Monday, January 17, 2011
We are getting ready for a wonderful tour of studios in my new digs "Monticello Park" in San Antonio. This area has an annual event held February 19 & 20, with an opening night at the Bihl Hous Arts Gallery www.bihlhousearts.com. The event is called On and Off Fred. If you live in the San Antonio area it will be a wonderful weekend where you can visit 70 artists at their own studios where they will have demos and fabulous art for sale.
Friday, April 17, 2009
In 1969, the civil rights movement had informally changed names to The Black Power Movement. America's inequity towards African Americans had the Black community at the boiling point. The assassinations of the leaders and slow reaction to fair demands signaled an emergent need for power to be transferred to the people who were the victims. When Tommy Smith and John Carlos put black leather gloves on and held their clenched fists up to the sky, while looking down to the ground, in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, it was a symbolic message to the world that it was a new day. Still teen-agers living in public housing projects, the anger was strongly felt by the musicians of Kool & the Gang, their staff, families, friends, neighborhood, and national community. The sign of the fist had been respectfully given to the band from the audience nightly at all the shows and the band used their choreography to face the crowd, turn to the right simultaneously, look down and pump their clenched fist as a tribute to the people. It was touching and meaningful then - but no permanent record of it has materialized until this stained glass panel four decades later. The late Claydes Charles Smith (seated playing guitar with a halo) was very laid back but extremely important to the music and the message. The light coming from the fist above the band has obvious significance. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.
THE FRENCH DOORS - A double set of panels that are 19" x 50" before frames.
Performed in Get Down On IT from 1981 - 1987 as an extreme crowd-pleaser, then lead vocalist James JT Taylor and trumpet dance-master Michael Ray would back up to each other during the lyric line "Get Your Back Up Off The Wall" and the final time they chanted it, the flip over the head would take place meticulously in synch with the rhythms and the steps. It delighted audiences around the globe, as Kool & the gang slipped into the position of the world's best selling act, which they maintained throughout the entire decade. Part of the thrill of it would be supportive background steps from Clifford Adams, Curtis Williams, Dennis Dee Tee Thomas, and The Funky George Brown on Drums. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.
The LiberatorAlso from Get Down On It from 1981- 1987, Curtis Williams, who joined the band in 1981 at barely 18 years of age, he quickly rose to more than an instrumentalist. This was a part of the night that blossomed into a show-stopper. Williams would strap on the keyboard known as the Liberator and dramatically step down from his multiple keyboard fortress a half flight above the band to the right corner of the stage. When he landed on solid ground with the band he would continue a merciless solo - featuring interacting steps with band-members Clifford Adams, JT, Dee Tee, and Michael Ray. Their fluid like motion on stage is felt with the water color shades in this panel. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.
The genius and artistry of Stevie Wonder has had an impact on the universe in ways beyond measure. His effect on the musicians of Kool & the Gang has been overwhelming. His strengths as a music writer, lyricist, producer, studio musician, live show performer, and multi-instrumentalist, and a voice that defies description are probably overshadowed by his commitment to humanity and his ability to make differences. His charitable contributions as a philanthropist, his insistence on forcing the passing of the King Holiday bill, his assaulting expose of the former South African aparthide gained the attention and respect of the world. Wonder's manhood to boldly confront what is wrong and offer equitable solutions led multi-millions in America to support the Obama bid for the presidency, also causing more people than that to register and vote. This is a hero that is not to be taken lightly. Here, Wonder is captured in glass, incorporating cultural symbols while he is universally communicating through music in his recording studio. This stained glass panel was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown's Koolzeum Archives.
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
The luscious red glass used in the scrolls brings this panel to absolute royal delight in the sun. The central shield was a successful challenge. The Lion and Eagle were painstakingly cut out in once single piece on a ring saw and fused in a kiln to the white and yellow glass respectively in two separate firings.
The enameled details were added after the kiln firing in a separate kiln firing.
Framed in rich dark oak, a perfect setting for this classic.
Considering a unique gift for a special family member, friend or customer? This might be the answer!
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
“The Angels” are two figures somewhat based on the presence of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Although these actual legendary forces passed in 1967 and 1991 respectively, the blessings of their musical legacies have had immeasurable influence and inspiration to Kool & the Gang, and to all bands, especially those with pronounced horn sections. This is a respectful tribute and an acknowledgement that the angels are being felt, heard and now seen. This piece was created for the KOOLZEUM and was exclusively designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez.
Joining the band in 1975, Larry Gittens was already an established professional and was actively touring and recording with Stevie Wonder. His reasons for working in Kool & the Gang were to “keep sharp and the Gang’s horn lines are the most intricate in the business.” Gittens has remained on active duty to present with both acts, even becoming Wonder’s Musical Band Director and miraculously finds time to pursue a solo career. He is one of the most respected musicians in the business. This was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown’s KOOLZEUM.
Robert “Spike” Mickens
An original band member, Spike’s trumpet eloquence, percussion performance, and physical presence were defining high points of the core band from 1964 to the mid 1980’s. In addition to his musical talent, songwriting, and showmanship – Spike’s level of natural koolness was a patented rarity that cannot be found elsewhere. His style is one that is fiercely imitated and immediately recognizable. This was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown’s KOOLZEUM.
A founding member of the world’s Koolest musical entity, Ricky West wrote and lead sang on 1973’s smash hit Hollywood Swinging. His unique approach to all keyboards and lead and backing vocals cements him in the archives of pop music history. His likable nature, genuine quality and distinction came forth in every note of his music and this helped to shape the band for all time. West passed away in 1986 but his legacy is felt in the band today and his contribution was abundant. He released a solo album in 1977 titled “Ricky West and North South East.” This was designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez and is exclusive to Cleveland Brown’s KOOLZEUM.
Saturday, December 15, 2007
The photos will be replaced with ones taken in their permanent setting when they become available, these don't do them justice.
Also known as Funky George, is a world class music industry producer, the original drummer for Kool & the Gang and the one of the band's founding musicians. This piece was custom designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez to be displayed only in Cleveland Brown's KOOLZEUM Archives.
Stage named Dee Tee, one of the most immediately recognizable people in the music industry, plays alto saxophone, flute and is a consummate showman. He is also a founding architect of the band. This piece was custom designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez to be displayed only in Cleveland Brown's KOOLZEUM Archives.
Formerly Kevin Bell. He is a major recording producer, songwriter, and musician in his own right, and is also Robert "Kool" Bell's brother. Amir was the keyboard player for Kool & the Gang through their most successful hit-driven era and is now Kool & the Gang's rhythm and lead guitarist. This piece was custom designed by Cleveland Brown and Olimpia Perez to be displayed only in Cleveland Brown's KOOLZEUM Archives.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Here are the panels installed in their permanent home. The owner decided the orange was too bright for their taste and we changed it to a lighter shade of the existing amber. They look wonderful also!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
A delightful composition to say the least. Dear to my customer's heart this panel was designed exclusively for her. Lily The Golden Retriever, Corky The Schipperke, Margaux The Rottweiler. This is how she pictures them.
Monday, September 3, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
This ivy framed door is quite a welcoming statement! A subtle reminder of nature wrapping your door. What makes this design so soft and not intrusive is the barely there green glass used for the leaves.
An adjacent transom is the other window, topping a wonderful entrance to a sitting room.