‘Elles’ exhibit at Seattle Art Museum raises questions regarding its success

Defying conventions

By: Marina Ignatyeva

The Seattle Art Museum is currently the site of one of the most exciting projects in the world. SAM partnered up with the Centre Pompidou, France’s largest modern art museum, to bring a tiny portion of their radical all-female artist exhibit to the United States. It kicked off on October 11, 2012, and will continue until January 13, 2013. Like the Centre, the Seattle Art Museum has taken down all the works by male artists, and decided to showcase only the works by women in the entire museum. SAM and the surrounding universities are also hosting various workshops and lectures by feminists.  This is why the exhibit is called “Elles: Women Artists from the Centre Pompidou, Paris”. This was done to facilitate discussion about gender discrimination in the art world, and in life, as well as to help viewers explore the meaning of being a woman.

While the overall response has been high praises, there has been a division between mainstream news sources and the more independent sources about the success of the Seattle Art Museum’s exhibit. When Centre Pompidou held their “Elles” exhibit, it was a conscious effort to create gender equality, and resulted in the Centre buying massive amounts of art pieces to balance out the gender breakdown of its collection. The Seattle Art Museum heavily borrowed from the Centre Pompidou, as well as other prominent galleries around the United States, to supplement its lack of pieces by women. Mainstream news sources such as the Seattle Times put emphasis on how the exhibit is exploring what constitutes being a woman, and shows a blend of artwork from different time periods to show how the concept of femininity is not set in stone. It also provokes discussion regarding discrimination against women in the art world.

Independent news sources such as The Stranger, a Seattle newspaper, question about how long this equality will last at the Seattle Art Museum. Both types of news sources agree that the blatant gaps in some of the exhibits at “Elles” indicate just how small the collection of art by women is compared to the usual display of works by male artists. This is understandable, since the Seattle Art Museum does not have the massive resources of Centre Pompidou to purchase new pieces for this exhibit. This is also worrisome. An article in The Stranger wonders if any of the pieces borrowed for “Elles” will be purchased, or if SAM will go back to displaying mostly male artists’ works of art. This would send a message of “lets celebrate feminism, but then go back to the gender-biased status quo”.


Natasha Trethewey Named 19th U.S. Poet Laureate

Written by: Rikki Lux

Natasha Trethewey speaks of her honored appointment as U.S. Poet Laureate

U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey recalls her young years in Mississippi.


“They crossed the river into Cincinnati, a city whose name

begins with a sound like sin, the sound of wrong – mis in Mississippi.”

So begins “Miscegenation,” a poem by freshly appointed U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey.  The subject of the poem is her parents’ 1965 quest to marry outside of their home state of Mississippi because their interracial union was illegal.  Born of a black mother and white father, Trethewey has utilized her own history to write her Pultizer Prize winning poetry.

When Trethewey, 46-year-old English professor at Atlanta’s Emory University and poet-historian, received the happy news earlier this week, she stated, “I’m still a little in disbelief.”

Others were more expectant of her appointment as 19th U.S. Poet Laureate. “The appointment of Natasha Trethewey is a very welcome event,” said Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and a long-time Trethewey fan. “She writes out of the complicated history of the region, and even from her own complicated history.”

Trethewey’s interpretation of history is what has gained her notoriety.  Her 2007 Pulitzer Prize winning collection of poems “Native Guard” is about an all black Civil War regiment that guarded imprisoned white Confederate soldiers. In “Native Guard” she comments on the memorialization of the white soldiers, but not the black:

“Some names shall deck the page of history

as it is written on stone. Some will not.”

“Native Guard” follows the tragedies of the Civil War, especially the ones we have never read about. “She’s taking us into history that was never written,” said Librarian of Congress James Billington, the man who first became aware of Trethewey after he heard her read at the 2004 National Book Festival in Washington.  Her work, in the form of sonnets and free verse, interprets history and transforms memory.  Of her prose style, Billington comments, “I admired the way she had a certain classical sound but also moved easily from traditional forms to free verse.”

The beginning of Trethewey’s career began in her freshmen year of college when her 40-year-old mother was murdered. She reported to the Associated Press, “I started writing poems as a response to that great loss, much the way that people responded, for example, after 9/11.” Therefore, memory is a pervasive theme in her poems – and not only her own. She sought to write the histories of people who would not be represented under most circumstances.

