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HomeNewsArchivesSCENE & HERD -- APRIL 2, 2000

SCENE & HERD — APRIL 2, 2000

ON THE WALLS: At first glance, Diane Kreiner's annual exhibition that opened Sunday at The Kilnworks Pottery & Art Gallery might strike the viewer as more of the same — in a very positive sense, mind you; the artist is known for her mastery of mediums and techniques as well as for her classic Caribbean imagery.
But the show is not "more of the same." One notices, for example, that pinks and blues and purples are in ascendance — in contrast to her "Caribbean Heat" reds and oranges of two years ago. And Kreiner explains that she is consciously working in a "less is more" mode, although fans need not fear that she is abandoning representational art for abstraction.
"I'm at a point where my paintings have a lot less strokes now," she says. "My goal is to have every painting look complete with bold shapes and bold color, but less picky detail."
The exhibition includes a dozen new oils and two new watercolors plus a watercolor sketch and several oils from earlier shows. Plus, Kreiner is showing something new — hand- painted pottery. There were seven pieces at the opening reception, "but the numbers keep changing," gallery owner Peggy Seiwert says, as pieces sell and new ones emerge from the Kilnworks kiln.
Image-wise, Kreiner is unabashedly of the Virgin Islands "used to be and wish it were" school. Her characters buy and sell at market, stroll quiet streets, play dominoes, dance and catch up on the latest news with friends. She depicts people more than places, yet the places they populate are important. In contemporary attire — women in knee-length dresses and straw hats, men in T-shirts and jeans — her subjects appear situated in 18th Century settings.
She often paints a "collage" of locales, Kreiner says, such that the viewer will never see the exact scene in real life. Her oil "Going Downtown" is a recognizable view along Hospital Gade from the Education Department beyond Zora's to the waterfront — but in an era when there were no power lines, asphalt roads, traffic lights or cruise ships in the harbor.
The watercolor sketch (with an adjacent card reading "Sketch") may appear to be as much a painting as the two watercolors hung nearby and tagged at twice the price. But Kreiner explains that it is a preliminary work and that her final painting of the scene will "have much more in it," perhaps with differences in color. To her, "Working in watercolor is a lot harder than oil, because you can't experiment. There is only so much you can add; so, you've got to plan each step." She typically does several full-size sketches, playing around with colors, until she has her plan in place. And then she paints.
And after that, she gives the painting a code and logs information about it for future reference — the colors used and when and where the work was done. "I used to be lazy. I just wanted to get up there and put paint on," she says. "I have to have a history now for everything." It's critical, for example, if she decides a couple of years after doing a painting to add to or retouch the work.
Her move into ceramics — painting groupings of traditional female figures onto pots produced by Seiwert — is a recreational pursuit that proved to be marketable. "It's my night-time activity," she explains. "I paint the pieces while watching TV. Some people do crossword puzzles; I paint a pot."
Paintings are priced $1,000 to $2,200; pottery is $250 to $495. The show will be up through the end of the month.
THE ART OF RECYCLING: The environmental artist-in-residence of Maho Bay Camps will soon be back for his visit — and this time he'll be demonstrating and involving others in creative ways to recycle not only glass and aluminum but also plastic — "No. 1" and "No. 2" plastic, to be exact.
This is news for the environmentally aware as well as the artistically inclined, as there is nothing you can do locally with No. 2 plastic — notably empty milk and water jugs. While No. 1 plastic, such as soda containers, can be taken to recycling centers, the choices for No. 2's, once they've outlived their usefulness, are to store them in the garage, basement or attic (and who has a garage, basement, or attic?), or toss them in the trash and have nightmares about the 99-year shelf life of polymers.
Larry Livolsi, founder of Lorenz Studios in Lakeside, Conn., developed Maho Bay's innovative glass and aluminum recycling programs in the '90s. In previous years he has demonstrated glass-blowing and provided a crusher at the resort for others to recycle their bottles for that purpose. Now he has come up with a plastic remanufacturing program that will be incorporated into the resort's recycling through its Environmental Resource Department. For this month's visit, he'll be bringing along a plastic shredder, a melting tank and molds made from recycled aluminum that will be used to create functional items from the discarded plastics technically known as polyethlene terephlate.
