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    Ponchatoula streets will rock during Art & Wine Stroll 2017

    Bigger, better and bustin’ out all over downtown best describes this year’s Art & Wine Stroll sponsored by Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce.

    Saturday, September 16, will see something new added to Art & Wine from 5-8 p.m. and that is music galore from 6-8 p.m. Eighteen sets of performers will be singing and playing in fourteen locations in an easy-walking five-block area on both sides of the railroad tracks. In a recent interview with Kim Howes Zabbia and T. J. Barends, coordinators of the musical portion of the evening, it was easy to catch the excitement this addition will bring. Barends owns Bare Sounds Studio, 276 East Pine Street, and is known for his quality recording as well as his own expertise in both playing and teaching music. He said the event will be mostly acoustic and easy-listening.

    The public can vote on its favorite musician giving the winner two hours studio time recording and being featured on next year’s poster. Attendees will be given a booklet with details of the evening and contact info will be on posters near each musician’s stand. Musicians booked by Barends are from the area although they perform across a large region and their style of music is varied and plentiful due to their versatility, greater than can be listed.

    • “Invisible Cowboy”- Classic Rock
    • “Alex & Lexie Theriot” – Classic Rock and 80s and 90s
    • “PTown Ramblers” – Folk and Country
    • “Graham Guillory” – Classical
    • “John-Mark Gray” – Rock and Roll
    • “Lacy Blackledge” – Rock and Roll
    • “Ballot’s” – Folk and Pop
    • “Lake Ragan” – Pop, Rhythm and Blues
    • “TJ Barends” – Folk/Rock
    • “Avery Meyers” – Pop
    • “Benjamin Thomas” – Rhythm and Blues
    • “Lance Younger” – Rock and Roll,
    • “Britton Newton” – Rock
    • “Lindsay Cardinale” – Pop and Country
    • “Lil’Bit Meaux Band” – Swamp Pop
    • “Britney Jenkins” – Pop and Country
    • “Cody Ellis Band” – Modern Country\
    • “Sylas Faust” – Country.

    Zabbia said thanks to the generosity of the following sponsors, each performer will be paid an honorarium directly from them: Especially for You, JaniKing Gulf Coast, Benton Thames State Farm, The Art Station, Bare Sounds Studio, LaCaretta’s Restaurant, ITL Accounting, Louisiana Purchase Brewery, Paw Paw’s Country Buffet, Legnd Internet Market, Ponchatoula Therapy, Roussel’s Specialty Shop, Margaret Bailey, Gwen and Robert Barsley, Andrew Edwards, Roux and Brew Seafood and Steak, Middendorf’s, Moss and Berry, Xpressions, Mad Maidens Bar, and Stray Cats Sports Bar.

    Art and Wine Stroll Committee Chair Jenel Secrease and Co-Chair Kathleen Elstrott report applications from Visual Artists are still coming in for that part of the evening. Watch for upcoming news about the Visual Art portion and for more info, visit the Ponchatoula Chamber of Commerce Facebook page or www.ponchatoulachamber.com which includes an Artist application form.

    The public will be able to vote for their favorite visual artist, giving the winner $100 in art supplies from The Art Station and a featured spot on next year’s poster. A wine glass will be supplied along with an arm band for a $20 fee for the entire evening and will be available for purchase from the Chamber the night of the event in front of Ole Hardhide’s alligator cage, at Ponchatoula Therapy and at A Touch of Country. (Purchasers will be carded.)

    The event is free for those not partaking in wine samples and children’s art will be on display bringing everything together for a delightful family outing.

    By Kathryn Martin
    Contributing Writer

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    The Genius of Ted Ellis

    New Orleans native deserves exhibit in national museum

    There needs to be something shared worldwide about the works of Ted Ellis, New Orleans-born visual artist. He uses the stroke of his brush on canvas to present again the scenes, emotions, and story of the lives of the most beautiful Americans. From a scene of Baptist children wading in murky waters, donning white robes, scarfs, headscarfs and struggling under the grip of an elderly man’s hand as they head to the minister whose hand is raised clutching a white handkerchief to a canvas donning the sideview of a tiny girl bowing a violin with her eyes half opened and her spirit wrapped into her own sound.

    Ellis captivates art critics who have called his work “genius.”

    “Ellis creates much more than images.  He creates a mood…an atmosphere…and an awareness that one is actually on the scene…in the scene,” write curators at The Sylvan Gallery in Charleston, South Carolina.

    He memorizes the novice who stands enthralled at his Houston studio full of emotions of connectedness to the eyes of an elderly man with African features but whose face is full of blues, greens, purples, and crimson. “He’s the Colored Man,” Ellis said. That’s understood by all the colors beaming from the 3-foot-by-6-foot canvas, but it is also understood by his eyes. So much like the great grandfather on the porch or the old man sweeping away dirt outside the Alabama country store. Ellis’ hand, his eye, his imagination grabs it all and delivers it in his work—work that he says he was born to do. His work—his life’s work is apparent: to create the artistic account of history.

