freeman

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 8:40 pm

The play Dead and Breathing begins boldly. Sixty-eight-year-old Carolyn takes off her towel and steps into a bathtub completely naked. She's bathed by her chatty nurse, Veronika.

The wealthy, cantankerous woman is dying of cancer. Carolyn, played by Lizan Mitchell, wants to die sooner rather than later, and tries to convince the nurse (N.L. Graham) to help her do that.

It's one of the most talked-about new plays at this year's Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, W.Va., which runs through Aug. 3.

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Arts + Life
10:10 am
Mon July 21, 2014

Television Critics Give Big Awards To 'Breaking Bad,' 'Orange Is The New Black'

Bryan Cranston as Walter White on AMC's Breaking Bad.
Frank Ockenfels AMC

Originally published on Sat July 19, 2014 9:22 pm

The Television Critics Association is a funny animal. Its challenge, as well as its strength, is that it includes people with massively different jobs: longtime print critics (both nationally and locally oriented) who have been coming to the annual press tour for decades, reporters who cover the television industry, cultural critics whose beats extend past television, online writers who specialize in weekly criticism — this is a lot of people who quite reasonably look at television differently.

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Arts + Life
5:31 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Actor James Garner Of 'Rockford Files' Dies

Originally published on Sun July 20, 2014 8:09 pm

Transcript

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Arts + Life
4:41 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

Appreciating James Garner: TV's Best Unhero

James Garner plays Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files in a 1988 photo.
DPA /Landov

I didn't know, watching Isaac Hayes push James Garner around on The Rockford Files, that I was seeing a special character continue an important television legacy.

All I knew, as a devoted fan of Garner's put-upon private eye, was that Jim Rockford seemed like a kind of hero you never saw anywhere else on television.

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Arts + Life
3:33 pm
Sun July 20, 2014

When Defending Your Writing Becomes Defending Yourself

Originally published on Mon July 21, 2014 9:47 am

In the past year, my first in a prestigious Ph.D. program in creative writing and literature, I have often felt conspicuous as a writer of color. I have felt a responsibility to speak up when race is discussed, but I have also resented this responsibility. Lately, I have found myself burying my head. It bothers me to no end that the pressure is beating me, and yet it is.

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Arts + Life
7:08 am
Sat July 19, 2014

In The World Of Global Gestures, The Fist Bump Stands Alone

One set of knuckles meets another. Both are equal in this greeting that expresses approval and triumph.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Back in the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Barack Obama launched a media storm when he nonchalantly fist bumped his wife Michelle. "Obama's Fist-bump Rocks The Nation!: The Huffington Post exclaimed. "Is the fist bump the new high-five?" NPR's Laura Silverman asked.

Obama has done it again.

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Arts + Life
9:00 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Actress Elaine Stritch, 'Her Own Greatest Character,' Dies At 89

Stritch first appeared on Broadway in 1944 — and was still performing occasionally even at age 89. She is pictured above in 1955.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 3:19 pm

Elaine Stritch — one of Broadway's boldest and brassiest performers — has died. With that gravelly voice — and those long legs — and that utter command of the stage, Stritch was a bona fide Broadway star. Not as a classic leading lady, necessarily, but as the hardened-yet-vulnerable performer audiences couldn't forget. Stritch died of natural causes Thursday morning at her home in Birmingham, Mich. She was 89.

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Arts + Life
12:51 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

At This Summer's TV Press Tour, A Resounding Sense Of 'Meh'

Executive producer Anne Heche (left) and actress Kate Walsh speak at the Bad Judge panel during the 2014 Summer Television Critics Association in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:30 pm

There's a widespread belief that critics hate everything, revel in hating everything, and cannot be pleased. It's widespread and wrong, though.

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Arts + Life
12:51 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Viola Davis Gets Groundbreaking Role As ABC Bets On Diversity

Actress Viola Davis speaks about her new ABC show How to Get Away with Murder at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown Getty Images

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 1:49 pm

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Arts + Life
1:36 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

With Bright Benches, London Shows Off Its Love Of Books

Jane Headford designed this Dr. Seuss bench, which is spending the summer alongside the River Thames
Courtesy of The National Literacy Trust

Chicago had cows, St. Louis has cakes and now London has benches that look like opened books.

