This past Sunday, one of our new shows, The Middle of Greatness (TMOG), premiered in the late afternoon. TMOG is the brain-child of Joey Livingston, who also fills the role of assistant to the guest host, on the show. We asked Joey what TMOG was about (since no one seems to have any idea), and this is what he told us:
"TMOG is a stream-of-consciousness, improvisational talk show, where the guests are welcome to drift in and out of reality as much as they want to. Speaking honestly, or making it all up as we go, the point is just to have a good time with friends. It's comedy, it's parody, it's sincerity. I'm not telling you which one is which though."
This episode featured Tony Burkett as the guest host. Tony & Joey discussed various topics, including our ancient reptilian overlords, jet skis vs. baptism, the marriage of Prometheus and Covenant, and a few other topics. It broadcasts live every Sunday at 6pm CT, but you can watch past episodes anytime. Here's the first one.
One of our long-time NCG Studios members, Kimberly Johnson, conducted part of our Art Core workshop this summer. Here's what she had to say:
I had the pleasure of exploring gemstone and wire jewelry with the Art Core group at NCG Studios.
For me, the best thing about working with wire wrapped jewelry is the beauty of natural stones. Cutting and polishing a stone can be like finding a buried treasure. Some stones are tiny works of art on their own. We looked at several pieces including Picture Jasper, Amethyst, Aventurine, Opalized Sandstone, Crazy lace agate, and Tigers Eyes.
After a few instructions on tool safety, everyone picked a stone that appealed to them. Then we made simple wire wrapped pendants using various wires and pliers. Although everyone had the same instructions, each finished piece was as unique as the person that made it.
Art Core is one of the primary workshops at NCG. It encompasses all art forms, with activities designed to cultivate the imagination, and to get young minds deeply interested in being creative.
This week we focused on some useful techniques for designing characters, by starting with simple shapes, marking facial feature placement, and then creating a head based on these building blocks.
Some very interesting and entertaining characters were born from this activity.
The goal of the project was to install a large art display in our studio on a tiny budget. We chose Joey’s painting, “Somnambulist”, because it was strictly black and white. This meant that we could print it cheaply on a black and white laser printer at a local copy shop for very little cost, and then we could tile it all out on the wall.
We assembled our crew of young artists. A couple of our crew leaders organized the tiles into numbered rows, so that we could assemble the rows asynchronously without losing track of what tiles went where. Then they began to pass out and delegate tiles to our young crew, who either passed those tiles up to Joey and some other assemblers, or they climbed up and installed the tile themselves.
“Somnambulist” is a term that means “sleep walker”. This piece was the child of Joey’s story-telling style of painting. “There’s no particular meaning to the painting,” Joey said. “There was no real plan, except that I wanted to experiment with scale relationships between elements in a composition with one or more vanishing points. Other than that, I just started with a simple mockup I put together in one of my playground apps, and then I allowed my mind to explore a whole new world as the components of the painting slowly came together. I named the final piece Somnambulist, because at one point I imagined that maybe this giant floating head was dreaming, or that maybe he was suddenly waking up."
The installation probably took around 3 hours, including the final frame. It was a good time for everyone, and a great example of what we can achieve when we work together even just a little bit.
Our art director has a new community project in the works. We sat down to talk with him about it.
So What is Low Rez Magazine?
Low Rez is an offline, community built zine that you can hold and fold, designed to be printed cheaply, probably at home by myself and our contributors, or maybe at the local ship and print store for the better quality laser printers. The content is contributed by my talented friends and I. It’s really a mix-bag of art and culture, designed to help us see other viewpoints besides our own.
Why are you so interested in this project?
I love art projects. I love the challenge of a big puzzle that it takes more than one person to solve. I love great story telling, and I love comic books. So I’ve been thinking about this for years now. How do I combine all of these things that I love so much? How can I get people to work together on creative projects? About a year ago, I was sitting on my porch thinking about this challenge, and I remembered that when I was in high school, I produced a similar magazine with my friends. It was tons of fun, but we only managed to publish one issue. Now that I have a little more experience, I think it’s worth another try, to get this low-budget magazine model right this time, and show our community the kind of exciting things that are possible with just a little effort.
When will you launch the first issue?
There’s no set launch date. I don't think there will ever be one. It's ready when it's ready. As far as I’m concerned, there’s not even a commitment to publish the first issue. We're taking this a day at a time, with a low-pressure/no-pressure approach for myself and everyone who is working with me. I’m excited about this project, but it’s going to be a lot of work. The only way I can deal with that level of work, is to find the approaches that make it a constant joy for me, a sanctuary from the real world, a place where I can relax and have fun. So it’s going to take some time to figure out the way forward.
That said, even though this project is in early stages, I love so many things about it already. I’m determined to figure out a sustainable way to put out content on a regular basis.
So how can people read it?
The magazine is not even really a thing yet. It’s just a project I’ve been thinking about and planning for a while, and now I’m talking to people about the idea, and assembling a team to put it together.
Once we get to that point though, it will be published offline. If you want to read it, we can give you a copy or mail it to you. All those details need to be worked out.
Why not publish the magazine online?
In conjunction with the Art Core workshop, the Navigator Scouts of Chapter 53 gathered together with their leaders, Ricky and Kimberly, and some of the parents, to explore their creative side and paint rocks.
Paint what? Rocks? Yes, that's right, painting rocks. Not long ago, a new thing took Pensacola by storm ... Rock painting! People young and old have been joining in the fun of painting and hiding rocks around our beautiful city for others to find. Why? Simply to bring joy to others, put a smile on their face, or brighten their day. When someone finds a rock, they can either keep it or re-hide it. Either way, they are encouraged to post a picture on the Pensacola Rocks Facebook page.
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