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How does Micah find these sites? Cat lovers. In Japan. Gotta see it to believe it.

Bayleaf Studio on Etsy

November 9, 2009

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Hand knit hats on to my friend Lili who has launched her Bayleaf Studio’s ETSY site with yummy, cozy and creative accessories and hand made invitations and cards. I will attest to her powerfully creative industry and talent having been the recipient of cards and useful gifts from this prolific knitting, sewing and collaging artist. Lili’s studio is full of baskets of deliciously soft yarns and projects. You can also go to Bayleafstudio.com for more news and info. Hurray!

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When my friend Barb invited me to meet her in Beacon, NY to go to a modern art museum I sort of sneered and said that I’d love to see her and the museum was a good excuse. What I didn’t know was that sleepy Beacon, NY has turned itself into a hip mecca for art and artists. Metro North provides hourly train service from Grand Central to Beacon, it’s 1 hour and 25 minutes, following the scenic Hudson River north. A short and well-marked walk up the hill takes you to DIA:Beacon. The building housing the Riggio Gallery is an old Nabisco box factory, with hardwood floors, indirect lighting provided by original skylights and some windows. It would be a great place for a concert, dance or a roller rink. It is huge – 240,000 square feet of naturally lit exhibition space! And on the day we went, it was also pretty chilly, so dress accordingly and do NOT check your coat and wear your walking shoes.

Dia Art Foundation is internationally recognized as one of the world’s most influential contemporary art institutions. It was established in 1974.  “Dia” a Greek word meaning “through,” emphasizes the the foundation’s role of support for visionary artistic projects that might not otherwise be realized because of their scale or ambition.

“Dia’s founders, Heiner Friedrich and Philippa de Menil, wished to extend the boundaries of the traditional museum to respond to the needs of the generation of artists whose work matured and became prominent during the 1960s and 1970s. Ever since, Dia’s mission has been to commission, support, and present site-specific long-term installations and single-artists exhibitions to the public.”

There is a larger than a gymnasium room of Warhol’s-entitled Shadows, of course, it is 128 colorful variations of a shadow. Many of the installations are for me very intellectual, if that is a kind of art.

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Sol LeWitt has done his work directly on the wall– with colored pencils. Astonishing and mind-boggling time and effort went into the studies and I’m not sure what makes them art, except that they are onte wall of a museum. I suspect the journey of making the piece, its impermanence and the reaction of the viewer must be part of it.

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The most experiential ad satisfying installation is Richard Serra’s part of the permanent collection– can’t imagine how they even got these structure in there to being with…“What interests me is the opportunity for all of us to become something different from what we are, by constructing spaces that contribute something to the experience of who we are.” – Richard Serra.


My favorite:

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Zoe Leonard: You see I am here after all, 2008

It is a wall of  thousands postcards from the early 1900’s through the 1950’s, all depicting Niagara falls from several angles. Some are hand-tinted, others are photographs. They are grouped by view and it is fascinating to read some of the notes penned on the photo side of the cards, there are also postmarks and visible defects and wonderful differences between them.

So there you have it. Who knew? $10, $7 students and seniors.

Winter Hours:
November 13, 2009—April 12, 2010
Friday—Monday 11am-4pm
[closed Tuesday—Thursday]

Sea-Reserves

September 27, 2009

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Josh always finds cool things to post about. Today- Greenpeace rain boots doing double duty as an informational source depicting sea-reserves which can counter-act the effects of overfishing. Designed by Zeptonn (Jonah has started a collection of his artwork) the boots are limited editions and I can only find them availabe for euros through the Netherlands’ Greenpeace site. Check out the quintessential Zeptonn look:

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Via: Joshspear.com

JT at Tanglewood

August 30, 2009

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My husband and I, along with 22,000 fans, just attended a fabulous James Taylor concert at Tanglewood, the music festival in the Berkshires which is the summer home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The tickets were Bill’s birthday gift from the kids. The concert opened with JT playing with subtle and tasteful backup from a large band, including sax and trumpet, drums and percussion, and more, as well as 4 and occasionally 5 (his wife, Kim) backup singers. T is such a generous and relaxed performer. He clearly had a wonderful time. He spent the entire intermission signing autographs at the edge of the stage. It was a very blissful and feel good first set and I could have gone home after that totally fulfilled. Second set included several very sweet duets with Yo-Yo Ma accompanying JT. Then, more! with Yo-Yo Ma and both JT and Sheryl Crow who surprised me with her thoughtful song called  Wildflower. Although I find her to be a bit of screechy singer, the melodic beauty of the song, accompaniment and the lyrics really has made me an admirer. The end of the concert got a bit loud for me and we left before it was over, listening to the final songs float out over the beautiful Tanglewood grounds and through the fields as we escaped before the crowds for our long drive home. Here is a nice review of the concert on Friday night and another.

Great gift, boys! Next year you come with us!

The post-script is that today I read that he is donating his take for his 5 nights of concerts back to Tanglewood- a whopping $500,000 to support classical music and the music festival. What a guy.

(photo by Hillary Scott, from BerkshireFineArts.com)

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“In a world where manual skills are shunned we believe in them, not only in the act of producing a better product, but in the sheer joy of doing or becoming. We feel that pride in craftsmanship, of doing as perfect a job as possible, of producing something of beauty even out of nature’s discards, are all homely attributes that can be reconsidered.

It might even be a question of regaining one’s own soul when desire and megalomania are rampant – the beauty of simple things.

It is a synthesis of old traditions with modern requirements, quite opposite to the usual art or design school in that the fundamental techniques of good workmanship are first resolved and then integrated into pieces designed for contemporary use.

Over the years we have built up a collection of extraordinary lumber; in a sense priceless, as many items are now unobtainable. From this material, we start the making of useful objects to fulfill man’s life – again we hope, in a manner akin to the disciplined way by which nature produces a tree… or a flower.”

This is part of the philosophy of George Nakashima, Woodworker, his daughter Mira and their craftspeople.

Cartoons as Real Folk?

July 21, 2009

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This is a wonderful rendering real of our 2 dimensional cartoon favorites.Isn’t Charlie Brown sweet? and funny -looking?  All the characters are very distorted- which is right, isn’t it? Cartoons are stretching our imaginations (sometimes). And the exaggerations are for the most part so very accurate we can really get who the characters are as cartoons and even more so when they are humanized.

Via: The Firewire

Fabulous Fiber Arts

May 20, 2009

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Great Barrington, MA is a sweet, small town with beautiful shops notably on Main St and Bank St. Particularly, noteworthy is Karen Allen’s store stocked with sumptuously soft cashmere sweaters, hats, fingerless gloves (you’ll just want to wear them all the time – yummy). I walked in an was recognized by Susan, who works there part-time, and who also is a landscape architect and designed my hillside of thyme, peonies, day lilies and ladies mantle 10 years ago.

But, back to the shop.

Karen is an actress (think Marion Ravenwood…Indiana Jones) who is also a talented artist. She is a student of ancient and modern textiles from aroudn the world. She designs and works with hand manipulated Japanese knitting machines to create her amazing sweaters, scarves and more using Scottish and Italian cashmere yarns.

All this beauty does come with a hefty price tag. Worth saving up for one wonderful sweater to savor through the winter and the rest of your life! Or even just some fingerless gloves? Hope some of my family members happen to read this post. Definitely worth a browse and squeeze, and tell Susan that I sent you.

Ephemeral

May 9, 2009

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My mom-in-law sent me a link to a wonderful artist , Peter Donnelly who works in the sand daily at the beach in Christchurch, New Zealand, and then later in the day his art gets washed away with the tide. Not much more to say. It must be seen.

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Josh says he can’t wait for this film- well after this trailer–neither can I.  Check it out.