UK Art Tour puts Kentuckian Artist Michael Waddell on World Stage Wednesday, Jun 5 2013
The Photographic Angle linked with the Royal Photographic Society has chosen some of Louisville Artist Michael J. Waddell’s artistic work, where he captures the “kinetic energy” of jazz performers, for their upcoming exhibition in the United Kingdom. These pieces will be in Photographic Angle’s forthcoming art exhibition titled, Performance.
This will be the Louisville artist’s premier entry on the world stage of photographic art.
The Performance exhibition will begin July 6, 2013 and run through July 10, 2013 at the Camberley Building B, Watchmoor Park, GU153YL UK.
The next engagement will be July 13, 2013 through July 17, 2013 at the Greenford Glaxo Smithkline (North Site), Greenford Road, Middx, UB60HE, followed by three-day exhibition at the Crawley 1st Choice House, London Road, RH109GX. The tour continues July 27th, 2013 through July 31st at the 2013 Bristol Tower Wharf. Cheese Lane, Bristol, BS2 0JJ.
The highlight grand event will be Aug 3, 2013 through August 7, 2013 at the Greater London Kings House & Queens House, Kymberley Road, Harrow, HA1 1YR.
You can preview michael10’s works online at www.redbubble.com/people/michael10.
The Photographic Angle holds free exhibitions that travel across the UK transforming otherwise empty spaces into temporary galleries. The exhibitions showcase contemporary work submitted by students, graduates and enthusiasts of the art of photography, giving the public the chance to explore this fascinating medium which can be art, an occupation, or simply a pastime.
For each exhibition, an expert in the art of photography is invited to select a new theme inspired by their own research, for which photographers can submit work to tour around TPA galleries throughout the UK. Work can be submitted to this website by visiting the “Submit to Exhibit” page. Following submission, chosen images are printed by the charity, at no expense to the photographers submitting them. New themes are chosen regularly, and exhibitions are constantly changing.
Derby Week Depravity According to the Professor Saturday, May 18 2013
Beauty and Fashion and Business and Churchill Downs and Events and Golden Soul and I Was There and John Gilderbloom and Kentucky Derby and LoUnique and media and Orb and Painted Lady and Sport 9:53 am
By John “Hans” Gilderbloom Ph.D.
Rick Redding said it best –the Kentucky Derby Festival is the best place in the world to be; Louisville, Kentucky shines like no other place in the world. He is so right.
Many come to the Derby because they have already made it. They display it by living big — eating at the best restaurants, staying at the nicest hotels, being seen on Millionaires Row, and attending the most lavish parties. Oh, and don’t forget the eye candy — on display all over town are the most beautifully dressed people in the world.
It’s a festival of fashion where the young can look gorgeous in a $10 white dress with black polka dots from the consignment store at Baxter and Morton. and so do movie stars behind the cyclone fence in Highlands mansions. Louisville looks as good as a party in Saint-Tropez, South Miami Beach, Amsterdam, Venice or San Francisco.
For two weeks Louisville is the “it” place to be. A Miami model and hipster said it best: “The Derby is like an Adult Prom. We dress up in our best outfits, take lots of pictures, dance, drink like fish, Party like rock stars, make complete fools out of ourselves, all our friends crowd into expensive hotel rooms, rent limo’s and have fun memories that last us a lifetime.”
Note to the Mayor: Maybe the Kentucky Derby attracts corporate relocation.
April is the best month to be in Louisville. Cold weather and snow is finally gone. The city looks lush with blooming plants — tulips galore, roses in bloom and trees bringing much needed shade. Our nation’s largest collection of Victorians is sparking; the 900 block of Baxter is the place to hang out. Rich or poor, black or white, English or Spanish speaking — the Derby is a place of romance, beauty, love, strength, friendship, athleticism, camaraderie and fraternity.
I see it when I rent my Highlands Painted Lady Victorian out to fraternity brothers from University of Wisconsin, or best friends from middle school in Chicago, or Phoenix real estate moguls, or Atlanta family reunions, or University of Chicago Sorority sisters, Southern California developers, San Francisco family reunions; this is the ninth year. It’s more pleasure than burdensome – it’s fun being a tour guide and ambassador to Louisville. And there hasn’t been a single CD taken or any damage done by the guests —save a broken tile.
For me, that is the best part of Derby. It’s not being on the finish line
Reunions of family and friends are heartwarming to the human spirit; it renews the soul and heart gives us time to make mid-course corrections. For me, that is the best part of Derby. It’s not being on the finish line. It renews my faith in humankind, gives me direction, and hope. So Derby is a tonic for the soul.
Sure, I make the equivalent of a month’s salary doing this, but in turn I spend $1,500 fixing up the place, cleaning and hiring a full-time maid service, moving in futons, renting an outdoor lavatory, renting the historic and iconic fire truck to get guests to the Derby/Oaks.
I rent vans to take guests to restaurants, buy breakfast pastries from the Blue Dog Bakery, along with lots of fruit and juice. In the afternoon, we provide two ice chests of beer, wine and soft drinks as well. The time spent advertising and organizing my crew adds to the pre-Derby preparations.
Finally, with my home rented, I stay with Rick Redding. At his place, I immediately break his bed solo (too bad it was just me alone!), spoil him with drinks and food at the Oaks, and spend $75 with maid service cleaning up his place and my mess.
I do know statistical odds; that is why I have a Ph.D. after my name. Based on a host of factors, I can predict with 95 percent certainty the odds that your neighborhood’s value (historic and downtown) will go up in value; or even worse how long you will live based on what neighborhood you choose to live. Even if I calculate while sober and bring a host of “smart factors” into my betting choices, I break even after subtracting entrance fees, food, parking and other bets lost.
You can make a lot of money in Derby if you are unwise, superstitious, and foolish; just don’t bet a lot on it. Last year, I wanted to know if anyone on Millionaires Row had really made money betting. I found one guy! He told me he was able to put two of kids through school with his profits. I believe him, but wonder how much did he lose to get that $200,000 to pay for college?
So this year I met up with another guy at a Millionaires Row breakfast to see a Wednesday workout and he tells me that Orb is the one. “Don’t bet on Rick’s Pitino’s horse, Goldencents, but bet the other one which also has “Gold,” as in Golden Soul.
Postscript: Orb and Golden Soul finished first and second; but I lost the $20 exacta by betting on Rick’s horse!
I will never make money betting. My day job is all about statistics and odds— in the end you break even or stop after you have cashed your big ticket. I am too wooden to bet on the horse with the longest odds — the Oaks winner, Prince of Sylmar, was 38-1, or to use the other approach used by many, beting on horses based on names, numbers or colors. Some box it and win; at least, that’s how a 72-year-old man won big in our box. He had his gorgeous wife pick 10 different finish orders with a $100 bet and won a Derby Superfecta – he made $12,435.
Lesson: Don’t look at the odds or the experts randomly and hope to get lucky. But who can resist a $3 exact bet that might give you a return of $3, 345 by choosing the finish order of three horses out of 12? Now that is seductive! I like those odds.
What is the best bet? Forget about the tales you read here and there about big bucks. Bet $10 on an Exacta and make $10,000 or buy my book and invest in green real estate in the historic neighborhoods of Portland, East Market, Germantown, Highlands, East Russell, Butchertown or Clifton. If you break even , you are a winner. One of my guests at the painted lady spent several thousand dollars on food, housing, transportation, new clothes from Michigan Avenue, liquor, gifts to friends and wife; betting and a blow up doll for the bachelor party. When he subtracted his take from the track, the four day holiday only cost him $400.
The best party is not in Kentucky, but in southern Indiana, where the remarkable and gorgeous Mudd sisters host a Steamboat Race party Wednesday before the Derby. This is where Louisville was founded more than 200 years ago along the Falls of Ohio and you get a great look at the spectacular Louisville skyline. 85 percent of the fundraisers’ proceeds go to an Alzheimer’s charity. This year it raised an astounding $35,000 at $40 a person. Bet on this party.
A great local band is always hired — but starts too late — and the food is, well, better than your local school cafeteria. But this is where locals put on their best party dress, heels and the magical Victoria Secret super lifter bra that can make pears into grapefruits. People come to dance, eat and mingle. I like the bright pastel pants in orange, salmon, blue and red along with lots of bow ties. But no guy looked as good as local paisley king Mark Lamkin (pictured right). Or my house renters pictured here on the fire truck.
