Tapestry, from 90.3 WBHM




February 2011...



People talk about suffering for their art...but for visual artists, there may be more truth to that statement than they realize. As WBHM's Tanya Ott reports, many art supplies contain lead and other dangerous compounds.

Toxic art...



You might remember this from elementary art class or a crafty day at home. You take a potato. Cut it in half. Carve out some shape. Then dip it in ink. Press it on paper and you've got your very own potato stamp print. It's a very simple printmaking. Prints of all kinds are on display this month at Birmingham's Lite Box Gallery. First Impressions features more than 30 Alabama printmakers. One of them is Debra Riffe - she mostly works with linoleum prints. Most of her work features images blacks in the rural south. Riffe takes us into her studio to show how it's done..

The art of printmaking...

The show First Impressions runs through February 26th.



Now, on to a re-examination of old art. Sometimes it seems that paintings don't get the respect they deserve in our fast-paced digital world. The internet is full of bright, flashy colors. Paint on a canvas can seem dull in comparison. Fortunately for students at UAB, one teacher has come up with a way to make old art exciting and new. WBHM intern Weston Williams tells us how.

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StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. Each month on Tapestry we'll bring you stories from Alabamians. Here, Glenny Brock interviews her father Jon Marshall Brock about his psychiatric history and how it's affected both their lives. When Glenny was eight, her mother died in a car accident. Jon talks about how being in Bryce Hospital affected his ability to gain legal custody of Glenny and her brother...

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Jon Marshall Brock talking with his daughter Glenny from a StoryCorps booth in Birmingham. Today, Jon is a psychiatric care activist. This interview was recorded by Story Corps, a national initiative to record and collect stories of everyday people. Excerpts were produced and edited by WBHM's Michael Krall.



Marvin Whiting Last November, Birmingham lost one of it best storytellers with the passing of Marvin Whiting. Whiting was retired archivist for the City of Birmingham and no one could bring Birmingham's past to life as he could. A few years ago, he related a story about Birmingham's fledgling attempt to begin its own Mardi Gras celebration back in the 1890s. But the celebration suffered a fatal blow when it ran head-on into the big freeze of 1899.

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Nearly 125 years ago a German dramatist penned a play that criticized the sexually-oppressive culture of his country. It offered a vivid dramatization of the erotic fantasies of young teenagers who were just discovering their bodies. As you might expect, it was pretty controversial material. The play was often banned. More than a century later, it still raises eyebrows. And this month, it's on stage at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. WBHM's Tanya Ott pulls back the curtain for an intimate look at Spring Awakening.

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Three to See logo

It's Black History month and there are lots of events to celebrate the contributions of African Americans. Community Producer Charlotte Donlon has these suggestions in this month's Three to See.


If you'd like to share your 3 to See in an upcoming month, join our crew of community producers. E-mail us at tapestry@wbhm.org. Put the words "Community Producer" in the subject line.



Mandolin virtuoso David Grisman is hardly a household name. And while he's never had a hit song, Grisman's influence on acoustic music has been enormous. All you have to do is ask other musicians, especially mandolin players...

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Birmingham rock band Dead City Diary embraces an in-your-face Goth attitude that Frontman Joe Justice hopes will set it apart in the local band scene. Certainly, their public face is gruffer than most. Justice claims to be born out of hate and regret in a dead city. His songs paint a portrait of American desolation. This is the track Sister Mary from their EP called Blur. (AUDIO MONTAGE)



When Paul Simon outlined 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, it turns out he missed a few. There are well over 400, in fact. You can find them bagged, tagged, and on display at The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia. Shannon Service paid a visit.

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Continuing our homage to broken relationships, WBHM's Michael Krall went scouring through his music library and brings us this playlist...

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We began with Liz Phair singing Love is Nothing, followed by the always charming Christine Lavin and Attainable Love. If you're a fan of 80's music, no doubt you remember the band Squeeze...we heard Is That Love. Pianosaurus put out one of the most interesting debuts ever...playing actual toy instruments...we heard their song Love Is A Two-Way Street. And, right now, we're hearing Labour of Love by Frente!



Tapestry is produced by Bradley George and Michael Krall. Helping out this month were Tanya Ott, Shannon Service, Weston Williams, Andrew Yeager and Charlotte Donlon. We love to hear your feedback on the show. We're also on Facebook and Twitter. I'm Greg Bass. Thanks for listening, we'll see you next month.

If you've got a story idea for Tapestry, drop us an e-mail.