Art Scene: ‘Bit by bit, putting it together…’
“…Piece by piece
Only way to make a work of art.
Every moment makes a contribution,
Every little detail plays a part.
Having just a vision’s no solution,
Everything depends on execution.
Putting it together
That’s what counts!”
Stephen Sondheim is a Broadway legend but in early 1984 he had yet to become the folk hero of musical theater. His previous effort, “Merrily We Roll Along,” had closed on Broadway after a 16-performance run in 1981.
The creation of art is an emotional process and always has that breathtaking moment when you seem to start over, everything is ordinary, you are a pitiable beginner. Sondheim felt it all.
Matt Weinstock at Playbill remembers: “Then salvation came—in the form of a Pointillist masterpiece. In June 1982, Sondheim began a tentative collaboration with James Lapine, a young Off-Broadway playwright. In search of a subject, they began rifling through photographs and paintings, one of which was Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte.
“The 1884 painting looked like a stage set, Lapine observed, but was missing the main character. “Who?” asked Sondheim. “The artist,” said Lapine. He laid tracing paper over La Grande Jatte and drew a constellation of arrows, each one pointing to an anonymous figure on the riverbank. “Mother?” he wrote. “Mistress? Butler?” It was like an existential game of Clue, a whodunit in which the answer was Georges Seurat.”
French Post-Impressionist, Seurat took color apart and demanded that the eye and the mind of the viewer blend the color spots into a fuller range of tone becoming an image. He took the world of art to the next step.
Layers, starts and stops, light and illusion, intent and impact. Putting it together. Sunday In The Park With George won the 1985 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.
A Man With A Vision
In 1905, Chicago attorney Paul P. Harris knew all about layers, starts and stops, light and illusion, intent and impact when he formed one of the world’s first service organizations, the Rotary Club of Chicago. He knew if he could create a place where professionals with diverse backgrounds could exchange ideas and form meaningful, lifelong friendships, they could change the world.
Today, this 1.2 million-member international organization of neighbors, friends and community leaders representing differing occupations, cultures, and countries wins the prize for shared passion and social impact.
Paul Harris put it together, piece by piece, creating positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world.
Bringing It On Home
Tomorrow night, from 6-10 p.m. at the historic Hotel Colorado, the community is invited to celebrate the Rotary Club of Glenwood Springs at their Annual Masquerade Ball. For over 52 years, they have provided grants to nonprofit organizations, student scholarships and a multi-faceted variety community service programs.
The Art Center was invited to make this an extra special evening by creating one-of-a-kind art pieces in the form of hand-painted masks. I knew just who could create the magic — legendary artists, Terry Muldoon and Noemi Kosmowski. They began two months ago, one image at a time, one layer at a time — piece by piece, putting it together. One hundred stunningly unique masks later, they will be displayed for purchase in the ballroom.
But first, you’ll sit down to a five-course gourmet meal then work it off as you hit the dance floor. The music will be as diverse as the crowd with star DJ Andrew Brusig of Brusig Productions sharing the stage with the Symphony of the Valley. A special thanks to my amazing assistant, Brie Carmer.
You can still save by visiting http://www.gsrotary.org to purchase your tickets. Advance tickets are $100 and $120 at the door.
Christina Brusig is the executive director of the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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