• Marilyn Gardner Woods

In the spotlight...

Updated: Sep 15

On my radar…an architect, an actress and an unbelievably awesome vocalist – all women!




First,

one of British drama’s royalty,

Nicola Walker.



There is nothing quite so delicious for me as being totally engrossed in a television show. Unforgotten, a brilliant and spellbinding crime drama series on PBS, was casually recommended to me by my friend Connie one morning on our Lake Murray walk. “Ed and I really like it,” her faint praise.


Nicola Walker as Detective Chief Inspector, Cassie Stuart, instantly pulled me in to the four-season cold-case drama and its delicate balance of mystery, melodrama, and compassion. I binged all four seasons of the mind-boggling intensity.




The Unforgotten stories are multi-layered and complex, twisted-ly plotted and overflowing with sadness, but it’s the exquisite ordinariness of Nicola Walker’s magnificent Cassie, an empathetic DCI, that compelled me. She has no superpowers; she’s just extraordinary at her job. I loved watching close-ups of her determined face as her mind spiraled in possibilities. She is a tough, relatable thinking woman solving long-standing cases with dogged determination.


Seasons one through four available on Amazon Prime. Both Season Two and Season Four finales—remarkable! No spoiler alerts. Season Five coming soon.


And in case you missed "Last Tango in Halifax," she's outstanding in that series too!

Nothing like good music to brighten your day. Or night.




Especially if


you're listening to


Odetta...



If the lights are dim and if you are alone either by choice or happenstance, and if you would like to be compelled to rise out of your chair and move in a slow, seductive, and slightly surprising manner like you are floating, flying, free-styling around the room, treat yourself to the booming, classically trained vocal mastery of Odetta and her album- Blues Everywhere I Go. Click to hear what I'm talking about.


I challenge you to remain in your seat.



In a career of almost sixty years, Odetta sang at coffeehouses and at Carnegie Hall. She became one of the best-known folk-music artists of the 1950s and ’60s. Her recordings of blues and ballads on dozens of albums influenced Bob Dylan, Joan Baez as well as Janis Joplin and many others.



Odetta’s churning-burning interpretation of the blues works so well on "Careless Love/St. Louis Blue,""You Gotta' Know How," "Oh Papa," and the extrordinary title track! I'm just saying...


Vocal Baked Alaska. Warm, fiery, and sweet all at the same time, her multi-octave voice hums with inner strength and echoes of church. As critic Nelson Brill once wrote, “Hers is a mouthful of glory.”


In deep, deep vocal registers to incredible delicate treble reaches, Odetta growls, snarls, and whispers her way lyrically through history, social comment, suggestive naughtiness, eternal truths, injustices, and a big helping of humor.

All this and the urge to dance, too.

And finally, if it’s art and architecture that piques your interest…


A world-class revitalized Mingei International Museum, premiered recently in San Diego’s Balboa Park, a heartbeat away from my house in Banker’s Hill.


The architect happens to be a very close friend of my son and daughter-in-law and has always impressed me with her scary brilliance, infectious energy, and her stunning talent as she takes an artful approach to all her design work.




Jennifer Luce

principal and founder of


Luce et Studio Architects in


San Diego, California


Luce et Studio






Along with Executive Director Rod Sidner and a world-class team, architect Jennifer Luce has reached new career heights with this project.


The New York Times took note recently:


“Located since 1996 in a Spanish Colonial building in Balboa Park that was constructed for the 1915-17 Panama-California Exposition, the museum recommits itself to the idea of community — of shared space, culture and creativity. “We are making an effort to offer radical hospitality — every visitor counts equally, so they discover that art is for them or about them,” said its executive director, Rob Sidner. As redesigned by the architect Jennifer Luce of Luce et Studio in La Jolla, the interior spaces are now more open and welcoming. Materials and craft are celebrated in every component of the renovation, including commissions from renowned female designers and artists.”


It’s that last line about Jennifer that is so very cool. In the interview below, she noted that only seventeen percent of her profession, architecture, is women and she felt this project was a great opportunity to put the spotlight on talented women artists and designers—Claudy Jongstra, Petra Blaisse, Christina Kim, Billie Tsien, Mira Nakashima, and Sharon Stampfer. She talks about the museum and the women she invited to be part of the project in this YouTube interview.



My pleasure to shine a spotlight on three extraordinary women!


Enjoyed your blog, as always ! "Collateral" - another great series with Nicola Walker !

donna


Thanks so much for introducing me to these women. Did this museum really open this Labor Day? What an amazing place. Let us know about you visit when you go.

I hope you are well and safe from any fires. JGP


Thanks for the introductions! DI


MM - My choice of music is classical and jazz. Thank you for the opportunity to listen to Odetta. I find it difficult to believe I have not heard her before since the 50's and 60's were her era.



Always love your writing! Will certainly look up Unforgotten! J9


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