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Art in the News

San Francisco Bay Bridge light sculpture to keep on shining

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 19 December 2014 09:39
View of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Image by Allan J. Cronin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The sponsors of an illuminated art project on the San Francisco-Bay Bridge that was supposed to stay up for only two years say they have found a way to keep the lights on.

Illuminate the Arts said Wednesday that private donations and a deal with the Bay Area Toll Authority will allow The Bay Lights to keep shining on the bridge following an intermission of many months next year.

Created by New York artist Leo Villareal, The Bay Lights consists of 25,000 white lights spaced a foot apart on the span's vertical cables and individually programmed to produce sequences of shifting light.

Illuminate the Arts says the sculpture will be taken down as originally planned next March so maintenance crews can clean the cables. But after that, the project will be reinstalled and permanently gifted to the state.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-12-18-14 0245GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
View of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. Image by Allan J. Cronin. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Friday, 19 December 2014 09:44
 

Art installation to illuminate Bannerman’s Castle

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:46
Bannerman's Castle on Pollepel Island, N.Y. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. POLLEPEL ISLAND, N.Y. (AP) – The National Endowment for the Arts is supporting an outdoor sculpture to be built on a Hudson River island around the ruins of Bannerman's Castle.

Bannerman's Castle is actually an old warehouse for military surplus items well known to rail commuters who zip by the island off the Hudson River's eastern shore, some 50 miles north of Manhattan.

U.S. Rep Sean Patrick Maloney announced Monday that the NEA is granting $20,000 to support local artist Melissa McGill's Constellation project.

Constellation is a sculptural installation that will be installed around the ruins. Every evening, 17 starry lights above the ruins will blink on one by one like the stars of the night sky.

The project is scheduled to launch in June and remain on the island for two years.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-12-16-14 0806GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Bannerman's Castle on Pollepel Island, N.Y. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 December 2014 09:59
 

Di Suvero 'Big Mo' sculpture installed on Missouri River bank

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Written by Associated Press   
Friday, 12 December 2014 09:58
A steel sculpture by Mark di Suvero in Viersen, Germany. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) – Residents of the western Iowa city of Council Bluffs are celebrating the installation of a large steel sculpture on the Missouri River bank.

A ceremony was held Tuesday at a park to mark the installation of Big Mo by 81-year-old Mark di Suvero, The Daily Nonpareil reported. The nearly 76-feet high piece, which was painted in “spacetime orange,” has three legs and two moving parts on top that rotate in opposite directions.

“It's a big day for the Council Bluffs and the riverfront,” said Pete Tulipana, president and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation Public Art.

Big Mo is the latest addition to the Iowa West Foundation's art collection for Council Bluffs. Mayor Matt Walsh said Council Bluffs is privileged to be involved in a partnership with the foundation to bring world-class art to the city.

Di Suvero said crews should finish setting up the sculpture either on Wednesday evening or Thursday. His works are featured in more than 50 cities worldwide and in more than 100 museums and public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the National Gallery of Art.

___

Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, http://www.nonpareilonline.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-12-10-14 2150GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
A steel sculpture by Mark di Suvero in Viersen, Germany. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Friday, 12 December 2014 10:13
 

Dee Dee Ramone's artistic side on display in New York

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Written by SHAUN TADON, AFP Wire Service   
Thursday, 11 December 2014 11:21

Dee Dee Ramone (b. Douglas Colvin, American, 1951-2002), 'Self-Portrait,' 2002. Collection of Catherine Saunders-Watson. Copyrighted photo courtesy British-American Media Ltd. All rights reserved.

NEW YORK (AFP) - In one painting, the Ramones stand together on top of a globe as if the band is larger than life. In another, the Sex Pistols' Sid Vicious is chased out of the infamous Chelsea Hotel.

The paintings are part of a new exhibition in New York of Dee Dee Ramone, the bassist and songwriter of the legendary punk band, who had a little-known visual-arts side that he pursued in the years before his death in 2002.

True to the punk ethos that the Ramones pioneered, the paintings show little formal training. But they are forcefully direct in their expression, depicting both the attitude and lifestyle of rock 'n' roll in the 1970s and 1980s.

The painting style is cartoonish, with characters drawn with outsized physical features. Most of the work depicts the Ramones or other bands -- most frequently fellow punk icons the Sex Pistols, whose Britain by storm a few years after the Ramones' debut.

Ramone, who struggled with depression and drug abuse, sometimes painted himself triumphant with his bass but in other self-portrayals appears macabre with tattoos of scorpions and skulls over his body.

"He would paint himself depending on how he felt that day," said his widow Barbara Ramone Zampini, who organized the exhibition.

The paintings have previously gone on display in Los Angeles, where the street artist Shepard Fairey has championed his work, but the exhibition is the first in New York.

"He didn't really have any art show before he passed away. He would have paintings and sell them because we didn't have any money," Zampini told AFP.

"I thought it was about time to bring it over to New York because this was his hometown."

Zampini, who is originally from Argentina, said she hoped to bring the exhibition later to Europe and Latin America.

- Another artistic outlet -

The Ramones released their first album in 1976, sending shocks through the music world through the band's strident energy and unabashed simplicity, with most songs lasting around two minutes.