"In conjunction with the environmental vision of Maho Bay Camps, Livolsi will teach the artistic and functional applications of these normally wasted materials," a release from the resort states. His free workshops and demonstrations will run April 13-30, alternating among glass, aluminum and plastic. School and civic groups and anyone else interested are encouraged to attend. Call 776-6226 and ask for environmental resources manager Ginger Kreofsky to learn more.
Livolsi will give slide show presentations on the Wednesdays of April 19 and 26, and Maho Bay Camps will host a meet-the-artist glass signing and wine tasting on Thursday, April 20, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Plus, Kreofsky says, "Look for us at the Cruz Bay Earth Day Celebration." It's set for Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the park.
CLASSIC KID STUFF: Preliminary judging in the 11th annual Arts Alive/Vitelco Classical Music Competition for the St. Thomas-St. John district takes place Wednesday in Tillett Gardens, starting at 4 p.m. (The St. Croix round is the day before.) Youngsters up to 19 years of age will be competing in piano, vocal and instrumental categories, in junior, intermediate and senior divisions. Some of them have been trooping into the garden after school for weeks to accustom themselves to playing on the baby grand piano.
This is an event that has grown over the years to where in 1999 more than a hundred young people participated. Vitelco awards a total of $5,000 in cash prizes, disbursed at the discretion of the judges — who this year will be the members of The Gryphon Trio, which will be performing in the final Classics in the Garden concert at Tillett Gardens on Wednesday, April 12, and the following night at the St. John School of the Arts.
Competitors (or their music teachers) choose what works they will perform, but "the style and approach to the piece must be in a classical manner," the rules and regs state. Pieces must be no longer than five minutes, and memorization counts toward the points the judges award — as do technique, musicianship and stage presence. Up to 18 individuals from each preliminary round will advance to the finals, set for Sunday, April 9, beginning at 1 p.m. in Tillett Gardens.
Teachers, family members and friends predictably turn out to (silently) cheer their favorites on. Anyone else who enjoys classical music just might enjoy themselves, too. Admission is free for both the preliminaries and the finals, and you can come and leave (between performances) as your schedule dictates.
HEARD BY THE HERD: Speaking of the classics, you don't have to struggle to tune in WPIR-FM in San Juan to get music of the masters on your radio. Well, at least not on Sunday afternoons. Just connecting with WIUJ at 102.9 FM will do the trick.
Yes, that is the "public education station" and also the o
ne that carries Legislature proceedings live, but on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m., it's the home of "Sunday Classics" with Charlene Dick as host. For Dick, it's a carryover from her old job with WIVI's "Sunday Morning Classics" that ended three years ago when the station went to another format. (Job is perhaps not the correct term; that effort was volunteer, as is the current one, which has been up and running since last November.) On air live, she plays "classical music with occasional side trips into Broadway musicals and film music."
Keeping her company in the studio most Sundays is her husband, Doug, whose own "Doug Lewis Show" follows hers, from 3 to 6 p.m., serving up a mix of roots rock, Americana, blues, folk, Cajun/Zydeco, Celtic, R&B and world music along with background and trivia information. Lewis, whose surname really is Dick — and yes, he is an assistant attorney general in real life — formerly had shows on the old WIYC and WIVI. He says he offers "an adult album alternative format, playing numerous artists not normally heard on mainstream, commercial radio."
PLAYING RIGHT ALONG: Pistarckle Theater's trio of one-act comedies by Elaine May and Alan Arkin has its second and final weekend of performances Friday through Sunday, April 7-9, at the company's new home in Tillett Gardens.
The plays are "The Way of All Fish," a power lunch dialogue between a successful executive and her unassertive secretary that goes in a direction unanticipated by the boss; "Virtual Reality," a conversation between two construction workers awaiting a warehouse delivery that goes soaring off into surrealism; and "In and Out of the Light," a farce focusing on a dentist whose efforts at seducing his assistant are interrupted by the untimely arrival of his son and a psychologist patient with a pathological fear of pain.
Trudy Tucker is directing the whole show. She's also the executive. Others in the cast are Dena Elliott Benson, Randall Doty, Greg Fowler and Amy Huentelman.
