A Father’s Day Celebration

We have an ongoing monthly brunch with my son and his wife. We decided to combine that with a Father’s Day Celebration last weekend.

It was a 4 star-sensory dining experience at China Chilcano, with everything from the visual decor to the food presentation, taste, smell and even touch with our seating sensation being sunken into the floor, a la modern Japanese style.

China Chilcano is an amalgamation of Peruvian, Chinese, Mexican and Japanese cuisine and eating styles. The food is excellent and the style is serendipitous, so if you’re in for a surprise, as we were, it is a pleasant one.

China Chilcano on Art Is Everywhere

2 China Chilcano decor on Art Is Everywhere

ceviche at China Chilcano on Art Is Everywhere

beautiful and delicious ceviche

Sunken table at China Chilcano on Art Is Everywhere

Sitting at the sunken table

Shaved Blackberry Ice at China Chilcano on Art Is Everywhere

Raspadilla de Chicha Morada. Shaved purple corn ice, lemongrass manjar
blanco, pineapple

Before taking the Metro home, we headed to the nearby Smithsonian American Art Museum and discovered this unusual building facade along the way.

Trompe l'oeil building facade in DC on Art Is Everywhere

Trompe l’oeil building facade in DC

Sculpture at the  Smithsonian American Art Museum on Art Is Everywhere

Sculpture & artwork at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

Adams Memorial on Art Is Everwhere

Adams Memorial

About Adams Memorial on Art Is Everywhere

Angel Painting by Abbot Handerson Thayer on Art Is Everywhere

Angel Painting by Abbot Handerson Thayer

Thomas Moran Painting on Art Is Everywhere

Thomas Moran Painting

Later that evening an unexpected thunderstorm came through that created some unusual lighting, similar to the Thomas Moran painting, in its wake. Coincidentally, our American flag was highlighted. Be sure to fly yours on the 4th!

Strange light after a storm on Art Is EverywhereStrange lighting with dark sky on Art Is Everywhere

Metry Gets Muralized

I’m always encouraged to see improvements in my native New Orleans.

So, I was happy to learn that Metairie, an area of the city that we often called, Metry, as it was often pronounced, and otherwise affectionately known as “Fat City” passed an $150,000 initiative a year ago to have murals painted to beautify the town. The Arts Council of New Orleans is overseeing the project. Here are some of the first murals that have been painted.

Metairie Mural 4 on Art is Everywhere

Fat City Murals —  photos via Times Picayune

Metairie Mural 5 on Art is EverywhereCertain areas of Metairie flooded during “The Storm” — Hurricane Katrina. Most all the homes have been rebuilt but some business sections are up and running but many have been slow to come back or improve. The murals will add color and interest.

Metairie Mural 3 on Art is EverywhereA flooded Lakeside Shopping Mall after Hurricane Katrina.

Lakeside Mall after Katrina on Art Is Everywhere

New Orleans, LA–Aerial views of damage caused from Hurricane Katrina the day after the hurricane hit August 30, 2005.
Photo by Jocelyn Augustino/FEMA

Lakeside Mall on Art Is Everywhere

Lakeside Shopping Mall today

18 th st back of lakeside mall_metairie_times picayune on Art Is Everywhere

18 th Street in Fat City –  back of Lakeside Mall, Metairie via Times Picayune. This is where some of the murals are planned to be painted.

Scenes of Veterans Boulevard after Hurricane Katrina.

Veterans Blvd after Katrina on Art Is Everywhere

Veterans Blvd after Katrina via Frompo.com

Corner of Clearview and Veterans Blvd in Metairie, day after Katrina on Art Is Everywhere

Corner of Clearview and Veterans Blvd in Metairie, day after Katrina

 Scenes now — the water is gone but there’s a lot of empty parking lots.

Causeway and Veterans Memorial Boulevard on Art Is Everywhere

Causeway and Veterans Memorial Boulevard

Jefferson_Parish_Suburbs_of_New_Orleans

The long stretch of Veterans Boulevard (right side), Metairie and Jefferson Parish — Suburbs of New Orleans

When I return and drive down Veterans Boulevard, the main strip through Metairie, many of the buildings still look the way I remember in the 80’s, when I was in high school and even older than that but that’s when I started driving, so started paying attention. Since that time, many areas have just become a “concrete jungle.”  The mural arts programs is trying to change this with murals that definitely help to reinvigorate and spruce up the place.

