Archive for the 'Art' Category


Natural Beauty — Sunset

Here’s a couple views of the sunset last night. Just beautiful!


Creative Writing 4 — Memories

This week I want you to tell me who this woman is by what is in her “Junk Drawer.”   Imagine that she went rifling through that drawer in a last ditch panic looking for her misplaced keys the morning this picture was taken, and she, instead, found something she had forgotten about.  What was it that she found that is making her smile like that and changed her mood 180 degrees?  (I assume I don’t have to say this, but, “and why”)

In her hurry to find her lost keys, Lili rediscovered her charm bracelet, a token of her relationship with her grandmother. Each of the many silvery charms represented a special time or place they had been together. Some weren’t especially happy times, but most were wonderful times of exploration and fun. The charm that caught her eye prompted her to recall her happiest memory with her grandmother and family.

It was a carousel horse, a proud, prancing horse in mid-step. For summer vacation Lili’s family picked up her grandmother and went off on an adventure on the eastern shore. They rented a beach house and spent much of the time on the beach soaking up the sun, playing in the surf and collecting iridescent sea shells to take home. One afternoon, Lili and her grandmother took a walk into town where there was a small community park. The main attraction was the classic carousel with its beautifully preserved menagarie, shining poles for the mounts and mirrors all around the top. The two spent a long time getting dizzy by riding almost every animal.

To rest, her grandmother bought her a funnel cake and they sat on a bench looking across the park at the gazebo and watched the other children enjoying themselves. Before long, it became nearly time to go back but Lili begged for one last ride on the carousel. She picked her favorite charger, a golden brown bay with a jeweled saddle and rode up and down until the sunny strains of the carousel music stopped.

On their way back to the house, Lili’s grandmother gave her the charm bracelet and her first charm—the carousel horse. And that was the beginning of a beautiful chain of memories.

Lili decided to put on the bracelet, and as she was fastening it, she noticed in the mirror that her keys were hiding behind the cup she kept her pens and pencils in by the telephone. Today was going to be a good day after all.


Tweetup/PreDrive at the Mattress Factory

This month’s Pittsburgh Twitter meetup (or tweetup) occurred in combination with the Mattress Factory‘s opening reception for PREDRIVE: After Technology, an exhibit in the annex gallery, just down the block from the main museum space. Similar to the last gallery opening I attended at the Mattress Factory, those in social media (bloggers, etc.) were invited as press and were given free admission.

The three floor gallery became quite crowded rather quickly and it was difficult to determine who was there as a blogger, a twitterer or an art admirer. It wasn’t a fruitless effort however, as I was able to meet in person @mindbling and her friends, added a couple of others who I’d met previously but somehow missed following them on Twitter, and met at least one other Twitter user/blogger whom I had not previously known.

I didn’t pick up any material explaining which art pieces were part of the opening exhibit and which were permanent, so I’m just guessing that all the of the brightly colored, video and projection ones probably are the ones for the new exhibit. Generally everything on the first and second floors and one on the third. In the main room on the first floor, many of the pieces were constructed of loud colors, symbols and shapes. One was an amalgamation of various stereo equipment and speakers. Another looked like it was a programmed Rube Goldberg sort of visual and sound display.

On the second floor were two video pieces, the first appeared to be two separate (possibly live) television shows mapped to a three-dimensional blob shape. The other was a video which looked like it was of some neighborhood kids, but the artist emphasized the compression and artifacts significantly.

Found on the third floor are several pieces, one a curved space that looked like it was lit with near-UV light, but occasionally flashed and changed colors. Another was some sort of 3D rendered video. One was appeared to be a huge egg stuck into the room. And the last was something to do with the kitchen (didn’t really look as I’d run into some people to talk with at that point).

Overall an interesting experience, glad to meet and hang out with some people. Should have gone out afterward with my classmates from AiP who’d come to visit the exhibit but it was late and I wanted to try getting home to write stuff.

