EVENTS 2018

 

RETURN

CLICK > TO PLAY AUDIO

EVENT ARCHIVES 2017

FEBRUARY 2018

This annual holiday is celebrated in Bhutan, China, Indonesia, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Tibet, and Vietnam. 2018 is the Year of the Earth Dog, an auspicious animal associated with loyalty and honesty. The Earth Dog represents good fortune, stability, and connection. Some traditional ways to celebrate the lunar year are wearing red (symbolizing luck), eating an orange (for a sweet start to the new year or tasty tangerines, known as the “good fortune fruit”), dining on long noodles (for longevity), and cleaning your house (getting rid of clutter to clear the path for the new year). Feng shui experts suggest the Year of the Earth Dog is an excellent time for lifestyle changes as well as a focus on truth and justice.


-Iris Brooks


Photograph © Jon H. Davis


HAPPY LUNAR  NEW YEAR 

YEAR OF THE EARTH DOG

“The world would be a nicer place

   if everyone had the ability to

love as unconditionally as a dog.”

-M. K. Clinton

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL MOTHER LANGUAGE DAY!

FEBRUARY 21, 2018

February 21 is a world-wide observance introduced by the United Nations to promote an awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity.


If you haven’t seen our film, Languages Lost and Found: Speaking & Whistling the Mamma Tongue, narrated by William Hurt, with music by John McDowell, watch the trailer at:

https://vimeo.com/20073639


Languages Lost and Found

is distributed by Alexander Street Press and Pro Quest.


Alexanderstreet.com


MARCH 2018

ARTICLE:

MARCH ISSUE OF THE WORLD & I

“ON THE LITERARY ROAD”

By Iris Brooks

Photo & Montages By Jon H. Davis and Iris Brooks

“ON THE LITERARY ROAD”  -  EXCERPT

“If you only read the books everyone else is reading,

you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

-Haruki Murakami

What exactly is a book?

The dictionary definition is “a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.” And yet audio books are spoken rather than written, eBooks require no glue, and sacred texts in the Himalayas are not bound at all. Sometimes artful pages of a book may be folded together, without a traditional spine; others may be presented as scrolls. Books–both ancient and contemporary–along with book arts are not as standardized as you might think. They may be made of plastic, Plexiglas, concrete, and even silk.  A recent visit to Manhattan led me to explore both books and book art in an off-the-beaten path literary escape.

In New York City the pace is fast and furious; people walk quickly, speak loudly, and bustle along with seeming purpose, moving in every direction. The intensity of the city is palpable. The decibel level on the streets can be overwhelming, and for me it is not a place that encourages leisurely strolls, deep breaths, or quiet reflection. And yet that is what happens when I discover a street called Library Way, where silly, serious, and sublime quotes catch my attention.

Since the Morgan Library and Museum is such a gem, it is not surprising that its founder, who covered some of his walls with red damask silk, was literally attracted to books embedded with gemstones. The intimate show, “Magnificent Gems: Medieval Treasure Bindings” displays sacred texts, some of which are studded with jewels such as sapphires, diamonds, and emeralds along with information about “notorious manuscript thieves.” Other works feature imagined gems, a decorative trend in the 16th century as shown here in a leaf from an oversized choir book from 1519. Descriptive signage informs: “While claims for the magical powers of gems may not stand up to scientific scrutiny, their transformative effect on wearer and observer cannot be denied.” Viewing the jewel-laden manuscript covers, I notice there is a hushed tone in the room. Whether looking at the sheer beauty of the offerings of the valuable treasures or contemplating the vast collection of this library and museum, the Morgan takes my breath away and brings me far from more mundane, everyday concerns. For those in search of a literary escape, a stop at the Morgan Library and Museum is a must.

-Iris Brooks

“So many books, so little time.”  -Frank Zappa

Books are the treasured wealth of the world

and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.”

-Henry David Thoreau

ALL PHOTOS © JON H. DAVIS & IRIS BROOKS

THISTLE © JON H. DAVIS

THISTLE


As winter’s whiteness gives way to

the greens of spring–a color long associated with

rebirth and renewal–a thistle stands for a portrait.

