Birthday Trip to Dia:Beacon

Oh blog, poor blog, I have neglected you so! But here I am, with a couple new posts in the hopper and a trip to Martha’s Vineyard this weekend, so hold onto your butts. First up, my birthday recap!

Since my birthday in July fell on a Monday, and we had Tuesday off because of Independence Day, I decided to take the day off and do something fun for my 30th!

I’d been meaning to get to Dia:Beacon for at least a year now. I’ve seen tons of images from it on social media, and the art there sounded right up my alley (particularly the Dan Flavin pieces — I have a thing for light art), and it’s only an hour’s drive north from me. Since my dad’s retired and my mom took the day off as well, we decided to make a family trip of it.

Not sure what’s more impressive, the art or the space itself. (Also, I’m obsessed with these pebbled¬†glass windows and how they distort what’s outside them. Kinda need some in my future home.) The building used to be a box factory for Nabisco — so it’s filled with natural light via the skylights so workers could ensure color accuracy on the packaging.

I’ve always been a fan of Dan Flavin, and Dia:Beacon has quite a few of his pieces. Dia has a whole museum dedicated to him on Long Island, that I absolutely need to get to sometime.

A really impressive section of Dia:Beacon is the lower level, with its slender columns another Dan Flavin installation illuminating the whole space in an eerie green light.

Overall, I’d say Dia:Beacon is definitely worth a trip if you’re in the area! It’s quite accessible from NYC as well, with a train station right in the town of Beacon, just a short walk from the museum. I’m really happy I made the trip for my birthday. Almost as happy as I was to cap off the day with Arturo’s pizza and ice cream for dessert back in NJ later that evening. And we played with sparklers, because they’re finally legal in New Jersey!

Couldn’t have asked for a better birthday ūüôā

Kairos Market

Kairos Market May 20-21

When I received an email about the upcoming Kairos Market at the Brooklyn Art Library, I knew I had to share it with others. As an artist I will always jump at the chance to support local artists, and I’m also just a huge fan of markets in general (as you may remember from my trip to Dallas last year.)

I’m trying to move some things around in my schedule so I can make it out to Brooklyn for the Kairos Market this weekend, and I hope you will too! Here’s all the event details:

  • Venue address:¬†28 Frost St, Brooklyn, NY 11211 (between Union Ave. and Lorimer st.) The closest trains to the venue are the Bedford L and the Nassau Ave G trains.
  • Event dates and times:¬†May 20th (11am-4:30pm) & May 21st (11-6pm)
  • Event price:¬†Free
  • Telephone number:¬†The number for the Brooklyn Art Library is¬†718-388-7941
  • Website:¬†www.shopkairos.com
  • Event details: The Kairos Market is a festival for the arts. This free event will include 20 independent artists, live music and wine and beer for all!

 

& go: Dallas, TX

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So credit for this list really goes to my friend Kali. When I visited her last weekend she was armed with knowledge of all the goings on around town, and as a local obviously knew all the interesting areas to visit and places to eat. I have to say¬†being an east coaster I didn’t have very high expectations for Dallas (I was mostly just beyond pumped to be seeing my friend) but Dallas really surprised me!

Nasher Sculpture Center

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I had read about this Ann Veronica Janssens installation at the Nasher Sculpture Center. I love light art, so every time I hear of an exhibit I like to check it out. This work, entitled Blue, Red and Yellow, is a free-standing box¬†that you walk into. The room¬†inside is filled with smoke from a smoke machine, so that you can barely see your own hand in front of your face. The room is also filled with light, and as you slowly Marco-Polo your way around, the light gradually shifts in color. It was a very odd feeling, Kali said it was almost like being an a sensory deprivation chamber. Honestly, it was worth the $10 entry fee just to experience it! The rest of the sculptures¬†in the gallery are pretty worthwhile, too–Picasso, David Smith, Richard Serra–the list goes on and on.

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White Rock Lake

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Later that day we went for a walk around White Rock Lake, a reservoir with a running/biking path and water sports. Way back when it used to be open for swimming, as well. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a pretty crazy rain storm so we didn’t make it as far around as we’d like, but had it been¬†a sunnier day I bet¬†we’d have made it much further.

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We thought we saw an alligator in the water…

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…it was just a stick.

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After escaping the rain, we took¬†a drive around the lake’s perimeter to gawp at the enormous houses in this waterfront neighborhood. (Sorry, no pictures to share, didn’t want to be too much of a creeper.) But we had such a good time creepin’ that we decided to check out a couple more amazing Dallas neighborhoods. I would definitely recommend a drive through Preston Hollow to see some really beautiful examples of modern and contemporary architecture, as well as some truly baller mansions. George W. Bush even has a house there (yes, we tried to see it–yes there was a giant gate at the end of the road so that didn’t pan out.) It’s also worth taking a drive through neighboring University Park¬†for some smaller, yet¬†still gorgeous homes.

Katy Trail and Reverchon Park

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dallas-texas-turtle-creek-5Beautiful stairs and a boardwalk in Reverchon Park

Katy Trail is an excellent walking/running/biking path that runs through Uptown Dallas. Like the High Line in New York City, it was built following the path of an old railroad line (except Katy Trail’s been around much longer!) It’s beautifully wooded and serves as a fantastic respite from the city. Reverchon Park runs alongside part of the trail. The part we were in had some really cool stone steps that winded their way uphill, with little sections for sitting and hanging out. We followed a path that looped back around to the trail¬†over boardwalks beside¬†Turtle Creek, which ended up being¬†much less crowded than Katy Trail on a Sunday morning.

