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Entertainment (78)

Center Stage: Stuart Davis leaves lasting artistic impressions

stuart davisAn example of artwork created by modernist painter Stuart Davis, from the "Stuart Davis: In Full Swing" exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. COURTESY PHOTO  

WASHINGTON – An exhibit of the early 20th century American modernist painter Stuart Davis just opened to the public at the National Gallery of Art.

Entitled “In Full Swing”, this exhibit is a comprehensive examination of Davis’ career, including 5 rooms of his artwork and a short documentary created by the museum.

Davis, as described in the background summary adorning the entrance, was born to artists in New Jersey and dropped out of high school to study painting in Manhattan under Robert Henri.

Henri, among other things, encouraged his students to “find their own voices.”

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Conger talks about some of his greatest wildlife

ken conger 1Wildlife photographer Ken Conger displays his work at the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. PHOTO BY REECE LINDENMAYER  

GAITHERSBURG – Ken Conger, wildlife photographer and author of the new book, “Wildlife’s Greatest Connection: A Mother and Her Young”, recently attended the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds to display his work.

Conger is from New Kent County, a small county in Virginia 20 miles west of Williamsburg. This was Conger’s fourth visit to the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. 

“[The festival] has been great, today’s weather is blowy and cold, but we have a nice turnout,” said Conger.

Conger showed affection for every natural place that he has visited.

“Every place is special for different reasons. I love the big cats in Africa, I love the big bears in Alaska, I love the jaguars in the Amazon, and I love the tiger in India.”

“But if I had to choose, I would pick Alaska’s Denali National Park since I was a park ranger there for two years,” said Conger.

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Center Stage: An in-depth talk with Watkins Mill's Scott Tarzwell

GAITHERSBURG – Watkins Mill High School Theater’s “The Laramie Project” closed Saturday after a run in which students portrayed the stories about a tragic, real-life murder in Wyoming.

They told the dramatic story of a gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, who was beaten and killed in the small town of Laramie, Wyo. in 1998, before most of the Watkins Mill students were born.

The play is a series of vignettes based on hundreds of interviews following the murder, exploring the culture of the town and the nature of the murder, which was denounced as a hate crime.

Scott Tarzwell, one of the two theater directors at Watkins Mill offered his perspective on directing high school students for a play with mature themes.

“I like this play because it’s a true story, it’s about real people, and I like that it’s not a simple plot: it’s little vignettes,” said Tarzwell.

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Center Stage: "Mary Poppins" at Olney Theatre Center is 'practically perfect'

Mary PoppinsPatricia Hurley stars as the iconic magical nanny in "Mary Poppins," playing at the Olney Theatre Center through Jan. 1. COURTESY PHOTO  

OLNEY – At the Olney Theatre Center, a practically perfect production of “Mary Poppins” is running throughout the holiday season.

“Mary Poppins,” the heartwarming story about a magic nanny who appears out of nowhere to raise two troublesome children, is quite possibly the best ‘feel-good’ play of the year at the Olney Theatre Center.

The colorful and vibrant sets and the excellent acting, complete with quaint English accents, makes this play feel truly like a slice of Disney has been put on stage.

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Center Stage: Noguchi's art is perfect blend of the ancient and modern

WASHINGTON – At an exhibit entitled “Isamu Noguchi: Archaic/Modern”, the art of sculptor and designer Isamu Noguchi is on display.

Noguchi, a biracial artist of western and Japanese descent built bridges between opposing ideas. Noguchi’s art reconciled the modernism of the 1960s and his own fascination of archaic structures. His art represented both western and Japanese themes, whether it was inspired by the ruins of Machu Picchu or Japanese lanterns.

His art, although sometimes comprised of simple geometric shapes, is not necessarily minimalist.

In each of his themes—outer space, the atomic age, his patents, or the landscape—there are many different, strong ideas represented through his fascination with ancient art pervading ideas of modernism.

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Center Stage: Gallery features unique collection of four different artists

 

WASHINGTON – On the first floor of the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, an exhibit entitled “Visions and Revisions” explores “universal cycles of growth and decline.”

“Visions and Revisions” is 2016’s installation of the “Renwick Invitational”, in which the work of four craft artists are on display in four separate sections.

Although the overarching theme is the cycle of decay and rebirth, each artist’s work shows a unique interpretation of this concept.

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Lake Wobegon's Keillor honored in Rockville ceremony

Garrison KeillorAuthor and former "Prairie Home Companion" host Garrison Keillor. COURTESY PHOTO

ROCKVILLE – Hundreds of literary enthusiasts came to the Best Western Plus in Rockville Saturday to see one prominent Minnesota native writer receive an award named for another.

The F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Conference marked its 20th anniversary by presenting its annual award to Garrison Keillor.

Named for the author of the acclaimed novel “The Great Gatsby,” who is buried along with his wife, Zelda, at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Rockville, the award is presented to an American author in recognition of his or her achievements in writing.

Keillor is best known as the creator, star, and principal writer of the musical/comedy variety radio show “A Prairie Home Companion,” which he hosted from 1974 until his retirement earlier this year.

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Blair Witch director returns to haunt MC

BlairWitchEduardo Sanchez attended a screening and discussion of his debut film "The Blair Witch Project" at Montgomery College. COURTESY PHOTO

SILVER SPRING – Montgomery College celebrated the Halloween holiday by welcoming home a famous alumnus: Eduardo Sanchez, who co-wrote, produced and directed the 1999 film “The Blair Witch Project.”

Sanchez recounted receiving complaints from movie theater managers about having to clean up vomit after screenings of the film.

He credited his time at Montgomery College, where he directed his first film project with nurturing his creativity.

“I had a professor named Don Smith, who really let me spread my wings, take chances and make my own mistakes,” Sanchez said. “MC was really important to my development.”

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Center Stage: National Portrait Gallery is blowing in the wind with Bob Dylan

Bob DylanPhoto of Nobel Prize-winning artist Bob Dylan that was featured in The National Portrait Gallery. COURTESY PHOTO

WASHINGTON – The National Portrait Gallery recently wrapped up a display in its “Celebrate” exhibit of musician Bob Dylan, recognizing the famous songwriter being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The “Celebrate” exhibit features photos of many different celebrities.

“One of the things we’re really pleased with is that we’re recognizing people who have achieved recent accomplishments as well as people who have sadly recently passed away,” said Senior Historian David Ward.

The Smithsonian acquired the photo of Dylan in 1996. The description noted “the Nobel Prize Committee broke precedent” by awarding the songwriter a literature prize.

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Beall-Dawson House plays host to unique museum experience

ROCKVILLE – The Beall-Dawson Museum is hosting “Cocktails, Lipstick & Jazz”, a new exhibit about feminine fashions at the turn of the 20th century.

Hosted at the historic Beall-Dawson House in Rockville, the museum is unique for being located within a historic landmark.

The house, originally owned by Upton Beall, was passed onto his wife after his death. After his passing, Beall’s wife nor his daughters ever married, and the house was solely owned by women for a period of time; a rare occurrence in the 19th century.

Since then, the Beall-Dawson house has become a site for exhibitions by the Historical Society, recently renamed Montgomery History.

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