WLIW Arts Beat


WLIW Arts Beat - January 4, 2021

In this edition of WLIW Arts Beat, creating high-quality handmade ties; a musician's commitment to jazz; transforming public spaces through colorful murals; an artist who explores many different art forms.

AIRED: January 04, 2021 | 0:26:46



>> In this edition of

"WLIW Arts Beat"...

Craftsmanship in fashion design.

>> My passion is neck ties.

I make them unique because each

one is individually created.

>> The sounds of jazz.

>> Some people say, you know,

I'm battling with my horn, and I

realized over time that it is


It's just an extension of you.

All art, it's all freedom, and

it's all self-expression.


>> The power of outdoor mural


>> Public art, in general, just

to start kind of from a broad

perspective, has always been a

way that you can engage with the

community, and that can be a

community of all walks of life.

>> An artist's inspiration and


>> I think any field, any art,

it has to give hope, a sense of

living to the person who is

seeing it.

Not depress them but encourage



>> It's all ahead on this

edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat" was

made possible by viewers like


Thank you.

Welcome to "WLIW Arts Beat."

I'm Diane Masciale.

Pasquale Iovinella makes

high-quality handmade ties.

From fabric selection to pattern

development to tie construction,

he's involved in every step of

the process and puts his stamp

on all of his creations.

We head to Reno, Nevada, for the




>> My name is

Pasquale Iovinella, and I

hand-make neckties.

I came from a small town in

Italy called Orta Di Atella.

It's about 10 miles from Naples.

Since I was young, I always had

an interest and a passion,

particularly in neckties.


My mom was a traditional

seamstress, so she taught me

about the sewing with the

sewing machine, threading, and


I learned a lot from her.

When I decide to do this for a

job, I went to school in Rome.

About five, six years ago, I

start to make neckties.

My ties are special because they

are produced in limited



I make one, two, maybe three of


And pay attention on every small



My neckties are made with fabric

from Como, Italy, which is the

best silk in the world.

So I only use silk -- 100% silk.

Every one year, two year, I go

back to Italy and select the


Once I choose the fabric, I cut

the fabric in three pieces at a

45-degree angle.


These create a more elastic and

are stable so the necktie

doesn't lose its shape.


The most important step is to

make tips.

They must be perfect.


Then, I join all three pieces.


The next step is to put the

lining in, and it closes all the

necktie with the lining.


Next step, your keeper's loop.


Put my Italian flag on it.

The necktie's complete when I

control it, that there's no


That means that the necktie's

ready to wear.

I'm happy when I finish my

neckties, because this is my

creativity, it's my design.

In Italy, many people wear a tie

every day.

That's the culture, you know?

Oscar Wilde said, "A well-tied

tie is the first serious step in


My passion is neckties.


I love it.


>> See more of Iovinella's

designs at


And now the artist's quote of

the week.


Up next, we travel to

Cincinnati, Ohio, to meet jazz

musician Romel Sims.

With a trumpet in hand, he

proudly plays for all to hear

and tells a story through the

notes he emits.

Have a listen.

[ Trumpet plays ]



>> Jazz is everyday life.

My earliest influence within

jazz, I would have to say, my


And in our basement, she has

this picture of the great

Count Basie.

Phenomenal jazz pianist,


Just a master of the music.

And I'd always look at that

picture, like, ever since I was

a boy, and I'd be like, "Man,

who was that man?" and you'd

just see this silhouette and

this light on him and him, like,

sitting at the piano.

And I always thought it was


I didn't necessarily know at

that time that that was jazz

music or that he was affiliated

with it.

But I felt a vibe from that

picture, and it meant a lot to

me, and I still have it to this






My primary is trumpet, and I

realized in my journeying with

this horn is that she's very

demanding, in the sense that you

have to respect her, in a sense.

And some people say, you know,

I'm battling with my horn, and I

realized over time that it is


It's just an extension of you.

It's all art, it's all freedom,

and it's all self-expression.






In my journey at the Cincinnati

Conservatory of Music, as far

as, like, the jazz program

there, I'm very thankful for it

because of these two people.

Craig Bailey and

Dr. Scott Belck.

As far as, like, my major, it's

jazz performance and studying

the music outside of just the


'Cause it's much more than that.

A lot of people say that, you

know, "Jazz is this, jazz is


And to me, it's your own

interpretation of it, to a

certain extent.

I'm in this paradox because, at

one point, it's like, "I have my

own voice, you know, already."

And there's also this sense of


You know, I'm 21 years young,

and I know I don't have it all

together, but I'm willing to go

through this journey called life

and, through my journey so far,

I realize...

I know a lot about nothing.


I say that humbly, because I

feel like, right when you think

you've mastered something or

that you know everything about

it, you know, life comes around

the corner and shows you, "Hey,

there's much more."

I come from great musicians.

Buddy Bolden, Bunk Johnson,

King Joe Oliver,

Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge,

Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown,

Miles Davis, Fats Navarro,

Wynton Marsalis, even to

Nicholas Payton, and -- sad that

we lost him -- one of my

favorites, Roy Hargrove.

I'm just being me when I make my

music 'cause it's just genuine


I'm very thankful for certain

mentors in my life, such as

Erwin Stuckey, um...

Craig Bailey, Marlin McKay.

These men reaching out to me --

Elder David -- saying that, "You

can just be yourself."

I mean, not everyone's

necessarily gonna like it.

Not everyone's gonna necessarily

love it, too.

But you're being genuinely you.

And when it comes to the music,

it's the same thing.

We all have emotions.

We all have families, stuff that

we're going through, stuff that

we don't tell people about.

But listen, we're going through

this thing together.

You know?

I'm gonna lean on somebody's

shoulder someday, so you can

lean on mine.

And if that's how I got the

connection to the melody of this

ballad that I just recently

wrote, if you want love, you

show love.

Even through adversity, even

through people that don't show

you the love that you

necessarily would like.

'Cause it all comes back.

>> In this segment, we visit

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where

painter and architect

Francisco "Pastel" Diaz

transforms the space around him

by creating murals for the

public to enjoy.

Take a look.

>> Francisco Pastel painted at

the corner of Lobdell and

Jefferson, and this was his

first piece of public art for

the city of Baton Rouge.

Prior to that, he had created

works on canvas either here in

the gallery or in his

Argentinean studio in

Buenos Aires, and he was sending

them to us for us to sell as

artwork, as fine artwork.

So he has that kind of

dual-component where he's able

to create works on canvas that

we present as fine art, usually

for the home or a corporate

space, but then, he's also doing


So this trip is more focused on

the mural component, where he'll

be creating two different

murals, one on

Martin Wine Cellar and one on

the building shared by Kiki and

Gourmet Girls.

We knew we wanted Francisco to

come back to Baton Rouge, but,

really, where the tough part

becomes is finding those

community leaders, businesses,

and other people,

philanthropists, to support

having this artist here.

So we're so lucky that we've had

so many great leaders step up.

Martin Wine Cellar was one of

the first people to say yes once

we showed them Pastel's work,

the caliber and the kind of

global reach that he has.

So they wanted to become this

kind of icon for Baton Rouge,

and I think that comes with an

innate understanding of the

importance of the art and

creating a space that's

inclusive and creates an

environment for people that's

just beyond a commercial aspect.

There's something, there's that

X factor.



And then, with the Kiki and

Gourmet Girls, owner of that

building, Winifred and

Kevin Reilly, were big partners

in bringing Pastel here, and

their contribution really

allowed us to have him here for

months and do some really

incredible work.

Public art, in general, just to

start kind of from a broad

perspective, has always been a

way that you can engage with a

community, and that can be a

community of all walks of life.

People really respond to having

thoughtful environments and

artwork in spaces, and I think,

in urban environments, it

becomes even more important.