The band, whose original members have all died, had enormous influence on rock music's development. U2 wrote a song about the Ramones on the band's latest album, with the Irish superstars recalling being mesmerized in their youth at seeing the New York punks in Dublin.

The exhibition, which opened Wednesday and runs until January 1, has a fitting location -- the storefront gallery of the Chelsea Hotel, where Ramone lived with Zampini and which he profiled in a novel.

The hotel, which is under renovation, became legendary for the famous musicians who stayed there and their wild antics. Most notoriously, Nancy Spungen, the girlfriend of Sid Vicious, was found stabbed to death in the hotel in 1978 under murky circumstances.

Jerry Only, bassist of the punk band Misfits, recalled that he would see Ramone's art on display in his room at the Chelsea Hotel.

"He needed an outlet when he wasn't playing or writing music," said Only, who showed up to the exhibition's opening reception in his signature leather vest with metal spikes.

The exhibition also includes a collection of pictures of the band, including a series of black-and-white shots taken on the New York subway by noted rock photographer Bob Gruen.

"Dee Dee was just getting into painting," Gruen said. "He could have gone on and had a real career but he passed away, so it's too bad people didn't know what he could do."

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Dee Dee Ramone (b. Douglas Colvin, American, 1951-2002), 'Self-Portrait,' 2002. Collection of Catherine Saunders-Watson. Copyrighted photo courtesy British-American Media Ltd. All rights reserved.

Last Updated on Thursday, 11 December 2014 12:50
 

Chinese film mogul says his Van Gogh was bargain at $62M

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Written by AFP wire service   
Monday, 08 December 2014 11:45
Van Gogh's 'Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies.' Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. HONG KONG (AFP) – A Chinese film mogul who purchased a Vincent van Gogh still life for a record $62 million, Saturday admitted he would have paid even more for the masterpiece.

Wang Zhongjun, chairman of the high-powered Huayi Brothers film studio, bought van Gogh's 1890 painting Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies for $61.8 million at Sotheby's in New York in November.

Speaking at a presentation at the auction house's Hong Kong gallery Wang said the price – a record for a still life painting by the artist – was "a bit lower" than he had been expecting to pay.

"I like it, it's not a matter of price, it's like I didn't spend money, it hangs on the wall and it belongs to me," Wang said.

"Van Gogh is my favorite artist in terms of his use of colors and many other aspects," he added.

The painting had been valued at $30 to $50 million before the sale.

Wang, who will be hanging the piece at his Hong Kong home, is the latest wealthy Chinese businessman to make an eyebrow-raising art purchase.

Forbes Magazine put Wang's net worth at nearly $1 billion, the 268th richest person in China.

Huayi Brothers Media is one of the largest private entertainment groups in China and has produced and distributed some of the country's popular movies and television productions, according to its website.

Last year, tycoon Wang Jianlin's Wanda Group bought the 1950 Pablo Picasso painting Claude and Paloma for $28 million, more than double the high estimate of $12 million.

At the time, the company came under fire for the extravagant purchase, with some Chinese Internet users questioning Wang's patriotism and the painting's value.

Wang Zhongjun came under similar criticism in November.

Chinese collectors have sent prices for their own country's heritage spiraling on the back of its economic boom, and are now turning their attention to Western items too.

The last great wave of Asian buying came as Japan reached the height of its economic power in the 1980s, culminating in 1990 when Japanese paper tycoon Ryoei Saito bought van Gogh's Portrait of Dr. Gachet for $82.5 million and Renoir's Bal du Moulin de la Galette for $78.1 million.

He triggered outrage across the art world later when he said he would have the canvases put in his coffin and cremated with him when he died.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Van Gogh's 'Still Life, Vase with Daisies and Poppies.' Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Monday, 08 December 2014 12:03
 

Historian suggests Mona Lisa was Chinese, artist’s mother

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Written by AFP wire service   
Wednesday, 03 December 2014 09:25
Da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa.’ Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. BEIJING (AFP) – An Italian historian's theory that Mona Lisa might be a Chinese slave and Leonardo da Vinci's mother – making the 15th-century polymath half-Chinese – sent online commentators into a frenzy Wednesday.

Angelo Paratico, a Hong Kong-based historian and novelist from Italy, told the South China Morning Post: "On the back of Mona Lisa, there is a Chineselandscape and even her face looks Chinese."

Chinese web users expressed astonishment and disbelief Wednesday, posting dozens of parodies of the painting, with faces from Chinese comedians to British actor Rowan Atkinson grafted over her delicate features.

Little is known about Caterina, the mother of the artist, writer, mathematician and inventor, and the identity of the sitter for the portrait hanging in the Louvre museum has long been a matter of debate.

Paratico, who is finishing a book entitled Leonardo da Vinci: a Chinese scholar lost in Renaissance Italy, cited Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud's 1910 assumption that the painting was inspired by the artist's mother.

"One wealthy client of Leonardo's father had a slave called Caterina. After 1452, Leonardo's date of birth, she disappeared from the documents," he told the paper.

The evidence for a Chinese connection appears to be slight, with Paratico saying he was sure "up to a point" that da Vinci's mother was from the Orient.

"To make her an oriental Chinese, we need to use a deductive method," he added.

Many posters on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo were incredulous.

