Saturday, April 17, 2010

Welcome and May First Thursday Activities

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez

Welcome to my first blog post. I have named my blog "ARTS Lagniappe." The "ARTS" part of the name is because this blog will focus on art happenings in the cities and towns along the western Columbia River (the border between Oregon and Washington states in the USA). I have been sending out a monthly email for the last several years listing First Thursday activities, a calendar of art events for the month, and information about opportunities, classes, etc. This blog will continue that effort.
"Lagniappe" is a word used in Southern Louisiana that means an extra or unexpected gift or benefit. So along with information about art activities and opporunities, I will try and add a little dollop of whimsy. My life motto is "Easily Amused" and I think there is no such thing as too much fun.

The web address for this blog is for a group that was started 4 years ago - the Greater Columbia ARTS Network (ART-Net). This group's mission is to promote the wonderful art and artists in our little part of this big world.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans
My husband and I lived in New Orleans for 6 months in 1991. We were there for Mardi Gras and it was fun. Mardi Gras is so much more than the day before the start of Lent. Depending on when Lent falls, the celebration, which really starts after New Years Day, can run from 6 - 10 weeks. And every week there are several parades - float parades, day parades, night parades, truck parades, walking parades - leading up to the major parades that take place the last 4 days of Mardi Gras. We saw at least 25 parades and were in the French Quarter on Mardi Gras. At midnight, the city water trucks come through the Quarter and wash everybody off the streets (and into the bars).

King Cake
But, I must confess, my favorite part of Mardi Gras is the King Cake - a gooey, yeast coffee cake covered with frosting and colored sugars (purple, green and gold) and, if you want to pay more, filled with cream cheese and fruit preserves. They are sold in every grocery store (and I have eaten more than my share of mass produced King Cakes) but some bakeries and restaurants specialize in putting out a premium product and I attempted to eat them all. There are lots of parties and office parties and King Cake is a must. Each King Cake contains a tiny plastic baby figure (I am pretty sure it is pushed into the cake after it is baked) and whoever gets the baby has to buy the next cake for the next party. I miss them a lot. I have been known to order them from New Orleans (quite expensive) and to bake them myself (I just can't get them gooey enough).

I had guests around Mardi Gras this year and decided to make the King Cake recipe in "Kneedlessly Simple" by Nancy Baggett. I have been making no-knead, slow rise breads out of this cookbook for about a year and could not be more satisfied. I was surprised that she included a King Cake recipe and, after making it, think it should have been omitted. But it had the essential essence of a moist, sweet yeast bread and we ate it all.

So, even though I long to be listening to live jazz, eating beignets and drinking cafe au lait in New Orleans, I know that the good times roll here also!

First Thursday - May 6, 2010

This first post covers the activities happening on May First Thursday. The exciting new news is the opening of a new downtown gallery - Lord & McCord at 1416 Commerce Street. The gallery is wonderful; don't miss it. Linda's 92 year old mother has very colorful quilted and beaded purses and glasses cases for sale at the gallery at very reasonable prices. I have included one of Linda's watercolor picture of her mother that is included in Linda's show at the Koth Gallery at the Longview Library; the exhibit closes on April 21. It is called "Stir Crazy" and I hope she is stirring up King Cake!

1. Broadway Gallery, 1418 Commerce, Longview

The featured artists are Jinx Victor (painting), Heidi Bishop (paper), David Myers (Photography) and Suzy Halversen (knitting, painting, jewelry).
Reception: 5:30 – 7:30pm. Music by John Kramer.

2. LCC Gallery at the Rose Center, 15th & Washington, Longview

Featuring Mary J. McInnis (Pastels), Chaim Bezalel and Yonnah Ben Levy ((Paintings). (Exhibit closes on May 7.)
Open until 7:00pm.

3. Longview Public Library Koth Gallery, 1600 Louisiana, Longview

The featured artist is David McDonough (Oil Paintings) (Exhibit closes May 12.)
Open until 8:00pm.

4. Lord & McCord Artworks, 1416 Commerce, Longview

Grand Opening. The featured artists are Michelle Cooper (jewelry), Ken Knodell (glass) and Kathryn Marks (painting.)
Reception: 5:00 – 7:00pm. Live Music.

5. Teague's Interiors, 1267 Commerce, Longview

"Celebrating Spring," a juried show of works with a floral theme. Local Author Jane Still will be signing her new book “Mothers Daze”.
Open until 7:00pm.

6. ZoJo Coffee, 1335 14th Avenue, Longview

Featuring the works of Carine Crooks, Kimberly Palmer, Heather Steely, Julianna Dunning, Dana Marie Cummings, Jubilee Steely, Kassy Kandle, Hadassah Cummings and Mary Dumke in a wonderful mix of styles and mediums.
Open until 7:00pm.

7. The Bistro, 1329 Commerce Avenue, Longview

Wine Tasting. Live music. Door Prizes. Reservations Recommended.
Hours: 5:00 - 8:00pm.

8. Cowlitz County Historical Museum, 405 Allen Street, Kelso

"A Small Newspaper’s Biggest Challenge: Covering the Eruption of Mount St. Helens” by former Daily News Managing Editor Bob Gaston.
Program begins at 7:00pm; Museum open until 9:00pm.


Marie Wise said...

This is wonderful that you have started your blog. I'm going to tell all my friends. Happy Blogging!

Angela Pena said...

I think it's wonderful!!!! Have fun!!!

Tom Paulu said...

This looks great. One of your lines reminded me of an old Commander Cody song with the line "There's a whole lotta things I never done, but I ain't never had too much fun."
Keep this up and I can save time compiling the brilliant Spotlight entertainment roundup.