In 1983, galleries full of Sam Gilliam’s paintings were on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in a show called “Modern Painters at the Corcoran: Sam Gilliam.” I had seen works from Gilliam’s Draped series, which firmly established him in the art world after its debut in Washington’s Jefferson Place Gallery in 1968. I was unprepared, however, for the powerful emotional impact of viewing a large number of Gilliam works for the first time in one setting.

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LEO staff members weigh in on things to do around town...

The working homeless

Ninya Parker, 44, was homeless for two months before entering The Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s St. Jude Women’s Recovery Center in March. Moving into the center, a halfway house for homeless women recovering from drug and alcohol addictions, was part of her effort to kick her addiction to crack cocaine and establish a new life, including an apartment, with her 14-year-old daughter. Another part was finding a job. Now, she works 121/2 hours a week at Cathedral of the Assumption, cleaning the kitchen, and 20 hours at a Steak n Shake. But that only brings in $235 each week before taxes. She won’t be able to afford an apartment anytime soon.

Moved by the mountain - First of two parts (A conversation with Erik Reece, author of ‘Lost Mountain’)

 Erik Reece is standing barefoot in the organic garden he keeps in his Lexington backyard, absent-mindedly running his hands through voluptuous lettuce leaves while discussing the new book contract he’s recently received.

Up a tree: World’s most recognized tree-sitter is coming down to Louisville

When she answers the cell phone, Julia Butterfly Hill is high in a walnut tree in South Central Los Angeles. The tree is part of a 14-acre urban farm, the largest in the country, set smack in the heart of a warehouse district. Birds chirp audibly in the background, conjuring an admittedly weird vision of urban-rural utopia.

Moved by the mountain: A conversation with Erik Reece, author of “Lost Mountain”

Editor’s note: This is the second and final part of Stephen George’s conversation with author Erik Reece. Part I was published last week.

What a Week

Behind enemy linesIn a sleazy campaign trick of near-Republican proportions, a John Yarmuth! campaign volunteer tried to infiltrate the Anne Northup camp. Robert Kahne, a 19-year-old Yarmuth! volunteer, used a fake name and offered to help Northup’s campaign, which presumably involved implementing a slack-jawed, zombie-eyed, Dumbya-is-my-god stare. One key difference between Kahne’s stunt and similar Republican shenanigans: He got caught. The Yarmuth! campaign, which claimed no prior knowledge of Kahne’s act, gave him the boot.

This bird didn’t sing: The media may have wanted a circus, but the Guv was in sunny Florida

Ten years after a plane crash killed singer Ronnie Van Zant in 1977, the remaining members of Lynyrd Skynyrd went out on what was to be a one-off tribute tour, their first shows together since the tragic death of their leader and other band members.

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<GAMING>Thursday, June 15World Series of Video Games    The Derby City can now join the likes of cities like Jönköping, Sweden, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Beijing, China, as cities playing host to events in the first year of the World Series of Video Games. Louisville is the host of the first-ever competition in the WSVG, starting Thursday and running through Sunday at the Kentucky Fair & Expo Center. There are eight total events worldwide in the WSVG, the one in Louisville being the first. Winners from tournaments at each event will compete at the finals in November. Games being played in the tournaments include “Counter-Strike 1.6” and “Halo 2.”

What a Week

Elephants gone wildMore chunks from the Skylab that is the Fletcher administration fell off during re-entry, including a large one with a funny-shaped head: Lt. Gov. Steve Pence. Citing a desperate need to no longer hear his name mentioned after Fletcher’s, Pence — who has played an important role as stand-in governor during Fletcher’s many hospitalizations — announced he wouldn’t seek re-election on the Fletcher/Pence ticket. After the announcement, Fletcher demanded that Pence resign immediately from his $99,000 a year job, which Pence refused to do, citing the job’s sweet pay and total cushiness. Fletcher named Finance Secretary Robbie Rudolph — who apparently has the unbridled optimism of an InsightBB subscriber — as his 2007 running mate. In other irresponsible-pachyderm news, an unmarried elephant at the zoo is preggers.