More stories more true than false:
A single mom who works as a waitress makes two months of her salary. The best paying job at Derby is being a bartender at the one of those $150,000 two-story corporate suites near the finish line. My favorite waitress made $3,000 in cash tips in two days working 12-hour shifts, plus being paid $12 an hour, AND an estimated $7,000 in credit card tips—makes this a spectacular $10,000 Derby! But next time she is going to do four days and hopes to make $15,000 in tips like her roommate.
Random notes: Hits and misses!
The first night I took my 12 Derby guests to my favorite French restaurant, La Coop, which my guests proclaimed as outstanding. They loved the hanger steak and deer meat. They thought the wine selection was top notch as well and could compete with any Chicago 4-star restaurant. That’s a big compliment from guys who eat from the restaurant capital of the United States.
Jeff Ruby’s is a popular nightspot downtown, but as a place for steak I think it is not even close to our steak houses. My steak was certainly thick, but the amount of fat seemed like one-third of its composition. I have tried his other restaurants in Newport and Cincinnati, but it’s never lived up to the hype. The house band is good and the staff is good-looking and friendly. But East Market and Bardstown Road restaurants can beat Jeff Ruby’s when it comes to red meat. My house guests also loved Flanagan’s cheeseburgers, and O’Shea’s and Molly Malone’s to hangout and listen to local music. Phoenix Hill put on another good show just blocks away with an 80’s hair band called Jackal.
This is my story and not the other version by the most quoted Derby writer Louisville’s own Hunter Thompson, who called the Derby the most depraved and decadent party on earth; a place of one-night stands or even one-hour stands, drunkenness, debauchery and bad street drugs.
I guess that exists if you want to find it but for me it is much more. Derby is a self-induced amnesia to forget about whether our civilization can survive.
Derby is a pause for us to reflect on the greatness of achievements made by humankind.
Over 80 Presenters, 3000 Attendees at Second Annual How-To Festival Thursday, May 16 2013
Free and open to the public, the How-To Festival gained over 3000 visitors this year, more than double the first year’s attendance. This was a major group effort, coordinated by the LFPL and made possible through hundreds of volunteers, including over 80 local presenters who came from all walks of life.
From learning how to dance gangnam style to beading bracelets to raising chickens to improving website SEO, there was something for every age group and interest. As a presenter myself in the business section, I met a 54 year-old woman and a 13 year-old boy who were both learning how to design remarkable business cards. It’s amazing how diverse a crowd you could find any of the presentations.
LFPL’s Education Manager, Judy Rosenfield explains “It was exciting to see the effort and enthusiasm of more than 80 presenters who donated their time to teaching – and delighting – all the people who came. What a vibrant and generous community we have.”
“The bread-making teacher – a lawyer by day – got an email at home from a class member with a photo of bread baked over the weekend. Someone also made a simple backyard rocket launcher and emailed the photo to the person who taught the class.”
“I love looking at the photos and seeing the diversity of every audience – from 5-year-olds to 65-year-olds learning square dancing, African drumming, cartooning.”
Work is already beginning on preparing for next year’s How-to Festival. While there’s already a list growing for next year’s presentations, the Louisville Free Public Library is open for more ideas. You can reach them at email@example.com.
The Prettiest in Pictures from the Oaks Monday, May 6 2013
Derby Trophy is a Labor of Love Saturday, May 4 2013
The legacy, the history and gravitas of the Kentucky Derby is virtually unsurpassed by other sporting events of its kind. From the rags to riches stories, down to the sheer atmosphere of the present or days gone by, most see it as a day of fun and revelry. But for a few, there is an emotional, familial bond that takes place the first Saturday in May, and for Susanne Blackinton, it’s her day.
You see, Susanne and her husband Bill Juaire are the primary artisans for New England Sterling behind the making of the Gold Cup, presented only to those who win the Kentucky Derby.
Why is that special, you ask?
Well, not only is she an anomaly in her field as a woman, but also a 5th generation in her industry, she was born to create such works of art, and just like our beloved Derby thoroughbreds, it’s in her DNA.
At the tender age of 5, she remembers going to her Father’s workshop, and marveling at the tools, the workbench and the creations of her family. She would examine the unworked metals, and the smell of shop stays with her still.
