Category Archives: Art

May I have this dance? Thrilled, I’m sure!

Thrill photoWho would have thought that one of my job titles — at the great and fabulous age of 59 — would be “Thrill the World Boise Event Producer?” Not me. And yet, I am loving this job!

I have learned the Thriller dance! I could do it in my sleep — and often recite the moves as I go to the bathroom in the middle of the night: “Roar-turn, roar-turn.” When I am dancing, everything else goes away. It takes all my concentration and, in my mind’s eye, there I am, in that game-changing video, a zombie alongside of MJ.

I absolutely love it.thrill

For those of you in the Boise area, this is a shameless plug: Come see me (and about 200 other zombies) as we attempt to break the world record for the simultaneous dance to Thriller at 4 pm Oct. 25 at the Boise Spectrum — get there early, we have an official countdown and will start at PRECISELY 4 pm according to the World Clock.

For those of you outside the area, see if there is a Thrill Day in your neighborhood. If you are so inclined, learn the dance (there are official tutorial videos on Youtube). You’ll be glad you did, it is really, really fun.

Years ago, my dear friend Holly taught me the power of dance. We all are hard-wired to do it and to love it. When you are dancing, you are celebrating and loving life.

And oh — this year, our fundraising recipient is the Treasure Valley Family YMCA, as a thanks for letting us practice our moves there.

Da-da! Da-da-da!



My take on it


Kill Your Darlings is a well-acted, semi-interesting, peek-a-boo-style look into the early machinations, mischief and misdeeds of the literary Beat Poet geniuses Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac.

I say “semi-interesting” because some of the more graphic stuff I really could have done without – especially with my poor, sweet, innocent mom-in-law along for the ride. Little did she know – or I’m sure ever would have imagined in her wildest imaginings – that my little “writer’s group assignment” outing to the movies would be something she would “try to pretend” she never saw. I know she wanted to wash out her eyeballs.

After we dropped my friend off and we were alone in the car post movie, I tried to break the ice with “Well, that was … interesting.” Her response, an outburst: “Another one of my icons bit the dust – first Hannah Montana with all her twerking – and now Harry Potter!”

I tried, in vain, to point out that he (Daniel Radcliffe as Allen Ginsberg) really did a pretty good job of acting – “he didn’t have a trace of a British accent,” I said. The look I got in response could have gotten its own Academy Award nomination. I would say this about it: she looked daggers at me.

The fact is, the storyline is not merely about the early creative spurt that ignited the Beat movement – although, to be sure, there are frenzied scenes of drug-fueled, manic typewriting, book pillaging and cut-ups-slashing fireworks and library hijinks aplenty. But the real story here is a love triangle gone bad. Way, way bad. And, since the love triangle involves three males, and since the three males were attracted (one obsessively so) to one another during another time when such things were mostly considered to be taboo, and, since the whole thing explodes on the screen – in many more ways than I was comfortable with, especially taking into consideration my movie buddy – in the heady, jazz infused and debauched sleazy New York City/Manhattan confines, and since it ends with a murky death for one and messy denouements for the rest – well, that made the way, way bad worse. Story-wise, I mean.

In the end, I was struck with a sort of curiosity about the “honor” killing defense bandied about in the film – was that really real? Did that really happen? My, how things have changed — and what does that say about the tentative realities we believe in today — here today, possibly gone tomorrow?

I wondered if the drugs and sex stuff was amped up (haha – one of the drugs they took was Benzedrine, they put ampules of it in their coffee – good morning!). I wondered how they all not only remained friends, but, according to the prolific publishing that history shows came later as they birthed the Beat Poet movement, but also fueled one another’s success, as if egging each, one after the other, to climb higher and higher.

And, I came away feeling dazed and yes, a little heartbroken.

Harry, we hardly knew ya. Another one bites the dust.

