Monday, March 05, 2007

Gallery Walk Recap

But first...

First Tuesdays at First Congregational. Tuesday at noon. 'Flute Salad' is the musical offering. The mini-concert is followed by a soup and sandwich lunch with yummy desserts. The entire event is free and open to the public. If you are inclined, a goodwill offering is taken. Chef Sue Heft will direct some thirty helpers. They will not be named here but they are the stars in that they make it possible to enjoy the concert, eat, and be back to work at 1pm! THANK YOU HELPERS!

Last Saturday took me to Guten Tag as my first stop. I had been meaning to go there for three months. It is a large gallery on the 2nd floor at 316 Court St. Start at the New Moon, go east on Washington St. past the library and turn right. Gracious Tracy Heckel runs the gallery which features several artists. The high ceiling gives it an airy feeling, a 'good inside' feeling which brings out the best in the artworks. I was awed by the building itself. It is well over 100yrs old. The wooden floors are beautiful. A stage graces one end. Tracy told me it used to be a Labor Hall. I could visualize wedding dances from years ago. I was curious, went to the Oshkosh Public Library tonight and one of the crack Reference Librarians was able to direct me in finding details. It is a brick building, brick being common after the great fires of the latter 1800's. It was built circa 1890-93 and the first tenant I found was the 'Sons of Hermann' Lodge. The Son's of Hermann group began 1850 in Oshkosh and dissolved 1913. It was re-dedicated the Oshkosh Moose Lodge January 9, 1914. Much later it became the Building Trades and Labor Hall. The librarian told me of her first visit to the Labor Hall circa 1967 when Hubert H. Humphrey(D), Senator from Minnesota (and later VP) spoke there. 'Fact sheets', derogatory ones printed on pink paper were being passed around to insinuate that he was a 'pinko'. Such was life in Oshkosh at that time. At any rate the building and gallery is beautiful and tasteful, a delight to the eye, and I will be back. You do the same.

Jambalaya on Main again had some members of the soon to be famous Oshkosh Drum Circle and at one point featured a belly dancer. The Drum Circle is damn good. They should routinely be asked to open and take part in community events. Anybody listening?

I ended the night at Jacinda's Spa & Salon, 440 N. Main. They offer all manner of Salon services and have taken to the Gallery Walk like a duck takes to water. Stop there during the next 'Walk' and get introduced. You may want to make your next hair appointment there. They had live entertainment par excellence! A thirty year old fellow named Todd Bergquist. Todd is a relative of one of the beauticians. He is somewhere between James Taylor, Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Johnny Cash, and Boxcar Willie. Then again it's as if he is all of them at the same time. He has top notch sound re-enforcement and knows how to correctly use it: Bose. Martin is the name on his ax, a top notch acoustic-electric model. Intonation was perfect, a great voice, a sense of humor, a good ear for sound, and common sense in adjusting the volume to perfectly fit the room. Fine job Todd! Note: Every single person there was clapping their hands, singing along, yodeling, etc. with the exception of one young lady who sat in a barber chair, perfectly still, with a gloomy demeanor. What's up with her? She stuck out like a sore thumb.

Art is subjective. I don't often comment on artists and particular works of art. It's a very individual and 'point in time' feeling. I enjoy it. I am very comfortable writing about live music since I have a lifetime intense background in it.

Watch for upcoming columns on the Leach, Waterfest and more. I am not happy with PMI. Waterfest is good, but there is a lot of room for improvement. It will be offensive to some. I hope someone listens to this seasoned veteran.


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