Artcycles.

Today Monte and I took a trip downtown to see the recently installed visiting art exhibit Forever Bicycles, by Ai Weiwei.   It is sponsored by The Contemporary Austin and the Waller Creek Conservancy.   Their material doesn’t cite an end date for the exhibit – it just says “ongoing.”  But get yourself down there to see it.   It is located at the “Waller Creek Delta,” which happens to be about where Trinity St runs into Lady Bird Lake.  The Waller Creek Boathouse and its cafe are nearby, so you can catch a bite as well.  And it is located right along the hike and bike trail.

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I found the exhibit of hundreds of stainless steel bicycles to be teeming with motion, from every angle.  Very cool indeed.

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An overdue visit.

I made it to Laguna Gloria today.  It’s remarkable that it is only my first visit, after living here over 20 years.   It is the home of The Contemporary Austin, an art consortium.    The grounds are beautiful, full of trees, and trails that will take you down by the (glorious) lagoon, as well as Lake Austin.  A sculpture garden is spread throughout the grounds and trails.  It made for a lovely afternoon of hiking, birding and art appreciation.

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Texas Historical Marker for Laguna Gloria Villa

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The lovely Villa

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Looking towards Lake Austin from the Villa

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Miffy Fountain – Tom Sachs

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Looking Up – Tom Friedman

 

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Canopy Tower – John Grade

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Iron Tree Trunk – Ai Weiwei

Painted poppy. 

Ok, it’s not really painted, but a photo that I morphed with an iPhone app called Brushstroke.   The poppies came back this year out back. I love their deep red. Hoping for even more next year!

The Blanton museum, revisited.

In a post earlier this year, I shared a visit to the Blanton Museum that we took, to see an Andy Warhol visiting exhibit that ended in January.  When we went, we didn’t know that the museum’s permanent exhibits were temporarily closed, due to a total revamp of the permanent gallery areas upstairs.   Even so, we enjoyed the visiting exhibit.

The museum’s permanent collection galleries are now open again, so I stopped by this week to check it out.  They have an interesting mix of art – Latin American, early American Western, Contemporary, European, Native American, Modern, Spanish American, Ancient Greek and Roman, Film and Paper/Documents.   The gallery remodel was nicely done.

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I recommend a trip to the museum.  I enjoyed it.  Check out their website for days & hours.  And keep in mind that every Thursday admission is free, and every 3rd Thursday the museum is open late – until 9pm.  Parking is easy at the nearby Brazos garage.  If you bring your parking stub into the museum, they can give you a discounted parking rate.

 

Free Thursday at the Blanton.

The Blanton Museum downtown currently has an Andy Warhol exhibit, running through January 29th.   It is called “Warhol by the Book.”   It contains his artwork associated with bookcovers, album covers, playbills, books that he published, and other of his works associated with authors.  I enjoy Andy Warhol’s art, and saw things in this exhibit I’d not seen before.

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Hands-on album cover exhibit.  You can handle the albums and even play the LPs.

There was another visiting exhibit by Xu Bing called “Book from the Sky,” which runs through January 22nd.  I knew nothing about this artist nor the work, but thought it was interesting.  Over 4 years, Xu Bing hand carved thousands of wood blocks with non-sensical chinese characters/words of his own design, and then crafted traditional-format chinese books and scrolls made up with his hand-crafted characters.  So, if you know Chinese, it looks like gibberish.  If you don’t know Chinese, it looks like, well, Chinese.  🙂  I guess it’s supposed to get you thinking about the power of words, and also the beauty of Chinese calligraphy.  It was a beautiful exhibit, nonetheless.

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Their permanent exhibits are currently not open, as the museum is doing construction on the 2nd floor.  But those will reopen mid-February.

I enjoyed learning something new.  After we fed our minds, we had lunch downtown.   A nice day.

Not a sculpture.