Doc at the Flicks You Won’t want to Miss

Don’t miss one night only: Basquiat documentary at the Flicks

On Sunday Oct.3, TVCTV(Treasure Valley Community Television) and the Flicks are proud to bring an exclusive screening to Boise: Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child. The documentary is wowing critics and moviegoers across the country and has been chosen as “Official Selection” at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and the 2010 SxSW Film Festival. (Trailer:
The film centers on a rare interview with Basquiat shot more than 20 years ago by director and friend Tamra Davis, and chronicles the young artist’s meteoric rise and fall. It begins in the 1970s in crime-ridden New York City as Basquiat covers the city with the graffiti tag SAMO. In 1981 he puts paint on canvas for the first time, and by 1983 he is an artist with “rock star status.”
Basquiat was 25 years old at the height of his career, and today his canvases sell for more than a million dollars. With compassion and psychological insight, Davis details the mysteries that surround this charismatic young man, whose fortunes mirrored the rollercoaster quality of the downtown scene he seemed to embody.
The doc features interviews with: Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Bruno Bischofberger, Tony Shafrazi, Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Glenn O’Brien, Maripol, Kai Eric, Nicholas Taylor, Fred Hoffmann, Michael Holman, Diego Cortez, Annina Nosei, Suzanne Mallouk, Rene Ricard, Kenny Scharf, among many others. Follow @BasquiatDoc on twitter; become a fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child on Facebook.
“Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child is a remarkably rich documentary possessing depth, range, insight and compassion.”
– Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
“Lively and touching doc combines insider view of its art-star subject with smart present-day interviews.”
– John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter

This film is part of the “great docs and great talks” TVCTV benefit series now in its seventh year at the Flicks. Proceeds help support the Treasure Valley’s only community TV station. “TVCTV continues to fuel freedom of speech in our community and we are proud to be able to bring this stellar documentary that shows the power of freedom of speech to Boise,” said Peter Lutze, Professor in the Communication Dept. at Boise State University.

What: Exclusive screening of Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 3
Where: The Flicks Theater, 646 Fulton Street
Tickets: $11 available at TVCTV or the Flicks. Call 343-1100. Support your local public access television station and promote freedom of speech.

Still in D.C., learning and seeing

As members of the Boise VSA entourage, Bob and I have been going to a lot of workshops, lectures and sessions at the VSA International Festival , and, as the Boise VSA contingent, Remember: it’s about art AND disability. We are learning a lot and talking to some amazing people who are making art, helping others make art, and who are educating people about art and disability.

Here is an interesting link, looking at the discussion of using the proper word, for instance. Should you use the word “handicapped” when referring to someone who may use a wheelchair or is otherwise physically or intellectually different than you? Check this out:

We have also been taking in some D.C. sights. Wish you could be here, but since you can’t, we’ll take you to see the U.S. Capitol and give you a glimpse of The American History Museum at The Smithsonian. There are a bajillion museums at The Smithsonian and they are all FREE!

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry

Yep, that's me and Josh Blue, Last Comedy Standing winner!

Sometimes you just need to laugh. Really. You NEED a little funny in your giddyup.

It made perfect sense that A Night at the DC Improv was part of the International VSA Festival , and, as the Boise VSA contingent, we all trouped down to see Josh Blue, Brett Leake and Kathy Buckley. These people are funny!

Through their comedy, these folks grab you by the hand and pull you in to their world — leaving preconceived notions and stereotypes behind. Brett was the first comedian with muscular dystrophy to yuk it up on The Tonight Show. Kathy Buckley, who is deaf (and has a bit of a HI-larious potty mouth) is a five-time American Comedy Award nominee and an actress, author and inspirational speaker. She made me laugh — and cry.

Josh, an oh-so-talented comic who also happens to have cerebral palsy, was the headliner. He killed. I laughed so hard, I was doing my hee-haw laugh, tears of pure joy streaming down my cheeks.

Now, back to business!

Whirlwind in Washington!

It’s a wonderful, exhausting, educating, exhilarating ride, here in D.C.!

I don’t have much time, but want to let you know I’ll be back later. I do have some things to share and will try to get back asap.

In the meantime, check out this video from our trip to the National Gallery of Art:

Taking an artistic break

I’m in Washington, D.C.!

My husband, Bob Neal, and I are part of a Boise contingent of VSA, the international organization on arts and disability founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith. The organization’s mission is twofold: to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities AND increase access to the arts for all.

We are here to attend the International VSA Festival. It’s sort of a fact-finding mission: to go seek out art and artists, attend workshops, events and performances, glean everything we can, then report back. It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it:

The others in our group are: Evelyn Mason, Sam Anderson, Susan (Susie) Scarcello, Surel Mitchell, Jason Pitto Marilyn Cosho and Ruth Piispanen. We are artists and lovers of art and will fill our senses — and bring it on home!

I will hopefully keep you entertained and show you snippets of what we are oh-so-lucky to see, hear and do. For our first few days, we are able to see as much of Our Nation’s Capitol as we can; then we’ll roll up our sleeves and get to work.

I will post a few hand-held videos I took at the National Art Gallery, in the East Building as soon as I can get them downloaded. I will be sending you bits and pieces as we go along, kind of like e-postcards. Enjoy — and wish you were here!

In the meantime, visit the VSA Boise Web site and find out more: