Thursday, 29 November 2018

New Orleans road trip - Montgomery Museum of Fine Art continued

Aimee and I took a break at this point and went looking for coffee and something sweet but ended up with a glass of wine and a cup of spicy chicken chilli soup in the museum cafe.
We headed next to the sculpture garden that had just been completed and opened in September.
On our way we passed through a room with some huge pieces of art. This was about 10ft high. Red Fish by Leonard Koscianski.

I nearly passed this by, thinking it an interesting abstract,
but noticing details like this made me re-examine it and conclude that it was a painting of a motorcycle windshield, beautifully done. Royal Chevy by David Parrish.

We took this for driftwood at first but it is cast bronze; Isabelle by Deborah Butterfield.
Three untitled ceramic pieces by Jun Kaneko at the far end of the reflecting pool.
Hollow Sphere Theory by Randy Gachet.

Stainless steel Circular, by Casey Downing Jr, reflected the sky and the ground cover.
The garden was quiet and peaceful. Made you just want to sit and enjoy it, and the art around. While Aimee sat there the sculpture, Oval, by Craig Wedderspoon, went from silver to the colours reflected from the sky and the garden.
We swung by the glass exhibit again and then made our way to the permanent collection.
Politics by Frederick Warren Freer. You can almost hear the argument.
A Tiffany floor lamp
Voices of Silence by Jimmy Ernst.
New York Office by Edward Hopper.
Greyhounds Playing by William Hunt Diederich

Hills Before Taos by Georgia O'Keeffe
1121-1110 = 110 (Standing Donut) by Jaehyo Lee.

Celebration of the uncultivated - garden of the wild by Roger Brown.

We had watched a movie on Kudzo, a particularly invasive vine, in the art gallery in New Orleans, and seen it growing and encompassing the trees at the side of the road as we drove and here it was depicted in glass. Pitcher with Vine by Beth Lipman
We spent hours and hours in the museum and were disappointed there wasn't more.

New Orleans road trip - Day 22 - Louisville, Kentucky

Travel day. Stopped at the Cracker Barrel for brunch. It is a favourite for all of us and for some reason we had not yet stopped there, so it was actually an "agenda item" for today.
To return to the Montgomery Museum of Fine art:
The Shakespearean Theatre is in the same park area as the museum.
Scattered around the park are sculptures, like this one of children trying to rescue a cat.
The little girl looks so worried.
Anhingas hang out and swim in the pond

and on the gold sculpture that swings in the wind

in front of the fine art museum.
In the first corridor, inside, that we came to, was a juried exhibition of student art. This is made from melted, molded plastic cups and coloured with magic markers. One Unique Tree by Abigail Kang, Grade 7.
Popup Cards by Makayla Hancock, Grade 10.
Stained Glass Ocean
by Joan Smith
Illuminated Gateway by Daniel Park, Grade 10
The Flow of Color by Hannah Lee, Grade 3.
and one of Aimee's favourites; Peacock by Grayson Lee, Grade 2.
We tore ourselves away from the students work. Spoke briefly to a staff person who explained that sending out a call for art from the schools was a regular part of their program. They were all juried and sometimes the museum bought a piece for their permanent collection. How thrilling that would be for a student!

The museum itself is light and airy. The windows to outside often look like paintings themselves. Ceilings are high. Art work is well spaced, not crowded. Old masters and new works are mixed together as are paintings, prints, sculptures, glass and porcelain. The lighting is perfect for every piece.

We spent some time in a photography exhibit and then meandered into this;
The glasswork under the title is Masai.
We wandered from piece to piece (Borneo)

awed by the shapes, colours, intricacies,
that each side could look 
completely different. Oca
We watched a video
that helped answer some of our questions regarding
how the glass pieces were made  (Tasmania)
but didn't make them (Bilboa)
any less (Spirale)

I am going to end this post here as I think it is long enough and will continue the museum visit on the next one too.

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

New Orleans |Road Trip - Days 20 and 21 - Montgomery to Nashville.

We are now in Nashville and as today was a travel day this post will be about our day in Montgomery. Yesterday was the anniversary of George's death, I can't believe it has been 5 years. I thank everyone for their thoughts and kind remembrances of him. I was a little fragile and prone to tears but in every other way it was a lovely day and Aimee, Greg and I speak of him frequently.
Aimee and I went to one of the best Art Galleries I have ever been to and I have been to a lot. The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art.
We got there early and walked in the park that surrounds the museum and
I have just spent the last half hour trying to get the next photo to load up and the internet is too slow and keeps dropping the connection. I took 176 pictures at the museum and although I will only post a fraction of them I do want to get some of them onto the blog.  Tomorrow is another travel day and I will try and do the museum post from the next campsite.

