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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

On Barack Obama

With just one week to go until election day I wanted to post my thoughts about Barack Obama and why I support him for President of the United States. There was an ugly letter in our local paper from a McCain supporter and I just felt that I had to offer the other side. Here's my letter:

Why I support Barack Obama

I support Barack Obama because I believe in an America where everyone is treated equally regardless of his/her race, sex, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or ethnic background. Where everyone has an opportunity for a good education to succeed in our world and work together for a better America.

I support Barack Obama because I believe in Peace and because I believe we can do more with diplomacy than with military action. I want an America that does not bully; that works with other countries and respects the rest of the world as partners.

Because I believe with Obama the country will look forward and address the damages of global warming. That in the ten years it will take to get more oil rigs up and running he will see to it that we have explored and encouraged, and developed other forms of energy.

I support Barack Obama because I believe in Hope. The hope that America can be better than it has been these last eight years. John McCain voted 90% of the time with George Bush and he says he wants to run on the issues but then resorts to smears and lies, distracting from the real issues.

Because I have been stunned and ashamed of an America that can seriously debate whether we should torture detainees and because John McCain, for all his tough talk and in spite of the cruelty he himself endured, backed down on the issue and ultimately gave in to the Bush Administration's demands regarding the treatment of detainees.

Because I want an America where large corporations don't use loopholes to avoid paying taxes and don’t get tax breaks for taking jobs oversees. Where workers are paid a living wage and average people don’t lose their life savings while CEO's walk away with millions after running companies into the ground.

Because I believe we need Health Care that covers every American. Where the ill and the elderly don't become destitute because their health care costs are so high. If our government cares for the least among us this is not socialism, it is compassionate and responsible.

I support Barack Obama because women still earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. We do not need more conservatives in the White House – and on the Supreme Court – who will turn back the clock on women's rights, while proclaiming a woman as Vice President who does not support the values of women like me - a white woman, a grandmother, proud to call myself a liberal – and I don’t consider that a dirty word – happily married to the same man for 40 years who raised two children to believe that men and women were created equal and should be treated equally, with equal rights and equal opportunities and equal control over their own futures.

I don't understand an America that says it wants us to come together, that wants change, that wants to end divisiveness and the politics of hate and then responds to John McCain and Sarah Palin's campaign of mudslinging and lies.

I believe these issues are too important to be talking about things manufactured to distract us. I urge you to look at the issues and where each of these candidates stands on the things that matter most to you. If you truly want change from the last eight years then please vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

I support Barack Obama because I believe he has the intelligence, the poise and wisdom, the understanding and compassion to bring us all together as one America and lead our country out of these dark days and into a better tomorrow.

Thank you,
Rosemary Connelly
Milford, Delaware

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mispillion Autumn Arts & Attire Gala

Last night, October 24, we attended the Mispillion Art League‘s big fundraiser/Gala, “Autumn Arts & Attire” - a juried member show that included dinner and a fashion show (Bob was one of the models looking quite dashing in a tuxedo! and I wore a spiffy new outfit for the occasion!) at the Shawnee Country Club, here in Milford. There were over 70 Fine Art entries from our members in oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography, graphite and mixed media, and Fine Crafts that included gourds/basketry, wood carving and jewelry. It is a terrific show with some very fine work representing over 28 local artists and was attended by over 100 guests that included the mayor, city council members and other distinguished members of the community. The committee members did an excellent job pulling this event together and we were all proud of the results.

The show will remain at the Shawnee Country Club, 6152 S. Rehoboth Blvd, Milford, DE 302-422-9745 October 25 and 26 from 8-5 and will then move to the Mispillion Art League Gallery, 127 NW Front Street, Milford. (Thursdays and Fridays 4-6, Saturday 10-2 and Sundays 12-3) where it will remain, through January 5, 2009.

Sara Gallagher‘s amazing “Fall‘s Court” won First Place, my “At Abbott‘s Mill” Second and Cathy Walls beautiful “Autumn Pond” Third. Bob took First Place for Photography with “Verona Dried Flowers” and Bea Whitehead, First Place in Crafts for her Gourd “Icelandia.” Honorable mentions were given to Sharon Hepford, Betsy Rybczynski, Sonja Frey, John J. Ferrier, Judy Struck, Nicole Carter, Mark Schanne and Elizabeth Gilbert. (I apologize if I have forgotten anyone!)

We were honored to have as our judge Marie Cavallaro of Salisbury University. Professor Cavallaro is an acclaimed visual artist and educator and is co-founder of the Cavallaro Cleary Visual Arts Foundation that provides scholarships to high school students continuing a visual arts education.

Bob‘s photograph “Verona Dried Flowers” won First Place in the Fine Art/Photography category

My watercolor “At Abbott‘s Mill” won Second Place in the Fine Art/Painting category

A detail of “Fall’s Court” by Sara Gallagher. Her oversize watercolor on canvas won First Place and sold this weekend!

