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Posts Tagged ‘NC Museum of Art’

Art in Bloom 2017

I was sad to miss last year’s Art in Bloom exhibit at the NC Museum of Art, but I managed to make it this year! Here are some of my favorite shots from this year. (Click on the images to see them individually, hopefully with their captions.)

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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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Outside what I still think of as the “new building” at the art museum is the Rodin Court and Garden, in which various Rodin sculptures are situated around a rectangular reflecting pool full of water lilies in the middle of a courtyard. I was mostly focused on the pool, but here’s a longer shot to give you an idea:

Water lily pool in the courtyard

Water lily pool in the courtyard

And here’s a close-up of some of the water lilies, nicely reflected in the truly mirror-like water that day:

Water lilies, reflected

Water lilies, reflected

Now I want to make a nice water lilies temari…

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Finally getting back to these! One of the things that makes the NC Museum of Art a good place for an outing is the big walking trail all around it now. When I was growing up in Raleigh, all of that land was part of the youth penitentiary that was only supposed to stay there for, oh, five years, tops!, after the art museum was built, but ended up staying there for more like twenty. Once it did finally move, though, the art museum got all the land (as was the original plan) and turned it into a bird sanctuary and series of walking trails with places for outdoor art installations. Some of them are transient, made of materials meant to break down over time, but others are more permanent. Here’s one of the more recognizable ones:

Three rings

Gyre

From the museum’s website, a description of the piece:

Thomas Sayre, Gyre, 1999, three ellipses of concrete, colored with iron oxide, reinforced with steel, and mottled with dirt residue from earth casting, H. 24 ft. 6 in. x W. 22 ft. x L. 150 ft., Gift of Artsplosure, City of Raleigh, and various donors.

This monumental sculpture was created on-site by North Carolina artist Thomas Sayre. A backhoe was used to dig three elliptical trenches that were filled with concrete and steel bars. After the concrete curves cured for a month, a crane lifted the rings from the ground and lowered them into their existing location. The title Gyre refers to a circular or spiraling motion—gyration—and a spiraling shape, like a vortex or tornado.

When it was first installed, I remember reading that he had students from local high school art classes help him fill the trenches. You can still see depressions in the grass in front of the rings where the trenches were dug.

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Yesterday, I got to meet an ESL student at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh, ostensibly to show her the outdoor park area that I had mentioned a few classes ago so she could see about bringing her kids there at some point. Of course, we also took the opportunity to take some photos, and it was a beautiful day for it, too… which is of course why I am first going to post some photos I took indoors.

Flowers into butterflies

Flowers into butterflies

I was really glad to finally be at the museum with my camera, because I have been mildly obsessed with this installation for years. It moves from somewhat spaced out suspended flowers to an incredibly dense flutter of butterflies. (Yes, a flutter! Wikipedia said so! It also said “swarm,” but who would pick that over “flutter”?)

Epiphany!

Epiphany!

And I literally just realized when posting the above photo that what the butterflies are forming is the silhouette of an airplane taking off. The flowers are the exhaust. Once again, we learn that the camera sometimes forces us to see things in a different way; whenever I have been in the museum before, I have been so distracted by how neat all the butterflies hanging there look (and sometimes they’re swaying in the breeze from the air system), and I truly never even thought that they were forming a shape. I am both embarrassed and excited about this discovery.

From below the nose

From below the nose

Well, now, if nothing else, if any of you, fair readers, visit the museum with a friend, you will be able to point out the larger shape to them if they also can’t see the forest for the trees.

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