SAS Alumni Magazine

We enjoy getting our younger son’s high school alumni magazine. Although we are not as connected to Sewanee now that Jackson is no longer on The Mountain, we look forward to hearing news about St. Andrew’s Sewanee (SAS) and and by association The University of the South, where we all attended. Plus, with this being near the end of the school year, educational calendars are on my mind.

The Spring 2013 issue is full of beautiful paintings by Tony Winters, of whose work up until this point, I was unfamiliar.  It’s always a pleasant surprise to learn of an artist and even more so to know they have some mutual connection to a place that is so meaningful. Tony Winters is an painter and architect living in Manhattan and a 1971 graduate of SAS. To paraphrase the article below which you may not be able to read, he states that he “realized that great architecture often draws on its inspiration from the forms and structures of nature. Nature is a great teacher.”  I believe Frank Lloyd Wright would have agreed. His painting below of Sewanee’s Perimeter Trail captures that dappled sunlight through the woods that I’ve seen so many times but it never comes out in my photos. His exaggerated bright colors authenticate the experience while traveling on this path with the that great rock suspension looming above.

Tony winters on Art Is Everywhere

Perimeter Trail, oil on canvas by Tony Winters

Here’s a study of the work above, which looks to me like fall.

Study for Perimeter Trail by Tony Winters on Art is Everywhere

After going to his website I realized that there were many similarities to what others have tried to captured while living the Sewanee Life.

tony winters_cumberland plateau on Art Is Everywhere

tony winters_lunar spring on Art Is Everywhere

The photos below are by my son Jackson.


Sewanee Planet – photo by Jackson Spencer


Moon Over Trezvant  – photo by Jackson Spencer


Rock Formation – photo by Jackson Spencer


Bridal Veil Falls – photo by Jackson Spencer


Sewanee Light – photo by Jackson Spencer

And I took these while hiking with him.

Cumberland Plateau photo on Art is Everwhere

The Cumberland Plateau and valley dwarf us

Perimeter Trail_and Art is Everywhere

Looking  over the edge above Perimeter Trail?

These other paintings have other personal significance. Ed Carlos was  also an inspirational art teacher of mine. I’m so happy to see an homage done for him.

Tony Winters on Art is Everywhere

This cavern painting reminds me of another SAS and University graduate and fellow classmate, Stephen Alvarez, who takes incredible photos for National Geographic, among other places, as he travels the world and captures caves and magical sites that many of us will never see otherwise.

tony winters_cavern on Art is Everywhere

Stephen was also featured in this issue and is being awarded SAS’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Congratulations, Stephen!

Stephen Alvarez on Art is Everywhere

Here’s a previous photo that I posted of Stephen’s work so many moons ago. He’s taken hundreds more since and had had exceptional story features in The National Geographic like Paris Underground, where he and his family lived for months while shooting. A nice gig to have! 😉 Although these gorgeous stars were taken in Madagascar, they could be in Sewanee because this is what it looks like at night from the top of The Mountain.

Stephen Alvarez on Art Is Everywhere

Hunting Crocodiles in Madagascar. © Photo by Stephen Alvarez

Getting back to Tony Winters and finding a further connection from his website — 2 places right in my neck of the woods, were designed by his architecture firm, along with the Nabit Art Building at the University….We really needed that while at school there. A little late for us previous art students but much welcomed by the current:

Since 1999, Tony Winters has owned and directed Pentastudio Architecture, New York, a professional firm focused on design for creative environments such as fine arts studios, galleries, rehearsal and performing-arts spaces. In 2000 this office was joined by the Italian design firm SOHO Architteture of Rome to form Pentastudio Associated Architects.

Architectural clients include leading schools and arts organizations including the Blue Man Group, the Olney Theater in Maryland, Cinecitta Studios in Rome and the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. For more on Pentastudio Architecture see web site.

 Small world with Art being everywhere within it.

Bacardi Mural & Being Back on the Mountain

I’ve just returned recently from a Homecoming Reunion at my university and it was so much fun visiting with everyone again. For some, it had been 25 years since we had seen each other. Although we’re older (and wiser, I hope), I’m happy to know that we still can enjoy a good time with a few drinks and dancing. With that in mind, I thought these Bacardi Murals in Miami by Francisco Brennand were worth posting and a nice juxtaposition between beach and mountain living, particularly since they express that vibrancy and joei de vivre found in both places. They are made with 28,000 hand painted and baked tiles and adorn historic buildings.

Bacardi Mural from, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Bacardi Mural from

Barcardi Mural via, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Barcardi Mural via

Bacardi tower edited via Examiner © 2009 George Leposky, on Art is Everywhere

Bacardi tower via Examiner © 2009 George Leposky

4FinalBacarditoweratnight via blue vertical studio, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Bacardi tower at night via blue vertical studio

This link on Urban City Architecture shows so many more pictures that flip with the artist’s and background information on the reverse.

If you’d like to see a tour of this Miami landmark, go to this YouTube Bacardi Museum Building link.

Moving on from Miami to the Mountain, here’s a quick pic of Sewanee friends enjoying the opportunity to be together on a gorgeous fall, mountain day.

1-JennyJoe_AshleyPeter_casartblog via Slipcovers for your walls

Jenny & Joe, Ashley & Peter visiting at Sewanee

Fortunately, we  were also able to enjoy a visit with our son for dinner at Ivy Wild, a new fine dining restaurant in Sewanee. Tip: bring your own liquor or wine.  Go to this link for more details about attending the upcoming Lessons & Carols during the holiday season that was just featured in the December issue of Southern Living. I like what the writer, Katie Morrow, reflects about Sewanee:

Because as much as I enjoy the flurry of family activities during the holidays, the desire to “produce” Christmas can be overwhelming. That’s why I love this place, high on a mountaintop, where I can quietly welcome the season with reverence and joy.

If you’d like to read about some charitable efforts taking place in and around Sewanee, go to this recent Homecoming post on Slipcovers for your walls.

If you’d like to see more collaborative street murals for a good cause that may still be on view in Houston — until the next rain — view this video below and go to this Via Colori article link on Houston Chron for details.