Saturday, September 8, 2007

Glass Heaven

This summer my husband and I took a trip to the Buffalo, NY area for my 40th birthday--and on the way home we stopped at the Corning Glass Museum to be enveloped in the malleable moldable sculptural medium that is glass! Here I am by the Louis Sullivan Window from the turn of the last century, tentatively feeling that 40 was ok!

When I was going to Library School in Urbana, IL, we took a roadtrip to Clinton, IA, to see the Sullivan designed Van Allen department store. I was fascinated with the ornamentation--the lively detailed vegetation that seemed to grow from the building itself. Architecture suddenly became alive for me with its intersection of function and beauty, and the wonder of this relationship, how it shelters both body and spirit. Sullivan was a mentor to Frank Lloyd Wright, and often overshadowed by his famous fame-seeking student, but Sullivan deserves to shine in his own light.

Part of the reason I am attracted to mosaics is their structural aspect--the way mosaic originated on floors or walls integrated with the fabric of the building.

Check out this fabulous photoset on Louis Sullivan by Atelier Tee.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Deep Kitty, oil on canvas by Ivan Chan

I was introduced to Ivan Chan's work on Indiepublic, and I fell in love with his Kitty Series--cats glowing with the spark of their spirit. I ordered note cards of the series, and they came yesterday!! How delightful!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Shapeshifting Paper

Jeanne Petrosky "Lines"

I spent yesterday at the Long's Park Art & Craft Festival in Lancaster, PA--this is an amazing show! The photo above is
Jeanne Petrosky's handmade paper sculpture "Lines." She works in conjunction with her husband Dennis Guzenski, who is expert in faux effects. Much of the sculpture looks like stone but must feel like a feather.

I felt like I was at a museum rather than a place to buy things, much intense talent to absorb. And over and over I was drawn to the really big pieces. This one by Hetty and Norman Metzger is made entirely of paper, in three dimensional units fitting together like tiles. It took up much of one wall:

I remember reading an article by an interior decorator who said many people have a surplus of "smalls" in their houses, often born of an internal set-point of what costs "too much," and so they accumulate many little things, rather than tolerating the unease of buying larger pieces. It seems irreponsible, or dangerous or ill advised to gather up all those smaller sums and get something spectacular. Not that my smaller sums would add to that much at this point. . .There wasn't much in the middle at this show--either a large footprint or a tiny one like a souvenir of the larger one, and seeming forlorn, separated from the source.

I am grateful for public art, for the presence of murals and mosaics through the Mural Arts program in Philadelphia, for visions that take up entire walls and sides of houses, and engage young people who are on the verge of disconnecting from the potential of beauty in the painful chaos of their lives. There is something within us that sometimes needs expansive expression, a scale out of the ordinary.