Her first volume, published in 2000, is called “Domestic Work” and focuses on the lives of laborers – black maids, cleaning women, and workers in factories.  Published in 2002, “Bellocq’s Ophelia” is a novella that tells the story of a prostitute, followed by her 2007 Pulitzer Prize winning work “Native Guard” that was written from the perspective of black Civil War soldiers.  Her first non-fiction book, “Beyond Katrina: A Meditation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast” was published in 2010.

Trethewey, born in Mississippi and now living in Decatur, Ga., is the first Southerner to hold the post since original laureate Robert Penn Warren, and the first African-American since 1993 U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove.

This fall, her fourth collection of poetry titled “Thrall” will be published.  In the poems, she will analyze her relationship with her white father, as well as the subject of family memories.

Found Objects Find New Lives in Bonnie Meltzer’s Very Mixed-Media Art

Found object sculpture of house

Green aritst Bonnie Meltzer's sculpture "House Music" incorporates found objects.

Written by: Josephine Bridges

Look closely at Bonnie Meltzer’s mixed-media sculpture, and you’ll begin to notice the eco friendly house is an autoharp, the door is switch plates, and the chimney is a paintbrush.

“I believe in the transformation of the objects I use,” says green artist Bonnie Meltzer. “I was ready to throw out an autoharp because the ends of the strings were very sharp. I picked it up from a different angle, and it said: house. I liked the idea enough that I took the time to make sure my art wouldn’t be responsible for puncture wounds.”

Meltzer first started making her very mixed-media art in the 70s, when she discovered a surplus computer thrift store near her supermarket. “Found-object art is very in right now,” she says, “but when I started doing it, people thought it was odd.”

Globes, battered musical instruments, mirrors, hardware, all kinds of computer parts including their cords, and “a whole lot of things that I don’t what they are” form the basis for Meltzer’s work, but she has limits. “I don’t incorporate objects into my art that can still be used for the purpose for which they were made. No usable computers or musical instruments were harmed in the making of these sculptures.”

Where does the artist get her materials? “I’ve been collecting things forever. People bring them to me. I buy them at garage sales, second-hand stores, and specialty stores for artists. Sometimes when I want something that I don’t have, I go to my Facebook page and whine. I usually get something. I probably have enough stuff to use until the day I die, but I always want something different. I’m like a little bird. If I see something shiny, I want it.”

How does Meltzer get started on one of her sculptures? “Sometimes I start with an idea, often a title. Sometimes an object gives me an idea. A box of multicolored floppy disks fell on the floor and I thought: quilt blocks. Sometimes the act of cleaning my studio is an aha moment, because I find things I forgot I had.”

How does she put her found objects together and keep them that way? “I prefer objects with holes or loops, so I can sew, bolt, or screw them on, or embroider or sew beads onto them. I love glue. If you can’t sew it, sometimes you have to glue it. I crochet wire to encase an object or bind it to another object. You can see through a lot of the crocheted wire, look down into it and discover more layers, more visual treats.” Look through the pliers into the sound box of Meltzer’s eco friendly “House Music,” and you will see yourself.

You can see more at bonniemeltzer.com.

Rise Above Famous Street Artist Shepard Fairey Doin Dallas

By: Allison Hibbs

For the first time in 10 years, Shepard Fairey is in Dallas! Invited by the non-profit art forum, Dallas Contemporary, as part of their Citywide Street Project, he is leaving his signature mark on buildings around the city. A graphic artist and old-school skateboarder, Fairey is probably best known in the mainstream for his 2008 poster depicting a stylized version of then-presidential candidate, Barack Obama, along with the single word: Hope.

Among those familiar with the street art movement, however, Fairey – with his Andre the Giant logo featuring the word ‘Obey’ – has long been iconic of the pioneering work that he and others have done to legitimize the subculture as an accepted, if often politically subversive and irreverent, art form. Along with Basquiat in the 80s and later artists such as world-famous anonymous prankster, Bansky, street artists like Fairey have elevated graffiti into a meaningful form of expression, rebellion and catharsis in the United States, across Europe and in Australia.

Movies such as “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” a documentary made by the elusive Banksy and featuring work by Fairey, chronicle the progression, techniques and motivations behind this growing movement. (Although many consider the film to be another one of Bansky’s pranks, Fairey and the film’s central character, Thierry Guetta, deny all such accusations.)  Put simply, the goal of these artists is two-fold: to make use of and beautify unused, often unsightly, urban spaces, and to make people stop and think as they go about the usual business of their days. Many dedicated street artists work uncompromisingly (and often under the cover of night) to realize these goals. Of course, they also seem to have a good deal of fun in the process.

