Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Peace Circle Art Installation Unveiled at Grapefest®

Mayor William D. Tate is pleased to announce the unveiling of the “Peace Circle” public art installation, an interpretation of the meeting of Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and 10 American Indian chiefs/ captains on the Grape Vine Prairie in 1843. Sam Houston and the tribal leaders met in a spirit of friendship, peace, hope and trust in an effort to establish a place – a line that would not be crossed – where the tribes could live in peace.  The Peace Circle meeting later lead to the signing of the Treaty of Bird’s Fort on September 29, 1843.

The installation features 11 bronze statues standing 1.25 times life size, representing Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and American Indian chiefs/ captains from the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi and Cherokee Nations.  

The City of Grapevine commissioned Grapevine artist-in-residence, Linda Lewis, to recreate the moment of this historic meeting on the Grape Vine Prairie. Members of the Peace Circle Advisory Committee thoroughly researched Sam Houston and the American Indian representations to ensure their accuracy.

The statue of Sam Houston depicts him as he was dressed in that final meeting – wearing his velvet, fox-embroidered suit, his silver spurs and an Indian blanket thrown over his shoulders. Each chief’s physical attributes and the finest details of their 1843 clothing were developed from consulting tribal members, studying photographs, paintings and/or relatives to ensure that the representations are accurate to each tribe. This information has been approved by the tribal nations they represent. The installation will be placed near the intersection of Main Street and Dallas Road in Historic Downtown Grapevine.

The art installation dedication will consist of representatives from the tribal nations, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and members of the advisory committee. Though the Comanches were invited but did not attend the original Peace Circle meeting on the Grape Vine Prairie, they will be attending the “Peace Circle” unveiling ceremony.

Some of the dedication events will include Comanche drum music; Sia Eagle display and presentation by co-founder Bill Volker, Comanche Nation; the “Wyandotte Thanksgiving Address,” the words before all else, shared by Sallie Cotter Andrews, Wyandotte Nation; a Smoke Ceremony and Blessing by Eddie Sandoval, Apache Nation and Leslie Thunderhawk, Rosebud Sioux Nation; presentation of the American, Texas and tribal flags with a Comanche flag song and more.  

  • WHEN: Saturday, September 18 Dedication Ceremony from approximately 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. with festivities from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. during the 35th Annual GrapeFest® – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West
  • WHERE: Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station, located at 815 S. Main St.                          

ABOUT THE ARTIST:

Grapevine artist-in-residence, Linda Lewis, born in Lubbock, Texas, received her art education in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Utilizing detailed research by the Peace Circle Advisory Committee, Lewis has created and overseen the production of “Peace Circle” at the Grapevine Foundry located in the Cotton Belt Railroad Historic District, 701 S. Main St. For more than five years, she has been the owner/operator of the Grapevine Foundry and Fine Arts Program, bringing two decades of experience working with bronze to Main Street. She also is an art instructor, does mold making, wax working, sand blasting, bronze casting, welding and patina finishing.

Peace Circle Art Installation Unveiled at Grapefest®

Photo Courtesy of Grapevine CVB

WHAT:  The Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to announce the unveiling of the “Peace Circle” public art installation, an interpretation of the meeting of Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and 10 American Indian chiefs/ captains on the Grape Vine Prairie in 1843. Sam Houston and the tribal leaders met in a spirit of friendship, peace, hope and trust in an effort to establish a place – a line that would not be crossed – where the tribes could live in peace.  The Peace Circle meeting later lead to the signing of the Treaty of Bird’s Fort on September 29, 1843.

The installation features11 bronze statues standing 1.25 times life size, representing Republic of Texas President Sam Houston and American Indian chiefs/ captains from the Delaware, Chickasaw, Waco, Tawakoni, Keechi, Caddo, Anadarko, Ioni, Biloxi and Cherokee nations.  