"I'm so sad that you thought I'm a foreigner!" wrote one, with an image of a frowning Mona Lisa holding two rolls of toilet paper and blowing her nose. "I'd rather be from wherever I am loved."

Another user replaced her features with unlikely faces ranging from Chinese male comedian Zhao Benshan to British actor Rowan Atkinson, to a grimacing robot holding a Mona Lisa mask.

The topic had been viewed more than four million times and triggered 160,000 postings by midday Wednesday.

"I now understand why her smile looks so mysterious and concealed – it's typically Chinese," said another poster.

 

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 December 2014 09:39
 

Frida Kahlo studio and garden to be re-created in New York

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Written by AFP Wire Service   
Tuesday, 02 December 2014 10:04
Pre-Hispanic pieces adorn the pyramid-shape tomb in the garden at the Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City. Photo by Anagoria, taken Dec. 22, 2013. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license NEW YORK (AFP) - The New York Botanical Garden will host an exhibition next year of work by late Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, recreating her workspace and focusing on her interest in the plant world.

The show titled "Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life" is scheduled to run from May 16 to November 1 and will emphasize the painter's "engagement with nature in her native country."

The show will be the first solo exhibit of Kahlo's work in New York City in more than 25 years, the Bronx-based garden said in a statement.

It will feature a reimagining of Kahlo's "Casa Azul" studio and garden in Mexico City, the garden said. It will include more than a dozen paintings and drawings from the artist, who died in 1954 at age 47.

Kahlo was known for her self portraits and her depiction of the female form.

The life and work of Kahlo, who was married to Mexican artist Diego Rivera, has been the subject of several films including one in 2002 starring and co-produced by actress Salma Hayek.

Kahlo only received wide recognition for her work decades after her death. She is now considered among the most notable Latin American artists.

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Pre-Hispanic pieces adorn the pyramid-shape tomb in the garden at the Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City. Photo by Anagoria, taken Dec. 22, 2013. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 December 2014 10:32
 

Long-lost painting discovered in Stuart Little movie

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Written by AFP wire service   
Monday, 01 December 2014 11:19
A first edition of E.B. White's 'Stuart Little.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and PBA Galleries. BUDAPEST (AFP) – A long-lost avant-garde painting has returned home to Hungary after nine decades thanks to a sharp-eyed art historian who spotted it being used as a prop in the Hollywood film Stuart Little.

In 2009 Gergely Barki, a researcher at Hungary's National Gallery, noticed Sleeping Lady with Black Vase by Robert Bereny (1888-1953) in the 1999 kids' movie about a mouse as he watched TV with his daughter Lola.

"I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Bereny's long-lost masterpiece on the wall behind Hugh Laurie, I nearly dropped Lola from my lap," Barki, 43, told AFP on Thursday.

"A researcher can never take his eyes off the job, even when watching Christmas movies at home," he said.

The painting disappeared in the 1920s but Barki recognized it immediately even though he had only seen a faded black-and-white photo dating from a 1928 exhibition archived in the National Gallery.

Barki sent a flurry of emails to staff at the film's makers Sony Pictures and Columbia Pictures, receiving a reply from a former Sony employee, a set designer – two years later.

"She said the picture was hanging on her wall," Barki told AFP.

"She had snapped it up for next-to-nothing in an antiques shop in Pasadena, Calif., thinking its avant-garde elegance was perfect for Stuart Little's living room."

After leaving Sony the set-designer sold the painting to a private collector who has now brought the picture to Budapest for auction.

Bereny, the leader of a pre-World War I avant-garde movement called the "Group of Eights," fled to Berlin in 1920 after designing recruitment posters for Hungary's short-lived communist revolution in 1919.

In the German capital, he had a romance with actress Marlene Dietrich, and, according to Barki, a rumored fling with Anastasia, the mysterious daughter of Russia's last tsar Nicholas II.

Bereny's painting goes under the hammer Dec. 13 with a starting price of around 110,000 euros ($137,350).

According to Barki, the buyer at the 1928 exhibition, possibly Jewish, probably left Hungary in the run-up to, or during, World War II.

"After the wars, revolutions, and tumult of the 20th century many Hungarian masterpieces are lost, scattered around the world," he said.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
A first edition of E.B. White's 'Stuart Little.' Image courtesy of LiveAuctioneers.com archive and PBA Galleries.
Last Updated on Monday, 01 December 2014 11:57
 

Houston art official resigns amid artwork dispute

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Written by Associated Press   
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 11:54

Night view of the northern end of downtown Houston, a booming metropolis with a vibrant art scene. Wikimedia Commons image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

HOUSTON (AP) - A Houston Arts Alliance official has resigned amid a dispute over planned artwork for a convention center.

The Houston First Corporation wants a piece of artwork for a new lobby being built at the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Houston Arts Alliance was managing the process on behalf of Houston First to choose an artist.

A five-member selection panel, organized by the alliance, picked Ed Wilson's plan to build a hanging stainless steel sculpture of about 60 by 30 feet. Wilson said he learned last week the alliance's civic art committee withdrew his commission for the $830,000 project amid concerns over the selection process.

"It seemed very irregular and very political,'' Wilson told the Houston Chronicle.

Matthew Lennon, the alliance's civic art and design director, resigned Saturday, saying he objected to how Wilson, alliance staff and the selection panel's professionals were treated.