Us at the Gala

The evening included a Fashion Show with outfits from Talbots and tuxedos from the Bridal Boutique. That’s Betsy Rybczynski modeling here.

At the Pumpkin Patch with Kyla

We went to the Chesterfield Berry Farm (a real working fruit, vegetable, and beef cattle farm located in western Chesterfield County near Richmond) for their Harvest Festival with Kyla and Chris about two weeks ago. They had all sorts of fun stuff for kids to do, like the “shelled corn play area” where kids could roll around in a big container of corn - she loved it - one of those big Moon Bounce things, wagon rides, goats, ducks and pigs, pony rides and more, with a hay ride out to a huge field of pumpkins where you could pick your own.

She really liked riding the horse

She was quite a natural up there!

Our Little Flower with her proud Daddy

Kyla in the Moon Bounce - she loves stuff like this

Kyla had fun searching for her perfect pumpkin.

Going Home - having a quiet moment with her Daddy

On Sunday we went out to Uno‘s for dinner and she got to make her own pizza! Fun!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Upcoming Shows & Exhibits

Hello friends,
Bob and I would like to take this opportunity to let you know about a few things coming up for us, that you might want to check out if you have the time.

Delaware Art Museum, Opening Reception November 7, 5:30 - 8pm
2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, Delaware 302-571-9590
Bob’s photograph “The Little Saint, Good Friday, Enna, Sicily” was selected for inclusion in the Eye/I Witness Gordon Parks exhibition in conjunction with Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks. Through January 4, 2009.

Rehoboth Art League, Opening reception November 14, 5 - 7pm
12 Dodds Lane, Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 302-227-8408
The Theme of this show is Photo Opportunities. This is a member show in al media employing a photographic connection. Through January 6, 2009.

Millsboro Art League, Fall Open Art Exhibit
203 Main Street, Millsboro (Friday and Saturday 11 to 3 and Sundays 12 to 3PM)
Samples of our work are currently on exhibit through October 30. In addition, Bob’s photograph “Dahlias” won first place in the Photography category.

Mispillion Art League, Autumn Arts & Attire
Art Exhibit & Gala, Shawnee Country Club, Friday October 24, 2008 6pm
Work with an Autumn theme will remain on exhibit at the Shawnee Country Club, 6152 S. Rehoboth Blvd, Milford, DE 302-422-9745 October 25 and 26 from 8-5. It will then move to the Mispillion Art League Gallery, 127 NW Front Street, Milford. (Thursdays and Fridays 4-6, Saturday 10-2 and Sundays 12-3). Through January 5, 2009

Rosemary’s Journal Paintings & Prints are on exhibit at Angelucci Fine Woodworking & Stained Glass Studios and Artists Gallery, 7 Park Avenue, Milford, DE. 302-422-4533

Something new:
Rosemary’s “Rosemary’s Garden® NoteCards” and Bob’s “Keyhole, Letterbox and Doorhandle Series note cards will be available for purchase at Dolce Bakery Shop, 36 North Walnut Street in downtown Milford.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Bob's photo will hang at Delaware Art Museum

The Little Saint, Enna, Sicily 2006

We're excited to tell you that Bob received word yesterday that his photograph entitled "The Little Saint" was chosen for inclusion in the Eye/I Witness Gordon Parks Arts Competition photography exhibition which will be on view from November 4 - January 4, 2009 at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, Delaware. This show runs in conjunction with Bare Witness: Photographs by Gordon Parks. Artists were invited to submit photographs, poetry, and short films reflecting the themes found in the art of Gordon Parks.

On his death, the New York Times wrote a lovely tribute to his life and work. If you aren't familiar with Gordon Parks, it is worth reading: "Gordon Parks, a Master of the Camera, Dies at 93."

An Opening Reception Celebration for the “Eye/I Witness Gordon Parks Arts Competition”
will be held on Friday, November 7, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Museum. It's a free event and coincides with Wilmington's "Art on the Town" a first Friday art walk throughout the downtown area.

The celebration continues later in the month when selected film entries are screened at the Delaware Art Museum on Sunday, November 23 (2:00 p.m.) and the Christina Cultural Arts Center on Sunday, November 30 (2:00 p.m.).

