WLIW Arts Beat

S2021 E709 | FULL EPISODE

WLIW Arts Beat - May 3, 2021

In this edition of WLIW Arts Beat, an exhibition series that presents a variety of artwork for legislators to appreciate; a scenery shop that brings shows to life; a poet's illustrious career and impact on the poetic medium; a music-inspired brewery's creative beer labels.

AIRED: May 03, 2021 | 0:28:46
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♪♪

♪♪

>> In this edition of

"WLIW Arts Beat"...

art where laws are made...

>> Oftentimes, many don't think

of art mixing with politics, but

that's, indeed, happening right

now at the Nevada Legislature.

It's fantastic to be able to

have artwork here to help be a

part of that process.

♪♪

>> ...providing a backdrop to

live productions...

>> We make the magic happen,

mostly backstage, behind the

scenes, because we are

a custom shop.

Not a single job is the same.

>> ...a poet's language...

>> I want the readers of my

poems to feel as if they are in

the place and of the time

of the poem.

I like trying to put the reader

there.

>> ...the craft of beer labels.

>> They wanted to do something

unique and creative, that was

totally unlike anything else

that the beer industry was

doing.

>> It's all ahead on this

edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat" was

made possible by viewers like

you.

Thank you.

Welcome to "WLIW Arts Beat."

I'm Diane Masciale.

In Carson City, Nevada, the

Legislative eXhibition Series

presents an array of artworks

for legislators to appreciate.

Located in the

Legislative Building, this

series encourages creativity and

expression.

Take a look.

♪♪

>> Every two years, the

Nevada Legislature convenes from

February through June.

This is when the future of

Nevada is really being created.

And oftentimes, many don't think

of art mixing with politics, but

that's, indeed, happening right

now at the Nevada Legislature.

♪♪

Right now, we're in the

Nevada Legislature building

in Carson City, here in the

gallery space, for the LXS

exhibit.

The Legislative eXhibition

Series began in 1985.

Since the program's inception,

LXS has displayed six solo shows

of artwork by Nevada visual

artists during the biennial

legislative session.

The idea was to really connect

with art and culture and

heritage and creativity and the

value that it brings to the

state.

♪♪

The LXS exhibit provides some

really great opportunity for

legislators, visitors, and the

general public to come by and

take a look at some of the

really great work that's

happening through the state,

both from urban areas, as well

as rural areas.

♪♪

>> My name is

Melissa Melero-Moose.

My art focuses on landscape, the

Great Basin, the colors in this

area.

I put organic objects in my

artwork -- pine nuts and

willow -- and sort of focus on

the colors of the Great Basin.

♪♪

The title "Translating Paiute"

is about getting something that

the Numa people, the Paiute

people are just trying to share

with our community.

It's a great honor to be

up on the wall with all of these

other great artists.

And what's so special about this

particular venue is, we've got

the people who are making all of

the art things happen in this

state available to them and sort

of remind them that this is a

really important part of

what we do here in this state,

in this country, is art.

I mean, people definitely miss

it when it's gone, and it's

something that enhances each of

our departments, when you

think about it.

♪♪

>> It's a wonderful kind of

exhibition space, I think.

It's a great location.

A lot of people see this work.

It's a nice range of work from

contemporary to your more

traditional work.

We get, you know, some art

professionals from the North and

the South and in the rural areas

that try to go out into the

communities and see who's --

who's doing some interesting

work that might not get seen

otherwise.

This is quite lovely.

To be honest, this is really

articulated well.

Lolita Develay, she's in

Las Vegas.

She does a wonderful job of

articulating this kind of metal

surfaces, and she's really deft

at, I think, multiple media, so

watercolor, she can achieve that

realism along with oil painting,

so she's got a really nice

breadth of techniques with

different media, so she's quite

wonderful.

What's interesting is this

gallery location is right here

at the exit when all the

legislators are leaving.

So you hear people's reactions

as they walk by.

That's what I like about this

space, that it's so interactive

with folks.

Arts and culture has become a

really important topic as far as

the state goes, driving the

economy of the state, the value

that it brings for economic

development, and legislators are

really attuned and key on this.

Having the LXS exhibit here

really helps drive that home,

too, as a reminder that art

matters.

It's a critical component to

economic vitality that is needed

in the state.

>> To learn more, visit

nvartscouncil.org.

And now, the Artist's Quote of

the Week.

For over 20 years,

Scenic Solutions has been

bringing a variety of shows to

life.

Based in West Carrollton, Ohio,

this scenery shop creates

singular designs that reach

audiences across the globe.

♪♪

>> Anybody can build scenery,

and it's the details that really

make it a show and help create

this whole environment as

opposed to just scenery on

stage.

