Category Archives: Artists

First Lady Michelle Obama is Now Officially a Fashion Plate

Posted by: Audiegrl

NYT/Eric Wilson~Not that there were any doubts before, mind you. Often called the First Lady of Fashion, Mrs. Obama has a sense of style, as we all know by now, that rivals Jackie Kennedy’s. She has boosted the spirits of the American fashion industry with her unconventional mix of avant-garde newcomers and off-the-rack Talbots, and claimed a Council of Fashion Designers of America style-icon award along the way.

Still, nothing quite says you’ve made it like an actual plate bearing your image. (Mrs. Kennedy had more than her share, not to mention salt shakers and creamers, but those came much later.)

Last week, advertisements began appearing in magazines like Entertainment Weekly offering a $39.99 porcelain commemorative plate from the Bradford Exchange. It shows Mrs. Obama in her Jason Wu white inaugural gown. “Richly edged in platinum and over 100 hand-set faux jewels,” Bradford says in its ads. It is the first in a series of plates featuring Mrs. Obama’s fashion choices that the company plans to issue, said Suzanne Magnuson, a product manager. Next up: the black sequined Peter Soronen gown from the National Governors Association gala!

“It is only partially due to the amazing fashion choices she has made, but also because people find her inspirational and also accessible,” Ms. Magnuson said. “She’s a real person they can admire.”

And even eat off. There will be at least four plates in the series, enough for a small dinner party.

Not to be outdone, the Danbury Mint, a competitor in the collectibles market, is offering a $34.95 plate with a montage of six outfits, including the Wu, the Soronen, an Isabel Toledo and that glittery red and black Narciso Rodriguez from election night. Available May 20, it declares Mrs. Obama to be the First Lady of Elegance.

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Filed under Artists, Fashion, First Lady Michelle Obama

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar Unveils New Ansel Adams Murals

Posted by: Audiegrl

Written by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar

Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior

I recently unveiled a series of magnificent murals that highlights the legacy of two of the greatest figures in U.S. Department of the Interior’s history, Secretary Harold Ickes and renowned photographer Ansel Adams. The murals represent 26 of the photos Ickes commissioned Adams to produce as part of the Department’s Mural Project of 1941.

On display in the main hallways of the first and second floors of the main Interior building, these stunning black-and-white photos convey the beauty Adams’ saw in our Department’s diverse mission, and include: a pair of Native American children; the eruption of Old Faithful; and the intricate network of power lines at Boulder Dam.

Ickes and Adams first met in 1936, while attending a conference on the future of national and state parks. Ickes was secretary of the Interior under President Franklin Roosevelt; Adams, a renowned photographer and president of the Sierra Club. The two immediately found a common bond in a deep love for the beauty of our nation’s land and a desire to see it conserve that land for future generations.

At San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, 1942 (National Archives no. 79-AAP-04 Ansel Adams)

In fact, Adams used his photographic talent to lead a successful campaign to save the Kings River area of the Sierra Nevada and have Congress designate it as Kings Canyon National Park.

Ickes believed that the Interior building, which was completed in 1936, should be symbolic of the Department’s mission to manage and conserve our nation’s vast resources. So in 1941, he hired Adams to create a photographic mural for display in this building that reflected the Department’s mission: the beautiful land, the proper stewardship of our resources, and the people we serve.

The attack on Pearl Harbor and our nation’s entry into World War II brought the project to a halt. The more than 200 photographs that Adams took have been stored in the National Archives, but never printed or hung as murals.

Now, with our installation of the murals, we are able to share with visitors from across the nation Ickes and Adams’ timeless vision for this Department — and how we are in the business of fulfilling that vision today.

Note: Simply click on the photos to enlarge

Kearsage Pinnacles, Kings River Canyon California (National Archives no. 79-AAH-7 Ansel Adams)

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Filed under Art, Artists, Environment, Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar (Sec of Interior)

First Lady Michelle Obama Hosts the White House Governors Ball Talent Preview

Post by: Audiegrl

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with music students from Myrtilla Miner elementary school at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

U.S. First lady Michelle Obama poses for a group photo with music students from Myrtilla Miner elementary school at the White House in Washington February 21, 2010.