In the wake of chaos caused by Wall Street in 2007, Banksy pieces started showing up around New York City depicting his iconic rat (an anagram for ‘art’), which showed the artist’s obvious distain for the moral bankruptcy of those who were the architects of the financial disaster.

Obama poster notwithstanding, much of Fairey’s work tends to be less overtly political – necessitating individual thought and introspection – although several are obvious admonishments against war and global warming. Lately, he has even come out in support of the nationwide movement known as Occupy with an image of Guy Fawkes that plays off of his ’08 Hope poster. What, according to Fairey, began as a fun project to entertain college friends has evolved into an art form aimed at shaking people out of their passive acceptance of societal norms.

Working with the local street art collective, Sour Grapes, Fairey had completed four murals as of Feb. 3 in two locations in West Dallas. Dallas Contemporary has indicated that he will do at least eight more before he leaves, at least one of which is to be located in the area known as Deep Ellum. Three of the murals are located at 331 and 340 Singleton Blvd., near I-30 and I-35E in West Dallas. Another adorns the side of Dallas Contemporary, at 161 Glass Street, where Fairey has also been invited to guest DJ at a sold-out  “neon-inspired dance party” on the night of Saturday, Feb. 4. If these murals have a theme, he told the Dallas Observer, “It’s peace and harmony.” The woman in two of the murals, he says, is his wife.

A bus tour been organized for Saturday, Feb. 11, which is to include stops at the murals and a studio visit with Sour Grapes, as well as visits to exhibits at Dallas Contemporary featuring Rob Pruitt, David Jablonowski and Failure. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online.

Zinch Scholarship for Creativity

Written by: Jill Heagerty

Zinch is offering the opportunity for talented artists, enrolled or intending to enroll in college, to showcase their work. The winner is the candidate who displays the most creativity, and he or she will receive $5,000 for school. Tuition costs are astronomical, so any money a student earns can go a long way. This particular scholarship is refreshing to see in comparison to most scholarship applications that include a GPA, SAT scores, and writing a formal essay about a completely cliché topic such as, “What is the most important lesson you have learned in life and how has it made you the person you are today?” There is nothing wrong with those typical scholarships, like I said any money can go a long way, but they are tiresome and do not accurately access a candidate’s worth and potential. Winners could be students who are very practiced at knowing what to write for those types of essays, without their own sense of self or originality. This isn’t always the case, but it is highly likely in most situations.

Art is typically placed on the backburner in the education system, with traditional subjects emphasizing math, science, and formal writing in the forefront. That is why the requirement for most scholarships are a decent GPA, a minimum SAT score, and the banal essay I mentioned before. The question is: why isn’t there more value placed on artistic abilities? If a person can think creatively and make something out of nothing, that shows the person is smart and can succeed in college, a career, and life in general, using a part of the brain some can’t even fathom to use. That creative individual is a worthy candidate of a scholarship, more worthy than a person who can just write a decent essay about a life experience.

So if you’re attending a university for the next academic school year, I encourage you to access the link above and look into applying for the scholarship. Your creative vision should be honored and awarded. The type of artistic work that will be judged includes digital art, animation, film and video, music, photography, multimedia, illustration, interior design, graphic design, and more. Even if you’re a good writer who usually flourishes with the typical essay in most applications, there is a place for you as well to show off your artistic scope that would otherwise be ignored.

A Summary about TheFashionSpot.com

Written By:Liana Fahie

For some fashion means throwing on whatever they can find on their bedroom floor, for others, it is a means of self-expression, and for a select few it’s their life. Most of us are in some way a part of the fashion world whether we like it or not. After all, for the most part, public nudity is illegal. However what seems to differentiate fashion lovers is that fashion is never about conformity, its viewed as an art form up for open interpretation rather than a simple “oh that top looks good with those pants.” It’s a language of its own as well. From clothing cuts to designers to even models, it’s quite a task for a fashion outsider to keep up with.

The forum that I chose to observe is called Fashion Spot. It is a fashion website that was established in 2006. It contains articles about fashion, beauty, celebrities, and the latest trends. They post interviews with various influential people in the fashion and entertainment world and behind the scenes shoots with models at various fashion shows.