We kind of build an atmosphere

and an environment into

everything we do.

>> We are a small company, but

we produce big, big things.

We just got done with a national

tour of Blue Man Group, which

will be all over the country,

and the amount of scenery that

we churned out for that show was

just astronomical.

That's what blows my mind the

most, is that we're able to

produce such large productions

with such a small group of

people.

>> We serve a multitude of

industries.

We work anywhere from high

school theater level to

first-run Broadway tours.

We also build entertainment for

the cruise-line industry.

We make the magic happen, mostly

backstage, behind the scenes.

Because we are a custom shop,

not a single job is the same.

Not a single client needs the

same thing.

Not a single material we use is

the same.

There are days when there's no

one in the shop, and there are

days when there's 40 people in

the shop.

There are days when I have six

crews all over the world.

At any given point in time, we

might have 8 to 20 projects in

different stages within the

company.

We have a lot of good people

working here.

>> Scenic Solutions has been in

business for 24 years.

We started with a sewing room

in the basement of our old

house.

Dan was working for the

Dayton Ballet's lighting

designer, and I was freelancing

as a costume designer and

seamstress.

And pretty soon,

Scenic Solutions became our

life.

Dan is my business partner.

He's President of

Scenic Solutions.

He is my husband.

It's a very busy place.

I sometimes say it is so chaotic

that you can't keep up.

There's never two days that are

the same.

>> The clients come up with the

creative designs, and then

myself and the other production

managers and drafters take all

of their ideas and turn them

into something we can actually

build and create all of the

drawings that we give to the

carpenters.

>> I take drawings from

designers and draftsmen and

engineers and communicate them

to the guys working under me,

and we turn it into reality.

I feel like the welding

department is the backbone of

most of the things that are

built here.

We always start with a

structure.

It's just the nature of scenery

that you have to start with a

structure.

And then you make it look like

something entirely different.

The way scenery is today, most

of it has to be portable, be

lightweight, durable, and that's

what the metal structure gives

you.

With touring shows, it has to

last for a year, if not more.

As far as a cruise ship show

goes, we do have weight

constraints when it comes to

cruise ships, so you got to keep

things light.

>> The cruise-line industry

definitely presents unique

challenges.

Typically, when you go to a

Broadway show, the theater does

not move.

On a cruise line, the theater

moves.

That bases a lot of our decision

making on how to build stuff.

The other unique challenge of a

cruise line is getting your

scenery, lighting props into the

theater.

They never design big enough

doors to get the items into the

cruise ship.

Typically, the crew will have to

carry the scenery through the

cruise ship in the middle of the

night when everyone's asleep, up

the stairwells, into the

theaters, and that is a unique

situation.

>> I recently went to Italy for

a single day to do a sight

survey on a cruise ship that

we're working on there.

This is the room everything will

load into through that door.

I also took all of the

measurements of the doorways and

the hallways and our path from

getting everything from the

loading dock, through the ship,

and into the theater, and made

sure that everything broke down

into a small enough piece to fit

through that path.

>> It's definitely worth the

cost because we know things are

gonna fit as opposed to sending

a piece of scenery or an entire

show to the other side of the

world, and then it not being

able to fit through the door to

get it onto the ship.

That would be a big expense.

One thing that would blow their

minds, I would say probably that

they've seen a lot of our work,

and they just haven't realized

it.

We've got a lot of stuff all

over the Dayton area, but you'd

never -- unless you worked

there, you'd never know that we

actually did it.

We kind of sneak in, sneak out,

so we're not, you know, visible

out to the general public.

>> We helped Kettering Fairmont

School District consult and

install rigging lighting and the

orchestra shelf for their new

theater.

We work for the Schuster Center,

downtown Dayton,

Victoria Arts Association.

>> It's really hard to think of

what the coolest thing that came

through Scenic Solutions is.

Blue Man Group's pretty cool.

But getting to do the Rike's

boxes...

Starting in the 1940s, Rike's

department store did a display

every year at Christmas.

People that have lived here or

grew up here, if you say

something about the Rike's

elves, they talk about how they

used to go see them when they

were kids.

It's a very big part of Dayton's

Christmas holiday.

We originally built the boxes

that the Rike's elves were in

about 15 years ago, and then

last year, they approached us

and asked for new boxes with new

scenes inside.

♪♪

It feels amazing to give this

gift to Dayton.

We've been part of the Dayton

community for a long time, but

to get the chance to give such a

big project back to the

community feels great.

♪♪

>> To see more, head to

scenicsolutions.com.

Now here's a look at this

month's Fun Fact.

♪♪

♪♪

In this segment, we hear from

feminist poet, writer, and

social activist

Margaret Randall.

