UALR 6×6 Event

It all started when…

Emily Wood Facebook messaged me – “Interested in donating to the UALR 6×6 event?” – or something like that.

Six by Six Invitation

All pieces entered are 6×6 inches – hence the “6×6” title. I decided that prints would be the best way to go, so I tore some paper and mixed some ink (pewter, red, and white). I did test prints first to make sure the cropped images were strong compositions.

 
 
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This was a happy accident from rolling out the red ink.

Once everything was printed, I stopped by Hobby Lobby on the way home from work the next day and got the pieces matted – which felt like a complete rip off at $5 per mat! They didn’t even let me keep the matboard scraps they cut from. Yikes was I mad about that.

“The Dancer”

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“The Lady and the Musician”

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“Dinner Guests” (which is its actual size)

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I put the Paper Opera stamp on the back and signed the print.

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M and I went to the UALR 6×6 event and had a nice time! It was a silent auction – where all of the pieces are placed on the tables and people walk around and bid on them.

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I was happy because all of my pieces got bids.

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At the end of the event, there were speeches and thank you’s and lots of clapping.

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KUAR Recording Studio

The Damsels in Distress were asked to record at the KUAR studio for a music performance and interview for KUAR Arts & Letters Valentines Day show.

We arrived at the KUAR recording studio and were met by Brad Minnick, Mary Ellen, and Chris Hickey. We followed Chris Hickey down the long hallways and maze of KUAR to get to the recording room.

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Once in the recording room, we settled in, played some songs, and answered some questions. Interviewing is a lot of fun. Brad had some really great questions. M was better at answering what specific songs were about, and I was better at answering the history and organization of the Damsels.

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It took us a couple of takes to play the songs without any mistakes. And I just couldn’t get a good whistle!


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We had lots of fun during the interview and there was much laughing taking place. The neat and weird thing about giving an interview was summing up 8 years of our work and life in a couple of sentences.

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We will write a Valentines Day song and go back to the KUAR studio for a follow up interview. The show will be released for a Valentines Day special.

Thanks Mary Ellen for taking pictures and videos of the recording session!

Art for an Anniversary

M and I have been going to the Mary’s Homegroup with Grace Church since 2011. Doug and Sue Mary work with Family Life and so their specialty is marriage studies. They have been great to M and I and have invested their time and prayers in the lives of the couples under their leadership. The Mary’s have been supportive of my art, even coming to my University of Arkansas at Little Rock Master of Arts exhibition in December 2012.

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They have been supportive of my mission trip to Romania in June 2014.

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I fact, they have us in their home every two weeks providing dinner and a space to spiritually grow.

Their 40th anniversary was this year on July 18th and I wanted to do something that would be special for them. I asked them to send me a picture of their wedding day.

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I started working on a painting for them.

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Once finished, M and I went to their house to deliver their anniversary painting.

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Happy Anniversary Doug and Sue Mary! Thanks for all you do for your community.

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Artist Studio Series: Stephen

Stephen Cefalo is a well-known artist in Little Rock. Last year he was voted best artist by readers of the Arkansas Times. He is often seen at the Arkansas Arts Center, at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) Department of Art, and in the North Little Rock Argenta art community. I have also seen him and his family a few times at Whole Foods.

Stephen is starting a school in Argenta. He teaches private classes at his studio in North Little Rock on Wednesdays. You can contact Stephen at stephencefalo@gmail.com for details or call at 501-231-9959.

I met Stephen in an open figure drawing class he hosted at UALR.

Stephen Cefalo Studio – Stephen writes about his studio below.

“My studio is nestled behind the library in the back of our new home in Indian Hills, North Little Rock.”

 
 

“It overlooks a flower garden. I come here not only to work, but to think and to relax.”

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“We are blessed to have this beautiful north-lit space. The light is better, the view is gorgeous, and even the air feels nicer out here. It is an incredibly peaceful and inspiring place to work in.”

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“Yes we are terribly pleased with our new place.”

 

You can visit Stephen’s website at www.stephencefalo.com

Listening Party Experience

This is a “selfie” on one of the happiest days.

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I went to a fancy listening party downtown in the 300 Third Tower. The listening party was in the party room and the view of downtown Little Rock was really nice.

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The listening party was for the KUAR Arts & Letters, “Searching for Latini” episode. UALR Chancellor Joel Anderson came to the event and even gave a short speech of his support for this project.

So, what does any of this have to do with me, and why do I look so happy in the selfie?

In December last year, The Damsels in Distress were hired to create music for a new program on KUAR called Arts & Letters. We wrote the opening theme music – also used for the radio spots – based from “Corey’s Song.”

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The first show, “Ethics Bowl” aired in January. It was about what “ethics” are and played a sample Ethics Bowl.

From left: Marla Cole, Angela Johnson and Dr. Allison Merrick hold a trophy after competing at the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. Credit ualr.edu

From left: Marla Cole, Angela Johnson and Dr. Allison Merrick hold a trophy after competing at the Texas Regional Ethics Bowl in San Antonio, Texas.
Credit ualr.edu

On one hand, we wanted the music to emphasize the experience of a game show -poppy, fast, bright, upbeat, but also with an edge (for the feel of competitiveness). We also wanted to put a serious tone for the idea and debate of “ethics.”

Here’s how it works.

As composers, we get a phone call. In the call, there is a title and description of the coming show. The discussion extends to what sort of music that specific show needs in terms of how many songs, length of songs, the general “feel” or “mood” of the show. This call is followed up with an email of the script. We (The Damsels in Distress) each read through the script and then together, we brainstorm general ideas – kind of like story boarding, but with music.  We grab our instruments and go to separate rooms and write.


  

We come back together and do a rough recording of what we wrote. We write off of each others initial song, and create a “sketch” – which is a more detailed recording with many different parts we can mute/unmute. Once we get the detailed sketch we like, we record on our more professional gear.

 

This does not all happen in one day! This process takes weeks. Once we have recorded and are satisfied, we email the files. From here, we may need to rewrite or rerecord songs based on what the producer wants. The show airs, and we get a check in the mail.

So, back to the Listening Party.

At the Listening Party everyone that worked on the show ate delicious Thai food catered by Chang’s and listened to “Searching for Latini” live. It was super exciting – much like an actor’s cast party when the production is completed. It was also the first time a lot of us got to meet each other because so much of the show is done through phone conversation, email, and separate recording sessions.

“Searching for Latini”  is about Brunetto Latini, the teacher of Dante and the first translator of Aristotle and Cicero into a vernacular language. We wanted the music to sound Italian/Italian Renaissance for this show.

Listen to Searching for Latini here!

Credit Parlor Press

Credit Parlor Press

Listen to the songs we wrote for “Searching for Latini” here.

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