One unique element about The Fashion Spot is their coverage of fashion weeks. The site either hosts web-streams themselves or finds streams of a large percentage of the runway shows. The best attribute of this feature is that it is not limited to members. This helps to drive traffic towards the site during a time when others are interested heavily in the new looks for the upcoming season. In addition, those attracted to the site by the streams can get drawn in to the features that the other content on the site has to offer and thus The Fashion Spot can increase the amount of consistent users to their site.

What type of people are there?

For starters the membership process is very different from most other sites. You have two ways of getting in. You either get a member to invite you in or you can fill out an application to get on the waiting list for membership. Even through this selective process, membership is not guaranteed. Not all members are eligible to invite members into this community. The oldest members are the ones granted this honor. Their members are mostly people in the industry such as photographers, stylists, designers, shop owners, pattern makers, and what they call “influencer members.” Influencer members are those members who aren’t in the industry but appreciate fashion. The Fashion Spot seems to be very strict on adhering to structuring itself mainly on fashion and beauty. Other discussions are not welcome. While there is talk about celebrities it is always fashion based talk rather than celebrity gossip. If they desire more members in a specific geographical location to have membership then invitations for people in that area become more open. Community and connections are strongly encouraged. After 45 days of socializing with other members, some of the newer members then are awarded invitation rights.  Members who invite people who were previous banned members or spammers are at risk for getting their membership revoked. Membership requirements on their website are as follows:

Attributes we are looking for in new members:

  • LOVE fashion & LIVE fashion.
  • Trendsetters and influencers amongst their peers.
  • Always seeking more info on fashion trends, products & news.

If you are denied membership, you are not notified.

What are the values the people have?

Members of this forum are extremely dedicated to fashion. While this forum does encourage learning and having an open mind one cannot join this forum without a substantial amount of knowledge of fashion. While they are more than eager to help you learn certain things there are some general things that you should know, such as certain designers. Also I’ve noticed that people are very respectful towards each other. It creates a very comfortable environment for spreading ideas

What ideas are accepted without evidence?

Most ideas are generally accepted without evidence. It is an open-minded community. It’s one of the requirements to join there. Everyone does not necessarily have the same tastes when it comes to fashion; members have to be respectful of that. It’s an environment that promotes new ideas, although they may be bizarre at times. Originality is greatly encouraged. Yet it’s an odd concept considering that everyone has something to offer in the form of a new idea yet some are rejected based on decision of the website.

What type of rhetorical appeals do they find credible (ethos, pathos, logos)?

Due to the excruciating membership process, it is naturally assumed that all the members would know a substantial amount of information. Therefore members rely on each other for advice without knowing them because they feel that the membership process is excruciating enough to weed out “amateurs.” It’s hard to pin logos and pathos to a fashion blog. Fashion is mainly opinionated.

What types of behavior are policed (trolling, reposts, religious discussion)?

In this community members are very encouraged to interact with others in their community. One would assume that lurking is frowned upon. A non-member can lurk but more activity is required of members. Reposts are also closely regulated. Anything that is not fashion or beauty related is immediately deleted. Membership could be revoked and reconsidered if a member is caught spamming or being rude to other members.

Yu-Chu Yeh cites Chang with identifying ten basic elements that a structured social network should posess. Those elements are “participants, shared visions, devices, services, rules, relations, manners, learning domains, learning goals, and learning activities(Yu-Chu,140).” Yeh also cites the most utilized roles are that of information providers, opinion providers, and troublemakers(Yu-Chu,149). However in fashion spot troublemakers are quickly eliminated so they don’t play a role worth mentioning.  Interaction is especially important because it shows the level of membership commitment. The exclusivity of this community creates such an illusion that attracts many. Membership commitment also can be explained by the social exchange theory (Byoungho,591). Gaining membership is often times a drawn out process at this forum. In a world where it’s so simple to join any site without a process this is seen as a rarity. This therefore makes it seem more attractive to applicants and adds feelings of prestige once they gain entrance in. While it does not monetarily cost prospects to gain entrance, there is much to be gained from acceptance, such as helpful tips, a chance to interact with other members with way more experience and exposure to the industry. This possibly can be seen as a place where many connections that lead into great opportunities could be found that would be difficult to find elsewhere.

