arts

Photography
1:05 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Portrait Show Brings Photographer-Subject Encounters Into Focus

Untitled (Kate #18) by Chuck Close.
Chuck Close Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 9:45 am

When someone takes our picture, we usually deliver a mile-wide grin, but there's not a smile in the room at the Phillips Collection's photography show in Washington.

The exhibit mostly consists of portraits of inner lives, taken by various photographers, and it's about the encounter between the two participants. Susan Behrends Frank curated the small show, called "Shaping a Modern Identity," which is running through Jan. 12.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:23 am
Thu December 26, 2013

2013 Jazz Picks By Jazz Fanatics

Chuck Obuchowski is the host of Out Here & Beyond on WWUH.
Chion Wolf WNPR

You loved jazz in college, but these days, do you really have time to follow it? Maybe I'm only talking about myself. The jazz scene I loved so much in my early twenties begins to recede unless I make an affirmative effort to go charging toward it. So at this time of year, every year, we consult with jazz savants and musicians and ask them about the best music they heard all year.

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Jazz Corridor
5:45 am
Wed December 25, 2013

The Death Knell Tolls Not for Jazz

Mike DiRubbo and Steve Davis perform.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The perennial lament that jazz is dead had no validity in our region, the geographical Jazz Corridor between New York and Boston, in 2013. In fact, the past year abounded with many robust life signs, and a promising prognosis for a long, relatively healthy life for America’s original, perhaps most endangered, yet somehow most remarkably resilient art form.

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Snow Art
2:41 pm
Sun December 22, 2013

Something Cool: Photos Of Huge Snow Sculptures In China

People pose beside a large snow sculpture at the 26th Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo in Sun Island Park on Sunday in Harbin, China.
Hong Wu Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 22, 2013 5:38 pm

The 26th Harbin International Snow Sculpture Art Expo is in full swing in China. Known as the largest festival of its kind the world, it's always pretty spectacular.

We thought we'd round up some pictures to give you a sense of the wonder:

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Where Do I Start?
11:01 am
Fri December 20, 2013

A Taste of Duke Ellington

Miles Davis quote from "Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington."
Credit Creative Commons Image / WNPR

So much music and so little time.

On today's Where We Live, we could have spent the entire time just playing Duke Ellington's music. Since we didn't play any of the songs in their entirety, we're sharing the playlist below with the songs that you heard on the show.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri December 20, 2013

As Relevant as Ever: the Music of Duke Ellington

The musical influence of Duke Ellington survives long past his death.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Duke Ellington is one of the pivotal figures in jazz. He was a pianist, composer and bandleader whose impact lasted well beyond his death. Terry Teachout joins us in studio to talk about his new book, Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington. We’ll also talk to local musicians about Ellington’s musical influence on their work.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:28 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Daniel Menaker's Journey Through the Hallowed Halls of The New Yorker

Daniel Menaker.
Credit Daniel Menaker

If you read magazines and live on the North half of the East Coast there is a good chance that you believe that The New Yorker is the ne plus ultra of magazine writing and if you believe that there's a good chance you run around using phrases like ne plus ultra.

With The New Yorker's Olympian status goes a certain preciousness One of the reasons there's nothing else quite like The New Yorker is The New Yorker deeply believes that to be true and communicates it to us in subtle ways. 

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Jazz Corridor
5:45 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Dave Brubeck, a Time Traveler

Dave Brubeck in 1972.
Credit Heinrich Klaffs / Creative Commons

Dave Brubeck, the jazz genius and venerable Wizard of Wilton who died a year ago this month at 91, was mad about time. Playing with time brilliantly, bending, reshaping and rewinding it, he constantly experimented with the permutations of odd-seeming, even weird time signatures, notated with funny-looking fractions like 5/4, 9/8, 7/4 and 13/4.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:41 am
Tue December 17, 2013

How Do We Determine the Value of Art?

A Jeff Koons red balloon flower
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A Francis Bacon triptych, "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" sells for $142.4 million.

Jeff Koons work sells for $58.4 million, making it the most expensive art by a living artist to sell at auction.

Is any art really worth this much or do a few wealthy investors artificially drive up the market to divert the rest of us from the reality of overall declining sales. If art is not worth as much as certain vested interests want us to believe, how do we determine the real worth of art?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:38 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Monday Scramble: Peter O'Toole, Jameis Wilson, and Joan Fontaine

Peter O'Toole in "Lawrence of Arabia"
Credit LAPhotographer on Flickr Creative Commons

This is the Monday Scramble, the show we assemble on very short notice to challenge ourselves and keep things fresh.

Two film icons died over the weekend, Peter O'Toole and Joan Fontaine. Attention gravitated to O'Toole because of his larger than life roles and his larger than life off-screen behavior. We'll be talking about O'Toole with one of his co-stars and with a director but we didn't want to ignore Fontaine, famous for her Oscar-winning role and for her decades-long feud with her sister, Olivia DeHaviland. 

