Seattle company designs invisible art revealed in rain

Published: Tuesday, December 29, 2016 @ 10:32 AM
Updated: Tuesday, December 29, 2016 @ 2:56 PM

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A Seattle startup said it is hoping to make rainy days a little brighter for everyone after designing a product that makes rain-activated art on sidewalks and other surfaces.

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The art is made with a stencil and a superhydrophobic coating spray that keeps water from soaking into surfaces, creating different shades of color.

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The product can be used on absorbent surfaces, including concrete, wood, stone, cardboard and fabric, and is invisible on a dry and sunny day.

The idea came from Peregrine Church, who considers himself part artist, part engineer and part inventor.

Last April, he and his business partner made a video for a Kickstarter campaign and it went viral.

The product is called Rainworks, and with 690 backers and $50,000 from the Kickstarter campaign, they've been filling numerous orders via their website

For $29, customers get a bottle of “invisible spray” that covers roughly 15 square feet, a stencil to make their own Rainwork and video instructions.

“My priority isn't making money. My priority is helping people make the world a better place. So once we're off the ground and flying, it'll be a lot of fun,” said Church.

The designs generally last about four to five weeks, depending on conditions. Since it’s temporary, it’s not considered graffiti in public areas.      

Rainworks is not only making art around the city, but is also putting messages and inspirational words in public areas, such as bus stops and parks.

The company is also creating online maps of Rainworks designs the company and others have done so that people can visit and see the designs.

Area college students get to show their creations at annual DVAC show

Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 11:31 AM

“Ten Minutes” oil on canvas by Sarah Baker of Sinclair Community College. CONTRIBUTED
“Ten Minutes” oil on canvas by Sarah Baker of Sinclair Community College. CONTRIBUTED

For The Cline Show at the Dayton Visual Arts Center, not only do many regional art students get to show their works in a local prestigious gallery, some of them are mentored as well.

“Working with our region’s students, mentoring them and providing them with a true-to-life, professional gallery experience is at the core of what we do, helping to foster the next generation of artists and making connections to other artists and art lovers,” said Eva Buttacavoli, executive director of DVAC.

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The students selected to be mentored this year: Sarah Baker, Zoe Duncan, and Latosha Stone of Sinclair Community College, and Odette Chavez-Mayo of Antioch College.

Baker, who grew up in Antioch, Ill., currently calls West Alexandria, Ohio, home. She is presenting three works in the show. “Five Minutes” and “Ten Minutes” are oil on canvas paintings of the sky. “Joe” is a pastel drawing.

“Colocasia” charcoal and pastel drawing by Kathryn Paull of University of Dayton. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

“Sometimes I’ll watch a sunset for however long it takes; they change so quickly. For ‘Ten Minutes’ the sun was setting and it went from a vibrant pink/red/orange to something more subtle with the sun just poking through the clouds,” said Baker.

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She is appreciative of the opportunity to be mentored.

“I am learning so much … understanding how the galleries like to put the pieces together, and how they are cohesive with one another,” said Baker, whose tentative plans are to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. “It was an awesome opportunity to help curate and hang the show.”

Works that impressed DVAC representatives include art by Kathryn Paull of University of Dayton and Simeon Estes of Sinclair Community College. Paull is showing work in two media: ceramics and charcoal/pastel. The Rocky River, Ohio, resident is presenting an untitled ceramic figure and a wood-fired ceramic bowl. “Colocasia” was a charcoal/pastel drawing done in her Drawing III class taught by Jennifer Rosengarten.

You can see Rosengarten’s influence, as Paull conveys much more than the plant itself to the viewer. The emotive charcoal work is punctuated with sea green and magenta markings.

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“I really appreciated art throughout K-12; it was a great outlet. I wasn’t passionate about any other subject,” said Paull, who was also taught by ceramics professor Geno Luketic. “I’m a junior studying art education, and I hope to eventually become a high school art teacher.”

Estes is presenting a 39-by-27-inch pastel drawing titled “Cut it Out.” Other works highlighted by DVAC reps include pieces by Morgan Bukovec of U.D., and Alexis White of the School of Advertising Art. Bukovec created “Bound,” a mixed media collage. White is presenting an archival inkjet print, “Duck_Fish.”

