What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

Culture Canvas

A roundup of the week’s arts and culture headlines.

Thumbnail image for christo_over_the_river.jpg

Christo, “Over the River” (Project for Arkansas River, State of Colorado). Drawing 2010 in two parts. 15 x 96 inches and 42 x 96 inches. Photo by Andre Grossmann. Copyright 2010 Christo.

Federal regulators approved a plan by the artist Christo to install anchored fabric over the Arkansas River in Colorado. “Over the River” comprises panels of fabric 5.9 miles long that will be suspended over the water along a 42-mile stretch of the riverbank, via The Los Angeles Times.

Art Beat spoke to Christo and his now deceased wife and collaborator, Jeanne-Claude, in September 2009 about the controversial project (Part 1, Part 2).

On Tuesday this week, Christo announced that he is giving two original collages from “Over The River” to the National Gallery of Art, via the Washington Post.

*

The Philadelphia Orchestra’s management has asked the courts to bar the national musicians pension fund from harassing donors, via The Philadelphia Inquirer. Money and management conflicts at the orchestra, whose administration and musicians recently reached a tentative bargaining agreement, are ongoing.

The New York City Opera and its musicians’ union are still negotiating, and choristers and orchestra members offered a striking option this week: to work for free in exchange for health care and power over future venues, via The Wall Street Journal.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Orchestra is thinking about pursuing a more global audience, via The Plain Dealer.

*

Tens of thousands of people are helping dissident artist Ai Weiwei pay the tax bill the Chinese government has charged him, via the New York Times.

*

Art from the Occupy Wall Street protests in New York is on display in the window of Printed Matter, via Hyperallergic. The book store is famous for its collection of zines, artist’s books and other independent publications.

*

A memorial to famed African-American journalist Ida B. Wells is in the works for Chicago, via WBEZ.

*

France is barring a painting purchased by a British gallery from leaving Paris, where it’s currently on display at an art fair. The French government says the painting was stolen, and has been missing for 200 years, via the BBC.

*

William Trevor published the first of an exclusive series of short stories in The Guardian. The first sentence: “Mary Bella didn’t remember when she woke up and then she did: he hadn’t come.”

*

The Big Think maps Twitter usage by language.

*

Three Pakistani men have written a satirical song that went viral on YouTube, via The New York Times. The tune mocks the Pakistani establishment and the country’s conservatives, and has drawn international media attention.

*

Rapper Heavy D died Wednesday at age 44. He rose to national attention in the late ’80s and became famous for songs like, “We Got Our Own Thang.” His last tweet, sent just hours before he died, read, “BE INSPIRED!”

*

Cory Smoot, lead guitarist of the satiric, heavy metal band GWAR, died late last week at the age of 34, via the Washington Post. His bandmates discovered him, dead, in their tour bus after a concert in Minneapolis. GWAR is in-part famous for its fantastical music videos, which boasted costumes, morally taboo theater and gore.

*

Television writer, director and producer Hal Kanter died this week at the age of 92. He created the show “Julia,” which was the first television series to feature a black professional woman as a protagonist.

*

Bil Keane, creator of the well-loved and long-running comic strip “Family Circus,” died this week at the age of 89.

Latest News