The deal for Pistarckle to take over the former Pennysaver Printing pressroom — once the Jim Tillett silkscreen production center — was just struck at the start of March, so it's been a quick countdown to convert the space to production and performances facilities. The paint is still fresh on the walls, and touches remain to be finished, but the most important thing is, "We have a home!" producing and artistic director Nicola Emerich says.
Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $22. Sales outlets are Polli's Mexican Restaurant in the garden complex, West Indies Coffee Company and Bumpa's downtown, and East End Secretarial Services and Marina Market in Red Hook. For charge-card purchases, call 775-7877.
GARDEN PARTY TIME: Speaking of Tillett Gardens, the artist and artisan tenants of the Anna's Retreat complex are hosting their third monthly Saturday Garden Party on April 8, and this one will feature a Carnival fashion show at 2 p.m. Models will be wearing white cotton tunics, trousers and shifts hand-painted by garden artist Marsha Stein with the mocko jumbie figures and other colorful designs seen on many of her acrylic canvases.
Among the other special attractions, Omar the Plant Man will have green growing things for sale, and St. John's Cheryl Miller will be selling her peppery jellies and condiments. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Any artist or artisan can exhibit at the Garden Parties; there's a $25 fee for space for the day. To sign up or learn more, call garden ceramist Lynn Piccassi-Berry at 776- 0901.
HEAVEN COMING TO PARADISE: Trinidadian actor/musician J. Errol Lewis and Renaissance Productions, a company of 12 other actors and musicians, will present the gospel drama "Heaven" on Saturday, April 22, at the Charlotte Amalie High School auditorium. The performance, which incorporates mime and dance as well as music, is being sponsored by the St. Thomas Assembly of God Church.
The play "compares the rewards in the afterlife that are received by a beggar on one hand and a rich man on the other," based on a parable in the Gospel according to Luke.
Lewis, who wrote and will direct the production, has performed in London, on the U.S. mainland and throughout the Caribbean, appearing with such headliners as Shirley Caesar, Al Green and Jessie Dixon. Virgin Islands guest artists will be singers Harella Goodwin, Neomie Toussaint-Williams and Resheed Walker, along with the pantomime group Purpose.
Renaissance Productions was founded 11 years ago with a commitment "to use as many areas of the arts as possible to present Jesus Christ." In seeking to do so, it has moved from conventional gospel "to explore, experiment and communicate. . . through the rich artistic media of the Caribbean," according to publicity material. In addition to presenting theatrical productions, the company has appeared in concert with the Grace Thrillers of Jamaica and Promise and Joseph Niles of Barbados.
"Heaven" has been nominated for Trinidad and Tobago's Cacique Award for Excellence in Theater. In 1997, Renaissance Productions received the International Sunshine Award for Gospel Music for three cuts of its CD "Breakforth 1." The Sunshine is the only Caribbean music award recognized by the Grammy Awards.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Outlets are Nisky Bible Book & Gift Shop, Havensight Bible Book and Gifts, Orchid Boutique, V.I. Christian Ministries Book Store and Assembly of God Book Store. For further Information call 776-7243.
CINEMA SCENE: For April 9, the "Cinema Sundays" feature at the Reichhold Center will be a blast from the past for many. It's Superfly, one of the seminal urban action films directed by African-Americans that slammed onto movie screens in the early 1970s, earning the label "blaxploitation" in the process. Director Melvin Van Peebles had made his mark with Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, as Gordon Parks Sr. had with (Richard Roundtree as) Shaft, before Superfly, directed by Gordon Parks Jr., began playing at theaters near you and everybody else across America.
It was the era of the anti-hero, with Ron O'Neil in the role of Priest, a drug dealer looking to get out of the game but finding his options limited. Focusing on getting the better of "The Man" — whites, cops, oppressors of all sorts — the films appealed to young blacks in ghettos across America, with lot of action; flashy fashions, cars and jewelry thrown in for good measure; and women's liberation nowhere in sight. As one Internet analysis put it, "The characters burned themselves into the iconography of the '70s by virtue of a classic (and often revisited) mobsters- in-crisis plot, and partly by way of a timeless Curtiss Mayfield soundtrack."
