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Showing posts from June, 2012

LeRoy Neiman: An Appreciation

Standing squarely in front of a LeRoy Neiman painting, you can get lost in the commotion of paint, chaos of movement and bold lines of brilliant color which suggest that the whole mass is about to leap off the paper. As one of the most recognizable artists in American history, Neiman himself is made of bold lines, topped by a fedora, cigar in one hand, and sketchbook in the other.
            He painted and sketched the times of the fifties through the twenty-first century in a riot of color and complexity, not only an artist but as a documentarian. Like the early painters who painted scenes from the lives around them before the birth of the camera, Neiman preserved scenes of other people’s lives in oils, enamel, watercolor, pencils, and pastels. He painted and sketched the sports scene from boxing to golf to baseball, basketball, horse racing, and hockey;  Frank Sinatra, Muhammad Ali, Norman Mailer, Red Smith, the Olympics—this listing could go on for a few pages. In the seventies an…

A Lesson of Perseverance: One Student's Speech at Commencement

It took eight years. And now, finally, this writer has earned her bachelor's degree. 

It was time. With an associate's degree in communications and a few scattered credits at colleges around the city, and with a hefty writing career behind me, I made the decision to enrich my writing by enrolling at Hunter College. What a remarkable education. Not only did I end my time with a perfect score in my literature and writing classes, but I was honored to be chosen at the student speaker at commencement., which took place yesterday at Cooper Union. Standing at the same podium that Abraham Lincoln once used, this newly minted graduate with a CUNY Baccalaureate in Unique and Interdisciplinary Studies received the Nan Bauer-Maglin Prize for Literary Studies, and will be studying (why stop now?) at the CUNY Graduate Center in the fall.

For those of you who attended the ceremony and showed your support, a heartfelt thank you. For those of you who weren't able to attend, the text of the …