Friday Night Live!! at the Museum

New! One Friday a month, the Art Museum welcomes the community to a free live performance in the galleries. 

Thanks to our sponsors:

Jim and Sandy Bodenmiller, Purdue Federal Credit Union


Friday, October 28, 2016
7 - 8 pm

Poetry and music began together in oral performance and, at various periods, poetry and music have been presented together, most notably in the US by the Beat poets and their imitators, accompanied by bebop and cool jazz, from around 1948 until the early 60’s.  Of the many things they were up to, the Beats wanted to make poetry sound like jazz and they did, but not usually to the benefit of the poetry, and frequently trivializing the jazz.

For over ten years our project has been to find an alternative way to present poetry with jazz by not trying to make the poetry mimic jazz. Rather the goal has been to enhance the experience of the audience by using jazz to accompany the poetry, believing especially that oral performance of poetry can be more exciting and meaningful when combined with jazz accompaniment.  The poetry is composed, and much of the music has been “worked out” by the poet and musicians in rehearsal beforehand, but during each performance there will be moments of improvisation and spontaneous exchange between the poet, the poems, and the musicians--and also among all of them. 

The Danny Weiss Group is an eclectic jazz ensemble that works as a duo, trio, quartet, and quintet, combining the best of early and modern jazz—from Coleman Hawkins to Ornette Coleman and beyond. The group is a staple of the Northern Indiana jazz scene. Its various members have performed in clubs and concert halls throughout the world. Here & Now, on CoHEARence Records, documents the group’s exciting sound. Group leader Danny Weiss plays woodwinds, composes, and occasionally sings. Currently living in West Lafayette, IN, Weiss spent many years in New York and Chicago


Bassist Lynn Colwell has been involved with music performance and education in Lafayette, IN since 1988. Prior to moving to the area, Colwell was a bandsman in the United States Marine Corps. In addition to his work with the Danny Weiss Group, Colwell has performed with the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Citizens Band, the Tony Zamora Jazz Ensemble, the Emporium Dixieland Jazz Band, and Los Blancos Latin Jazz Band.


Writer/Poet Don Seybold has been in the jazz scene in greater Lafayette since the mid 70’s when he began presenting jazz at a club in WL, then creating and hosting the Jazz Series for Purdue Convocations beginning in 1980, co-creating the Purdue January Jazz Fest in 1990, and co-founding the Lafayette Jazz Club in 2008. Since 1987 he has hosted a jazz radio program, which is currently heard on WBAA, Purdue’s NPR station. As a musician in Pittsburgh and NYC from 55- 62, he heard many Beat influenced poets performing jazz with poetry.  In 2005, he began working with Danny’s group.


In 2010 and again in 2013, Don collaborated with painter Jeff Smith on two exhibits for TAF, “Paint and Poetry: A Conversation” and “Ink and Oil: Further Conversations.” This brief excerpt suggests one dynamic that evolved during those two projects:

Various issues emerged and began to intrigue us about the similarities and differences confronting artists working in different genres.  We also found it fascinating and extraordinarily helpful to compare and contrast our individual responses to each other’s work, in terms of the interpretive and the aesthetic.

Today’s presentation combines the experiences of both TAF projects, and the ongoing Jazz and Poetry Project, with the emphasis not so much on how art gets made but rather how it gets consumed—or more precisely—interpreted. Some of the poems will be from the TAF exhibits, as well as poems that I have composed since those experiences because of my continuing interest in—even obsession with—what goes on in the complex physical, mental, and emotional spaces when someone stands in front of a painting. This will be the very first time we will have created and presented this particular program.


      the woman looking at the painting says to her husband

 that’s jeff, he’s blue
did the woman mean sad
in a manner of speaking

 is the ambiguity color or language
if that’s jeff’s painting is jeff that painting?
is he sad
no objective correlative
just color
what damn color is jeff, anyway

Painting the Inspiration: The Intersection between Eyes and Ears

November 18, 2016
7 - 8 pm

Taking a brush loaded with color and touching it to a surface that explodes, intermingles and changes before you, I find inspiring. Painting gives peace and tranquility to my otherwise hectic environment. This time, while painting, becomes moments of reflection of life and what I know and feel.Rena Brouwer, Fine Art Contemporary Watercolors

Rena Brouwer feels very fortunate in making choices for her pursuit of art. She opted to skip college and instead apprenticed to become a visual merchandiser in 1970, working for several corporate companies and retiring from Simon Malls in 1999. Teaching art has been a constant passion and Rena has taught at many levels and places, from hospice camps, to national art conventions, at a wide range of educational facilities. She’s been the recipient of over thirty grants and residencies in numerous public venues, including colleges, museums, libraries, schools and municipal facilities.             

Though I did not intend to end up a songwriter, I somehow feel that all my past experiences, particularly those overseas, were all leading up to a logical expression in song.  More often than not, I am grabbed by a particular melody or riff on the guitar, and once that matures a spell, the words often come along, seemingly out of nowhere.  --Joe Peters, Performing Songwriter
Joe Peters, while also very grateful for his choices in pursuit of art, came to it by a very different path.  Joe pursued three degrees, including a Ph.D. in natural resources management, and his subsequent environmental work took him to South America, Southeast Asia and Africa .  However, he left his academic teaching and research career behind in 2005, turning to fulltime songwriting, recording and performing, returning to his native Indiana after a thirty-year absence.  Joe has released a dozen CDs of original, contemporary folk-rock songs, and has gained some recognition in songwriting contests. 
Collaborating for the first time during the Tippecanoe Arts Federation Nexus of the Arts exhibit in 2007, the two artists immediately felt like kindred spirits.  Joe wrote a song inspired by one of Rena’s paintings, Rena did a painting inspired by one of Joe’s songs, and most interestingly they turned their collaboration into performance art.  With the technological assistance of Kyler Laird, who fixed a high-definition video camera on Rena’s watercolor paper and projected the image onto a screen, the audience at the opening reception was treated to the mesmerizing combination of watching Rena create a visual masterpiece while listening to Joe’s original songs and music that helped to inspire the painting, all in less than thirty minutes.  The pair, often with Kyler’s A/V help, has gone on to recreate this collaborative experience at libraries, art galleries and museums, nature centers, churches, schools and other locations.  Fortunately for the collaboration, Rena and Joe believe they both share a common ground in philosophy. Joe’s soulful music portrays his gentle caring personality, and Rena believes such music doesn’t just happen, it comes from the very core of living one’s life with conviction.  Rena’s paintings express a similar conviction, and Joe sees her paintings as an extension of her persona, full of life, love, passion and compassion, but always tempered by a whimsical touch of full-on inner beauty and humor.