3 artists: clay, country and composition

Published: Saturday, February 02, 2013 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, February 02, 2013 @ 7:29 PM


What: “Curves and Corners,” an exhibit featuring Abbe Cheek, Micheline Daemen and Ray Wilson

Where: Troy-Hayner Cultural Center, 301 W. Main St., Troy

When: Continues through March 3

Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays

More info: (937) 339-0457 or www.troyhayner.org

Three art worlds are colliding at the Troy Hayner Cultural Center this winter, and the overall effect is a good thing.

Abbe G. Cheek of Columbus is presenting her contemporary pottery; Micheline Daemen of Troy is showing her realist and abstract paintings, and Ray Wilson of Columbus is presenting his photography.

Abbe G. Cheek

She was more fortunate than most kids while growing up. Instead of Play-Doh, she got to make her first shapes out of clay in her mother’s studio. Today, she favors earth tones for her hand-built plates, bowls and vessels. My favorite work of hers is a small white Penland Plate with splashes of hunter green and taupe.

“Porcelain’s delicate and translucent qualities are further enhanced by the layering of subtle glazes on my thrown forms,” said Cheek, who now has a studio of her own in the basement. “Designs found in nature are my inspiration.”

Cheek has shown her clay pieces extensively in the Columbus area and has been juried into Ohio Craft Museum’s Best of Show every year since 2008.

Micheline Daemen

This viewer’s “best of three” artists would have to be Daemen, not only for the quality of her works but also for her obvious talent across various mediums and styles. She started attending the school of the Arts Decoratifs in Ixelles, Belgium, at 15. She continued her visual arts education at the Academie des Beaux Arts in Belgium, where she studied drawing, watercolor and oil painting.

“You don’t think about things very often, but when I was very young I had all the courses in Belgium, and one day the teacher gave me my drawing back with a notation that she wanted to see me after class,” said Daeman, who moved to the U.S. in 1986. “When my grandmother came to get me, my teacher told her I was very talented and should become an artist.”

Smart teacher. Daemen followed her advice and has been working on her craft. Layers of oils in a beautiful sunset with loads of texture? Check. Hard edges and wonderful composition in an acrylic abstract? No problem. Dreamy floral watercolor? Got that covered, too.

“The subject matter depends upon how I feel that day and what is going through my mind at the time,” said Daemen, who has lived in Troy for the past 10 years.

She is now a member of the Western Ohio Watercolor Society and is also showing her works at The Art Vault Gallery in Troy.

Ray Wilson

His photography career began while on a vacation trip to Alaska. A professional photographer saw his travel shots and “insisted that he get familiar with more details, gain skills and get serious” about his photography. He began his foray into imagery with film, but now uses digital almost exclusively.

“I don’t remove from images those things which were there originally, nor insert things not there,” Wilson said.

Nature usually takes care of the beauty, and Wilson enhances the scene in several different ways. Sometimes he doesn’t have to travel far to unmask that beauty.

“Baby Japanese Maples” is a case in point.

“My wife and I were at breakfast when she noticed how the overcast day made the leaves appear gray,” Wilson said. “She directed me to get out on the deck and take the shot.”

Taking the shot is only the beginning, however. For “Ash Cave,” Wilson took five separate exposures and combined them in a software program to capture a wider range of lights and shadows. The technique is called high dynamic range. Another image, which has sold, is titled “Fall Flies Away.” The subject is milkweed at Caesar Creek State Park.

“To me it doesn’t look like a photograph at all. It looks like a painting,” said Cyndy Shreffler, a Troy resident who has taught ballet at Hayner since 1977.

Wilson has exhibited his photography at the administration offices of Worthington and Grove City, at the High Road and McConnell galleries in Worthington, and the Ohio State Office Building and Motorist Mutual Gallery, both in Columbus.

John Kasich shows off pop culture savvy on ‘The View’  

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 3:02 AM

Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Whoopi Goldberg embrace during  Thursday's airing of

John Kasich famously referred to himself as the “only adult on the stage” during a presidential debate last year, but the Republican governor of Ohio also knows how to connect with teens, thanks to his pop culture knowledge.