The City of Grapevine commissioned Grapevine artist-in-residence Linda Lewis to recreate the moment of this historic meeting on the Grape Vine Prairie.  Lewis, along with members of the Peace Circle Advisory Committee, thoroughly researched Sam Houston and the American Indian representations to ensure their accuracy. The statue of Sam Houston depicts him as he was dressed in that final meeting – wearing his velvet, fox-embroidered suit, his silver spurs and an Indian blanket thrown over his shoulders. Each chief’s physical attributes and the finest details of their 1843 clothing were developed from consulting tribal members, studying photographs, paintings and/or relatives to ensure that the representations are accurate to each tribe. This information has been approved by the tribal nations they represent. The installation will be placed near the intersection of Main Street and Dallas Road in Historic Downtown Grapevine.

The art installation dedication will consist of representatives from the tribal nations, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum and members of the advisory committee.  Though the Comanches were invited but did not attend the original Peace Circle meeting on the Grape Vine Prairie, they will be attending the “Peace Circle” unveiling ceremony.

Some of the dedication events will include Comanche drum music led by June Sovo, Comanche Nation; Sia Eagle display and presentation by co-founder Bill Volker, Comanche Nation; the “Wyandotte Thanksgiving Address,” the words before all else, shared by Sallie Cotter Andrews, Wyandotte Nation; a Smoke Ceremony and Blessing by Eddie Sandoval, Apache Nation; presentation of the American, Texas and tribal flags with a Comanche flag song and more.  

WHEN:  Saturday, September 18 Dedication Ceremony from approximately 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. with festivities from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. during the 35th Annual GrapeFest® – A Texas Wine Experience, presented by Bank of the West

WHERE: Peace Plaza at Grapevine Main Station, located at 815 S. Main St. 

PEACE CIRCLE ADVISORY COMMITTEE:
Paul W. McCallum, Executive Director, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau; Dr. Sam Haynes, Professor and Director, Center for Greater Southwestern Studies, The University of Texas at Arlington; Matt Reed, Pawnee Nation, Pawnee, Oklahoma; Eddie Sandoval, Apache Nation, Fort Worth; Leslie Thunderhawk, Rosebud Sioux Nation, Duncanville; Sallie Cotter Andrews, Wyandotte Nation, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau; Cody Jolliff, Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau; and Linda Lewis, Artist, Grapevine Founder

INDIAN NATIONS ADVISORS: 
Delaware Nation, Sonnie Allen; Chickasaw Nation, Laura A. Stewart; Wichita and Affiliated Tribes, Gary McAdams; Caddo Nation, Derek Hill; Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, John Barbry; Cherokee Nation, Elizabeth Toombs;Mount Tabor Indian Community, Rusk County, J. C. Thompson.

ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Grapevine artist-in-residence, Linda Lewis, born in Lubbock, Texas, received her art education in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Utilizing detailed research by the Peace Circle Advisory Committee, Lewis has created and overseen the production of “Peace Circle” at the Grapevine Foundry located in the Cotton Belt Railroad Historic District, 701 S. Main St. For more than five years, she has been the owner/operator of the Grapevine Foundry and Fine Arts Program, bringing two decades of experience working with bronze to Main Street. She also is an art instructor, does mold making, wax working, sand blasting, bronze casting, welding and patina finishing.

ABOUT GRAPEVINE, TEXAS:

Historic Grapevine, Texas, centrally located between Dallas and Fort Worth, is the premier go-to destination when planning a getaway or vacation in North Texas! Step back in time on Historic Downtown Main Street with a collection of charming boutiques, art galleries and bistros and cafes. Enjoy fantastic hotels and resorts, great attractions for the entire family, a wide variety of outdoor recreational activities, exquisite winery tasting rooms, world-class shopping and much more. For more information, visit GrapevineTexasUSA.com.

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF YAA HALLA Y’ALL

Swinging their hips in rhythm with the deep, ringing tones of the hand drums, belly dancers in brilliantly bedazzled costumes glide across the stage, striking their finger cymbals and commanding attention. Then a solo performer contorts like a cobra as she mesmerizes crowds with her hypotonic movements. This dreamy dance choreography has been captivating audiences for 20 years in Grapevine at the annual Yaa Halla Y’all – A Gathering of the Stars in Texas, presented by Isis’ Studios and Academy of Performing Arts.