I took a field trip today to the Umlauf Sculpture Garden Museum, down by Zilker Park.  Admission is free this summer, through the end of August, thanks to donations from Amplify Austin.   You may want to check it out as well.  Hours are Tue-Fri 10am-4pm, and Sat & Sun noon-4pm.

I’ve been there before, but it has been over 15 years.  It was a lovely morning, and I headed out before it got too hot.   Charles Umlauf was born in 1910, died in 1994, and was a prolific sculptor.  His first commissioned work was at age 12!   The sculpture garden lies on land between his former home and Barton Springs, and displays 50+ of his works scattered throughout lovely, wooded grounds.

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My favorite:

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Spirit of Flight, 1959

Ok, so, now for the best part… as I was walking through the grounds I noticed a large dark shape sitting on a branch of a tree right over the trail I just walked on.  I realized it was a bird.  A big one.  It was just sitting there, watching me, as I doubled back to try to get a picture.   It was an unexpected sight, and I love the shot.  After I got home I looked online to identify the bird… I believe it to be a barred owl.

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A busy two weeks and a new find.

I have been challenged in posting the last two weeks.  We are in the middle of a 3 week set of back to back visits from family.  Which we absolutely love, but it means a little less time to tend to my photoblog.   The real challenge though is that the WordPress for iOS app that I use primarily for quick posts is broken and completely useless since the last 2 updates (both updates ver 5.4 and 5.4.1) of the app.  So I’m using the browser version of the app for this post.   I hope they get it together and fix the problem in the next update.

One set of guests were unaccompanied minors, so I had to get a pass to go through security and accompany them to their gate to pick them up and drop them off at the airport.   As I was strolling along the concourse on the west end of the ABIA terminal, I spotted some lovely, colorful prints on display from a Texas artist that I hadn’t seen before.  The artist is Margie Crisp, and her prints are simply beautiful.   I took a picture of one – couldn’t avoid the reflections from the lights in the airport.  This one is called In the shadow of Buchanan Dam.   Inks Lake is in the foreground, with images of all the things I love about the Central Texas Hill Country.

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I googled her to learn more about her and found that she has produced a book called  River of Contrasts: The Texas Colorado, which features many of her river prints.  As I’ve come to love the Colorado myself, I’m going to order one.

You might want to check her out, too.

As for me, i need to get moving… we are headed to the lake to raft-up overnight.

Stained glass trilogy.

I’ve enjoyed playing with the iPhone app called Brushstroke. It’s a pretty versatile app for adding water-color / oil painting effect to photos.

These are three shots I took in different cathedrals on my birthday trip to France, with a little post-processing with Brushstroke.

Notre Dame. Paris:

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Cathedral Notre-Dame de Chartres. Chartres:

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Sainte-Chapelle. Paris:

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From Zihua with love.

After her graduation last month, Julie spent a week in Zihuatanejo, Mexico with a friend – a well-earned treat after 2 1/2 years of hard work.   She brought us back this painted, wooden bowl as a gift.   She painted it herself!   And, I think it’s beautiful.

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She packed up her things and drove back to Washington State this week and is now back in God’s country.  She starts her dream job next week and has a limitless future ahead of her.   Well done, Julie!   We miss you already.

Ever heard of Zihuatanejo?   It’s a town on the southwest coast of Mexico.  I’ve never been.  I only know of it from Julie’s trip.  And from the movie The Shawshank Redemption.  Great movie!  Anyway, at the end of the movie, after Andy escapes from prison, he finds his freedom in this beach town and his buddy, Red, meets him there in the closing scene, after making parole.   Great quote from the flick:  “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”    Amen.

A great day.

Today Mom and I headed to Seattle Center to see the amazing Chihuly Garden and Glass museum.  Fran, Aaron and Colleen joined us.  It was an amazingly clear, sunny day.  We also went up in the Space Needle to see the 360 degree view.   I took too many pictures to share here, but will leave you with a few.

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