Metairie Mural 6 on Art is EverywhereMetairie Mural 7 on Art is EverywhereThis concrete corridor reminds me of a Radiohead song…that just keeps getting better (see below).

Robert Dafford, the same artist who painted the now iconic clarinet on the side of the downtown Holiday Inn, painted this beautiful mural of a girl blowing a visionary bubble.

Metairie Mural 1 on Art is Everywhere Metairie Mural 2 on Art is EverywhereClick here, if you’d like to read more about this story.

Meanwhile, enjoy Radiohead’s great song Fake Plastic Trees, recorded without an audience in a studio in Holland.

I found this interesting edited film set to their music, using footage from the 2006 movie Cashback by Sean Ellis that I thought was well done.

This is a last minute addition that I thought could help with some healing in Charleston, South Carolina right now. If you’re there or nearby this coming Friday, June 27th, everyone is welcome to go paint a section of a “Power” mural as part of FestivALL.

FestivALL Charleston mural on Art Is Everywhere

Test Your Color Vision

How you see art, may be related to your color acuity.

Test your color vision with this simple iGame Eye test and see if you see more colors than a cat or better than a bat. Remember bats live in the dark so do not need to see a lot of color. Cats on the other hand have better vision than dogs. Does this relate to intellect? Hmmmm, I wonder. Read here about the evolution of color vision, and learn which animals see in color and which don’t. It might surprise you to know that invertebrates do see color but most mammals have a limited range of color.

iGame eye test 1 on Art is everyhwereiGame eye test 2 on Art is everyhwere

Full disclosure, the first time I did the test I got a 19 and color vision of a cat. The more you take the test, the better at it you will be. Also, memorization won’t help you because the color grids chage each time you take the test. A smart color test!

iGame eye test 3 on Art is everyhwere

iGame eye test 4 on Art is everyhwereMeanwhile there’s an artistic bent in the test itself, the more colors you see, the more creative you may be. Find out!

Here’s another Color Hue Challenge that’s not as easy as it looks. Farnsworth-Munsell test was first created by Dean Farnsworth in the 1940’s but Pantone (the “color experts”) provides this free one online, for their X-Right Computer Screen color calibrator product, that I’ve used before for print color management.

Pantone color hue challenge 1 on Art is Everywhere Pantone color hue challenge 2 on Art is Everywhere Pantone color hue challenge 3 on Art is Everywhere Pantone color hue challenge 4 on Art is EverywhereGoogle is researching the links between color, creativity and productivity (via a New Orleans study effort).

Creative Thinking Hub’s article on Thinking more Creatively by Using Color is pretty interesting. No wonder blue remains my favorite color, but I love it more in combinations with other colors.

Engaging New York City Murals

If you happen to be in New York City any time soon, you’re in for a treat. There are some new and interesting ways to enhance your mural sightseeing experience.

First, there is this interactive mural map from YDR that takes you on a walking tour of progressive history murals, starting on Market Street. There is a link to view popup thumbnail images of the murals, a synopsis about them and even a link to conveniently view on your mobile phone. You can learn as you walk.

Interactive NYC mural map 1 on Art Is Everywhere

via YDR

Interactive NYC mural map 2 on Art Is EverywhereYou’ll probably want to visit the new One World Trade Center while in the city (just opened on May 29th). Upon going up in the elevator, the walls become a virtual display (click here to see the video) that progressively shows the city below as it advances and morphs over the course of 500 years, from original swamp to present. Although you don’t get an actual glass-elevator view, this is even better and completely gives you the feeling that you’re looking out while the change is rapidly taking place. The elevator ride is less than a minute.

1 World Trade Center elevator1 on Art Is Everywhere

via Visual News

1 World Trade Center elevator2 on Art Is Everywhere 1 World Trade Center elevator3 on Art Is EverywhereInside you’ll also see this large-scale abstract mural by Jose Parla. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, left, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge recently viewed the mural this past December on their sojourn to the States.

William and Kate view 1WT mural on Art Is EverywhereFinally, while out touring, be on the lookout for these beautiful, large-scale female portraits painted in undisclosed places by Sean Yoro, known as Hula. He is originally from Hawaii but now in NYC transforming abandoned sites into beautiful portrait murals worth discovering. He’s exceptionally talented and makes realistic painting look easy, just look at his time lapse and other work via his Instagram. I’m a big fan!