Yaa Halla Y’all invites you to four days of dance and music performances by international stars, aspiring new dancers and musicians at one of the largest Middle Eastern dance events in the Southwest.

Performances will be held at the Palace Theatre Thursday, July 22 through Sunday, July 25.

There are several competitions during the four-day event, with winners earning trophies, cash prizes and a feature article in the magazine Belly Dance Chronicles. Additionally, dance and music seminars will be offered at the Grapevine Convention Center. The Grand Bazaar Shopping Experience will open daily at Noon at the Palace Arts Center where shoppers may browse jewelry, scarves, costumes and much more.

Who is Isis?

The dancer behind Yaa Halla Y’all and Isis’ Studios and Academy of Performing Arts is the energetic and vibrant red-headed dancer known as Isis. In addition to organizing Yaa Halla Y’all and running a studio, Isis is a teacher, choreographer, costume designer, magazine publisher and more.

Choosing to keep her true name hidden, Isis said that her stage name was given to her by an Egyptian and refers to the Egyptian goddess Isis who is the protector of children.

“Many dancers throughout history have gone by their stage names, and Isis is my stage name,” she said. “Some dancers feel like they can’t dance when they go by their legal, birth names. But when they go by a stage name, they become someone else. They are suddenly able to perform and dance.”

Isis said she believes she truly personifies the goddess Isis because she is a guide and mentor to students along their dance journey.

“I tell my dancers performance is not about winning,” she said. “Get better for yourself. Upgrade your feelings about yourself, your skills.”

Origins of Yaa Halla Y’all

Isis began the Yaa Halla Y’all event as a way to bring a variety of music and dance instructors and performers to one location. The studio was not big enough to house all that talent, so seminars and performances moved to the Grapevine Convention Center and Palace Theatre.

In its twentieth year, Isis said that Yaa Halla Y’all reflects the growth of dancers and competition winners because many have gone on to travel and teach worldwide.

“It’s exciting for me to watch all of my students learn from a variety of instructors in classes during this event,” Isis said. “They are getting to learn from top notch instructors at the seminars, and our performances are great!”

The Journey to Becoming Isis

Isis’ journey started when she was looking for a class to help her keep fit, and belly dance was the only class available. She soon fell in love with Middle Eastern dance and moved into a new career path.

“My first seminar with Bert Balladine, and I appreciated his positive attitude, his joy in teaching and his performance,” she said. “I continued to study with top dancers from around the world, and I am still dancing over 40 years later.”

Isis has been presented the Life Time Achievement Award from both the belly dancer magazine Zaghareet! and the Belly Dancer of the Universe  competition. Additionally, she was a feature dancer at Kosta’s Caf (formerly Kosta’s Greek Restaurant) on Bachman Lake in Dallas for 11 years, Byblo’s Mediterranean Restaurant in Fort Worth, Greek Isles Grille and Tavern in Plano for New Years, and at The Mansion with the Gus Vali Orchestra for Mardi Gras. She and her dancers have been featured at Scarborough Faire since it opened in 1981.

“I try to teach dancers to focus on their dance as well as their entertainment skills,” she said. “But it’s so important to build positive energy. I’m not about being better than someone. I am about being your best self; challenge yourself and support others.”

Following her passion, Isis and her husband Del formed the Isis Foundation, a non-profit whose goals are to preserve and promote the ancient art of Middle Eastern dance, educate the community about cultural aspects of this art form, provide opportunities for study and performance and encourage the growth of talent and self-esteem.

Isis and Del also publish The Belly Dance Chronicles, an international magazine which publishes quarterly and is in its 19th year of publication. The magazine promotes the art of dance, celebrates its history and highlights dancers from around the globe. It is the official publication of the Isis Foundation.