So, having someone like

Francisco here for a month to

paint several pieces for our

community really elevates our

city on a kind of global reach.

Baton Rouge can become much

bigger than what it really is.

You look at a lot of bigger

cities in the United States, and

this is what they're putting the

focus on.

There's a partnership with

commercial galleries, leaders in

the community, and even support

from the government to make

these happen, because it's

really clear that it makes a big

impact in the overall city and

the idea of place-making.

We've been following Pastel for

a long time.

We are guilty of Instagram

stalking him maybe just a little


So, we made our first impression

with him several years ago after

being introduced to his work

through other artists that we

knew that were working at the

same high level.

And it's those kind of internal

associations, that


relationship, that's how we get

in touch with these artists.

With Francisco's background in

architecture, I think he also

has an incredibly astute ability

with color.

I think that's a unique thing

about his work.

Also, the way that he uses his

body to create work, whether

that be on a five-story building

or on a one-story small piece or

even on just a 16x20 piece of


He has this idea of scale and

proportion kind of built in to

the way that he works.

So there's no grid system,

there's no projection.

It's this very intuitive,

organic process.

And then, the completed work

really attracted us, because it

was all about this kind of

foreign organic flora and fauna

that became part of an urban

environment that brought hope

and kind of a positive

distraction to the people in

those areas.

Dr. Kevin Harris, who started

the Museum of Public Art in

downtown Baton Rouge, really was

the trailblazer for making

Baton Rouge a recognizable

location for these public

artists that travel the world.

These are artists that I've seen

in New York when I go to the

Armory show, in Wynwood in Miami

when we go to Basel.

And then, for them to be here in

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is

really incredible.

That gave us the foot in the

door to be able to contact

people like Francisco Pastel and

reach out to him and work with

him on a professional level and

then eventually bring him to

Baton Rouge to paint work for

the city.

For someone like Pastel and like

these mural artists that travel

all over the world, having that

social-media presence is really

important but also just the

authenticity of what they're


Authenticity -- it's something

that you can see and feel.

And these artists that are

working at this high level, they

have that authentic mark.

So that's what draws us to

people like Pastel.

It's not only his

professionalism as an artist

coming from an architecture

background, but also the idea

that what he's doing is this

authentic approach and it's a

mark that we haven't seen from

any other mural artist.

What makes cities relevant and

desirable when we look around

the country, people are moving

to places where there is a

creative environment, where

there's a sense of purpose and

there's a sense of dedication to

the spaces that they inhabit,

especially in urban

environments, and that's a trend

we've been seeing forever as we

go out.

But when we came back to

Louisiana, after taking our

trips abroad, we felt like that

was missing.

And we're such a rich culture,

so we've made it kind of a

personal component of the

gallery, kind of our personal

philanthropy for the city, to

bring in these artists and to

make a really big impact.

What would be great is, if in

kind of the perfect future, that

impact was not only led by just

us and our great partners here

in the arts but also our leaders

in the legislature and on a

statewide kind of aspect for

them to look and see the

importance of the arts and see

the investment in a cultural


>> Check out more of the

artist's work on his website --


And here's a look at this weeks'

art history.



Whether she's applying henna,

using fluid-based acrylic on her

canvases, or practicing

calligraphy, artist

Lydia Hannah Wilson explores

many different art forms when


We head to Detroit, Michigan, to

find out more.

>> I think any field, any art,

it has to give hope, a sense of

living to the person who is

seeing it, not depress them but

encourage them.

I grew up in a place called


It's in Karnataka, South India.

In India, it's not really common

that people study fine arts, but

for me, I always loved design.

And any empty space, me

designing was my thing.

Nature taught me so much more

than what textbooks taught me.

The way how wind moves, the way

how --

Actually, Salmos describes

nature really well in the Bible,

and that really moved me.

I mean, if he was able to make

songs out of it, why was I not

able to do something with paint?

