Arts | Culture

Stacey Wells – An Artist with Abandon

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Stacey’s art is unapologetic, which is why she has been commissioned by so many and continues to be a name no one can forget: both in and out of the art world. In every stroke of color and every intended line, the complexity of story is ever present. Whether she is painting a bottle, canvas, immortalizing a rock star or Hollywood icon, there is a caveat of feeling: sexuality, strength, vulnerability, and exhilaration.

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Sitting Down With UB40

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The story of UB40, and how this group of young friends from Birmingham transcended their working-class origins to become the world’s most successful reggae band is not the stuff of fairytales as might be imagined. The group’s led a charmed life in many respects it’s true, but it’s been a long haul since the days they’d meet up in the bars and clubs around Moseley, and some of them had to scrape by on less than £8 a week unemployment benefit. The choice was simple if you’d left school early. You could either work in one of the local factories, like Robin Campbell did, or scuffle along aimlessly whilst waiting for something else to happen.

By the summer of 1978, something else did happen, and the nucleus of UB40 began rehearsing in a local basement. Robin’s younger brother Ali, Earl Falconer, Brian Travers and James Brown all knew each other from Moseley School of Art, whilst Norman Hassan had been a friend of Ali’s since school. Initially, they thought of themselves as a “jazz-dub-reggae” band, but by the time Robin was persuaded to join and they’d recruited Michael Virtue and Astro – who’d learnt his craft with Birmingham sound-system Duke Alloy – the group had already aligned themselves to left-wing political ideals and forged their own identity, separate from the many punk and Two Tone outfits around at that time. The group had nailed their colours to the mast by naming themselves after an unemployment benefit form. Their political convictions hadn’t been gleaned secondhand either, but cemented in place whilst attending marches protesting against the National Front, or rallies organised by Rock Against Racism.

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A Known Associate – AKA

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This week I’m getting spontaneous with a female of the species and verbally riffing with the lovely, talented and hard working Dawn Garcia. She is the visionary behind A TASTE OF DAWN Magazine and all-around champion of creative spirits in the world of food, film, music, entertainment, arts and fashion. Dawn’s purpose is to inspire the world to savor every moment. So let’s do just that and enjoy her responses to the randomness that is ‘Free Associate Fridays’.

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Featured Image – DAVID CAROL

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Every so often there is an image that grasps onto me and seeps into the very depths of me…

It’s usually unsuspecting and almost always sheer awakening. I started this new creative endeavor because imagery is one of the most powerful methods of expression. Visuals by way of the snap of the shutter and the playful dance of words. The images chosen in the “Featured Image” posts are by Photographers and Photojournalists I have met and partnered with specifically for this new avenue of creative collaboration.

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William Pilgrim

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But at the same time, I found it very therapeutic. Ish and Phil from William Pilgrim take songwriting and making music to its essence. It seems as if they do not do it for others, but still do to put their art out there for others to hear. Although it may sound selfish, their music is not selfish. They create it for themselves and for others at the same time; that is a truly non-selfish act. I listened to their album prior to the interview, and I listened to their album after the interview with a whole new perspective…

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Mathieu Bitton

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There is a striking honesty that moves through every image and it’s apparent fearlessness really does incite a rather beautiful curiosity. With images of iconic entertainers like Bono, Lenny Kravitz, Mos Def, Sean Lennon, and Quincy Jones blended with nude that show you the vulnerability, strangeness, fear, sensual prowess, and uncertainty in each of his subjects allows for a familiar raw and primal undertone…

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Sebastian Junger

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We talked for an entire hour delving into everything from the Arab Spring, Serbia, war, politics, elections, family, truth, hope, and touched on his assignments as a contributing Editor of Vanity Fair. It was an hour that opened my eyes, informed me, and awakened my political passions. We talked about Tim Hetherington, but above all the hour gave us all insight into why Sebastian is the journalist, writer, filmmaker, and man he is …

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Broadway My Way

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The detailed archways, the ascending dual staircases leading to the smell of popcorn we couldn’t help but be drawn to, the movie history that emanated from every gorgeous corner of this theatre – well, everything in me felt as if creativity was just oozing out. And as she saw tables and tables of curious art, memorabilia, and several auction items, she asked me the BIG question: “What is this all for?” I had to pause. How do I explain AIDS to a 6 year-old?

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A Taste of Dawn RADIO April 10th

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Today’s Show was about Living Life Happily and Expressive: The Theatre, Comedy, Food + Wine, Travel, and Humanitarians that change the world through the Arts.

I had a week that invigorated so many parts of my soul. Music, Broadway, passion, life, food, wine, good company, and the reminder of everything in life that matters so much to me. Above all – I lived. We need to all just envelop the things surrounding us. Regardless of how fleeting or momentary, just enjoy those tiny inescapable moments before they vanish. Live every moment because you – You are – NOW.

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Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

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There is a ten foot marble man levitating on his side. There are Jimi Hendrix paintings on the wall.A hotel reception desk. A bistro and cathedral sized foyer. All of it is drowning under neon blue light, doing nothing to calm the red faced business men in the Cumberland Hotel, pacing around , babbling into their blue tooth devices. It’s taking its toll as I stare at the revolving door, waiting to talk with two thirds of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club about music, death, hope and the most difficult album of their fifteen year career.

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A Night of Magic and Wine with David Minkin

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David enters the room and situates himself no more than 2 feet away from the audience. He is up close and personal and without a beat, greets us all in his relaxed and warm way and voila! The magic begins. Literally. It muse be said – again – that I’m a cynic and an over-thinker. I pride myself on wanting to know how everything works.

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