Thursday, May 31, 2007


Artist Nathan Sawaya started out going to law school and was a practicing attorney for several years. When he would unwind at the end of a stressful day - he would do so by making sculptures and portraits out of.... Lego! These days, he is a full-time Lego-artist, and his works are at the same time fun and remarkable.

"I try to take Lego in a direction it has never been before - making large sculptures that will be on a museum tour for the next few years". From a almost-true-to-scale Lego representation of the Iwo Jima memorial to a piece called blue, where a seated figure made of exclusively blue Lego pieces could be perceived as either taking himself apart or putting himself together, and from a huge Monopoly game to a piece commissioned by the New Orleans Public Library after Hurrican Katrina - 1.5 million bricks in his studio, and Sawaya estimates he spends about $200,000 in Lego pieces per year.

CNN did a fun report this week on Nathan Sawaya and his work, and maybe because it is such an unusual medium, it is worth seeing and something I would love to see in real life. And what a fun job!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Back to school & good causes

I wasn't planning on putting a lot of personal info on this new blog - but I wanted to make an exception today. For the past year I have been consulting at Thomas Dale High School in Chester, VA - working with the orchestra students on putting together a benefit concert for a local teenage cancer patient. The students worked on everything from song selection to arrangements, from poster and T-shirt design to the actual program, and from radio interviews to marketing and advertising. The result was a fantastic concert - performed by the Thomas Dale High School Orchestra and my band, Offering - with songs like My Immortal (Evanescence), Suddenly I see (KT Tunstall), and Sweet dreams are made of this (Eurythmics). It was unique in many ways - amazing original arrangements for rock band and orchestra and students taking the lead on a large chunk of the project being just two of them. If you are in the Central Virginia area, make sure you don't miss the concert next year, and for those of you who aren't - maybe we'll do some kind of an internet broadcast, or at least post something on YouTube.

This morning I was back at the school for a follow-up meeting with the students - and to start planning for next year. And since summer vacation is coming up - happy summer to all TDHS orchestra students, and thank you for the fantastic work you guys did! I look forward to making it even better next year. And congratulations to the graduating seniors..... I will miss working with you guys!

Monday, May 28, 2007


One of my close friends, Jen Foltz, is an amazing poet. When we were talking about this blog I asked her for some poems and she immediately sent me some. Here is one:

“God Brings”

I love the peace
that God brings
in the blowing of the leaves.
A gently falling springtime rain,
the scent of summer on a breeze.

I love the hope
that God brings
in a newborn baby’s cry.
Knowing that His love endures,
getting one more try.

I love the joy
that God brings
in the laughter of my friends.
Funny stories, inside jokes;
I pray it never ends.

I love the passion
that God brings
in a heart that pours out prayers.
Open to His saving grace,
His love is made aware.

(c) 2006 Jennifer S. Foltz

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Positive Space

A blog about good things, positive things. I know, I know, that's a wide berth. We're starting a podcast with the same name. Where this will lead - I don't know. I do know there is beauty and joy and inspiration to be found in this world, althought sometimes fiercely hidden. Sometimes it is overwhelming, sometimes mundane. Sometimes funny, sometimes not so much.

The first one: my little, sometimes obnoxious, beagle/basset hound mix, Foster. He can be so annoying, yet the suddenly is the sweetest dog in the universe. Who senses it when mom is in pain and comes make it better with kisses. Who can't bark but only honk, which makes you frustrated (because it's loud) and laughing (because it's so funny) at the same time.