Today the First Lady gave a group of Washington, DC music students a special preview of the 2010 Governors’ Ball performance. Grammy Award Winning artist, Harry Connick Jr. spend time talking to students and closed out the event with a song, joined by a few residents from the New Orleans Musicians’ Village. The Musician’s Village was conceived by New Orleans native Harry Connick, Jr. in the wake of Hurricane Katrina to rebuild homes for many of New Orleans cherished but displaced artists, those who have defined the city’s culture and created the sounds that have shaped the musical vernacular of the world.



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Filed under Artists, Change, Children, Culture, Dancing, Education, Entertainment, First Lady Michelle Obama, Governors, Live Stream Video, Media and Entertainment, Music, Musicals, New Orleans, LA, News, Obama Administration, Politics, Pop Culture, Pres. Barack Obama, Students, Teachers, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, Washington, DC, Women's Issues, Young Men, Young Women

82nd Annual Academy Awards ~ Oscars® ~ Animated Feature

Posted by: Audiegrl

Coraline
Coraline(Focus Features), Henry Selick

Click here for complete coverage of Coraline, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Fantastic Mr. Fox
Fantastic Mr. Fox(20th Century Fox), Wes Anderson

Click here for complete coverage of Fantastic Mr. Fox, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Princess and the Frog
The Princess and the Frog(Walt Disney), John Musker and Ron Clements

Click here for complete coverage of The Princess and the Frog, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Secret of Kells
The Secret of Kells(GKIDS), Tomm Moore

Click here for complete coverage of The Secret of Kells, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Up
Up(Walt Disney), Pete Docter

Click here for complete coverage of Up, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Artists, Best Animated Feature, Children, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Uncategorized

Academy Award® Nominated ~ Achievement in Art Direction

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

Avatar

Click here for complete coverage of Avatar, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Young Victoria

Click here for complete coverage of The Young Victoria, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Sherlock Holmes

Click here for complete coverage of Sherlock Holmes, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Nine

Click here for complete coverage of Nine, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus

Click here for complete coverage of The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Art, Artists, Best Art Direction, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Movies, Pop Culture, US, Video/YouTube, World

Academy Award® Nominated ~ Achievement in Makeup

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

Star Trek

Click here for complete coverage of Star Trek, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

The Young Victoria

Click here for complete coverage of The Young Victoria, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

Il Divo

Click here for complete coverage of Il Divo, that includes: nominations, trailers, cast, reviews, production notes, and more…

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Artists, Best Makeup, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Pop Culture, US, Video/YouTube, World

Little-Known Black History Fact: Lois Mailou Jones

Posted by BuellBoy

Lois Mailou Jones in 1936

Lois Mailou Jones in 1936

Textile artist Lois Mailou Jones was a Harlem Renaissance artist; in fact, she was one of the longest living members of the Harlem Renaissance.

Jones found her inspiration in Martha’s Vineyard as a teen. As her interest grew, she decided to attend the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1937, learning textile design.

Though a cultured profession, textile artists of her day were not excluded from racism. Sometimes she was required to clean the studio in order to us it. At one point, Jones saw her textile work hanging in a boutique. After introducing herself as the creator of the design, the owner told her a colored girl could not have possibly made such a beautiful design. After enduring more discrimination, Jones found herself in Paris, where she was accepted. It was there that she worked with Josephine Baker, Albert Smith and Emile Bernard.

Lois Mailou Jones

Lois Mailou Jones

Wishing to find her place in America, Jones entered “whites only” art contests using the face of her white colleague to make a name for herself. She connected with greats like with Mary McCleod Bethune, Arthur Schomburg, Alan Locke, Zora Neale Hurston and Danny Glover.

