Art and Culture

Art and culture

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

As a child of the Olde sod, I am a fan of several Irish writers, including James Joyce, W. B. Yeats, and my latest obsession, Roddy Doyle.  Love is Doyle’s seventeenth novel.

Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

Outside pressures about what a museum should display intrude on what a curator’s job should be.

The recent decision by a quartet of prestigious art museums to postpone an exhibit on which they had collaborated reminded me of a controversy from the past.

Ten years ago this month the Smithsonian Institution found a 

Chicago gospel legend Claude Timmons is in fine form singing his signature song, "Christ is the Answer" with the Monument of Faith Evangelical Church Choir.

Hear the full track below!

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

Louise Elisabeth Glück was born April 22, 1943 in New York City.  She is a poet, essayist, and a professor.  She has numerous awards including a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, and the 2020 Nobel Prize in Literature.  Her poetry inspired me during my MFA in poetry and short fiction.

David and Art - "Modern and Familiar"

Nov 2, 2020
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

In his first symphony, composer Virgil Thomson build a bridge to carry his listeners into the past, but to bring them back to the present as well

Most of the time when someone mentions modernism in music, our minds jump to some pretty strange things.  We tend to imagine something with no tonality, plenty of dissonance, weird unpredictable rhythms, and the lack of anything approaching a melody.

But if you listen to the work of, say, Igor Stravinsky--without question a modernist master—you’ll hear melodic touches that have their roots in anything but the modern world. Much of what he did was pull folk melodies from the past and work them through his musical vision—into something new, often revolutionary.

Other composers in the 20th century, and some American ones, experimented with the same thing.  One evening a couple of weeks ago I sat down and listened to Virgil Thomson’s Symphony on a Hymn Tune which he composed while he was in Paris from 1926-1928.  It’s his first symphony, a four-movement piece 

The World Wonders of Birmingham, Alabama nail the silvery, funky groove of 1979 soul music with their gospel hit, "Don't Give Up."

Hear the full track below!

Brodie Bashaw

A fifth Friday falls in October so we have two program this month.

On this edition of Conversations with Creative Waco, Stefanie Wheat-Johnson announces this year's ARTPrenticeship wall donor and shares insight into how the program is adapting to the times.  Also hear from Cindee Miller, Public Engagement Manager at the Mayborn Museum, and local entrepreneur Eric Linares.  They join Kennedy Sam to talk about their partnership honoring Hispanic Heritage, Dia De Los Muertos and the opening of  a public ofrenda.

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

Anne Bogle wrote an interesting set of insights into the life of an avid reader: I’d Rather Be Reading: The Delights and Dilemmas of the Reading Life. 


David and Art - “An Exhibit On Hold”

Oct 26, 2020
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

When are controversial images in a series of paintings enough to make four prestigious museums postpone an exhibit for four years?

Last week I talked about an artist named Philip Guston whose remarkable career took him from realism to abstract expressionism, but then when he was almost 60 he shocked the art world by going back to representationalism.  As soon as he made the change, a curious cast of characters began to populate Guston’s new style.  Indeed one of the most distinctive features of his new worl was the appearance of hooded figures that look like they could be members of the Ku Klux Klan.   They’re not represented as people—not exactly.  They’re portrayed simply as cartoonish but vaguely menacing hoods and hands. 

The Williams Brothers have been sensational on the gospel highway for more than 60 years.

Hear the full track below!

On this week's episode of Conversations With Creative Waco, host Kennedy Sam sits down with Fiona Bond, who shares a few fun ideas to keep in mind as we approach the holiday season. Then, she chats with Susan Sistrunk and Aaron Williams about the upcoming Uptown Art Walk happening on October 24th.


I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

I have a terrific book for all the voracious consumers of literature.  The dust jacket is an opening to a rabbit hole of wonder.  Dear Fahrenheit 451 by Annie Spence, is her first book. This is one of those books you cannot stop reading and will always have a copy close by your side.

David and Art - “Philip Guston”

Oct 19, 2020
Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis

Philip Guston was an artist whose career spanned half of the 20th century and whose paintings are still the source of much discussion.  Maybe now more than ever. 

Painter Philip Guston was born in Montreal, Canada in 1913. His father and mother were immigrants from Russia and when he was seven the family moved to Southern California. His father, despairing over his inability to find work in the new surroundings, committed suicide when Phillip was about10. In part to deal with the grief he turned to art, often locking himself in a little

As a solo artist, as well as a member of the Swan Silvertones, Claude Jeter released a number of thrilling singles, including "You Can Just Whisper a Prayer."

Hear the full track below!

I’m Jim McKeown, welcome to Likely Stories, a weekly review of fiction, Non-Fiction, and Poetry.

One of my best collections are those set in a bookstore.  I now have about 20, and these are all wonderful stories.  The latest edition to this list is The Girl Who Reads on the Metro by Christine Ferret-Fleury.  She is an author based in France, and this is her first book translated into English.  She is also being published around the world.