WLIW Arts Beat


WLIW Arts Beat - April 6, 2020

In this edition of WLIW Arts Beat, a traditional Indian dance school celebrates diversity through music and dance; an artist’s one-of-a-kind images embrace moments in time; a special effects artist uses an airbrush to transform individuals; the history and stories of Florida’s soul musicians.

AIRED: March 17, 2020 | 0:26:31



>> In this edition of

"WLIW Arts Beat"...

the traditions of Indian

dance and music...

>> The mission of

Mudra Dance Studio is to

celebrate diversity through the

universal language of dance and

music and to expose the world to

the beautiful cultural fabric

that India brings to our

culture here.

[ All cheer ]

>> ...art that reflects the

human form...

>> Even though they're black

silhouette images, it doesn't

limit itself because most people

can relate to what is taking

place in the pictures.

>> ...using special effects to

conjure otherworldly


>> I started in high school

doing just Halloween makeups,

and then I'd watch a lot of

monster movies, so I'd do it off

Halloween season, but actually

doingmakeup makeup since about


>> ...and the stories in history

of Florida's soul musicians.

>> I started to realize just how

many of the great soul musicians

and singers I grew up listening

to and whose music I loved had

Florida roots.

>> It's all ahead on this

edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat"

was made possible by viewers

like you.

Welcome to "WLIW Arts Beat."

I'm Diane Masciale.

A traditional Indian dance

school in Denver, Colorado,

is on a mission to celebrate

diversity through the universal

language of dance and music.

Let's check out the people,

costumes, and moves that

combine to create this cultural



>> Mudra dance is my life.

>> It's a connection to my

culture and roots.

>> Support and...

>> A happy place to be.

>> Being with friends.

>> Mudra dance, to me, is a way

to express myself with amazing


>> To me is love and connection.

>> Mudra dance, to me is family.

>> Family.

>> Family.

>> Mudra dance, to me, is



>> But it's important.

It's an important job.

>> And can we get Sonali up and


>> The mission of

Mudra Dance Studio is to

celebrate diversity through the

universal language of dance and

music and to expose the world to

the beautiful cultural fabric

that India brings to our

culture here.

[ Cheers and applause ]

>> Are we ready to immerse

ourselves in everything that is

so beautiful and wonderful about

this camp?!

[ Cheers and applause ]

>> Heritage Camp is a place

where adoptees can come with

their families and learn about

the rich heritage they come

from, where they're adopted


20 years ago, I was brought in

to do an adult dance class, and

they invited me back to take

over dancing for the whole camp

from that time on.


So, we meet once a year for

three days.

And it's so special because a

lot of these kids and families

come from all over the country,

so we don't get to see them for

the whole year.

And it's just so special to see

them still feeling that

connection, wanting to be there.

That is that same feeling that

we bring into our cabin when all

our volunteers -- they come

together, and we sit in the

cabin and work out, you know,

different ingredients to put

together workshops.

Like, we're creating dupattas,

which are scarves.

>> So, somebody can cut in the

middle and start.

>> The next day, when you have

those children walk in and they

see the beautiful activities

waiting for them, they're just

so overjoyed.

And it just -- it's the most

priceless experience you can


>> It's 6:15 to 7:00.

>> We just have a lot of fun.

Like, it's just nice 'cause it's

like we're not in our daily

routine of work and everything.

We just get to all come

together, and we all love camp.

So, although we're like, "Okay,

we got to learn this dance," and

we stay up late and all that,

we just have so much fun

together 'cause we know, like,

we're gonna enjoy every single

minute we're here.

And the kids are the best.

>> I'm Joelle, and this is

Shweta, and I have been involved

with mudra dance for 14 years.

And she has now been involved

with mudra dance for about

two and a half years.

She went to her first mudra

event one week to the day after

landing in America.

For a long time, I've always

known I wanted to adopt, and

being a part of mudra and coming

to Heritage Camp for 13 years

now -- that had a huge influence

on me wanting to adopt from


In August of '14, we were

matched and then in November of

2015, I was able to take

full-time custody and we came

home December 4th, 2015.

>> We are so lucky that Joelle

brought this beautiful young

lady, Shweta, back.

Shweta had special needs, but

has the most amazing heart and

desire to succeed and do

whatever is necessary.

And she actually inspires us.

>> And then outside.