These eight college students join 32 other artists in the exhibit. In addition to Antioch, the School of Advertising Art, Sinclair and U.D., students represent Cedarville, Edison State, Wittenberg, and Wright State University. These students were nominated by their fine art and design faculty.

This annual exhibit was named in memory of Barbara C. Cline who worked for 10 years as DVAC’s office manager. Sponsors include exhibition partners Amelia Hounshell and Brian Albrecht, along with education and public program representatives Bob Brandt, Jr. and Marjorie Kuhns.


WHAT: The Cline Show — Annual Art & Design Student Invitational

WHERE: Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N. Jefferson Street

WHEN: Continues to Feb. 10

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tues.-Sat., 5 to 8 p.m. First Fridays

RECEPTION: 5 to 8 p.m. Feb. 2

GALLERY TALK: 6:15 p.m.

MORE INFO: 937-224-3822,

Explore Brahms, Bernstein and more with DPO

Published: Saturday, January 13, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

            Mezzo-soprano Layna Chianakas, professor of voice and director of Opera Theater at San Jose University in California, joins the DPO for Leonard Bernstein s Jeremiah Jan. 19-21. She has previously performed several leading roles with Dayton Opera.
Mezzo-soprano Layna Chianakas, professor of voice and director of Opera Theater at San Jose University in California, joins the DPO for Leonard Bernstein s Jeremiah Jan. 19-21. She has previously performed several leading roles with Dayton Opera.

The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra gets the new year under way with a special look at three landmark first symphonies as it presents “Brahms: First and Foremost” on its Masterworks Series Friday, Jan.19, and Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Schuster Center.

Under the leadership of DPO Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman, the program salutes the ambitious works of Joseph Haydn, Leonard Bernstein and Johannes Brahms. In particular, Brahms’ majestic, intense and epic piece has been touted as “the greatest first symphony in the history of music” complete with an homage to Beethoven. In fact, the symphony’s finale resembles “Ode to Joy.”

“Brahms’ ‘Symphony No. 1’ was a vitally important piece in the story of the symphony as a fundamental musical form,” Gittleman noted. “When it premiered, after many years in the making, Brahms established that it was, indeed, possible to write a symphony in the post-Beethoven environment. He essentially followed Beethoven’s model, without chorus, but using a more up-to-date musical language. Had there been no ‘Symphony No. 1’ we may have never had any of the great late romantic symphonies from Bruckner, Mahler and everyone else who followed.”

In 1942, Bernstein composed “Symphony No. 1,” which premiered the following year performed by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra which he conducted. Written in three emotional movements and also known as “Jeremiah,” the work is a biblical-themed account based on the Old Testament books of Jeremiah and Lamentations. The movements are titled “Prophecy,” “Profanation” and “Lamentation.”

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Specifically, the first movement has a pleading sensibility, the second portrays the corruption and ensuing destruction of Jerusalem, and the third suggests the mournful cry of Jeremiah. Hebrew texts from the Book of Lamentations are used in the finale as well. Mezzo-soprano Layna Chianakas, professor of voice and director of Opera Theater at San Jose University in California, joins the DPO for this unique piece. She has previously performed several leading roles with Dayton Opera.

In addition, “Jeremiah” will be notably performed and profiled Sunday, Jan. 21, on the DPO’s Classical Connections Series. Cantor Jenna Greenberg, director of the Intergenerational Dayton Jewish Chorale, joins Gittleman on the first half of the program, helping trace the liturgical sources of the melodies Bernstein used in the work. The concert, fittingly celebrating the Bernstein Centennial, will open with Bernstein’s marvelously spirited “Candide Overture.”

“The Bernstein repertoire is split into the so-called ‘serious pieces’ such as ‘Jeremiah’ and ‘A Quiet Place’ and the so-called ‘popular pieces’ like ‘West Side Story,”” Gittleman explained. “I’m a big fan of everything Bernstein wrote, but there’s no doubt his ‘serious pieces’ get less love than the others. That’s one reason I wanted ‘Jeremiah’ to be the first Bernstein piece that we play during his birthday year. ‘Jeremiah’ represents Bernstein showing to the world he had something significant to say as a composer. And, indeed, he did.”

