Tuesday, March 13, 2001

Stobart's artwork has people clamoring

        Phyllis Weston has this problem see, and she's plumb delighted about it. But perplexed.

        Weston, director of Closson's Gallery, is expecting a new John Stobart print in May. He's the guy who does the high-end Cincinnati public landing paintings.

        Wellsir, his next one, “Public Landing by Moonlight,” is a finished painting but no prints have been made yet. Nor has a price been set. Nor does anyone know how many prints there'll be.

John Stobart's "Public Landing by Moonlight"
        “And that's not the half of it,” Weston says. “We haven't even announced it yet, so technically, no one knows.”

        Oh, but they do know. They're even lining up. “I don't know how the word spread, but I've already sold five to one man, without knowing a price, though I'm guessing about $600, and I get calls every day, people asking or trying to reserve a copy.

        “Stobart is here May 11 and 12, and I'm afraid we're going to be sold out before he gets here. Before the print even gets here.”

        No print, no price and still a stampede. There'll be a larger one when the rest of the story gets out: “This is the last of his Cincinnati series,” Weston says. “He's on to other things.”

        Hmmm. Look for heavy traffic headed up the steps to the second floor gallery of Closson's downtown store.

        Dolly Quest: The Dolly Parton snowball is rolling along in a plenty major way.

        Parton, recall, is Chamber of Commerce PR manager Buz Buse's choice to lead the world's largest chicken dance at Oktoberfest 2001. Last week, he asked Cincinnati city council to formally invite her — and council did just that.

        He also worked a deal whereby WLW radio would put a link on its Web site (www.700wlw.com) so fans could e-mail Parton and tell her to please come.

        Buse and WLW get copied on every e-mail. Wellsir, on the first day (Thursday) Dollygrams were already in the hundreds, mostly local, but also from Washington State, Maine, Japan, Tennessee. “The funny thing about the e-mails I keep seeing, is how much they talk about love,” Buse says. “We love you, our family loves you, that sort of thing.

        Like this one from Heath Watts in Miura, Japan: “I like you and love your music.”

        Or this one from Ren Guardiano in Washington: “I am a HUGE fan of yours and would actually make a special trip from WA state to see you.”

        Or this one from New Orleans: “You have touched so many lives,” then goes on to talk about “the power and grace of such a diva like yourself.”

        “If she accepts our invitation, it's going to be like a love-fest.”

        Contact Jim Knippenberg at (513) 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.


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