WHYY's ArtWorks draws on performing and visual arts stories from its sister PBS stations to bring viewers a geographically diverse arts experience.



Featured Artists: Matthew Wilson, Impressionists, Eiteljorg’s guitar exhibition and Jimi Hendrix

Meet a young ceramic artist experimenting with functional art, learn about the eyes of the impressionists, trace the evolution of the guitar, and hear the family stories of an American musical legend.

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Matthew Wilson

Matthew Wilson has a passion for pieces that move people, while also providing a functional presence. His love for nature and the wheel speak strongly to his work. Matt’s designs can best be described as collaboration between functional pieces and naturalistic styles, turned into intricate assemblages. He uses wheel-thrown objects commonly used in function, such as plates, bowls, and cups, and alters them into obscure and complex pieces.

So how did he get to this point? Matt’s interest in art began with the gen-ed art classes required of all students in elementary school. As he progressed from finger painting to pot throwing, he knew he wanted to pursue a future in art. Following his passion, Matt earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in ceramics at the State University of New York at Oswego and also received his Masters in Art Education (K-12).

Matt is currently 6th through 8th art teacher at Norwich Middle School in Norwich, NY. He is also a former adjunct professor of ceramics from SUNY Oswego. He regularly teaches classes the Chenango Arts Council.

Slideshow below: Samples of Matthew Wilson’s work:


Impressionists

The Impressionists’ blurred brush strokes shocked the art world in the late 1800′s. In this episode of ArtWorks, find out what some experts now believe was the reason for this style of art.


“Guitars: Roundups to Rockers” at Eiteljorg

More than 100 guitars — owned by greats including Roy Rogers, Charlie Christian, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Woody Guthrie, Buddy Holly, Les Paul and others — were displayed together for the first time ever, when Guitars! Roundups to Rockers, presented by Eli Lilly & Company, opened at The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art on Saturday, March 9. The exhibit explored the Western connections of guitars and artists who have provided the soundtrack for America. The experience, including interactive content, appealed to guitar gearheads, musicians and everyday music lovers of genres from Western swing to wailing rock, thrashing punk to bouncing jazz.

The guitars in this exhibit had never been displayed together before and likely never will be again. Normally, one would have to travel the world and gain entry to some of the best museums and private collectors’ homes to have this experience.

Guitars! wasn’t simply about instruments, but also artists, including Patsy Montana, Jerry Garcia, Metallica, The Decemberists, Stephen Stills, Sleater-Kinney, BarneyKessel, Keith Richards and Gene Autry—a veritable who’s who of 20th and 21st century music. The exhibit featured rare guitars, including the oldest known Fender (1942), a New York Martin (1837), and a brilliant Gibson Lloyd Loar Quartet, (There are only a few of these sets in existence.).

Guitars! included 10 guitars from the renowned collection of Jim Irsay, owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts. Irsay provides three guitars tied to legendary performers George Harrison, Stephen Stills and Jerry Garcia. His collection also comprises a mix of electric and acoustic guitars spanning over 100 years of guitar-making.


Behind the Scenes of Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’

Hear My Train A Comin’ unveils previously unseen performance footage and home movies taken by Hendrix and drummer Mitch Mitchell while sourcing an extensive archive of photographs, drawings, family letters and more to provide new insight into the musician’s personality and genius.

A pioneering electric guitarist, Hendrix (Nov. 27, 1942 — Sept. 18, 1970) had only four years of mainstream exposure and recognition, but his influential music and riveting stage presence left an enduring legacy. Hear My Train A Comin’ traces the guitarist’s remarkable journey from his hardscrabble beginnings in Seattle, through his stint as a US Army paratrooper, unknown sideman to R&B stars such as Little Richard, Joey Dee and the Isley Brothers and his discovery and ultimate international stardom.

Presented as part of a year-long celebration around his 70th birthday year, the two-hour Hear My Train A Comin’ uses Hendrix’s own words to tell his story, illustrated through archival interviews and illuminated with commentary from family, well-known friends and musicians including Paul McCartney, band members Noel Redding, Mitch Mitchell, Billy Cox, long-time sound engineer Eddie Kramer; Steve Winwood, Vernon Reid, Billy Gibbons, Dweezil Zappa and Dave Mason.

The film also features revealing glimpses into Jimi and his era from the three women closest to him: Linda Keith (the girlfriend who introduced Jimi to future manager Chas Chandler), Faye Pridgon (who befriended Hendrix in Harlem in the early 1960s) and Colette Mimram (one of the era’s most influential fashion trendsetters who provided inspiration for Hendrix’s signature look and created such memorable stage costumes as the beaded jacket Hendrix famously wore at Woodstock). The film details the meteoric rise of the Experience, the creation of his groundbreaking music, the building of Electric Lady Studios, his state-of-the-art recording facility in Greenwich Village and concludes with poignant footage from his final performance in Germany in September 1970, just 12 days before his death at age 27.

Among the previously unseen treasures in Hear My Train A Comin’ is recently uncovered film footage of Hendrix at the 1968 Miami Pop Festival. The first-ever major rock festival staged on the East Coast, the May 1968 Miami Pop Festival at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla., was the first event promoted by Woodstock organizer Michael Lang and Ric O’Barry (dolphin trainer for Flipper TV series), who were inspired by the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, where Hendrix made his U.S. debut and famously set fire to his guitar.

Two-time Grammy-winning director Bob Smeaton, whose credits include Jimi Hendrix: Voodoo Child, Hendrix: Band of Gypsys, Hendrix 70: Live at Woodstock, Festival Express and The Beatles Anthology, shows a side of Hendrix less frequently explored in Hear My Train A Comin’. Smeaton explains, “Jimi loved two things: women and playing guitar and that’s what Linda, Faye and Colette all told us. These women shed a totally different light on him than the guys who saw him onstage.”



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