With his photograph entitled "The Little Saint" Bob captured a quiet moment in Enna, Sicily on Good Friday 2006 during a religious procession where male members of the "confraternities" or clubs from each church don elaborate colored robes and white hoods over their heads with holes cut for their eyes, acting as "penititi" (penitents), like so many souls wandering, seeking forgiveness. The little girls were dressed as saints/nuns and their mothers scurried in and out fussing over them. I wrote about this extensively on our Italy blog and if you are interested in reading and seeing more of Bob's photographs of this event, click this link: Live Cheap and Make Art and scroll down for the story and photos.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dance Boulevard performs at Festival Italiano

The Fifth Annual Festival Italiano Food and Wine Festival at Belmar took place while I was in Colorado for the Walk to Cure Diabetes. It was a lot of fun, great food, entertainment and artisans selling ceramics, gelato, sausages with peppers and onions, Pizza fritte (like sfingas!), pizza and more. There were chef demonstrations, live Italian music and dancing, and regional Italian wine tastings. It was almost like being in Italy (well, not quite, but still fun!) Maddie’s dance school Dance Boulevard, in Arvada, Colorado, under the tutelage of owner and Artistic Director, Amie Bergondo, was invited to perform at the festival. They were adorable!

Belmar, Colorado is a live-work-play community about ten minutes west of downtown Denver with options like condos, townhouses, flats, residences and urban row houses, (some already sold out!) with future live/work lofts planned. Shopping is upscale, mixed with trendy restaurants and entertainment venues, it seemed like a very cool place to live.

Dancers aged 7 to 17 (or there about!) performed at Belmar’s Festival Italiano on Saturday and Sunday, Sept 20 - 21, 1008 and Maddie was right there with them. Here they are at the beginning of the performance with music blaring and hands clapping to many well-known (and some not as well known) Italian favorites.

I was so glad I could be there to see Madison perform at the Festival

Maddie’s dance partners performed to "Buona Sera, Signorina", an old tune made popular by Louie Prima in the 1950’s.

All the dancers swirled around in a circle, doing the Tarantella

At the end the girls invited their friends and neighbors to join in the Tarantella

Maddie and Sam doing the Tarantella

Belmar, Colorado's Festival Italiano

Pane Fresco (fresh bread) was one of the highlights (for us anyway!) of Belmar's Festival Italiano

My sister Suzanne contemplates the breakfast goodies. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

The Festival's main street in Belmar, Colorado

Street Painters busy copying old master paintings on the streets of Belmar

Authentic flag throwers were brought over from Florence, Italy to perform. I felt like I was back in Italy!

Stomping Grapes at Belmar's Italian festival

The kids had fun stomping grapes. The Balistreri Vineyards sponsored this tent where kids of all ages were free to stomp the grapes that will be turned into wine for next year's vintage. I was a a bit dubious about the sanitary qualities but they assured me once the wine goes through the fermentation process it is all very sterile and clean.

Maddie had fun getting her toes all squishy with grapes after the dancing was over

Sam stayed safely outside the squishy grapes (budding author that she is, with her ever-present notebook in hand, should a brilliant idea for the book she is writing strike her, she's always ready to jot it down)

One of the reps for the winery, wearing her "Wine Glasses"

Visiting Denver, Colorado

Denver Art Museum

The Denver Art Museum's landmark Hamilton Building, an expansion of the original North Building (1971, designed by Italian architect Gio Ponti and Denver-based James Sudler Associates) was designed by the architect Daniel Libeskind to recall the peaks of the Rocky Mountains and opened to the public October 7, 2006. It is a spectacular building both inside and out and I was completely taken with the dramatic angles, ceilings, windows, staircases, bridges and plays on light.

The Hamilton Building exterior

Staircase, interior

Window with dramatic light

Denver's Public Library was designed by architect Michael Graves and is located next to the Denver Art Museum. The cartoonish sculpture in the foreground is called “The Shoot-Out”, by artist Red Grooms. It sits on the roof of Denver Art Museum's Palettes restaurant. I guess when it first appeared in 1983 it was pretty controversial and drew protests from Native Americans and support from Artists who defended it as Pop Art. It was hidden away for years but has recently re-emerged apparently to little fanfare. If you want to read more about this, check out this website that provides an interesting account: http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM31PK

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's
sculpture "Big Sweep" sits outside the entrance to the Denver Art Museum.

Sites Around Denver

This historic home, built in 1883 by Rocky Mountain News publisher William Byers sits right in the heart of the museum district. It wasn't open yet when I was walking around waiting for the Denver Art Museum to open but you can take tours through this elegant residence that is a sharp contrast to the super modern structures that surround it, a reminder of what Denver must have looked like in earlier days.

A view of downtown Denver's 16th Street Mall where the only traffic is the free shuttle bus

A clever way to raise money to help the homeless

Denver's famous Larimer Street with lots of cool boutique shops and restaurants

Union Station in "Lo Do" (lower downtown Denver). The original station opened in June 1881, burned down in 1894 and was immediately rebuilt. There are plans underway to turn the station into a huge transportation center utilizing the original architecture and will include residential, commericial and retail development. This is a very cool area of the city, adjacent to Coors Field and the Riverfront.