It’s Beginning to SOUND a lot like Christmas…

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The Exploratory Art Studio was the scene of a lovely Christmas concert yesterday afternoon. Bryan Christiansen played a whole array of holiday music on his trombone and the sound was just right for a December day—strong and lively and celebratory. I’m still humming “Jingle Bells”  and “Oh Christmas Tree.”

Turns out Bryan is a talented musician who has been playing the trombone for eleven years, ever since junior high. In fact he continues to take lessons with a friend who plays with the Philharmonic. I hope our musical friend Bryan will offer more concerts; I think every holiday would be a little more special with his tunes.

When I went over to talk to Bryan this morning he was drawing, another of his favorite pastimes. He was drawing Charlie the Cat today; Charlie was his cat when he was at UNM, a pretty gray tabby. He said he has also drawn the Brooklyn Bridge which his mom likes so well she had it framed for their home.

So this most excellent of trombonists is also studying computers at Life Roots. He enjoys Scrabble, working with sentence structure on his ipad and, of course, games.

Bryan is here at the Exploratory Arts Studio two days a week. He spends about half of his days drawing and the other half with music. He loves it when Robyn plays the piano.

Bryan lives with his parents and has one sister who is in law school in Vermont. He said he spends a lot of time on his music at home too, but he also likes TV, particularly the comedy and travel channels.

I am always on the lookout for fellow Scandinavians so I was happy to find out Bryan is Danish (also Irish and Bulgarian). We Scandinavians have to stick together because there aren’t so many of us here in New Mexico.

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Bryan and Mom.

Bryan and Mom.

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Charlie the Cat

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SHOWCASE AT NORTH FOURTH

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DIANA AND BRANDON PERFORMING IN A MEDLEY BY GUITAR CLASS.

 

Class Trimester ends…that means it is SHOWCASE TIME when the North Fourth performing artists strut, dance, act and sing their stuff! The visual artists share their work here at the Center with each other and the public every day on our colorful walls and hallways. However the wild and wonderfully innovative performers have to put on a show to get our attention.

THE OFFICIAL WELCOMING COMMITTEE OF TAMARA, MEGAN & SIN-NAE.

THE OFFICIAL WELCOMING COMMITTEE OF TAMARA, MEGAN & SIN-NAE.

EMCEES JOSH AND SEBASTIAN.

EMCEES JOSH AND SEBASTIAN. THESE TWO ARE A WHOLE SHOW IN THEMSELVES.

TIFFANY AND DIEGO AND THEIR MOST EXCELLENT GUITAR PLAYING.

TIFFANY AND DIEGO AND THEIR MOST EXCELLENT GUITAR PLAYING.

JEROME AND MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC.

JEROME AND MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC.

CASSIE'S A WILD AND WONDERFUL CLOWN TONIGHT.

CASSIE’S A WILD AND WONDERFUL CLOWN TONIGHT.

HIP HOP'S VERY POPULAR AT N4.

HIP HOP’S VERY POPULAR AT N4.

TIFFANY'S A LADY OF MANY TALENTS TONIGHT.

TIFFANY’S A LADY OF MANY TALENTS TONIGHT.

THIS THIS CLOWNING INTERMISSION IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE FAMOUS...SARAH.

THIS THIS CLOWNING INTERMISSION IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE FAMOUS…SARAH.

FLAMENCO CLASS IS A NEW ADDITION TO THE N4 DANCE SCENE.

FLAMENCO CLASS IS A NEW ADDITION TO THE N4 DANCE SCENE.

AND ALONG COMES ADVANCED HIP HOP.

AND ALONG COMES ADVANCED HIP HOP.

THE ARTISTS SAID THE NEXT DAY: “I like to be out there in front of people with the clapping.” “Singing is the  most fun of all of the things we do.” “It’s fun pretending different things.” “Clowning is the most fun because it’s funny.” “In flamenco you get to move in and different way and you feel pretty and smart.”

ISAIAH & ROSIE, TWO OF THE MEMBERS OF THE TRIO FROM SONGWRITING CLASS."

ROSIE & ISAIAH, TWO OF THE MEMBERS OF THE TRIO FROM SONGWRITING CLASS.”

BUT WHAT WOULD ANY SONGWRITING CLASS BE WITHOUT THEO.

BUT WHAT WOULD ANY SONGWRITING CLASS BE WITHOUT THEO.

GRACE & CINDY, YOU CAN JUST NEVER HAVE TOO MANY CLOWNS.

GRACE & CINDY, YOU CAN JUST NEVER HAVE TOO MANY CLOWNS.