(Visit my gallery for the remainder of these photos)


An Afternoon With Art & Bones

On the afternoon of September 27, after the Podcamp Plugin session at Northland Library, I finally was able to visit the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History (which are actually in the same building/complex as part of the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh). I’ve had a membership for quite a while and figured it would be a good idea to at least visit once all the museums it allows entrance to. I was especially interested in the Life on Mars exhibit because I spent a couple months or so working on the website for the exhibit.

The museum building from across the street.

Entrance to the museum, with the signage proclaiming the Life on Mars exhibit in bold three-foot high letters.

This is probably one of the most favorite pieces in the exhibition, I Wish Your Wish by Rivane Neuenschwander. Each of the colored ribbons has some sort of wish written on them.

This is A sheet of paper on which I was about to draw, as it slipped from my table and fell to the floor by Ryan Gander. I was especially looking forward to seeing this piece in person. It’s made up of forty crystal balls laser-etched with a piece of crumpled paper in the interior, spread out on the floor (not the painting on the wall). The etchings looked like they are pixelated or at least made up of lots of little dots.

This is a view of several in the Kandor series by Mike Kelley. Apparently Kandor is the capital city of Krypton, Superman’s home planet, which got miniaturized.

I spent the majority of this trip exploring the art museum portion, but thought I would try to take a super-fast wander through the natural history part of the museum. Just to get a general idea of what all is actually there. The stars of the show of course are the dinosaur skeleton dioramas.

This may help give some bit of an idea of the scale of these Brontosaurs.

And probably the main attraction is the T-Rex vs. T-Rex display with some variety of flying dinosaur overhead. Definitely wouldn’t want to get in the way of these guys.

I really enjoyed exploring all these amazing resources, art and displays. Certainly going to have to go back and spend more time on different portions of the museum.


Fake Mustache Day

Apparently, today was fake mustache day at the office.


Creative Writing 2 – Two Old Men

This week’s assignment is not just a mere “What’s going on here?” exercise.  Who are these men?  What are they talking about?  Whatever history you choose to include, only one thing is required:  What bit of information is causing the look on the one man’s face?

Bonus points if you provide dialogue!  Ready…. Go!

Taking a break from their daily afternoon walk around the neighborhood, Harv and Ben rest on the hard concrete stoop of the old church a couple blocks from their retirement complex.

Harv asks, “Did you see that?”

“I’m trying to—can’t quite see without my glasses.” Ben rubbed his eyes and strained to make something more than far away blobs. “I hear the commotion but not much else.”

“Well, it looks like one of those new-fangled hover cars ran into a black, vintage Model-T.”

“Are you sure that’s what it is?”

“Yes. The Model-T must have stalled, the other driver was not paying attention and ran right into it.” Explained Harv, trying to describe what happened.

Both of the drivers had stepped out of their vehicles and were yelling at each other. Two other cars behind them were honking at the disabled cars to get out of the way. Someone across the street was on his portable phone, probably reporting the incident.

A couple minutes later Ben said, “It sounds like the police are on their way.”

Harv agreed, “We should probably get back. It’s almost supper time.”

With that, the two companions struggled to their feet. Harv had the help of his cane and was standing first. He put out his hand to help up his friend and they began the slow trek back up the street to home.


Creative Writing 1 – Urban Sadness

Dawn asks:

What is going on in this picture? Who is that (He or she)?  Where is that?  Why are they there?  Why are they sitting?  What happened just before (or what is about to happen…) this moment?

It’s been seven long, lonely years, but he still misses her. He’d come into the City to visit the place where she died — a hard working executive, a beloved spouse, a reluctant hero — and was overwhelmed by the memories. So many. Must get away, find someplace away from all these people trying to comfort each other — and him. Too many people. Too much color. Here’s a deserted alley. That’ll do. Have to sit and try not thinking.

Voices, cars, fire trucks pass the desolate passageway; a cacophony of life on the streets of the City. Before, he would have been a willing participant and contributor. But now things are different. The bustle grates on the ears and pushes into the deep recesses of the mind.

At a close, almost recognizable sound he lifts his head, certain he heard her bright voice calling — nothing. His imagination must have been playing tricks on him again. Looking around and seeing no one, he pulls down his cap and resumes weeping into his folded knees. Tears for the loss of her, of so many others in the September 11th tragedy.