Friday, September 20, 2013

Debaab "fog" By Elizabeth Ann James, 1935-2013 If am reborn, I will name myself Debaab, "fog"...I will go everywhere and not be afraid. I will be softer than bread but no one will have power over me. Children and tough sailors will say, "debaab" they will wonder if I am a bride or nun or a dancer calling from the mist. I will set on the wharves, and the cats will hide in the folds of my bathrobe. The sun will make a diamond clip for my hair and I will say. "When I was a woman on this earth you tried to trap me but I escaped and now as then, I am free and generous as rain." The poem was written by my wife Elizabeth Ann James in about 1985. Liz James as she is known died suddenly in August 4, 2013 in Columbus, Ohio, USA. Liz was born in Fostoria, Ohio, USA on March 18, 1935. I will try to carry on with her blog. A.M.Shiblaq

Monday, August 13, 2012


A ONE WOMAN SHOW UPSTAIRS WE hope that Terry Lemasters will soon have another show! She is persistent as to subject, --PEOPLE, PETS, AND THE LUSH GREEN OUTDOORS, AND she considers herself a perennial art student, and that's good! -In the meantime we'd like to comment upon her recent Upstairs exhibit at the historic Columbus Cultural Art Center ON Main Street near downtown Columbus. The Art Center Show was of value, not only because of LeMasters'painstaking City-Park-scapes, but because her understated washes and drawings display the painter's declared and fruitful efforts as an art STUDENT. Watercolor is a wild and difficult medium. To paraphrase General Patton : those colors WILL run! The LeMasters show, its winding brooks and stately arbors, most of them "local" in the general sense of the word,--is well concieved, accurate, and serene. There's something about the work that is . . . meditational. A suggestion might be that this artist could "paint a little bigger." -- That's actually a compliment! LEMASTERS IS PLEINAIRE TO THE HILT!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Well Conceived Folk Art: WHIMSY AT LINDSAY

DOLLS & DRAWINGS! Lindsay Gallery is at 682 North High Street in Columbus, Ohio, Planet Earth. 614-291-1973 An adorable and thought provoking show was on view at Lindsay during February and into March.
AMBER GROOME truly makes art.--Tiny adorable dolls! And she doesn't buy dollies from a Five and Dime, she makes them!--One at a time, and they're porcelain! These "dollettes" (my term)reside in tiny-cubby-cupboards. Each doll is unique from its syblings! --They are businessmen and princesses,-- And they stand up in their cubicles and look at you. They'e cute but weird! Amber Groome, Dollmaker,is a petite person with chic, and a slightly Liverpool look.
MORRIS JACKSon,sees--as in visions--magical books inside his head! "Original" doesn't fully describe Jackson's illustrations. His skillful yet quirky line drawings become tiny plots and scenarios; they are absolutely one of a kind. (Perhaps he's a modern day Edward Lear!) Jackson's spindly ink drawings make me want to giggle. The artist has kept his own Inner Child very much alive.--In fact his Inner Child is now his Outer Child!-- Aren't we lucky!
(GIVE THREE CHEERS AND THREE CHEERS MORE!) This is bound to be a terrific show, and I intend to see it very, very soon .. Predictions are that this visual artist will blow LINDSAY visitors away. Nichols hails from the nation of WALEs which is,as the old National Anthem proclaims, "the land in which poets and minstrels rejoice." I should know. After all, my great, great uncle. Melzer Thomas, was "prized by Queen Victoria and in America had sung like a skylark in saloons and Methodist Churches and was known to boast of how HE had taught the famous John Charles Thomas how to sing."

Friday, March 02, 2012


This will be short, but then the best things in life are often short! (and free)
Thursday, yesterday, Susan Josephson,--an instructor at Columbus College of Art and Design for twenty years--lectured at First Unitarian Universalist Church at 7 pm. --She had a full house in the Community Room, and she was marvelous. There will be seven more 7 pm Thursday talks by Josephson.--What a bright spot on a sometimes bland cultural horizon. Josephson talked about evolutions in art and art history.
There wasn't a question or comment she couldn't respond to.--And the questions were sometimes a little off-topic! One of her explications was of the concept of how religous images were thought to heal. I reminded everyone of how Our Lady of Consolation, a statue and shrine less than a hunded miles away in Carey, Ohio, is
yet visited by thousands and . . . some come running, and are healed.
I have hopes for the ArtScene, and I'm working on being able to write on it out of my home.--As my friend Jack Kerouac. would have said,the beat goes on.
Oh, yes, I have a marvelous and instructive time making paper-and-paint-art at The Whetstone Recreation Center. JoAnn Holtrey a veteran instructor for the City
of Columbus, is just great at teaching and making art.--She can do anything! (And she has the patience, well, of one of Picasso's wives, which is saying a lot.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It's a wonderful art world! ART GRABS MY HEARTt

KENY GALLERY in German Village is showing the incredible ELIJAH PIERCE. The Keny entrepeneurs have wisely obtained the showing-rights to Pierce's works and are presenting the late, great Elijah Pierce's Woodcarvings (and Historic Amish Quilts)
This exhibit will not be "beat", as Elijah might say, in the Central Ohio area, nor to my thinking, anywhere. The quilts, traditional and wild, dance before the eyes yet manage to be sedate. Yes, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent are there.
Pierce was a long lived minister of the gospel, and his art-- call it primitive, spiritual, or narrative--has a whimsical life of its own. The Kenys are to be congratulated.
The quilts are worth a trip from Cleveland or Detroit. --Technical problems are disturbing me at present so I must leave things at that.---Go, go go ! Visit Keny Gallery on Beck Street. Look it up. There's only one Keny Gallery, or I'll be a camel in Elijah's (imaginary) Noah's Ark.

