Arts

Arts and culture

Today's 150th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam got us thinking: What if Civil War photographer Alexander Gardner could revisit some of the original sites he photographed? If he used his equipment today, what would the images look like? That is: How have the landscapes changed — or stayed the same?

How These Work

One night in 1947, an intensely curious 5-year-old boy named Michael McCleery asked his father for a story. So his father, William McCleery, produced a tale that revolved around a wolf named Waldo, a hen named Rainbow, and another little boy, the son of a farmer, named Jimmy Tractorwheel. Over weeks and weeks, William serialized the story, telling it in installments to Michael and his best friend during bedtimes and Sunday afternoon outings.

Iraq War veteran Brian Castner opens his new memoir, The Long Walk, with a direct and disturbing warning:

"The first thing you should know about me is that I'm Crazy," he writes. "I haven't always been. Until that one day, the day I went Crazy, I was fine. Or I thought I was. Not anymore."

More than 10 years since a new generation of Americans went into combat, the soldiers themselves are starting to write the story of war. Three recent releases show how their experiences give them the authority to describe the war, fictionalize it and even satirize it.

Women have fought tirelessly to establish equal footing for themselves in relationships, politics and the workplace, and according to writer Hanna Rosin, they've finally arrived.

In her new book, The End of Men: And The Rise of Women, Rosin argues that the U.S. has entered an era of female dominance.


Interview Highlights

On how the rise of women is largely an economic story

Paula Wissel / KPLU

Just steps away from the Monorail station at the Seattle Center, a wall is being constructed out of Jell-O.  A lightweight mortar holds the raspberry, orange and blackberry fusion "bricks" in place.   

The Jell-O brick wall is the work of sculptors Lisa Hein and Robert Seng. It was commissioned as part of the 50 year celebration of the Seattle World's Fair.

Jerry Nelson, who voiced many characters on Sesame Street for more than 40 years, has died.

Nelson is perhaps best known because he brought Count von Count, the purple, friendly vampire, to life.

Madalit del Barco filed this obituary for our Newscast unit:

The narrator of Maria Semple's newest book, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is 15-year-old Bee Fox. She's a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. In fact, she's such a great student that her parents have promised her anything she wants — and she chooses a family trip to Antarctica.

The Associated Press

The roof of Seattle's iconic Space Needle was repainted on Tuesday with the message "top this" to promote a new contest in honor of the 50th anniversary of the 1962 World's Fair.

A Russian judge today found three members of the punk rock band Pussy Riot guilty of hooliganism connected to "religious hatred."

Word of the verdict came just before 7:30 a.m ET. Just before 10 a.m. ET, the judge announced that each woman was sentenced to serve two years in jail — the minimum that could be imposed.

Mallory Kaniss / KPLU

Around 5,000 tattoo enthusiasts gathered at the Seattle Tattoo Expo this weekend to celebrate the art of tattooing, and maybe even get inked themselves. Tattoo artists completed more than 1,500 new tattoos throughout the weekend.

We saw a lot of people with multiple tattoos and that made us wonder: Once you get one tattoo, is it hard to stop?

"There's certainly an addictive quality to the whole process,” said Jeff Cornell, a tattoo artist.

Lindsay Lowe / KPLU

The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is in the process of moving from Seattle’s Montlake neighborhood to the Armory building in South Lake Union.

MOHAI has been around for nearly 60 years, and some people call it “Seattle’s attic.” It has a huge collection of historical objects from the Puget Sound region.

The museum has transported over 50,000 pieces already, and not all of them fit inside a box.

Here are just a few of the things they've moved:

- The first commercial Boeing airplane ever built

More than 75,000 ballots were cast in our annual summer reader's survey — click here to see the full list of 100 books, complete with links and descriptions. Below is a printable list of the top 100 winners. And for even more great reads, check out the complete list of 235 finalists.

1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling

It's almost a cliche at this point to say that teen fiction isn't just for teens anymore. Just last year, the Association of American Publishers ranked Children's/Young Adult books as the single fastest-growing publishing category.

Gore Vidal, In Words

Aug 1, 2012

The death of writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal on Tuesday, at the age of 86, means many are trying today to capture that man of words' life in just a few phrases:

Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.

He also wrote essays and screenplays, and his play The Best Man currently has a revival on Broadway.

RICHLAND, Wash. – There is a lot written about the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in scientific journals, news articles and government reports. Now there is a book of poetry. The State of Washington’s poet laureate recently released a book of remembrances about her hometown of Richland. It’s called “Plume.”

We’re on the shore of the Columbia River at a Richland park. A flotilla of students, in bright kayaks, paddle against the current.

This April, roots-rock singer-guitarist Bonnie Raitt released her first album in seven years, Slipstream. It's classic Raitt, mixing bluesy slide-guitar riffs with her soulful voice and a pop-friendly sensibility.

The delivery system, however, is brand-new. After years of working with the majors, Raitt decided to start her own label, Redwing Records. Raitt runs Redwing with the help of a tiny staff; Slipstream is the first release in its catalog.