APRIL 2018

ARTICLE:

APRIL ISSUE OF THE WORLD & I

“RECYCLING REIMAGINED”

By Iris Brooks

Photo & Montages By Jon H. Davis and Iris Brooks

CLICKhttps://www.worldandi.com/images_archive/315912l.jpg

MAY 2018

ARTICLE:

MAY ISSUE OF THE WORLD & I

“A CULTURAL RETREAT IN THE GREEN MOUNTAINS OF VERMONT”

By Iris Brooks

Photo & Montages By Jon H. Davis and Iris Brooks

DESTINATION OF THE MONTH:

GOZO IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

“ISLE OF JOY”


By Iris Brooks

Photos By Jon H. Davis and Iris Brooks

Excerpted from the feature article originally published in the World & I magazine.

Click here to read the full story.https://indd.adobe.com/view/d1f9264c-801d-45d0-b6e9-0f9b9040a674

Photos © Jon H. Davis and Iris Brooks

FEATURED RESORT:


HOTEL TA’ CENC & SPA

ON THE ISLAND OF GOZO

At this distinctive resort surrounded by nature you can take a short hike to catch the sunset at the awe-inspiring, Ta’ Cenc Cliffs, admiring the golden light. Or relax by swimming in the heated indoor-outdoor pool at the spa while listening to the sounds of birdsong. Panoramic views of the Mediterranean surround as part of the dining experience at their private waterfront restaurant, the Kantara Beach Club, where shades of blue hues are sure to make you smile. Gozo, a short ferry ride from its sister island of Malta, with the outstanding resort of Hotel Ta’ Cenc & Spa, will fill you with lifelong memories.


-Iris Brooks

Photos & Montage © Jon H. Davis and Iris Brooks

Click logo above to go to the Ta’ Cenc website

FEATURED FESTIVAL:

MALTA INTERNATIONAL FIREWORKS  FESTIVAL

Video Documentation by Jon H. Davis

Photos by Jon H. Davis and Iris Brooks

CLICK TO PLAY PHOENIX RISING AT THE MALTA INTERNATIONAL FIREWORKS FESTIVAL

Fireworks, literally “fire-flower” (hanabi in Japanese), are loved all over the world. Some people call upon crackling sounds to scare off evil spirits while others associate fireworks with celebrations.

SUMMER 2018

FEATURED ACCOMMODATIONS:

Palazzo Prince d’Orange

Valletta, Malta

On the semi-tropical, Mediterranean island of Malta, a sense of grandeur pervades at the Palazzo Prince d’Orange. There are five spacious, luxury suites with complete kitchens and private courtyards or terraces in a beautifully repurposed, 17th-century palace. The design incorporates authentic stone work with archways from another era, high ceilings, and wood beams in suites named for Dutch nobility on one of the most prestigious streets in Valletta, the current European Cultural Capital.

-Iris Brooks

FEATURED DESTINATION:

ADIRONDACK EXPERIENCE - Stay and Play

In Glenburnie-on-Lake George, New York

Click the image above to learn more.

Click the image above for more information.

SEPTEMBER 2018

FACE-TO-FACE:

UNDISCOVERED AMERICAN HERITAGE:

PENFIELD HOMESTEAD MUSEUM

Ironville, New York

The museum, operating with a knowledgable and courteous volunteer staff, aims at historic preservation as well as imparting an oral history with a personal connection to community members (who donate material culture) along with anecdotes of past generations. The grounds also offer historic walking trails around the Penfield Pond, with accompanying signage (with reference to a narrow gauge railroad to carry ore from the mines to its new foundry complex) in this Ironville Historic District,  listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


-Iris Brooks

Photos © Jon H. Davis

OCTOBER 2018

VISUAL STORYTELLING ARTICLE:

“GOZO ISLE OF JOY”

Published on Steller

Selected as a Feature in “PLACES”

By Jon H. Davis and Iris Brooks

Steller is a platform blending text, photos, and video to tell a story. Inspiring travelers around the globe, Steller currently reaches over 2 million people from 189 countries. Here is a sample from our story, “GOZO ISLE OF JOY”.


To see and “like” our featured story, CLICK HERE.

NOVEMBER 2018

CELEBRATE DIWALI!

