Book Signing Tour Stops at Stardust

Richard Reep’s book signing event
Stardust Video and Coffee
1842 E. Winter Park Road, Orlando, FL
 
 
March 28, 2010 – Stardust Video and Coffee will host a book signing for Richard Reep’s new book, “Popular Nuclear Jam,” the first of a new series entitled Notes From The Colony.  The event will be from 1-4pm.
 
“Reep’s architectural style is being compared favorably to two Belgian creators: Schuiten & Peeters,” stated Independent Comic Book  Distributor Tony Shenton, Reep’s agent for the book.  “His concept is unique.”
 
Popular Nuclear Jam is the story of Ratsu, and his underground colony of freerunners who destory a green scam to put uranium in people’s homes.  A sensation at Orlando’s recent Megacon, the book has been compared to editorial comics which are quickly reviving as an art form today.
 
Reep’s book signing tour began with Megacon in early March, and new dates are being added as the word is spread.  For a complete tour visit www.richardreep.com.
 
Poolside Press, Reep’s publisher, has completed a first edition print run which will be for sale at this book signing.  For more information, contact Richard Reep at 407-408-4953 or writing rtr@richardreep.com.

Modernism Sighted at Stardust

Deep Field by Rick Jones

Deep Field
New Paintings and Works on Paper
Stardust Video and Coffee
1842 E. Winter Park Road
Orlando, FL
Through April 3

In the wintry sulk of Central Florida’s art exhibitions, Rick Jones’ Deep Field is an outlier, being neither representational nor topical, but rather seemingly a few specimens excavated from high abstract expressionism, fitting little into the multipolar art scene slopping around in the galleries and museums of today.  He is mining some of the traditions of that movement and presenting a view more than tinged with the philosopical approach of modernism, and as such his work is interesting in this day of unraveling pluralism as we question nearly everything and find only anti-heroes  and decay to be worthy of worship.  Jones takes the opposite approach, and his fairly rigorous canvases are worthy of note for their aesthetic adherence to the principles of modernist tradition.

Jones is studying structures that have nearly no hierarchy, no perspective, no beginning or end, mostly no depth or edge or even, damn it, a focal point.  The modernists threw all of these out, and Jones carefully takes his point of departure from these rules to develop geometries with nested, repeating patterns that are neither organic nor purely artifical.  He appears to hold back from dipping a toe in either pool, and therefore studiously avoids representing something else:  “Art as art” (Ad Rinehardt’s famous epigram) a rule by which Jones vigorously abides.

“Deep Field”, the painting with the show’s title, combines geometries with a loose orthagonality integrating an angle that is neither 45 nor 60 degrees but somewhere in between, and the resulting facets are uniformly dark or light with tones neither purely white nor purely black.  Contemplation of this piece leads the viewer into an exercise which we nearly never do today, but which was a favorite pastime of viewers of abstract expressionism, an exercise in which the mind slowly discards all of the conventions imposed upon it from school:  seek, find not a center; seek, find not an edge, seek, find not a hierarchy, seek, find not a purity; and so on until one reaches a unique placeless space far outside of the closed universe in which we educate ourselves about art.

The destination on this particular journey is an inner aesthetic one that is worth the trip.  Jones’s larger pieces such as “Gold” takes one effectively into this wierd spatial no-man’s land, although it has a slight clustering of density that might derail the train a bit into a conventional focal point.  But largely these work, and they prove that art, as critic Suzi Gablick once noted, is timeless in its appeal, unlike science (to which modernism kept hitching its wagon, only to be frustrated) in which each new notion is quickly replaced by the next.  In today’s juxtapoz world, one can still enjoy a modernist treat like these paintings provide.  

Jones isn’t a purist, and betrays a certain sense of humor in a few of his paintings.  “The Geography of Nowhere” breaks his rules to turn one of his crystalline, non-hierarchial forms into a cartographical allusion, perhaps stretching his point to suggest the modernist placelessness influence on our cities.  But if one ignores these mannerist distractions – a sop, perhaps, to viewers who find his more disciplined canvases a bit too austere – the rest of the show is quite good.

Modernism, thank goodness, failed in its scientific pretensions, and a Pollock or a Rothko is quite as relevant today as it was 50 years ago; unlike a science paper on, say, Pluto, which would be negated by research coming after.  Jones’ exploration of some of the lost concepts of Modernism is pleasing, and he stakes out a unique position in Central Florida with Deep Field.

Book Tour Successfully Kicked Off at Megacon

Megacon

Richard Reep kicked off his book-signing tour for his new series, Notes From The Colony, at Megacon 2010.  This science fiction and comic book trade show saw the debut of Issue 1, Popular Nuclear Jam, and many copies were sold to the reading public.

Retailers were anxious to purchase this independent work as well. “I’m excited to support an independent creator,” stated Marc Nathan, owner of Reisterstown, Maryland’s Cards Comics Collectibles, and he will be placing copies in his store for his readers.  Melbourne’s Famous Faces and Funnies has agreed to carry the new issues, and David Checkle’s Dave’s Comic Shop in Fayetteville, Georgia will also sell this series.  These and other retailers quickly responded to this new offering.

“Reep is working in the editorial comic niche,” commented Lar, a noted artist with Looking for Group and Least I Could Do.  “His artistic style is beautiful, fresh, and interesting, and he has an architect’s eye for perspective.  I love the story.”

On March 27, 2010, Reep’s book tour will stop at Stardust Coffee and Video, 1842 E. Winter Park Road, beginning at 1pm.  He will be signing books and giving a short speech regarding the new series.

Future book tour dates will be announced soon.

Biotech no silver bullet for Florida

Biotech research no silver bullet for Florida

What will save Florida from oblivion?

