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.

Blessed



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

Saturday, November 08, 2014

Good News

The Wedding Dance by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, c. 1566, Detroit Institute of Arts.

The New York Times reports that the collection of the Detroit Institute of Arts is no longer in danger of being sold as part of the Bankruptcy filed by the City of Detroit. This is very good news for not only the DIA, Detroit and Michigan, but for any art lover that enjoys access to masterpieces through public museums. Do yourself a favor and visit this collection if you can, there are some very fine pieces and you won't regret it.

Saturday, November 01, 2014

Capturing Beauty


There is an exhibition of the work of Sandusky, OH artist Charles Courtney Curran at The Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh, now through February 1, 2015. He studied in Paris and split his time between New York and North Central Ohio on the shores of Lake Erie. The exhibition is titled Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal and his definitely captures an idealized and beautiful life full of lovely settings and people, but don't we all like a look into an ideal world once in a while?

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