Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘art’ Category

wall

byTJoes

IMG_3006Around the slightly more south part of Michigan Avenue

Last time we were in Chicago (September) we stayed at the Best Western Grant Park Hotel, 1100 S. Michigan Ave. We’d not stayed that far south on Michigan before, so it was fun to explore the area around there at bit. It was perfect for walking in Grant Park, with its pretty gardens and outdoor sculptures, and to walk to the Museum Campus.

withskyscrapers

A moose and an abstract mural

moose

Moose closer—what’s with the pink bubble?

abstract

The abstract looks almost like some other form of writing

peacockWhat we also discovered were a number of murals in the vicinity. As most of you know by now, we love outdoor art/public art and murals are a big part of that. Some of the murals are bright, some quirky, some symbolic, some have an obvious theme, some do not (not that we could discern anyway!). All are bold and interesting, and certainly help to give the walls a lot more character.

I don’t know who the artists are, sorry. Here is a selection.  They are in no particular order—we just took photos as we ambled around the area. Enjoy.

birdwall

harmony

 

Read Full Post »

muse

Note the commemorative wall behind the statue

park

View from the Spirit

thomas

Part of the Thomas wall

Chicago has a fantastic collection of public art, of all shapes, sizes and themes. Over the years we’ve tried to track down as many as we can, and I’ve written about many of them already. We spent last weekend in the city and had the chance to wander around Grant Park more than we have before, thus discovering more public art.

This lovely sculpture, the Spirit of Music, in Chicago’s Grant Park is also known as the Theodore Thomas Memorial.

 

 

musicians

museclose

Note the face on the lyre

Theodore Thomas(1835-1905) was the founder of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1891 and The Spirit of Music is a tribute to him. Under his directorship, Chicago gained a reputation for musical excellence, which continues today. The figure, and the monument behind it, were sculpted in 1923 by Czech-American artist and sculptor Albin Polasek(1879-1965). Polasek came to Chicago to head the sculpture department at the Art Institute School. Instead of creating a sculpture of Thomas, Polasek decided on a tall bronze muse holding a lyre. The artist said that the face on the lyre was modeled on his own face.

 

bear

bison

mooseThe half-ball base on which the muse stands is decorated with different animals, such as a moose, a bison, and a bear—also quite striking.

The monument is in the strip of park along Michigan Avenue, almost opposite the Blackstone.

There is a museum to Albin Polasek in Winter Park, Florida. I wrote about it here https://viviennemackie.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/albin-polasek/and here https://viviennemackie.wordpress.com/masterpiece-of-the-week/april/

 

 

Read Full Post »

longstone

Our first view of this symbolic work of art

allfour

The four stones, plus badger on the ‘trough’ with pool

We love outdoor sculptures and were doubly delighted to find this one: it’s got an interesting meaning and has a badger too (I just wrote about badgers being the mascot for the University of WI); plus two Buckys (Bucky the Badger on parade this summer) are right near it. This sculpture, in the form of 4 large stones and a bronze badger and baby on a long slab like a trough, is on the small plaza next to State Street Brats in Madison, Wisconsin.

First we saw the badgers, then we saw a series of stones and initially it wasn’t obvious that they were supposed to be linked in any way—until we found the plaque explaining it.

badger

bucky

A Bucky just beyond one of the stones is looking fierce

The plaque tells us that it is called “The Four Lakes” (2009) by Andrea Myklebust and Stanton Sears. The two artists both live in Stockholm, WI, and have been working together since 1993. They have completed many public commissions throughout the USA.

The Four Lakes” refers to a traditional Native American name for the Madison region. The 4 boulders create an abstract map of Lakes Mendota, Monona, Waubesa, and Kegonsa, the lakes around which Madison sprawls. The badger with a baby is a symbol of the state and an allegory of “alma mater”, the nurturing mother.