Until recently, Florida was the king of growth, agriculture, and tourism.  Growth – at 900 immigrants a day from other states – characterized Florida’s landscape for over 30 years, and growing cities were in perennial battle with agriculture up until the watershed year of 2009.  As a tourist destination, Florida claimed world-class status, which once served the state just fine.  Now, gasping for breath and facing financial uncertainty, Florida’s leadership frantically seeks a new silver bullet to create jobs, focusing on biomedical research. This focus is timely and important, and can truly move the state in a new direction, and the state leadership’s resolve to diversify the economy should stay strong, even with a short-term lack of results.

Thanks to the Florida State Legislature’s 2006 Florida Capital Formation Act , It is now home to new facilities for Torrey Pines, Scripps, Max Planck, Nemours, the Miami Institute for Human Genomics, SRI International, the Vaccine & Gene Therapy Institute, and Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc .  However, the Millennial Depression has slowed growth and delayed the much-needed spinoffs that the state was counting on for job creation.  Now, with the state’s coffers empty, the lack of instant job growth is causing a search for another, new instant success instead.

Seven world-class life science research institutes in three years   actually constitutes a remarkable achievement.  Two are already out of the ground and operational:  Max Planck Institute and Torrey Pines.  As they enter the operational phase, the laboratories are discovering that there is tough competition to attract top research scientists to Florida, with its noted lack of cultural amenities and its reputation for being, well, not exactly a progressive state in terms of education, culture, or environmental values.

In January, however, the state legislature’s own analysis office recommended dropping life sciences research investment, because the return on this investment is measured in years.  The politically correct unit of measurement today is apparently months or even minutes.  In a published report, this office complained that its investment – all of three years old – had “not yet resulted in the growth of technology clusters”.  It then recommended that Florida shift focus from research institutes to attracting biotech manufacturing companies, perhaps shortening the payback cycle.

Only in our current times is failure defined as the lack of instant success.  The report cites a lack of private venture capital as the reason for failure in Florida; yet digs no further into the reasons why Florida is low on the list of venture capital firms.  This, along with government and large non-profit investment, is historically the only true source of funding for pure research, and is usually tightly tied to the region in which the research is to occur.

As Thomas Edison’s winter home, Florida has always had a reputation among scientists and inventors as a vacation spot, rather than a real research venue.  Venture capitalists prefer to cluster their investments around known quantities, and like most other investors, associate the unknown with high risk.  By 2002, the Progressive Policy Institute ranked Florida 49th in employment of scientists and engineers, hardly news in a state dominated by service workers, construction laborers  and immigrant farm labor.

Unfortunately, scientists and their families tend to like the things that Florida is not good at:  sensitivity towards the natural environment, excellent, competitive schools and universities, highly trained workforces and public philanthropy for arts and cultural activities.  When it comes to private research grants, scientists tend to find their homes in places like San Diego, Boston, Berlin, and London.  Beaches and theme parks just don’t appear on their radar screens.

Thus, the state’s massive injection of capital has yet to produce any spin-off laboratories or manufacturing facilities around these new facilities.  Private venture capital is simply shy to develop add-ons, knowing it will be a real hard sell to the main class of research scientists so desperately needed.  And this fact, in these tough times, is what calls into question the whole investment strategy.  On the surface, the state’s ambition to become king of research appears to be ludicrous. 

Yet, this lunacy may have  method in it:  Florida has many factors that do, in fact, favor life science research.  It does have specific, although lightly funded, university research in biotech and medical study already in place.  The state also has a gerontological population that provides a natural study base for much of the growing research in aging.

Also, the scientific community is as diverse in its leisure and cultural choices as anybody, and Florida’s mild climate and recreational activities have already contributed to the attraction of new researchers.  Unlike other, more established clusters in places like Boston and San Diego, Florida is also highly affordable, an important factor given the compensation levels to which many science professionals are accustomed.  This is one reason Southern California gained an early foothold in aviation and science research and has maintained the lead in these areas.

And lastly, sometimes it’s good to be the new kid on the block, for the competitive politics within other clusters has yet to develop in Florida.  Even Florida’s former governor Jeb Bush expressed surprise at how “the state’s universities have played so well together” to gain its early foothold in science research.   Florida has shown great energy and creativity in attracting these new research venues, and can continue to outperform the established, stable locations if it keeps its eye on the long-term goal and uses its natural advantages to sell the state to the scientific community worldwide.

The strategic payoff is a more stable, educated state population that can ride out the boom/bust employment cycle better.  This payoff, however, can only come if Florida’s leadership quits seeking a magic “silver bullet” to fix things in the next fifteen minutes, and does the hard work to attract and retain venture capital, invest in its educational system, and keep its collective eye on a long-term goal to become competitive in more than just a cheap place to live and vacation.  Florida’s business and political leadership made some good choices to create a state-funded venture capital arm in 2006, and should stick to their commitments.  If they pay their dues, eventually they may just find themselves a new crown to wear.

River Hills

Clubhouse

The Community Center for a new development in Brandon, Florida, River Hills featured a welcome center at the project’s entry, 3-building complex of golf, pool, and restaurant.  Arvida commissioned these in 1987; the sense of place was taken from the Florida Bungalow style using Florida limestone, deep overhangs, craftsman style architectural detailing, and generous room heights.

Dining Area

Sustainable Design elements include solar orientation, natural light in the interior using clerestory lighting, use of local materials, and a roof design using Homasote, a highly insulative roof decking material allowing structural rafters to read throughout the interior space.

Welcome Center

This project won a Design Award from the Tampa Bay AIA in 1988.

indiviudal experience