The Love Connection

Full disclosure, this is not the post I had in mind to write. I had started another one but it will take more time and I’m already behind. Besides, this one will relate to it — after the fact — and it’s timely to make the Love Connection with Valentine’s Day right around the corner.

I’ve never been a big Valentine’s fan because I’m one of those who believes it’s a made up “Hallmark” celebration to drive sales for certain items, like cards, chocolates, flowers, restaurants and even hotels, among other things. It’s quite a marketer’s dream — for this day in age. However, it does have significant history and pretty gruesome at that. Not only going back to St. Valentine, who was supposedly martyred because he denounced Emperor Claudius’ ruling in the 3rd century that forbade young single men from marrying because they should become soldiers instead. Valentine continued to perform marriages and Claudius had him put to death but another theory suggests he was killed because he may have helped Christians escape harsh Roman torture during their imprisonment. Prior to this, the holiday has it roots in even bloodier pagan rituals that you can read more about here.

In light of this, I like the fact that it is now known for love letters and such. Every now and then I’m willing to comply with the tradition. I just purchased some of my favorite artisan chocolates from Fleurir, a local hand-made chocolatier.

Fleurir chocolates via Energy of the City on Art Is Everywhere

via Energy of the City

We had Fleurir chocolates put in the welcome bags for out-of-town guest over a year ago for my son’s wedding and I’ve been purchasing them ever since. They are constantly coming up with something new. The latest is their Wine Bar. I also gave this to my son and daughter-in-law for their first year wedding anniversary (in a brown bag, which is the traditional first year anniversary gift). Now it’s time for Peter and me to sample ourselves and this time the wine pairings will come with it. Here’s a little more about the Fleurir story and one of their famous chocolate recipes to boot!

Fleurir chocolate winebar on Art Is Everywhere

via Whurk

If I didn’t have so much King Cake left over from Mardi Gras this past Fat Tuesday, I’d be making these chocolates right now.

Fleurir chocolates on Art Is Everywhere

via Fleurir

I’m still coming down from Tuesday’s fun celebration with my book group ladies, as I just happened to be assigned this day to host. It was fun and even the prep was engaging because I planned ahead and didn’t rush it. I made jambalaya the day before, so the flavors would set in, and the famous Chef Susan Spicer’s Bayona’s Pecans the weekend before. Both of these packed a nice New Orleans savory (and sweet) spicy punch. I also prepared most of the “confetti” salad (simply thrown together peas, corn, some chopped tomatoes and scallions and a little salt and pepper) beforehand, adding the chopped steamed beets (that I did ahead) at the last minute. Luckily, the recipe for the wonderful roasted spiced chickpeas that I first had at Blue Jacket came to me in the Washington Post Food section the week before. Blue Jacket is a relatively new restaurant (2 years) in the up and coming Capitol Riverfront district. It happens to be owned by The Neighborhood Restaurant Group, in which a childhood camp friend is one of the initial founders and part owner. She’s from New Orleans too. Small world that it may be.

roasted spiced chickpeas_Art Is Everywhere

via Washington Post

My group celebrated the seasonal holiday with all this good food, assorted wines and Abita beer, of course. We capped it off with King Cake shipped from Caluda’s (Nanny Randazzo’s ex-wife, Dianne’s recipe, btw, but she had to change the name. Hers is just as good and no wait or exorbitant cost) and a little Cardamarro to finish.

Caludas awesome king cake on Art Is Everywhere

via Caluda’s

The whole delicious cake looked much like Antoine’s version below with the white icing but extra moist, stuffed with cream cheese and dutch apple filling. Scrumptious and some of the best I’ve had! This is the second year I’ve ordered and may make it a tradition. Gambino’s, for the record, the bakery I grew up on, has the best Russian and Doberge cakes, so have to give them and Haydel’s, another old-time favorite, some credit.

Antoinnes King Cake on Art Is Everywhere

via Times Picayune

Sorry I forgot to take my own pictures of the meal. Needless to say, it was a fun Fat Tuesday book discussion, but more on that later.

‘Til then, Happy Valentine’s Day and hope you enjoy yours with your love connection.

Another Type of Glacier Event

Just as the snow from our Snowzilla Blizzard is melting, I read about another type of “big,” snow-related, glacier event (see below). But first, the blizzard snow was beautiful while it lasted. It was especially nice to shut everything down. Everyone enjoyed the welcomed break.

