WLIW Arts Beat

S2020 E602 | FULL EPISODE

WLIW Arts Beat - October 7, 2019

In this edition of WLIW Arts Beat, a photographer seeks to capture everyday moments;
an artist discovers her roots; we learn the meaning behind music; and the creation of art from space.

AIRED: October 07, 2019 | 0:27:16
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TRANSCRIPT

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In this edition of "WLIW Arts Beat,"

a photographer seeks everyday moments...

I'm looking at the light.

I'm looking at the people.

What is it that strikes me as interesting?

Masciale: ...an artist discovers her roots

Riveros: Recently, my biggest inspiration is,

like, Latino literature,

so I really draw my inspirations from, like, the past.

Masciale: ...learning the meaning behind music...

Kwon: What can be different about my life?

What more can I imagine for myself and for my family

and for my community, for my school?

Masciale: ...and creating art from space.

It's supposed to be the idea of flesh,

and people are allowed to walk through that,

as well as a couple other pieces that are interactive.

It's all ahead on this edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat"

is made possible by viewers like you.

Thank you.

Welcome to "WLIW Arts Beat."

I'm Diane Masciale.

With the click of her camera,

photographer Connie Frisbee Houde

captures stunning images across the world.

Based in Albany, New York,

this photojournalist discovered her method

of storytelling after a trip to the Middle East.

When I first went to Afghanistan in 2003

and I got back, I realized

I had very few photographs of the women because,

to me, I was not seeing -- I didn't see a face.

I just saw this blob, this ghost, this -- You know?

So the second time I went,

I wanted to be much more conscious

of photographing the women as they saw themselves,

which is dressed in the burqa.

I don't try and hide that I'm a photographer

because I just think that's not fair to the people

that you're trying to take pictures of,

but I also don't want to do the posed crummy smile,

that kind of thing.

I want to capture people as they're doing something.

These women were feeding the pigeons,

and it just seemed like a contrast,

to me, of these women covered,

and the pigeons are so free, so it was just a contrast.

I'm looking at the light.

I'm looking at the people.

What is it that strikes me as interesting,

but I also try to say, "What's the everyday thing?"

as well because I don't want to just photograph the odd things.

I want to photograph the everyday things.

Street market, this is in Herat.

Often, women feel like they need to have a male family member

walking with them,

so this could be a son that's traveling with these two women.

This is my green-eyed girl,

and she's in an internally displaced camp.

This is a family that probably came back to Kabul.

They might have wanted to go to their own land,

but they don't own land in the same way that we own land,

with a deed, and so anybody else could be on their land,

and then they're stuck with no place to go.

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I think that, you know,

if somebody were to take my cameras away from me,

I don't think that would stop me from traveling and learning

and gaining that part of it.

I think what I would miss would be the opportunity

to share it with others.

I'm not a writer.

Like, some people could describe it in words,

and that is not --

That's just not my way, so the camera is my extension

of being able to share that.

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You can read things in the newspaper.

You can read books.

You can read --

you know, listen to people talk about it, and it's just --

It's not the same as really walking the streets

and really meeting the people.

After Hurricane Katrina, I went down with our church

and worked in Mississippi and New Orleans.

It just hit me in the gut when I saw the Ninth Ward,

that this was like a war-torn area.

It was just like Afghanistan,

so then I started to put photos together.

You know, each one has its own sort of sister image,

you know, this part of this metal

whatever it is here with the destroyed houses behind

and this kid's toy just out on the street.

You know, the typical thing that you saw in Afghanistan

were the pockmarked walls of all of the gunshots,

you know, whatever caused those pockmarks,

and then here you have the dried mud

and probably whatever animal that is that remained.

These were three of the people that were down

when we were in New Orleans doing work,

and this was our R&R fun afterwards,

and New Orleans is masquerade, the whole idea,

and it just seemed to fit to me

with the whole idea of the women in the burqas

and that we play around with masks in a different way,

but it just --

People to people is what it's about to me,

is seeing the relationship, the contrast, the similarities.

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In the end, we're just all people.

We're all the same.

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To see more of this artist's work,

visit conniefrisbeehoude.com.

Drawing is an opportunity for artist Gabriela Riveros

to express her culture.

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin,

she traveled hundreds of miles

to discover her Paraguayan roots.

Up next, see how she incorporates her heritage

into her designs.

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I am Gabriela Riveros, and I grew up on the west side

of Milwaukee,

born and raised, and my parents are from Asunción, Paraguay.

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So growing up, I always kind of been into drawing,

and then I happened to go, or be lucky enough,

to go to schools that specialized in art,

so a month into my college career,

I thought illustration was the best fit

because my drawings always told a story of some sort.

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So my designs, I like to focus on, like, history and culture.

I'm really into heritage, especially Latino heritage,

so I try to integrate as much, like, history and kind of,

like, lineage, and I research a lot of tradition and kind of,

like, retranslate that into something

that people can relate to modern day.

Recently, my biggest inspiration is, like, Latino literature,

so I really draw my inspirations from, like, the past.

