Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coming home to Terrible News

Opened my email to find the report of the arson thatcompletely destroyed the SRAC office. My jetlag wouldn't let me join the support group that gathered in Artspace this afternoon, but my heart was there. Just think of all the data on the destroyed computers, the many artworks that are now ashes, the heaps of office supplies that connect this arts community, etal. Thankfully no one was injured,
I'm thinking about how I can be of help; please join me in helping SRAC in your own way.

Graffitti in Prague

To the left is a photo I snapped last Sunday in Prague. We'd crossed the bridge over the Vlatava to explore an area other than the historic old city, and climbed w. great effort up a huge hill as we followed some young people on bikes, a few families w. strollers. We discovered a huge park, many picnics in progress nearby, a cafe in an ornate building overlooking the river, lots of lovers, line skaters, skateboarders, and a ticket booth for a puppet production to be given that evening. Many people were sitting on the walls facing the river, enjoying the spectacular views.
We had three days to explore this "golden city" and enjoyed every moment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lyon Urban Renewal

The district in which this trompe l'oiel mural presides was, before this work, run-down, crime-ridden, graffiti covered. This building that faces the Rhone river showed blank, scrofulous walls. Students and faculty from the Lyon Arts Academy ;designed and executed this huge, detailed mural that incorporates Lyonnais history: theater, music, philosophy, politics, ancient past, gastronomy even the present Mayor and the artists, photographers themselves. Since the work was completed, the district has undergone a complete change and is now considered one of Lyon's most desired residential and commercial areas.
Let's look at some of Shreveport's eyesores with this in mind. The arts are this community's greatest and least appreciated resource..lets use that resource.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

St. Remy Olive trees

Above is my photo of some of the olive trees along the entrance path to the St. Remy clinic. According to the signs along this path, Van Gogh would set up his easel at various places along this pathway. I thought that this perspective of the older knarled trees with the limestone hill in the background would've been one that caught his eye. The sun dances off the olive tree foliage, the shadows are deep and the looming presence of the stone makes the wide variety of greens evident. In spite of the many tourists, visiting this Van Gogh site was a great experience. The fact that it remains a facility that treats patients with mental problems, albeit now utilizing art therapy; that the roads remain country lanes combine to make a tourist like me have a genuine
experience, rather than a Giverny gift shop one. There is a gift shop here; it sells the art works of the patients as well as the usual artwork copies.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Monet's Water Garden

Mid-July, Ira and I were in Giverny and visited the Monet complex in the village. Though its still a lovely place, the hordes of camera carrying tourists( including us), many gardeners, vast souvenir shop reminded me that Claude Monet was better than the other Impressionists at marketing his work. A busy road runs between the water garden and the restored home and gardens; a safe tunnel, courtesy of the Annenburg Foundation, goes beneath it to accommodate visitors. I imagine that the water garden is spectacular when the lilies bloom, but alas the buds told us we were about a week early. Monet had a small boat that he'd row to various spots for different perspectives of this garden; the boat landing is intact. The gardens at the home are full of non-exotic plants that flower throughout the season, most you'd recognize. There are paved paths that run through and around these gardens. The bridge, house shutters etal are painted a harsh green, whereas I noted that his paintings indicate a white bridge of wood..this one is metal no doubt to carry safely the thousands of visitor's feet that pay admission.
Posted by Picasa