I like to argue that an artist is an artist. Art is a life choice; it’s a philosophy of living. You are either an artist or you’re not.
So, with that in mind, when I heard that visual artist Jane Richardson Mack, known for her wonderful and magical Verre églomisé, was going to grace us with a musical performance at her current show Surreal Reflections, I was all ears. I am happy to report that she is indeed a fine artist, in the total sense of the word.
Artistically dressed with an Oriental Flair – in a satin red top over lace stocking sleeves and a long black skirt with a slit up the side and red leopard spike heels; an outfit which totally complimented her Verre églomisé works- she performed Cabaret tunes with style and class. She sold us the tunes. “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby?” She had fun and so did we. Smiling and flirting, she colored and painted the Cabaret tunes with artistic nuances. The audience was taken in on the journey. Inspired by the Stride piano style of George Yamasaki and Jane Richardson Mack’s jazzy personality, members of the audience took to dancing. “Are You Having Any Fun?” segued seamlessly into “Let’s Fall in Love” – with an extra solo from Mr. Yamasaki for the dancers.
Ms. Richardson Mack sent us on our way with an original tune she composed called simply “Booze.” With shades of Ma Rainey we were educated as to the good, the bad, and the fun of alcohol, particularly gin.
The down side was the ambient noise. The Gallery at 1000 Van Ness is a beautiful place for an art show, not conducive to a musical performance. Perhaps this artist will dare to give us an evening of her musical artistry at some other venue at some other time; meanwhile do check out the visual and performing art of Jane Richardson Mack. Thursday July 28th, 6:00 – 8:00 at the Gallery At 1000 Van Ness, San Francisco.
–Suzanne Birrell 21 July 2011