SICILY: LAND OF LOVE & STRIFE Is Coming to The Triangle

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New documentary will change public perception of the island nation while raising funds for food for the homeless.


The Triangle Sons of Italy (TSOI), Lodge 2817, will present the North Carolina premiere of “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” the new feature-length documentary by Mark Spano, a first-generation Sicilian-American who hopes his film will change public perception of the mysterious island nation.

The film will be shown at The Cary Theatre, 123 East Chatham Street, Cary, NC 27511 on Sunday, November 11, at 3 p.m., followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker. The TSOL Lodge will also host an optional buffet dinner that evening at nearby Mayton Inn (301 South Academy Street). All proceeds will support Lodge 2817’s efforts to provide food for the homeless throughout the Triangle.

Sicily documentary
From “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife”

Writer/producer/director Mark Spano, a first-generation Sicilian-American, explains the inspiration for the critically acclaimed documentary he crafted over a period of five years:

“Fewer places on the planet compare to Sicily as a place of wonder and intrigue,” he says. “Yet little has been produced about the cultural or historic relevance of Sicily. But for crime, Sicily has gone unexplored. The island’s association with the Mafia, so deeply entrenched in popular consciousness, has obscured more rounded and accurate depictions of its history and culture.”

Until now. Through “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” Spano is introducing sold-out audiences across the U.S. and Canada to the many facets of the island nation that are relatively unknown to the public: the natural beauty, epic human struggles, depth and diversity of culture, historic sites, and philosophic influence.

The buffet dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Tickets are $26 per person.

Tickets to the film are $20. Anyone purchasing tickets for the film and dinner must do so in advance at  https://www.etix.com/ticket/p/8241717/sicilyland-of-love-strife-cary-the-cary or by sending a check made out to TSOI 2817 to Bob Giannuzzi, 548 Clarenbridge Drive, Cary, NC 27519. Film tickets only may also be purchased at the theater.

Book Cover ArtThe DVD and Companion Book

The film’s recently released companion book, Sicily: Land of Love & Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey, will be available for purchase in the lobby on November 11 or ordered now at this link. Dreamscape Media (distributor) will release the DVD on December 1. Pre-orders can be made at the same lin

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” visit markspano.wordpress.com and follow the Facebook page for updates.

About filmmaker Mark Spano

Mark Spano is the son of Sicilian immigrants and holds both US and Sicily citizenships. He grew up in Kansas City, Missouri, in a vibrant Sicilian-American community. Since the 1980s, he has lived in Orange County, NC. Yet for five years, he spent a huge chunk of his time in Sicily as he worked on the documentary of his family’s homeland. Recently, Thunderfoot Press released the 130-page companion book he wrote for the film, entitled Sicily: Land of Love & Strife – A Filmmaker’s Journey. The book is available on Amazon.

 

 

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Kentucky bourbon and brisket: pod architecture + design hosts Thirst4Architecture August 16

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The pod a+d team: L-R Wendy Broome, Youn Choi, Barbara Ngaboyamahina, Dougald Fountain, and Doug Pierson Not pictured: interns from Doug’s third-year design studio at the NCSU College of Design, Dept. of Architecture — Casey Calhoun and Nailah Watts-Harper.

For the first time since moving back to North Carolina from the West Coast, Youn Choi and Doug Pierson, founders and principals of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro, will host Thirst4Architecture (T4A) to celebrate modern architecture and the people in the Triangle who love it on Thursday, August 16, from 6-8 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the event is one of the monthly happy hour networking social occasions established by North Carolina Modernist Houses and will be held in the firm’s studio in the historic train depot in the heart of downtown Carrboro.

T4A is an opportunity for anyone interested in and associated with modern architecture to mix, mingle, and build relationships with other modern design enthusiasts in a relaxed, casual environment. Pierson and Choi will provide the location, food, and beverages while participants get an up-close look at pod a+d’s work through models and drawings.

A Special Treat for T4A Guests

Award-winning architect Doug Pierson, AIA, recently attended the grand opening of one of his firm’s most ambitious projects to date: Rabbit Hole Distillery, a state-of-the-art, 55,000-square-foot, $15 million bourbon distillery and campus in downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

For their T4A event, Pierson and Choi are having Rabbit Hole’s award-winning bourbon shipped to Carrboro. The bar staff provided by Drew Moore, owner of CrossTies Barbeque (201-East Main Street) and several other local establishments, will serve special bourbon-based cocktails as well as “straight” and “on the rocks” options, and soft drinks for pod a+d’s August 16 event.