For my audience, though,

I'm really inspired by people like me

who want to know more about their identity and kind of,

like, connect more with that because I think a lot of times

people kind of lose their, like, cultural roots.

I first started really getting into it

when I actually went back to Paraguay,

and then I've been just taking notes

and, like, creating art while I was there and soaking up

just, like, the own traditions that I would normally kind of,

like, look past and just do,

and then doing on my own time researching,

like, Paraguayan history and art

and understanding where everything comes from,

that we have presence in our culture,

like all the indigenous roots and the,

like, Spanish roots and how all of those combine.

I think I really love kind of, like, the mythology

because Paraguayans are, like,

well, they're like the ultimate Mestizo, for the most part,

but, like, the indigenous is Guaraní,

and the Guaraní traditions and,

like, culture is very present with us.

So one of my favorite things I take away from that

is all the old tales,

and I love all the art along with it.

They do a lot of traditional weavings,

and they have these really special delicate weavings

that I incorporate a lot into my work

as, like, an inspiration.

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So the ones that I've done that have been most important to me

was probably be some pieces from my undergrad work.

There was one that I made that was very conceptual.

It was about Day of the Dead,

and it was this young girl that was reconnecting with her roots,

and she had a bunch of, like,

José Posada skeletons dancing around her,

and after that I was like, "Oh," like,

"I really like the way this looks."

So I guess that was one of my most important pieces

that kind of launched the series of my current work.

I have worked with Colectivo Coffee, Café Corazón.

I recently just worked with this nonprofit called Noxtin

out of California.

Milwaukee Film Festival, this year,

they want to do something crazy, colorful, and detailed,

so they were trying to look for an artist that fit that bill,

so I had a professor that recommended me,

so we linked up, and they said,

"Oh, your work is perfect for this."

The theme of it was the wild side of Milwaukee,

so my main inspiration for that piece was Medieval art.

So the main layout is based off

Hieronymus Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights,"

the center panel where it's kind of, like,

this heavenly landscape.

If you know your history well, you'll notice,

like, medieval beasts

that I've kind of reinterpreted as Milwaukee citizens,

and then I was also inspired by drolleries,

which were Medieval --

They were, like, really weird Medieval doodles

in the margins of illuminated manuscripts.

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So I usually start my drawings on paper,

and then I scan them in the computer,

and then with the computer,

I basically draw and paint digitally.

I start out with research.

That's always my base, so I, like, read a --

I have a subject I'm kind of interested

in knowing more about, so I research it,

and then I do a lot of drawing, and I collect a lot of images,

and I just keep drawing until I find the composition I like,

and then I transform it into, like, an illustration.

I always encourage younger people to just kind of

don't be afraid to experiment

and try out new things because you never know.

It could push your work in a whole new direction.

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I'm torn between the actual researching part

and then, like, the final piece because it feels really good

when I just see it all finished and pristine.

It's really cool seeing more of the audience come out

and relate and connect with my work.

I love it when other Latinos come up to me

and are saying, like, "Oh, I love this," like,

"This is -- I identify with it."

And I'm like, "Awesome, that's my goal." [ Chuckles ]

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See more of the artist's work online at chanchitariveros.com.

And now, here is an "Arts Beat Fun Fact."

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With the strum of each string,

composer and performer Eddy Kwon is teaching the power of music.

See how he's helping his own Cincinnati, Ohio,

community to think outside the box, tune by tune.

What does a 21st-century artist look like?

It's a great question.

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I think the old model of conservatory training,

which is try to get really good at your instrument

and hope you get a job in an orchestra,

that is already dead and gone.

It was difficult.

It is even more difficult now, some might say impossible.

So if you're looking from

a purely career-oriented perspective,

that model of musicianship, of professional musicianship,

doesn't make sense, so you need to branch out.

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You need to make yourself more accessible.

You need to make yourself more able to connect

with diverse communities,

communities with different needs, artistic, social needs,

and you have to be able to work with people,

and you have to be able to work together.

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Hi. My name is Eddy Kwon.

I'm the director of MYCincinnati.

MYCincinnati is a free daily youth orchestra program

for children in Price Hill.

Price Hill has historically been a working-class community.

It's an interesting time to be in Price Hill

as part of the MYCincinnati community

because Price Hill is going through

some pretty significant changes,

and we have a unique vantage point

as artists in the neighborhood

and as musicians in the neighborhood

and as teaching artists that are working with children

to be a unifying force for the community

and to be an opportunity for folks in the neighborhood

to come together,

to connect over their shared humanity,

and to work together towards a common goal,

which hopefully and should align with the goals of the residence.

So a majority of our students at MYCincinnati

are young people of color,

many of whom come from immigrant families.

So while all experiences are varied and different

and nuanced in very, very important ways,

I found that my background as a child of immigrants

and as a person of color allowed me unique opportunities

and paths to connect with my students in important ways.

I am beyond grateful for my time here.

It's difficult to imagine what I would be like

and what my life would be like without MYCincinnati.

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So MYCincinnati has around 100 students,

a little over 100 students involved,

and the vast majority of those students

are coming to orchestra every single day.

