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.
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.
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.
It takes five years to organize an art exhibition which means this year’s fall lineup was created in 2008, the big financial dip. With that in mind I headed East to hug grandchildren and see what was aesthetically pleasing.
Our fall art tour took us to Philadephia, Washington, D.C. and New York City.
James Gurney’s famed Dinotopia series, enchanting adventures juxtaposing mythical creatures and humans against fantasy backgrounds, morphed into his how-to book, Imaginative Realism.
Imaginative Realism’s sequel is Gurney’s Color and Light. Written in a convenient cookbook style, he imparts artistic elements, rules-of-the-road, that take painters on a journey, becoming keener observers while perfecting their artistic endeavors.
The Portrait Society of America held its annual conference in Atlanta and featured illustrator James Gurney. As a parent, I was familiar with his book Dinotopia but had never looked beyond the bedtime story scenario.
I chose a Gurney break-out session and began to learn how approachable he was.
While some relax rafting or playing 18 holes of golf, I spent a portion of my summer on campus. When not writing essays for Town Square 49, or painting with acrylics, I attend low-residency PhD classes at The Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts.
This program allows students to absorb classical philosophy while never getting out of their pajamas.