The civic art committee "is seeking to reject Ed Wilson of a fairly won commission,'' Lennon said. ``It feels like CAC doesn't think locals are good enough, despite the mayor's mandate to hire locals first.''

Alliance executive director Jonathon Glus said Wilson's commission isn't dead, but is still in the review process.

"This is a highly visible, important commission. We need to make sure it's right,'' Glus said. "The civic art committee asked at the last meeting to slow it down so they could make sure it's the right piece and that we've got all the right policies and procedures in place.''

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com

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Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

Night view of the northern end of downtown Houston, a booming metropolis with a vibrant art scene. Wikimedia Commons image licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 26 November 2014 12:13
 

Geologist finds site of idyllic 1833 Jacob Eichholtz painting

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Written by AD CRABLE, LNP   
Thursday, 20 November 2014 11:00
Pennsylvania artist Jacob Eichholtz (1776-1842) painted this scene of the Conestoga River with Lancaster in the background in 1833. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) – In 1833, well-known early American painter Jacob Eichholtz finished an idyllic scene of an oxbow bend in Conestoga Creek with the many-steepled outline of Lancaster city in the distance.

It was a reminder of home for the artist's eldest daughter, who had recently moved to Philadelphia.

Last week, East Petersburg resident Jay Parrish stood at the head of a ravine in a nook of woods just off the fairway of the fourth hole on the course of the Meadia Heights Golf Club.

The mother in her plump day dress was no longer there holding one arm of her gesturing daughter. The stone house that once stood on the creek bank is now a flattened green. Two men are no longer admiring the view from the jagged limestone rocks, which now have been filled in by soil and sport two sand traps off to their side.

Trees block a lot of the Lancaster skyline now. But the luminescent white steeple of Trinity Lutheran Church is just visible through a sycamore tree, just as it was in the autumn scene that Eichholtz painted.

“This is it,” says Parrish, former Pennsylvania state geologist, with an unmistakable air of satisfaction.

This is where the artist, known throughout much of the early republic for his portraits, stood with his easel 181 years ago, putting the finishing touches on his sweeping painting. He had waited until a killing frost had dropped the leaves and Eichholtz could get distant objects right.

How did Parrish know where the painter stood?

It wasn't easy and Parrish had to play detective, piecing together clues taken from the modern marvels of radar topography and digital visualization, along with gumshoe sleuth methods of hoofing it to knolls and looking for himself.

Solving the artistic mystery began 11 years ago when Thomas R. Ryan, president and CEO of LancasterHistory.org, was curating an exhibit of Eichholtz's collected works at three locations in Lancaster.

Parrish, who was friends with Ryan's wife, saw the 1833 painting and heard Ryan mention that no one knew where the artist had set up.

Parrish, who was working for the state Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey, ventured that he thought he could figure it out.

First, Parrish and Ryan deduced from the church spires, Furnace Hills in the background and bend in Conestoga Creek (now river) that the spot was somewhere south of the city.

Then, using radar imagery of topography, the two looked at 3D views on a computer and selected three possible sites.

Parrish drew lines directly north from each of the candidate sites to one of the church steeples in the painting. Digital visualization, confirmed by on-site visits, ruled out two of the sites because the views did not match that of the painting.

That led Parrish and Ryan to a knoll and ravine just south of a peninsula that now holds part of Greenwood Cemetery. It may once have been known as Kreider's Hill.

“It was an extraordinary moment,” says Ryan, who did his doctorate thesis on Eichholtz.

The river peninsula is still mostly farmed, just as it was in Eichholtz's time.

They also found the distinguished rock outcropping in the painting, though the rocks have been much filled in over time. “Back in the 1800s, everything was clear-cut for firewood and there was a lot of erosion,” Parrish explains.

Parrish found the little stone cottage in the center foreground of the painting on the 1864 Atlas of Lancaster County. At the time, it was known as the Elias Herr homestead.

“It all matched up beautifully,” recalled Parrish, who is now a Geographic Information Systems and geospatial data consultant. “Lancaster painters were pretty accurate about what they saw and you could rely on them for the view.”

Parrish does say the artist took some liberties with the Furnace Hills in the distance but notes that Eichholtz did not have the aid of binoculars at the time.

He believes the scene now isn't quite as grand as Eichholtz made it seem on canvas. But he finds it ironic that after the passage of 181 years it's the growth of trees, rather than development, that have altered what the artist saw.

“I felt pretty good that I had found the exact spot where he was standing when he did it,” Parrish says.

So good, in fact, that three years later, he made a presentation to the Geological Society of America, using the Eichholtz connection as an example of the practical uses of digital visualization.

___

Online:

http://bit.ly/1A9n5Uq

___

Information from: LNP, http://lancasteronline.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-11-18-14 1819GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Pennsylvania artist Jacob Eichholtz (1776-1842) painted this scene of the Conestoga River with Lancaster in the background in 1833. Courtesy of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Last Updated on Thursday, 20 November 2014 11:05
 

Iowa micro-home builder hopes to find niche in marketplace

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Written by MIKE KILEN, The Des Moines Register   
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 11:27

For something a bit bigger and more substantial, there's a modernist Z Glass house clad in hot-rolled steel or corrugated metal, made by market leader Tumbleweed Tiny House. Its interior is lined in pine plywood. Image courtesy of Tumbleweed Tiny House.