So if you were to walk into our program building a peak hour,

you would see, you know,

at least two orchestras rehearsing downstairs,

all of the practice rooms filled with private lessons happening,

or mini sections.

Upstairs, you would see another orchestra

performing in one room.

You would see a sectional happening in the hallway.

You'd see another sectional

happening in the conference room.

You'd see some mini lessons happening

in the back-corner room.

You'd see the winds happening in another room,

so really, when you come in,

there's just this unstoppable and fluid movement of music

happening at all times.

I like that it's somewhere safe

that I can come to after school,

like, without being judged by anybody else.

Boy: And also, it's free.

Like at school, I have to pay for lessons,

but here, it's mostly free.

It taught me how to be a leader, how to lead

and how to picture yourself as a teacher and as a student,

to see both sides of the spectrum.

Like, a lot of the younger kids,

I think some of them are getting the idea that music

is a very powerful tool, and some of them, it takes time.

I think some of them are getting that idea,

that music is powerful enough to spark a change.

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Kwon: All right. Bravo!

Can we give Zaya the rumble, please?

[ Cheers and applause ]

♪♪

The adult orchestra is one of my favorite new additions

to MYCincinnati.

The adult orchestra is led by Laura Jekel,

who was the founder of MYCincinnati,

and it came about pretty organically.

The only qualification is you live in the neighborhood.

Otherwise, just like MYCincinnati,

it is a completely free program,

and we provide all of the instruments.

So right now, Laura's orchestra has around 35 adults,

some of whom are MYCincinnati parents,

which is very cool, but mostly just neighborhood residents.

The kids are, at this point,

definitely better than the adults.

Laura will sometimes ask some of the older MYCincinnati students

that have parents in the orchestra to help out,

to demonstrate, to model good position,

to play along, so that's a really cool opportunity,

so the kids have a chance to be the teachers.

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I think one of the most profoundly beautiful things

about music

and the kind of music that we're playing here

is that music has its own set of rules and expectations,

and when you're playing a piece of music,

you are, in fact, stepping into a world that has its own laws,

that has its own culture, that has its own traditions,

and this set of laws is completely removed from our own

which means that you have to expand your imagination enough,

you have to be creative enough to commit to being

in this alternative reality, which is what it is.

And when you do that enough...

All right. One more time.

...you are then given the kinds of tools

that are required to make that subtle shift in your thinking.

First note should be like a bomb.

Boom! Ready?

What can be different about my life?

What more can I imagine for myself and for my family

and for my community, for my school?

So in order to do something expressive,

you need to use a particular kind of technique.

What music does is that it presents you

with that opportunity to ask that question,

and then it gives you concrete steps to get there.

To discover more, head to mycincinnatiorchestra.org.

Now we go inside a South Florida warehouse

that was transformed into a unique art exhibit.

Hear what inspired 29 artists

to join this creative collaboration

in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Rockford: Rough & Tumble was inspired by the space

that this exhibit is housed within

because this is a very raw warehouse space.

It's about 8,000 square feet,

and it's really ideal for projects

that are more experimental and rough.

You know, a lot of these projects

that you'll see in the exhibit

were made specifically for this exhibit,

so I gave the artists

my definitions of both rough and tumble,

and they were supposed to be inspired by that,

so some of the works were made beforehand,

and other ones were made specifically for the show.

Brown: This space offers a lot of challenges,

and it also offers a lot of opportunities

because it is so raw and so large.

So one of the biggest challenges

is actually the height of the ceiling.

Because this space is so large,

it oftentimes works well to exhibit works that are hanging.

People's reaction when they walk in this space

is generally, "Wow."

Rockford: As soon as they walk in, they'll see this, like,

30-foot tank that's made out of bicycle parts.

It's actually made to be movable

and manned by four different bicyclists.

It kind of goes in a straight line back

and forth on the street,

but it's kind of in its conceptual stage

right now as a sculpture,

and, you know, right when you walk in,

there's a giant mouth made out of ceramic teeth.

There's really not much else that I know of in South Florida

that's like that.

It's got this wonderful light

during the day from the clear-story windows

and the large garage doors, but then at night,

it takes on a completely different character,

so a lot of the work in this show

actually is projection-oriented and --

But then there's also some interesting intimate works

as well that people can look up close at.

There are often a lot of interactive exhibits in here.

Like, a few of the pieces in this exhibit

are supposed to be walked through.

There's a stretchy fabric installation

that's supposed to look like --

It's supposed to be the idea of flesh,

and people are allowed to walk through that,

as well as a couple other pieces that are interactive.

So that makes it a little more approachable for the audience,

to have interactive pieces,

and, you know, having videos, television is something

that people instantly have a connection with,

so that's not always the kind of thing

that you see in an art museum

that you do see here in this exhibition space.

Masciale: To learn more about this exhibit,

head to rockfordprojects.weebly.com.

That wraps it up for this edition of "WLIW Arts Beat."

We'd like to hear what you think about "WLIW Arts Beat,"

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."

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Funding for "WLIW Arts Beat"

was made possible by viewers like you.

Thank you.

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