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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Happy Winter Solstice! Mark has gleefully pointed out that this is, in fact, the best Winter’s Night we are likely to experience in a lifetime, as tonight will be the longest night for the next 80 years due to a trick of orbital mechanics, plus there will be a lunar eclipse. So celebrate the best you can tonight; clearly the sun’s going to need all the help it can get to come up properly in the new year.

(Edit: The one time I don’t bother to fact check a thing Mark tells me with great confidence, it turns out to be a thing actually from 2010. But there is a lunar eclipse tonight! Best visible at 3:17am in the Eastern time zone. Look! Distracting art!)

And for some reason, this cool art Gene just sent us is striking me as thematically appropriate, so here you go. Enjoy!

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Art in Bloom 2015

This past Saturday, I took an outing with my mom, cousin, and two aunts (one from each side of my family, just to maintain symmetry) to the Art in Bloom special exhibit at the NC Museum of Art. The idea:

The NCMA’s inaugural festival of art and flowers. Floral designers from across North Carolina and beyond bring springtime into West Building by interpreting masterworks from the permanent collection in 45 breathtaking flower displays.

Installation next to the West Building entrance.

Installation next to the West Building entrance.

Once inside, the exhibit basically turned all of the main permanent collection into a scavenger hunt. Each floral arrangement was near the piece of art that had inspired it, but the piece could be next to it, in front of it, behind it… and as a result, I’m sure I actually noticed many more pieces in the collection than I ever had before. (It was, of course, an admission of defeat if you had to check the label on the display to figure out the inspiration piece. Or maybe that was just me.)

I took a lot of pictures, but I’m going to try to restrict this post to a few of the ones I felt best captured the floral displays with their accompanying inspiration pieces. There are inevitably stunning pieces that won’t make it into this post because the photos didn’t capture them adequately, or there was no way to get both pieces in the same frame, or what have you. If they do a show like this again next year, or a similar one at a museum near you, go see it in person!

My aunt studying one of the more interesting floral interpretations.

My aunt studying one of the more interesting floral interpretations.

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Blue on blue on blue.

Hovering.

Hovering.

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Arches and icons.

Amusingly representational.

Amusingly representational.

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Storm-tossed waves.

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The perfect use of hydrangeas.

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I will now always think of those fuzzy bits as “lava flowers.”

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Classical in the extreme.

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Irises and Rodin.

Perhaps my favorite combination of display and painting.

Perhaps my favorite combination of display and painting.

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Exciting! Dark! Spiky!

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So harmonious you almost can’t tell where the flowers stop.

I really hope they decide to do this again! For obvious reasons, it has to be a limited-time event, and even though we were there for 3 hours, I felt like I could have stayed longer. It was so interesting to see which aspects of the art the floral designers had chosen to highlight. Some were obvious, some were not, and many of them actually made the piece of art more interesting through the act of comparison.

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In the new building of the art museum, officially the West Building, if you turn to your right when you first enter, you’ll see the restaurant and gift shop. Covering the whole wall of the restaurant is this awesome installation, which I love:

Patrick Dougherty stick installation

Patrick Dougherty stick installation

According to the museum website, I was correct in thinking this is by the same artist who did the giant outdoor installation that used to be in the park, called Trail Heads. It has since broken down, as it was intended to, and been replaced, but you can see pictures of it linked in the article above. Fortunately, in my opinion, the restaurant installation should remain permanent, since it is indoors and protected from the elements. There’s also an album of photos from the process of creating the installation linked in the article, for those interested. (Which should be everyone.)

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Stained Glass in the Window

One of our Christmas gifts, from an artist I admired while we were up in the UP for Thanksgiving:

Stained glass in the window

Stained glass in the window

It’s hanging in the dining room window and it makes me smile every time I walk in there.

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Craft Fair Loot

The Autumn Art Fest was not a huge success, sales-wise, (though I did still sell three temari, up from only two last year!) because apparently everyone in that part of Raleigh is out doing political stuff the weekend before the election. This was my second time doing the fair on the last weekend before a national election, so clearly my two, count them, TWO data points are highly scientific to prove that this will always be the case in an election year. I grant you, in 2008, that weekend also had Halloween falling on the Friday night, so sales were truly abysmal that time.

However! I do not despair, because there was some lovely work there, and I wrapped up Sunday with a chance to go shopping for myself. I desperately needed a good bowl to display temari in, and one of the pottery tables had just the thing.

New temari bowl!

New temari bowl!

Note that the sides are open, so you can see the temari on the bottom, too.

Side view

Side view

They had some that were all one plain, neutral color, like the top part, but I couldn’t resist the one with two shades of purple glaze towards the bottom. I mean, it’s me. Gotta have the purple.

The craft fair is also a chance to walk around all the tables with my parents as we all drop exceedingly subtle hints to each other about things we like in preparation for the holidays, so I may end up with some delayed craft fair goodies next month too. And of course, I stocked up on my soap from Mooning Goat Dairy for the year! Always a highlight for me.

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I spent last week at the beach, as is traditional for my family for the 4th of July. The water was probably the best I’ve ever seen there, warm and calm and clear, no jellyfish or seaweed or anything. At one point, I actually looked down and saw a skate just hanging out on the ocean floor. (And then I got out, because I didn’t want to step on it or any other sea creatures. I figured that wouldn’t be a pleasant experience for either of us.)

For the actual 4th, the Town of Nags Head did a fireworks display from the pier, so we were able to just walk over to the beach and watch from there. As much as I liked the fireworks display in Manteo as a kid, I have to admit that this arrangement is much preferable to having to deal with the headache of leaving the parking area afterward over there.

We didn’t go climb Jockey’s Ridge this year, because it was very hot during the day, and if the activity didn’t involve either water or air conditioning, it generally got vetoed. We did go down to the Seaside Art Gallery, though, which I appreciate a lot more as an adult than I did as a kid. It’s been a long time since I went there, so this time I was a lot more aware of what they had. I spotted two Miros and a Picasso, as well as some of Calder’s 2D art. (The Picasso was not for sale.) The thing that really caught my eye, though, was the table full of etchings. I particularly liked the landscapes by David Hunter and the botanicals by Carolyn Cohen. I eventually had to narrow it down to just one thing that I would be the most sad to leave without, though, so I settled on David Hunter’s “Full Moon Rising.”

"Full Moon Rising" by David Hunter

“Full Moon Rising” by David Hunter

Maybe some of my exceedingly subtle hints about how much I liked the Cohen etchings too will get me something for Christmas. If not, I can always go back next year and start making art acquisition a new beach tradition.

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