The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Larisa Olson Wins All Around Creativity Award!!!!

I want to recognize Larisa for her all around ability in creative endeavors. We go way back to 1173 North Ardmore days.... It's not well known but our building has great tradition of producing talented artists.....the casting director for Dancing with Wolves, the actor Bill Wintersole.......

It is there that I was able to bear witness to her unique abilities as an artist, set designer, costume designer, interior designer, writer, etc.... she even photographs some and does cool things in Photoshop. She has a unique sensibility and sees things differently. She even helped me some with The Tibetans: A Struggle to Survive and is the one who turned me onto this blogging software.

You go Larisa.......

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Famous Russian Novel Wins Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award!!!

I am excited to announce that the Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov has just received a Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award. This brilliant Russian novel written from 1928 to 1940 has always been a favorite. Banned by Stalinist authorities for 26 years it was posthumously published in 1966 (in the video I made a mistake and said 1960).

Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) was one of post-revolutionary Russia's foremost authors. In the 1920's his work was suppressed by the Stalinst authorities; only with his rehabilitation, beginning in 1962, was much of it published. His other works include Heart of a Dog, The Fatal Eggs, and The White Guard. (This brief bio is by Grove Press, Inc.).


Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sweet Peas Chef Wins Award


I am proud to announce that Paul J. Panettiere has won a Steve Lehman 6 Gold Star Award for his hard work and being an excellent chef / proprietor of Sweet Peas. Paul Panettiere started in the restaurant business as teenager washing dishes and then went on to train at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. His goal is “to have people leave the restaurant feeling better than when they came in.”

Set in a beautifully restored 1880’s Victorian Colonial, the restaurant also doubles as an antique gallery. The food is excellent, the decor is beautiful and the prices reasonable. One of the patrons described Chef Paul Panettiere’s creation as “unique, metropolitan cuisine in a hometown setting, right next door.” If you are looking for a great meal in beautiful surroundings come to Sweet Peas of Riverton, CT.

I highly recommended the rack lamb. If you go for lunch, they offer an excellent steak sandwich. The bread is wonderful and the salads tasty. Check it out!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sweet Peas is well worth the trip.

There are theme nights on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday:

Tuesday is a “Complete Dinner Night”, a full meal for $20.00.
Wednesday is “Pasta Night” which is a pasta dish with soup or salad for $10.00.
Friday is “Burger Night.”

Sweet Peas also does take out. They have full liquor, and wine tasting. They also are available for catering, luncheons, private parties, baby showers, wedding showers, weddings, and rehearsal dinners. I feel this is a fantastic place for small to medium size events.

Sweet Peas is located in the foothills the Berkshires at 6 Riverton Road (Route 20) in the heart of Riverton.

Sweet Peas
6 Riverton Road (Rte 20)
Riverton, CT 06065
Phone: 860-379-7020.

The hours of operation are:
Lunch: Tuesday – Sunday 11:30 AM - 2:30 PM
Dinner: Tuesday – Saturday 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Sunday 2:30 PM – 8:00 PM

This video is a spoof on the Burger King commercials. I'm not a big fan of commercials but I must say I think BK ones are really funny. I wipped this award ceremony together in about 20 minutes. Paul needed to get back to work and I had some other things to do so I couldn't perfect it. It is filmed with a Treo 680. I'm very proud of it because I am acting and filming at the same time, it's very hard to do. There is no editing involved, I do it all in the camera. The sound quality is poor because I am wearing the mask and there are limits to cell phone microphones. The script I wrote while I was waiting for my lunch is attached below.