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) – Sean Spain is selling a house for $10,500, about the price of a used car with a sleepable back seat.

Granted, it's 100 square feet. But the home is a charming little rebuttal to America's obsession with big living. The average home square footage in the U.S. continues to climb – 1,525 square feet in 1973 to 2,598 last year – while an underground trend toward “micro” living has emerged, The Des Moines Register reported.

Most people's master baths are bigger than Spain's cottage. It sits on an old trailer and is made of reclaimed materials and features a living room, kitchen and sleeping loft all in one room and a tiny toilet closet.

Iowans were at the forefront of the tiny-house trend a dozen years ago, but it has taken off in coastal states, Colorado and among the popular press. Just how many tiny houses of fewer than 300 square feet exist is not known because they're often out of view on private land or rolled into recreational vehicle parks, too small to meet city zoning and building code requirements.

The small homes hit at a philosophy, which often sounds good on paper but more difficult in reality: Let's get rid of all this stuff and live simply. The young want them for affordability, the empty nesters because they are tired of tending to large homes filled with rooms they never go in. Others want them because the Earth is warming and the environment matters to them.

Or maybe they just always wanted a fort.

“I have friends in Colorado who told me there is a huge market for these out there,” said Spain, who works in construction.

So at age 52, with his kids grown, he decided it was time to pursue a passion, assembling a work of rustic art making little abodes from materials gathered at auctions, farm yards and garage sales.

Let's take a home tour. You can stand in one place.

It starts with the trailer, which costs 50 bucks to pull off a farmer's property. Spain wanted to build the home on a mobile platform, so its 2,900 pounds could be pulled anywhere by a sturdy truck. It currently sits by the Raccoon River on his son's property in West Des Moines' Commerce neighborhood.

Its mobility serves a larger purpose. Most cities, including Des Moines, have a building code requirement that adheres to international codes for a dwelling, requiring at least one room with 120 square feet and other rooms not less than 70 square feet. If it's mobile you don't need a building permit. Although West Des Moines has no minimum square footage requirements, there are lot-size requirements and zoning regulations that could prohibit it.

Spain envisions a country acreage owner who wants a temporary cabin or getaway as his primary customer, although in some states the tiny homes are serving as year-round residences.

The roof and windows are new to prevent leaks. It's insulated, and a steel beam structure makes it lightweight so it can be pulled easier. Most of the rest is made of used material that Spain hunted down. The exterior is former cedar deck and tin from an old barn, as is a small front deck on hinges that can be plopped down to enjoy the day or pulled up for transport. A headlight from an antique car lights the entrance and a tractor fender serves as an entry overhang.

Inside the front door made of reclaimed wood and an antique knob from a house in Des Moines, is a warm little room with a vaulted ceiling. The walls are quarter-inch cedar and the cabinets for storage are made of old barn wood. A bench seat with a cushion is what you have to sit on.

There is a counter with a sink along the “far” wall, a space for a tiny propane stove and cubby for a compact refrigerator. On the opposite wall, a custom-made furniture stand can serve as place for electronics or eating or anything you don't have place for, which may be a bit of everything.

A ladder leads to a loft with just enough clearance to sit up in bed and fit two snugly.

A room smaller than a closet fits the toilet and your legs. Hookups for septic and a breaker box allow you to be on the grid, while a wall-mounted propane heater supplies heat. With today's compact entertainment options, if you have a tablet you have an entertainment center and a library.

That's it. 14 feet by 7 feet.

“Some people can live in here,” said Spain, who lives in Johnston. “My tools alone wouldn't fit.”

The Small House Society was launched in Iowa City. Jay Shafer, a former university art professor, built a 130-square foot home in Iowa City and word got around. By 2002, he joined Greg Johnson and others to form the Small House Society (www.smallhousesociety.net) that fosters the development of smaller, sustainable living spaces.

“There are quite a few in Iowa City,” said Johnson, who works in the University of Iowa's IT department. “Part of the challenge is to track how popular it is. They are not building these publicly because they are concerned about zoning. But when you put it on wheels it becomes more like an RV and falls under more lenient categories of regulations.”

Some tiny homes are becoming extravagant, well-appointed cottages with French doors and fireplaces.

Johnson lived in what was essentially a sleeping cabin, 10 feet by 7 feet, from 2003 to 2009. “I'd wake up in the morning and go to the gym to take a shower.”

He said people are waking up to the low cost of ownership and upkeep on a tiny house. He's also talked to plenty of folks who tried to sell a 4,000-square-foot house that sat on the market for two years while smaller homes sold in days.

The micro trend also comes out of fear that the climate is changing and huge investments in a home can be wiped out by volatile weather, he said, or are an answer to affordable housing shortages for the poor.

While Shafer moved to California and owns a company that builds tiny homes, Johnson has stayed in Iowa City, although in a little larger home, because “at some point in life it isn't practical to live in something the size of a garden shed.”

In fact, some tiny homes are converted garden sheds. The standard building cost of $150 per square foot can be reduced by using old materials or turning a shed into a little home.