In the Studio

Isis’ Studios and Academy of Performing Arts, one of the largest belly dance studios in Texas, is located in Bedford in the heart of DFW. The studio offers dance classes in Middle Easter Raqs Sharki (commonly known as belly dancing), Polyneasian/Tahitian/Hawaiian Hula, Fusion/Alternative/Tribal and Middle Eastern Rhythm for Tabla. Drum classes and special workshops are also offered throughout the year.

“I am proud of the fact that I have had so many dance and music students who have gone on to become professionals,” Isis said. “Some of them have won competitions around the world.”

For those interested in trying out the various styles of Middle Eastern dancing or drums, classes start again this month. Hula classes will begin in the fall. The studio is currently divided into seven-foot sections to keep everyone socially distanced and safe.

Learn more at their website : https://isisandthestardancers.com/yhy.html.

Save the date for local artist Sontonya Necheal’s exhibition at Msanii Hous

Sontonya Necheal, who was one of the featured artists at the Irving Black Arts Council’s (IBAC) annual Black History Month exhibition back in February, is having a solo show entitled, “UNAPOLOGETIC” at the Msanii HOUS Fine Art Gallery, located at 1017 Broadway Street in Carrollton from July 2 at 6:00 pm to July 31 at 6:00 pm

The opening reception will be on July 10 from 2-6pm. Everyone is invited for this free event.

For more information, contact the Msanii Hous Fine Art Gallery at (972) 695-6063, email info@msaniihous.com or visit their website.

Largest International NAÏF Art Collection in U.S. on Display in Grapevine

The Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is proud to present the first international exposition of Naïf art paintings in the United States.  There are 110 artworks on display, representing the work of painters from 11 different countries: Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Nicaragua, Perú and Spain. 

Naïf painting, from the French word Naïveté (ingenuity, innocence, naturalness) is generally referred to as Naïf in the Americas. Naïf paintings are created by artists without formal art education and who are often self-taught. Naïf artwork recognized by its childlike simplicity and frankness, typically has a flat rendering style with a rudimentary, simplistic perspective. Attention to detail is essential and subsequently one can ultimately ascertain the country of origin by studying each individual painting. Well-known Naïf painters include Henri Rousseau, who is widely regarded as the first Naïf painter, and American Naïf painter, Grandma Moses.  

The paintings are on loan from a local Grapevine collector who wishes to remain anonymous.  The artwork is on display inside Grapevine’s Tower Gallery through July 23.

Encuentro Romantico (acrylic on linen) by Laura Vidra from Tigre-Buenos Aires, Argentina (photo courtesy of Grapevine CVB)

Irving Arts Center and Irving Black Arts Council Hold Art Exhibit in Honor of Black History Month

Artist Amy Daniels speaks to a patron about her work

I attended the Black History Month Art Exhibition at the Irving Arts Center yesterday. This, and events later in the month, are sponsored by the Irving Black Arts Council (IBAC). During my visit, some of the artists were mingling, talking to attendees, and I got to speak to three of them about their works.On the walls of the spacious Arts Center were paintings, drawings, photographs and mixed media works by Black artists Missy Burton from McKinney, TX; Jennifer Monet Cowley from Trophy Club, TX; Amy Daniels from Allen, TX; Afi Ese from Houston, TX; Michael E. Johnson from Dallas, TX; Jalen A. Law from Buffalo, NY; Sontonya Necheal from Scurry, TX; and Terrell Weathersby from McKinney, TX.

Jalen Law

I spoke to Jalen Law, who explained some of his art for me. He said that the painting in the middle of Harriet Tubman was one part of three paintings created by three different artists. One painted Tubman in her youth, the other pictured her as an adult and Law was assigned to feature Tubman as she appeared in the winter of her life.

Michael E. Johnson

I next spoke with Michael E. Johnson. His unique work is painted in the “negative,” where he used black paint where the white paint would traditionally be and vice-versa. He was showing mostly sports figures, but has decided to paint Black American Heroes, as illustrated by the portrait of President Barack Obama.