Haydn’s “Symphony No. 1” is the first of more than 100 symphonies he wrote. Although he is often called the “Father of the Symphony,” he did not actually invent the form, although he did establish a standard form for the symphony.

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“I love the idea of this program,” Gittleman added. “These are three first symphonies by three very different composers from three very different eras that reveal a lot about the symphony as a musical medium.”

World of Wonder

The Dayton Performing Arts Alliance offers a community outreach for families as dancers from the Dayton Ballet, vocalists from the Dayton Opera and musicians of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra participate in a “World of Wonder” Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Schuster Center.

This integration of ballet, opera and orchestra begins before the concert at 3 p.m. Audiences are invited backstage for a lesson from Dayton Opera singers, a walk across the Schuster stage to sample the DPO in rehearsal, and a peek upstairs to touch pointe shoes and get a ballet tutorial from a Dayton Ballet company member. Audiences are also invited to the Wintergarden for crafts and coloring or to see how it feels to conduct an orchestra on the DP&L Stage with members of the DPO Youth Orchestra.

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“I’m really looking forward to this fun and exciting program,” said Dayton Ballet Artistic Director Karen Russo Burke. “The ballet will have a pointe-shoe table, where people can see how the dancer prepares her shoes, a makeup table showing how to put on theater makeup, some costumed mannequins, and a few dancers will help anyone that would like to try to do some easy ballet positions.”

The concert will feature selections from Cole Porter’s “Kiss Me, Kate,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Candide” and “Divertimento for Orchestra,” Dumisani Maraire’s “Mai Nozipo,” Beethoven’s “Fidelio,” and contemporary composer Roberto Sierra’s “Imaginary Creatures” and “We’ve Got Rhythm.”


What: “Brahms: First and Foremost” (Masterworks Series)

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

When: Jan. 19 and 20; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Cost: $16-$65

Tickets: Call (937) 228-3630 or visit

What: “World of Wonder” (Family Series)

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

When: Jan. 20; 1:30 p.m. (pre-concert activities); 3 p.m. (concert) Saturday

Cost: $14-$22

Tickets: Call (937) 228-3630 or visit

What: “Jeremiah: Fire in the Heart” (Classical Connections Series)

Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton

When: Jan. 21; 3 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $15-$43

Tickets: Call (937) 228-3630 or visit

African-American identity explored through children’s picture-book art

Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 @ 12:00 AM

            Curator of Exhibitions Jason Shaiman of Miami University Art Museum has his own collection of classic Curious George. He is pictured standing in his office with the collection of picture books and other Curious George memorabilia. CONTRIBUTED
Curator of Exhibitions Jason Shaiman of Miami University Art Museum has his own collection of classic Curious George. He is pictured standing in his office with the collection of picture books and other Curious George memorabilia. CONTRIBUTED

Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park is gearing up for its latest exhibition, “Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature,” which will open on Tuesday, Jan. 30.

The exhibition “looks at African-American cultural and historical identity through the lens of children’s picture books, particularly looking at the illustrations,” said Jason Shaiman, curator of exhibitions, Miami University Art Museum.

The spring 2018 show will feature about 130 original artworks from African-American children’s illustrated literature, produced by some of the biggest names in the field. A few of the well-known illustrators represented include Ashley Bryan, Jerry Pinkney, Jan Spivey-Gilchrist, E.B. Lewis and Kadir Nelson, among others.

“We are doing something positive. We’re doing something that is bringing attention to a world of multi-culturalism in a specific area that has been long neglected for attention,” Shaiman said.

The collection in the exhibition represents 33 different featured illustrators, and the illustrations on display were selected from more than 90 different books. Many of the books will be on display alongside each illustration.

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“The way we organized the exhibition was to look at a chronology of African-American culture and history, and identified books that focused on certain historical time periods, events, and specific people,” Shaiman said.

He and the team that worked on the exhibition originally identified about 600 books to consider for the exhibition, which represented about 14,000 possible works of art.