Over the span of her illustrious

career, Randall has published

over 150 books and made an

undeniable impact on the poetic

medium.

We traveled to New Mexico to

find out more.

>> So, there's so much imagery

in your poetry.

How do you use poetry to tell a

story?

>> I want the readers of my

poems to feel as if they are in

the place and of the time of the

poem.

I like trying to put the reader

there.

So, that's one way, and then

another way, I think, is since I

did oral history for so long,

just bringing the voices of

ordinary people into my poems.

I think that helps make that

connection.

>> And why do you think that's

important?

>> Because I think that's where

real poetry lies, you know?

That's where it lives.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> So, yes, I think that, if we

learn to listen to the way

people speak, the way they

express themselves, all

different kinds of people,

poetry can do that.

It can introduce us to other

people, other places, other

times.

>> How is imagery a portal for

that?

>> Well, you know, if you are

writing about a tree and you

call it a tree, it's a tree.

But if you call it an oak or you

call it weeping willow or you

call it a palm tree, that sort

of puts the reader right there.

So I think that the more detail

you can get in your images, the

more specificity, that helps,

you know?

>> Transports them magically.

>> Yeah, hopefully.

"Made Rich by Art and

Revolution."

When I am gone and August comes/

to my desert,

rain will soak sand,

its rich scent rising/

to enter the lungs of another

mother or walker,

someone whose intention and

desire/

I cannot know.

When I am gone this painting of

little islands/

miniature trees and birds/

floating in a magical sea of

blue/

will hang in someone else's

house.

Will that person tell the story/

of poor Nicaraguan peasants/

made rich by art and revolution?

A granddaughter may inherit/

my turquoise earrings.

The clay pans I've used for

years,

their pungency filling the

house,

will offer up a new generation/

of bread.

Someone not yet born may read

this poem.

But who will ask the questions/

born of the answers/

I juggle today.

Who will know the heat/

of this great love,

or catch fragments of my memory/

reassembling just before dawn.

>> What do you mean in your poem

by citing the poor Nicaraguan is

made rich by art during

revolution?

>> It's a reference to a poet

named Ernesto Cardenal, a great,

still-living Latin American

poet, Nicaraguan poet.

He had a community on a tiny

island on the Lake of Nicaragua

where he got the farmers, the

peasants who lived on that

island together to read poetry,

to hear poetry, to paint.

In the poem, there's a reference

to a painting.

It's a painting by one of those,

by an older woman who had never

had a paintbrush in her hand

before.

And so these people were

extraordinarily poor.

I mean, really, really poor --

poorer than most peasants in

most places because they lived

isolated on this little island.

And they were barely

subsistence.

And the art that they began to

make, the poems that they began

to write made them rich, and it

was the revolution that gave

them that, the

Sandinista Revolution back in

the '80s.

And so I'm referring to that.

I'm referring to their lives

being made rich by art and

revolution -- art that they

made.

>> But when you say made rich by

art due to revolution, is that

still this lasting legacy that

exists through their art?

>> I think it is.

I think it is because -- and in

Cuba, too.

You know, we just got back from

Cuba a week or so ago, and it's

extraordinary how poor these

countries are compared with the

United States, and yet how much

of their gross national product

they spend on culture and art

and music and writing and

writers.

So, I think that, you know, the

revolutions I've been part of

have wanted very much to have

believed -- and believe -- the

Cuban Revolution still believes

that art and culture are

necessities.

They're no less important than

healthcare and education and a

roof over your head and food and

so forth.

So, you know, you go to one of

these countries that's

extraordinarily poor, and yet

they subsidize books, you know,

they pay their artists to make

art.

And so I think that's something

that, as a poet, as an artist

myself, has always just thrilled

me about those revolutionary

experiences.

>> So, it's this richness of

life and experience.

What's the wisdom behind this

poem?

>> You know, in this poem, I'm

really talking about old age.

I'm talking about I'm 82 and,

you know, I feel like I'm gonna

live forever, but that probably

won't happen, so I'm sort of

beginning to think about my

grandchildren, my

great-grandchildren, what I will

leave to them -- these turquoise

earrings that I wear every day,

the bread pans that I make bread

in, that I've made bread in for

35 years.

You know, it's a poem full of

questions.

It asks at the end, "Who will

ask the questions to my

answers," you know?

And so it's about that.

It's about passing it on.

>> Why poetry for you?

>> For me, poetry is like

breathing, you know?

I can't conceive of a life

without poetry.

I would like my work to make

people listen, to make them

speak their own words.

>> Mm-hmm.

>> I would like my work to give

people joy, to get them to ask

questions, difficult questions,

and I always think questions are

more important than answers.

