“Next to Last Stand,” by Craig Johnson (Viking)
In “Next to Last Stand,” the 16th book in Craig Johnson’s popular mystery series, Absaroka County Sheriff Walt Longmire is feeling his age. He’s not sure he even wants to stand for reelection. However, a good mystery can always get the veteran lawman’s heart pumping again.
He finds one when the director of the Wyoming Home for Soldiers and Sailors calls to inform him that his pal Charlie Lee Stillwater has passed away — and that he needs to examine what was found in the old man’s room. Arriving there, Longmire sees stacks of papers and file folders, a huge hoard of books about art, a scrap of canvass that appears to be a copy (or perhaps an actual piece) of a famous painting, and a box containing $1 million in hundred dollar bills.
It appears that Charlie died of natural causes, but where did the long-penniless old soldier get a million dollars in cash? When did he develop an apparent obsession with art? And is that scrap of canvass a clue or a red herring?
Johnson builds his story around a real work of art: “Custer’s Last Fight,” a not particularly good and historically inaccurate painting of the battle of Little Big Horn that was destroyed in a fire in 1946 at the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry Headquarters in Fort Bliss, Texas. However, because millions of copies were distributed by Anheuser-Bush, it is one of the most well-known art works in American history. The original would be worth millions.
Could it have somehow survived the fire? The plot thickens when Longmire discovers that his old pal had been stationed at the Texas army post at the time of the fire.
Fans of the Longmire series will be pleased that many familiar characters, including stoic Henry Standing Bear and crude-talking Deputy Sheriff Victoria Moretti, play a prominent role in the tale that also involves a crooked art dealer, a skilful art forger, some Russian art collectors, and an assortment of violent thugs.
Johnson excels at introducing his series characters to new readers without boring longtime fans with details they already know. The plot is not as dark as the last few Longmire tales, but as always, a suspenseful one unfolds at an appealing pace and the prose is first rate.
Bruce DeSilva, winner of the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award, is the author of the Mulligan crime novels including “The Dread Line.”
Bruce Desilva, The Associated Press
Art comes a Crawling – Coast Reporter
Your annual Sunshine Coast Art Crawl is here! Creek studios open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday run the gambit from bonsai to photography, from cedar carvings to the crystal gallery with a selection of pottery work to boot. A scaled down event from years past, you may actually have a chance to get to a majority of the studios this time! With 97 studios participating (17 here in the Creek), 76 are open for drop in, the remainder are virtual or by appointment only. Find your map at Eco Freako, the Rusty Hinge and elsewhere, and get Crawling!
Our little local, the #219, has a temporary covering for the whole front yard that will be up until Halloween. The outdoor licence they hold ends on the 31st so they have decided to go for it, rain or shine! Doors at 4 p.m. except the 25th, last call at 9 p.m. Seating will be limited, and dress for the weather, eh? Where I grew up, the first snow was in the closing weeks of October but that’s another reason why I live here, right?
Oct. 23: The Hook, is this from the “line and sinker” fame? Not sure about that but sure to be entertaining!
Oct. 24: The High Quadra Ramblers are Mack Shields on fiddle and vocals and Kaitlin Chamberlin on banjo, vocals and stepdancing, who recently released their second high-energy album.
Oct. 25: Martini Madness (2 p.m. matinee) where I imagine there will be martinis, perhaps even some madness? Maybe they are talking about the band? Checkerboard Rock FTW!
Oct. 30: Captain Fantasy brings your Ween fix for those who would brave the elements!
Oct. 31: Halloween Party (last night of outdoor stage – details next week).
Open House at WolfPups! Saturday, Oct. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 3186 Hansen Rd. Your chance to sign up for two upcoming Studio Play Dates: printing with hand-cut stencils, and natural dye T-shirt. Ask Sarita for deets!