“We felt that because this is an art exhibit, the artwork needed to come from the visualization of African-American illustrators, and as often as we could, books that were written by African Americans,” said Shaiman.

Works in the exhibition address chronological and historical topics such as slavery, the Underground Railroad with figures like Harriet Tubman, the Civil War and its aftermath, segregation, the civil rights era, and more.

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“But we don’t want to focus that this is all about doom and gloom of the history of African Americans. There’s a lot of attention to the great things that African Americans have done to offer a diverse American identity. It looks at people like Rosa Parks and Dr. King. It looks at people that were involved in innovations…” Shaiman said.

There are works of art featuring Congressman John Lewis from his youth, and other works about Satchel Paige, Dizzy Gillespie, Muhammad Ali, Billie Holiday and many more. There’s even a work pertaining to Oprah Winfrey when she was a child.

The earliest book in the exhibition, “Stevie,” written and illustrated by John Steptoe, was published in 1969.

“It really represents the first book written or illustrated by an African American on an African-American theme that garnered any attention within mainstream publishing and readership,” Shaiman said.

“Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature” will be on display through Saturday, June 30.

“This is the first time any museum has ever attempted an exhibition of this nature. No one else has ventured to create an exhibit focused on African-American identity using children’s literature and the pictures. My colleagues and I, and everyone who worked on this realized that this is groundbreaking, and it’s so important, especially today,” Shaiman said.


What: “Telling A People’s Story: African-American Children’s Illustrated Literature”

When: Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday, from noon to 5 p.m. The exhibition will be on display through Saturday, June 30. Closed on Sundays, Mondays and University holidays.

Where: Miami University Art Museum and Sculpture Park, 801 S. Patterson Ave., Oxford.

Admission: Free and open to the public. Parking passes are available at the museum.

More info: (513) 529-2232 or

This Hamilton band will have its album released — 46 years later

Published: Sunday, December 31, 2018 @ 11:13 AM

3 Labels On 2 Continents Working On It

Impressed with the “raw quality and sincerity of the sound” of an album Hamilton band The Brotherhood released in 1972, a Spanish record label plans to release a new edition of it in January.

Alex Carretero of Guerssen records, which plans to release the album and CD on Jan. 26, said that as with other self-produced music of that time, The Brotherhood’s album “Stavia” lets listeners “hear the band playing the music they really liked without any interference from a major label or a producer.”

AUDIO RECORDING: Click here to hear “Tragedy” by The Revised Brotherhood

“We especially like the fusion of the soulful voice of John Hurd with the psychedelic/acid-rock instrumentation, where it also shines the superb guitar playing of Jeff Hanson, who was very young at the time,” Carretero added.

The Spanish record label joins two others — Tramp Records in Germany and Shake It Records in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood — in releasing the recording. The album, which was on local jukeboxes but never won radio play, for years has been a cult classic worldwide, and has been bootlegged.

Also reissued this year was the single, Tragedy, which was released by a slightly different lineup of the band, called The Revised Brotherhood.

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Band members of The Brotherhood included, from left, Donny Hoskins on drums; Jeff Hanson guitar and vocals; John Hurd on Hammond organ, electric piano and vocals; MJ Coe on flute, guitar and vocals; and Bill Fairbanks on bass guitar piano and vocals. The 1972 album, “Stavia,” is being re-released.(Staff Writer)

The Carretero said he believes “a legit, nicely done reissue of ‘Stavia’ was something that somebody had to do it, knowing that the original album is very hard to find.”

“There was a previous bootleg vinyl reissue which was atrocious: They eliminated two songs from the original album and added two other tracks from an unrelated band,” Carretero said. “No wonder John Hurd and the band were really heartbroken about this. So when I contacted John about the possibility of doing a legit Vinyl/ CD/Digital reissue, he was delighted with the idea.”

The recording can be obtained by digital and streaming now, but the official LP/CD release date is Jan 26. Pre-orders can be made via People in this country also can order through their exclusive distributor, Forced Exposure, at

Meanwhile, 2017 was a big year for Hamilton music.

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Among developments this year, Eric Nally recorded a music video in town. And thanks to a music reviewer’s idea, Hamilton was christened Jam!lton.

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