Dennis Spielman

The real and imaginative adventures of Dennis Spielman

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Waters Edge Winery Deep Deuce Sessions Wines - photo by Dennis Spielman

Waters Edge Winery

Guests of Waters Edge Winery can enjoy custom wines from international grapes yet fermented, bottled and corked in Oklahoma City’s Automobile Alley! In addition to the wine tasting, Waters Edge Winery hosts events, bottling parties, and allows to make your own wine.

In this week’s video, I interviewed Sarah Edwards, Roger Cude, and Connor Meek about the urban chic-industrial winery.

Uncovering Oklahoma is made possible by our Patrons on Patreon! If you want to get cool rewards while keeping this series independent, become a patron.

The New Art A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later - photo by Dennis Spielman

The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later

Get a sneak peek of “The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later” at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art with curator, Roja Najafi in these social media videos I filmed for the museum.

I also created an Instagram version as well, fitting the platform’s criteria.

In 1968, the Oklahoma Art Center, OKCMOA’s predecessor, purchased the 154-piece permanent collection of the Washington Gallery of Modern Art (WGMA), the first art museum in the nation’s capital dedicated to the collection of contemporary art. That decision transformed Oklahoma City’s collection of contemporary art.

The New Art A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later - photo by Dennis Spielman

The New Art A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later - photo by Dennis Spielman

The New Art A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later - photo by Dennis Spielman

The New Art A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later - photo by Dennis Spielman

On February 17, 2018, on OKCMOA’s first floor, The New Art: A Milestone Collection Fifty Years Later honors this extraordinary collection on this major anniversary, presenting longstanding Museum highlights by Ellsworth Kelly, Richard Diebenkorn, Grace Hartigan, Sam Gilliam, Robert Indiana, and Paul Reed, along with the rarely shown works by Morris Louis and Lee Bontecou. Their work, and the work of many other artists, forms the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s outstanding collection of postwar American art from the 1950s and 1960s.

Belle Kitchen (Re-Edit)

For delicious handmade macarons, pastries, gourmet doughnuts, Belle Kitchen in Oklahoma City makes their treats completely from scratch using only the best ingredients from simple recipes.

This is a re-edited video that I originally shot back in 2016 hence why some of the shots and sound aren’t as smooth. The weather and scheduling conflicts have prevented me from making a new video this week so I hope you enjoy this one! If you haven’t watched last week’s video about venues worth renting in Oklahoma City, go watch that too. If you want something new and unreleased, over at Patreon I shared the raw interviews of a new series.

Stay warm!

Belle Kitchen - photo by Dennis Spielman

Uncovering Oklahoma is made possible by our Patrons on Patreon! If you want to get cool rewards while keeping this series independent, become a patron.

Death and Coffee

This short story was inspired by the following writing prompt:

“As you are sitting at your favorite café drinking your coffee, at the window and across the street, you see Death approaching, probably for you. Turns out the café just has really good coffee.”

Janet had seen all kinds of weirdness since opening Humming Bird Coffee in the art-centric town of Norman six years ago. On every holiday the citizens went all out. For Halloween, downtown businesses filled the streets with giant inflatables. For Mardi Gras, which wasn’t a major holiday for the region, people gathered in the cold winter night to have a circling parade. However, no holiday could top the popularity of the city’s very own free music festival.

For the Norman Music Festival, it was common to see people in elaborate outfits to promote bands or dance with them on stage. However, Janet had never seen a costume complicated as the one that stood before her. For starters, it was nine feet tall. She wasn’t sure how she missed it entering her coffee shop. It was as if it had simply appeared. The figure wore a hooded robe of dirt that moved along it like ocean waves. Its body was of a human skeleton with a pair of arctic, soul-sucking spheres of blue light that flickered as if on fire. It even smelled like bones to Janet.

“Hi, what can I get you?” Janet asked.

Death paused, starring at Janet to see if she was referring to him. “You can see me?”

“Of course. I like your costume. Are you with one of the bands?”

“No, I’m here for the General,” Death said.

“The General?”

The General was not a person, but the nickname for the beast of a coffee machine that Janet found at a flea market and rebuilt. Her employees often joked that the device had a mind of its own and that it liked Janet the best.

“Of course. That’s why everyone comes here,” Janet said as she patted the General.

“Do you share a special bond with this General?”

“My staff teases me that I do.”

“That must explain why you can see me.”

There was a seriousness in Death’s tone that made Janet think of her bother who took his own life.

Janet reached for Death’s hand. “Yes, I can see you. Everyone can see you. Look, I know we don’t know each other, but if you need someone to talk to, I can connect you with someone who can help you.”

“Who are you talking to, Janet?” Mick said, giving her a confused look.

“I’m talking to this fellow,” Janet answered, pointing at nothing Mick could see.

“There’s no one there.”

“Hey, don’t say that!” Janet snapped.

“Janet,” Death said firmly. Janet turned and faced him. “He cannot see me for I am Death.”

Death raised his arms and time paused for all but Janet and himself as the room filled with darkness.

“Oh my god. Is it my time?”

“No,” Death said, annoyed. “I told you, I’m here for the General.”

“But the General is just a coffee machine…”

“No, I’m not, Janet.”

Janet spun around. Standing before her was her beloved coffee machine in an impish form.

“How?” was all Janet could say.

“I was the leader of a robot rebellion on Yellow Planet when I was severely damaged in a battle and got caught in a temporal attack that sent me to Earth, where you found me. You brought me a peaceful life, and that was all I ever wanted.”

Death walked through the counter and picked up the General in his arms. “I apologize for the false scare. Don’t worry, Janet. I don’t foresee visiting you personally anytime soon.”

The General saluted Janet. “It has been a privilege making coffee with you.”

Together, Death and the General floated down through the ground, taking the darkness with them, returning light and time.

“Janet,” Mick called out, waving his hands in front of Janet. “Are you okay?”

Janet looked around. Death was gone. Everything was normal, for Norman. She turned to her coffee machine, which was still there, but the lights were out.

The Rooftop at Plenty - photo by Dennis Spielman

Oklahoma City Event Venues

For this week’s video, I’ve highlighted several different places in Oklahoma City where you can host your next event. This story doesn’t include every single event venue available for rent, but it does showcase a wide variety of options and price points. Featured in this video is V2 at Vast, Plenty, the OKC Boathouses, The Paramount Room, Will Rogers Theatre, Myriad Botanical Gardens, The Farmers Market, and PhotoArt Studios. In the video, I’ve given each place about a minute to talk about themselves. Then over at Uncovering Oklahoma, there’s an article that goes into more details about what they offer.

With the proposals that come during Valentine’s Day, I thought a story about event venues would be appropriate. I got to thinking about this idea when I met up with an owner of an upcoming event venue space who reached out to me about a possible story. They, unfortunately, weren’t in the video because, at the time, they were doing some remodeling.

I’m curious to see how well this video does because it is a departure from my usual videos.

If you know someone who is getting married or hosting an event, be sure to share this video with them. Thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for their support.

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