Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


“Mel” Exhibit – January 4 in Sioux Falls

4 January 2013

I present at an upcoming art gallery opening. Consider yourselves invited.
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Presented by

Ipso Gallery at Fresh Produce

Sioux Falls, SD – December 19, 2012 – Ipso Gallery will host an art reception on Friday, January 4th, 2013 at Fresh Produce from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. ‘Mel’ features work celebrating the creative process and vision of Mel Spinar through informal portraiture. For this particular show, Ipso Gallery is pleased to work with guest curator, Dr. Edward Welch, Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Native American Studies at Augustana College.

Spinar’s work reflects on popular culture and the male presence in a series called Dakota Male Portraits. His keen observations create an informal yet genuine depiction of each personality, giving the work a vividly distinct familiarity and charisma.

Mel Spinar was born and raised in South Dakota. Spinar taught painting and drawing for 34 years in the Visual Arts Department at South Dakota State University. Spinar also taught at Sioux Falls College and the Civic Fine Arts Center. He is highly esteemed as both artist and art educator.

About Ipso Gallery:

Ipso Gallery serves the creative culture of Fresh Produce and downtown Sioux Falls by offering a place of artistic expression and collaboration, where artists and the community can actively engage in the discussion and conceptualization of contemporary art.

For more information on Mel, click the “events” tab at To keep up with Fresh Produce news, visit


Another Shot at Man’s Best Friend

7 July 2012

Our beloved Boston terrier, Lu, died a year and a half ago.  It seems I was more attached than I would like to admit, a fact evidenced by my mopiness and my total unwillingness to get another dog.  The latter symptom didn’t break as easily as the former.

Until yesterday.  My wife and I drove out to New Holland, South Dakota to check out a Boston terrier.  She was impossible to resist: beautiful features, a predominantly white coat (rare among Bostons), and a total snugglebunny.  So yes, here’s me showing off my new pup.  Introducing Epiphany – whom we prefer to call “Phin”:


Jobs (1955-2011)

6 October 2011

Who was given up for adoption but whose new parents raised him so well that he could intern for Hewlett-Packard as a high schooler.

Who dropped out of college but was worth 100 million by age 25.

Who lived in a garage designing a computer that would someday be useful in every room of the house.

Who made geekiness cool. Who almost salvaged the mock turtleneck look.

Who upended the personal tech industry. And the music industry. And the movie industry. And the cell phone industry.

Whose ideas, to the end, multiplied faster than the cancer inside him.


Sioux Falls Wine Club for Men

12 October 2010

Isn’t a wine club for men just an invitation for conspiracy and snobbery?  Not if you live in down-to-earth South Dakota.  I hope to check out one of these events soon so that I can give a report. 

From their newsletter:

Last month’s Fall kick off of the Wine Club for Men was an incredible success. Most of the guys that attended said it’d be hard to match it, but we’ll give it our best! Enjoy a great evening with an incredible selection of wines paired with Laurel’s unique spin on Beef Bourguignon using South Dakota buffalo.

Only $25 plus tax, plus 10% savings that night! Call 605-275-9463 to reserve one of the limited spots.


Mythopoetic Men’s Movement Book Review Available

2 September 2010

For those of you interested in the mythopoetic men’s movement and the dynamics of “new men” in small group interactions, my review of Eric Magnuson’s Changing Men, Transforming Culture: Inside the Men’s Movement is available online at the Journal of Men, Masculinity and Spirituality (4:2).


ManKind Project 25th Anniversary

29 July 2010

Back in 1985 three forward-thinking men designed something called the Wildman Weekend, an attempt to get men to recapture a sense of rooted masculinity for the new world.  Twenty-five years later, The ManKind Project has “initiated” over 30,000 men through the weekend and has vital programs for men operating throughout the world.  As the only lasting expression of the mythopoetic men’s movement, it has special importance as an indicator of what is working for men in the 21st century. 

MKP is celebrating its anniversary with a three day conference in Louisville, KY, October 21-23.  I’ll be presenting, as will a number of other men and women.  Get the details at


Heavy Fundametalisms Conference

12 September 2009

Metalheads.  I know you get a little scared when they’re around, but you gotta love ’em.  The guy wearing all black, long unbathed, headbanging to his I-Pod: he’s interesting.  Even better is the mulleted guy at the truck stop wearing a Pantera shirt from 1990, sporting a black eye from last night’s mosh pit.  What is it that makes metal culture so winsome and all-encompassing for so many people?  And why are its adherents something like 85% male?


One of the less dusty academic conferences coming up is the second Heavy Fundametalisms Conference, to be held in Salzburg (Austria) 10 to 12 Nov 2009.  Its sessions will cover everything from ideological domination in lyrics to the musical significance of the power chord.  The last one drew some serious interest; this one promises the same.  Though it’s not touted as a gender studies conference, that’s clearly what it is.  Hopefully there will be some deep analysis going on there with regard to the construction of masculinity, not just a point-scoring session by shaking one’s head at the obvious posturing and power-grabbing of heavy metal culture. 

If I were going, I’d start growing my hair out now.  Rock on, Salzburg.


Online Master’s Degree Available in Men’s Studies

28 July 2009

Would you believe that there is now a graduate-level program for men’s studies?  Through Akamai University one may receive a Master of Science degree in Men’s Studies and Fatherhood.   The degree is online, and the university isn’t accredited – the latter a major down side.  Nevertheless, my interest was piqued by the class titles, which demonstrate overt Jungian themes and sound substantial in content.  The core curriculum is listed below.

Required: The following nine credits:

MSP 531: Rites of Passage: Ancient and Modern (3 credits)
MSP 532: Developmental Male Psychology (3 credits)
MSP 533: Issues in Male Sexuality (3 credits)

Plus nine additional credits selected from the following courses:

MSP 534: Men in Literature (3 credits)
MSP 535: Issues Facing Men (3 credits)
MSP 536: Models of Masculinity (3 credits)
MSP 537: Marriage and Fatherhood (3 credits)
MSP 538: Male Victimization (3 credits)
MPS 539: Male Archetypes (3 credits)
MSP 540: Men’s/Fathers’ Rights (3 credits)
MSP 541: Patriarchy (3 credits)
MSP 542: Male Spirituality (3 credits)