She took her expertise to an HBCU – the one place she was allowed to teach – and taught at Howard University for 47 years.

Before she died in 1998, Jones presented her work to President Bill and First Lady Clinton. She now lays to rest in Martha’s Vineyard, where it all began.

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Filed under African-Americans, Art, Artists, Black History Month, Civil Rights Movement, Culture, Entertainment, History, Holidays, Presidents, Uncategorized, US, William (Bill) J. Clinton, Women's Issues

Academy Award® Nomination: The Princess and the Frog

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl and Geot

The Princess and the Frog
Walt Disney Animation Studios serves up a joyous gumbo of adventurous storytelling, captivating characters, offbeat comedy and memorable music in the all-new feature “The Princess and the Frog,” an animated comedy set in the great city of New Orleans. From the creators of “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” comes a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring a beautiful girl named Tiana (Anika Nini Rose), a frog prince who desperately wants to be human again, and a fateful kiss that leads them both on a hilarious adventure through the mystical bayous of Louisiana. “The Princess and the Frog” marks the return to hand-drawn animation from the revered team of John Musker and Ron Clements, with music by Oscar®-winning composer Randy Newman.

Everyone knows the story in which a princess finds true love by kissing a frog that magically turns into her handsome prince. In this telling of the story, the girl still kisses a frog, but the result is quite different; it’s only one of dozens of surprises in this mix of wacky humor, thrills, melody and emotion. Love eventually finds a way—between a prince and a princess…between frogs, perhaps…or maybe between a firefly and the object of his affection. But it’s clear that the most important details lie well beneath the skin. The film features Disney’s newest princess, its next great fairy tale and the Studio’s return to the Disney musical, reminiscent of classics like “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King” and “Aladdin.”

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Credits

Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Musker and Ron Clements
Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Peter Del Vecho
Executive Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Lasseter
Story by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ron Clements, John Musker, and Rob Edwards
Screenplay . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ron Clements, John Musker, and Rob Edwards
Assoc. Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Craig Sost
Original Songs/Score Composed/Conducted . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randy Newman
Production Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Monica La Go-Kaytis
Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jeff Draheim
Art Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ian Gooding
Visual Effects Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kyle Odermatt
Technical Supervisor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kimberly W. Keech

The voice cast includes: Anika Noni Rose, Bruno Campos, Keith David, Jim Cummings, Jenifer Lewis, Michael-Leon Wooley, John Goodman, Terrence Howard, and Oprah Winfrey.

Reviews

IMDB member
“Just astounding. The story was genuinely touching, the intense scenes jumped out at you, the humor was funny, the acting was excellent, and the music was the best soundtrack of any Disney movie since The Little Mermaid (A standing ovation for Randy Newman). There is also something about the 2D animation – it just has more personality and emotion than CGI. I just saw it tonight, and I am honestly floored.”

Did You Know?

The first Disney movie to feature an African-American princess.

Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Tyra Banks were all considered for the lead role. Keys and Banks personally lobbied the studio for the part.

Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), requested that Tiana be a left-handed princess, because Rose herself is left-handed.

Three Nominations

Best Animated Feature
Best in Music (Two Original Songs)

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, African-Americans, Artists, Best Animated Feature, Best Music Score, Children, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, New Orleans, LA, Pop Culture, Uncategorized, US, Video/YouTube, World

Academy Award® Nominated: Up

Ensemble post by: Audiegrl, Geot, Bluedog89, and BuellBoy

Up
Walt Disney Pictures and Pixar Animation Studios take moviegoers up, up and away on one of the funniest adventures of all time with their latest comedy-fantasy “Up,” from Academy Award®-nominated director Pete Docter (“Monsters, Inc.”). Presented in Disney Digital 3D™, “Up” follows the uplifting tale of 78-year-old balloon salesman Carl Fredricksen, who finally fulfills his lifelong dream of a great adventure when he ties thousands of balloons to his house and flies away to the wilds of South America. But he discovers all too late that his biggest nightmare has stowed away on the trip: an overly optimistic 8-year-old Wilderness Explorer named Russell. Their journey to a lost world, where they encounter some strange, exotic and surprising characters, is filled with hilarity, emotion and wildly imaginative adventure.

