Okay, I know this weekly challenge has passed by, but I just had to share this very unusual find while we were on a family vacation last week in Atlanta, Georgia. This advertisement was hanging outside of “Legoland” at Phipps Plaza…
As a child, I always marveled at the colors and designs that could be contrived by the simple rotation of a kaleidoscope. Olafur Eliasson brings all that childhood wonderment of color spectra into the adult cognition through his works. His studio has been in operation since 1995 in Berlin, Germany, however, his exhibits have traveled worldwide. His manipulation of light through prisms, reflective and refractive surfaces is combined with elaborate geometric constructs creating visually scintillating effects. Visitors are captivated by the play of light through his exhibits which seem to generate their own unique experience depending on the perception of each individual at any given moment or position. One such exhibit that ran in 2008 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York can still be viewed online by clicking the museum link.
Beyond his innovative style of art, I am equally impressed by his attention to the needs of under privileged communities. His efforts as a philanthropist have channeled his talent and resources to create a product called “Little Sun.” Five hours of natural sunlight charges this safe portable lantern to provide five hours of light that would otherwise be unavailable. We so frequently take for granted our use of electricity until we are temporarily forced to endure without it during storms and other sources of power outages. Heaven help our family when we lose power for one day… and you would think the apocalypse was nearing if BGE tarried beyond the 36 hour margin! Yet this is a lifestyle to so many countries that we can easily forget about in our daily to’s-and-fro’s. I remember once hearing about the conditions in a Haitian village where children were not able to get effective time in the classroom because the school did not have adequate light, even during the daytime hours. Then in the evenings they were only able to access a limited and rationed supply of electricity in one centralized building. Communities such as these would be so grateful to have something so simple yet so functional in their homes. Learning about this project, brought new meaning to a quote I heard in an earlier interview by Eliasson when he stated,
“I would like to make sense of the world by sensing the world.”
School is out!!! Time for fun, excessive playing of video games, popsicles, suntan lotion, and above all… field trips!!! One place I have never visited, and always wanted to explore with my kids was Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County. I knew this place by reputation alone and had heard about the butterfly garden that they maintained. With summer fever alive in our house, a sunny and breezy day in the forecast and the need to get out of the house for a new perspective, we packed up the family van & set off for adventure!
Upon our arrival I could sense the excitement building as we made our way through the jam-packed parking lot. We parked and unloaded in a way resembling the clown car at the circus and finally began to take it all in… It was beautiful! On our way to the Conservatory entrance, we passed a series of unusual vine sculptures created by repurposing a non-native, invasive vine from a local parkland. According to its plaque, these vines would have otherwise smothered and strangled other plants. This in turn, would have seriously hampered the regeneration of the woodlands necessary to support wildlife. The sculpture was very appropriately named, “Jaws”.
The grounds were so peaceful, even with all of the visitors… and the landscaping was absolutely stunning! I could see why this was a haven for photographers! But by far, the highlight of the day was the “Wings of Fancy” exhibit. I have visited butterfly
gardens before, but this was such a different experience with the infectious enthusiasm and wonderment of the children. Gorgeous butterflies fluttered wildly all around us! They landed on our hats, our shoulders… it seemed like the brighter the color of our clothing, the more they were attracted to us as if we were giant flowers filled with nectar. Our favorites were these gloriously huge Blue Morpho butterflies from Mexico… They were so vividly hued, and they were everywhere!!!
We had a wonderful day! Breathtaking gardens, a nice exhibit of paintings in the Visitor Center, a whimsical children’s garden complete with a lovely little treehouse… all came together for an enchanting afternoon. I highly recommend a visit, just be sure you get a bite to eat before you arrive. There are no picnicking areas on the grounds, and you will want to be there for a while!
So here we go… it’s my first college course in (cough, cough) FIVE years! Better late than never, as they say… I am thrilled to be back in the virtual classroom studying the fundamentals of Digital Design! This is my debut as a blogger, and it will be my first time working in Photoshop, Illustrator and Premier Pro. Just in this week of class, I am experiencing new revelations in design concepts through our discussion of Wassily Kandinsky’s “Composition VII”, and I love to see how one artist’s vision can provoke such varying impressions of his work.
Yesterday, I ventured out on a field trip to celebrate 100 artists who were honored by the Maryland State Arts Council. The reception was held in Baltimore at the American Visionary Art Museum. I have passed this building on the way to other museums and always wondered what dwelled within, so this was a terrific opportunity! While I was only able to survey the works within the walls of the Jim Rouse Visionary Center, I peeked into the main building which started my planning for a day trip with my kids once the school year ends. I am posting some of the pictures I took last night for your viewing pleasure. They are just too much fun to keep to myself! This is my Fitztopia… Enjoy!!!