Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Doing the Dr Seuss Dance


From her La Jolla, California home, Audrey Geisel explains to art curator Bill Dyer, what it was like to watch her husband paint.

"He would do this little dance: lean forward, twitch his brush on the canvas. Lean back, tilt his head with a critical eye. Lean forward again and  swab a dab here and there. Sometimes he would add another cat, because in his words, "there was always room for another cat." This two-step shuffle was repeated till he was satisfied with the outcome.

You can see the fruits of the 'Dr Seuss Dance' at the Gardens Mall through Valentine's Day. You are in for a big, bright, delicious gulp of crazy creatures, delightful wit and the unfathomable imagination of the world renown, multi-generational author and illustrator, Theodor Seuss Geisel, known to his friends as Ted and more commonly as:



Who knew this great body of work even existed? We thought he just wrote and illustrated quirky children's books. And that he did. But in 1997 the Chase Art Group, lead by Bill Dyer, started working with Audrey Geisel to present this secret collection to the world. Each year a handful of serigraphs and lithographs are printed and added to the exhibit.

It was no small feat to bring The Hidden Art of Dr Seuss to Palm Beach Gardens. It took two years and a grand collaboration of several organizations. Groups such as the Nicklaus Children's Foundation, the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, The Chase Art Group, the Ann Jackson Gallery, The Cultural Council, and the Gardens Mall.

When asked why he painted cats, Ted Geisel retorted, "Because I can't draw dogs." Here are some of his featured cats from the gallery:

Joseph Katz and the Coat of Many Colors
         Plethora of Cats



The Hidden Art exhibit represents 60 years of work by Dr Seuss. Limited prints can be purchased at the mall exhibit which runs until February 14th.

Also on display is Seuss' trove of mounted sculptures. Ted's dad worked at the Forest Park Zoo and brought home body parts of deceased birds and beasts. Ted took his dad's offerings of beaks, antlers, horns and turtle shells and invented fantastical creatures with hilarious names.  Over time, Theodor amassed quite a menagerie of weird plaster sculptures he called:

A Collection of  Unorthodox Taxidermy

the Turtle-Necked Sea Turtle

The Sea-Going Dilemma Fish

If painting and sculpture aren't enough to lure you to this one-of-a-kind exhibit, song and dance will. Each weekend, the Maltz Jupiter Conservatory presents excerpts from Seussical. Catch a show Saturdays and Sundays, 1pm and 3pm. January 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st, February 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th. The youthful troupe is bursting with talent, energy and colorful costumes, sure to delight every viewer, young and old alike.

For more information about weekly readings and other details visit or call (844) 467-3877.

So, come on! Don't miss out on what the Dr Suess Dance contributed to the world of art and literature!

Anduluvian Grackler

Monday, January 25, 2016

When Moms Pray for Their Grown Sons

When moms pray for their sons, their grown sons, the unexpected usually happens.
Unexpected, because the prayers are often prayed on just a thread of faith.

Unexpected, because the answers never come as we envisioned them. We think we are in control of the answers, because we want control of everything.

Unexpected, because we believe far too little of our God; or that our God is far too little.

Then He comes through BIG; gigantic answers; huge compared to our week-kneed whims.

When moms pray for sons who have wandered from the faith; who have flat out turned their backs in stiff-necked rebellion and angry scorn. When moms pray for the the return of those sons, moms often wait a long time. They watch their boys make terrible decisions causing life altering consequences. They peer through blurry, tear filled eyes to see their sons defy and lie and live in willful wrongdoing. When moms pray, those boys do finally come home. And sometimes they hold on to their Father more tightly because of the straying.

When moms pray, God astounds.

Some boys do fool-hearty things, like hop Southern Pacific freight trains across country for fun and film making. Good God, it's illegal! Those knife-like wheels are sharp. Those locomotives speed fast. Those toothless hobo types lie and steal. Some of  those aging hippies still take LSD, especially in Weed, California.

When moms pray for their rail riding sons, they can't fathom that God would plop them down in a hobo church and hear songs sung just for them; words of prophecy from old women tailor-made for "The Railroad 5'" as the church people called them. He sent a country preacher in a old tent revival setting in Oregon to stir their spirits, churn their souls and convict their conscience in a way that a dad's lecture never could.

When moms pray, God acts.
God speaks.
God changes minds.
God works!

Amazing even their boys.

When moms pray.

We pray hardest for their future wives; the women who will partner with them through life. May they love God. May they be chaste. May they be selfless. May they be sharp-minded, yet humble to help their poor men. We pray hardest for our boys' life-partners.

So far God's done, well, you know, better than expected. Wonderful new daughters are coming in to the family. I'm still praying for the those yet to marry.

I won't stop praying. When the guys eventually mature, there will be new generations for whom to stand in the gap. And I'm expecting God to be faithful and loving and just and more gracious than we all deserve.

I think He likes it very much

When moms pray.

Friday, January 22, 2016

2016 Resolve: A Daily Dose of Art and Culture

With one month into the year, it's not too late to get healthy.

