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Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 12:00 am

Sally paints by music


Sally Weisenberg poses with a painting (and a pond) for her art show opening reception Sat., Oct. 5, 6 to 8 p.m. at Prairie House Custom Frames and Gallery.


Say, “Sally Weisenburg” to a local music friend, fiend or fan and I can nearly guarantee an excited reaction commenting on her great voice, terrific piano playing and smoking hot band. For all the years Sally’s been playing music around these parts with husband Don Berbaum and drummer Tony Corpus or backed by the full scale Famous Sidemen, there’s been nothing but a good time going on.

All her fabulous and natural talent, mostly concentrated on playing music for decades, went in another direction some years ago. When faced with a looming anniversary gift deadline, our intrepid singer grabbed something, “a piece of a beer box maybe” and painted a Cajun woman playing an accordion. From then on she was hooked on painting and continues to create what she pleases with a brush.

“I always did sketches. Our family writes a lot of letters, and I’d do little pictures in mine and sometimes color them in,” Sally said. “Then I did the Cajun painting and enjoyed it so much I just kept going.”

Now she’s created enough works to host an art showing at Prairie House Custom Frames and Gallery (2833 S. Sixth) through October, with the opening reception on Saturday, Oct. 5. She’ll play some music (of course) with Don and Tony from 6 to 8 and folks are invited to peruse the paintings and purchase, if so inclined.

You won’t find your average stretched canvas art here. Sally’s creative impulse travels beyond the standard medium, but she does concentrate on music characters, both real and imagined, along with horses, dogs and personal inspirations. In a totally cool move, at the reception she’ll sing songs by the likes of Etta James and Patsy Cline, while displaying her paintings of those music icons.

“It seems so formal, painting on canvas. I like wood, especially reclaiming it. When we drive through towns and see stuff set out for clean up days, I see art supplies,” she laughs. “I paint in acrylic with vibrant colors, and being a working musician, paint things from our travels and musical influences.”     

One of her most interesting sales came when Don emailed a photo of a painting to KBON-FM the couple’s all-time favorite radio station, broadcasting Cajun and blues from Eunice, La. The picture of a Cajun-looking woman playing an accordion with the call letters of the station featured prominently was inspired by a love for the music and admiration for the station. The owner purchased the work, put the couple’s music on air and offered them a gig when the logistics work out. According to Sally, her music will continue in conjunction with painting and both artistic sides will be around for some time.

“It’s a long, interesting road and different projects come along the way,” she said. “You just never know what will happen out there.”

In the other stuff department, on Friday the charming and extremely handsome Timmys, with pals Nephron and Boon, take over Bar None. On Saturday, John Corbett, best known for his acting roles in “Northern Exposure,” My Big Fat Greek Wedding and voiceovers for commercials, brings his country band to Boondocks for a fun night of music. All day on Saturday from 2 to midnight, rock on at Roktoberfest in front of the Celtic Mist Pub on Seventh Street to experience to last downtown outdoor festival of 2013. Enjoy a free concert by the famous Rebirth Brass Band from New Orleans at Donnie’s Homespun on Friday starting about 8:30, plus free sandwiches from Meatsmack as a friendly giveback from Neal and the crew at the Vinegar Hill Mall venue.

I’m out to enjoy my October. And you?

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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