The genre was pretty much history by 1975. By today's standards, it may seem like rather tame stuff. At a blaxploitation convention earlier this year, Roundtree still didn't want to talk about it, and most of the attendees were Caucasian. You probably had to be there. And if you were, you just might want to go back, if only for a night.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with a short, Afros, Macks and Zodiacs. The Reichhold gates open half an hour before. Admission is $5 for those over 12 and half that for younger folk. Seating is first-come, first served, and popcorn, snacks and soft drinks are available.
THE NEXT HANG-UPS: Mango Tango Gallery, which is currently featuring paintings by Donald Laurent Dahlke, will host a reception Sunday, April 9, to open a new exhibition by two members of the artistic Kean family: oil paintings by Luis Kean and oils and found-object sculpture by his nephew, Jon Euwema.
Luis, like his aunt Aline, his twin sister Luisa and his cousin Carlito, has shown mostly traditional land- and seascapes locally — when he has shown at all, which h
asn't been often. But for the Mango Tango exhibit, he has spent the last two months producing about 18 abstracts inspired by the likes of Dali and Picasso. It's nothing new, he says; he exhibited such work when studying in New York. Jon, who is Luisa's son and is a design architect by training, has also been an experimentalist from his student days — of a generation later. The show will feature his animation images and sculpture created from other people's cast-offs.
Mango Tango owner Jane Coombes has titled the show "Is It Genetic?" The reception is from 2 to 6 p.m. The gallery is in Al Cohen's Plaza atop Raphune Hill.
Meantime, the Color of Joy in American Yacht Harbor, now showing paintings by Alexis St. John, will next be featuring an exhibit of photography by B. Greg Miller titled "The Colors of Black and White." The opening reception is Thursday, April 13, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. As usual, there will also be music on the deck outside the gallery by Sally Smith on keyboards.
TO BE SEEN: Scene & Herd is a weekly feature on the Source previewing arts and entertainment events open to the public on St. Thomas and St. John. To have material considered for inclusion, submit it in writing by the Monday preceding desired publication date. Fax to 776-4812 or e-mail to jetsinger@viaccess.net.

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ON THE WALLS: At first glance, Diane Kreiner's annual exhibition that opened Sunday at The Kilnworks Pottery & Art Gallery might strike the viewer as more of the same -- in a very positive sense, mind you; the artist is known for her mastery of mediums and techniques as well as for her classic Caribbean imagery.
But the show is not "more of the same." One notices, for example, that pinks and blues and purples are in ascendance -- in contrast to her "Caribbean Heat" reds and oranges of two years ago. And Kreiner explains that she is consciously working in a "less is more" mode, although fans need not fear that she is abandoning representational art for abstraction.
"I'm at a point where my paintings have a lot less strokes now," she says. "My goal is to have every painting look complete with bold shapes and bold color, but less picky detail."
The exhibition includes a dozen new oils and two new watercolors plus a watercolor sketch and several oils from earlier shows. Plus, Kreiner is showing something new -- hand- painted pottery. There were seven pieces at the opening reception, "but the numbers keep changing," gallery owner Peggy Seiwert says, as pieces sell and new ones emerge from the Kilnworks kiln.
Image-wise, Kreiner is unabashedly of the Virgin Islands "used to be and wish it were" school. Her characters buy and sell at market, stroll quiet streets, play dominoes, dance and catch up on the latest news with friends. She depicts people more than places, yet the places they populate are important. In contemporary attire -- women in knee-length dresses and straw hats, men in T-shirts and jeans -- her subjects appear situated in 18th Century settings.
She often paints a "collage" of locales, Kreiner says, such that the viewer will never see the exact scene in real life. Her oil "Going Downtown" is a recognizable view along Hospital Gade from the Education Department beyond Zora's to the waterfront -- but in an era when there were no power lines, asphalt roads, traffic lights or cruise ships in the harbor.
The watercolor sketch (with an adjacent card reading "Sketch") may appear to be as much a painting as the two watercolors hung nearby and tagged at twice the price. But Kreiner explains that it is a preliminary work and that her final painting of the scene will "have much more in it," perhaps with differences in color. To her, "Working in watercolor is a lot harder than oil, because you can't experiment. There is only so much you can add; so, you've got to plan each step." She typically does several full-size sketches, playing around with colors, until she has her plan in place. And then she paints.