"I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW" BY THE N4 SINGING CLASS.

“I CAN SEE CLEARLY NOW” BY THE N4 SINGING CLASS.

DRAKE & GABE.

DRAKE & GABE.

TODD, TANYA & MICHAEL

TODD, TANYA & MICHAEL

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December to Remember

Nicole & Rosie. Nicole might get the prize for best jammies.

Nicole & Rosie. Nicole might get the prize for best jammies.

DECEMBER is a month of fantasy, fun and other odd happenings at North Fourth. Sherilyn has created a December to Remember by using every imaginable excuse to celebrate and, of course, make art. Daily themes for the first two weeks are pajamas, dogs, persons with disabilities, cookies, soldiers, time travelers, food bank contributions, clowns, mountains and tacky Christmas sweaters. I can see some very interesting art happenings around here as a result of these slightly crazy ideas.

Marc and his very favorite pet.

Marc and his very favorite pet.

 Here’s a diary of the week so far:                                                     Today, December 1st is Wear Your PJs day. I’m a little disappointed actually. Since this is an entire building full of artists I somehow expected that the outfits of the day would be more…well…artful. Like giant troll sculptures or paper mache elves or Alvin and the Chipmunk outfits. Instead most artists are in their best Target jammies which, come to think of it, are funny-looking  enough!

Andie and Bruce are particularly fetching this morning.

Andie and Bruce are particularly fetching this morning.

Everybody needs a pair of Loida's slippers.

Everybody needs a pair of Loida’s slippers.

Jane, nice color and so snuggly-looking.

Jane, nice color and so snuggly-looking.

And what parade of fasion jammies would be complete without Karen and her bunny or bear or whatever it is.

And what parade of fasion jammies would be complete without Karen and her bunny or bear or whatever it is.

And now it’s Tuesday and time for National Mutt Day which Andie, Marcus and Bruce are celebrating with Three Dog Night and other frisky creatures of the dog world. My bonus for today was getting to join in on “Joy to the World”—and wonder if there is anyone in the world that can’t carry a tune as well as I can’t carry a tune. There are many good singers in the class, Kevin and Drake for example who are fine singers by any standards. Andie, Marcus and Bruce sounded pretty melodic also. But no one barked better than Kevin or yipped better than Joeanna Kahuna. Marc’s puppet puppy didn’t whine to be let out or you-know-what in the corner and didn’t even sneak food from the lunch boxes. Good dog. Phil, Grace and Sarah kept begging for something—could have been old bones dug up from the back yard or maybe pizza, I’m not sure which…  But then Sarah rolled back in her dead dog pose so maybe it wasn’t either one of those things.

Sal and his best friend.

Sal and his best friend.

What a singer...Kevin and Three Dog Night.

What a singer…Kevin and Three Dog Night.

Phil and Grace, scratching for their supper.

Phil and Grace, scratching for their supper.

Sarah says she's dead dog.

Sarah says she’s dead dog.

Drake, another amazing singer, and his Three Dog Night.

Drake, another amazing singer, and his Three Dog Night.

And the leader of the band is....ANDIE...

And the leader of the band is….ANDIE…

Finally we’ve arrived at Wednesday which is Persons with Disabilities Day. Time for a tour of the building to see what’s going on this chilly Wednesday morning.  Tamara and Marcus are trying to get the classes’ attention while I interrupt with picture taking. They have been discussing disability advocacy in general and are about to create artworks that represent each of them.

Kate’s class is watching a quick film about Scott Weir, born with severe cerebral palsy, but who managed to live out many of his dreams in spite of his disability. He especially loved driving anything and everything and his hero was Dale Earnhardt, the race car driver.

Monique and the North Fourth sewing aficionados are busily creating some really beautiful quilts. Our quilters are especially enthusiastic and skillful in their art…many of them would happily work on their colorful projects every day of the week but they are too good at other arts not to get them out of sewing once in awhile.

Tamara's explaining something very important...we think?

Tamara’s explaining something very important…we think?

 

Nick is even busier than usual today...getting ready for Christmas.

Nick is even busier than usual today…getting ready for Christmas.

Doreen's happy today. Holidays in the air.

Doreen’s happy today. Holidays in the air.

Sunnie and Drake, practicing for showcase.

Rehearsing for showcase next week.

Joyce is making a wall hanging for her brother.

Joyce is making a wall hanging for her brother.

We are all looking forward to cookie day tomorrow. Wouldn’t it be lovely if one of the local bakeries just set up shop here for the day? And fed us cookies from morning until night. We can dream…

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