Plus DrewToonz (Ron Pauly D!) and the Album of the Week: 'The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams'
Nearly Naked Drawing Sessions at the Tropicana
Sue Daly’s children have gone off to college. The freelance painter, who spends countless hours in her Atlantic County studio, started to get lonely. “I am a professional freelance artist,” says Daly, who has painted many murals in the area, including several inside The Quarter at Tropicana. (The iconic “indoor” Old Havana sky that hangs over Fiesta Plaza is her work.) “I work alone [and] I thought this would be a great way to get out and enjoy other artists.” The this is a new concept for Atlantic City — creative drawing sessions, at a nightlife venue (Firewaters bar at the Tropicana), with nearly nude models posing for artists and those who would like to try their hand at sketching live models. “It came to me a long time ago,” says Daly, “but I reached out to my friend Adam Goodman, who is co-owner of Firewaters [among other venues inside the Trop] and we decided, with the push for an arts district in Atlantic City currently underway, that now was the right time.” Firewaters will begin hosting the Nearly Naked Creative Sketching Sessions, the first Friday of every month starting this Friday, Oct. 7, from 7-10pm. Models for the live drawing sessions will be in “nearly naked” costumes for the duration of the session, which is open to people 21 and over. “This is a classic drawing figure class with a twist,” says Daly. “It’s not a quiet setting, but more like a party type of atmosphere.” Goodman is in charge of bringing the models, many of whom have never done live modeling for artists before. However, Daly says, Goodman already has many women “clamoring” to have themselves drawn at one of the sessions. For the October session, there will be a Halloween theme for the models’ costumes. “The girls are funky and sexy,” says Daly. “Some will have tattoos and pin-up girl costumes. Maybe we’ll have [male models] in there at some point down the road.” Most important, says Daly, is to gather local artists together on a regular basis. “I have feelings about how to bring artists to Atlantic City and one is that there needs to be more artsy events happening around town and more hiring of local artists,” says Daly, whose idea has morphed into a concept that has the potential to attract local artists on a monthly basis, an organized event that could be very welcome in the local arts community. “The sessions are open to the public, but artists are wanted,” stresses Daly. “We won’t turn anyone away, but we really want people who are capable of drawing, too.” For a $10 entry fee participants will have the chance to draw two models who will pose alone and together over the course of the three-hour session. At the end of the session, the models will choose one picture each to keep and that artist will receive $50. There will also be a light buffet included and Firewaters’ top-shelf drink menu will be available to order from. “We’re just testing the waters,” says Daly. “We have to start generating a buzz.” No photography will be permitted, but artists from most other media are welcome. Easels are permitted, and participants must bring all of their own materials. To RSVP and for more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 641-5330. — Jeff Schwachter
Chelsea up to the Challenge
The end of summer generally spurs reduced room rates (or even free rooms to preferred customers) at many of Atlantic City’s casino-hotels, which comes as good news to those who enjoy overnight visits to Atlantic City during the non-peak seasons and staying where they play. For the upscale Chelsea hotel, however, which is within walking distance to the Boardwalk casinos but has no gaming itself, the cut-rate casino rooms is not-so-good news. The Chelsea recently announced that it will scale back its hours of business for the first time since debuting in summer 2008. The 331-room boutique-style hotel had its fourth successful summer season, but will scale back from a weeklong schedule to four nights, Thursday through Sunday, until May, according to a statement by Chelsea general manager Patrick Logue. The exception will be conventions or special events that may demand midweek lodging, and the reduced hours will include Chelsea’s two restaurants, Chelsea Prime steakhouse and Teplitzky’s diner. The restaurants and the hotel’s Fifth Floor entertainment section will be fully functional and operate under their usual hours during the restructured business schedule. — Ray Schweibert
‘The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williamss’
Bob Dylan’s Egyptian label released a tribute to the Grandpa of Country Music — Jimmie Rodgers — back in 1997, featuring a cross-section of musicians paying tribute to the “Singing Breakman.” Fourteen years later, Dylan’s label, in conjunction with CMF Records and Columbia, have released the much anticipated The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams, which features 12 artists — including Dylan on the cool cut “The Love That Faded,” recorded with his crack road band — putting music to “lost” songs of the Father of Country Music, which were discovered a few years ago within the pages of old notebooks left in a cardboard box. None have been previously recorded and all needed music and arrangements; some even additional lyrics. Along for the ride are Alan Jackson, Norah Jones (with Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings), Jack White, Lucinda Williams, Levon Helm, Sheryl Crow, Bob’s son Jakob, and others keeping Williams’ flame glowing and imagining these tunes as he might have played them — if he had lived past the age of 29. — Jeff Schwachter
You might also be interested in reading these two award-winning stories by Jeff Schwachter:
Drew Toonz (see more Drew Toonz comics here)
Here, in celebration of what will most likely be Bob Dylan’s final Atlantic City performance before he becomes a septuagenarian next May 24, are 69 things to love about one of the greatest ...
In the 40 years since Bob Dylan "plugged in" for his notorious electric tour, it's become even more evident how that string of concerts affected the world of popular music. As author Ron Bowman notes...
Renovated housing attracts better tenants, which attracts more renovations in the neighborhood. By fixing what we have already, we can immediately put local people to work without the politics of the unions and commercial construction or out of town development interests.
Tuesday, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) begins a process of finding out what artists think of the district and what they’d like to see included in plans through an official survey the state funding authority hopes will reach 3,000 area and regional artists.
A large portion of the plan was devoted to creating non-gaming related facilities. Practical amenities such as a grocery store, as well as more cultural offerings such as an arts district, would serve to bring a more family oriented feel to Atlantic City.
The CRDA last month authorized $70,000 for an initial study to create a “neighborhood strategy area” — designed to outline a plan to transform Atlantic City neighborhoods into an arts district and others into medical and education districts. The CRDA could begin land acquisition in the area as early as February....