WLIW Arts Beat


WLIW Arts Beat - January 6, 2020

In this edition of WLIW Arts Beat, a crane company in Kansas City collects contemporary art; actors from PBS' Poldark share how they landed their roles; a photographer shares his rock and roll portraits; and a 21st pipe organ uses technology to preserve history.

AIRED: February 04, 2020 | 0:26:45



>> In this edition of

"WLIW Arts Beat"...

an art collection

from across the globe.

>> If you collect,

you're learning.

If you're learning,

you're still alive.

If you're not learning,

you're dead.

>> The stories behind a fan


>> He's a very complex


Quite layered.

>> Turning the lens on rock 'n'


>> This is my main breadwinner

right here.

>> And a musical marvel.

>> There were 14 designs

for this instrument

before this was selected

to go into the room.

>> 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.

In our first segment,

we visit the Belger Arts Center

in Kansas City, Missouri, where

artwork from across the globe

is the inspiration

for an educational approach

to contemporary art.

Let's go inside the galleries

to get the story.

>> Boston, Massachusetts,

Melbourne, Australia,

Phoenix, Arizona,

Tijuana, Mexico,

Austin, Texas,

Greenville, South Carolina,

and on and on.

Yeah, the way I remember, it was

Dick said, "I've been going to

museums for 30 years, and half

the time, I get in my car and I

think, 'What the [bleep] was

that all about?'"

He said, "All I want you to do

is hang out and talk to people."

Then we have this mysterious,

three-dimensional box...

"And explain to them

why I collect what I collect

and why we do the shows we do."

And I have found that's been

a pretty successful formula.

>> 10 years have passed now

since Mo Dickens

took the reins of the gallery

started by the late Myra Morgan

a few years earlier.

Myra also gets credit

for starting Dick Belger

on his art-collecting odyssey

a few decades before that.

Turns out he'd already

had some practice.

>> I think I've collected

about everything except

bottle caps and baseball cards.

If you collect, you're learning.

If you're learning,

you're still alive.

If you're not learning,

you're dead.

>> For a guy who claims

he could barely spell "art"

when he started, Dick caught

on quickly, amassing works

by top-flight contemporary

artists like William Wiley,

Jasper Johns, Robert Stackhouse,

and William Christenberry,

among others, works

which soon began finding

their way onto walls

in the company headquarters.

>> I have a real curiosity,

and I discovered later

I'm a fan of process.

You know, how do you get from

here to there,

what happens in that.

And that's what those artists

are doing.

They're processing.

They're going through a process

to do that work.

And they're resolving some of

their own issues,

some of their personal issues.

And that's really what got me

hooked in art.

>> Need to get it up.

>> The Belger Collection runs so

deep on certain artists that Mo

and his staff frequently field

calls from high-profile museums

around the country,

putting together exhibitions

of their own.

In fact, Evelyn Craft Belger

met her future husband

while serving as executive

director of the Arts Center

in St. Petersburg, Florida.

They've been married

six years now.

>> I respect and love

the collection, and I love

Dick's collecting vision.

I would probably buy things

in an undisciplined manner

because I love them.

I love seeing people try

new things, develop new skills,

and hopefully grow as an artist.

>> So far, Evelyn's biggest

impact, aside from helping Dick

dial down his work week

to just six days, can be found

a few blocks further east.

Across the railroad tracks

from the real crane yard,

the Belger Crane Yard Studios,

at 20th and Tracy contain

a little bit of everything --

an exhibition space,

a new home for

Red Star Ceramics,

the Lawrence Lithography

Workshop, and the metal shop

where Asheer Akram built his

acclaimed Pakistani cargo truck.

>> And I believe it's really

important to provide

an opportunity to as many people

as possible to experience

the creative process.

If you're in a museum

environment, you have so many

other restrictions.

When you are in an arts-center

environment like ours,

which is a private gallery,

we can take a lot more chances

because what we're doing

is trying to educate

about the creative process,

and that includes mistakes

and it includes opportunities

for people to soar that they

wouldn't have had before.

>> When I still had a shop

in Lawrence, some of the artists

that he was collecting,

like Stackhouse and Wiley

and those guys, they were

sending over to me to print


And he wanted the idea of a shop

here in this area instead of

just on the east or west coast.

>> After spending some time

in Texas, Mike Sims

brought his printmaking prowess

back to town.

In 2001, Lawrence Lithography

became the first and, for many

years, only occupant of this

formidable old building that

once housed a wax-paper plant.

>> I like personally this.

We're not right down

in the Crossroads, a district

I like, but it's its own little


The view out these windows

every single day is stimulating.

And the weather changes.

The show out the window is


Now, the Red Star is downstairs

and with the metal shop.

All of this is now becoming

an arts destination point,

so we're all feeding off

each other this way.

We're getting a critical mass

here that's really bringing

people out.