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On Thursday, Kasich appeared on “The View” and gave his opinions about the Katy Perry-Taylor Swift feud, surprising the show’s panel with his knowledge about music, celebrity spats and dropping names like former One Direction member Zayn Malik.

"We need your insight into a battle that has got this country just split right down the middle,” co-host Whoopi Goldberg began. “Can you explain what in the hell is going on … with Taylor Swift and Katy Perry?"

Kasich did not hesitate, saying it was “shocking to everybody.”

“Don’t ever steal anybody’s dancers, is the message," the governor said, referring to Perry’s admission on “The Late Late Show” this week about the pair’s alleged feud over shared backup dancers.

“Maybe they’re just trying to get some extra press, although I don’t know that Taylor Swift needs any more press,” Kasich said. “In fact, she kind of went into hiding, and now they say she’s going to reemerge with a new sound.”

Kasich, a 65-year-old father of twin 17-year-old girls, then spoke about Swift’s recent hit with Zayn, “I Don’t Want to Live Forever,” and her collaboration with former boyfriend Calvin Harris on “This is What You Came For.” 

“I will tell you, [Swift] met my wife and kids at a concert. She knew everything about my wife and my children. She was just unbelievably great,” Kasich said. “And Katy, you know, I have a friend that knows Katy Perry, and she’s very talented. So, two great pop artists.”

Kasich said his love of pop culture was a welcome break from the grind of politics. 

“You can do it ’til the day you die,” he said. “And I find it interesting, and I find it a nice break from the world of debates and all those kinds of things.”

Bank forecloses on ‘Extreme Makeover’ homeowner in Michigan

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 1:03 AM

BackyardProduction/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Nearly nine years ago, Arlene Nickless had her home rebuilt on national television. By Monday, she must turn in her keys and leave.

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Designers with ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” helped by hundreds of volunteers — built her family's home in 2008 after the death of Tim Nickless, her husband of 18 years. But keeping up payments on the mortgage has been a struggle, and it was foreclosed in September, the Lansing State Journal reported. It has been up for auction online for weeks.

“When I stepped out of the house the day “Extreme Makeover came, you will see me say ‘I can’t believe this is happening,’” she said. “And, truthfully, that’s what I feel right now: I can’t believe this is happening.”

Arlene Nickless did not blame the ABC television show, whose pricey rebuild have led to foreclosures in some cases, However, she did criticize her mortgage company, the Lansing State Journal reported.

Her home’s foreclosure resulted from an ongoing struggle to manage the property’s pre-makeover mortgage — a balance of about $30,000 after the 2008 makeover, but had ballooned to at least $113,000 by the end of 2016, she told the newspaper.

Eight months after Tim Nickless died in January 2008, more than 1,600 volunteers from the Holt area joined the show’s crew to rebuild the family home, an 1860s farmhouse that had fallen into disrepair.

The old home was demolished, and after a five-day building period, Arlene Nickless and her three sons received a new 3,300-square-foot, four-bedroom home with stone columns, dark wood floors, an indoor water wall, and a retractable flat-screen television, the Lansing State Journal reported.

But the home's annual taxes more than tripled from 2008 to 2009, from about $2,000 in 2008 to about $7,500 in 2009, according to county records.

Those increased taxes and insurance costs were paid through an escrow account, bloating the Nickless family's monthly mortgage payments.

In 2010, Arlene Nickless was in a car crash that caused her to fall behind in making those monthly payments. By late 2010, the property went to a sheriff’s sale, the Lansing State Journal reported.

She filed paperwork to stop the foreclosure the morning of the sale, and the sheriff's deed, which would have given ownership rights to the buyer at the sale, was removed, according to Ingham County records.

At that time, Arlene Nickless said the mortgage lender offered to pay off the loan balance if she could come up with $15,000.

Before she had a chance to gather the money, Ocwen Financial acquired her mortgage in 2011, she said. For the next several years, Arlene Nickless struggled with the loan.

She withheld mortgage payments because she didn’t know where she was sending her money, she said.

