Send your kids outside to college and well, you know, they often don’t return. As empty nesters, husband Dave’s and my art travel includes regular visits to our kids who reside on both coasts. So we stole a week of Alaska’s fleeting June to catch up with LA son Oliver and gf-Kate Vescera, and take in some summer art of the West. With our pets at Rabbit Creek Kennels and the lawn mowed, we packed lightly for three cities in a week.
The other day, husband Dave and I couldn’t get our SUV tail light unscrewed. After trying to drill out what we thought were chewed threads, we headed to Anchorage T-Tops and Automotive to see Butch Barney, owner and professor extraordinaire of all things auto body. Turned out, what we thought was a worn phillips-head was some kind of hexagonal/octagonal screw which Barney says is only used to confuse customers.
Art blockbusters don’t jump out in New York City the way they did several decades ago. That’s not all bad, as smaller venues don’t sport long lines. In spite of a blustery mid-April week, husband Dave and I found good hunting, discovering a variety of art spaces. We also caught an ‘off-off’ and a ‘Times Square’ Broadway show and found a new place for dinner. So hop on public transportation with us as we explore springtime art in Gotham.
The Anchorage Museum exhibition Mariano Gonzales A Man in the Shadows (thru April 19) is as complicated and complex as it is formally beautiful and entertaining. The show is predominately made of metal murals about the size of full plywood sheets. When Gonzales bangs out sheets of aluminum, geometric ‘-agons’ emerge. These metal skins become large dimpled-esque tessellations resembling stacked ice cube trays. Digital printing somehow neatly appears on these dented skins.
Am I crazy? It’s a sunless winter in Anchorage, made darker by minimal snow clinging to roadways, all icy and gritty. Forget sun and sand, I’m off to New York City to hunt down some color. Everyone knows unless you are headed into the woods for a true Alaskan winter, you don’t need boots and mittens for driving to Costco. Last night, while eating pizza at Moose’s Tooth, husband Dave and I sat near a guy wearing shorts and a t-shirt—yes, flip flops are replacing sorels in the far North. Ok, I need lots of polar fleece up here and when we landed at Newark Airport, we were glad to dig out gore-tex and mittens.
Museums are temples that explain a culture but they can be intimidating—you may feel you don’t belong, you’re not on ‘the’ board.
As art aficionados know, anything aesthetic is the first thing cut at school board meetings—art is considered a frill! This month’s line-up ought to send the naysayers rethinking.
I just began the somewhat daunting task of writing a dissertation on the art of Winston Churchill. However for my townsquare49.org columns I get to be less academic when writing about international art exhibitions and master artists. For variety, I decided to seek out quiet artisans in my neighborhood; amongst all of us lurks what I refer to as the Unobtrusive Aesthetician. As art critic Jerry Saltz says, “In the end it all comes down to… a life lived in art.”
It was time to hug our East Coast kids and see some fall art. Husband Dave and I flew to DC for a weekend of soccer starring our grands, Tess (8) and Kai (6). Late October in Alaska is not conducive to outdoor activities but soccer fields adjacent to George Washington’s Potomac home were still verdant with parents decked out in polar fleece cheered for their toddling players who often put the ball into the wrong goal—to grandparents it’s all love.
Recently I met up with Jay Sargent, a former high school classmate, and discovered that not only does she still love horses, she now loves dolphins – enough to go on vacation with them.
My daughter Jenn’s 20th wedding anniversary coincided with Labor Day. So my husband, Dave, and I adopted Averyl for the weekend which included an afternoon at the Anchorage Museum. The three of us headed for the exhibition Gyre–The Plastic Ocean.
As Jerry Seinfeld says, buying fruit is a gamble—so are some art trips. In mid-July I headed to Providence, Rhode Island to take my art-philosophy Ph.D. orals. My husband, Dave, came along so he could eat tons of lobster and give me hugs. Happily, I passed – though going before academics is scary, even if you’ve studied hours and hours. Stay tuned as it’s going to be fun to report on my project: The Art of Winston Churchill.
Alex Katz’s “Ada and Vincent in the Car”, portrays the stay-at-home mom driving her son–note the ubiquitous post-war American Chevy/Ford steering wheel.
Typical when routinely transporting teens, Ada and Vincent don’t converse.
It’s June and I’m studying for PhD art-philosophy orals coming up mid-July. I’ve told everyone in my life to scram/skedaddle until August.
I’m at my desk, five hours daily, yellow highlighter on textbooks, in front of my wide screen computer, pounding keys, and looking things up on Wikipedia.
This spring husband Dave and I flew to Boston College for the christening of our newest grandchildren, Spencer and Finn.
Sinking in to our seats on the red eye to Seattle, we realized we’d forgotten all the wiring to the computer, phones and camera.
After my romp through the 2014 Whitney Biennial this past March, I took a crosstown bus from Fifth Avenue to the Armory Show on display on the remodeled Hudson River Piers 92 & 94 .
With two hundred and five exhibitors, the Armory Show is the largest art fair in New York and really Disneyland for art lovers.
About a year ago, I received an email that professor Michelle Grabner would be one of the three curators of the 2014 Whitney Biennial Show. I asked Grabner if I could shadow her on her year long adventure of artist selection.
The Whitney press office dismissed my project.
Artists love to exchange their wares with fellow craftsmen. I still have chimes my older daughter, Jenn, made in kindergarten almost forty years ago.
So when my friend Lawrence Vescera mailed me his sci-fi tome, Kiss It All Goodbye, I was thrilled to turn off reruns of The Borgias, pour some tea and begin the enchantment while forgetting icy roads outside my cozy nook.
Hurry, you can still make it to Dena’Ina Way of Living with its preserved artifacts and dioramic recreations. But not to worry, the exhibition catalog will be available after the show closes.
Dena’inaq’ Huch’ulyeshi, the Dena’Ina Way of Living illustrates how a population lived thousands of years ago without electricity, running water and modern medicine; be humbled by those who came before.
The internet said eighty degree weather in California the first week of December. So, husband Dave and I left our mittens in the car before flying to Los Angeles for a bankruptcy conference and Fall art.
Sitting in our hotel room later, I kept hearing Sinatra singing, “hate California, it’s cold and it’s damp.” Catalina Island looked like a cake submerged in whipped cream.