Hula Street Art Portrait 1 on Art Is Everywhere

via Bored Panda

Hula Street Art Portrait 2 on Art Is Everywhere

Hula Street Art Portrait 3 on Art Is EverywhereHula Street Art Portrait 4 on Art Is EverywhereHula Street Art Portrait 5 on Art Is Everywhere

A Penumbra Performance

I often overlook trending videos in email promos from YouTube but for some reason this one caught my attention. It’s a pretty spectacular performance from a 13 member, all-Filipino troupe called, El Gamma Penumbra. They perform shadow dances with a message. This one happens to be about the dual character of Mother Nature — both beautiful and powerful.

They were vying to win Asia’s Got Talent, and they did!

Here are more visuals of previous performances leading up to the winning one.

Click here for previous posts on Shadow Performances.

A Graduation Performance

I attended my goddaughter’s high school graduation recently. It was one of the best graduations I have witnessed with the focus being on the arts and the overall achievements of the senior class.

The weekend started and ended traveling with gorgeous weather over Memorial Day weekend. We headed to George School, a Quaker boarding school in Newtown, PA, just outside of New Jersey, where we were staying at the Hilton Garden Inn because there was nothing available closer in. Luckily for us, because this was a surprisingly pretty hotel.

I hadn’t stayed at this type of Hilton before but it is geared toward a high-end experience, with multiple interior vignettes, as well as outdoor seating areas (one around a fire pit) and a mini-golf / gaming lawn, where one can sit and enjoy children playing nearby. I was taken with the tall sheer curtains in the lobby, raising up at each corner of the vestibule to a tiered, vaulted ceiling with hanging lights as the centerpiece, surrounded with ever-changing fluorescent lights covering the color spectrum. It was modern, comfortable, welcoming and a pleasant stay.

Hilton Garden Inn, Trenton, NJ on Art Is Everywhere

Hilton Garden Inn, Trenton, NJ

Hilton Vestibule Lights surrounded by ever changing florescent lighting on Art Is Everywhere

Vestibule Lights surrounded by ever-changing fluorescent lighting

Hilton lobby sitting vignettes on Art Is Everywhere

Hilton lobby sitting vignettes

Hilton lobby sitting vignettes on Art Is Everywhere

Drum light with metallic table and comfortable seating in piano vignette

It was beautiful, almost-beach-weather for graduation day. The setting was at the school’s grotto, which was shaded with dappled light. Because the sides were naturally on an incline, everyone had a descent view. We had a several moments of silence, as is Quaker tradition to take in and reflect on being in the moment. The leaves were rustling among the trees and birds were singing.

The graduates filtered in and instead of calling them continuously, one-by-one, to received their diplomas, each row was punctuated with performances by the students — either a spoken reflection or a musical piece with signing and piano accompaniment. I found out later that the students had to audition to play these parts. The ceremony was a well-executed performance, with all the students having their shining moments. One even did backflips across the lawn to pick up his diploma. It was hard to top that but others added their own personal strut.

grotto graduation on Art Is Everywhere

George School graduation in grotto

This past performance will just be one of many. I’m so proud of my goddaughter and happy that she has now graduated and proceeding on to enter what will probably be a career of screen acting. I have no doubt that I’ll probably see her name in lights one day as a famous star.

graduation on Art is Everywhere

My goddaughter graduates

Hack & Nearly Whacked!

I almost got whacked by a tree!

There was no good reason why a I should hear a crackling crescendo from a large branch shearing from our backyard tree when I looked up on that clear, beautiful, 70 degree, slight-breeze, sunny-spring day. It was cool air more than a breeze, a picture perfect day. I decided to finally plant the plants that I had bought 3 days before. I was finally filling the pot by our tree with a fairly large caladium so it would show where a clematis used to be in that shady spot. I heard the cracking and thought, “what’s going on at the neighbors?” Then, when I looked up, the cracking was a large tree branch breaking. I saw it in slow motion fall and the sheared edge came directly toward my face. I couldn’t move. I was pinned between the table, tree and pot at the corner of the garage. I had to move forward to get out and that would be moving in the direction of the falling limb. I put my hands up and got ready to crouch. The tree limb landed on our garage roof. The branches bounced when hitting 3 neighbors’ power, telephone and cable wires (including ours) that formed a net underneath. Amazingly, nothing snapped. The wires are still holding up the tree. When I looked up the sheared base of the limb was 2 feet away from my head. Our outside lights averted a break again. The base is resting directly on them.