The National Literacy Trust, along with public art promoter Wild in Art, has commissioned and placed 50 benches around town that are painted to look like pages and scenes from famous books.

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Arts + Life
4:54 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

After Decades In Storage, Damaged Rothko Murals Get High-Tech Restoration

Panel Five of Rothko's Harvard Murals hangs in Holyoke Center in January 1968.
Courtesy of Harvard University Archives

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 8:21 pm

Paintings by postwar abstract artist Mark Rothko are highly coveted — in May one of his works sold at auction in London for $50 million. But oddly enough, Harvard University has had a handful of Rothkos — faded by sunlight and splattered with food and drink — in storage. Now, new technology has led to a potentially controversial restoration.

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Arts + Life
1:09 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

It's 'Etsy,' Kenyan Style: Making Art Out Of Flip-Flops And Bottle Tops

Apollo Omondi Omware couldn't find a white-collar job, so he created his own business, weaving baskets and training others to weave as well.
Ryan Kellman NPR

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 2:37 pm

Sure, it's tough to earn a living as an artist. But it helps if your materials don't cost a lot. At the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, several of the Kenyan craftspeople work wonders with discarded beer bottles and flip-flops.

Jonathan Lento: He Fashions Flip-Flops Into Funky Fauna

Jonathan Lento grips a slender knife in one hand and a colorful block made of glued-together flip-flops in the other.

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Arts + Life
5:23 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

In Stories Of Muslim Identity, Playwright Explores Fault Lines Of Faith

Between Eli and Zarina (Greg Keller and Nadine Malouf), a family's Muslim faith undergoes rupture and renewal.
Erin Baiano Courtesy of Lincoln Center Theater

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 12:18 pm

Ayad Akhtar is a novelist, actor and screenwriter. And when his first play, Disgraced, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2013, he also became one of the most talked about new voices in American theater.

Long before this buzz, though, Akhtar grew up in a Muslim family with roots in Pakistan. He mines this background to bring the inner lives and conflicts of Muslim Americans to the stage. His plays often feature cutting dialogue and confrontations steeped in the tension between Islamic tradition and personal evolution.

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Arts + Life
4:49 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

The Science Of Settling: Calculate Your Mate With Moneyball

What do you look for in a partner?
Spiderstock Getty Images/Vetta

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:39 am

In case you missed the buzz on Facebook, scientists recently determined that "beer goggles" do in fact exist, though not precisely in the way we thought. Consuming alcohol, it seems, tends to elevate desire and reduce inhibitions more than alter our actual perception of another person's attractiveness.

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Arts + Life
3:15 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Eileen Ford, Creator Of The Supermodel, Dies At 92

Eileen Ford with two of her famous models, Cheryl Tiegs (left) and Cristina Ferrare, in New York in 1983. Ford died on Wednesday at age 92.
Marty Lederhandler AP

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 7:58 pm

Eileen Ford, who is credited with inventing the modern modeling business and in the process launching the careers of supermodels such as Lauren Hutton, Christie Brinkley and Naomi Campbell, has died at 92.

A spokeswoman who handles public relations for Ford Models confirmed Wednesday's death, which follows a fall Ford took last week at her New York apartment.

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Arts + Life
1:43 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Jeans 'Designed' By Lions And Tigers To Benefit Japanese Zoo

Zoo Jeans being "designed" by a tiger.
Zoo Jeans

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 2:28 pm

At long last, the ultimate in that "distressed look" for jeans.

To help support the Kamine Zoo in Hitachi City, Japan, the Mineko Club of volunteer zoo boosters is holding an auction of three pairs of one-of-a-kind bluejeans designed by lions and tigers and, yes, bears too.

According to an English-language translation on the group's website, "Zoo Jeans are the only jeans on earth designed by dangerous animals."

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