Monday, March 19, 2012
Life is funny
The great equalizing wand of the Media swept down and scooped me up this past month, unaware of its timely rescue of my morale. Last Monday night, an opponent who had already questioned Ranger Frank Hamer as a worthy subject, stood before the whole world and proclaimed that I was an unworthy sculptor, compared to others available. But in a strange sequence of events, the cavalry was already charging up the hill.
In coverage of totally unrelated projects, KBTX did a TV news segment on my mural at the Blue Bell Creamery, and the Brenham Banner-Press followed suit. Two radio programs interviewed me along with Chris Dyer about the upcoming "Savour the Arts" event at the George Bush Library, where I will be demonstrating sculpting techniques, and showing my latest bench for the "Benchmark" program, and Sunday Tom Turbiville ran a story in the Eagle that reflected his radio interview of me... giving a little history of my portfolio of public art here in the Brazos Valley. The Navasota Examiner ran their routine coverage of the City Council meeting, where much more was at stake besides my pride, and accurately described the evening's confrontation, and reported our successful attempt to uphold the legacy of Ranger Frank Hamer here in Navasota... So there!
It's true, I was at home there, fighting, in this case with City Hall, and there is probably more recognition of me in my hometown as a local politician than anything. One radio interview highlighted the problem as the radio host admitted that they knew me mostly as the blues guy from Navasota... My recent efforts at Blues Alley to educate the region on our surprising blues heritage has been more.... newsworthy than 35 years of painting and sculpting... and not just little stuff, but monumental stuff... But people know about that which they care about, and the challenge of the art community is somehow to get the folks in the Brazos Valley to care more about art; to take pride in the artists... whether they are visual artists or performing artists.
Just recently, the historical marker above, which celebrated the Spanish manhunt of La Salle as it blazed the "La Bahia" trail in the 1680's, has been eclipsed by a long overdue recognition of Mance Lipscomb. Now a bronze of our celebrated bluesman dominates the scene... several decades after his death.
But then like a perfect storm, recognition of my art suddenly reached a critical mass...Almost as if God knew it was time to set the record straight. I have done a lot, quietly, and without much fanfare. It's hard for an artist to survive, much less get the word out about his successes, without help from those who present us the news. Up until this past month, the Media in the region has all but ignored my significant contributon to their community... BUT this past month they showed just how useful they could be, to at least correct my detractors. Thank you Chris for your support and for letting me tag along (you're doing a great job!), and thank you to KBTX, KAMU, KZNE, the Banner, the Examiner and the Eagle for some timely salve.
It was nice seein' you "in the funny papers."