What is art? It is said that a builder uses their hands, a craftsperson uses their head and their hands and an artist uses their heart, their head and their hands. To me, it’s those things created to bring more beauty into the world (I pledged to do this years ago). A solo show early in my career was entitled, “Objects, Useful and Not,” and that said a lot about what art is. From chocolate to blankets, paintings to music, there are a lot of Creekers using their hearts to give us a more decorated life. I spend between one and three per cent of my annual income on art and have not regretted one purchase. Each piece brings me joy. In these difficult days you deserve to have more of the heart of an artist in your life; it will pay dividends to you, our artists and our community as a whole. This weekend is your chance to make it happen.
As always, I am happy to share your news, event, workshop or what have you. kellybacks@rocket
Interactive art installation in Benny park helps local artist be heard during the pandemic
A new interactive art installation in NDG’s Benny park is making a lot of noise.
Titled the Hexaphone, passersby are invited to see what it feels like to be in a recording studio without ever walking through a door.
Located in the shadow of the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce sports centre, five wooden music stations emit isolated sounds of instruments and vocals from local artists.
Listeners can hear the individual sounds of each musician and instrument but also a complete ensemble when they arrive at the centre of the hexagonal installation.
The sounds are paired with a visual element. Screens give the audience an intimate inside look at a recoding session.
The project was put on by the city of Montreal in partnership with the borough, multiple local artists and the Trouble Makers recording studio.
Up-and-coming local singer Thaïs, whose music is featured in the project, said it was a blessing to have her voice and work heard by a new audience during this hard time for performers.
“It was a cool experience, because I can do a show so it was a great way to show my music to public and new people,” Thaïs said.
Seen playing the piano and singing in the installation, as an emerging artist, Thaïs said she was thankful for the opportunity for this kind work.
“We have to adapt during times like this,” she said.
The installation is apart of a city-funded cultural initiative.
The goal of the project, according to the borough, is to allow people to enjoy local talent in a safe environment during the coronavirus pandemic.
“This gives people some kind of artistic and cultural experience given that the options are limited in this context,” borough councillor Christian Arseneault said.
Arsenault says this gives the public a reason to venture outdoors and experience art in a safe way without leaving their neighborhood.
“It’s perfect for social distancing. There is no need to touch buttons. We feel this is ideal for the situation we find ourselves in right now, ” he said.
The Hexaphone installation operates from 3 to 10 p.m.
The temporary piece will be playing a tune until Nov. 4.
Source: – Global News
Hamilton says thank you to health-care providers through public art – Global News
The City of Hamilton is turning to public art to pay tribute to health-care workers.
With the help of a citizen-led volunteer jury, the city has announced 15 winning designs that will be printed and installed on utility boxes outside four of Hamilton’s hospitals.
The tourism and culture division’s Ken Coit says the winning designs, chosen from 92 submissions, celebrate and support the role of health care providers in managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coit notes that one design depicts people hanging out the windows of a building, “saying thank you, just like we had that tradition of banging pots out the windows” when the pandemic started last spring.
He says other winning submissions are “just fun and say thank you and have happy heart,” while others are “really compelling images of health-care workers.”
Installation of the graffiti-resistant wraps should be completed in the spring on traffic signal boxes outside of Hamilton General Hospital, Juravinski Hospital and St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton — Charlton and West Fifth locations.
Coit notes that the project is an extension of public art on 35 utility boxes in the downtown core last year, around the theme of “celebrating urban life.”
He says that initiatives help “prevent graffiti,” “reach out to young artists to give them an opportunity to have the stuff displayed” and “create a sense of pride of place.”
Artists will receive $650 for the use of their work.
The project is funded by Hamilton’s transportation, operations and maintenance division and through the contributions of developers to the Downtown Hamilton Public Art Reserve.
The city spends more than $2 million each year to clean up litter and graffiti, which Mayor Fred Eisenberger has described as a “pervasive problem.”
YYZ Why?: Graffiti Alley evolved to become a top Toronto destination
© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
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