Moore is also providing CrossTie’s popular “Brisket Slides” for the evening’s savory selection.

 “As local as possible”

Pierson and Choi, partners in life as well as work, are relative newcomers to the Triangle architecture and design community, having recently returned from living and working on the West Coast. Their new modern house in Carrboro, which they designed together for their family of four, is under construction and will plant their roots here even deeper.

“We’re so happy to be back,” Pierson said, “that we’re doing everything we can to be as ‘local’ as possible. That’s why we chose space in the old depot for our offices. We’re active in the community, we shop at the Farmers Market and Weaver Street, and we’re working with one of the best high-performance, or ‘green,’ homebuilders for our new house: Kevin Murphy of Newphire Building in Chapel Hill. We’re also hiring all-local subcontractors and vendors, including the lumber supplier.” He smiled. “And we’re always free to talk when people walk in and tell us that our space doesn’t look like a barbeque joint.” He explained that people often mistake the firm’s front door for the entrance to Cross Ties.

pod architecture + design is located at 201-A East Main Street, Carrboro, NC (919.246.6466) For more information, visit www.podand.com. pod a + d is also available on Facebook.

Triangle Architects, Artists Raise Funds for Homeless Cats and Kittens

5 Houses, 1 chair, 4 pieces of art

Modern cat houses and original art are auctioned off to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats

A sleek black cube, a “cannoli” rendered in walnut veneer, a maple cat house/side table… These were among the modern, indoor cat houses that Raleigh-area architects and designers created for The Cat’s Meow 2018, the second annual fundraiser for SAFE Haven for Cats.

Founded in 1994, SAFE Haven is Raleigh’s no-kill shelter and low-cost spay/neuter clinic. Since opening, SAFE Haven has orchestrated the adoptions of more than 9500 cats and kittens and spayed or neutered over 25,000 animals in its clinic.

Five modern, one-of-a-kind indoor cat houses, four original works by Raleigh artists, and an iconic Eames Shell Chair comprised this year’s live auction held in Trig Modern in Raleigh on June 7th. Professional auctioneer Ben Farrell sold every item.

Presented by Trig owner Bob Drake and Ann Marie Baum of Baum Shelter interior design, the event raised nearly $3000.

Safe-Haven-for-Cats-LOGO“All of us in the SAFE Haven family are amazed at the generosity of the designers and artists who created all of these cat-centric works of art for The Cat’s Meow,” Miller said. “We are grateful to our local business sponsors Trig Modern and Baum Shelter for creating and hosting this event. Because of them, we will be able to save the lives of many more stray and abandoned cats and kittens in June and July.”

The 2018 Cat’s Meow auction items were:

Cat Cannoli

1. Cat Cannoli by architect David Cole, founder and principal of Inclusion Studio. Low and cozy, the cannoli features a walnut veneer exterior that brings to mind paneling frequently used in mid-century-modern houses. A real, cat-sized cowhide rug slips inside the bright red interior.

Cat's Loft

2. A Cat’s Loft by Will Alphin, founder and principal of REdesign.build, and his talented team. The sleek black cube features the smooth, satin finish of a fine piece of furniture. The cube sits on a metal frame base, allowing the piece to do double duty as a cat’s modern loft and a side table. The opening lets the resident peek out from this elegant hiding place. A removable lid allows humans to locate their feline friend quickly, vacuum up the accumulated cat hair, and get rid of the occasional fur ball with ease.

CatHouse_ModSideTable

3. Cat House/Modern Side Table by Corey Baughman of Clearscapes. The piece is composed of solid maple and brass with a painted light-blue exterior and wax finish. The inverted form is reminiscent of a traditional concept of “house.” The interior is carved. The exterior is smooth. And elevated on tapered legs, it can serve as both cat house and modern side table. There’s also a cup holder on the surface.

Vertical Modern Cat Tower

4. Vertical Modern Cat Tower by artist and interior designer Clark Hipolito, founder and principal of The Art Co. Created with a cat’s love of climbing in mind, the tall Tower features lots of scratching surfaces and a very “climbable” structure.  A couple of dangling green balls for batting around complete the contemporary composition.