LWY / Flickr Creative Commons

Non-profit arts groups generated $447.6  million for Seattle’s economy in 2010. That’s over $1 million more than before the economic downturn, according to a recent study by Americans for the Arts, a national advocacy group.

Photo by Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

Less than two years after the idea was pitched to the public, a new Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition opens today (Monday 11am) at Seattle Center.

It’s located at the foot of the Space Needle, where the kiddy rides and arcade games of the old Fun Forest once drew crowds.

Now, people are standing on tiptoes to peer in through the fence around the outdoor displays, which beckon with flashes of color.  

A.J. Apuya Photography

The Millennial generation is changing the music scene in Seattle – much like the music tastes of a prior generation lifted grunge music – by driving "electronic dance music" or EDM into the mainstream and overwhelming music venues in the region.

Photo by Florangela Davila

The most prestigious high school jazz band competition begins today in New York City.  And among the 15 finalists are three local competitors: Roosevelt, Mountlake Terrace and newcomer Ballard High School.

"I think we surprised a lot of people," says Ballard's jazz band director Michael James, about being a finalist in the Essentially Ellington jazz band competition. "But I knew if we were able to get into this festival it would put us on people's radar and say, 'Hey, what's going on at Ballard?'"

Michael Brunk / NWLens.com

The ideas of freedom and repression have played out around the world for thousands of years. The Spanish playwright, Frederico Garcia Lorca, explored those themes in "The House of Bernarda Alba."

The play was the last thing the Spaniard penned before he was assassinated in 1936, after General Franco and his military regime took power in that country.

The House of Bernarda Alba will be performed in Seattle by an all-female cast.

You can't actually see most of the work that was done on Pike Place Market's $69-million, three-year remodel. It involved a lot of plumbing, wiring, and seismic upgrades. Under the floorboards, inside the walls, and deep in the basements, the bones and nerves of the market were undergoing radical surgery.

Here's a slide-show of snapshots taken by the construction team:

Keith Seinfeld / KPLU

You paid for it, now please come enjoy it. That’s the message the Pike Place Market is sending out, as it wraps up three years and $69-million worth of renovations.

Unfortunately, if you're the proud executive in charge, the public probably won't notice much.

"The most significant parts of the renovations are behind the walls … the seismic upgrades, electrical improvements, all new plumbing," says Ben Franz-Knight, Executive Director of the Pike Place Market Preservation & Development Authority.

The Associated Press

Fifty years ago this weekend Seattle kicked off it’s biggest event ever -- the Century-21 World Exposition. Now, city leaders are hoping the public will come check-out what the fairgrounds have become, the city's arts campus. 

Seattle Center now attracts more visitors per year than the World’s Fair did during its six-month run. That’s partly thanks to some major events, such as Bumbershoot and the Folklife Festival, as well as concerts in Key Arena.

The Firesign Theatre

The surreal humor quartet known as the Firesign Theatre is now a trio.

Founding member Peter Bergman passed away March 9th due to complications from leukemia. He was 72, and in recent years lived on Whidbey Island.

Over the past 40+ years, the Firesign Theatre recorded dozens of albums, and often appeared on NPR. Their work pushed the creative boundaries of radio and inspired a generation of broadcasters, including many of us at KPLU.

The remaining members of the group, Phil Austin, David Ossman and Phil Proctor, are presenting a “Big Brouhaha” tribute to Peter Bergman this Saturday night at 7 p.m. at the Kirkland Performance Center

Phil Austin lives near Tacoma and spoke with KPLU’s Dave Meyer.

'A Salesman' lives on in Philip Seymour Hoffman

Mar 18, 2012

When Philip Seymour Hoffman took the stage on March 15 in the new revival of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, he became the fifth actor in 63 years to walk the boards of Broadway in the shoes of the blustery, beleaguered salesman, Willy Loman. In the last six decades, each incarnation of the play has resonated with a new generation of theatergoers.

Katherine Banwell / KPLU

Eerie sounds from vegetables and sculptures that look like happy caterpillars. Those are some of the "promising objects" you'll find in an exhibit of the same name. The show is at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and features the art of Alison MacTaggart.

MacTaggart likes creating art that has a familiar aspect to it but something unfamiliar as well. The results are quirky sculptures that are cheerful and noisy. They encourage all sorts of communication and show visitors her sense of humor.

www.tetinseattle.org

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has announced the recipients of the 2011 Mayor's Arts Awards. The Seattle Arts Commission chose six winners from a pool of 300 nominees. The honorees are:

Schack Art Center

A big chunk of downtown Everett has been transformed into a spanking new arts district that should bring new life to this former lumber mill town.

The Daily Herald reports the new Schack Art Center anchors a three block arts district in the city. It's a multipurpose facility with a sleek, urban feel that will have a kiln and flame working studio, professional and student exhibit spaces and multipurpose classroom.

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