Sunday, November 17, 2013

A variety of arts for a gloomy day

I awoke to another dreary morning, after a thoroughly dreary yesterday, with promise of more to come for the rest of the weekend. As is my Sunday morning ritual, I perused the Sunday Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and was pleasantly surprised to find a diverse offering of arts related stories. None of which were in the Cue Section, where I usually look for them. So, in case you overlooked these, or don't get the paper, I offer a guided tour:

Mary Louise Schumacher, the paper's arts critic, is usually found in Cue. Today she has a story in the decorating department of the Entree section. True! But before you shudder and worry that she's sold out let me quickly add that it was refreshing to read an appropriately thoughtful approach to collecting art--the decorating aspect being importantly secondary.

Coincidentally, one of the things I did to escape the gloom yesterday was to go to Bed Bath & Beyond to look at stools for the kitchen we are in the midst of remodeling. I confess I'd never been to BB&B before and it was an education, I freely admit. One of the things I discovered there was the "wall decorating" department, where you can buy graphic visual objects in frames that you can hang over your couch, or wherever. Really? If this is a tempting solution to your blank walls, please read Schumacher's story. "Blank walls are...better than bad art," she says. I agree.

Key to collecting art is learning what you love

Link: Key to collecting art is learning what you love.

Of course, we don't all love the same kinds of art. And that's not only OK, it's a good thing, in my humble opinion. 

If you turn to the back page of Cue you will find the Travel section. I've found this arrangement annoying ever since the JS redesigned the paper some time ago. But that's where it is. There is a surprising feature about Waupun being a 'City of Sculpture.' The sculptural style is traditional, as illustrated below by "End of the Trail." The artist is native son Clarence Addison Shaler. I have to admit that I'm not likely to go out of my way to visit Waupun for these artworks. However, I was intrigued to discover that this particularly famous image of the tragic Indian warrior was not, as I expected to read at first glance, a copy from some other artistic antecedent. Shaler, who became a sculptor only after retirement at age 70, was the originator of the iconic image. In Waupun, WI. Who knew?

"End of the Trail" is Waupun’s most famous sculpture. Created by James Earl Fraser, the sculpture was commissioned by Waupun-area native Clarence Addison Shaler and donated to the city in 1929.

Link: Waupun's Sculpture's are Worth a Visit.

Here was a particularly surprising find. On page 2 of the paper's front section, which deals out international features and top news stories, is one reprinted from the Associated Press about NASA's next attempt to send a spacecraft to Mars. Among the various things being sent along on this unmanned (of course) scientific expedition are 1,000 haiku and 377 "student art contest entries." (The latter, one must presume, have been digitized.) The article is short on rationale for these curious additions to the spacecraft's mission.

Here are the two samples of haiku reprinted for the article:

"Amidst sand and stars / We scan a lifeless planet / To escape its fate."

"It's funny, they named / Mars after the God of War / Have a look at Earth."

Link: NASA's newest Mars spacecraft will study atmosphere, tackle puzzle of Martian climate change.

Finally, on a lighter note, I enjoyed Foxtrot today. I'm a devoted comics reader, despite the trend towards unfunny comics over the years. The fewer and fewer chestnuts are worth brushing through the chaff. Foxtrot is more reliably funny than most. (My favorites are Get Fuzzy, Zits and Dilbert.) Today Foxtrot indulged in a bit of meta-comics, a comic about the design of comics.


And so, on this "introspective morning," as WFMR radio announcer Obie Yadgar used to say (I know, I'm really dating myself there), I offer a bit of diversion. Arts without borders today. Enjoy!

p.s., in another discipline entirely, I enjoyed an excellent dance performance last night. Although it's too late to catch the one-night only Flamenco extravaganza, I recommend checking out the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center's season. If it's not on your radar, it's worth a look. I've been a few times and the performances have been good to outstanding and the house rarely full.

Flamenco Soul

1 comment:

  1. Nice musings Eddee, and I completely loved Foxtrot today also. I must add that after you put me in a poetic mood with the haiku et al, I got a chuckle out of the double meaning to your quote (I know, I'm really dating myself there). I think it shows up more clearly in print than spoken. Thanks! Colette