Ca.CliffHanger

5. California Cliff-Hanger…on Casters! by Jamie Smith of Xylem, Inc. cabinetmakers. Utilizing the economy of the “S” shape, this creative cat house offers three levels – internal and external – rendered in white and wood-grain laminates. Today, a real California Cliffhanger might feature a “green,” or vegetated roof. This roof is covered in carpeting, however, that inspires hours of scratching. And napping. And the casters let the owner’s human move it around to find a sunny spot, offer a view out a window, tuck into a dark corner if strangers come in the house…

Eames Chair plus Cat Illus. copy

6 Eames Molded Fiberglass Shell Chair donated by Bob Drake, owner, Trig Modern, and “Smalls on Eames Chair” original illustration by Karen Kluttz. The chair, originally designed in 1950, and Kluttz’s illustration of her own cat, “Smalls,” on two red Eames shell chairs, were auctioned off together.

SofaSnoozer_KK copy

7. “Sofa Snoozer” and “Fish Market,” original illustrations by Karen Kluttz. A Visual Arts Exchange artist, Karen Kluttz donated three cat-related pieces to The Cat’s Meow 2018.

Louis St. Lewiis 2018

8. Untitled by Louis St. Louis. To borrow some words from critic D. Eric Bookhardt, Gambit Weekly, New Orleans, the artist created this piece especially for The Cat’s Meow as one of his series of “smallish collages…a mix of pop and classical images cut up and sandwiched between sheets of glass. Touched up with paint and displayed in ornate frames…”

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About The Cat’s Meow:  The Cat’s Meow is an annual party and auction of modern, professionally designed indoor houses for cats to benefit SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh, sponsored by Trig Modern and Baum Shelter, both of Raleigh.  For more information, visit this year’s Facebook page.

For more information on SAFE Haven for Cats in Raleigh: www.safehavenforcats.org.

Hamilton, Ontario’s Festitalia Welcomes Mark Spano’s Film “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife”

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A new documentary celebrating the island and its people.

Sicilia Canta, in cooperation with Cinema Insieme film club, the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF), and  Festitalia, will present the Canadian premier of the new feature-length documentary by Mark Spano, “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,” on Wednesday, June 20, beginning at 7 p.m.

The premiere will be held in the Bishop Ryan Theatre Auditorium in Hamilton, 1824 Rymal Road. East Hamilton, ON. A Q&A session with the filmmaker and a reception including Sicilian music will follow the film.

ICFF logo croppedSpano had scheduled the one-time-only Hamilton screening on another date until Charles Criminisi, Hamilton Coordinator for ICFF, suggested he hold the premiere during Festitalia, the annual festival that shares the “tastes, sounds, and passion” of Canadian-Italian culture and heritage with the Hamilton community-at-large.

“We’re excited and honored to show the premiere of this entertaining and informative documentary, ‘Sicily: Land of Love & Strife,’” Criminisi said. “It promises to be a very entertaining evening with writer, director, and producer Mark Spano.”

Spano is the son of Sicilian immigrants (he holds dual citizenship). He lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. For five years, he worked diligently on his documentary of his family’s homeland because “little has been produced about the cultural or historic relevance of Sicily,” he explained.

“The most invaded place on earth, the three-sided island rivals Greece and Egypt as a primary source for Western ideas. Yet fewer places on the planet compare to Sicily as a place of wonder and intrigue.

“But for crime, Sicily has gone unexplored,” he continued. “The island’s association with the Mafia, so deeply entrenched in popular consciousness, has obscured more rounded and accurate depictions of its history and culture.”

Until now. Spano hopes his film will begin to change the public’s perception of Sicily and Sicilian people. Click here to view the documentary’s trailer.

Tickets to the premiere are $20 per person. To order advance tickets, call Joe Baiardo (289-880-1561), Sam Cino (905-388-2199), or click here to order online.

For more information on “Sicily: Land of Love & Strife” and filmmaker Mark Spano, go to markspano.wordpress.com.

DATE CHANGE: The Cat’s Meow Charitable Auction Postponed to June 7th

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May 11, 2018 (Raleigh, NC) – Due to scheduling conflicts, Trig Modern, Baum Shelter, and SAFE Haven for Cats have postponed The Cat’s Meow charity auction and party to Thursday, June 7th. The event will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. at Trig Modern, 1053 East Whitaker Mill Road, Raleigh, NC.