“I build anything from an 8 by 8 to a 14 by 24,” said Shawn Van Wyk of Van Wyk Wood Builders in Grinnell, Iowa, which sells storage sheds and little cabins. “They have a front porch on one end. Some will have a loft and others without. They use them for a vacation cabin or others will live in them.”

Spain doesn't want his homes to look like sheds or a camper. It's about the creative process, building custom furniture and now homes that inspire him.

“I've gone back to the stuff I love,” he said.

That's no small thing.

Sean Spain is starting to build another tiny house, which will include a shower, and has ideas for others. If you're interested, contact him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

To see more small homes, lists of manufacturers and other tips, go to smallhousesociety.net

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Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-11-08-14 1602GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE

For something a bit bigger and more substantial, there's a modernist Z Glass house clad in hot-rolled steel or corrugated metal, made by market leader Tumbleweed Tiny House. Its interior is lined in pine plywood. Image courtesy of Tumbleweed Tiny House.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 November 2014 17:03
 

Repairs to Indianapolis monument to take months

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Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 10 November 2014 11:02
Early 1900s postcard view published by the Detroit Photographic Company of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in downtown Indianapolis. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Repairs to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in downtown Indianapolis are going to take months longer to complete than first thought, an official said.

Crews erected scaffolding along the lower levels of two sides of the 112-year-old tower late week. They planned to repair leaks in the limestone and the monument's bronze figures by late November, but the damage was more extensive than first thought, Indiana War Memorial Commission director Stewart Goodwin told WISH-TV.

“It's something that does have a safety consideration,” he said. “Something could fall off of there – a piece of bronze or piece of stone.”

Goodwin said electrical workers will still be able to string thousands of lights on the monument for the city's annual Circle of Lights festivities for the Christmas season that starts Nov. 28.

At least some scaffolding is expected to remain up through the Christmas season, since it cost $50,000 to construct the sections now in place. Goodwin said contractors will put more scaffolding up after Christmas around all four sides of the monument to look for additional damage.

“Right now, we're in the investigative mode and we're trying to solve what needs to be done and how we're going to take care of that,” he said. “So there's no way to know for a few months how much fixing the monument will cost.”

The observation deck of the 284-foot-tall tower and its gift shop were closed once crews started putting up scaffolding on Oct. 27.

Numerous repairs have been made to the monument in recent years, most notably in 2011, when the 38-foot-tall bronze sculpture named Victory atop the tower was taken down for about five months of restoration work.

The tower was completed in 1902 as a monument to Indiana's military veterans, including more than 200,000 who served in Union forces during the Civil War.

Goodwin said the new goal is to have the monument repairs finished before next May's Indy 500 activities start.

“It's the kind of thing where you think you've got a home project that you can do on one Saturday afternoon and three weekends later you're still working on it,” he said.

___

Information from: WISH-TV, http://www.wishtv.com/

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-11-07-14 1848GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Early 1900s postcard view published by the Detroit Photographic Company of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in downtown Indianapolis. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Last Updated on Monday, 10 November 2014 11:43
 

Indianapolis museum exhibits celebrate American Modernism

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Written by Museum PR   
Friday, 07 November 2014 11:22
Man Ray (American, 1890–1976), 'Mime,' 1926, pochoir, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Emma Harter Sweetser Fund, 75.733.1. © Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris 2014 INDIANAPOLIS – From the colorful pochoirs of Man Ray to the iconic flowers of Georgia O’Keeffe, the Indianapolis Museum of Art is celebrating American Modernism this fall with three new exhibitions reflecting the styles, influences and artists of this 20th century avant-garde movement.

For a more personal look at the movement, visitors can explore the unconventional art collection of an Indiana native in “The Onya La Tour Collection: Modernism in Indiana” in the IMA Alliance Gallery. The free exhibition showcases 30 works acquired by Onya La Tour, a Hoosier who befriended many artists while working for the Works Progress Administration in New York in the 1930s. When La Tour moved back to Indiana in 1940, she transformed her Brown County farmhouse into the Indiana Museum for Modern Art and opened her collection to the public. In 1972, she donated many of these works to the IMA. This exhibition, on view through April 12, is the first time these paintings, drawings and prints have been brought together in a single show since their days in Brown County.

“The Rise of American Modernism,” in the Susan and Charles Golden Gallery, highlights the impact that European modernists had on their American counterparts. Featuring 29 prints, drawings, watercolors and photographs from the IMA’s permanent collection, the exhibition showcases the work of American and European modernists such as Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Paul Cézanne, Milton Avery and Katherine Dreier. The exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view works that are not often on view at the museum due to their sensitivity to light. “The Rise of American Modernism” will be on view through July 26.

The IMA’s feature exhibition this fall, “Georgia O’Keeffe and the Southwestern Still Life,” opened Nov. 2 in the Allen Whitehill Clowes Special Exhibition Gallery. Organized by Joseph S. Czestochowski and produced by International Arts®, the exhibit includes more than 50 works by Georgia O’Keeffe and her contemporaries – artists who were inspired by the dynamic culture, unique landscapes and natural beauty of the American Southwest. “Georgia O’Keeffe and the Southwestern Still Life” is curated by Dr. Charles C. Eldredge and features works drawn from numerous museums and private collections across the country. A highlight of the show will be the IMA’s great masterpiece by O’Keeffe, Jimson Weed (1936). Tickets are $20 for adults (Fri.-Sun.), $15 adults (Tue.-Thu.), $12 students and children 7-17, and free for children 6 and under. The exhibition is free for members.