And after that, she gives the painting a code and logs information about it for future reference -- the colors used and when and where the work was done. "I used to be lazy. I just wanted to get up there and put paint on," she says. "I have to have a history now for everything." It's critical, for example, if she decides a couple of years after doing a painting to add to or retouch the work.
Her move into ceramics -- painting groupings of traditional female figures onto pots produced by Seiwert -- is a recreational pursuit that proved to be marketable. "It's my night-time activity," she explains. "I paint the pieces while watching TV. Some people do crossword puzzles; I paint a pot."
Paintings are priced $1,000 to $2,200; pottery is $250 to $495. The show will be up through the end of the month.
THE ART OF RECYCLING: The environmental artist-in-residence of Maho Bay Camps will soon be back for his visit -- and this time he'll be demonstrating and involving others in creative ways to recycle not only glass and aluminum but also plastic -- "No. 1" and "No. 2" plastic, to be exact.
This is news for the environmentally aware as well as the artistically inclined, as there is nothing you can do locally with No. 2 plastic -- notably empty milk and water jugs. While No. 1 plastic, such as soda containers, can be taken to recycling centers, the choices for No. 2's, once they've outlived their usefulness, are to store them in the garage, basement or attic (and who has a garage, basement, or attic?), or toss them in the trash and have nightmares about the 99-year shelf life of polymers.
Larry Livolsi, founder of Lorenz Studios in Lakeside, Conn., developed Maho Bay's innovative glass and aluminum recycling programs in the '90s. In previous years he has demonstrated glass-blowing and provided a crusher at the resort for others to recycle their bottles for that purpose. Now he has come up with a plastic remanufacturing program that will be incorporated into the resort's recycling through its Environmental Resource Department. For this month's visit, he'll be bringing along a plastic shredder, a melting tank and molds made from recycled aluminum that will be used to create functional items from the discarded plastics technically known as polyethlene terephlate.
"In conjunction with the environmental vision of Maho Bay Camps, Livolsi will teach the artistic and functional applications of these normally wasted materials," a release from the resort states. His free workshops and demonstrations will run April 13-30, alternating among glass, aluminum and plastic. School and civic groups and anyone else interested are encouraged to attend. Call 776-6226 and ask for environmental resources manager Ginger Kreofsky to learn more.
Livolsi will give slide show presentations on the Wednesdays of April 19 and 26, and Maho Bay Camps will host a meet-the-artist glass signing and wine tasting on Thursday, April 20, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Plus, Kreofsky says, "Look for us at the Cruz Bay Earth Day Celebration." It's set for Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the park.
CLASSIC KID STUFF: Preliminary judging in the 11th annual Arts Alive/Vitelco Classical Music Competition for the St. Thomas-St. John district takes place Wednesday in Tillett Gardens, starting at 4 p.m. (The St. Croix round is the day before.) Youngsters up to 19 years of age will be competing in piano, vocal and instrumental categories, in junior, intermediate and senior divisions. Some of them have been trooping into the garden after school for weeks to accustom themselves to playing on the baby grand piano.
This is an event that has grown over the years to where in 1999 more than a hundred young people participated. Vitelco awards a total of $5,000 in cash prizes, disbursed at the discretion of the judges -- who this year will be the members of The Gryphon Trio, which will be performing in the final Classics in the Garden concert at Tillett Gardens on Wednesday, April 12, and the following night at the St. John School of the Arts.
Competitors (or their music teachers) choose what works they will perform, but "the style and approach to the piece must be in a classical manner," the rules and regs state. Pieces must be no longer than five minutes, and memorization counts toward the points the judges award -- as do technique, musicianship and stage presence. Up to 18 individuals from each preliminary round will advance to the finals, set for Sunday, April 9, beginning at 1 p.m. in Tillett Gardens.
Teachers, family members and friends predictably turn out to (silently) cheer their favorites on. Anyone else who enjoys classical music just might enjoy themselves, too. Admission is free for both the preliminaries and the finals, and you can come and leave (between performances) as your schedule dictates.
