HENRI MATISSE REVISTS BALTIMORE 

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MATISSE , on the lake in France

It is hard to believe that a man coming from a rich background, who later studied law, gave it all up for the “love of art”. 

As can be imagined, he felt the askance look of his parents, who probably said in local parlance, “what the heck?!” 

MATISSE (his curvaceous model)

Without their blessing he went back to Paris to study art. The magic did not envelop until he was introduced to the works of the now famous Van Gogh, who loved portraits. This became MATISSE’s raison d’tre. He later, had a child with one of his models, got married to an aristocrat, with whom he had several children. 

MATISSE (in living color)

This fascination with the female body form apparently made him popular with women, among whom were the socialite CONE sisters of Baltimore Md., CLARIBEL and ETTA. As MATISSE rose in popularity, he became more than an artist to the CONES, they were friends, so much so that he was invited to Baltimore by the sisters, and it is believed, he generated the attention to that of a rock star visiting the Meyerhoff Concert Hall. 

MATISSE is again in Baltimore, starting this month (October 2021) at the BMA.

ETTA CONE by HENRI MATISSE
MATISSE interpretation of Jazz.

MATISSEE DIED AT 85, in 1954, at the height of the Jazz era. He was impressed. 

LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE 

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COLDSPRING JAZZ QUARTET (Picture from Facebook)

Wines for the summer of 2021 have been rated and chosen, “Clos de la Roiulette fleurie” is overall best. For twenty-five dollars, the experts rave about the notes of strawberries and cranberries, and smokey earth. 

In Maryland, Big Cork Vineyards (Washington County) took home the trophy at the Governer’s Cup in 2019. Their Chardonnay is under twenty-seven dollars. 

I have not been invited to any summer parties with homemade wines, or have I had some without being told? 

Usually, such wines are served at home get-togethers, or outdoor events. 

I attended a summer event that tasted like the last of the summer wine. Musical apothecaries, who have toiled at their craft, got together, and invited the neighborhood to a taste. 

THE COLD SPRING JAZZ QUARTET:

GOD IS GOOD

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THE IAN TRUSHEIM GROUP (photo from An die Musik)

It is not an unfamiliar phrase, and is often followed by, “how great though art”! A melodiousness with pleasant tones, that can transform your being to a higher state of consciousness. 

This psychological transformation is not often experienced by all mankind, and knowing this, it has been manufactured and sold like chicken nuggets to the emotionals. 

Western civilization looks at this experience quite differently to those in the East. Many of us are familiar with the male resonant bellow, “God is Great!”, often heard on the battlefield, just before many of the echoers die, for what they believe will come glorious rewards. 

The truth is, God is really good, if you live by the Biblical words of Psalm 34:8, and John 3:16. “HE” has endowed mankind with gifts, that produce wonderment: spaceships, vaccines (Luke was a physician), and musical geniuses, great and small. 

The IAN TRUSHEIM GROUP did that towards the end of August 2021. This group created and performed their version of GOD IS GOOD at An Die Muzik, in Baltimore MD. 

I first talked with Ian about his bass playing artistry: 

LET THE HUGGING RESUME

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THE RESURRECTION BAND: (L-R) Allyn Johnson, (piano); Michael Bowie (Bass); Quincy Phillips (drums); Marshall Keys (alto sax); Paul Carr (tenor sax).

AFTER A YEAR OF UNCERTAINTY, IT SEEMED LIKE A LONG WINTER. THE HUMAN POPULATION WANTED OUT. 

The pandemic had forced survivors to cherish life, to recalculate what is more important, the deficit, or each other.

To that end, the WESTMINISTER CHURCH, in Southwest Washington D.C. resumed its ministry, by hosting its Friday night Jazz Concerts. 

The turnout was welcoming: 

IT HAPPENED ON THE FOURTH

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An expression of exuberance, the Columbia fountain at the Lakefront, Lake KITTAMAQUNDI

We were all coming out of the pandemic, that paralyzed our happy spirits last year. There is a new sheriff in town, named Biden, and he promised to behave like Moses of Bible history, take his people out of the Egyptian paralysis, into the new promised land. TRUMP, (the Pharoah) was pacing and fuming profusely at his Miami bunker. The escapees were about to spread joy!  