    16 civilfight ted ellis feature photo“I was put here to record history—all aspects of American culture and heritage. My sole purpose has always been to educate through my art,” he said. With each piece, he makes it a point to leverage the importance of visual literacy and preservation of culture and history.

    Ellis said one goal was—and is—for him to to be a cultural, artistic historian. And he has done so for 30 years. His work has been commissioned by Walt Disney Studios, United Negro College Fund, Avon, the City of Selma, Alabama, Arts Council of New Orleans, and United Way.

    Ted Ellis

    Ted Ellis

    Although it doesn’t hang there now, a following of curators and supporters are petitioning the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture to establish a Ted Ellis collection within the museum. His work has hung in the Congress Heights Arts and Culture Center, the Russell Rotunda of the Richard Russell U.S. Senate Building, and appears in the movie “Almost Christmas.”

    “I paint subjects that are representative of the many faces of American life as I know it,” Ellis said.

    A self-taught artist, Ellis has published a limited edition collection of his work, Pride, Dignity and Courage: A Survey of Art of Ted Ellis, and a collective calendar. His blend of realism and  impressionism  captures glory of a rich American heritage. His business, T. Ellis Art, has sold more than 10 million prints and posters from his Houston, Texas studio.

    “This is a culture business and my culture is priceless.”

    Ellis, who is a former chemist, said his work is designed to “build you up consciously and subconsciously of yourself by speaking to your importance everyday.” And he has done so repeatedly and remarkably.

    Since he began in 1996, Ellis has since become, by many accounts, an artistic historian. In 2005 he captured the Deltas 100th year commemoration, the Obamas in 2008, and the Juneteenth 150th year commemoration in 2015. These are the pieces, he said, would be some of the first offered to the museum as they archive the most critical bends in Black life of this century.

    Ellis has amassed an impressive body of work, remarkably over the years. He has also established a platform and mechanism for other artist that will give them value.

    “I am giving medicine—a dose of cultural nutrition,” he said.

    By Candace J. Semien
    Jozef Syndicate reporter

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    Auditions open for ‘The Piano Lesson’

    THE PIANO LESSON AUDITION NOTICE
    DIRECTED BY: TIM SANDIFER
    Set in Pittsburgh during the Great Depression, The Piano Lesson explores the troubled relationship of a brother and sister and their struggle over an extraordinary family heirloom, a piano carved with images of their African ancestors. The carvings, done by their enslaved grandfather, instill the piano with a metaphysical legacy – one the siblings avoid or even take for granted, but come to accept and embrace. The piano ultimately brings together a family long torn apart by slavery, violence and murder.Register Here
    When
    Saturday
    April 9, 2016
    1:00 pm
    (General Auditions)
    Where
    Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
    2nd Floor
    427 Laurel Street
    Baton Rouge, LA 70801
    What
    THE PIANO LESSON
    REHEARSAL DATES
    April 11, 2016 – May 19, 2016
    Mondays – Thursdays, 6:30 – 9:30 PM
    Sundays, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    Rehearsals are at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge
     PERFORMANCE DATES
    May 20, 21 and 22, 2016
    Fridays & Saturday at 7:30 PM Sunday at 3:00

    3 Performances at the LSU Shaver Theatre
    AUDITION REQUIREMENTS
    Please prepare a one-minute dramatic monologue.
    CHARACTERS
    CHARLES DOAKER: Male, 40-60, African Descent, African American The uncle and the owner of the house, spent his life working for the railroad, functions as the play’s testifier.
    BOY WILLIE: Male, 25-40, African American, Berniece’s brash, impulsive, and fast-talking brother who plans to sell the family piano and buy the land his ancestors once worked on as slaves.

     

    LYMON: Male, 25-40, African American, Boy Willie’s longtime friend, speaks with a disarming “straightforwardness”, fleeing the law, he plans to stay in the north and begin a new life.

     

    BERNIECE: Female, 30-40, African America, Boy Willie’s sister, still in mourning for her husband, Crawley, blames her brother for her husband’s death.

     

    MARETHA: Female, 10-14, African American, Berniece’s eleven-year-old daughter who is learning to play piano, the next generation of the Charles’ family.

     

    AVERY BROWN: Male, 30-45, African American, A preacher who moves north once Berniece’s husband dies in an attempt to court her, honest and ambitious.

     

    WINING BOY: Male, 45-65, African American A wandering, washed-up recording star who drifts in and out of his brother Doaker’s household whenever he finds himself broke.

     

    GRACE: Female, 25-35, African American A young, urban woman whom Boy Willie and Lymon each try to pick up.

    Email questions to info@newventuretheatre.org.
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