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Waking Up to the Monday Roundup
by Jerome Weeks 18 Oct 2010

A handful of healthy sprouts to start the week: Theater Jones upgrades, the NYTimes catches up to some spindly sculptures, four celebrated UT-Austin grads get their undergrad work dug up and the News gives us a bumper crop of tasty items.


I was out last week, so let’s play ketchup together, shall we? Don’t worry, this mess’ll get straightened out in a jiffy.

ANOTHER OP’NING, ANOTHER SHOW: The all-things-theater website for North Texas, Theater Jones has just significantly upgraded its website, and Head Jones (the Emperor Jones?) Mark Lowry explains it all for you here. The nifty new stuff includes RSS feeds, a new layout, a ‘hot feeds section” and a ‘carousel’ of coming attractions. Plus — ooh! — reader comments. (Read my exchange with the Jones-ing Elaine Liner on the subject here.) OK, so maybe it’ll just take some getting used to, but I vote the new home page a bit of a jumble.

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? Two years ago, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth installed Roxy Paine’s battling-fusing-tree sculpture, Conjoined — and in some fascinating photos on its Flickr page detailed how it was assembled via cherry-pickers and hydraulic lifts (above). The New York Times recently visited Paine’s New Jersey studio to see how his spindly “Dendroid” sculptures get made and how they’ve been evolving, becoming less plant-like, more circulatory and weirdly neuron-like.

WILLARD AND THE WALL ST. JOURNAL: SMU’s Willard Spiegelman provides Wall Street Journal owner Rupert Murdoch more intellectual polish than he merits. Last week, Der Spiegel caught up with the wondrous James Magee for the WSJ. Magee’s metal-and-glass sculptures are on display at the Nasher but the magnum opus of the somewhat hermet-like artist, Spiegelman says, remains The Hill out in the desert outside El Paso. To see images of The Hill and to see Magee’s first and still only television interview — on Art & Seek on Think TV — go here.

CELEBRITIES – HIDE YOUR EARLY WORK! Actor Owen Wilson, filmmaker Wes Anderson and National Book Award-winning novelist Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin) were all, once upon a time, students at UT-Austin and contributed to its literary mag, Analecta. The Huffington Post published one of Anderson’s fledgling works, and now for the NYTimes, the journal has dug up four other early shoots from the threesome.

A BUMPER CROP FROM OUR GARDENS: The News this morning had a small bounty of worthy cultural coverage, notably a feature on Art Think, Dallas Contemporary’s seven-week arts-inspiration program for inner-city schoolkids — which, dispiritingly enough, I cannot find in any online version at all — Scott Cantrell’s thoughts on national vs. international sounds of symphony orchestras and a quick roundup by Mike Merschel and Chris Vognar on the Texas Book Festival in Austin. And on the other side of the Trinity, the FWWeekly has put up quite the change-of-pace music video by the Burning Hotels.