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March 28, 2006

Staff Picks

<ART>Friday, March 31Big Bone Art Show You’ve been good for most of the week, and to show their appreciation, The Oddity Studios are throwing you a “Big Bone.” As part of the F.A.T. Friday festivities, the Big Bone Art Show will feature original artwork in all mediums. Fifteen artists are on board so far, and you’ll get a kick out of works like “The Dawn of Bone” by Bryan Renfro. Live music accompanies the artistic pleasantries, and each visitor receives a free copy of “The Herald Sparrow,” a new publication with joyously offbeat sensibilities. Enjoy looking at artwork you can’t afford (yet) and dream big. If your imagination needs some encouragement, the trolley hop wine is a nice starting point. —Matt MattinglyNancy’s Bagel Grounds 2101 Frankfort Ave.599-6576Free; 6-9 p.m.<ART>Opening March 31Kites by Richard Langdon You know it’s spring when Hidden Hill opens for the season. They’re starting things off right with their Spring Kite Extravaganza & Plant Sale. Bob Hill describes guest Richard Langdon of Elizabeth, Ind., as “a guy who hand-makes kites, wind socks, other arty airy stuff.” Langdon, co-owner of the Sun Oak Trading Post & Kites, will spend the day at Hidden Hill on Saturday, April 1, as part of WHAS-TV’s “Morning Show,” with a return on Saturday, May 13. This is the time of year that you should be happy it’s windy. —Jo Anne TriplettHidden Hill Nursery and Sculpture Garden1011 Utica Charlestown RoadUtica, Ind.(812) 280-0347www.hiddenhillnursery.comFree; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., 12-5 p.m. Sun.<ART>March 31-May 10‘Hats and Horses’ It gearing up to Derby time, and you’ll need hats to go with your horses. Lynn Dunbar and Catherine Bryant’s studio is covered with both; there are horse paintings on the walls and hats by New York designer Gwendolyn Gleason on everything else. Stop by during F.A.T. Friday, March 31, from 6-9 p.m., to see why Gleason has such a devoted following. She worked in Italy for 10 years and has a number of signature details, such as ribbon and beaded inserts, sequins, antique Chantilly lace and silk organza flowers. Let the race — for the perfect Derby hat — begin. —Jo Anne TriplettDunbar-Bryant Art Studio2003 Frankfort Ave.905-5966www.dunbar-art.comFree; 12-4 p.m. Wed./Fri.<BOOK>Saturday, April 1‘Lost Mountain’ author Erik Reece Erik Reece’s book on the wayward ways of modern coal mining, “Lost Mountain: A Year in the Vanishing Wilderness,” has drawn fine reviews, and there’ll be a reception for the Kentucky author Saturday evening at the Frankfort Avenue Carmichael’s. Reece won a prestigious award for the article that became the kernel for this book, where he looks at mountaintop removal mining by closely watching a particular mountain as it slowly disappears throughout a single year. With divine irony, his main subject is named Lost Mountain — but there’s a whole horrible litany to all that is lost before Reece’s carefully observant eye. He keeps tabs on the local communities that are often used as an excuse for the exploitation of natural resources, but they seem to be getting less all the time. And the author’s a son of a coal miner, so he’s been watching how the breaks run for a good long while. Kentuckians for the Commonwealth will also be on hand to join in the discussion of this ongoing environmental tragedy and economic travesty. —T.E. LyonsCarmichael’s Bookstore2720 Frankfort Ave.896-6950Free; 7 p.m.<COMEDY>Saturday, April 1Stand-up comedy with Ant Las Vegas called, so the drag a cappella quartet Kinsey Sicks had to opt out of its planned appearance in the LEO Presents A Little Off Center series. But there’s no need to be sad — the Sicks have been replaced by TV personality and comedian Ant. Many know Ant as the host of VH1’s reality series “Celebrity Fit Club,” which is in its third season, and as a regular judge on the WB’s “Steve Harvey’s Big Time,” but he’s made appearances on numerous other shows such as NBC’s “Last Comic Standing,” “The Ricki Lake Show,” “The Dennis Miller Show” and E’s “Talk Soup,” among many others. Ant is known for his irreverence and hyperactivity — as well as for being, as he puts it, “so gay, I can put a lisp in the word cracker.” Ant decided he wanted to become a comedian when he saw Whoopi Goldberg’s one-woman show on HBO. After finding success in comedy clubs around New England, the Londonderry, N.H., native moved to Los Angeles in 1989 in hopes of breaking into film and TV. He did just that, and has enjoyed a prolific career from making comedy albums such as 2004’s Follow My Ass to appearances in Dirk Shafer’s critically acclaimed feature film “Circuit” and Sundance festival favorite “Twin Falls, Idaho.” —Kevin GibsonBomhard Theater, Kentucky Center584-7777www.kentuckycenter.org$25 (or $31 for table seating); 8 p.m.<MUSIC>Monday, April 3Craig Wagner guitar workshop Craig Wagner is an absurdly talented guitar player, the kind that, when you watch him work a neck, provokes a tasteful smirk. He’s a professional, a teacher of his craft at, among other places, U of L. Wagner’s the featured guest this April at Steilberg String Instruments’ monthly workshop, where he’ll be working on right hand independence — guitar player parlance for finger-picking. It’s free and open to the public. If you’re planning on playing along, bring your own guitar. If you just wanna watch, that’s cool too. That’s how easy it is to learn how to make magic. —Stephen GeorgeSteilberg String Instruments4029 Bardstown Road491-2337Free; 7:30 p.m.<CONFERENCE>Wednesday, April 5 & Thursday, April 6Kentucky’s sense of place Are we hillbillies, the under-cultured, shoeless wonders that some like to brand us? Are we inextricably tied to the land and its natural majesty, animalistic in our devotion to grass, trees and mountains? Will we ever un-claw the banjo? Are we cosmopolitan middle-roaders who can’t decide if we’re a small town or a big city, who can’t admit we’re really more conservative than a self-imposed “progressive” label? Or are we, the sons and daughters of Kentucky, radically more sophisticated and worldly than anyone cares to realize?  Such questions are at the heart of “Exploring Kentucky’s Sense of Place,” a forum discussion sponsored by U of L’s English department and the Axton Reading Series, which will feature a battery of speakers, including author Silas House (“Clay’s Quilt,” “A Parchment of Leaves,” “The Coal Tattoo”). Go and find your identity. —Stephen GeorgeBelknap Research Building, U of LRoom 139(Silas House’s reading will be in the lower level of the Ekstrom Library Auditorium)Wed.: 3-5 p.m., 7-9 p.m.Thu.: 12-2 p.m., 3-5 p.m.; Silas House reading at 7:30 p.m.Free