To conclude, this quote from the Devil Wears Prada summarizes the fashion world’s effect on everyone, even those who don’t believe it effects them.  Andrea, Miranda Priestly’s fashion challenged assistant states that she feels that the belts all look the same and doesn’t understand the fuss over them. Miranda then responds by saying:

“This… stuff’? Oh. Okay. I see.Okay. I see. You think this has nothing to do with you. You go to your closet and you select… I don’t know… that lumpy blue sweater, for instance because you’re trying to tell the world that you take yourself too seriously to care about what you put on your back. But what you don’t know is that that sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise. It’s not lapis. It’s actually cerulean. And you’re also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, Oscar de la Renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. And then I think it was Yves Saint Laurent… wasn’t it who showed cerulean military jackets? I think we need a jacket here. And then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of eight different designers. And then it, uh, filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic Casual Corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. However, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room from a pile of stuff.”- The Devil Wears Prada

Byoungho, Jin, Park Jin Yong, and Kim Hye-Shin. “What makes online community members commit? A social exchange perspective.” Behaviour & Information Technology 29.6 (2010): 587-599. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Feb. 2011.

Yu-Chu, Yeh. “Analyzing Online Behaviors, Roles, and Learning Communities via Online Discussions.” Journal of Educational Technology & Society 13.1 (2010): 140-151. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO. Web. 27 Feb. 2011.

Art turned into an idea.

By: Stacy Liberatore

How many times have you walked by an empty building and said “I wish this was a…”? Well now you can visibly voice your opinion with the “I wish this was…” project.

The idea was started by Candy Chang, a public installation artist, in New Orleans during December 2010. She created vinyl stickers with the heading, “I wish this was”, with a blank space underneath. After the devastation Katrina left buy, many business owners couldn’t re-open, which left many abandoned buildings.

The idea behind the project is so the community can voice their opinions on what they would like to see vacant buildings in their town be used for.

 “When I moved to the Marigny in New Orleans last summer I was surprised by the number of vacant storefronts amidst a neighborhood chock full of people who want and need lots of things, including a grocery with fresh produce,” said Chang, “I think many of us walk by vacant storefronts in our neighborhoods and have opinions of what we’d like to see in them.”

 With support from the Ethnographic Terminali exhibit, she placed boxes of free stickers in businesses around the city and posted grids of blank stickers and a permanent marker on vacant storefronts to invite passersby to write their thoughts. “Fill out and put on buildings,” said Chang as she distributed them to the public. The stickers are vinyl and they can be easily removed without damaging property.

Stickers have been seen saying “I wish this was… A grocery store, a comfy couch, a city during a revolution.  Chang was greatly surprised, what she thought might be a fun and goofy way of expression has taken cities by storm.

The stickers can still be seen all over New Orleans and are making their way across the nation. She calls her sticker project “an experiment in public space,” meant to pose the question “what if residents had more of a say?” In addition, she hopes the exercise remains “loose, funny, interesting and entertaining.”

To some it may seem nothing more than a sticker, but to others it is a revolution of ideas.  A way to make a city the way you have always dreamed it could be. And starting in New Orleans where everything was destroyed, this artist may have opened a door and let some light shine for the city.

  “What if we could easily say what we want, where we want it? That was the inspiration for I Wish This Was. It’s a kind of love child of urban planning and street art,” said Chang “A crude tool and experiment to see what might happen if we could easily say what we wanted in vacant storefronts and beyond.”

Carsten Holler Exhibit at New York’s New Museum Turns Art into Interactive Fun

Written By: Catherine Wolinski

Last October, the New Museum in New York City presented Carsten Holler: Experience, the first New York survey of works by Carsten Holler, a German scientist-turned-artist who resides in Stockholm, Sweden. The exhibition, which will be open until Jan. 15, transforms multiple galleries into a world of research experimentation crossed with childhood fun. A firm believer in utilizing the architecture of the building where his art, its space, and its viewers will interact, the collection even includes a 102-foot slide that patrons can ride from the fourth to the second floors of the building.

Born in Brussels in 1961, Holler left his career as a scientist in 1993 to instead apply his knowledge and lab experience to

Carsten Holler: Experience slide installation at the New Museum

artistic concepts. Exploring themes such as safety, love, and doubt, Holler presents scenarios that force museum and museum goer into a conversation, connecting visitors to the environments he creates. By engaging the building as well as its inhabitants, Holler sends each person into multiple roles as they pass through each section of the exhibit, where they are faced with innovative structures, scenes, and tasks. Visitors are both the watchers and the watched as they make their way through the Experience Corridor, a stretch of space scattered with thought provoking activities that bring into question the conventional understandings of space, time and self.