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Live Music
8:34 am
Mon December 16, 2013

VIDEO: Violent Mae Performs Live in WNPR's Studios

Becky Kessler and Floyd Kellogg are Violent Mae.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Even though they just released their debut, self-titled album, Violent Mae still had new, unreleased material up their sleeves.

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Larger Than Life
8:03 am
Mon December 16, 2013

Peter O'Toole, Exuberant From 'Lawrence' To His Last Role

Peter O'Toole, the charismatic actor who achieved instant stardom as Lawrence of Arabia and was nominated eight times for an Academy Award, died Saturday. He was 81.
AP

Originally published on Mon December 16, 2013 10:35 am

Blond, blue-eyed and wearing blazing white robes in Lawrence Of Arabia, Peter O'Toole was handsome enough — many said beautiful enough — to carry off the scene in which director David Lean simultaneously made stars of both his title character and his leading man.

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Showtime
11:42 am
Sat December 14, 2013

Draining The Daring From A High School Production Of 'Rent'

Anthony Rapp (left) and Adam Pascal perform a scene from the New York Theatre Workshop production of Rent in 1996.
Joan Marcus AP

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 12:31 am

Quite a show has been going on in Trumbull, Conn.

Last week, the principal of Trumbull High School canceled a student production of Rent scheduled for next March.

Rent is Jonathan Larson's 1994 rock musical about a group of colorful young people living and loving in a colorful wreck of a brownstone on New York's Lower East Side, when struggling young artists could afford the rent there.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:56 am
Fri December 13, 2013

The Nose Sniffs Out the Controversy Surrounding Housework, Smarm, and More

Irene Papoulis is a lecturer in Writing and Rhetoric at Trinity College
Chion Wolf

After a two-week hiatus, The Nose, our weekly cultural panel, is back on with discussions of a controversial New York Times essay about who does housework, a contemplation of smarm versus snark, a nod to all the messiness around Nelson Mandela's funeral, and some second-guessing of Time's Person of the Year, Pope Francis or Ed Snowden.

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Spotlight on the Arts
6:49 am
Fri December 13, 2013

Perils of the Sea: Giant Pastels Capture the Adventure of Moby Dick

"Queequeg's Long Last Dive," a pastel drawing by Mark Milloff.
Credit Mark Milloff

When he’s not playing professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, artist Mark Milloff sculpts, paints, and envisions gigantic pastel drawings. He also moonlights as a musician. But all things being equal, he’d rather be fishing.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:03 am
Thu December 12, 2013

A Swig of "Christmas on the Rocks"

Harry Bouvy is a stage, film, television, and voice over actor.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Today we're talking about the afterlife of characters from classic Christmas stories. What happened, in later years, to Ralphie from "A Christmas Story" or Susan Walker from "Miracle of 34th Street" or Charlie Brown or Clara from "The Nutcracker?"

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Where We Live
11:52 am
Wed December 11, 2013

What Does It Take to "Make a Place"?

Jamil Ragland
Chion Wolf

It’s our monthly broadcast, live from our iConnect downtown storefront. Today we kicking off an evening of pop-up shopping: the Small Business Night Out featuring over 15 vendors. We also preview a community conversation looking at how we are shaped by our surroundings.

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Newtown: One Year Later
11:01 am
Wed December 11, 2013

A Simple, Solemn Tribute to Sandy Hook Victims

Connecticut's Poet Laureate Dick Allen said the phrase "in the snow lightly falling" was the basis for his poem, "Solace."
Credit State of Connecticut

The grief and sadness of December 14, 2012 has been expressed through countless poems, songs and other works of art, including the choral work, "Solace," a simple, solemn remembrance of the victims of Newtown, written by one of America's leading poets, and set to music by a Pulitzer prize-winning composer.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:23 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Singing Away the Blues

Lucy Ferriss is a writer-in-residence at Trinity College and author of several books, including the forthcoming, The Map of Honor. She also sings with CitySingers choir.
Chion Wolf

I suppose you could say that today's show is about a fairly obvious truth--singing with other people feels good. 

But, it's a little bit more complicated than that. When you go to a church and pick up a hymnal and sing what everybody else sings, it feels okay. And, a fairly complex set of activities takes place in your brain, and that's nice, but it pales in comparison to really singing with others. 

That is, getting together with other people and rehearsing and working toward a truly successful blend of voices.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:48 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Naked, Afraid, and at the Mercy of Producers

Connecticut resident Shane Lewis starred in "Naked and Afraid" a reality television show on the Discovery Channel
Credit Discovery Channel

"Reality TV" is perhaps the biggest misnomer in the entertainment industry today. A better name would probably be "scripted unscripted television." It's not catchy, but at least it's accurate.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:37 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Bringing Back Boy Bands: Did They Ever Really Leave?

