Artists in Residence
Graffiti Grows Up – Christopher Maslow
From Street Artist to Gallery Exhibitor, artist Christopher Maslow’s Style is Attracting Lots of Attention.
Christopher Maslow grew up in Melbourne where his love of “graffiti art” first emerged. After moving to Los Angeles, Maslow began receiving commissions to create large-scale murals utilizing his unique style of aerosol art. “Through the graffiti art I discovered spray paint. Through the years I’ve been able to refine the technique. I use the can as a brush.”
While in L.A. Maslow attended the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, “I learned promotion, marketing and design. After I became confident I understood how the business worked I launched my own clothing line.“ When the economy started going south Maslow decided he’d rather be a big fish in a small pond and came home in 2009 and opening his Slow Gallery X Fashion Boutique in downtown Melbourne to sell his clothing line. This summer he decided to close the store. “I did enjoy it while it lasted, and will continue to sell my clothing though other venues, but I simply outgrew it. My artwork is now my primary focus. It eventually became obvious to me that creating and selling my artwork made more sense economically, not to mention the fact that I enjoy painting more than anything.” Maslow’s new gallery is located at 1008 E. Strawbridge Ave. in Melbourne and houses a studio and gallery where he plans to exhibit his own art as well as that of other artists he’s like to support.
This summer Maslow spent 8-12 hours a day preparing for his first solo show of 2011. “Still Motion” is currently on display at the Art Gallery of Viera (through the middle of the month). The exhibit showcases native Florida animals and some of the Brevard Zoo’s animal celebrities panted in Mallow’s signature explosive style. He is currently working on a mural at the band shell in Eau Gallie Square Park, one of 15 commissioned by EGAD, and will soon begin working on outdoor murals in downtown Melbourne.
“I do believe the art economy is rebounding and people are starting to spend more on art. I’ve been very lucky and fortunate to have had the success that I’ve had this year.”
Picture Perfect – Kirk DodPicture Perfect
Merritt Island Photographer Kirk Dodd’s Vibrant Images Dazzle and Delight
Kirk Dodd has been taking pictures most of his life, but it wasn’t until three years ago that he found his true calling in the photographic world. “I’d become disillusioned with the routine stuff,” says Dodd. “Weddings, all the traditional stuff, I didn’t like doing that anymore. I’d seen a million of those traditional images and I just didn’t want to be ‘that guy’ doing that.”
Then Dodd discovered High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography. “After thirty years I’ve finally started doing photography the way I like it. No one is more surprised than I am at how well it’s been received. A lot more people are coming into this format now, so I think I got into it at just the right time. So far, the best word I’ve heard describing my work is ‘fresh’. That made me feel good.”
For two years Dodd worked on his art, taking pictures, refining the images, framing and matting them, getting ready to display on the Art Festival circuit. Inspired by scenes he sees every day, “I see something that looks like it’s going to work, the work with it until it feels right.”
Dodd has won several awards since he began entering festivals throughout Central Florida, including third place in the digital media category at this year’s Melbourne Art Festival, the only Brevard County resident to win a prize. “When I discovered HDR it was a perfect match for me, I felt it instantly. Even if the public hadn’t responded well to my work I would still be doing this, but the first time someone bought one of my pieces it was magic. This has been a real fun ride for me.”
Kirk Dodd’s work can be viewed and purchased at www.kirkdodd.com
Band of Brothers – Steve & Kevin Kornicki
Throughout the years Steve and Kevin Kornicki have made beautiful music separately and together, and now they’re getting ready to perform as a group once again.
Steve Kornicki and his younger brother Kevin have made music together since they were children. “We grew up in a musical home,” says Steve. “Our father built synthesizers and my mother taught me the piano.” Steve also played guitar and bass while Kevin focused on percussion. “We had so many musical influences,” says Kevin. “My father introduced us to electronic music before anyone else became interested in it.”
The pair performed together as the Kornicki brothers in the 1980’s in Pennsylvania.
“We had a strong few years,” says Kevin of the brother act that blended fusion, classical and rock music during concerts at art festivals and upscale events.
Steve’s path eventually led to Los Angeles with wife Melissa. “I knew there had to be another avenue for this atmospheric type sound, which led me to composing soundtracks.” After making “all the right connections” five of Steve’s compositions were included in a music library. Today Steve’s compositions are in 15-20 music libraries used by production companies throughout the world. Focusing primarily on composing, Steve and Melissa moved to Brevard two years ago.