Featuring entertaining auctioneer Ben Farrell, The Cat’s Meow is an annual auction of cool, modern, indoor “houses” for cats created by architects, artisans, interior designers, and other professionals. All proceeds go to SAFE Haven for Cats, a non-profit, no-kill shelter and low-cost clinic in Raleigh dedicated to caring for and finding homes for thousands of homeless cats and kittens, many of which have been abandoned and need veterinary help as well as permanent homes.

Hosts for The Cat’s Meow are Bob Drake, owner of Trig Modern furniture showroom and design center, Ann Marie Baum of Baum Shelter, a new interior design firm in Raleigh, and Pam Miller, founder, president, and CEO of SAFE Haven for Cats.

Completed cat houses should now be delivered to Trig Modern by June 6th. Anyone interested in designing a cat house, donating another item for auction, or providing in-kind donations should contact Ann Marie Baum as soon as possible either by phone (919.971.5450) or email: annmariebaum7@gmail.com.

Follow The Cat’s Meow 2018 on Facebook.

Safe Have Logo_1About SAFE Haven for Cats:

SAFE Haven’s mission is to ensure the well-being of every cat through adoption, affordable spay/neuter services, community outreach and adherence to no-kill principles. The shelter receives no government funds and relies solely on private donations for 84 percent of its budget.

Visit safehavenforcats.org for more information.

 

NC Architect To Conduct Construction Tour of Rabbit Hole Distillery for AIA Central Kentucky Chapter

Doug Pierson will take professional peers through his latest project in Louisville.

RabbitHole1

Carrboro, NC-based architect Doug Pierson, AIA, of pod architecture + design (pod a+d) will conduct a construction tour of the new 55,000-square-foot Rabbit Hole distillery and campus he designed in downtown Louisville, KY, for the American Institute of Architects Central Kentucky Chapter on Tuesday, April 17, beginning at 5 p.m.

Rabbit Hole founder and CEO Kaveh Zamanian and structural/mechanical engineers from Luckett & Farley will join Pierson in giving participating architects “an overview of the inspirations, revelations, and explorations behind the Rabbit Hole distillery with the focus on structural/MEP systems, design excellence, and the user experience,” AIA Kentucky said in its invitation to members.

According to Pierson and his partner/wife Youn Choi, the design embraces the owner’s desire for transparency, as well as a “form follows process strategy, allowing the building to take shape in response to the bourbon production process it will house.

The abundance of glass throughout the building satisfies the desire for transparency – from the inside out and the outside in. Tours will let visitors see each step along the process of creating world-renowned bourbon. During the day, the transparent/translucent structure will provide panoramic views from the inside to NuLu’s historic streetscape, downtown Louisville’s main street, and the barges and bridges along the Ohio River.

Located on an entire city block at 711 East Jefferson Street in the historic NuLu district, Rabbit Hole Distilling is Louisville’s newest high-end craft distillery. Construction began in October 2016. The grand opening is scheduled for Derby Day, Wednesday, May 5th.

Pierson and Choi are well-known in Louisville for having designed the highly acclaimed “Green Building,” Louisville’s first commercial Platinum LEED-certified building and Kentucky’s first Platinum LEED adaptive reuse structure.

Click here for more information on the April Tour.

Click here for more information on Rabbit Hole Distilling.

Click here for more information on the Rabbit Hole Distillery project.

THE KANSAS CITY STAR: “Chef Jasper Mirabile is celebrating Sicily on the big screen and in the kitchen”

April 09, 2018 02:56 PM

 

LOUISVILLE COURIER JOURNAL: “A grand opening for this new distillery in NuLu is set for Kentucky Derby night”

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By Kirby Adams

We don’t know who but we do know where — 2018 Kentucky Derby celebrities may choose to party after the races at a new distillery in downtown Louisville. he Rabbit Hole Distillery, 711 E. Jefferson St., will celebrate its grand opening  Saturday, May 5 with an invitation-only event…

…The new multimillion-dollar distillery in Louisville’s historic NuLu neighborhood is designed by award-winning architect Doug Pierson and will also showcase the identity, tradition, and legacy of bourbon making in Kentucky. VIEW THE VIDEO AND READ MORE

Day and Night: Pod Architecture + Design To Display Work in NCSU Exhibition

Demonstrating the perception of space from day to night.