Sontonya Davis

I was fascinated with Sontonya Necheal’s works because of her use of texture. She had scratches, extra paint in places to emphasize an area and she even used marker on the background of the piece in the photo. She said it represented getting out of an unhealthy relationship, with the 8s and 0s (infinity and circle – figures with no end) being the never-ending cycle of abuse, apologies and more abuse. Necheal said that painting this piece helped her let go of the relationship, bit by bit, and when she finished, she felt free.

This exhibition will be offered from Feb. 6 – March 27. The IBAC is also sponsoring several other events throughout the month, including a poetry reading and discussions conducted virtually.For more information, call (214) 993-8444 or email info@irvingblackarts.org.

Vetro Glassblowing offers visitors several treats

There are many things to do in Grapevine, but some interesting activities and shops lie “off the beaten path” from Main Street.

One such shop is the Vetro Glassblowing and Fine Art Gallery, which is located at 701 South Main Street, across from the historic railroad depot.

Their website describes the gallery: “Vetro (Italian for ‘glass’) is a nationally-recognized, active glassblowing studio and Fine Art Gallery. Vetro offers an extensive variety of professionally crafted glass art, ranging from hand-made sculptures to small glass art gifts.”

They offer classes, team building exercises and party packages year-round and visitors can sit in a small set of bleachers to watch the artists work. They also make custom orders. 

If you’ve never seen the amazing art of glassblowing, make sure that Vetro is on your list of places to visit when you’re in Grapevine!

Vetro Glassblowing and Fine Art Gallery, 701 S. Main Street, Suite 103; 817-251-1668

  • Summer hours: May 19 – August 31st, Tuesday though Saturday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
  • Winter hours: September 1st – April 30th, Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM

 

This Cowboy Transforms Scrap Metal into Incredible Sculptures

BY ELIZABETH ABRAHAMSEN

friesan

“Fresian”

Born and raised on a ranch in western South Dakota, John Lopez already had a successful career as a bronze sculptor when he stumbled into the art form of welded statues. The story begins with a tragedy.

After the loss of a beloved aunt, Lopez went to his widowed uncle’s ranch to build a family cemetery where his aunt would be the first to be interred. While building the cemetery gate, he ran out of material and visited a nearby scrap yard to find more. Lopez used the metal he found to weld a beautiful gate and an angel for the cemetery.

Read more from Wide Open Country…

Pearland’s Newest Art Studio to Hold Ribbon Cutting May 26

PRESS RELEASE

AKKLogoKelly Kronfeld, Artist and Founder of Art & Kustom Kreations and Chris Garcia, Artist and Studio Director; Katie Jackson, Resident Artist and Studio Manager; and Alexa Marie, Resident Artist and Studio Assistant are pleased to announce the ribbon cutting of this unique art studio AND gallery in Pearland!

Join us on Thursday, May 26 at 11:15 a.m. for a ribbon cutting with the Pearland Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Tom Reid.

Art & Kustom Kreations is a teaching studio and boutique gallery offering summer art camps and year-round art lessons for all ages, customized to meet the needs of the budding artist.

Our flexible lesson schedules allow for a variety options to fit busy lifestyles.

A variety of workshops and classes geared toward specific media will be added to the schedule including: Drawing, oil painting, watercolor, charcoal and pastels.

Saturday morning make-and-take classes for children are coming soon and mobile painting options are always available. Onsite options are flexible for private painting events, such as “Paint & Sip” for adults and birthday parties for children.

  • Art lessons – Available NOW
  • Summer Camp – last week in May through 2nd week in August
  • Evening and Saturday classes – coming soon
  • Mobile events – contact us for scheduling (minimum of 6)

ChrisKelly

Chris Garcia and Kelly Kronfeld

Art & Kustom Kreations is conveniently located at 2837 Miller Ranch Road, #113 in Pearland.

Contact: Kelly Kronfeld – 832.540.3120; Kelly@ArtAndKustomKreations.com

www.artandkustomkreations.com

Pearland’s First Art Studio Offers Lessons*

ArtLessonAdDraft2

Contact Chris Garcia at chris@artandkustomkreations.com

*Sponsored post