Art and Culture

Art and culture

Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

Feeling as though you are completely surrounded by a work of art is to appreciate, if only for a moment, its potential power over how we see the world.

One of the purposes of art is to transport you into another frame of reference, another place, into someone else’s experience and point of view.  The more immersive the art experience, the more you are transported.  I recently had experiences with visual art that were totally immersive and, because of that, totally transformative. 

Lost in the host of great gospel acts on Savoy in the early 1960s, the Epps Gospel Singers' Just Try Jesus is a wonderfully energetic example of high-energy, joyfully performed g0spel music.


On this episode of Conversations with Creative Waco, Rae Jefferson talks with Alfred Solano, President of the Central Texas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, about the Chamber and the Floating Mercado. They are later jioned by Arts Events Organizer Monica Shannon to discuss Hispanic Heritage Month and the second annual Hispanic Heritage Arts Celebration. 

Story of a young man who was abandoned by his wife but finds love at last.

Robert Hillman’s first novel—The Bookshop of the Broken Hearted—turned out to be a lovely story marvelously written with a backdrop of a frightening past set in Australia.  Tom Hope has been abandoned by his wife.  He struggles to understand why his wife left him.  Trudy returns after a long period and announces she is pregnant.   She stays for a while, but then she disappears again, leaving the boy with Tom.  Then she shows up to claim her son.  Tom is devastated after raising the boy alone for a few years. 

Next year the Jets and the Sharks will again square off in a remake of one of the twentieth century's great works of art.

Politics on the island of Puerto Rico is unsettled lately. Last month after overwhelming protests, the governor resigned, dogged by accusations of corruption and general mismanagement of recovery efforts following hurricane Maria.  A few days later the Puerto Rican Supreme Court ruled that his successor had been installed unconstitutionally and decreed that a former Secretary of Justice should be governor.  And so now she is but not without detractors. 

Among the thousands of 45s loaned by gospel historian and collector Bob Marovich is this sweet-spirited gospel tune by the otherwise unknown Sister Stella B. Lawless on the even more obscure Greatco label of Los Angeles.


Act Locally Waco - Events August 16-22

Aug 16, 2019

This week on Act Locally Waco Ashley Thornton and Brodie Bashaw share information on  a variety of music events, the East Side Market and more.

Heart-breaking story of a man desperate to reunite with his deceased wife.

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and biographies.

Over the course of my reading life, I have been fortunate enough to gather a small number of books which deeply affected me and drove me to tears.  For example, A Little Life by Yonagihara, The Goldfinch by Donna Tart, and Iris Murdoch: A Life by Peter Conradi to name a few.  I now have a fourth to add to my list: Paris in the Present Tense by Mark Helprin. 

David and Art - "Ambiguity"

Aug 12, 2019
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

Most of us aren't very comfortable with a lot of ambiguity, but it's a key element in great art. 

When I walk into the classroom to teach history, I don't set out to tear down people like Thomas Jefferson or Abraham Lincoln. What I do, however, is tell a very human story full of complexity and ambiguity, which inevitably begins to - if not exactly contradict - at least complicate the more simple stories so many of us heard when we were younger. 

Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments - "Oh Yes He Will"

Aug 11, 2019

Shreveport's feisty Jewel/Paula label released dozens of songs by a number of great gospel artists - but few with the manic energy of "Oh Yes He Will" by otherwise unkown Johnson Ensemble. 


Shreveport's feisty Jewel/Paula label released dozens of songs by a number of great gospel artists - but few with the manic energy of "Oh Yes He Will" by otherwise unkown Johnson Ensemble. 


Hysterically funny French satire of life in a small village in France.

Many of my graduate school studies were firmly grounded in the 19th century.  Clochemerle by Gabriel Chevallier—suggested by a good friend—recently came my way, and it proved to be a very funny story.

According to Wikipedia, Clochemerle is a French satirical novel, which was first published in 1934.  The book is set in a fictional French town called "Clochemerle", situated in the Beaujolais region.  The book is a comic work, satirizing the conflicts between Catholics and Republicans in the French Third Republic by telling the story of the installation of a fixture in Clochemerle's town square. 

Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

Creative choreography and graceful movements are two key ingredients in turning human motion into art.

Earlier this summer I sat down in an auditorium here in town to watch my daughter dance in her last recital of the season. 

There are four dance companies in the studio where my daughter dances and each did several numbers over the course of the four-act show. 

Gospel scholars for years have said that Ray Charles' hit "I Got a Woman" is based on the Southern tones' "It Must be Jesus."


Act Locally Waco - Events Aug. 2 - 8

Aug 2, 2019

Lots of opportunities for some summertime "do gooding" this week. 


Pages