“It is the one bond I share with my Father, that can never be broken.” She states.
But three of the most important men in her life are also connected to the Cup, her father of course, her husband and her mentor. Together, they form the most coveted prize in the sport of Kings.
Her family founded R. Blackinton Company in 1862, and created many wonderful pieces for the finest silver companies such as Gorham and Tuttle’s. Then in 1975, the focus changed. The Kentucky Derby trophy cup landed in their lap, and their foremost silversmith began a tradition that continues today. One of her mentors is a gentleman who worked in her father’s original company, Walter Bigos.
“What Walter taught me then still stands to this day; that this is the Gold Cup, it is always given 120% effort and not a dollar or an hour is shortcut in its creation. It is the Gold Cup, after all.”
Suzanne met her husband, Bill Juaire, at the company. He worked as the sole Master Spinner, which is a specialized art and a crutial component in creating the Gold Cup.
Suzanne has always been an artist, always creating something, and after working outside the industry, she went right back to the workbench.
She didn’t have it easy. As a woman in her field, with her Father as the boss who worried about showing favoritism, she earned this esteemed position. Learning from the bottom up, working in various departments, she eventually earned the position to apprentice with Master Silversmith, Walter Bigos.
She explained to me that she is meticulous in detail, Walter describes Suzanne as ” attentive, enthused, passionate and sincere,” and I can personally affirm that description.
In this light, to create more dimension and depth of the horse, they made a perfectly crafted mold for the gold.
Each year extra attention is given to the horse, such as adding detail to his mane and shining up his hoofs. As she receives this horse piece, Suzanne places it on her workbench. That horse then watches over all the work on the trophy for the next year. When asked if she has ever named them, she says its usually just a girl or boy, and she will speak words of praise to them each day speaking to it as if he/ she is the winner. The spirit of the Derby winner is born from gold that day, until he is placed in position atop the Gold Cup.
“It’s the cherry on top, so it waits for last.”
Together with her husband Bill, the Kentucky Derby Gold Cup nears its completion before the first Saturday in May.
Susanne explains that the hardest part of creating the Cup is not the hours of hand work done, rather it is packing it up and letting it go. So much of her daily life, emotions and craftsmanship goes into each one, that by the time it is ready for the Derby, it is like letting go of a relationship. Her solace comes in presenting the Gold Cup for the Derby is that she knows the winner will love and care for it. Watching the owner or jockey hold it up in the air in the winners circle is so rewarding, and it brings them so much joy.
An image of Giacomo’s jockey, Mike Smith kissing the cup on his win, holds a special place in her heart.
Her earliest memories of the Derby are those of a little girl, waking up to a present from her Father’s trip to Louisville. She always imagined how grand the Derby was, and 2005 was her first. She marvels still at the history and tradition of the races, and she is so proud of all the Derby winners, that she hopes they will all know the love, care and uniqueness that each Gold Cup holds.
Now we do, Susanne, now we do.
Who Do You Like? Our Man Puts Value on Normandy Invasion Saturday, May 4 2013
by Chris Baughman
LouisvilleKY.com Handicapping Expert
When Calvin Borel guided Mine That Bird to victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, the race was changed forever. Today at Churchill Downs we will see several long shots who would not be entered in the distant past, but will take their chances and hope to repeat the success of Mine That Bird. However many of them appear hopelessly over-matched. With that in mind, here a four horses who appear to be over-matched in this years Derby:
Giant Finish appears completely outclassed. His two wins have come in races restricted to New York bred horses, and his trainer Tony Dutrow said he was pointing the horse to an allowance race when the owners made the call to send the horse to the Derby. A giant finish appears unlikely.
Falling Sky has shown good early speed in his races, however when the stretch run comes he has been going the wrong direction. Stretching out to 1 ¼ miles against the best field he has ever faced is not a recipe for success.
Golden Soul has run well in his races and worked himself into contention by the middle of the stretch repeatedly, but has failed to show a strong kick in the final 1/8 of a mile. There is no reason to think that will change against this field.
Lines of Battle comes into the race having run in just one race this year, the UAE Derby, a race in which the final time was ridiculously slow, partially as the result of a slow pace. He has never run on the dirt and has chosen an awfully tough to race to get dirt experience.