>> There are facilities

that strive to do

similar things in town.

Like, there's the Hobbs Building

and there was

the Arts Incubator,

but I think the way

they're approaching setting

everything up and letting it

kind of organically define

itself is unique here,

and it's working really well.

>> Nothing as ambitious as the

cargo truck has passed through

here lately, but plenty

of metal fabrication continues.

In fact, Asheer showed

some large-scale pieces

upstairs last winter.

And in the spirit of things,

he's also been playing more

frequently with ceramics.

Which brings us

to Crane Yard Clay,

a wholesale operation housed

in the east end of the complex.

Selling art supplies

for pottery making has deepened

the revenue stream here,

and that's by design.

>> My background is in business

first and then it was the arts.

And even though

it was the business side of the

arts later on, I think you've

got to have both elements.

It can't be all wishful


There's a lot of hard work

into any career in the arts.

>> And that creating process

not only works in the arts,

it also works in the business.

Because you have to be

quick on your feet

and be able to adapt

to new ways of thinking

in the business world

to be successful.

And that's one good influence

that the arts have on me is,

my feet aren't quite planted

so deep in cement.

You know, I can move

a little bit quicker.

>> As unusual as this

mix might seem, consider this.

>> The heavy hauling industry

moves things from point A

to point B,

not unlike the artistic process

that Dick Belger finds

so fascinating.

>> I think his biggest

contribution to the city --

and he makes a whole lot of

incredible contributions

to the city --

is the backing he gives

the arts at the ground level,

building up.

>> I won't say we're reclusive,

but we're pretty private people.

The only reason to put our name

on anything is to say

that it's important

that everybody give whatever

level that you can do something

that opens another person's eyes

to the arts or creative process.

That's really important.

>> So this is very early.

And this is kind of funny to me

because I found...

Students from the

Art Institute frequently come

down here and they say, "How do

I get a job like yours, Mo?"

And I learned pretty early

on the correct answer was,

"I don't think there is a job

like mine, and if I ever hear of

one, I'll let you know."

Come here. I gotta show you the

way Peregrine signed this thing.

>> Oh.

>> New Year's Day, 2001.

Let's get close.

Look how she signed it.

>> To find out more,

visit belgerartscenter.org.



The PBS show "Poldark"

is a fan favorite.

And in this next segment, we

hear from the show's leading

actors about how they landed

their starring roles.


>> There's nothing for you here,


The rewards could be


So are the risks.

[ Gunshots ]

>> One morning, I was sent --

I got a phone call for my agent

to say that Mammoth Screen,

who co-produced with BBC,

was sending me two

of Winston Graham's novels

and six of the scripts.

And until that point, I hadn't

heard of Graham

at all or "Poldark" or anything.

So it was complete news to me.

So, yeah, it was a great place

to start, too, not knowing


Because you're starting

from scratch, and, yeah, you're

not sort of -- you're not being

pulled in different directions.

I haven't seen the original


I know that's kind of --

that's criminal to some people,

but I just -- I felt like

I didn't -- I wanted --

I wanted to find Ross myself.

I wanted to -- I didn't want to

be sort of swayed in different


And sometimes as an actor,

I guess you can -- you can be

influenced by certain things,

inspired by certain things,

but, you know, subconsciously,

I didn't want to kind of emulate

or imitate

Robin's amazing performance.

So I've steered clear of the

series, but I felt like I didn't

necessarily need it.

>> Are the rumors true, do you


>> He's a damn fool, if they're


>> Confess to the sin there is

twixt you and Poldark.

>> The role of Demelza just

jumped out at me.

I just thought it was

the most incredible role,

like the Scarlett O'Hara role.

They just don't come

along, you know?

And I auditioned for it,

and then I did a chemistry

read with Aidan.

And, yeah, eventually, I got it.

And it's amazing.

So, after getting the role,

I did lots of research into it.

I watched a tiny little bit

of the original series

because I wanted to see how

Angharad Rees managed to

capture the heart of the public

in the way that she did.

The pressure has been quite

high, you know, especially with

such a successful previous


And for the actress who played

it before you, Angharad Rees,

you know, she just gave

the most amazing performance,

and people loved her in it.

So I think, you know,

I really hope the fans like it.

It's a very different series.

You know, it's

a different adaptation.

It's closer to the books than

the original was.

So, yeah, I think bearing in

mind that it is different,

it's amazingly exciting.

>> Great many girls would be

glad to acquire the name of


>> Mining -- 'tis in the blood,

your father would say.

>> Would you like a wager?

I'd sooner gamble on a vein of

copper and the sweat of 50 men

than either turn of a card.

>> There's a lot in him.

He's a very complex character.

Quite layered.

You know, it's not -- it's not

just one thing or the other.

I mean, he's a man of principle,

I think, and of moral code.