>> In the past, the five years

before we joined, the kids all

learned dancing as groups.

But I was brought in to do an

adult dance class, and the

parents came in and joined.


♪ Every minute, I think of you

So, that is what today's class

was about, and that adult class

has kept increasing in number.

And today you saw 40 people

dancing, so it was quite



To see the children watch them

perform was just so amazing.

Some of them were embarrassed.

Some of them were overjoyed, and

some had tears in their eyes.

And at the same time, the

parents felt closer to their

kids because they were taking a

little piece of culture with


>> I can't imagine my world with

mudra, I mean, to be honest.

>> If there was no mudra, well,

then I would take videos of me

dancing and stuff.

And then once I grow up and once

I'm older and I'm a grown-up,

then I would make a mudra.

>> You would make your own


>> Uh-huh.

That's what I would do

so I'd have mudra.

What is a world without dancing

and singing?

I would grow up and make it


>> [ Laughs ]

>> I cry all the time, and that

is one of the things, the

emotional aspect, that

connection that we have.

I just hope that the diversity

that we have within our studio

is able to extend beyond not

just the camp, but the world

so that we can all be happy to

see different colors, different

faces, different sizes, shapes,

whatever it is, and feel that

connection because we're humans.

And that is what mudra is about.

Mudra is about making this world

just fantastically celebratory.


>> And now the artist's quote

of the week.

Art imitates life in the work of

a Chesapeake, Virginia, native.

In this segment, we see how the

artist's elongated, stylized

images embrace moments in time.

Here's a look.

>> You can learn from watching

and listening to other people.

It comes out in my work, so it's

not just my experiences.

It is the experiences of other


>> Hi.

>> Did you do these paintings?

>> Yes, I did.

>> Wow. Beautiful.

>> Thank you.

When I started doing the

elongated silhouette images,

this was one of the first ones

that I started with.

Even though they're black

silhouette images is, it doesn't

limit itself because most people

can relate to what is taking

place in the pictures.

>> Do you have the original...

>> No.

>> No?

>> The original is gone.

>> I love her.

>> I wanted to do something that

identified me.

You know, everybody kind of has

to find their niche.

I started out with images.

The first one I did, really, was

a group of dancers that had on

no clothes, but I tried to

distort to fit their body some.

And after I did that, I said,

"Hmm, I could put clothing on

them and put them in settings

and tell stories."


I like the latest one on the

front with the couple walking

away, and I love it because it's

called "The Golden Years."

It's wonderful to see people

whose relationships last through

the years and to still have that

close bond as they get older.

And I get that.


[ Indistinct conversations ]

>> Yes.


[ Conversations continue ]

>> Love it. Love it.

>> You know what that one is


>> No. Tell me about it.

>> It's called "Morning Joe."

I'm a coffee drinker.

Are you a coffee drinker?

>> Yes, I am.

>> You see?

There's your coffee.


[ Indistinct conversations ]

I like that piece because it

makes me think in terms of just

people in general, that people

can aspire to do many things.

And it's like the world is

their oyster.

They can accomplish much.

And when I look at that, I think

a good location for it, to me,

would be in a school or in a

children's hospital.

>> I like almost all of her work

because all of her work

symbolizes, to me, family, love,

relationships, and music.

[ Indistinct conversations ]


I remember when she started

drawing, and this was when we

were very young, in elementary


She would sit at the kitchen

table, and if she had a pad or

anything that she could write

on, she would doodle.

She would doodle all day

if she could.

>> Well, I do mixed media and

different other types of

drawings, and I think that's a

reflection of me teaching and

giving students projects.

I give myself projects.

I like doing different things,

working with different mediums.

It kind of rolls over into the

different types of artwork

that I do.

So, everything I do has painting

in it, but it varies because,

with the mixed media, it has

painting, but then I go and I

add other materials.

The mask came from my own head.

I was thinking about doing mask,

but I wanted to do something

that was a little different.

So, all my masks, I said, "Well,

to identify them as my personal

work, I will always put the

mouth at the very bottom of

each mask."

There's no chin or anything like


It's just the lips.

So, that would identify all my



>> How you coming along over

there, Ma?

>> I'm doing pretty good.

How about yourself?

>> I'm proud of everything my

mother does, to be honest.

I can draw a little bit, but

I've never had to take a art

class because of my mother.