This holiday–also known as the festival of lights–is widely celebrated in India by Hindus, Sikhs, and Jains. Diwali coincides with the new moon and honors light over darkness and good over evil in a celebration filled with hope.

HAMMONDSPORT HIGHLIGHTS


BLACK SHEEP INN AND SPA

Hammondsport, New York

Hammondsport–voted the “coolest small town in America” a few years ago–is both quaint and quirky. Small museums celebrate wooden boat building in the Finger Lakes region and early aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss, once known as “The Fastest Man on Earth.” But the recommended Black Sheep Inn, housed in a friendly,  artist-run, octagonal historic house, exemplifies quirkiness at its best. And it is a great base to explore the area’s attractions.

Octagonal buildings were a brief architectural fad, popular in late 19th-century America, but it was not a new concept since octagonal structures date back to 300 B.C. in Greece.  And this shape was chosen for a variety of churches and temples in different cultures including the oldest Islamic monument, The Dome of the Rock, dating from the 7th century in Jerusalem and for the Quakers, who embraced its simplicity in America with their octagonal stone schoolhouses, also known as “ink-bottle schools.” Buildings of this shape are also found as a post office in Maine, library in Massachusetts, and lighthouse in Alaska.  I remember viewing an octagonal tower in Vietnam, but only recently learned there is also an octagonally-shaped prison in Vietnam built by the French with a Japanese architect drawing on the Chinese  philosophy of I Ching to incorporate the idea of eight sides. But according to innkeeper Marc Rotman, the American intoxication with octagonal architecture was considered a “black sheep,” hence the name of their inn.

The Black Sheep Inn and Spa is in a lovingly restored, octagonal house built in 1859 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today it is filled with comfort and infused with aesthetically pleasing decor and attention to details from the handmade sheep-shaped soaps to the historic wallpapers framed and hung as art. The breakfast is far from generic, showcasing the advanced and creative culinary skills of innkeeper Deb Meritsky (formally trained as a chef), offering Farm-to-Table breakfasts with locally sourced, organic ingredients.

Both Deb and Marc are artists and their shared studio, F.L.A.V.O.R. (Finger Lakes Art Vintage Old Repurposed) in a renovated barn on the property is open to guests each evening. It is an opportunity to watch them create pieces in stained glass or from found, repurposed materials (buttons, screws, and pins, or a headboard turned into a bench and ladder transformed into a towel rack) while they enthusiastically share their processes. Participatory art classes with a personalized focus are also an option here. For those tired and sore from a full day of explorations on and off Keuka Lake, in-house massage is available in this cozy inn with five guest rooms.  A stay at this tranquil retreat is sure to leave you both relaxed and enriched.


-Iris Brooks


THE FINGER LAKES BOATING MUSEUM

Hammondsport, New York

Endangered heritage binds communities together. While sometimes there is a resurgence, such as the whistle language in the Canary Islands, other traditions continue on the path towards extinction. Storytelling in China, traditional rug-making in Portugal, and pottery in Tunisia are among them. But on a recent visit to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum in Hammondsport, New York, I discover wooden boat building in this region–which was an important part of the community–is a dying art form.

Preservation of wooden boats and their history is the main mission of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, but they also conduct many educational programs, school visits, and hands-on workshops to ignite the interest of a new generation into the world of wooden boats. The museum is housed in a former winery with impressive stonework and heavy, arched oak doors with wrought iron hardware, while some of the other buildings are in the process of renovation and expansion. In addition to small wooden boats (such as the historic Penn Yan), their collection includes canvas-covered canoes, racing boats (hydroplanes and utilities), vintage outboard motors, luxury mahogany-decked watercraft, as well as related art work.  And their current, large scale restoration project is a 39-foot, former postal boat, in the process of becoming seaworthy again with a soon-to-be-added electric motor.

ONKEUKA WATER TAXI

After a visit to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, consider a ride on Keuka Lake, known as Crooked Lake since it forks in a Y-configuration and flows both north and south. The Native Americans referred to the lake as Canoe Landing and for many years it served as a way to transport goods and people.

