Jerry Gray: Uni-What?Written by Jerry Gray | | email@example.com
I have received a number of questions regarding the name of my column, “Uni-Brow,” and perhaps it is time that I explain it to those of you who may not understand my extraordinary wit (or dry humor) in titling this column.
We should start with the initial invitation from my editor, Mr. Miller, who called me in April and stopped by Bozarts during an afternoon of odd jobs, moments of phone calls, Facebook updates and brainstorms. We sat on the so-called lawn in folding chairs and discussed the focus of Toledo Free Press Star and how he thought I may be able to contribute to the new arts and culture rag. As we conversed about the wide-open possibilities, I quickly appreciated and accepted the invitation to write as often as I like about whatever I like as long as it was based on the arts, ideally in Toledo.
After accepting this opportunity I recognized that I lacked the energy or desire to write about current art events, reviews, critiques or other situations. The approach I had inwardly agreed to follow was one of ideals and possibilities rather than information about current or upcoming events. One of many reasons I try to hold true to this is an old quote which I honestly don’t even remember; however, it mainly states, “it’s better to discuss ideas rather than things.” This was probably some old Plato, Confucious or George W. Bush quote. Even fools have moments of clarity whether they know what they’re talking about or not, I would like to think. Like staring into a campfire and realizing where you actually want to be in the next five years at the tail end of a 12-pack.
Throughout the articles I have written I would like to think I have challenged myself and others to come forward, and at the very least consider the possibilities of their surroundings and how individuals can contribute to whatever it is they feel strongly about. I have also attempted to contribute some information about how to remedy particular situations that may have haunted their progress in the past. In general, offering up the idea that, as a city, Toledo is not only wide open with cultural opportunities but is hungry for them and the vision; networking and the doing is up to you, or whoever wants it.
So … yes, Uni-Brow is kind of ridiculous, though I believe it is a fitting title for the column, in that it is a satirical play on bringing High-Brow Art (fine and learned art) together with Low-Brow Art (often a self-taught sincere approach). From the local fine arts institutions such as the Toledo Museum of Art, Arts Commission of Greater Toledo and Toledo School for the Arts, to the kids painting bridges because they feel as though they must, this column is, has been and will continue to be based on a working creed of mine: “To bring us all closer together in thought and understanding without the chance of misinterpretation from the lack of honesty.”
If you are unfamiliar with my column and have no idea what I’m talking about, please visit www.toledofreepress.com/tag/uni-brow/.
Jerry Gray is an artist, writer, vocalist, bartender, gallery owner and advocate of the Toledo Potential, which promotes the retaining and featuring of artistic talent and culture in our city.