By way of his participatory installations, Holler challenges human perception and logic by igniting, and perhaps overwhelming, the senses with interactive experiences.  Using the architecture of the building to map out these sensory events, Holler engages viewers with

The Mirror Carousel by Carsten Holler

the works of the past eighteen years of his career, chronicling numerous ventures that push the limits of human sensory perception. Such works include the untitled slide installation, which he describes as an “alternative transportation system,” Double Light Corner, a disorienting light installation that gives the impression the room is flipping back and forth, Mirror Carousel, a full-size swing merry-go-round that reflects and illuminates the space around it as it turns almost imperceptively, and finally, Psycho Tank, a “sensory deprivation pool” which literally puts the viewer into a pool—stripped naked—for a mind-altering out-of-body experience.

Carston Holler: Experience employs multiple disciplines to destabilize and reinvent viewers’ knowledge of the world around them, and how they fit into it. By using the scientific method in conjunction with his futurist design, Holler’s art forces viewers to see, feel, and understand art and space in a new way.

Salvation Army of Greater New York hosts author Mark Whitaker – do not publish

Written by:  Barbara J. Ross

The Salvation Army, Greater New York Division’s Quarterly Book Club Series is an event during which they host a lunch and an intimate presentation/discussion with an author.

They will be hosting Mark Whitaker, the Executive Vice President and managing editor for CNN Worldwide.  He has written My Long Trip Home, a memoir about his childhood and his search for racial identity, which has received remarkable reviews.  His story is inspiring, and all involved at the Salvation Army are “excited to hear him speak.”  The spirit of Mr. Whitaker’s words embodies the beliefs and mission of the Salvation Army.  Both author and organization strive to make the world a more just and welcome place, providing opportunities to the underserved.

The “by invitation only event” is slated for January 19, 2012, and will take place at the ‘21’ Club, 21 52cnd St., NYC.  A reception begins at11:30followed by lunch, the program, and a book signing. For more information you may call 212.337.7345.

Allyson Ross, Director of Foundation Relations for the Greater New York Division quipped that “It’s a lovely program, a fun outing, and a great opportunity for us (fund raisers) to meet with our donors without asking for money.”  Obviously the Salvation Army expects to provide a pleasant opportunity to meet many of its donors who will come out to hear the great words of this experienced journalist as he sets forth the tale of his upbringing.

Whitaker has had stellar reviews for his work.  Publishers Weekly states that “Like Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, Whitaker’s memoir is in many ways an iconic story of the post-civil rights era, one in which transcending racial barriers liberates people to success — and fail –in their own peculiar ways.”

Author and journalist Tom Brokaw has this to say about the novel: “A deeply personal, instructive and unsparing story of life in a contemporary bi-racial American family.  It’s all here — the love, pride, anger, confusion and achievement from a man who rose to the top ranks of American journalism.”

The book is so accepted in literary circles that it will certainly continue to be read by people from all walks of life.  While the opportunity to see Mr. Whitaker at this event is limited, the availability of his memoir is not.  Many fine authors are recommending it; that should be enough impetus to provide a reading pick for many.  Check local libraries and bookstores for available copies.



Walt Disney Imagineers Demonstrate the New Features of the Cruise Ship Dream

During a recent public demonstration at the headquarters of Walt Disney Imagineers, the company announced their plans to line the decks of the Dream,  their latest cruise ship -launching early next year – with over 20 pieces of moving artwork, and two interactive floors of youth-oriented play areas.

The “enchanted art” will be displayed on large LCD screens that sit inside a glass case, surrounded by a frame that hides the speakers and motion-detecting camera. In one example of these state-of-the-art works of technological artistry, there is a photograph of Walt Disney lounging on the beach of Rio de Janeiro. When a passenger stands in front of it, it will show “The Three Caballeros” dashing comedically over the landscape. The art will also feature motion-detection capabilities that echo the Nintendo Wii, which will enable children to participate in mini-games as part of a shipboard scavenger hunt. Cruisers will scour the premises in search of the Disney villain responsible for the missing pieces of art, or stolen Dalmatian puppies. Glowing pads placed around the perimeter of two interactive floor mats will also encourage the kids to play games that feature characters from “Bolt,” “Tron,” and “Princess and the Frog.”

Children give the interactive floor a test run

And as far as eating goes, no cruiser will ever forget the “Finding Nemo” restaurant, called the Animator’s Palate, which is expected to flaunt over 700 seats inside a studio-themed eatery that comes to life during dinner.