Plant_AIE

The caladium I was planting and getting ready to remove the bird’s nest when….

Tree limb_AIE

…this cracked and fell right above me

Full tree limb_AIEThis is the second time a limb has broken after we’ve already had the tree cabled and pruned. That was  a few weeks before my son’s wedding just after we had hung the patio lights. Only 2 bulbs broke but the wire never did.,

Although I was sitting in the back room when that larger tree branch fell on the roof (which we ended up having to replace) @ 2am, this recent break was much more scary. There was a flash where I thought this could be it. I can only say it must have been by the grace of God that it didn’t hit me.

This brush with fate made me think of a more beautiful rendition of a tree with Emma Hack’s brushwork. The female is camouflaged by the artwork. The tree envelops her.

Emma Hack_Nude-Model-Background-7 on Art is EverywhereI thought I’d turn this frightening experience into an enlightening Zen moment — to be in the moment, peaceful surrounded by Nature’s beauty and profoundness.

Emma Hack’ artwork has all of these attributes. Click link for previous post.

Emma Hack Nude-Model-Background-6 on Art is Everywhere

Being in awe of the beauty

Emma Hack_Nude-Model-Background-3 on Art is Everywhere

Being brushed with Nature

Emma hack_Nude-Model-Background-1 on Art Is Everywhere

Being Zen – One with Nature

And being thankful that I wasn’t actually whacked by a tree!

How Has the World Changed in Your Lifetime?

This was a very cool interactive site I “stumbled” upon that is a welcome distraction from life about how has the world changed within your lifetime. It’s a little environmental at the end but the results will be different for everyone.

Artistic in the concept.

Here’s just one example of the many things shown.

one example of world change within a lifetime on Art Is Everywhere

Click here to customize for your life on earth adventure.

BBC_How life on earth has changed in your lifetime on Art Is Everywhereand a nice way to end this post with a stunning visual of the earth being lit.

Although the video just ends too abruptly, it music reminds me of one of my favorite pieces of music, Sentimental Walk by Vladmir Cosma, from Diva, one of my favorite movies.

Here’s a beautiful poetic, visual version.

If you want to listen to one of the most beautiful operatic performances just listen to Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernadez singing an aria from La Wally. This has stuck with me since the first time I heard it over 30 years ago. It is timeless.

Google’s Getting Street Wise

I’ve received several blitz notices about Google’s interactive Street Art Project. I decided to check it out and was pleasantly surprised. It’s part of a larger, even more impressive initiative, the Google Cultural Institute, where you can really delve into any cultural topic.

Google Cultural Institute on Art Is EverywhereGetting back to art, however, essentially Google is providing a platform for all public artwork to be recorded and shared as a Global Gallery Database. It’s reinventing how art can be viewed. For instance, you can put your nose right up to a Van Gogh painting to really see the brushstrokes without a museum guard thinking you’re crazy and setting off the alarm.

It’s always fun to travel but now you can enjoy art murals from all around the world from the comfort of your computer or even mobile device. Waiting at the doctor’s office can now be interesting. I’ve added the site to my sidebar where it can always be found.

I’m not saying everything is good but everyone has different tastes so some may suite your appeal while others not but there are all manners of murals as well as all public artwork. You can search by medium, place, person, date, museums, etc..

Google Street Art Project on Art Is EverywhereStart by taking a tour:

They provide many ways to view the site. Here are several links to view and see for yourself how Google is bringing art to the people and vice versa as the “Mural Conservancy.”

Finally, with Baltimore in the news a lot lately, here’s something positive to tout.

Baltimore murals on Google Street Art Project on Art Is Everywhere

Unexpected Art Weekend

We had just planned to ‘Meet Mary’ at the Picturing Mary exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts but ended up with an unexpected art weekend. I was looking forward to visiting the museum, my former workplace, via a jaunt on the Metro, viewing artwork and then returning. The exhibit was on my list of things to see and we barely caught it on its last day.