I'm not referring that New Year's diet and exercise program to help shed unwanted pounds gained by indulging in too much Holiday fudge and sugar cookies. I'm talking about a resolve to be culturally fit. About an intentional routine to engage in the creative realm.

If you read January's Cultural Corner in Around Wellington magazine and heeded the great suggestions of Lorie Hope Baumel, you're probably off to a good start and can skip this piece. But if you're a little artistically piqued, out of shape and have regressed into chronic nightly channel changing, read on.

To further argue the necessity of right brain fitness, we shall rouse our inner child and listen to a tale about an ant named Phil and how he saved his father from a near fatal consequence of cultural lethargy.

Phil, the Ant and the Art Attack

He always got good exercise
That's why it caught him by surprise
When Phil's dear dad dropped like a ball,
They rushed him to the hospital

They wheeled him in flat on his back
Doctors confirmed:
An Art Attack

For years Phil's dad had rarely seen much more than his computer screen
He'd been deprived for way too long
Of theatre, dance, well-written song

His illness was just bound to be
When one's sole diet is TV!

After work at the ant hill
A kiss to mom, a hug to Phil
Dad retired to his ant cave
Emerged to shower, eat and shave
It bugged Phil's dad not in the slightest
'Til he contracted Pixilitis

For culture was what Phil's dad lacked
Artless, he had an art attack
The diagnosis was for sure
He was prescribed a certain cure
Pale in the face, sore arm, lips blue
Phil knew exactly what to do
To keep his dad from getting worse
He jumped to action with the nurse

They gave him Mozart twice a day
To keep the dizziness away
A daily dose of Whitman's verse
Soothed the pain of Pixelcurse

They brought in paintings by O'keefe
Which gave Phil's father great relief
Her oil on canvas called "Grey Hills"
Took away the aches and chills

And "Sailing" drawn by Edward Hopper
Proved to be a fever stopper
Tchaikovsky's ballets were the best 
For taking pressure off his chest

At last, jazz by Duke Ellington
Made Phil's dad feel well again!

Yes, he recovered very quickly
Cheeks pink, bright eyes, no more sickly
The doctors truly were impressed
Phil's ANTidote was a success!

So they awarded Phil a badge
For how he cured his dear old dad

Phil's father saw much better days
He mended his unhealthy ways
They went to concerts in the park
Local plays, Art After Dark
Heard symphonies, and Broadway shows
Read poetry and Shakespeare's prose

Paintings hung on every wall
Music filled each room and hall
Devices in the cave, not found
No electronics were around
A seven-inch chrome-book in the corner.
(c 2016 AM Shaw)

To avoid the fate of Phil's father, here are some artistic events to add to your fitness regime. And while still in a childlike mood, consider this elixir. Visit the Gardens Mall to be enchanted by The Art of Dr Seuss. This new exhibit of the Hidden Art of Dr Seuss is presented by the Ann Jackson Gallery, Cultural Council, Jack Nicklaus Children's Foundation and the Maltz Jupiter Theater.  Enter the wild and wonderful world of Seuss with all his kooky creations in art and sculpture. The exhibit is free during mall hours through February 14th. Live weekend performances of Suessical the Musical by the Maltz Jupter theatre show at 1pm and 3pm.

And,  Oh Say, Can You Say? Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, each weekend you'll find mini-performances of  "Seussical, The Musical" played by the Maltz Jupiter Theatre Youth Touring Company at 1pm and 3pm. For more information about weekly readings and other details visit or call (844) 467-3877.

Photo credit - Tracy Benson Photography
Now there's medicine that is sure to go down with ease, sugar coated and chew-able.

Another remedy, moving up the age ladder a bit, is to take in Palm Beach Atlantic University's performance of The Spitfire Grill.. Last weekend I ran into the assistant stage manager, Hannah Rosenberg and asked  her what makes the show so special.

"'Spitfire Grill' is not your typical showy, happy-go-lucky musical. It's intimate and folksy with an earthy, hopeful message of redemption. Not to mention, because of the venue's cozy size, there's not a bad seat in the house."

Performances are February 18th-20th and 25th-26th at 7:30pm with additional 2pm matinees on Sundays, the 20th and 27th at The Fern Street Theatre, 500 Fern Street, West Palm Beach.

Image result for palm beach art and jewelry show Nothing makes me feel better than the sparkle and beauty of the  Palm Beach Jewelry, Art and Antique Show . See it  Feb 10 - 16 at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. Click link for more details.

Coinciding with International Women's month in March, the Cultural Council presents their  Women Artist exhibit. The show called Woman: Untitled runs through March 12th and  highlights fourteen Palm Beach County women artists. Cultural Council galleries are located in the Robert M Montgomery, Jr building at 601 Lake Avenue, Lake Worth. Admission is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am to 5pm. 

With that, we should all better keep our resolutions to live well, stay in great artistic shape, and have a culturally healthy 2016!

Leave your email address here to receive automatic blog updates.