June 8, 2012 |
Mid-May brought artists from 17 states to participate in Wayne Art Center's Sixth Annual Plein Air Festival. Most of the 23 artists accepted for this increasingly competitive event came from a distance and were guests of local families while painting landscapes in and around Wayne for five festival days. The weather cooperated, and the art center hung the work as fast as it came in - hundreds of paintings, all for sale. Shelby Keefe, a full-time artist from Milwaukee, deservedly won two awards, best in show and Plein Air Magazine's prize, for an oil landscape portraying Ithan and one of Center City, respectively.
May 21, 2012 |
The development of Canada's tar sands and North Dakota's Bakken oil shale region have profoundly transformed the U.S. energy landscape. U.S. and Canadian oil production has risen 11 percent since 2010 and could rise by as much as 50 percent over the next decade. More plentiful North American supply has lowered costs for some U.S. refineries, but mainly in places such as Oklahoma and Illinois, where it can be shipped via the Keystone pipeline. But there are no pipelines to carry this oil to the U.S. coastal refining hubs.
April 16, 2012 |
Dan Mitchell has borrowed $3 million in the last year and a half to buy real estate and equipment to expand his brewery, Ithaca Beer Co. It wasn't easy. Mitchell went to at least four banks in Ithaca, N.Y., looking for a loan to buy real estate and equipment. His sales were growing 25 percent a year and the company had become profitable. His distributors wanted to buy more beer from him. But most of the loan officers just handed him applications and told him to send them in. Even a bank that had already loaned Mitchell money wasn't interested.
March 18, 2012 |
The photographer Emmet Gowin is justifiably well known for the remarkably frank, and simultaneously mysterious, portraits he took of his wife, Edith Morris, and their family in the 1960s and '70s. His aerial photographs of landscapes ravaged by strip mining and weapons testing, taken over the next two decades, offer a similarly matter-of-fact yet ambiguous view of their subjects, but from a distance. Over the last decade, Gowin has gotten up close and personal again, photographing various species of moths in Panama and South America alone, during the day, and as they flit around Edith at night, creating ribbons of light in the dark.
February 19, 2012 |
Pentimenti Gallery regular Steven Baris continues to study and interpret the elasticity and ambiguity of the exurban landscape and its big-box architecture in his recent geometric paintings on canvas and Mylar, and his painted Plexiglas wall sculptures. In particular, his large oil paintings on canvas, showing diagrammatic outlines floating in milky atmospheres, express the banality and soullessness of the exurbs. Baris also has created an installation for the gallery's Project Room, "Exurban Archipelago," that includes a video of a distribution center that appears to have been shot by Baris through the windows of a moving car; it captures the facility's anonymous contours to a T. Baris' work is nicely complemented by Kim Beck's large graphite drawings, in which she reorganizes the typical suburban and exurban landscape into complex compositions with cutouts.
February 13, 2012 |
As anyone with a laptop or cellphone knows, battery life has made great strides over the years, but has plenty of room for improvement. That's one of the goals behind some new research at Drexel University, where engineers have developed a new class of materials that take the form of whisper-thin "nanosheets. " The team recently reported that these layers - so thin that it would take thousands of them to match the thickness of a human hair - could be used to store a charge in a lithium-ion battery.
February 5, 2012 |
Pop quiz! Identify these political heavy hitters: Edward Conrad, Robert Mercer, John Paulson, Bob Perry, Julian Robertson, Paul Singer, Sheldon Adelson. Give up? They're very rich people who have inaugurated a brand new era of politics in America, the Daddy Warbucks era. Their lavish donations have been directly responsible for the unprecedented glut of toxic TV attack ads that have debased the Republican presidential race, most recently in Florida. The first six donors (all of whom are investment bankers and hedge fund executives, with the exception of home builder Perry)
February 1, 2012 |
The characterization of a codefendant - as a lovesick pup or a mad-dog killer - loomed large during opening statements in the Chester County homicide trial of Morgan M. Mengel on Tuesday. The 36-year-old mother of three is accused of conspiring with her codefendant, Stephen M. Shappell, 22, to poison and fatally beat her husband, Kevin Mengel, 33, at the landscaping business the Mengels ran in West Goshen Township. When the toxin - an Internet recipe for liquid nicotine that was mixed with lemon Snapple - did not work fast enough, Shappell bludgeoned Kevin Mengel to death, striking him so hard that he broke a shovel, police said.
January 6, 2012 |
'Learning to See," Nancy Hellebrand's photo exhibition at the James A. Michener Art Museum, sets forth changing assumptions about American landscape photography - not for her just another traditional view of the natural world. To accomplish her impressive aim - learning a new way of seeing and presenting landscape simply, in a series of large-scale color photos - is perhaps beyond anyone's ability. Yet taken as a kind of shorthand, the display by this Philadelphia-born photographer, who has been exhibiting internationally since 1973 and working in color digital photography since the 1990s, is both instructive and pleasurable.