What I learned this week, October 18, 2013

5 Things Super Successful People Do Before 8 AM

The fantastic films of Piotr Kamler


The last photograph in the article – the one labeled, “Trail System in Richardson, Texas” was taken right behind my house. One reason we bought the place was because the trail was scheduled to go in (though it took a lot longer than promised). Now, I rarely ride my bike on the trail – it is so popular with families and, especially, people walking dogs on a leash, that I feel safer on the street.

Your “Oh, wow!” for the day: Janet Echelman’s glorious suspended sculptures float over cities across the globe.

Deep in the heart of Texas: Photographers capture stunning series of pictures that show 1970s life in the Lone Star state

I found the National Archives collection of photographs on Flickr a while back while looking for copyright-free images to use in practicing with digital image software. There is some really interesting stuff in here.

You can read about the project here.

The US National Archives Photostream on Flickr It may be more useful Divided into Sets.

Examples that I like:

Secretaries, housewives, waitresses, women from all over central Florida are getting into vocational schools to learn war work.

Campers at Garner State Park, 07/1972

Constitution Beach - Within Sight and Sound of Logan Airport's Takeoff Runway 22r


Scott Adams’ Secret of Success: Failure


Your Guide to the 106 New Works of Public Art You Can See in Dallas This Weekend

I am really excited about Aurora tonight in the Arts District.

Red Jellyfish, from the Aurora Preview

Red Jellyfish, from the Aurora Preview


The light festival is responsible for 86 of the new public art pieces, which will be literally everywhere in the Arts District and at Klyde Warren Park on October 18. Rather than list them out individually, here’s a nifty interactive map to guide you through the exhibition, and here is a complete list of artists and works.



Here are the artists and the locations of the work, all of which will officially open this Saturday, Oct. 19. Click on the links to find out more about the individual projects.

Music (Everything I know I learned from the day my son was born) by Alfredo Jaar at the Nasher Scupture Center

Moore to the point by Rachel Harrison at Dallas City Hall

Flock in Space by Ruben Ochoa at the Trinity River Audubon Center

Black & Blue, Cultural Oasis in the Hills  by Vicki Meek at Paul Quinn College

Buried House by Lara Almarcegui at 2226 Exeter Ave in  Oak Cliff Gardens in Oak Cliff

Fountainhead by Charles Long at NorthPark Center

by Liz Larner at the University of Texas at Dallas

Trans.lation: Vickery Meadow by Rick Lowe at Ridgecrest Rd. in Vickery Meadow

CURTAINS by Good/Bad Art Collective at Bryan Tower, 2001 Bryan St. – Space will be open from 2-10 p.m.

dear sunset by Ugo Rondinone at Fish Trap Lake

[For more on Lowe’s Socially Engaged Art piece for Vickery Meadow, go here.]


Dallas String Quartet

It was Thursday, time for another Patio Sessions concert around the reflecting pool in front of the Winspear Opera House.

This week was the Dallas String Quartet (facebook). The weather was cool and beautiful, rare for North Texas. I hopped the DART train and made it down there right on time – bought dinner from a food truck and settled in. I knew nothing about the Dallas String Quartet – they are an eclectic electric ensemble. Amplified strings, a bass, a guitar, and a drum kit. They play original arrangements of modern, popular hits and are very, very good at it.

It was a lot of fun.

Dallas String Quartet

Dallas String Quartet
(click to enlarge)

Dallas String Quartet, in front of the reflecting pool in the Arts District

Dallas String Quartet, in front of the reflecting pool in the Arts District
(click to enlarge)

Dallas String Quartet

Dallas String Quartet

Dallas String Quartet

Dallas String Quartet

Dallas String Quartet

Dallas String Quartet
(click to enlarge)

Ever since I have been going to the Patio Sessions, I have been slightly aggravated by people that let their children run amok on the reflecting pool while the musicians are playing. The thin layer of moisture on the flat stone is irresistible to the little ones – so I can’t blame them. However, the shows are very mellow, and I wish the parents would control the kids while the band is on – they are very noisy and it’s very distracting.

I was worried about that tonight – a string quartet can be an especially quiet and introspective experience. It was no problem – there were only four kids or so running around and the Dallas String Quartet was well amplified. Plus, their upbeat, modern arrangements held their own against the kids, the rumblings of the food truck generators, and the tolling of the church bells.

And then, to show how wrong I can be… I noticed a crowd of teenagers rapidly gathering on the reflecting pool. It was a dance class from (I assume) the Dallas High School for the Performing Arts right next door. They were on their way somewhere and took the opportunity to dance for all of us.

In ones and twos… and then as an entire group they would run out and dance. They seemed to have a few set pieces memorized and would show off for each other – then dance for the fun of it. It was kinetic and athletic and flat out wonderful. The band said, “I don’t know who they are, but they are great. I’m sure you can do something with this next one,” and they belted out Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

I took a few photos (I’ll put some more up in a few days) but mostly I sat there and stared and laughed. It was a revelation and a surprise and a marvelous one at that. I’ll probably be able to figure out who the kids were, but I almost don’t want to know. Maybe it’s best they remain, to me, a beautiful mystery.

Young dancers on the reflecting pool at the Dallas String Quartet concert.

Young dancers on the reflecting pool at the Dallas String Quartet concert.
(click to enlarge)

Dancing at the Dallas String Quartet, Patio Sessions, Arts District, Dallas, Texa

Dancing at the Dallas String Quartet, Patio Sessions, Arts District, Dallas, Texas
(click to enlarge)

PS– Well, that didn’t take long. I found out who the dancers were. They were from the high school – there to rehearse for their work on the Aurora project on Friday, the 18th.

This is what they will be doing:

Ruddy Udder Dance by Claire Ashley
This performance uses a large-scale, painted inflatable sculpture as a prop worn by twelve dancers. A choreographed sequence unfolds. Ashley is interested in both the high-brow aesthetic pleasure found in the painterly abstraction and monumentality of the object itself, and the absurdly low-brow, playful, high-energy, ecstatic dancing experience and pop culture references that ensue as the object moves in space. Directed by Linda James and Kate Walker and performed by the Repertory Dance Company II from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.