Monthly Archives: January 2019

PIX Flix Spotlight On The Board: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner

“Now, I have some instructions for you….” DON’T MISS THIS FILM!

I fear I am not a good enough writer to describe the myriad of reasons to come see Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, on February 11 at 6:30 p.m. I also don’t have enough room on the page.

Wikipedia tells us it is a 1967 American comedy-drama, starring film-legends Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy and is one of the few of that time to depict interracial marriage in a positive light. At the time of its release, laws prohibiting interracial marriage had only recently been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Frank Rich, in a 2008 New York Times article, noted that “[t]hough the film was a box-office smash and received 10 Oscar nominations, even four decades ago it was widely ridiculed as dated by liberal critics. The hero, played by the first black Hollywood superstar, Sidney Poitier, was seen as too perfect and too ‘white’.” But, according to director Stanley Kramer, the film was intentionally structured to debunk ethnic stereotypes and purposely created idealistically perfect, so that the only possible objection to him would be his race, or the brevity of the 10-day engagement. This factor lends itself to the concerns of both sets of parents: the lack of thought and consideration to what a mix-race marriage would mean.

While a victim of its times, with all the clichés and what some will find politically-incorrect positions, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner transcends the shallow, ridicule-filled approach of today’s films, with a subtle, empathetic and non-judgmental recognition of the very real, and very personal, struggles of all its characters. Though it may have all of the flaws its critics claim, it is still a great film that recognizes that there is always more than a single layer or motivation behind our behavior and portrays this internal deliberation with sensitivity and understanding. Don’t get me wrong – there are plenty of scenes where blatant racism is called out and ridiculed, not the least of which is Hepburn’s surgeon-like extraction of her snoopy, ill-mannered employee.

For me, the beauty of this film is not the obvious. It is not the crackling dialog addressing the issue of race in a way few movies of its time dared, but rather, it is the study of two mature marriages and the generational conflict of a father and son. Both concepts are portrayed throughout the film, but most beautifully by Beah Richards as she reproaches Spencer Tracy’s character in the most dignified and heartfelt scene in the movie, juxtaposed artfully with Poitier’s angry, yet loving, discussion with his father’s character about their difference in self-image and what it means to him as a man.

In 2017, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” It was the winner of the Best Screenplay Oscar and gave Hepburn her second Oscar for Best Actress. It is the last time Hepburn/Tracy were on screen together and indeed, the last film of Tracy’s career – he died just days after its release and it was questionable he would even complete filming. Hepburn and Tracy may be the main dishes of this fantastic meal, but delicious performances by Poitier, Beah Richards, Isabel Sanford (best known for her role as Weezy in the T.V. sitcom The Jeffersons) and Cecil Kellaway make for a banquet to be savored. Just as a fine chef layers flavor upon flavor to achieve a culinary masterpiece, Kramer and the all-star cast serve up a multi-layered film that makes us not only laugh and cry, but critically consider our biases and relationships.

Will you be coming?!

 

 

Jane Klett

Board Director

 

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The Waukesha State Bank Art Gallery Presents: Artists From The Springs Pump House Art Gallery

The Springs originally was the site of three springs in the era, hence the name and three colors in the logo. The Springs’ location at 521 Wisconsin Ave., was formerly the Spring City Pattern Works (wood pattern factory) in early 1900’s. This founding company was later paired with Leitner’s Auto Body Shop on the 519 side. Most Waukesha residents today recall the Springs as a cooperative Antique Store for 25 years until 2008 when purchased by the current owners and transitioned into The Springs: Gallery, Studio, and Creativity Pumphouse.

 

Cathryn Ruvalcaba

The true origin of my artistic journey was a visually rich childhood spent in a small town on a high farming plateau in Washington State. I was especially drawn to the animals on those picturesque farms.  To me, they all had very distinct personalities and a quiet dignity.  And, though my adult life took me into big cities, my heart has always been happiest roaming the pasturelands and barnyards.

In midlife, I was drawn to oil painting and sought out classes and workshops.  I have been very fortunate to train with several excellent painters.  My artistic education began with classical training in oil painting and portraiture finally settling into Russian Impressionism. The hallmark of this Russian Impressionistic style is the impact of the rich, glowing light found in the early morning and late evening hours – that luscious low-slung light that electrifies the edges of everything it touches.  This is what moves me and this is what I love to paint.

 

Rose Lange

Rose Lange is a professional artist and educator living  and working in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

Rose enjoys the challenge, and loves surprising viewers, by up-cycling  found materials like old jewelry, beads, small toys and chip bags in creating mixed-media mosaics and small, whimsical figurative sculptures.

Rose creates in her private studio at  The Springs Gallery and Studios, and also exhibits and sells her work at The Almont Gallery in downtown Waukesha.

Rose has been the Art Specialist for Waukesha Catholic School System since 2001.

 

Cyndy Baran

Cyndy had a near death encounter with a city bus soon after relocating to Nashville for her business career, which brought home the message, ”If you want to make art…you’d better get to making it!” Soon after, she quit her day job, enrolled in Art School and she’s been making art ever since.

She has worked in a variety of mediums and genres including figure, landscape, and most recently abstraction. Her work has been juried into competitions both regionally and nationally

“Bold colors and composition draw me into the creative process. The body intuitively knows what it needs, and if you listen to that voice, it will guide you to the place you need to be at that moment. By creating calm among the chaos of life, I am able to hear my own voice, and thus, better hear the voices of those around me.”

 

Thomas Buchs – Oil Painting

I attended Layton School of Art and became an Illustrator, creating artwork for advertising, and children’s books for many local and national companies during the last 46 years. Much of my current work is Plein Air Painting (painting from life outdoors). I try to capture the light and atmosphere of a scene within a few hours. I believe that a painting is not just a two dimensional illusion, but also that of a moment in life, captured by an artist on canvas. I have received many awards from local advertising associations, and nationally from The Society of Illustrators, as well as dozens of awards in Plein Air painting competitions around the country. My studio can now be found at Atelier/Plein Air at The Springs Gallery and Studios.

 

Nancy Wilson

I am a landscape architect who has a passion for fiber arts. I learned to weave and hand spin yarn 32 years ago at a community art center in Stillwater, Oklahoma. I enjoy sharing my love of fiber arts with the people who visit the markets and fairs I attend through spinning and weaving demonstration.  In 2016, I realized my dream of having a studio. Lost Art Fiber and Textile Studio at The Springs Gallery and Studios is open for workshops. In addition to teaching adults, I’ve enjoyed working with schools and students in discovering the creative possibilities in fiber arts. I am inspired by color and texture, especially those found in nature. In addition to the thrill of working with the elements of color and texture, I have found that fiber art activities can provide a meditative experience. I am currently a member of the Wisconsin Handweavers Guild and Madison Weaving Guild. In 2014, I started Common Threads Fiber Group that meets at the Waukesha Public Library. I do volunteer work at Donna Lexa Art Center in Waukesha and Angel’s Grace Hospice program where we create a commemorative weaving during their annual remembrance ceremony.