Read Full Post »

wings

Pink Flamingo Wings

citybanner

One city banner celebrates flamingos

We were strolling around downtown Madison, WI, mostly checking out the Bucky on Parade statues, when a wall painting caught my eye. It’s of two flamingo wings, outspread, but not joined. It’s a wall installation, called Pink Flamingo Wings, on the side wall of the Wisconsin Historical Museum, Madison, on the edge of Capital Square The artist encourages people to take photos standing between the flamingo wings and pretend to be a bird, but I didn’t see anyone doing that while I was there.

The artist is Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli a mixed media artist. She lives in Madison and is the Program Director for VSA Arts Wisconsin. Installed in 2018, this is a temporary public art project until the end of summer 2018 (probably linked to the Bucky of Parade).

real

Real flamingos in Madison’s Henry Vilas Zoo

Why flamingo wings?

Early one morning in 1979, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the city of Madison

postcard

Postcard of the flamingos of Bascom Hill

woke up to the most unusual sight of more than 1,000 pink plastic flamingo ornaments filling the lawns of Bascom Hill, the incline that leads to the Dean’s office on campus. The student government “officials” from the Pail and Shovel Party, also responsible for the ephemeral replica of the Statue of Liberty on frozen Lake Mendota, had looted student government funds to create the display as a massive prank. Apparently generally people these days agree that the money was well spent.

onelegup

This Bucky on Parade is called “One leg up”

The flamingo continued to be important on campus, and in 2009, the Madison City Council voted to name the plastic flamingo as the city’s official bird. Funny, but an interesting story!

This year, U-W is hosting the Bucky on Parade and a couple of Buckys are graced with flamingos.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Embadger

A Bucky statue at the Henry Vilas Zoo, Madison, where there are real badgers

terracefierce

One of the Buckys on Parade, looking rather fierce

pieces signWe’ve recently returned from a 10-day trip to Madison, and Spring Green, Wisconsin. Partly for a conference for my husband and partly a short family break with some of our family from St Louis.

Wisconsin is known as the Badger State and the university mascot is a badger called Bucky. This year, from May 7-September 12, Madison and Dane Country are hosting a large public art display called Bucky on Parade.  Many life-sized Bucky badger fiber-glass statues, all individually designed and painted, are dotted around the city, and people (including us) are having fun tracking them down (more on the Bucky on Parade soon).

pieces

Pieces of Wisconsin Bucky at the Zoo

capitol

The State Capitol in Madison—note the gold statue atop the dome

Why badgers, and why Bucky?

The state’s nickname originally referred to lead miners who settled here in the early 1800s. The miners built temporary homes by digging caves into nearby hillsides. These caves came to be called “badger dens” and the miners were called “badgers”. Because the miners lived in these dens, they could work through the winters when others could not.

The nickname spread to include the people of Wisconsin, and then to the state itself. In 1957 the badger was adopted as the official state animal, partly because they admired its ferocity. The badger is also on the state coat-of-arms, and tops the helmet of Wisconsin, the name of the golden female figure on top of the dome of the State Capitol building in Madison.

statue

Wisconsin, the statue (try to see the badger on her helmet)

1st and 10

1st and 10 Bucky on State Street

The Story of Bucky

Bucky’s real name is Buckingham U. Badger. His story starts in the 1890s when the University of Wisconsin-Madison football team began using a live badger as their mascot. But the animal was too fierce to be used on the sidelines, so it was sent to the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison.

In 1940, artist Art Evans drew a new mascot, but at that time it was variously called Benny, Buddy, Bernie, Bobby and Bouncey. Then in 1949 the Pep Committee had a contest to name the badger, and “Bucky”, or Buckingham U. Badger, was chosen. The winner was a student, Bill Sachse. That same year the first papier-mache head of a badger was created, another student wore the outfit, and an icon was born.

It’s a fun story, and the Bucky on Parade was a lot of fun for us too.

Read Full Post »

Garachico

The town of Garachico on the north coast of Tenerife Island. The sculpture is on one of those spits of volcanic rock 

Gheart

The heart at Garachico

Recycling can be beautiful

We’ve recently returned from a wonderful trip to the Canary Islands, which I’ll start to cover in more detail from the next post. But, to start, I want to post about these unusual sculptures. As you know, we are fascinated with outdoor art, so these couldn’t fail to catch our attention.