I would like my work to be

braided into the legacy of

poetry, the poetry you make, the

poetry that -- we have such

great poets in Albuquerque and

throughout the United States and

throughout the world, so I want

my poetry to be part of this

extraordinary fabric, poetic

fabric that exists in every

language, and in languages that

are not written, and oral

languages.

So, I want my -- what I aspire

to is that my poems will be

strands in that braid, in that

fabric which is all poetry.

>> Discover more at

margaretrandall.org.

And here's a look at this week's

Art History.

♪♪

Up next, we visit Durango,

Colorado, to check out

Ska Brewing Company.

Founded in 1995, this

music-inspired brewery is known

for its creative beer labels.

Here's the story.

♪♪

>> Ska is a type of music that

originated in Jamaica in the

late '50s.

[ Ska music plays ]

It's a very dance-able, upbeat

kind of blend of traditional

Caribbean rhythms and some

Western music.

My name's David Thibodeau, and

I'm the President and co-founder

of Ska Brewing.

My brewing experience came out

of high school, and when we were

in high school, we were

punk-rock kids, and kind of

started getting really into ska

music.

It kind of became our thing, so

when we were home brewing, if we

weren't listening to ska, the

home brew wouldn't turn out

good, so when we actually came

to starting a brewery, we

thought, "Hey, you know, what

are we gonna call it?"

We went with what we loved and

what we were passionate about,

and that was ska music, it was

comic books, and of course,

beer.

And I think a beer needs a

story.

>> One, two, a-one, two, three,

four.

>> The story is our battle

against Rotgutzen, international

beverage corporation.

And you can decide what brewery

or giant brewery conglomerate

that means to you.

So, it became an epic battle of

good versus evil in Ska versus

Rotgutzen, and that's the story

in the comic book.

When we first started, this is

mid-'80s.

There wasn't digital printing

yet, so we did everything

because it was all on a press,

so it was really cheap to do

things in one color, which is

the cool thing about the second

wave of ska music, is it's also

known as the two-tone era, and

it was all about black-and-white

checkers.

The 2 Tone was a record label in

England.

The idea was that there was

working-class white kids and

black kids that were forming

these bands together, so the

black and white and the checkers

represented the unity between

the races.

Then these guys were forming

these bands.

And fortunately for us at the

time when we had no money and we

were starting this brewery, it

was a lot cheaper to just print

black on white paper.

Think my favorite label is our

Modus Hoperandi.

It's pinstriped.

Once again, the CEO of

Rotgutzen, and he's walking down

Main Street in Durango, two

other of his thugs side by side.

You know, it's weird, 'cause

it's a skeleton with two humans.

You have to know that there's

something more there when you

look at it.

No one would just draw that for

no reason.

The characters that are in the

comic book are the characters in

the names of our beers, all

showing kind of, like, piecemeal

parts of our comic book.

That's just been our marketing

platform.

Mr. Pinstripe is the CEO of

Rotgutzen, and he's the skeleton

you see everywhere, and his lead

thug is Buster.

And so it's a nut brown ale, so

it's Buster Nut Brown.

Obviously, the name ties to the

beer.

It also ties -- it has some ska

music ties.

Buster Bloodvessel is the name

of the lead singer of one of our

favorite bands, Bad Manners.

We tie everything together, so

it's a ska band, it's the beer

style, it's the lead thug in our

story.

The guy that developed our logo,

our Ska Brewing checkered logo

and our first True Blonde logo

and Pinstripe logo is a local

tattoo artist here in Durango.

His name is Matt Rousseau.

Your Flesh Tattoo is his tattoo

studio.

>> I think my approach is more

just coming up with something

that represented their concept

and kind of just what I thought

would look cool, 'cause back

then, there weren't many other

cool beer labels, and they

wanted to do something unique

and creative that was totally

unlike anything else that the

beer industry was doing, and so

I think that kind of gave me the

freedom to really try and just

do what I was into and what I

thought they would be stoked on.

>> Artists might not want to be

associated with a giant

corporation.

I think you're seeing an

evolution of this where artists

are working more with brands

because they're like-minded

people.

Business, if like-minded, might

be the type like a young artist

wants to associate themselves

with, and they can provide a

platform for this artist to

really show their work and being

able to integrate it through

different sorts of media.

It's the only way now.

I think we overthink it.

>> Go to skabrewing.com to find

out more.

That wraps it up for this

edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

We'd like to hear what you

think, so like us on Facebook,

join the conversation on

Twitter, and visit our webpage

for features and to watch

episodes of the show.

We hope to see you next time.

I'm Diane Masciale.

Thank you for watching

"WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat" was

made possible by viewers like

you.

Thank you.

♪♪

♪♪

♪♪

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