The glacial waters are inviting as friendly Captain Mary Jo Savino of OnKeuka Water Taxi picks us up at the Hammondsport Depot Park and imparts information (the lake is almost 20 miles long) and safety regulations are clearly spelled out. She points towards vineyards and wineries (including the highly-rated Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars), recommends lakeside dining at Snug Harbor (where we later encounter a friendly staff and tasty casual fare in a nautically-themed setting), and hands out cups of hot spiced cider.  While we enjoy viewing the fall foliage, spring and summer excursions provide time for swimming in the lake or partaking in a seaplane tour.


-Iris Brooks

GLENN H. CURTISS MUSEUM

Hammondsport, New York

While Glenn Curtiss (1878 - 1930) may not be a household name with the notoriety of the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, or Alexander Graham Bell, his impact was significant. Curtiss was more than an early aviation pioneer, winning the New York World contest of first flight from Albany to Governor’s Island in NYC (as well as being the recipient of multiple Scientific American trophies). He was a great American innovator with over 500 inventions.

The Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York is the place to explore the range of his creations with bicycles, motorcycles, and early airplanes, along with aspects of naval aviation. Although Curtiss, an avid designer and racer, was dubbed “The Fastest Man on Earth,” setting new speed records on his motorcycles in the early 1900s, he also created trailers (“aero cars”), flying boats, and the aeronola (also known as a “talking machine” or early record player).

An important transportation pioneer and native son of Hammondsport, Curtiss is honored at this local museum with interesting archival films documenting his life’s work, shown in a 75-seat theater. In addition to crowded, eclectic exhibits displaying early vehicles of all varieties, there are exhibition posters, and historic aircraft restoration along with related art, such as “Scaring the Fish,” a painting by Canadian aviation artist Robert Bradford capturing an early seaplane above a fishing boat on Keuka Lake and a painting by local artist Clair Carr of “Piper Cub over Keuka Lake.” For transportation enthusiasts and history buffs, the Curtiss Museum and Finger Lakes Boating Museum are a good pairing in the small but interesting town of Hammondsport, New York.


-Iris Brooks

Photos © Jon H. Davis & Iris Brooks

NEW MUSIC ALBUM:

THE SOUND OF RAIN DRYING

Peter Griggs, Iris Brooks & Glen Velez

Released September 24, 2018

This world fusion recording for flutes, guitar, and percussion reflects a blending of alternative classical, improvisation, and world music influences in new music compositions by Peter Griggs performed and recorded on tour in Belgium.


The music is now available on iTunes, Amazon, and CD Baby. Each of the 10 tracks is available individually or as a complete album, which may be downloaded for $9.99 at the following links.

ART EXHIBIT:

COLOR. COLOUR.

With 9 Blue Artworks by Iris Brooks

BLUE HILL ART & CULTURAL CENTER

One Blue Hill Plaza

Pearl River, New York

NOVEMBER 14,  2018 -  APRIL 5, 2019

Viewing Hours: Monday - Friday,  8AM - 6PM

Opening Reception: Thursday,  DECEMBER 6, 2018 - 5:30-7:30 PM

Curator Barbara Sussman has selected works by 18 artists for an exhibition exploring the many ways artists mix, perceive, select, and create using color. 


Viewers may experience a palette of different hues in these featured pieces by walking through the expansive space of this corporate venue.

Directions to Blue Hill Plaza:


Palisades Parkway to Exit 6W onto Orangeburg Rd.


Go west for 2 miles.


The venue is opposite the Pearl River Hilton.

COBALT                                                                                       © Iris Brooks

FEATURED GALLERY:

THE CENTER FOR ART IN WOOD

141 N. 3rd. Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


https://centerforartinwood.org

THE UNCARVED BLOCK TRANSFORMED

Celebrate how the versatile material of wood intersects with everyday life and admire objects of art during a rewarding visit to the Center for Art in Wood in Philadelphia. Stunning pieces crafted by featured artist Merryll Saylan are exhibited in “This Is Your Life.” Texture, grain, and patterns are paramount in a variety of works, but more surprising is the role of color. I am particularly intrigued by her use of pigments with dyes, milk paints, oil glazes, and automotive paints on lathe-turned objects as well as bleached and charred woods, resulting in stunning pieces, some of which have a nod to a Japanese aesthetic. Saylan thoughtfully includes a “petting zoo” section for visitors to touch the textured woods in a tactile experience, before viewing her finely crafted works of wood art.

