Blogs

Painting with Scissors: Matisse and the Papiers Coupes

"You see as I am obliged to remain often in bed because of the state of my health, I have made a little garden all around me where I can walk... There are leaves, fruits, a bird." -- Henry Matisse, writing about his paper cutouts

In 1941, Henri Matisse was diagnosed with cancer and underwent a risky surgery. He wrote letters to his family that were meant to be opened in the event of his death. Matisse was preparing to "shuffle off this mortal coil." 

"A DAY IN POMPEII" COMING TO THE MUSEUM OF NATURE AND SCIENCE

August 24, 79 AD, started out like any other day in the thriving Roman town of Pompeii, with citizens socializing at the public baths, watching gladiator contests, preparing meals and going to school. The popular resort town was located in the shadow of Mt. Vesuvius, which hadn't erupted in hundreds of years.

A series of small earthquakes in the last few days may have caused some uneasiness, however. Only seventeen years earlier, a big earthquake had caused massive damage, which the citizens of Pompeii were still trying to repair. At the time, the correlation between earthquakes and volcanic activity was unknown; but the longer a volcano is silent, the bigger the explosion when it finally does erupt.

Fresh City Life stops for Perpetual Motion

Perpetual Motion -- Josie Quick and Tom Carleno. Photo by John Moore

Sometimes it is worth it to stop and enjoy something on your journey, rather than to always be in perpetual motion. This past Saturday we got to do both. Denver locals Josie Quick and Tom Carleno brought Perpetual Motion to Fresh City Life.

Right off, I'll tell you that, if you missed this wonderful concert, we will be bringing Perpetual Motion back for an encore in the new year. They are fantastic!

This sought-after duo blends acoustic world music into a bright fusion of sounds. Mixing international styles, Perpetual Motion moves effortlessly between the traditions of Central and South American folk, progressive jazz, blues and rock. This eclectic approach to music informs their original compositions and cover tunes. 

Johnny Guitar: 10 Reasons to See This Film

Joan Crawford at the climax of Johnny Guitar

McCarthy-era symbolism, great landscapes, amazing TruColor costumes and sets, Joan Crawford's eyebrows -- this movie has something for everybody.

I saw Johnny Guitar about ten years ago and I liked it just fine then. Now it is one of my favorite films of the 1950s. Here's why:

10. Joan Crawford in a Western! WWJD -- What would Joan do? What wouldn't she do?

9. The landscapes, filmed in TruColor, are spectacular and somehow just a bit alien.

8. Johnny Guitar makes a great case against the blacklisting and witch hunts of the McCarthy Era.

Cooking, Anyone?

Grilling

Are you ready for your weekend barbeque? Or do you need recipes for your next dinner party?

Fresh City Life My Branch has ideas for you, whether you're grilling, hosting a party, or just cooking for yourself!

Children's Library: One Branch One Story

One Branch One Story

I asked my book group, Best Friends Forever, a few questions about summer reading. This is what they had to say:

Is this your first year participating in the SOR program? How many years have you participated?

  • Ella (5 years old) - 4 or 5 times (not pictured)
  • Sarah (7 years old) - 6 times
  • Jennifer (22 months old, mom Samantha) - 2 times

What is your favorite thing about the program?
Sisters:

Fresh City Life My Branch--We've Got Tech!

The Library's amazing Community Technology Center has a wide range of technology classes at the Central Library, everything from computer basics to job search skills, but did you know that Fresh City Life My Branch also offers technology classes with friendly folks from the CTC or with your neighborhood librarian?

From one-on-one help to current tech topics, check out the technology classes available at a branch near you!

Tech Open Houses are designed for you to bring in your gadgets (laptop, tablet, eReader) and get one-on-one help with your questions--especially ones about downloading eBooks!

Every Monday, 11 a.m. - 12 noon at Ross-University Hills

Our Democracy Un-Spun! #2 - Beyond the Ballot Box

Democracy depends on informed citizens --- who vote!

What does it mean to you to be an American citizen?

What do you value most in our Democracy?

What issues are critical to you in the 2012 election?

If you want your views to count, you need to get involved and vote! Do you know who votes? Young people have a whole lot at stake, but typically those over 50 (about 70%) turn out in much greater numbers than those between 18-30 (about 50%). (Data from the Current Population Survey, of the U.S. Census Bureau)

Camping with the Stars: Joan Crawford's First Time at the Rodeo

Joan Crawford

Crawford puts down the wire hanger and picks up her six shooters in the Western film that has become a cult and auteur classic.

Toward the end of her life, Joan Crawford was asked to comment on the 1954 film Johnny Guitar. She answered that she thought she was wrong for the part and she wished she hadn't made the film. I'm glad she did -- and so are a lot of fans of Crawford and the Western genre. 

JUSTIN BUA CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF HIP HOP

The Legends of Hip Hop "Tupac Shakur" - Justin Bua

Listening to Planet Rock - Afrika Bambaataa, The Message - Grandmaster Flash, Roxanne Roxanne - UTFO (Untouchable Force Organization), I felt like break dancing but did the calculations: age + height + gravity = 911. The urge to "boogie" hit me while I was reading the book The Legends of Hip Hop by Justin Bua.

I would describe him in the most literal sense as an "Hip Hop Artist." Justin Bua brings us an excellent critique of some of Hip Hop's greatest. His discourse on Hip Hop's Legends instantly took me back to that place we called the Student Union at Metropolitan State College talking Hip Hop over slices of pizza and soda.

Justin incorporates a Hip Hop narrative while reflecting on the affects of Hip Hop on his life. His colorful portraits of Hip Hop's great artists appeal to that "inner Hip Hop" in all of us who grew up during that era.

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