Okay, I'm stuck now, Ma.

[ Chuckles ]

>> 'Cause you got this shoulder

-- Let's just put his shoulder

and stuff in.

You got his shoulder here.

That's gonna go here.

Shoulder's gonna come down

like this.

>> Gotcha.

>> Don't make it so narrow.

>> One of my earliest

memories -- I think I was about

3 or 4 years old.

I was on punishment.

I was in my bedroom coloring.

And my mother came and took my

coloring book and colored all

the people purple, and their

hair was orange.

I'll never forget that.

It really made me upset.

And then she told me that,

"When you do art, there's no


Just use your imagination.

You can make people look like

however you want them to look."

>> It's so vibrant, and it's so

rich and full of color.

And I just love it.

I love it how she make things


>> I like to use colors that

complement each other, and I

like to use contrast, where you

have lights against darks.

That kind of really helps, to

me, make a piece pop or stand


>> She went to art school in

California, and so when she

moved back to the East Coast,

which has been pretty much my

entire life, she's been doing


So, she's one of my favorite

artists and actually inspired me

to do art.

And now I'm an artist, too.

She inspired me just with her

ability to capture the simple

vibrancy of simple everyday life

of African-Americans.

And I think that each piece --

it speaks volumes.


>> That's an oil painting.

That's called "Uncle Joe."

Everybody has an Uncle Joe.

He might be a little strange,

very vocal, maybe a little

silly at times.

But I did that piece, and when I

did it, I was laughing the whole


It made me feel good.

It's a funny piece to me.

It's a take-off, when you look

at it, of cubism, Picasso's


And I wanted to kind of show

that in this piece, and that's

what I did.

I like it.

I hope other people like it

when they see it.

[ Chuckles ]

I hope that when people look at

my work, it touches.

I wanted to touch the hearts of

all people and all races and all


>> Now here's a look at this

month's fun fact.

Halloween is always a time for

dressing up in hidden faces, but

things have come a long way from

the days of grease paint and

rubber masks, as we see in

this next segment with

special-effects artist

Rudy Campos.

>> We're on the west side of

Houston, practically to Katy,

where their lives a man who can

make your greatest fantasies

come to life or, at this time of

the year, maybe take your worst

nightmares and give them flight.

Here. Take a look.

Disguising yourself at Halloween

is a longstanding tradition,

initially believed that since

spirits walk the earth on

All Hallows' Eve, if we hid our

identities, the spirits wouldn't

recognize us and thus would

leave us be.

Over the years, we've dressed in

costumes, put on masks, even

hidden our faces using clown

makeup and grease paint.

But artist Rudy Campos has

perfected his own airbrush

makeup techniques that truly

mask our identities.

So, how long have you

been doing this?

>> So, I have been doing this

since probably like -- I started

in high school.

I started in high school doing

just Halloween makeups, and then

I'd watch a lot of monster

movies, so I'd do it off

Halloween season, but actually

doingmakeup makeup since about


>> Early on, Rudy used himself

as a model, even going so far as

to glue prosthetic pieces to his

own face.

But when it came time to remove

the pieces, he had no idea what

to use.

>> But I learned a valuable

lesson that day -- if you're

gonna be gluing something to

your face, always know what the

remover is gonna be.

>> Before you start.

>> Exactly.

>> As Rudy got older, it looked

like college wasn't for him.

But if college wasn't in the

cards, his dad told him he

needed to get a trade.

>> My dad said, "I know that you

like makeup, and I know that you

like special effects and you're

into that, so let's find you a


And he found one.

>> Rudy completed makeup school

and, as a graduation gift from

his parents, he received his

first airbrush and that became

his tool of choice.


But when it comes to Halloween

makeup, most folks don't have an

airbrush and end up having to

use sponges and brushes.

But Rudy has a couple of tips

for the home creator, too.

>> Whether it be a sponge or

brush, just use two, one to

apply and then one to blend out.

>> And the other tip?

>> Stray away from the Halloween

makeup that you'd get it at,

like, Halloween stores or, like,

Walmart and stuff.

You want it to look good.

You want to go to, like, a

theatrical store.

>> But since we all can't be

masters of this art form, Rudy

is there to help us become our

fantasy selves.

But what is it that keeps Rudy

painting on?