Morning line favorites Orb, Verrazano, and Goldencents have obvious credentials and it would not be surprising to see any of these horses win the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Looking for value, here are some other contenders who could wear the roses.
Normandy Invasion finished a strong second in the Wood Memorial despite trying to close into a slow pace that favored the speedy Verrazano. In his prior start at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, he went to his nose at the start then circled the field from last only to come up 1 ½ lengths short. With a clean trip and legitimate pace he has a great chance in the Derby.
Revolutionary is on a three race win streak and has gotten better as the races have gone farther. The team of jockey Calvin Borel, trainer Todd Pletcher, and owner WinStar farm won the 2010 Kentucky Derby with Super Saver.
Java’s War will most likely be coming from dead last, but if a hot pace develops he may be up to the task. In his most recent start he came from last to win the Bluegrass Stakes at Keeneland, but his start before that in the Tampa Bay Derby may have been even more impressive, as he was gaining on Verrazano in the stretch.
Oxbow has a pedigree that suggests he will really like a muddy track. He has been caught wide in his last several races and good racing luck has seemed to elude him. If he puts it all together in the Derby he could score at a huge price.
Putting it all together, Normandy Invasion is the value play in this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Princess of Sylmar Friday, May 3 2013
The Long-Shot “Princess of Sylmar” ran amazingly to win the $1 million Kentucky Oaks on Friday at Churchill Downs. She is one of four fillies trained by Todd Pletcher and this 38-1 horse upstaged the 3-2 favorite Dreaming of Julia. This puts Pletcher in the mix for a weekend sweep Saturday in the Kentucky Derby, where he has a record-tying five entries – including Verrazano.
A slow starting Dreaming of Julia lagged behind before recovering in the stretch to finish fourth. By then, Princess of Sylmar was amazing a crowd of 113,820 with her third win in four starts this year.
Starting from the No. 6 post with the super-jockey Mike Smith aboard, Princess of Sylmar ran the 1 1/8 miles in 1:49.17 and paid $79.60, $29.40 and $14.00. Beholder returned $9 and $5.60, and Unlimited Budget, another Pletcher entry, paid $3.80 to show.
“I’ve never come close in the Kentucky Oaks and I’ve always wanted to win this race so bad,” Smith said. “I thank Todd for putting her in.”
On numbers alone, Pletcher figured to get some return in the 10-horse field along with four competitors, including 48-1 choice Silsita. Dreaming of Julia was expected to provide the payoff, bringing in a 4-1-1 record including a 22-length win in her last start at Gulfstream Park on March 30.
But with a deep field featuring several unbeaten competitors, anything was possible.
Unlimited Budget, sired by 2007 Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense by Unlimited Pleasure, came in 4-0 under Pletcher. Close Hatches was 3-0 for trainer Bill Mott while Midnight Lucky was 2-0, providing Bob Baffert’s lone on-track presence at Churchill Downs in a week that saw him scratch Code West and Govenor Charlie from the Derby.
Princess of Sylmar had her own claim to make with four wins in six career starts and a second to Close Hatches in last month’s Grade 2 Gazelle at Aqueduct. Smith ultimately helped her talent show in the final turn.
As the field turned for home, Smith had her in the clear but fourth behind Midnight Lucky, Beholder and Unlimited Budget. Beholder dispatched Midnight Lucky but was caught by Princess of Sylmar in the stretch.
Doing Derby Right Since 1978 Friday, May 3 2013
There’s really nothing like Oaks Day in Louisville. Where else does a major metro school district call off school for a local event? You know all the reasons — the weather, the hats, the drinks, the out-of-towners, the celebrities, the parties.
On the backside this morning, WDRB’s Sterling Riggs asked a question that made me feel a hundred years old — namely how many of these I’d done. I don’t feel that old, but I did walk three miles home from my first Derby 35 years ago. Ouch.
Here are few observations left in my brain after all those Mint Juleps and multiple trips around the Infield:
Go, at least once, to the backside. Whether your thrill is standing right next to these giant beasts, or seeing racing legends up close (today, Bob Baffert and Gary Stevens), or just absorbing the excitement that comes with being around so many media types and quasi-celebrities, it’s quite the place to be. And it’s free. Where else could you just happen by John Yarmuth and Scott Davenport and Tim Laird doing media interviews?