COLUMBIA MARYLAND at the LAKEFRONT, was the place to be, JULY 4TH, 2021: 

TOMORROW and BEYOND

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WOMEN LOOKING, by Sarah G. Sharp (UMBC)

The old certainties are crumbling fast” (Rebecca Solnit); what will emerge? The world we live in is altering: climate change, consciousness of income inequality, and the overwhelming emblazonment of BLACK LIVES MATTER. 

The Visual Arts field has made its feeling known; SPARK IV, was launched in Baltimore, MD. April 2021 

The exhibition featured the now generation from UMBC and TOWSON UNIVERSITY. Take a look.  

HE GET’S ANOTHER

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Photo provided by Tom Chalkley

IT WAS A PRESENTATION ON JUNE  19TH, 2021, (Canton)Baltimore MD. Frederck Douglass, America’s pre-eminent, black abolitionist, gained another star on his lapel. 

Two plaques were unveiled, at a spot just about where Frederick made his remarkable escape, hopping aboard a Northbound train to freedom. 

According to documents, he had lots of help to disguise himself as a free black man, speech, clothing, and most of all papers to show that he was not an imposter, even though he was. The preparation and bravery were “hugely” risky, but risks of this nature are applauded enthusiastically. 

Douglas was trying to escape “racist” Baltimore, to later return with a liberation army. 

Today Canton is obviously different, blacks may come to enjoy the water, which is an extension of the Baltimore Inner Harbor, but few can live here, for at the end of the day, they must quickly escape to their abodes with a different zip Code. 

Applause to the white community of Canton, for this dedication to Douglass, they must be descendants of William Wilberforce, and not of the Seventh Vice President of the United States, JOHN C. CALHOUN. 

CENTER STAGE OFFICIALS BLOCK INTERVIEWS

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Dr.Nkiru NNawulezi and Dr. Durryle Brooks

“at Center Stage, we don’t give interviews at social events.” Told to me today (June 29, 2021). And she is black, as I am. Would she have said that to TMZ (television)? 

Center Stage Baltimore gets money from us citizens; how then can information be privatized, withheld, scrubbed, only letting the public know, what Center Stage wants to be known? 

I received an invitation to an event entitled, AFTER THOUGHTS, hosted by Dr.Durryle Brooks. It was RSVP, to attend. This event came under the heading of Artistic Partnerships and Innovation. He was accompanied by Professor NKIRU NNAWULEZI, (University of MD.) a researcher on gender-based violence. 

What were they talking about? Primarily, how blacks of the LBGTQ community in Baltimore, survived the pandemic. 

This is my opportunity to get specifics. Dr. Brooks, (black), grew up in Cherry Hill, (Baltimore Sun, Jan. 21,2021) and became a recent member of the Baltimore City School Board. 

I did not find his speech in anyway related to the dramatic arts, instead it was about black men and women of a nontraditional sexual orientation, now emerging from cooking at home, taking care of pets, plants, and finally, able to show their pride. 

We stepped outside for the video interview, then he bawked. He will do an audio interview, but not a video. What! This is DURRYLE, the wonder kid, champion of the less privileged. He is reneging to embrace what he was talking about a few moments ago: removing income inequality, erasing gender discrimination, embracing equal opportunity for all! 

“Let me check with Center Stage before I do this.” Dr. Durryle Brooks. I felt like an albino child. (what is he, white, black?) They were all whispering at a distance; the Center Stage staffer, who sent the invitation, came over and said, she was going to ask Media department to talk to me about my request. Refreshments were not on the house, so I bought some and waited. They were still ignoring me, so I called out to one of the department heads; she did not want to, but did. “Oswald this is new for some people, let me get Marketing.” 

Marketing, also a black woman gave me the opening statement of this article. 

I walked out. 

I was discriminated by Dr. Brooks, and by all the officials representing Center Stage, and they are all black. I have covered Center Stage for decades, going back to the days when I wrote for THE EXAMINER. Why were they lying to me? If I am supporting your cause with plaudits, I get the “good job” accolade, now I am a blindsided. 