Kevin arrived in Brevard six years ago when his wife Cathleen Snow was transferred to Patrick Air Force Base. Today he owns and operates a full production music studio in Satellite Beach where he spends his time when not touring with Don Soledad & the World Element group and Squonk Opera. As collaborator and musical director of the award winning Broadway Squonk Opera, Kevin and his fellow “Squonkers” have taken the show to Europe and this summer reached the Top 48 on “America’s Got Talent.” “We finished pretty much where we expected to because so much of what we do is avante garde,” says Steve. “But 16-million people watched us and we reached a completely different market that had never heard our music, which was really our goal.”
The pair began collaborating on soundtracks two years ago and most of the time aren’t even aware their music has been used until the royalty checks appear. Calling soundtracks “the perfect genre for their atmospheric ambient sound,”
The brothers are also looking forward to performing together once again. “We’re auditioning for Disney in October,” says Steve. “Our sound is happy and upbeat-perfect for them.”
“Performing is a different feeling” says Kevin “It would be great to do that again, we perform all original music-no covers and it’s a challenge to market our stuff, but I look forward to performing again-it’s a whole new project for us.”
Fascinating Rhythm- Brian and Joani Slawson
Brian and Joani Slawson share their love of music with children, adults, and each other.
Brian Slawson’s love of percussion began at a very early age. He received a toy drum set at the age of four, by seven he was playing in a fife and drum corp., his first set of “real” drums came with lessons when he was ten, and by the time he was a teenager Brian knew he wanted to attend Juilliard and pursue a career in music. In 1976 Brian was one of two applicants in percussion selected to attend the prestigious school (160 percussion students had applied). Financing his education by performing on the streets of New York City, Brian was eventually “discovered” by Mikie Harris, assistant to Columbia Records producer John Hammond during a recording session. His debut album, “Bach on Wood” garnered a Grammy nomination for “Best New Classical Artist” and remained on Billboard’s classical chart for more than a year. A feature in “People” magazine and an appearance on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show” followed. “The phone was never as quiet as after the ‘Tonight Show,’” says Brian. “I still needed to work, nothing had changed, except people’s perceptions; they all thought I’d arrived.” While working as studio musician and touring the U.S. and Europe with various Broadway productions Brian produced a second album, (“Distant Drums” featuring guest artists including the late Stevie Ray Vaughn). Then, after 18 years, he decided to leave New York City and move to Brevard County.
Five years later, while performing at a benefit concert at Eau Gallie High School, he met his future wife. Joani was studying music, “I’d always loved to sing, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t singing,” says Joani. “I also knew I wanted to share that love of music with children. What I love most about my job,” says Joani, who is music director at Saturn Elementary School in Cocoa, “is seeing the joy on the children’s faces when they stand up and sing.” This year Joani was one of 50 music educators from across the country honored by Yale University as a recipient of their 2011 Distinguished Music Education Award. Joani is also a private voice teacher and the conductor of the non-profit Brevard Children’s Chorus.
Brian is currently featured at the voice of “Gusto the Bulldog,” in Warner Brothers “Musical Expressions” series and a featured artist in MacMillan/McGraw Hill’s “Spotlight on Music” curriculum. He is the principal timpanist with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and a featured performer at Lincoln Center’s Meet the Artist series.
These days the couple is celebrating their collaboration on Brian’s new children’s album “BoomerBeats.” Back in 1998 Brian first dreamed up Boomer, a character designed to teach children to love percussion. Throughout the years Boomer has evolved. ‘It took ten years to assemble a team to produce this,” says Brian. “He wrote the songs and I would help develop the lesson plans,” says Joani. Then she took it to her students. “I really wasn’t sure how they would respond. But the drums and percussion are so exciting to kids.”
This June, BoomerBeats had its premiere performance at Lincoln Center in New York. “Everybody loves the drums,” says Brian. “Drums are magical to kids, they not only hear something, they see the sounds as they happen.”
“It was a lot of fun to work together and see the project develop,” says Joani. “I think it’s brought us closer together over the years.”
BoomerBeats is currently available on ITunes.Visit boomerbeats.com for more information.
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