Kiitella Awards: The American Alpine Club Annual Benefit Dinner

Custom designed and fabricated awards for the American Alpine Club by Colorado metal artist Lisa Issenberg of Kiitella (Finnish v. to thank, applaud, praise), the plaques are a sleek fusion of hand-polished stainless steel, natural wool felt and laminated bamboo.
For the Robert Hicks Bates Award recipient Margo Hayes, Issenberg created a hefty & bold 5″ diameter jet-cut steel medallion, hand-polished with high-shined highlights, a riveted AAC logo, and finished with bright accessory cord.

On February 23-24 Boston will host the 2018 Annual Benefit Dinner for the American Alpine Club (AAC). The AAC’s most prestigious yearly event honors those making outstanding achievements in conservation, climbing and mountaineering.

This year’s honorees: John Roskelley is receiving an Honorary Membership, which is one of the highest awards the AAC offers; Alex Honnold is awarded The Robert and Miriam Underhill Award; Ellen Lapham is honored with the Heilprin Citation; Margo Hayes wins The Robert Hicks Bates Award; And former U.S. Secretary of the Interior and accomplished climber Sally Jewell is the recipient of the David R. Brower Conservation Award. Learn more about the awardees.

Telluride AIDS Benefit: Metal Artist Issenberg Honors #25 ~ by Susan Viebrock/Telluride Inside… and Out


The Telluride AIDS Benefit continues to wave its “Fight.Fund.Educate” banner on high – and with good reason. With regard to HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, today’s political environment is, at best, a giant question mark; at worst, toxic. On the scientific front there may be cause for optimism, but to date there is still no definitive cure for the virus. The Telluride AIDS Benefit is celebrating 25 years of community involvement and dedication to the cause: raising money to help HIV and AIDS clients of its beneficiaries, literally hundreds of individuals and families of all demographics living with HIV/AIDS from the Front Range of Colorado to Africa. TAB also remains laser-focussed on prevention through education.

Join in TAB’s week of events, beginning Friday, February 23, 6 p.m., with the Student Fashion Show at Telluride’s Michael D. Palm Theatre and culminating with the Gala Fashion Show at the Telluride Conference Center in Mountain Village. All happening between March 1 – March 6.

To honor TAB’s silver anniversary, artist Lisa Issenberg’s uber cool cuff is now on sale for $75 at the Telluride Gallery of Fine Art. The Gallery has represented Lisa’s work, primarily her jewelry, since 1992.

~ See full article in TIO with Telluride AIDS Benefit ticket information ~

Elise LeGrow’s ‘Playing Chess’ Honors Blues And R&B Greats


Elise LeGrow remakes blues and soul classics for her full-length debut, Playing Chess.

Shervin Lainez/Courtesy of the artist


Chess Records is an American institution. Founded in Chicago by Phil and Leonard Chess in the 1950s, it became the label that launched Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Watersand Bo Diddley. Now, Canadian singer Elise LeGrow is taking on the label’s catalog on her debut album: Playing Chess features covers of songs made famous by Chuck Berry, Etta James, Sugar Pie DeSanto, The Moonglows and more.

“Etta James has been one of my favorite singers for a very long time and, of course, I was aware of Chuck Berry’s hits. But I didn’t realize that the common thread there was Chess,” LeGrow tells NPR’s Scott Simon.

The album features guest appearances from the Dap-Kings and, on the track “Long, Lonely Nights,” Questlove and Captain Kirk Douglas from The Roots. Questlove’s father, Lee Andrews, co-wrote that ballad back in 1965.

As she put together the track list, LeGrow says, old memories collided with some new surprises. Now 30, she’d heard Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” for the first time as a child, playing behind Uma Thurman and John Travolta in Pulp Fiction‘s iconic dance sequence. When she put the song on her covers shortlist, her producer revealed he had written an original melody for the lyrics 40 years ago. Their combined efforts resulted in something all LeGrow’s own: “I’ve had some people say it’s completely unrecognizable until they hear the line, ‘C’est la vie,’ ” she says.

LeGrow is already looking ahead to her next release, but she says she’ll still want her sound to stay in the tradition of the greats she emulates on Playing Chess: “a live band and a girl in a room.”