For more information visit www.imamuseum.org .



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
Man Ray (American, 1890–1976), 'Mime,' 1926, pochoir, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Emma Harter Sweetser Fund, 75.733.1. © Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / ADAGP, Paris 2014 John Marin (American, 1870–1953), 'Brooklyn Bridge, No. 6 (Swaying),' 1913, etching on ivory woven paper, 13-3/4 x 10-7/8 in. Indianapolis Museum of Art, Gift of Joan and Walter Wolf, 2008.799. © Estate of John Marin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Last Updated on Friday, 07 November 2014 11:53
 

Miami’s priciest pad: here’s what you get for $65M

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Written by Outside Media Source   
Thursday, 06 November 2014 11:01
Miami's most expensive property, La Brisa, is located in Coconut Grove and is listed at $65 million. Image provided by toptenrealestatedeals.com MIAMI – Coconut Grove, just minutes from downtown Miami, was first inhabited in 1825 when the lighthouse on Key Biscayne began operating. A small village at the edge of Biscayne Bay, it developed slowly until 1886 when Charles and Isabella Peacock settled there and opened Bay View House, which later was renamed the Peacock Inn. Now with accommodations for visitors, “The Grove,” as locals call it, began to draw many interesting visitors, like scientists, artists, authors and even royalty, for the warm climate and bay location. Eventually, wealthy northerners arrived and built their winter mansions on the water’s edge in the midst of lush hammocks of live oaks and tropical vegetation, which still exist today. Notables who built their winter or permanent homes in The Grove include James and William Deering (John Deere), William Jennings Bryan (Secretary of State), Marjorie Stoneman Douglas (author and environmentalist) and Sepy Dobronyi (sculptor).

In the 1950s, Coconut Grove turned into an art colony when artists flocked there to paint its natural beauty. It began to take on a bohemian atmosphere, which, even today with all of its quaint shops and sidewalk cafes, still lies just below the surface. Treasured by the residents for the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival, the Great Grove Bed Race and King Mango Strut, or just sitting on a bench at Dinner Key enjoying the sailboats, Coconut Grove has a colorful history and a no less colorful presence today. Newer residents include Sylvester Stallone and Madonna.

Now with luxury Florida condominiums overlooking Dinner Key Marina where elegant old Florida mansions used to stand, South Grove homes and mansions are still surrounded in privacy by manicured jungle and original coral rock walls. One of the most famous and historic bayfront residences is now for sale.

La Brisa (Spanish for “The Breeze”) is on a very rare 6.9-acre tract of waterfront land that has never been subdivided since it was created in 1886. La Brisa was built in the 1920s, owned over the years by Kirk Munroe, an author of children’s novels and books about Florida, and Henry Field, a grandnephew of the founder of the Chicago Marshall Field’s Department Store chain. It was the home where Howard Hughes recuperated after his 1946 California plane crash.

Just blocks to Dinner Key, La Brisa is only steps from restaurants and shops, though total privacy is ensured by the tall coral rock wall, wrought iron entry gates and winding road leading to the home. With 207 feet of waterfront on Biscayne Bay, the home is built atop an ancient coral reef approximately 23 feet above sea level. The home has been extensively restored with views of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic across an expanse of well-manicured lawn stretching toward the mangrove-lined waterfront. Accessible by an elevated walkway leading to an octagonal viewing deck over the bay, a protected 536-foot long canal borders the northern side of the property and leads to a comfortable private port constructed by the current owner. The port accommodates a 70-foot yacht and offers direct ocean access.

The interior of the home measures 13,803 square feet with nine bedrooms and eleven baths. There are many balconies and covered porches encompassing an additional 3,338 square feet of year-round outdoor living space. All rooms are large and airy with some of the original beams, large fireplace and large eat-in kitchen, library, sauna and swimming pool and formal rooms, completely restored and updated. The Mediterranean-style home retains its original details of arched doors and windows, intricate keystones, and wrought iron. Gardens planted in Canary date palms, royal palms, royal poincianas, mahogany, oak and gumbo limbo trees, most of which are older than the house itself. There is also a rare spring-fed pond surrounded by tropical foliage.

La Brisa in historic Coconut Grove, home to artists, scientists, authors, celebrities and an astronaut, is now offered for sale at $65 million.

Read more at www.toptenrealestatedeals.com

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ADDITIONAL IMAGE OF NOTE
Miami's most expensive property, La Brisa, is located in Coconut Grove and is listed at $65 million. Image provided by toptenrealestatedeals.com
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 November 2014 11:25
 

Nov. 5 art auction benefits animal welfare group Mercy For Animals

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Written by Outside Media Source   
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 09:40

J J Manford, 'Moogles Fauna,' acrylic , oil, spray paint and collage on canvas; 18 x 12in, est. $3,000. Image courtesy Paddle 8 / Mercy For Animals

NEW YORK – Art and animals will come together for a common goal on Wednesday, November 5 as Mercy For Animals conducts its Art of Compassion benefit auction. Proceeds from the online auction of more than 75 artworks will benefit Mercy For Animals’ many animal welfare programs in North America.