The Center is a place to explore a variety of lathe-turned art, which is part of the Craft Art Movement. The lathe–dating from 300 B.C., as the oldest of machine tools–still remains important today for contemporary artists working with wood for both artistic expression and functional purposes: carved clocks, chopsticks, cups, spoons, nutcrackers, musical instruments, ladles, boxes, and bowls. Shapes and textures are created with the aid of everything from small pencil sharpeners to large chisels. Some works incorporate wood shavings while other pieces are inspired by insects tunneling underneath the bark of a living tree.

Consider the transformation of the uncarved block. The Center for Art in Wood, with a collection of over 1000 hand-made objects, is a place to rediscover this substance found in driftwood along the beach and walks through the woodlands, giving the viewer a new perspective on a common material made into uncommon, aesthetically-pleasing art.


-Iris Brooks

DECEMBER 2018

ART OPENING:

COLOR. COLOUR.

With 9 Blue Artworks by Iris Brooks in a Group Exhibition

OPENING RECEPTION:

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6 AT 5:30 - 7:30 PM


BLUE HILL ART & CULTURAL CENTER

One Blue Hill Plaza

Pearl River, New York


http://www.bluehillartandculturalcenter.com

“The blue field”  is the ocean.  - Armenian Saying

RECOMMENDED MUSIC FOR THE HOLIDAYS

EVENING STAR

Performed by Kitka

The Winter Solstice marks a season in which light emerges out of darkness. This cycle of life–when days grow longer–is a theme of luminous, traditional songs from Eastern Europe and Eurasia, sung by Kitka (meaning “bouquet” in Bulgarian and Macedonian) on their new album, Evening Star. “This album springs from that very human, ritualistic instinct to come together and sing in the deep, dark heart of wintertime. Different cultural and spiritual perspectives create distinct musical expressions,”says Kitka artistic director and singer,  Sira Cion.

The recently released album celebrates our connection with the natural world with references to the season, stars, and planets. Singing a Romanian Christmas carol collected by Bela Bartok in Transylvania, a Yiddish Sabbath blessing, or a Slavic tune about the Evening Star (believed to be a female deity linked with Mercury and Venus), this California-based, resonant women’s vocal ensemble–currently in its 39th year–embraces more than the season.

Whether or not you believe the sun, moon, and rain are cosmic guests as voiced in lyrics from Ukraine, this soul-soothing album lights our way with a sense of transcultural unity during a time in our history which yearns for a coming together across cultures with sensitivity to our natural environment.


-Iris Brooks

Learn more at: www.kitka.org

MUSIC FOR AN OLD ENGLISH CHRISTMAS

Arranged and Performed by Peter Griggs

Music For An Old English Christmas is a joyful celebration of English ballads, Celtic traditions, Northumbrian jigs, wassailing songs, Morris dance tunes, and the lovely Shetlands jig, “Christmas Day in the Morning.” It reminds us holidays need not be focused on a commercial component. Listening to this album can’t help but make you smile, feel merry, and enjoy the spirit of the season.

The British Isles have a rich tradition of folk music including wassailing drinking songs encouraging fertility for apple orchards in winter celebrations around bon fires to ensure successful harvests. Originally a pagan rite practiced on the winter solstice, the word “wassail” (originating from Old English and Old Norse) means “good health” and refers to both the act of singing certain songs and imbibing a liquor made of apples, sugar, and ale. On Music For An Old English Christmas, Peter Griggs performs wassailing tunes appreciated with or without imbibing libations.

Griggs is an accomplished, New York-based guitarist who has performed internationally with over 500 solo concerts. On this recording he also shares Morris dance tunes, often heard during Twelfth Night festivities. Morris music dates back to the 1400s and folk music collector Cecil Sharp was enchanted with these tunes he heard performed on the U.K.’s Boxing Day (Dec. 26th, ) in the 1800s and became a prominent figure in the revival of this English folk tradition.

If you are searching for holiday spirit, Music For An Old English Christmas will connect you with times past and warm your heart.


-Iris Brooks