And do breakfast, at least once, at Wagner’s during Derby Week. The pharmacy on Fourth is crowded, the food is average, but it’s one place that hasn’t changed in decades. And you never know who might pop in.
I come by my interest in the Derby honestly. My dad, Buddy Redding, sold pari-mutuel tickets back when you had to go to a $2 Win window to place a $2 Win bet. I used to wait for him to come home and study his marked-up program. My mom, Dorothy, always held a Derby party at our South End home, until she started working for the Derby caterer, booking waitresses on Millionaires Row.
Mom used to give me a t-shirt every year, so I memorized the names of all the Derby winners from the back of the shirt.
Picking Derby Winners: I’ve been touting this theory that it’s the week of Orb. You have to go back to 1923, 90 years ago, to find a Derby winner with a three-letter name, Zev. Orb is the first contender I heard about this week, so I went with picking the horses with the shortest names in the field.
On Wednesday, Said won the first race. Grind won the second. I was on to something. So I thought. Push was scratched. And I had really gotten my hopes up for Siva, Rick Pitino’s horse, in the 8th. Dead last. So much for the theory,but it’s as good a way to pick horses as choosing based on jockey colors or selecting gray horses. I’ll probably try it for Oaks Day.
That kind of system sure beats taking the time to study the form and making more educated guesses. As far as the Derby goes, I’ve had some pretty good luck since my first, when I took Kym, my high school girlfriend, to the infield to bet on Affirmed. I wrote a poem about the experience for my Iroquois High School English teacher, Mrs. Stapp, who admonished me for the line “and beer seemed a bargain, at a dollar a cup.”
I worked as a busboy on Millionaire’s Row in 1979 and 1980, slipping in a bet on Spectacular Bid during a break. I began taking my fraternity brothers to the Infield in 1981, and remember (vaguely) cashing tickets on Pleasant Colony and Gato Del Sol.
In 1984, after a beautiful day, the heavens emptied just after Swale (one-name winner!) crossed the finish line. I’ve never been wetter. There was no shelter back then in the Infield, before it was corporate-ized.
I loved Spend a Buck in 1985, and someone in my group had Ferdinand the next year. My last wild infield experience came when Alysheba made history in 1987. The next year, I found myself in Sunset Beach, North Carolina on Derby Day, one of only two Derbies in which I’ve been more than 10 miles from the track. I was happy, through, because Winning Colors won on one of the most miserable Derby Days, weather-wise, in history.
The other time I was out of town was 1998, when Real Quiet won as I watched in a Hawaii bar early in the morning. I wrote about that one for Business First.
I didn’t make it to the track much in the 1990s, except covering it in 1997 for Business First. I must have been pre-0ccupied with raising sons. But in 1992 I sent a fluke $2 exacta bet on Lil E. Tee, #7, with my neighbor. My then-wife had lucky numbers she wanted to bet, so it was 7-3. Casual Lies finished 2nd, and the ticket paid $854.40, money I’ve been paying back ever since.
In 2004, I was involved in raising some money for a jockey-related charity, and spent most of Derby Day in the jockey’s room, an unglamorous location where we were sewing patches on the pants of jockeys willing to do so, even though the rules weren’t clear on what jockeys were permitted to wear. A couple of our patches made it in the race, but not on Smarty Jones’ jockey.
In the mid-2000s, I was in a group that knew a spot on the outside of the first turn. You could get an Infield ticket and set up over there, right on the outside rail, and see all the connections to the horses make the walk past on the way to the paddock. My son Luke, then 7, insisted we bet on #10 in 2005. I ignored him, because I’d never heard of Giacomo. Luke still enjoys telling that story. I think it was the next year, when Barbaro won, that a deluge had us sliding into the gully created there. Last year I noticed the ever-enterprising Downs management had paved the area for box seats.
You may have heard those in the in-crowd talking about Derby Week as a marathon. In 2011, when Animal Kingdom won, I tried to do it all. I went to Churchill all day Friday and Saturday, and major, black-tie parties Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I’ll tell you that it’s possible to do all that, but not advisable. Too much Derby is more than enough.
So I’m keeping the schedule at a manageable level this year, but plan to be over there, near the finish line, when Orb becomes only the second three-letter named Derby winner in history.