The Monkees made music that drove their fans wild between 1966 and 1970. They continued to make music individually and in reunion with one another for many more decades.
Credit Nico7Martin on Flickr Creative Commons

The Monkees were the first group to exhibit all or most of the qualities we now associate with the term "boy band." They were assembled through auditions. They had a set of visual styles imposed on them. They were incredibly popular with tween-aged girls. They were plagued by the accusation that there was less to them than meets the eye. That last accusation was false, by the way.

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Spotlight on the Arts
5:37 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Sara Mearns Dances "The Nutcracker"

Sara Mearns in George Balanchine's "Cortege Hongrois."
Credit Paul Kolnik

Like so many holiday traditions, "The Nutcracker" is upon us once again. With numerous Connecticut productions of the classic fairy tale ballet, the 12th annual production by the Eastern Connecticut Ballet is a stand-out for a number of worthy reasons.

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Jazz Corridor
5:45 am
Wed December 4, 2013

Premier Pianists Perform Back-to-Back in New Haven and Hartford This Weekend

Helen Sung performs in Hartford, and Bill Charlap performs in New Haven this coming weekend.
Credit Helen Sung / Carol Friedman / Helen Sung / Bill Charlap

Pianophiles can double their pleasure this weekend thanks to back-to-back performances by premier pianists Bill Charlap at 8:00 pm Friday, December 6, in New Haven at Yale University’s Sprague Hall, followed the next night by Helen Sung at 8:00 pm Saturday, December 7, at Hartford’s Japanalia Eiko.

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

What Typography Tells Us About Ourselves

Chion Wolf

Unless you’re a designer, you might not think about fonts very much. You might have to if you’re stuck doing a company newsletter. But if you stop and really look around you, typography of all kinds surrounds us every day. It creates a visual fabric for our lives and language.

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Strings For Newtown
11:56 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Newtown Concert Features Some of America's Best-Known Fiddlers

Bruce Molsky, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Mark O'Connor, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Donna Hebert, Laraaji Venus (clockwise from top-left corner) and Norwalk Youth Symphony (center).

Grammy-winning violinist Mark O’Connor, nationally celebrated duo Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and premier fiddler Bruce Molsky are among the musicians who will be in Connecticut on Sunday December 1 to perform during a concert called Strings For Newtown. The program begins at 3:00 pm at Newtown Congregational Church.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:59 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Will the Real Norman Rockwell Please Stand Up?

Norman Rockwell.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Norman Rockwell. It's the day before Thanksgiving. Who else are we gonna talk about? Deborah Solomon (the same one who invented the "Questions for" format in the New York Times magazine) will spend the whole show talking about her new comprehensive biography of Rockwell.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:27 am
Tue November 26, 2013

The Dark Side of Zen

Golden Palace Kinkaku-ji, Zen Buddhist Temple, Kyoto, Japan
Credit Carles Tomas Marti on Flickr Creative Commons

Here in the West, Zen Buddhism is often where you go when you've concluded the religion you grew up with is marred by venality, hypocrisy, misogyny, patriarchal structure, and an insufficient commitment to peace and love. 

Buddhism seems to have less hierarchy and more commitment to pure enlightenment and oneness. So, what do Buddhists do when Buddhism falls down on the job?

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Spotlight on the Arts
3:58 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

A Collage Style Performance on the Meaning of Love

Larry Hunt.
Credit Ann Lee

When Charlie Chaplin and other silent film stars faced the challenge of carrying over their talents into "talkies," these proved to be much-anticipated events. On Friday in Bethlehem, international mask artist Larry Hunt, a local, will actually let his voice do the real talking on stage. Hunt has built a career on non-verbal storytelling, and has performed at venues around the world for over 25 years.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:57 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Dealey Plaza, Same-Day Voter Registration, and Chess

Dealey Plaza in Dallas, the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Credit Stu Seeger on Flickr Creative Commons

Why do we visit historical sites? Commentator Mike Pesca wants to talk  about the value of seeing a place, especially one like Dallas' Dealey Plaza about which arguments have raged for decades. Mike says there's a difference between watching a NOVA special and walking through the place with your own eyes open.

Paul Bass, from the New Haven Independent, will bring us up to speed on three stories, including one from the weekend about a stretch limo that transported women to and from a drug and alcohol treatment center so they could vote on Election Day.  You can link to it here.

And, we'll connect with Susan Polgar, the chess Grandmaster who broke the game's gender barrier. She's in Chennai, India, covering the match between Carlsen and Anand, the first chess championship in decades to cross-over and ignite the players. 

You can leave your comments below, email us at colin@wnpr.org, or tweet us @wnprcolin.

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Dave Eggers
3:08 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'McSweeney's': Quirky Quarterly To Publishing Powerhouse

Dave Eggers is the author of What is the What, Zeitoun and, most recently, The Circle.
Tina Fineberg AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:58 pm

In the late 90s, before Dave Eggers wrote a bestselling memoir (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), before he penned the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are, before any of his novels, he was a young guy sitting in his kitchen tearing open envelopes filled with literary submissions.

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