Carrboro modern architects
Exhibition board showing Connie & Ted’s restaurant by day (top) and night (bottom).

February 12, 2018 (Carrboro, NC) — How structure is perceived from day to night is the theme of the presentation that pod architecture + design (pod a+d) in Carrboro is contributing to the upcoming N.C. State University School of Architecture Alumni Exhibition. The exhibition will be on display in the Brooks Hall Gallery on the NCSU campus during the School’s accreditation review in mid-February.

Juxtaposing a photograph of each project taken in bright daylight with a photo captured against a darkened sky, pod a+d’s presentation includes an adaptive re-use project in Louisville, KY, an educational facility in Goshen, IN, an iconic restaurant in West Hollywood, CA, and a large-scale experiential graphics project in Qatar.

Pod a+d is a hybrid firm owned and operated by design principals Douglas V. Pierson, AIA, LEED AP, BD+C, and Youn Choi, an environmental graphics designer. The couple relocated their firm from Los Angeles to North Carolina in 2016.

Carrboro Modern Architects
Qatar experiential graphics project by day (top) and night( (bottom).

“Doug and I always consider the day and nightlife of a design because the perception of the space changes as the light changes – from day to night and from natural to electric lighting,” Choi explained. “We also consider when the use of the space will be the liveliest. Perhaps the users are more productive during the day when the sun is shining. Some rejuvenate in the evening as the sun goes down. This is an integrated, repeating process that we always consider.”

According to David Hill, head of the School of Architecture, NCSU College of Design, “This will be an important show of work that will be seen by visitors from the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB), faculty, students, and other visitors. Perhaps this exhibition will allow the school to reconnect with a great number of alumni throughout the world.”

For more information on the upcoming exhibition, email david_hill@ncsu.edu.

For more information on pod architecture + design, visit www.podand.com.

About pod architecture + design:

pod a+d offers all architectural design services that connect building, environment, and identity because we believe in the integration of architecture and design disciplines throughout our projects.  Exteriors, interiors, engineering, furnishings and finishes, equipment, financial feasibility, scheduling, construction, and the environmental context – these are the contributing elements that inform our integrated approach to each architectural project’s design.  More information: www.podand.com.

 

Scuppernong Books Hosts Frank McNair, Author of “Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption”

Life-on-the-LineWinston-Salem-based author Frank McNair will appear at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on Saturday, October 28, at 3 p.m. for a book signing to promote his new award-winning football novel Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption (featured in Yes!Weekly June 29, 2017)      

Published by Bagpiper Press, the novel was named Best Book in the Young Adult category during the Spring 2017 Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards.

Frank McNair is a veteran author of business-oriented books but this is his first work of fiction.

The book revolves around two boys on the same middle school football team who despise each other as soon as they meet on the practice field. Their animosity simmers throughout the season until it finally boils over in a “dramatic confrontation” that Forsyth Family Magazine’s Vonda Henderson describes as “swift, surprising, and rattles and shocks them and those around them.” She adds: “The outcome illustrates well that stage between boy and man.”

As a former football player himself, McNair offers his readers authentic, play-by-play gridiron action. Yet Life on the Line is about much more than football

“I thought football was a good petri dish in which to tell a story about adolescence and coming of age,” McNair told the Winston-Salem Journal recently. “My book is a good yarn about two young men living regular lives in a small Southern town. The story looks like it’s about is. But it’s also about boys trying to figure out what it means to be authentically male. It is about class differences, religion, grief, and coming of age. And  ultimately it is about rage, reconciliation, and redemption.”

Intended for middle- and high-school readers, Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemptionis receiving a steady stream of positive reviews among Amazon Customer Reviews from parents of teenagers. One wrote, “Outstanding! Don’t let your sons (or daughters) miss this gripping story of boys growing up in the world of football.” The mom of now-grown boys said, “I wish Frank had written the book 10 years earlier when my son and his friends were this age.”

After reading selections from the book, McNair will take questions and sign copies that will be available for purchase.

Scuppernong Books is located at 304 South Elm Street, Greensboro, NC 27401.  For more information and directions: www.scuppernongbooks.com.

For more information on Frank McNair and Life on the Line: Football, Rage, and Redemption, including sample chapters, visit www.lifeonethelinebook.com.