The auction features original pieces by dozens of artists, including Moby, Jo-Anne McArthur, Al Jackson, Donald Baechler, Ross Bleckner and William Wegman. The selection has been curated and organized by Nick Lawrence, founder and curator of Freight+Volume gallery in New York City.

Bidding is on now and closes at 9 p.m. Eastern time on November 5. All auction artworks will be on view that same evening from 6-10 p.m. at a special Mercy For Animals fundraiser at Freight+Volume. The gallery is located at 530 W. 24th St., New York, NY 10011. To purchase tickets to the festive fundraiser, which are $100 apiece, or to make a donation to Mercy For Animals, visit https://www.charity-pay.com/e/event.asp?cid=22&eid=44.

To browse or bid on the art being sold in the online auction, click here: http://paddle8.com/auctions/mercyforanimals

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ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE

 J J Manford, 'Moogles Fauna,' acrylic , oil, spray paint and collage on canvas; 18 x 12in, est. $3,000. Image courtesy Paddle 8 / Mercy For Animals

 John Newsom, 'Wonderland,' screenprint, 48 of 60, framed, 16.25 x 27in, est. $1,600. Image courtesy Paddle 8 / Mercy For Animals

William Wegman, 'The Wave,' pigment print, 17 of 30, framed, 11 x 8.5in, est. $850. Image courtesy Paddle 8 / Mercy For Animals

Katherine Bradford, 'Dueling Supermen,' acrylic on canvas, 12 x 9 in, est. $1,900. Image courtesy Paddle 8 / Mercy For Animals

Moby, 'Receiving,' giclee print on exhibition mat, framed, 13 x 19in, est. $295. Image courtesy Paddle 8 / Mercy For Animals

Joe Heaps Nelson, 'Ferdinando,' gouache, charcoal and acrylic on paper; framed, 11.5 x 12.5in, est. $450. Image courtesy Paddle 8 / Mercy For Animals

Bryan Osburn, 'Untitled,' 2013, oil on paper, framed, 8 x 10in, est. $950. Image courtesy Paddle 8 / Mercy For Animals

Last Updated on Wednesday, 29 October 2014 10:12
 

Landmark GE sign's fate still up in the air in Fort Wayne

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Written by PAUL WYCHE, The Journal Gazette   
Tuesday, 28 October 2014 09:42
The iconic General Electric sign in Fort Wayne, Ind. Image by Momoneymoproblemz. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) – So far, GE hasn't brought anything good to light.

But Fort Wayne preservationists haven't given up on the idea that the familiar General Electric sign – and the building it sits atop – can have some type of presence in the city.

Councilman Geoff Paddock, D-5th, knows that ultimately, the fate of the sign – and GE's campus southwest of downtown – is up to the company whose history in the city dates back to 1911.

“I want to make that clear,” he told The Journal Gazette. “But we think something can be done.”

Something was done this month, but probably not what local historians wanted to see. GE, which is shutting down its 32-acre property on Broadway, auctioned off hardware, office equipment and scrap.

In late March, the company confirmed plans to close its two Fort Wayne operations, eliminating about 90 jobs in one year as it shifts work to Mexico. The business employs about 28 people at a local motor-testing lab and about 60 at its executive center on Coliseum Boulevard.

The future of the 13 largely vacant buildings along Broadway hasn't been decided.

GE spokesman Matt Cronkrite said the company is continuing to wind down operations in Fort Wayne but has made no decisions about its property, including the sign.

“Nothing has changed at this point,” Cronkrite said. “We know there are some city officials interested in the property.”

Some ideas may have been tossed around, but nothing GE considers worth elaborating on, he said.

At least two other cities have inquired about the company's iconic sign. In June, it was learned that officials at GE's Louisville, Ky., plant asked about relocating the towering emblem.

And boosters in Cincinnati, where the company also has operations and is home to the American Sign Museum, inquired about the sign.

“I haven't heard anything about it since (June),” said Tod Swormstedt, founder of the museum. “I know the sign is huge and, for a lot of people, is probably a symbol of better times.”

Paddock said there is momentum in the downtown area for restoring landmark buildings, which holds out hope for not only the GE sign but perhaps for at least some of the firm's buildings.

“I'll be meeting with the mayor next week and will bring it up,” Paddock said. “It would seem that something could work out there. Look at the Randall Building, for example.”

Randall Lofts is a mixed-use, $7.5 million five-story complex, where renovations were completed this summer. It took root inside a historic building at South Harrison and Pearl streets and includes 44 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority awarded Randall Lofts nearly $675,000 annually for 10 years in rental housing tax credits.

The city of Fort Wayne contributed $600,000 in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program money, of which $450,000 is a loan and $150,000 is a forgivable loan. Are similar funds available for parts of the GE campus?

“We'd like to see what could be done,” Paddock said. “It's worth exploring.”

___

Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

AP-WF-10-26-14 1757GMT



ADDITIONAL IMAGES OF NOTE
The iconic General Electric sign in Fort Wayne, Ind. Image by Momoneymoproblemz. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license. The former General Electric Plant, Fort Wayne, Indiana. Image by Momoneymoproblemz. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 10:03
 
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