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: Syd Moen, Billy Childs, Melissa Janda and Directors Teller & Arron Posner

A photographer creates “little planets” through stereographic projections, a veteran composer shares his tips to the trade, and two famous magicians bring their tricks to the stage.

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Episode Highlights:

Syd Moen

Syd Moen was born and raised in Houston, Texas and has been a lifelong resident of the city’s Montrose area. She has received both a BA in Art History as well as a Master of Architecture from the University of Houston. She has had a lifelong interest in photography. It was through her initial interest in the VR photography, in the late 1990s, that led her and a group of friends to form a multimedia company called Haver Street Studios. Her past experience in VR photography has led to her current work in Stereographic projections or “little planets.”

“By creating a little planet, I have an opportunity to tap into my experience in photography and spatial thinking. Obviously, I’m interested in the material world but I’m also interested in magnifying the abstractions and juxtapositions that dwell within it as well.”

Syd Moen

Billy Childs

Billy Childs is a composer and jazz pianist from Los Angeles who has impressively collected ten Grammy nominations and three Grammy awards; two for best instrumental composition and one for best arrangement accompanying a vocalist.

Childs was born in Los Angeles on March 8th, 1957. Having demonstrated an aptitude for piano as early as age six, Childs developed rapidly, and at age sixteen entered the USC-sponsored Community School of the Performing Arts, studying theory with Marienne Uszler and piano with John Weisenfluh. In 1975, he entered USC as a composition major, graduating four years later with a bachelor of music in composition under the tutelage of Robert Linn.

Since then Mr. Childs has received a number of orchestral commissions from, among others: Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, The Kronos Quartet, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the American Brass Quintet, and the Dorian Wind Quintet.

Directors Teller and Arron Posner

The centuries old Shakespeare play is revisited by the legendary magical duo, Penn and Teller in this riveting production of The Tempest. Co-produced by the Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas, this is William Shakespeare’s re-imagined adaptation of a classic.

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