“I am so proud that ‘Up’ is Pixar’s 10th film,” says John Lasseter, executive producer and chief creative officer for Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios. “I think it’s the funniest film that we’ve ever made, and also one of the most beautiful. We have a main character that is an amazing hero. Carl Fredricksen is 78 years old and he travels the world in a flying machine of his own design and still has dinner at 3:30 in the afternoon. He’s the most unlikely hero you can imagine in an action picture. He is a character who learns that the big adventures in life are all the small things that happen in everyday life. Russell is one of the most appealing and charming characters that we’ve ever created. Together with Carl, these two characters light up the screen.”

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Credits

Directed by . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pete Docter
Co-Directed by. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Peterson
Produced by. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jonas Rivera
Executive Producers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton
Associate Producer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Denise Ream
Story by. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, and Tom McCarthy
Screenplay by. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Peterson and Pete Docter

The voice cast includes: Ed Asner, Christopher Plummer, Delroy Lindo, John Ratzenburger, Jorden Nagai, and Elizabeth “Elie” Docter.

44D’s Reviews

TheLCster
“I loved this movie but had some concern regarding just whom this movie was meant for. I am an adult and thus, can watch anything I choose but I on occasion watch cartoons for their more simplistic nature. As a lifelong fan of Disney movies (they had me after “The Little Mermaid” in 1984) I still keep an eye out each year for their newest picture. While watching them I expect to laugh and sometimes cry while I watch the antics of the simple and often one-sided characters interact with their world. This one, however, offered more adult themes as well as character growth of a protagonist the likes-of which I have never seen in a Disney movie. I’m trying hard not to spoil it for those of you who haven’t seen it yet! In short, I loved the movie but am not sure a 6 year old would understand what was going on or even care.”

Did You Know?

Up is the second fully animated feature film nominated for Best Picture. The first was Beauty and the Beast (1991).

Russell is Pixar’s first Japanese/Asian-American character voiced by an Asian-American actor, Jordan Nagai.

If Carl’s house was approximately 1600 square feet, and the average house weighs between 60-100 pounds per square foot, it weighs 120,000 pounds. If the average helium balloon can carry .009 pounds (or 4.63 grams), it would take 12,658,392 balloons to lift his house off the ground. (20,622 balloons appear on the house when it first lifts off.)

Five Nominations

Best Motion Picture
Best Animated Feature
Best Original Screenplay
Best in Music (Original Score)
Best Sound Editing

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Filed under 82nd Academy Awards, Artists, Best Animated Feature, Best Music Score, Best Orig Screenplay, Best Picture, Best Sound Editing, Children, Culture, Entertainment, Hollywood, Uncategorized

We Are The World 25 For Haiti

Join our community. Be part of the solution.

We Are the World

The recording of ‘We Are The World 25 For Haiti’ embodies the same enthusiasm, sense of purpose and generosity as the original recording 25 years ago. Through the contributions of the new voices to this rendition of ‘We Are The World,’ and with the help of our partners, the We Are The World Foundation will be committed to transparency and will help further the spirit of activism that was at the heart of the original song and movement.

We are developing mechanisms to permit our donors and members of the community to monitor the funds raised, the expenses paid, and the charitable grants funded by the We Are The World Foundation, a newly created not-for-profit organization founded by Quincy Jones and Lionel Richie who have invited Wyclef Jean, Paul Haggis, Randy Phillips, Peter Tortorici and Ambassador Luis Moreno of the Inter-American Development Bank to join them on the board. The Foundation is dedicated to raising money and to making grants to charitable organizations with meaningful and efficient relief and development programs that are responding to the continuing crisis in Haiti.

Please visit the website, to learn more…

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