HEARD BY THE HERD: Speaking of the classics, you don't have to struggle to tune in WPIR-FM in San Juan to get music of the masters on your radio. Well, at least not on Sunday afternoons. Just connecting with WIUJ at 102.9 FM will do the trick.
Yes, that is the "public education station" and also the o ne that carries Legislature proceedings live, but on Sundays from noon to 3 p.m., it's the home of "Sunday Classics" with Charlene Dick as host. For Dick, it's a carryover from her old job with WIVI's "Sunday Morning Classics" that ended three years ago when the station went to another format. (Job is perhaps not the correct term; that effort was volunteer, as is the current one, which has been up and running since last November.) On air live, she plays "classical music with occasional side trips into Broadway musicals and film music."
Keeping her company in the studio most Sundays is her husband, Doug, whose own "Doug Lewis Show" follows hers, from 3 to 6 p.m., serving up a mix of roots rock, Americana, blues, folk, Cajun/Zydeco, Celtic, R&B and world music along with background and trivia information. Lewis, whose surname really is Dick -- and yes, he is an assistant attorney general in real life -- formerly had shows on the old WIYC and WIVI. He says he offers "an adult album alternative format, playing numerous artists not normally heard on mainstream, commercial radio."
PLAYING RIGHT ALONG: Pistarckle Theater's trio of one-act comedies by Elaine May and Alan Arkin has its second and final weekend of performances Friday through Sunday, April 7-9, at the company's new home in Tillett Gardens.
The plays are "The Way of All Fish," a power lunch dialogue between a successful executive and her unassertive secretary that goes in a direction unanticipated by the boss; "Virtual Reality," a conversation between two construction workers awaiting a warehouse delivery that goes soaring off into surrealism; and "In and Out of the Light," a farce focusing on a dentist whose efforts at seducing his assistant are interrupted by the untimely arrival of his son and a psychologist patient with a pathological fear of pain.
Trudy Tucker is directing the whole show. She's also the executive. Others in the cast are Dena Elliott Benson, Randall Doty, Greg Fowler and Amy Huentelman.
The deal for Pistarckle to take over the former Pennysaver Printing pressroom -- once the Jim Tillett silkscreen production center -- was just struck at the start of March, so it's been a quick countdown to convert the space to production and performances facilities. The paint is still fresh on the walls, and touches remain to be finished, but the most important thing is, "We have a home!" producing and artistic director Nicola Emerich says.
Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $22. Sales outlets are Polli's Mexican Restaurant in the garden complex, West Indies Coffee Company and Bumpa's downtown, and East End Secretarial Services and Marina Market in Red Hook. For charge-card purchases, call 775-7877.
GARDEN PARTY TIME: Speaking of Tillett Gardens, the artist and artisan tenants of the Anna's Retreat complex are hosting their third monthly Saturday Garden Party on April 8, and this one will feature a Carnival fashion show at 2 p.m. Models will be wearing white cotton tunics, trousers and shifts hand-painted by garden artist Marsha Stein with the mocko jumbie figures and other colorful designs seen on many of her acrylic canvases.
Among the other special attractions, Omar the Plant Man will have green growing things for sale, and St. John's Cheryl Miller will be selling her peppery jellies and condiments. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Any artist or artisan can exhibit at the Garden Parties; there's a $25 fee for space for the day. To sign up or learn more, call garden ceramist Lynn Piccassi-Berry at 776- 0901.
HEAVEN COMING TO PARADISE: Trinidadian actor/musician J. Errol Lewis and Renaissance Productions, a company of 12 other actors and musicians, will present the gospel drama "Heaven" on Saturday, April 22, at the Charlotte Amalie High School auditorium. The performance, which incorporates mime and dance as well as music, is being sponsored by the St. Thomas Assembly of God Church.
The play "compares the rewards in the afterlife that are received by a beggar on one hand and a rich man on the other," based on a parable in the Gospel according to Luke.
Lewis, who wrote and will direct the production, has performed in London, on the U.S. mainland and throughout the Caribbean, appearing with such headliners as Shirley Caesar, Al Green and Jessie Dixon. Virgin Islands guest artists will be singers Harella Goodwin, Neomie Toussaint-Williams and Resheed Walker, along with the pantomime group Purpose.
