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Art of the State



The Story of The Hurricane

Usually the stories that come out of post-Katrina New Orleans are gritty, documentary-style pieces that capture one aspect of the disaster or another. But two Collegiate School graduates, Yogi Singh and Michael Gottwald, worked as executive producers on a short film, "Glory at Sea," which has won acclaim at Austin's South by Southwest Festival and film festivals in Boston, New York and New Orleans. The film takes the Greek myth of Orpheus and spins it -- a man spat out of the underworld after a storm leads a band of mourners on a ship made of junk to find their loved ones at the bottom of the sea. The filmmaking team met, mostly, at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, but a lot of the fundraising was done here in Richmond for the New Orleans production. Hence, a premiere Saturday, May 10, at 2 p.m. at the Byrd Theatre.

"This premiere is kind of our way of giving back to the people who helped us in Richmond," Gottwald says. "I really think the Byrd suits it very well, because it's an old-school kind of adventure film and the Byrd is an old-school kind of place." Go to for more information. $3.

Bad Di Job

Suffering withdrawals from the removal of painter Ed Trask's Princess Diana mural in the Bottom? Consider his show at Eric Schindler Gallery, running through May 13, a bit of aesthetic methadone. "Flowers and Bones," a show of about two dozen paintings — almost-familiar landscapes and treatments of somber houses — that adds to the Avail drummer's continuing portrait of Richmond.

Trask says the title juxtaposes springtime and the "symbols of optimism" with the beautiful but run-down houses that are the "old bones of the city itself."

"There's just so much history inundating the eastern part of the city," he says. "It's pretty inspiring." He says his work has become a battle between the flat, graffiti-inspired work of his friends and the more representational work that produces those house portraits.

Trask has been pretty busy lately. He's been featured in art magazines Juxtapoz and Giant Robot in the last year, has a show at Scion Gallery in Los Angeles this August and a group show in San Francisco in September. No telling whether word of the demise of the Di mural has reached the West Coast. Eric Schindler Gallery is at 2305 E. Broad St. 644-5005.

A kidney! Honey, You shouldn't have.

It's both inspiring and disturbing to hear about these arts benefits for local people going through medical crises lately. Disturbing because it highlights the dilemma so many artists and musicians have — their trade offers no insurance coverage. So pursuing their craft means risking massive hospital bills when health problems occur.

But it's inspiring that so many in the community get behind these benefits, donating time, talent and art itself to raise money for the cause. Case in point: an art sale benefit for John Cyrus, a Virginian (now attending grad school at Louisiana State University) who needs a kidney. Cyrus has been on dialysis since August and the perfect kidney was found in none other than his wife, Katie Eskridge. Which, you might imagine, means the folks at have to seriously rethink their compatibility index.

But the point is, the kidney stays in the family, as does the benefit. Local artist Jane Joyner, who's organized the event Friday, May 9, 4-9 p.m. at St. Stephen's Church, is Cyrus' mother. The benefit aims to offset some of the medical costs after the June 3 surgery, and to date, more than two dozen artists, including sculptors Rita MacNelly and Beezy Bogan, Cindy Neuschwander, Claudia Hubert and others, have donated work for the benefit. It ain't socialized medicine, but it is social. 837-5221.

Discard Your Dial

For the 15 of you out there who aren't bloggers, let it be known that the most independent man in local radio, Chris Bopst, has returned to the airwaves, though they are digital now rather than whatever it is that radio emits. "The Bopst Show" is now podcasting on after being bumped in March from his spot on WCLM 1450-AM by radio veteran Kirby Carmichael. Bopst, naturally, embraces this new-fangled medium, leaving him "free from the antiquated notions of decency," he says. He says he's outside the range of the FCC, so he can do pretty much whatever he wants, like running outtakes of celebrities such as the angry, cursing Casey Kasem on this week's episode. He plans to put up an hour-long show every Monday. Episode 2 is up now. Now you can even call in, more or less. There's a Google-based number, 767-2550, that will allow you to leave requests and messages that Bopst is sure to pirate and incorporate into something ridiculous, to ease his broadcasting loneliness. "That's probably the one thing I miss most about radio, is the involvement."

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