Friday, February 10, 2012


EDWARD ALBEE's A DELICATE BALANCE opens at my favorite live/alive theatre
on February sixteenth, 2012. --So who's afraid of Virginia Woolfe/Wolf? I am.
There's grim and cutting edge humor in CCT's A DELICATE BALANCE. Albee knows how give family life a bitter lemon twist with sugar. . --Two's company,but when it comes to the addition of house guests, beware!
COLUMBUS CIVIC THEATER is at 3837 Indianola Avenue. There's usually ample parking very near by, and acoustics and visual aspects in the intimate, if austere, auditorium, are first rate. CCT's recent production of George Bernard Shaw's anti war frolic ARMS AND THE MAN was first rate. Again: CCT actors and their director Richard Albert, understand clarity, whimsy, and poetic prose.--Theyre just darn good
The laconic mover and shaker Albee was born in 1928, and
he's still running ahead of most of us! Run, Rabbit, run!
, Call 447 PLAY, or just show up and take your chances. This inobtrusive theater at 3837Indianola Avenue is a gem. You'll be able to hear every line and see each gesture, and that's all too rare.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


DIRECTED (yes, elegantly and sparely) BY RICHARD ALBERT,
William Shakespeare's HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARK, will trod the boards at Columbus Civic Theatre, 3837 Indianola Avenue,on Thursdays, Fridays,Saturdays,thru June eleventh. BEN GORMAN is slightly short of stature-- but not of talent. His Hamlet is played with clarity, power, and appropriate understatement. Of course,the script is good too! Nobody "saws the air" Lighting and sets are minimal. The costumes are understated yet their hues suggest medieval gloom. Each player, even to the grave digger, speaks with authority.-- They know their places well. Again: the plays the thing, and it closes June eleventh

COOL FOR COLE, as in Cole Porter,should be delicious and intense.--Like the hyped up times Cole lived in! COLE runs from June 30 to July 23.
CALL 447- PLAY . Columbus Civic Theater resembles a water logged jewel box. It's at 3837 Indianola Avenue, and there is ample parking. Know your places well.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


DON RICE,-- press man,bibliophile, art lover,author,and scholar,-- has made possible a highly attractive and informative exhibit. ART WITH AN ATTITUDE will show through January 18at First Unitarian Church. In "ATTITUDE" the printed covers of underground magazines from the Sixties have been neatly , professionally, hung or rather strung, on a wire which serves, adroitly, as kind of a poly sci clothesline! The colors (on the suspended covers} are gorgeous . They re bright, clear, unadulterated,
yet subtle. There is something "Asian" about the simplicity of the images. And,after all, the ancient Chinese have solid histories as designers and print makers --On the whole these newsheet covers are as American
as Ohio pumpkin pie-- drive the chevy to the levy. . . The subjects of Feminism, Peace, Antiwar Struggles,s, BoyCots,Sit Ins-whatever--the social messages are clear, yet abstracted, and the designs and hues are gorgeous. There are many names and titles. Go see, remember. I thought I saw Joe McCarthy last night. as live as you and me--Believe me, Senator, Betty Friedan was no Sarah Palin and
hey time is but a stream I go a wishing in and if it's oil it will float..
*Snowed in and lost in a mass media blizzard Ill live to write another day --Whatever your politics, you'll find Art with An Attitude, to be
an amalgam of artists and printmakers. Intelligent and beautiful The colors and shapes glow.
Don Rice is the author of ART WITH AN ATTITUDE: The Golden Age of the Underground Press, 1960a thru 1970s. His exhibit is vital; it has a strong constitution.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


She's here! The poet's best friend, Autumn! She's dancing on a real cool wind. She leaps, ripping open her notebook!--The pages fly! Her red skirt flutters. It flies, she flies! I want my words to fly, the way I want my fatigue and my anger and my vhronic illness to fly!-- Away!, away away! I want the poet Shelley to fly on the West Wind and help me out! But, he's dead, and so are the other Romantics . (Except me, of course. I wanted to write an article and call it Seeing Red.(!) I wanted to tell everyone to see RON ANDERSON'S wonderful show at KIACA. This masterful CCAD instructor has created marvelous large paintings of contemporary "ladies of the night" in gold and deep red . Yes, they are decorative, "Period," and illustrative, --Yet, they are evidence of Anderson's control over his media, and they are very, very good.
The old/new Masters hang out at KIACA Gallery, and one of them is the Maestro himself, TALLE BAMAZE, who hales from Togo Land and New York!. Can Bamaze paint? Can red leaves fly?
Memories, red leaves, red dance skirts. . . RED LIGHT, RED LETTER. DANCES OF REDEMPTION This choreography by MARIAH LAYNE FRENCH smouldered at COLUMBUS DANCE THEATRE 592 East Main Street during August,2010. The subject was not roses, but prostitution and kidnapping, and the settings --which are universal, included Col
lumbus, Ohio, and police reports and news items.-- The choreography is convincing, yes, "engaged" and was beautifully danced. It (the choreography)concerns the CRIME of prostitution. It includes the spoken and printed word and appropriate sound effects.