I was not only impressed with the many types of artwork (60 art pieces: paintings of course, as well as marble and boxwood sculptures, enamels, polychrome terracotta and mini altarpiece triptychs, to name a few) but also the exhibition design, a field that at one time I thought I’d pursue. Each room was painted in a deep bold color that truly made the art pop as well as helped the visual flow for the different aspects of Mary that were presented: Mary in the Life of Believers, Mary as Idea, Singular Life, Woman & Mother, Madonna & Child, Mother of Crucified. Unfortunately, I wasn’t allowed to take pictures, but you can start your interactive tour here.

The exhibit was very accessible for the religious as well as secular. Here’s a good synopsis from NPR.

It included Botticelli’s Madonna & Child, one of my favorite paintings of Mary. I also enjoyed seeing Mary in a new light with Barbarino’s rendition that depicted exquisite Middle Eastern details.

Botticelli Madonna and Child on Art Is Everywhere

Nicolò Barabino's 1884 mural Faith with Representations of the Arts on Art Is Everywhere

Nicolò Barabino’s 1884 mural Faith with Representations of the Arts

I’m so glad we went! We had to celebrate being in the city, doing something educational and on such a beautiful day, instead of the usual extended work week.

We walked a short distance past the Penn Quarter park and found ourselves stopping for snack of delicious Belgium beer and classic mussels, Robert Weidemeir style, sitting outside at Brasserie Beck.

Penn Quarter City Park on Art is Everywhere

Penn Quarter City Park – Like these gold bistro chairs

We had to pry ourselves away it was so glorious to be enjoying the day with nothing do to but enjoy the moment.

Brasserie Beck on Art Is Everywhere

Brasserie Beck

Alas, it was time to go home but we took the long way. We walked all the way from Penn Quarter to Georgetown because Peter had a bottle of Pacharon on his mind and one of the oldest liquor stores in the city might be able to order it; although, we knew most likely they could not. It was a good excuse to extend our excursion. There are no stateside distributors. We didn’t realize how lucky we are that our friends have brought us several bottles from their ongoing travels to Spain.

pacharan on Art Is Everywhere

special pacharon – a Spanish digestif

All that walking, about 4 miles, made us hungry for a more substantial meal, so we stopped by a recent find, il Canale and were able to bypass a small wait since we were just 2 people. They have some of the best wood-fired pizzas and don’t take reservations. Again, we were lucky.

Peter at il Canale on Art Is Everywhere

Peter at il Canale

We needed to exercise off all this good food and drink, so instead of taking the nearest Foggy Bottom Metro (not all that close), we chose to walk across Key Bridge into Rosslyn and take the Metro there.

We must have walked a total of 6 miles that day. No wonder my feet had blisters.

It didn’t stop us from exploring some nearer by developments to us in Alexandria the next day. The entire area off Route 1 in Old Town on the Northside of town has been redeveloped. Bastille has moved here, where we recently celebrated our anniversary but found it OK, too loud and not as good as the previous location, which they have maintained as their bistro. There are other restaurants that we want to try like Maison Social. We like that the pocket park just across the street has a ping pong table that we’re gonna have to try out.

Bastille via Red Brick Blog on Art Is Everywhere

Bastille via Red Brick Blog

We settled for an afternoon beer at the Lost Dog Cafe. We had only seen it driving by from the front side where it always seemed packed. We didn’t realize they had outdoor dining in back and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate another glorious, sunshine-filled day.

Belle Pre Art Sculpture1 on Art Is Everywhere

Belle Pre Art Sculpture

Belle Pre Art Sculpture2 on Art Is EverywhereWe sat soaking in the sun on their newly opened patio while enjoying their “adult grilled cheese” and bottles of beer. We watched the light cast colorful shadows through the outdoor sculptured darts just to our right. We didn’t realize until we walked past this on our way home that the new condos were called Belle Pre for a reason — after the Bottle Factory that had been previously located on this site. There was an exhibit that showed all the different types of bottles they produced, including the first “lipped” bottle as Coke and other manufacturers came to use and has become the standard. Belle Pre made a lot of their money off the licensing of their patent.

Belle Pre Glass Factory Exhibit on Art Is Everywhere

Belle Pre Glass Factory Exhibit

Who knew such history was so close by. Unexpected adventures are the best!

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