That really triggered my brain.


Henna is an ancient art form.

In Indian culture, all the

brides apply that, like up till


It's really crazy.

But it takes about seven to

eight hours just to work on

their hands and their feet.

The reason why they do it is,

they think it enhances the


It's just like an adornment to

yourself, and it has a lot of

health benefits, too.

It cools down your body

temperature, and it's more like

a spa treatment because of the

oils and all of the beautiful

aromas you get in the henna.

There is a chemical reaction

that happens in the paste.

After 5, 10 minutes, the stain

starts releasing.

So it reacts with your skin,

which is perfectly normal and


It's nothing to be alarmed of.

So the longer I keep the henna

paste on my skin, the longer the

dye releases.

So, I started doing henna when I

was 10 years old.

My neighbor was a Muslim, and

it was her wedding, and she got

her hands all decked up with

henna up till here, and that

amazed me.

And after two days, her stain

was still there.

And I was like, "Oh, this is


I mean, it just doesn't go off.

And I want to do that, too."

There are different

applications, also.

People use a needle-based tube

to do henna here.

I prefer cone.

Cone is nothing but a plastic

roll, that you roll and then you

tape it with a pin.

So the pin gives a proper

diameter, like for the thickness

and thinness.

I like to work with a fusion of

thin and thick lines, so it

gives a lot of depth, I feel.

There are a few traditional


For brides especially, we do a

lot of portraits in henna.

Like the bride with a dupatta

on her head.

The rich heritage and the rich

culture which is in India, many

people don't know in Detroit.

So when I do those designs,

they're like, "Oh, what is this?

What kind of design is this?

What kind of an art from is


So when I explain them, they're

aware of the culture, they're

aware from where it came.

Other forms are like the Arabic

forms, more like contemporary


When I do brides, I use the

embroidery which is on her


So I use those as my

inspiration, and the love story

of the bride.

I mean, how the bride met the

groom, where did they meet, what

is the common thing between


I sit with them for 8, 9 hours,

and they explain me their entire


And as they explain their story,

on the spot, I build a story up

in the henna.

I think that lightens them, and

they feel good about it.


For me, the time has to stand

still when I paint.

I want people to see hope when

they see my paintings.


I recently learned this

fluid-based acrylic.

So I wet my entire canvas, and I

play soft music.

This is therapeutic to me.

I just put a lot of water on the

canvas and just release a little

bit of paint and let the paint

move in the way it wants to


It creates its own form, and

it's not bound by any thought or

any imagination or something.

It just moves freely, and I love

the freedom of it.

I like painting faces of


Just to capture that emotion,

just to capture what they feel

at that moment.

Capturing that story, it's

challenging to me, and I love to

take the challenge.

There are a lot of news things

I've seen that really saddens my


I was inspired by the

persecution that's happening in


So that's, like, a lady, she is

tired, she is fed up of all the

chaos of this world, and all the

disappointments and heartaches


And she is longing for a place

which is just serene, which is


But she's not finding it.

And she's just wondering one

day, will there be one day?

So I like to capture that

"Will there be one day?"

on her face.


In India, not many people know

about fonts, so in my fine art

college, I came across this

beautiful handwriting, and it

was calligraphy.

I was like, "It's so gorgeous.

I would want to learn that."

But I never found the supplies

to learn how to do calligraphy.

When I moved to U.S., I found

the proper techniques of

calligraphy, and that's how I

learned calligraphy.

The thin and the thickness, it's

more like pen and ink dancing.

Calligraphy and handwriting is

a ballet for me.

I mean, it's just beautiful the

way it curves, and perfect sleek

lines, and then the way it's

elaborated, I just love it.

If my paintings are hung

anywhere, even in the window, or

somewhere on the street, if one

person is walking by, and if

he's having a hard time in his

life, and if my painting could

speak life, or hope to him,

that's all I need.


>> 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


Thank you.





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