Trinity River and Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

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These pictures of the awesome new¬†Sylvan Avenue bridge were taken from the newly-converted Continental Avenue Pedestrian Bridge. The converted bridge used to be for driving, but now it’s¬†lined with landscaping and benches for pedestrians and cyclists. It spans the Trinity River (which doesn’t look like much from these pictures, but I was told it had recently flooded to span the entirety of the grassy area you can see!)

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Bishop Arts District

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The Bishop Arts District is a really cool area of the North Oak Cliff neighborhood that has undergone a revitalization over the past couple of decades. We visited for a pop-up market that featured wares from local(ish) Texan craftspeople, but we also popped into a few of the trendy shops lining the streets. One of those shops was The Wild Detectives, an awesome little bookstore that had a cafe/bar and a lovely outdoor space in the back.

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I love a climate where my favorite plants grow year round

 

I think this is a just a leasing office, but you gotta love the color scheme!dallas-texas-bishop-arts-district-pop-up-market-1

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The most incredible piece of Nutty Honey pie from Emporium Pies. A layer of salted honey-nut sauce with peanut butter cream filling, topped with house whipped cream and crushed honey-roasted peanuts in a graham cracker crust. To die for. 

To eat:
Lockhart Smokehouse BBQ
BBBOP Seoul Kitchen
Tacodeli
Restaurants at Trinity Grove
Hypnotic Donuts
Top Pot Donuts (I know this is a Seattle-based place, but I was pretty excited to see one all the way in Texas! Can we get one in NJ pretty pretty please?)

 

 

Female Artists You Should Know: Sally Mann

Alright, I should start off by saying this is by no means a definitive list, it’s really just my favorites and photographers that I believe are essential to a good educational foundation in the field. So¬†let’s just start things off with my favorite photographer.

Sorry Game by Sally Mann
Sorry Game, 1989

‚ÄúIt‚Äôs always been my philosophy to try to make art out of the everyday and ordinary‚Ķit never occurred to me to leave home to make art.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Sally Mann

If you’ve talked to me about art for more than 5 seconds, you’ll have heard me mention my favorite photographer, Sally Mann. Kinda obsessed. (In fact, I even run a side blog on tumblr dedicated to sharing her work, fansofsallymann.tumblr.com. Not weird at all. Go follow it.)

Sally Mann, while already a respected photographer for her work At Twelve: Portraits of Young Women,¬†came to global attention in the early 90s after publishing¬†Immediate Family. A monograph of exquisitely composed photos of her children, Mann’s work was met with some controversy for the sometimes-nude state of her subjects.

Jessie at 6, Sally Mann
Jessie at 6, 1988
Virginia at 6, Sally Mann
Virginia at 6, 1991

Personally, I don’t understand what all the fuss was about with the nudity. Kids are kids, and sometimes kids don’t wear clothes–especially when they’re running around their bucolic farm in Virginia, as Mann’s children did.

The pictures were made with an 8×10″ view camera (in case you’ve never seen one, they’re impressive.) Sometimes they’re posed, sometimes they’re spontaneous, sometimes she saw her children doing something interesting or poignant and asked them to hold the pose or recreate it. Whatever the case, it’s quite clear that these photos would not have been possible without the full cooperation of her children.

Mann’s family pictures perfectly depict childhood in all it’s facets–perfect, messy, sun-dappled, dark, fun, unpleasant, and everything in between. It’s a powerful work of art¬†coming from a female; it declares that being both an artist and a mother do not have to be mutually exclusive, by depicting the beauty of motherhood and childhood.

Virginia at 5, Sally Mann
Virginia at 5, 1990
At Charlie's Farm, Sally Mann
At Charlie’s Farm, 1990

After the Family Pictures (or somewhat concurrently) came the landscapes in Motherland and¬†Deep South–Mann’s celebration of the south she grew up in and lived for most of her life. At this time Mann also began transitioning to wet plate collodion, a tricky photographic technique that dates back to the 1850s. The photographic artifacts caused by Mann’s implementation of this process are clear in the final prints, adding to their ethereal feel.

Deep South, Sally Mann
from Deep South
Untitled (Virginia #7) | Sally Mann
Untitled (Virginia #7)

Other works include What Remains, a brilliant exploration of mortality and death, Proud Flesh, portraits of her husband and the effects of muscular dystrophy on his body (also a rare example of the female gaze), and The Flesh and the Spirit, a collection of some of her past work and the self portraits she made while recovering from a horse riding accident. Most recently she wrote the memoir, Hold Still, which was a finalist for the National Book Award.

A documentary about Mann was filmed during the period she made the What Remains¬†work. Described by¬†The New York Times as¬†“One of the most exquisitely intimate portraits not only of an artist’s process, but also of a marriage and a life,” I highly,¬†highly¬†recommend it.

Untitled, What Remains, Sally Mann
Untitled, from What Remains
etail, Untitled Self-Portrait, Sally Mann
Detail, Untitled Self-Portrait
Hephaestus, Proud Flesh, Sally Mann
Hephaestus, from Proud Flesh 

‚ÄúOne of the things my career as an artist might say to young artists is: The things that are close to you are the things you can photograph the best. And unless you photograph what you love, you are not going to make good art.‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Sally Mann