Playing Chess is available now from S-Curve Records. Listen to the full interview at the audio link.


Bhutan’s Alcohol-Fueled Archery: It’s Nothing Like The Olympics


Archers indulge in a raucous competition, cheering teammates and jeering opponents. Here archers celebrate with a ritual dance after a teammate hit the narrow target.

Tashi Dorji


The host of the Winter Olympics, South Korea, excels in the summer game of archery. They grabbed gold medals in all four categories in Rio.

But the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan may be less than awed. Bhutan claims archery for its national sport, and archers pay no heed to the plunging temperatures of winter when they compete propelling arrows across a field.

And if you think of archery as a decorous game, think again.

 A Bhutanese archer draws and releases. Contestants must propel an arrow across a field that is 140 meters (460 feet) long, twice the distance of the range used in the Olympics.

Tashi Dorji


In a recent tournament in Bhutan’s capital Thimphu, archers competed with full-throated abandon. They hooted and hollered their way through the competition, encouraging their teammates, and deriding their opponents, marrying gusto and ritual.

With every arrow that hits the mark, Bhutanese archers line up, face the target, and break out in a traditional song and dance.

Contestants say this recent competition was in honor of the country’s 2-year-old royal prince, whose parents are Bhutan’s glamorous young king and queen.

Legend has it that the father of the first king used his archery skills to vanquish a general of invading British forces in 1864. Judging by the competition underway, mastering those skills is no mean feat.

Archer Yeshey Norbu stands under a carved wooden canopy and through an interpreter describes the game. Half the members of each team shoot, while those not shooting gather on the other end of the field around the small target. It’s festooned with streamers of different colors, which archers wave back at their teammates to signal where their last arrow landed.

Norbu explains that, “You score one point when the arrow is very close to the target, at an arrow’s distance.” Interestingly, there are evidently no referees in Bhutan’s game. “You score 2 points when it’s a hit. You score 3 points if you hit the bull’s-eye,” he says.

The first team to reach 25 points wins the game.

The target is a narrow board, and the length of the field makes hitting it all the more remarkable. When an archer lets loose an arrow, it must travel 140 meters (460 feet) — twice as long as the range used in the Olympics.

On the sidelines, archer Uygen Thinley ponders that difference. Speaking in a mixture of English and Bhutan’s native Dzongkha, he borders on disdain. When an Olympian hits the mark, Thinley says, “We don’t really appreciate it all that much.”


She Led Latin American Art in a Bold New Direction TARSILA DO AMARAL: INVENTING MODERN ART IN BRAZIL … NYT


“Antropofagia” (“Cannibalism”), 1929, a seminal work of Brazilian Modernism by Tarsila do Amaral that is part of a new show of her work at MoMA. Credit Tarsila do Amaral, via Museum of Modern Art

Recently, New York museums have presented retrospectives of all three of the most influential artists of Brazil’s postwar avant-garde. Lygia Clark, with her hinged-metal sculptures you can fiddle with at will, filled the top floor of the Museum of Modern Art. Lygia Pape, known for bold, participative performances and sculptures of iridescent gold filaments, appeared at the Met Breuer. And Hélio Oiticica was the man of the hour this summer at the Whitney, live birds and all.

Tarsila’s “Sol Poente,” 1929, one of her stylized landscapes. Credit Tarsila do Amaral, via Museum of Modern Art

The generation that set the stage for them, however — the one that established Modern art in Brazil in the early 1920s — has received less attention here. You’ll have to go back to the Guggenheim’s 2001 blockbuster “Brazil: Body and Soul” for the last big-ticket appearance of Modernist painters like Emiliano di Cavalcanti, Cândido Portinari and, above all, Tarsila do Amaral (1886-1973): the most popular artist of the last century in her home country, but still little known in the United States. Her mature paintings, featuring oversize bodies in flowing, stylized landscapes, provoked the modern Brazilian penchant for antropofagia, or “cannibalism,” that Clark, Oiticica and Pape would all draw from. In the art of Tarsila (like a Brazilian soccer star, she is always called by her first name), Brazil found a new cultural confidence that said goodbye to European envy and consumed Western, African and indigenous influences with equal relish.