“I was trying to find answers,” she told the Lansing State Journal.

Last month, the state of Michigan issued a cease and desist order prohibiting Ocwen Loan Servicing LLC from continued violations of state mortgage law. A press release from the state said Ocwen had a history of improper "servicing and handling of escrow accounts," trouble keeping accurate records and problems with properly crediting payments. 

Ocwen officials said the claims were unfounded.

In September 2016, Nickless' home went to a foreclosure sale again and sold for about $113,000. The six-month redemption period passed with Nickless unable to pull together the needed money.

The house now is listed on the auction website hubzu.com for $176,000.

The spokesman for “Extreme Makeover’s” producers, Endemol USA, declined comment Wednesday. However, the company acknowledged in a 2010 Wall Street Journal article that beneficiaries had issues with the larger-than-life homes and accompanying expenses, so the company scaled back.

Nickless doesn’t know where she’s going or where she’ll store a lifetime of memories, she said. She wanted to share her story in the hopes that it would effect change for others struggling with house payments.

“It breaks my heart to know there are families going through this every day,” she said.

Father writes open letter to Ariana Grande after Manchester explosion

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 10:06 PM

A father wrote an open letter to singer Ariana Grande (pictured) after the Manchester, England, explosion Monday after her concert. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation)
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation

For parents, the suicide bombing earlier this week in Manchester, England, had to hit home.

So many in attendance at the Ariana Grande concert were children or young adults.

And even if your children weren’t in attendance, you felt something real after learning that 22 people were killed in the attack.

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Then there’s Grande, a world-famous singer and performer who will live with this for the rest of her life.

Just hours after the bombing, she sent a tweet to her nearly 50 million followers.

Patrick Millsaps, a father of three young girls from Georgia, saw Grande’s tweet and decided to respond.

He penned an open letter to the singer, and the response has been incredible.

The tweet has been retweeted nearly 25,000 times.

In it, he begins by saying, "I am the father of three daughters — ages 13, 12 and 12. So, you have been a part of our family for years.”

He wrote, “I’m afraid I need to set you straight girl. So listen up and receive some redneck love from a daddy of daughters.”

He said such things as, “You don’t have a dadgum thing to apologize for.”

He told her to, “Spend time with your God, your family and your friends who will give you space and support when you need it.”

His last piece of advice was, “When and only when you are ready, on behalf of all dads who love your… um… whose daughters’ love your music SING AGAIN.”

He closed by saying, “So there you go my dear, unsolicited advice from a fat dude in Georgia who loves his daughters and appreciates that there are people like you in the world. Take care of you first. Your fans aren’t going anywhere.”

Grande, who suspended her "Dangerous Woman" world tour and canceled several European shows after the bombing, announced Friday that she will return to Manchester, England, to give a concert to raise money for the victims of Monday’s deadly bombing at her show there.

In a statement, the pop star said, “We won't let hate win” and offered to “extend my hand and heart and everything I possibility can give to you and yours.

Our response to this violence must be to come closer together, to help each other, to love more, to sing louder and to live more kindly and generously than we did before.”

She did not announce a date for the concert.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor separating after 18 years together

Published: Friday, May 26, 2017 @ 8:53 PM

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor announced in a joint statement they are separating. (Photo by Fred Duval/FilmMagic)
Fred Duval/FilmMagic

One of Hollywood’s longest-lasting couples is calling it quits.

Entertainment Tonight reported Friday that actors Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor announced in a joint statement they are splitting.

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“With tremendous love and respect for each other, and the 18 years we spent together as a couple, we have made the decision to separate,” the statement said. “Our priority will continue to be raising our children as devoted parents and the closest of friends. We kindly ask that the media respect our privacy at this time.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that Taylor and Stiller, parents to Ella, 15, and Quinlin, 11, were married in May 2000 after meeting on the set of a TV pilot Stiller was developing. They began dating in April 1999 and got engaged that November.

Taylor co-stared with Stiller in several of his films, including “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story,” “Tropic Thunder,” “Zoolander” and “Zoolander 2.”