He's fair, and he's honest,

and he's -- he's got

a real sense of

integrity about him.

But at the same time, he's not

this benevolent, sort of saintly


You know, he's quite lawless,

and he's a bit of a rebel,

and, you know, a bit of a

renegade, and he doesn't like

authority or being told what

to do.

And he's kind of moody.

There's a flip to him all the


There's almost like a Jekyll and

Hyde to him sometimes, you know?

And he sort of slips

kind of seamlessly from the

working-class, from his fellow

miners and friends

and that part of society

straight up to

the gentrified classes

and the aristocracy.

And he does it with such ease,

and he's quite cool that way.

And people really respect him,

I think.

You know, and he's a hard

worker, you know?

And he's confused by love.

And he's kind of

emotionally incapable

of anything, really, in that.

I think he's way more

comfortable on the battlefields

of Virginia, you know, with

a musket in his hand than he

would be telling Demelza that he

loves her or anything like that.

And he's a real man's man

in that sense.

And I don't know, he's just


He's the type of character that

when I read from the very

first -- from the first few

scripts and the first couple of

books, I thought, like, "There's

a lot in him.

I could keep going with this

and keep finding stuff

with his character."

>> Working with Aidan is great.

He's a brilliant actor,

and he brings something new

to the scene each time, you

know, so you're constantly on

your toes which is -- which is


But, yeah, it's very romantic.

It's certainly...

It's certainly very, very

exciting, in that respect.

>> It's just sort of happened.

I finished high school.

I didn't know what I wanted to

do, and it just seemed like fun,

and I did an acting class in

Dublin, and it was terrifying.

And I liked it.

It was just exhilarating.

It was just getting up on stage

in front of a bunch of people

that I didn't know and making

a complete fool of myself

just seemed to kind of work

for me for some reason.

>> I guess I almost fell into

it, but I don't know.

Like, I remember going to see my

mum on stage as a kid

and going and sat with my dad

and just loving that

camaraderie, you know, that

chemistry, that creativity

that happens around, you know,

people doing their jobs.

It was just, um...

It was immediately kind of

inspiring, and I just --

just wanted to do it.

>> You are to leave here or die


>> It was kind of cool to have

my first meeting knowing that

there was an offer on the table.

That's something I haven't

experienced before.

I could get used to that.

It's quite a nice feeling.


>> And now here's a look

at an Arts Fun Fact.



Some of the leading stars

of rock 'n' roll

are captured for all time thanks

to photographer Larry Hulst.

We have a look at Hulst's iconic

photos, which are as

recognizable as the stars


[ Grateful Dead's

"Uncle John's Band" plays ]


>> If you look up

the Grateful Dead

in the Encyclopedia Britannica,

the photograph you'll see

was taken by Larry Hulst.

The San Diego native

and former Vietnam medic

has called Colorado Springs

home since 1993.

He says it's a spectacular

feeling to know that moments

he's captured live on.

>> I've seen my photographs

at Grammy Awards,

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

induction ceremonies.

So it's pretty exciting.

I never know where they're gonna

come up, where they're gonna be



The first magazine that I went

to wasRolling Stone magazine

in seventy -- it was '73.

It was a picture of

Muddy Waters, and I took the

photograph when he was opening

for had Hot Tuna at Winterland.


I first started selling them at


I made a photograph

of Jerry Garcia, and I figured

if I could sell it for a dollar

and if I could sell four or five

of them, then I could buy

admission into the show and

maybe a beer.

>> ♪ Casey Jones, you better

>> What started as a way

to make a few dollars

and to see great music

blossomed into a career.

Larry became a front-row

witness to rock and roll

history, often discovering bands

at the cusp of a breakthrough,

like The Ramones, who he first

saw at a hamburger joint.

>> I think that's when music

changed for me.

It was kind of melodic until you

heard Joey Ramone sing.

15 songs in 25 minutes, and

every one of them was a good

one, and every one of them was

faster than the last one.

[ Led Zeppelin's "Dancing Days"

plays ]


This is my main breadwinner

right here.

If you've bought a box set

of the reissue of

"Houses of the Holy," it's in

that book.

From Kezar Stadium, and it's

June 2, 1973, in San Francisco.


>> ♪ I got my flower

♪ I've got my power

[ Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze"

plays ]

When I was starting out, my

cameras were about $100 with a

couple of lenses and shooting


I wouldn't go back to film

for myself.

It doesn't meet the deadlines.

>> Access restrictions are also

much different for today's

concert photographer.

>> From about '82 on

is when the restrictions

really came in strong,

which works completely

against publicity for an artist.

>> Shopping photos to publishers

before the digital age

was a slow process.

To fill the time, Larry sold his

photos to a passerby outside

Tower Records in San Francisco.

He was a sidewalk staple

there for 18 years.