Monday, 26 November 2018

New Orleans road trip - Days 18 and 19 - Biloxi to Montgomery, Alabama

Our last day in Biloxi was rainy and cool. A day to spend inside with a good book and some rug hooking. An evening to play cards. Overnight, wind was added to the mix.
This morning we were up and on the road by 10. Getting quite efficient at unattaching everything and hitching it up to the car. It was a nice drive of about 4 hours in the sun to Montogomery.
We had time to drive into the city and get the lay of the land for our planned activities tomorrow. It is the capitol and the downtown has clean, wide street and a mix of impressive old and new government buildings.
The internet here is not great so I am not sure if I will be able to post pictures of tomorrow.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

New Orleans road trip - Day 17 - Biloxi

The day started with dense fog but it burned off and Aimee and I set off to find the Walter Anderson Museum. I had been particularly impressed with the examples of his work that I had seen in the Ogden Museum in New Orleans and when I looked him up I found that he had lived in Ocean Springs, right across the bay from Biloxi.
Ocean Springs turned out to be a lovely little community. It was neat and tidy, not wealthy but not poor, with a sense of pride in the homes and public spaces. The museum was right on the main street.

He was a writer and an artist and quotes were scattered among the paintings. This one was particularly interesting as he spent a number of years, later in his life, voluntarily in mental hospitals, struggling with schizophrenia.
We were lucky to arrive just as a tour was starting and the first stop was the community centre next to the museum. Walter Anderson had painted a mural that circled the 4 walls. He believed that it was an artists duty to produce art for the community and in turn the community should leave him alone to pursue the painting he wanted to do for himself.

In the mural he depicted the history of Ocean Spring, the seasons,
and the floral and fauna.

His father was an affluent businessman in New Orleans and his mother, an artist, insisted that her 3 sons write 500 words a day and produce drawings of their surroundings.

He went on to get a fine arts degree and drew heavily on Egyptian,
Mexican, Mayan and Chinese influences.
He married and had children but was drawn to the barrier islands off the coast
and spent more and more time there, rarely seeing his children for the last 20 years of his life.
When on the mainland he moved into a cottage on the family property where his older brother had started a pottery business.

In order to provide for his family he was required to create designs for the pottery business which he did once a month and then left again for the islands. This is a butterfly design he created for a plate.
A tea pot he designed.
In the cottage was a room that no-one in the family had been into until after he died. When they unlocked the door they found that he had painted the whole room. From floor

to ceiling. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed or damaged much of the family compound and Shearwater pottery, the family had this room dismantled and moved into town as the start of the museum.
His sketch for a border. He worked in pencil, watercolour, ordinary house paint (for the murals), block and linoleum prints. He made wooden furniture and carved wood. He was very prolific, often producing 5 paintings a day and much of his work was lost during Hurricane Katrina.
The museum also had examples of Shearwater pottery from other designers (mostly family members)
Seagulls plate design, 1939, Dusti Bonge. An artists colony grew out of the Shearwater Pottery and designed for them.
Schooner plate design, Dusti Bonge.

We went out to the Shearwater pottery but were not that impressed by what was for sale. These little figures are made from molds created in the 1920's when people were beginning to collect little figurines. It was lovely though to experience the tranquility of the place. The children and grandchildren continue to live and work there.
Just out of the driveway we pulled into a little park so I could take pictures

of the shrimp boats with their elegant draped nets
and complicated rigging.
A kingfisher flew off, loudly annoyed with me, but the pelican was unconcerned.
Aimee and I sat in the park for a bit, enjoying the peaceful surroundings
Aimee saw storks flying overhead and we watched the heron fishing on the opposite bank.
We watched Pelicans and Anhingas.
We parked in downtown Ocean Springs and wandered in and out of the shops. It was the local equivalent of Niagara-on-the-lake, lovely things but pricey.  The squirrels here are considerably smaller than our Southern Ontario ones. I am not sure if this is a Fox Squirrel of an Eastern Grey Squirrel.
We drove home and picked up Greg who had walked down to the local souvenir shop (45 miles according to him, one way. It was actually 1.5 miles one way) for some gifts to take home.

Someone that Greg had been talking to had recommended Bozo's for good seafood and although it was about a half an hours drive it was well worth it. This is Aimee's Royal Red platter with the shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn.

My BBQ shrimp with 2 sides (sauteed green beans and fried okra).