Renaissance Productions was founded 11 years ago with a commitment "to use as many areas of the arts as possible to present Jesus Christ." In seeking to do so, it has moved from conventional gospel "to explore, experiment and communicate. . . through the rich artistic media of the Caribbean," according to publicity material. In addition to presenting theatrical productions, the company has appeared in concert with the Grace Thrillers of Jamaica and Promise and Joseph Niles of Barbados.
"Heaven" has been nominated for Trinidad and Tobago's Cacique Award for Excellence in Theater. In 1997, Renaissance Productions received the International Sunshine Award for Gospel Music for three cuts of its CD "Breakforth 1." The Sunshine is the only Caribbean music award recognized by the Grammy Awards.
The program will begin at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10. Outlets are Nisky Bible Book & Gift Shop, Havensight Bible Book and Gifts, Orchid Boutique, V.I. Christian Ministries Book Store and Assembly of God Book Store. For further Information call 776-7243.
CINEMA SCENE: For April 9, the "Cinema Sundays" feature at the Reichhold Center will be a blast from the past for many. It's Superfly, one of the seminal urban action films directed by African-Americans that slammed onto movie screens in the early 1970s, earning the label "blaxploitation" in the process. Director Melvin Van Peebles had made his mark with Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song, as Gordon Parks Sr. had with (Richard Roundtree as) Shaft, before Superfly, directed by Gordon Parks Jr., began playing at theaters near you and everybody else across America.
It was the era of the anti-hero, with Ron O'Neil in the role of Priest, a drug dealer looking to get out of the game but finding his options limited. Focusing on getting the better of "The Man" -- whites, cops, oppressors of all sorts -- the films appealed to young blacks in ghettos across America, with lot of action; flashy fashions, cars and jewelry thrown in for good measure; and women's liberation nowhere in sight. As one Internet analysis put it, "The characters burned themselves into the iconography of the '70s by virtue of a classic (and often revisited) mobsters- in-crisis plot, and partly by way of a timeless Curtiss Mayfield soundtrack."
The genre was pretty much history by 1975. By today's standards, it may seem like rather tame stuff. At a blaxploitation convention earlier this year, Roundtree still didn't want to talk about it, and most of the attendees were Caucasian. You probably had to be there. And if you were, you just might want to go back, if only for a night.
The show starts at 7:30 p.m. with a short, Afros, Macks and Zodiacs. The Reichhold gates open half an hour before. Admission is $5 for those over 12 and half that for younger folk. Seating is first-come, first served, and popcorn, snacks and soft drinks are available.
THE NEXT HANG-UPS: Mango Tango Gallery, which is currently featuring paintings by Donald Laurent Dahlke, will host a reception Sunday, April 9, to open a new exhibition by two members of the artistic Kean family: oil paintings by Luis Kean and oils and found-object sculpture by his nephew, Jon Euwema.
Luis, like his aunt Aline, his twin sister Luisa and his cousin Carlito, has shown mostly traditional land- and seascapes locally -- when he has shown at all, which h asn't been often. But for the Mango Tango exhibit, he has spent the last two months producing about 18 abstracts inspired by the likes of Dali and Picasso. It's nothing new, he says; he exhibited such work when studying in New York. Jon, who is Luisa's son and is a design architect by training, has also been an experimentalist from his student days -- of a generation later. The show will feature his animation images and sculpture created from other people's cast-offs.
Mango Tango owner Jane Coombes has titled the show "Is It Genetic?" The reception is from 2 to 6 p.m. The gallery is in Al Cohen's Plaza atop Raphune Hill.
Meantime, the Color of Joy in American Yacht Harbor, now showing paintings by Alexis St. John, will next be featuring an exhibit of photography by B. Greg Miller titled "The Colors of Black and White." The opening reception is Thursday, April 13, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. As usual, there will also be music on the deck outside the gallery by Sally Smith on keyboards.
TO BE SEEN: Scene & Herd is a weekly feature on the Source previewing arts and entertainment events open to the public on St. Thomas and St. John. To have material considered for inclusion, submit it in writing by the Monday preceding desired publication date. Fax to 776-4812 or e-mail to jetsinger@viaccess.net.