June 2021 - Mama 85, Harriet Art, Warner Grand, Recital, Brusubardis

Summer is upon us – ahhhh!
It’s been a whirlwind end to this month. My beautiful mama, Elsa, turned 85. I helped host FOUR birthday celebrations for her (*so far). With three cakes. First was senior apartment friends, then 10 former co-workers, 4 German ladies, and family and old friends. There will be a small party of Latvians later. My mom is so beloved. She asked for no gifts, but still ended up surrounded by a garden of flowers and other treats. I was inspired to make a series of cards (for each celebration) to celebrate her and how she influenced my life. Everything I do and love is linked back to my mama – art, music, sewing, crafts, fashion, musicals, dancing, entertaining, writing, and hopefully her humor, patience, empathy and compassion. I am so very blessed to be her daughter.
I was tasked with creating a design for a Harriet Tubman quote. As soon as I read it, the art formed in my mind. I used 7 layers of images to get the effect, including my own abstract art. I don’t actually have a photo of Harriet or the moon and the stars, so a big shout out goes to the Google gods. I don’t have the client response is yet, but thought I’d share it. I’ll fill you in more on the project later.
 My Veterans in Focus photography group recently visited the new Bradley Symphony Center, in the Warner Grand Theater. WOW WOW WOW! I attended movies there in the 80’s and remember being astounded. It was built in 1931 and was always a movie theater. Though stunning, it was never listed on the National Register of Historic Places. After closing in 1995 the building deteriorated. It was acquired by the MSO in 2017 at a price of $140 million for the restoration and construction of a new stage – requiring careful moving of an entire exterior wall (*see video) – and a sparkling modern glass lobby with a floating spiral staircase. The restoration also removed the divider installed by Marcus Theater separating the space into Grand Theater 1 & 2 – luckily planned to not cause major damage. The show stopping 3 story art deco lobby drips with silver architectural details, marble walls and mirrors. The main hall is all gold with ornate silver framed murals of French Renaissance scenes. All the original light fixtures still existed (now cleaned & rewired), but the chairs had to be rebuilt in the style of the originals. All the surfaces were refurbished and cleaned (by Conrad Schmitt) to look as if they had aged naturally – not shiny new. A replica of the original towering Warner Grand sign was installed in 2020. Get yourself tickets to the symphony – just seeing the building is worth the admission! It was thrilling to get an advance tour. The Grand opening is scheduled for October 1st. Here is a link to a virtual tour - pre-renovation, and the C.D. Smith Construction Tour - with the massive wall move and a beautiful piano score.
The piano recital and reception were lovely. (*more cake!) I’m very proud of my students. It takes work to get a piece performance ready and bravery to face an audience. Nine of my students performed live. Due to vacations, etc. the other five recorded their songs. The final compilation of all the videos will still take a while. I had so many advanced students playing classical pieces that I took the opportunity to discuss the composers and aspects of the songs. I learned several things during my research. The Rondo duet performed as a finale was written by Mozart when he was 9 years old. A Bagatelle translates to a ‘trifle’ or ‘bauble’ in French. And Fur Elise was discovered 40 years after Beethoven’s death. Who knew? The recital was hosted by The Latvian Church in Tosa. A week after our event a concert was presented there by two Latvian cousins from a very talented musical family. Their grandfather Ernie was my piano teacher for a brief time. He's still gigging. Arianna Brusubardis plays the violin and is in her third year at Julliard. Aidan Williams-Brusubardis is a remarkably talented 15 year old pianist. His mom, my friend Karen Williams-Brusubardis, is a remarkably talented artist > Website. Aidan performed works by Rachmaninoff and Chopin. He is also studying jazz with some heavyweights in town. It’s so great to see a young powerhouse carrying on the family tradition. Video > LINK. Be prepared to be amazed.

Freedom isn’t the right to do as we please, but the opportunity to do what is right.
Have a Happy and Safe Independence Day!

ArtByAnita / FusionFotoArt / PianoByAnita / WebsitesByAnita / Instagram
Elsa's bounty / Black Forest Torte / Senior Cake / Mom Art Tribute
Bradley Symphony Center - Balcony / Lobby / Warner Grand sign
Harriet Tubman Quote - art /  Anita Poppins!
Recital Cake - w Kit Kat Keys / Piano super heroes!
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Anita Burgermeister, eclectic independent artist in Milwaukee ~ creator of fine art, photography, faux finishes, murals, websites & more. Sharing musings or news about creative people & events in art, music, magic, dance, dining, film, writing, city life & more. Hope you enjoy and read often!
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