Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Kehinde Wiley in Cleveland

  Kehinde Wiley, Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps (Self-Portrait),Oil on canvas, 2005

 Artist Kehinde Wiley will speak at Cleveland Museum of Art's Gartner Auditorium, Saturday August 29th at 2:00. His beautiful work harks back to an earlier style while creating very modern portraits. Wiley's recent one man exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum was very well received by the art world and the public, alike. The Cleveland lecture is part of the Cleveland Public Library's The Lockwood Thompson Dialogues.

Kehinde Wiley Triple Portrait of Charles I, oil and enamel on canvas. Triptych, 2007, 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Phoenix in Saginaw

The Saginaw Art Museum in Saginaw, Michigan is a perfect example of a group of people who came together because they did not want to see another loss in a city and state that has already lost so much. I grew-up in a suburb of Flint, Michigan so I understand how hard it has been for these places to hold on in the wake of the loss of jobs, people, tax support, state support, etc. However, a group of Saginaw citizens led by a strong and generous board and a savvy leader, not only saved this museum, but brought it back promising to be much more than it was ever before. You can read about the renaissance here and if you find yourself in the Mid-Michigan area, you will definitely want to drop in. I am currently working with the museum  as a consultant to re-establish and re-open their gift shop. Our plan is to have the shop fully stocked with unique products in September.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Last Hurrah

Rooms to Let in Slavic Village in Cleveland

There was a uplifting art happening in Cleveland last weekend called "Rooms to Let."  It was the second such event where foreclosed and abandoned houses in a hard hit area of Cleveland (houses that are scheduled to be demolished) are turned over to artists, who give them one last celebratory and dignified, send-off.

 Artist: Dana Depew
 Artist: Dana Depew
The houses are all roughly a hundred years old and the last few years have been less then their best years. They are filled with character, beautiful wood, built-in china cabinets, window seats, etc., but what the artists focus on, for the most part, are that the houses are also filled with the lives of their former occupants. The houses sheltered people whose lives cry out to be celebrated before the tangible evidence of their exsistence is gone forever. We as a society, especially one hard hit by its changes like Cleveland's Slavic Village, are too quick to erase the past as we rush toward the future and we often don't realize what has been lost until it is no longer there. "Rooms to Let" stops us in our tracks and makes us look at these places, see the beauty, enjoy some music, laugh and talk with people, honor these structures and the families who lived and loved in them.

 Artist: Christine Mauersberger
 Artist: Christine Mauersberger
 Artist: Christine Mauersberger
Having become blighted and a burden on the neighborhood, the city has no choice but to tear them down. This has been the story for many rust belt cities who deal with a loss of population and aging housing stock. For one more weekend though, people filled rooms, created music, gathered around them and enjoyed life. It was a celebration of the service of the houses as dwellings and the lives of the people who lived in them.

 Artist: Jeff Chiplis
 Artist: Paul Sydorenko

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

What Lies Beneath

Excavated Moai Photo: Easter Island Statue Project

This article on Artnet features the amazing excavations taking place on Easter Island as the mysterious Moai statues are much more then they appear.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Working for Royalty

Bread Fruit, 1955 menu cover by John Kelly for the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, Oahu.

Kelly's family arrived on the Islands in 1923 for a short visit and stayed. He was a printmaker and during his career created some of the most beloved images of the Hawaiian Islands.

Traveling to Paradise

Angel Fish, menu cover, 1939 by Frank Macintosh for the S.S. Lurline, Matson Line.

Before the advent of jet engine travel tourists made the trip to Hawaii by cruise liner. The S.S. Lurline owned by the Matson line was the flagship of the line. Frank Macintosh created lovely idealized scenes of Hawaiian life in the art deco style.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Rediscovered preparatory work for one of Constable's most celebrated masterpieces soars to $5.2 million

Rediscovered preparatory work for one of Constable's most celebrated masterpieces soars to $5.2 million

Another Version

Salisbury Cathedral from Lower Marsh Close, 1820 by John Constable, National Gallery, Washington D.C.

This version was painted after the first one was thought to be "too dark" by the family. The spire is 404 feet tall, the tallest church spire in England. It is a Gothic style structure completed in the 1300's.

Out of the Background

Salisbury Cathedral from the Bishop's Grounds, ca. 1825 by John Constable, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

This one is a favorite of mine because the cathedral is so clear and detailed.


Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows, 1831 by John Constable, National Gallery London.

This version of the cathedral is the most "romantic" with the horse and cart in the foreground and the rainbow in the background, which was apparently a later addition to the work.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

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