>> The biggest thing that I get

out of doing this is watching

people look at themselves in the

mirror and seeing the character

that they become.

>> And thanks to Rudy and his

handy airbrush, these

transformations just keep


>> How do you like it?

>> Whoa. I'm a fawn.

>> With a little bit of

imagination and a whole lot of

airbrushing, anything is



>> You can see more

of Rudy's work at


And here's a look at this week's

art history.

The stories of Florida's soul

musicians are captured in a new

book called "Florida Soul."

We visit the authors and

contributors to hear more.

>> I moved down here a few years

ago to start teaching at the

University of Tampa, and I

started to realize just how many

of the great soul musicians and

singers I grew up listening to

and whose music I loved had

Florida roots.

>> I became the photographer of

this project because John and I

had worked together before.

We had done some journalistic


I loved the idea of working with

him, and I was also very excited

that he was doing this book.

I felt when we came down here

that he would possibly find an

interest that would really spur

him on to do something that was

specific to Florida.

>> Well, it's a long state.

So, you know, I work with Miami

artists and I work with

Pensacola artists and a lot of

people in between.

So I put quite a few miles on

the car, but it was very


And, in fact, it was a great way

of my getting to know Florida.

And then I went out a second

time with my wife, and she took

contemporary portraits of the

people who survived.

>> We had a lovely time with

Latimore at his house.

He's also not too far away from


And I was struck when I met him

by the fact that he wears this

wonderful G clef earring.

We went outside and just --

He's got great white hair now.

He seemed so at home with

the background.

>> Well, I was born in a small

town in Tennessee called

Charleston, Charleston,

Tennessee, little town about

as big as this room.

[ Vocalizing ]

We were not well-to-do.

[ Laughs ]

But we always had plenty to eat

and had a roof over our heads.

[ Soft piano music playing ]

[ Soul music playing ]


Music started early.

My mother used to play guitar,

kind of folky kind of guitar,

and sing to me.

That's the first person I ever

heard sing or play.

The first prison.


♪ Sit yourself down, girl,

and talk to me ♪

We had a piano in the house.

I couldn't pass it without

getting on there and

experimenting, you know?

And I just know it sounds good.

I just did what sounded good to

me, which is what I do now.

Of all these years, I never had

any formal training.

I played what sounded good.

>> ♪ There he is

♪ Standing in the rain

♪ Waiting for me

♪ To run and kiss him

>> I loved photographing

Frankie Gearing.

She's in St. Pete.

When she was a little girl and

underage, she would try to sneak

into the Manhattan Casino in

St. Pete and, you know, try to

hear the music and see the bands


But she would usually get caught

by the people at the door who

knew her.

But then later, when she was a

performer, she came back and

sang at the Manhattan Casino,

and that was really great

for her.

>> In Daytona, I was living with

my grandmother.

It was a small little town.

When I came over to

St. Petersburg, St. Pete

was bustling.

You'd be sitting on your porch

looking at the train pass by

your house, and you --

It was just awesome.

I used to try to sneak in the --

[chuckles] in the

Manhattan Casino with no luck.

But I'd go downstairs at the

Sno-Peak and sit on the bench

and look up at the window.

And I'd listen to the music and

sing with the music.

They had the greatest bands.

Oh, my God, those bands and

that music.

They didn't have an air

conditioner, and the windows

would be up.

And you could hear all of the


And if you looked kind of

cattycorner, you could see him

with the pretty green, lime

green shiny suits on or burgundy

and all different colors and the

shiny horns.

And they're dancing with the



It was amazing.

They became my inspiration

'cause I wanted to do it.

I wanted to sing, and I wasn't

ashamed to sing.

I'd blurt out and just start

singing, and if anybody

listened, they would say,

"That little girl can sing."

And they'd help me or --

I didn't have no problem getting

into show business, and my life

is really -- It was blessed.

>> ♪ Just a little bit too

long ♪

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪ Don't make me stop now

>> To go and sit down with the

people who made this music that

I listened to growing up and

that I still love and have

them explain to me exactly how

they did it, why they did it,

what the circumstances were,

what happened before, what

happened afterward, to

understand the craft of soul

music, gave me another whole

level of appreciation for what

these people are able to do.

>> ♪ Don't let that flame

get too low ♪

♪ Keep a home fire burnin'

♪ Burnin'

To find out more,

visit the website.

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 Web page

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











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