May 2019 Newsletter

Click here to download a printable PDF version.

Photo by Rick Albertson from “Children in Need of Hope”

Art is like beginning a sentence before you know its ending.
~ David Bayles & Ted Orland, from Art & Fear: Observations on The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

Wrightwood’s Got Talent

by Terri McCawley Hill, originally published in the Mountaineer Progress

With all the excitement and fanfare of its nationally televised forerunner, America’s Got Talent, Wrightwood’s Got Talent held its first round of auditions Sunday, April 14. Held at the Wrightwood Community Building, the auditions played to a standing-room-only crowd.

The contest was promoted and sponsored by Wrightwood Arts Center and Wrightwood Blues Society. The winner will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship, be a featured performer at Music in the Pines in 2020, and a chance to record in a sound studio. A second-place winner will receive a prize, yet to be determined.

Judges watched each performance, giving helpful critiques on strengths and weaknesses and marking a “yes” or “no” vote as to whether that contestant would move to the final round in September. A “yes” vote from any two judges advanced the act. They had their work cut out for them, as all of the acts were well-rehearsed and performed. As a matter of fact, all 11 contestants received the at least the minimum votes to advance to the finals.

From Broadway songs to ballads, Korean Pop dance routines to comedy, and violinists to an all-bass band, the competition and talent were endless. Performers who auditioned were: violinist Greta Geriguis, singer Jakob Salvati, singer Abigail Bodell, singer/guitarist Davey Schneider, comedy team Solomon & Donato, the Carlos Rivera band, dance team BTG (K-Pop), singer/guitarist Kaedon Budd, band Bass-Sic, singer Josephina Green, and singer/guitarist Jayde Burgen.

Five judges used their particular areas of expertise to view, critique, and judge each act. Nancy Kupka used her dance and choreography experience to guide her suggestions about dance and stage presence. Claudia Campbell offered coaching in breathing techniques for the singers. David Leicht is an experienced guitarist, who offered advice and kudos to soloists and bands. Shane Gray brought production expertise to the competition. He manages a music foundation that he created in Kenya. Lora Steinmann has worked with some of the young contestants in Snowline Players Children’s Theatre over the years. Her work in the production of annual plays and musicals in the Tri-Community makes her uniquely qualified to judge the competition.

Proceeds from the ticket sales for the event will help fund the scholarship prizes.

The Mountaineer Progress supports the arts in Wrightwood by publishing articles like these. Subscribe now to receive content like this every week!

This Month’s Events

Snowline Player’s Children’s Theater Presents: Annie, Jr.
7:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

(WW Community Center, 1275 Highway 2)
The musical Annie Jr. continues with its second week of performances by local children at the Wrightwood Community Center. The final public show will follow on Sunday, May 5th, at 4:30 p.m. The first two performances sold-out and left everyone smiling. Don’t miss your last chance to catch it. For more information, visit

Wine & Watercolors with Gayle Dowling
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

(WW Arts Center, 6020 Park Drive #5)
Every 1st Saturday, Gayle Dowling hosts a Wine and Watercolors class at the Wrightwood Arts Center. The $35 fee at the door includes all materials, wine, and fun!

Art Opening: “Children in Need of Hope” by Rick Albertson
2:00 p.m. (start)

(WW Community Center, 1275 Highway 2)
The WAC Artist Spotlight will feature an opening reception and book signing by Rick Albertson for his show, “Children in Need of Hope.” The “Children in Need of Hope” exhibition includes 20 black & white environmental portraits of children facing great challenges in Asia, Africa, Central and North America, taken while on assign-ments for religious and humanitarian non-profit organizations. Viewers will come to appreciate the hardships that so many children face the world over.

Children in Need of Hope will be on display at the Community Building from May 23 – August 20, 2019, and open to the public Monday – Thursday, 8:00 am – 1:00 pm. Featured photographs range in size from 11”x14” through 40”x60”. An accompanying exhibit catalog reproduces the images and includes brief descriptions of the often heart-rending stories of the children’s lives. Photographic prints will be available for purchase, as well as Mr. Albertson’s recently published coffee table book, Documentary Portraits: Retrospective, which expands upon the show with 50+ images and more detailed stories.

Rick Albertson is a retired freelance documentary photographer and video producer. During the latter half of his career he photographed assignments for major non-profit organizations. Rick earned a BS in Radio and Television Production and a MS in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University. Prior to working as a photographer, Rick was a small business owner and communications consultant, and served as an adjunct professor in the Design Art and Architecture Program at the University of Cincinnati. While traveling regularly overseas Rick served as a board member of Child Hope International, a small organization serving abandoned children in Nepal, and as a member of the management team of the Southern Africa HIV/AIDS Collaboration working with high school students in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa. For more information, visit his website.

Looking Ahead

A Taste of Wrightwood
11:00 a.m. (start)

(Wrightwood Village, Park Drive)
The month of May is clear, but June kicks off with this popular annual event. A map guided tour of the village gives attendees a taste “of the hidden treasures” that are participating merchants offer, paired with interactive art demonstrations and tasty treats to try along the way. The warmer weather guarantees clear skies an an enjoyable day among the pines.

Adventure to the Maloof House
10:00 a.m. (start)

(5131 Carnelian St, Alta Loma, CA)
Join WAC for another adventure tour to the Maloof House in Alta Loma, CA. Sam Maloof is acknowledged as one of the finest woodworkers of our time. As a leader of the California modern arts movement, he designed and produced furniture infused with profound artistic vision for more than half a century until his death in 2009. The WAC has arranged for a private Legacy Tour at 10:00 am on June 8 that includes the house tour, a step inside the woodworking shop, and visits to the woodworkers’ finish showroom and the wood storage (1-1/2 hours). We have also allowed time to visit the gardens and the Jacobs Education Center. For more information and to register, visit our adventures page.

Sandy Jones Fashion Show
2:00 p.m. (start)

(WW Community Center, 1275 Highway 2)
Sandy and Greg Jones will be producing a fashion show, sponsored by the Wrightwood Blues Society. Sandy is looking for volunteers to serve on subcommittee to assist with the event. For more information and to get in touch, visit

Poem of the Month


by Rachel Custer

And everybody becomes a poet, seeing
meaning where there is no meaning,
seeing metaphor in the destruction
of metaphor. A house of God on fire
is a poem. Listen: it is saying nothing
stands forever, nothing you love will
not be burned away. Good Friday
has come again, and somewhere men
nail themselves to wood to feel like God.
Somewhere a man sets fire to a girl.
A crucifixion is a poem, saying nothing
dies forever. Even a woman who burns
will rise again. Notre Dame will rise again,
says a man on a Paris street, and he
is crying. Paris is not the same without
her. A man crying on the street is a poem
saying nothing feels like holiness, the fire
that burns away everything but what is
good. What is good? This day, a man
coming down from his cross, a girl
walking forth from a fire, raising again
her voice to sing the good news.