Two television stations, (WJZ and WBAL) two blocks away, did not appear at this event, neither the Baltimore Sun, let alone, the Washington Post. What would have been their response, had I been with CNN or the New York Times? 

No, I’m the little independent guy. I thought this was about freeing the marginalized, they elevated themselves and dumped me. 

Ninety percent of the persons attending this event, seemed well educated, they need no help. How can the not so well off, like most residents in Cherry Hill, where there is no WHOLE FOODS Market, believe in these masqueraders? 

THE CARPENTER’S SON

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WE LIVE IN A MODERN WORLD, WITH AMENITIES FAR ROMOVED FROM THAT OF THE FIRST CENTURY. DONKEYS HAVE LONG GIVEN WAY TO SUPERSONIC JETS, AND SOON SPACE CAPSULES. WE HAVE TRANSGENDERS, UNHEARD OF WHEN “the carpenter’s son” (Matt.13:35), was before Pilate, the Roman Emperor. 

Despite the progression of human capabilities, FATHERS and SONS remain the core of life, whether you are Christian, Moslem, Hindu or atheist.  

Every religion talks of a new world, whether it be here on earth, or in heaven. But no one gets away from the belief, that SALVATION is through a GLORIFIED son.

In the African American communities, there is a depletion of men, and this has been in decline since the 1960’s, with African American soldiers, returning home dependent on drugs, committing crimes to satisfy the habit, leaving women in bedrooms of grief and anger. ASEXUAL began its growth as a social phenomenon. 

While the world is celebrating FATHER’s DAY, some men like myself in our mid-seventies, are forced to ask, WHAT KIND OF FATHER HAVE I BEEN? 

I’ve read the psychological sociological definitions on the subject, that the average reader is left to accumulate a library, afraid of making a mistake. I will therefore simplify the answer for you. 

YOU HAVE 20 YEARS TO MATRICULATION! ZERO to FIVE, SIX TO TWELVE, SEVEN TO EIGHTEEN.  

Insist on moral correctness, a collection of religious principles; define and show contrast by results, and highlight the characteristics of those, who made it to the end successfully; and if they died, did so honorably, like “THE CARPENTER’s SON.” 

Oswald S. Copeland (6.20.21) 

Bebe’Kids, Out from Under

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Mural by Tschabalala SELF (Baltimore Museum of Art

After months of pandemic lockdown, the Baltimore Museum of Art opened its doors to the public, April 2021. 

I’m walking through an art exhibition entitled, NOW IS THE TIME. Artists, Not born in the 1800’s, but from the 1960’s to 2002. DALIN HALEEM, was born in 2002. JARRELL GIBBS was born in, 1988. 

As I kept walking, I stopped at the exhibit entitled, THE FIFTHE CHILD BURNING, by LONNIE B. HOLLEY. 

Lonnie B. Holley’s, FIFTH CHILD BURNING

A torrent of emotions made highways through my system. Should I hold my hand over my mouth to scream out loud, muted slightly by my four fingers and a thumb? Should I stomp on the museum floor in expressions of rage and sympathy? Or should I be dignified and whisper silently, in a language only I could understand? 

NINA SIMONE’s “MISSISSIPPI GODDAM”, flashed through my mind. I could see Nina at her piano, wishing she could jump up from that piano stool, eat some spinach, and like Popeye the cartoon character, with amplified vigor, flail that piano through the 20-foot wooden concert doors, with a heaving chest, tears and spittle bellowing, “now I can breathe!”. 

RUFUS, by VALERIE MAYNARD

Bebe’s kids are not done yet. In an adjoining room, emblazoned comparable to the size of a theatre screen, is a work by TSCHABALALA SELF.  (opening photo above).

And then there is the stiff upperlip copied from Rufus by Baldwin.

To stand next to a black female figure 15 to 20 feet tall with all the prodigious mounds that made white men leave their mansions to fornicate in the bowels of the ghetto, is very intimidating, and for some men regardless of color, this experience, could lead to appointments with mental health institutions.

Artist RAMSESS, quilts SOJOURNER TRUTH.

Bebe’s Kids are not only out from under, they are out breathing fire. …WHAAAAT!!! Could be the reaction in the neighborhood.