These two interesting sculptures, which we discovered along the north coast of the island of Tenerife, were done in June 2017. One is on a pier-like spit of volcanic land in Garachico, and the other is in the square in front of the big church in Buenavista, the pretty town at the west end of the main road TF42. They are striking so we looked more closely. Each is a metal heart frame that’s being used as a recycling space for bottle tops and caps. What a great idea. They are basically the same, except the Buenavista one has a metal “B” shape opening for people to put plastic bags of caps, and the word Diversa (diverse or several) below.

BVheart

The heart at Buenavista

Bvchurch

Church square in Buenavista

signThe board for each is the same, and reads roughly (my Spanish isn’t the best!):

Conscience/Awareness

Educational Sculpture

The heart is symbol of goodness and solidarity.

When the artist holds out (his) hands,

One for help to yourself

And the other to everyone else.

The artist is Moises Afonso, who is a Tenerife sculptor, working largely with metal. He believes you can transform iron into anything you can imagine. He was born in Icod, on the north coast of Tenerife. His father was a blacksmith, so Alfonso grew up understanding metals. He is currently studying the creation of a School of Blacksmiths in the Canary Islands.

 

Read Full Post »

statue2

exhibit

Special Coelacanth Gallery

marjorie

Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer with the coelacanth

Coelacanth Statue

As you probably know by now, I really love outdoor art, especially sculpture, so we were happy to find this interesting piece. This sculpture is in the small garden in front of the East London Museum, a fitting place as the museum has the special exhibit on the Coelacanth.

It is one in a series of sculptures commissioned by the Sunday Times, and put up around the country, as memorials to prominent South Africans. This one is in honour of Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer (1907-2004), a one-time curator at East London’s small museum, who is credited with discovering the fascinating coelacanth, a pre-historic fish that even pre-dates dinousaurs. On December 22nd, 1938, she spotted an unusual fish in the catch on the deck of the trawler Nerine. She took the 1.5 meter (4.9 ft), 57.5 kg (127 lbs), fish home and had it stuffed to preserve it until it could be identified by Rhodes University chemistry lecturer and keen ichthyologist JLB Smith.

fish

Coelacanth in the gallery

RodThe artist is Graham Jones, a well-known eastern Cape sculptor. He was born in Zimbabwe but went to school and studied in Port Elizabeth.

The sculpture weighs four and a half tons and is made of cast iron, giving it a wonderful surface texture, with all sorts of fascinating bits and pieces attached. The mouth is stuffed with fishing gut, a silent protest against the wicked exploitation of this hugely endangered species.

 

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Celtic Connections and Travels

Many trips over many years to Scotland, Wales and, recently, Ireland, deserve to be grouped together, so here we go!

LUCID BEING

Those that claim to possess the answer are miles behind those that seek it.

kirilson photography

the stories behind the pictures, and vice versa

eatliveescape.wordpress.com/

Ingredients for a Beautiful Life!

Minerva's pencil case

Marilyn's musings

Fotoeins Fotografie

photography as worlds between words

Dining with Donald

Donald on dining in and out

Paris1972-Versailles2003

Travel and my anecdotes

Deuxiemepeau; Picturing Poetry by Damien B. Donnelly

Between the lines and through the lens...

Camellia's Cottage

Alabama Lifestyle Blog

Our Visits to Japan

Trying to capture the essence of this lovely country

Sunny District

Welcome to my happy place!

Transplanted Tatar

Travel of the hidden-treasure variety

Odedi's Wine Reviews Blog

Wine reviews so good, you can almost "taste it" !

Korean Experiences

Come travel and explore this lovely country ( South Korea) with Viv and Rod on our latest trips

Social Vignerons

The World of Wine's Got Talent

No Milk Today

Allergy or Food Intolerance: Delicious Dairy-Free Recipes, DIY & more :)