Sometimes fate aligned,

once approaching A&M Records

in Los Angeles in hopes

of a staff photography position,

Larry flashed a George Harrison

photo to the receptionist.

>> They took me down a hallway

to a door,

and we walked through a door,

and George Harrison was there,

and I talked to him for about

10 minutes.

And I was trying to sell him

that photograph so that I could

get gas money

to come back to Sacramento.

That was the highlight of my


I do believe George Harrison

was the best Beatle.

>> Larry says his world

changed when he was signed

to the Michael Oakes stock-photo

agency in 1979.

Getty Images then bought

the agency in the 1980s.

Since then, Larry's photographs

have become as ubiquitous

as the stars they shined a light



Larry is still an active

concert-goer and photographer.

>> Bringing back something

that's personal to me

that's not a $35 or a $40

T-shirt that I could show

somebody and say, "This is



>> You can see more photos at...



We visit the University of Tampa

and the Sykes Chapel.

Inside the campus chapel

is a massive 21st-century pipe


In this segment, we learn more

and take a listen.


[ Organ playing ]

>> University of Tampa

has been here for a long time.

We were established in 1931.

It began with an iconic

building, the old

Tampa Bay Hotel,

that was built by Henry Plant

back in the 1890s

as a tourist destination

at the end of the rail line.

University acquired

that building in 1931,

and it became the home

of everything at the university.

Students lived there,

the library was there, eating

facilities, dining facilities.

[ Organ playing ]


>> When the plans for the chapel

were announced, the then organ

professor in the music

department here went right to

the president's office, and he

said, you know, "You can't build

a chapel, no matter what the

definition of chapel might be --

you can't build such a structure

without putting a pipe organ

into it."

And so plans were launched

for this great instrument

that's here now.

Working together,

we had the ability to create

the perfect environment

for this organ.

All of the elements

came together beautifully.

The architects, the

architectural firm, was working

together with the acoustical

consultants, who worked together

with the organ builder.

There are fewer than 50

pipe organs built per year

in the United States, so it is

really a very specialized art,

and they're built in a handful

of shops.

There were 14 designs

for this instrument

before this was selected

to go into the room.

Organs are places of beauty

for music of great beauty,

and I think that's sort of key

to it, that we work in this sort

of elevated aesthetic place,

if you will.

Even looking at this key desk,

you can see that the woods

in it are precious woods.

This is burled elm.

The craft of such things as the

stop knobs is just turned to

a very high level of refinement

and polish.

The keys are made of bone.

And everything works, then,

as a kind of perfect --

perfect machine, if you will.

One builds up sound in choruses.


What's happened there?

The physics of this is really

very easy to understand.


My fingers depress these keys.

That action is transmitted

through levers to a series

of carbon-fiber filaments,

and they're transmitted through

another set of levers

upward to wind chests.

And on top of these boxes

sit a whole collection

of whistles.

So, an organ pipe...

[ Organ playing ]

...is nothing more than a

whistle, the same as any child's

toy whistle would be.

And they're very sophisticated

whistles, but they're placed

on these boxes called wind


And when you depress the key,

that opens a pallet

on the bottom of the box

and admits wind to the channel

on which all of these notes sit.

So, the second part of that --

That happens in this axis,

going back and forth,

but the second part of it,

left and right,

is that there are rows of pipes

all put on that same wind chest

which are different tone colors

and different pitches.

So, this stop...


...and this stop...


...and this and this...


...all sit on these wind chests


And how you arrange this,

how you pull the stops

and how you play the keys

gives us our -- gives us

our ability to both change color

and play pitches.


500 years ago, I would've been

accompanied by two assistants

standing on either side of this

console, pushing and pulling

these for me, and they would've

been big, long wooden draw stops

that would come way out.

I probably would've also had

five or six choirboys or

children in the back of the

organ, pumping like crazy to

create the wind in the bellows.

This is, of course, electrically


But these pistons allow us

then to program

the sounds that we want

and put them in order, put them

anywhere we want.

And in this particular case,

and here's the 21st century

technology, there is a computer

that runs this whole system.

And every one of these single

pistons can be programmed 256

memories deep.


It's a real snapshot of,

if you will, the humanities

of technology, of science,

all working together.

Reflected in this one instrument

are skills of metallurgy, of

acoustics, skills of

woodworking, design, and

linguistic skills.

Organs are built

all over the world.

And one of the things that

really speaks to the nature of

that instrument and where it

comes from is how it resembles

the language in those particular


So, all of that complexity

spoke to so many sides

of my own imagination

and my own creativity.

I think if I had been

just a musician

and wanted to go deeply

into music and only music

I think I would have wound up

either being a pianist

or a symphony conductor,

but because I was interested

in science first

and architecture second

and music third,

it was very, very logical for me

to find this instrument and to

be able to still keep my hand

in all of that kind of thinking.


>> 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


Thank you.







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