Classical KUSC Arts Alive Blog

Arts Alive Blog


Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West at the Autry

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 5/11/2015 11:47:00 AM

Empire and Liberty: The Civil War and the West is the first major museum exhibition to explore the causes and legacies of the American Civil War on westward expansion. This show is on view at the Autry Center through the end of the year, and is co-curated by Carolyn Brucken, (the Autry's Curator of Western Women's History) and Virginia Scharff (the Autry's Chair of Western Women's History). We spoke with Scharff and Brucken about some of the exhibition's goals and highlights.

John Fremont 1856 portrait

Portrait of John Fremont, 1856.


Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont, Wife of General John Fremont 1856.

Portrait of Mrs. Jessie Benton Fremont, Wife of General John Fremont 1856.  The Fremonts commissioned these paired portraits for their 1856 campaign.  By 1856 the issue of slavery had split national political parties and gave rise to new ones.  Fremont was recruited as the first presidential candidate for the new Republican Party whose platform included opposition to the extension of slavery in the ...

Pulitzer Prize Winner Julia Wolfe Picks Up an Alpert Award: Our Interview with Her

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 5/1/2015 11:13:00 AM

Today, the Herb Alpert Foundation and California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) awarded the 21st Annual Herb Alpert Award in the Arts to five exceptional mid–career artists. You can see a complete list of the winners below, but the name of music award winner, Julia Wolfe, should sound especially familiar, because she was recently announced as the 2015 winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music for her oratorio about coal miners, Anthracite Fields. We spoke about how she was drawn into the world of composing, her approach to projects and what she has coming up next.

Julia Wolfe's music will be performed as part of the LA Phil's Next on Grand Festival, a snapshot of contemporary American music from such established voices as Steve Reich, Philip Glass, and John Adams, to emergent ones, including Christopher Cerrone, Andrew Norman, Steven Mackey, and Caroline Shaw. Next on Grand takes place at Walt Disney ...

Making Strange at the Fowler Museum: Turning Everyday Objects into Haute Couture

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 4/24/2015 11:02:00 AM

Making Strange: Gagawaka is a major exhibition at the Fowler Museum of recent work by Delhi-based contemporary artist Vivan Sundaram.  All of the stunning dresses and inventive looks are made from unexpected, re-purposed materials. While we stood in front of Diva R-E-D, 2011 and several other garments, I asked him about his inspiration and process.





Flow-wrap, 2011.  Plastic corrugated sheet, foam, cotton fabric lining. 


Ziparound, 2011.  Zippers, cotton fabric. 


Silverfoil Suit, 2011.  Foil medicine wrappers, cotton fabric, polyester fiberfill. 


Fruit Bowl, 2011. Plastic kitchen scrubbers


Shoeskin Hoop, 2011.  Shoe-top linings, shoelaces, polyester net, metal hoop..


Photos courtesy Susie Goodman

An Interview with Steven Stucky Before Tuesday Night's Piano Spheres Premiere

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 4/21/2015 10:26:00 AM

Steven Stucky won a Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for his Second Concerto for Orchestra. This season he is having four world premieres, is on the faculty of Juilliard School and is Composer-in-Residence of the Aspen Music Festival and School. Tonight at 8PM, Piano Spheres is giving one of those premieres. We talked to Stucky about his new piece, Sonata, which pianist Gloria Cheng will be performing.



Piano Spheres is continuing Leonard Stein's mission to commission and perform piano repertoire. For 21 seasons they have performed over 688 works by 302 composers of which 59 are women.  They have given 64 world premieres and 20 of these have been Piano Spheres commissions. For more information about tonight's concert, click here.


Photo of Steven Stucky courtesy of Susie Goodman

Heading to the Getty? Bring a Magnifying Glass

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 3/31/2015 12:20:00 PM

Right now at the Getty Museum, the exhibition Zeitgeist: Art in the Germanic World 1800-1900 is showing the work of a fascinating group of artists, including some you could easily mistake for monks. They lived simply, revered nature, had an almost sacred devotion to their artistic practice, and used materials in such a precise way, it can take a magnifying glass to truly appreciate their skill. Dr. Lee Hendrix, Senior Curator of Drawings at the Getty, walked us through the exhibit and helped us understand the meaning and context behind these remarkable pieces of art.

Photo Courtesy Susie Goodman

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