What I Wanted to Say …

by John Bloner, Jr. This is my final article as Racine Writer-In-Residence as I will hand off its baton to the next honoree on July 1st. Thank you to ArtRoot, the Osborne & Scekic Family Foundation, Nick Ramsey, and the Racine Literacy Council for their support and encouragement. Over the past six months, the Krazines,…

Mattias and I: A True Story

When I came across Mattias’ work five or six years ago, I became captivated by his highly-populated cityscapes and his rooms stuffed with bric-a-brac and odd technology. This is the kind of art I want to make!, I told myself.

Forget Paris on the Seine. I’ll Take the Louvre on Lake Michigan

Would you rather have a brat or a baguette? A Kouign-amann or a Kringle? Paris with its Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo is 4,100 miles away from here, and who needs the Louvre Museum when you can experience fine art (and engage in much more) at the Louvre on Lake Michigan, better known as Spectrum School of the Arts and Gallery? Spectrum is located within the historic DeKoven Center campus in Racine, WI at 2050 Wisconsin Avenue and has served southeastern Wisconsin with culture, education, entertainment, and fellowship for over 40 years.

A Lament, and Visions of Hope, for Wronged Souls

The title of this week’s article, A Lament, and Visions of Hope, for Wronged Souls, comes from a New York Times headline from March 2020. The accompanying story was a review of an Off Off Broadway musical; however, from a distance of 15 months, the headline feels prescient, not only because of the pandemic, but for many other events that continue to affect humankind on a global and personal level.

Seeking the Next Writer-In-Residence

Calling on all writers, age 18 and older, from Kenosha and Racine County. ArtRoot, a committee of artists and advocates, is accepting applications for a six-month tenure as Racine Writer-In-Residence. You can download application information and materials HERE. The person selected to receive this honor will serve from July 1-December 31, 2021 and receive a $1,200 stipend (75% upfront and 25% upon completion of expectations and an evaluation form.)

Going to the Movies

My DNA looks like two strips of celluloid, twisting around each other. I inherited this double helix from my grandfather, John Jackob, who worked as a projectionist in Kenosha during the 1920s and through the Great Depression.

Drawing Tom Waits

As much as I love the sound of Tom Waits – blues shouter, field hollerer, junkyard dog howler, carnival barker – I also am jazzed by the man’s countenance and love to draw pictures of him.

Who Is This Masked Man?

Over the past year, we’ve worn a lot of masks to prevent spread of a virus, and over our lifetimes, we put on many masks of a metaphorical-kind to guide us through social situations, whether in the workplace, family gatherings, or at parties.

Stay Obsessed

by John Bloner, Jr. Last week, I reported on a few of my obsessions: i.e., passionate interests. For this week’s article, I’ve asked friends about their own intense curiosities, and by hearing their stories, I don’t feel alone anymore. It’s OK to get obsessed and stay obsessed. They spoke of their passions for pottery, books,…

Get Obsessed

“You’ve got to get obsessed and stay obsessed,” says Iowa Bob in the novel, Hotel New Hampshire, by John Irving. Some lines stay with you. I read Irving’s novel forty years ago and still think of this phrase nearly every day. Obsessions – read: passionate interests – are the fuel of life.