We visited with friends and walked back to take this picture. Although it was 3 am, it could have been any time of the day with everyone hunkering down indoors.

Snowzilla covered street with no cars on Art Is Everywhere

Snow covered street with no cars = beautiful

Snowzilla covered stairs on Art Is Everywere

No where to go but stay inside

Cat views Snowzilla garden on Art Is Everywhere

Ingmar our cat enjoys the view from the warmth

Just as our snow is melting, there is other news about recently restored murals depicting scenes from Glacier Park.

Glacier Lake Mural restoration on Art Is Everywhere

Joe Abbrescia Grinnell restores a Glacier Lake mural. Photo by Patrick Cote Dill via Hockaday Museum

size of Glacier Mural panels on Art Is Everywhere

This shows the large size of the panels via Hockaday Musem

There were originally 51 murals that were commissioned to be painted as large watercolor panels with water-based tempera on canvas and displayed for all visitors to view in the Glacier Park Lodge in 1939. However their recorded history leaves the artist as unknown.

Unfortunately, only 15 have survived. The lodge was restored in the 1950s and the murals no longer fit the decor theme so they were cut from their mountings, rolled up and thrown away! Hard to believe!

Fortunately, 15 of the canvases were saved by Leona and Robert Brown in their East Glacier home and passed down to their granddaughter, Leanne and her husband, Alan Goldhahn. They donated the murals to the Hockaday Museum in 2012. Through the Goldhahn’s generous efforts the murals have been fully restored and are now on display again and serve as a wonderful memory to Leona & Robert Brown, who had the vision to save them in the first place.

Glacier Park Murals 1 via Independent Record helenair.com on Art Is Everywhere

Glacier Park Murals 1 via Independent Record helenair.com

Glacier Park Murals 2 via Independent Record helenair.com on Art Is Everywhere

Glacier Park Murals 2 via Independent Record helenair.com

Glacier Park is truly a stunning place. It stood out among the national parks that we visited during a family road trip across the country around 1975. These gorgeous murals are making me want to return.

Out of 29 Surreal Places in America that you need to see before you die, Glacier Park is #27 on the list.

I’ve been fortunate enough to visit 10 on the list but realize my travel days are just beginning after seeing these and what about outside of the States?! I’m just wondering if I have enough time to fit it all in?

Blizzard Break!

Due to expected power outages and record snowfall with DC being the prime target, ArtIsEverywhere is taking a blizzard break.

You can read previous posts on that last time we had such weather:

Blizzard

Shazam Snow, Snow & More Snow!

Previous snow posts…

Stay safe and warm and if you’re in the NE, enjoy the snow-shutdown bliss that a blizzard can bring. If you’re elsewhere, enjoy reading ArtIsEverywhere.

We’ll be back soon…

Snowman on Art Is Everywhere

A Carving Frenzy Yields Furry Animal Friends

This is a busy week so I’ll leave you with this incredible video of Lueb Popoff using a chainsaw, which at first appears to be a carving frenzy with no plan in sight. However, a beautiful sculpture eventually evolves with several furry animal friends that appear to magically “come out” of the woodwork.

How in the world does he do it?! Pretty fantastic.

I also like the music. Kinda the pace I’m keeping this week.

Prince George to the Kaos Temple and Beyond

With a new year comes a lot of new stories to follow, so this is a mish-mash of news.

  1. Seeing adorable Prince George attend his first day of school at the Westacre Montessori School in Norfolk, England, I couldn’t help but notice the lovely and prominent mural on the facade of the building. I was also impressed that the Duchess of Cambridge or Kate, his mother, took the photos of George. They are just as good if not better than what a professional photographer could capture.
Prince George attends school 1

via backstage24.gr

Prince George attends school 2_

via E Online. Photos by Duchess of Cambridge

Westacre Montessori School Mural

Westacre Montessori School and mural

If you want to see more photos, check out Prince Williams’ Family Album on E Online! You can scroll through the photos at the bottom of the screen.

2. An update on the Jefferson County Courthouse murals: the commission has decided to hire a consultant for $2,830 to determine if the murals can be removed to another location and the cost involved. It remains to be seen what will happen if they cannot or if it is cost prohibitive. One idea is to “drape over” the current murals until more updated ones can be painted. I imagine this would be costly as well.

3. Is winter already too cold for you? We’re just now getting some cold weather but nothing like they are in the Mid North West. Visualizing these intriguing Cherry Blossom murals will help you remember spring will be here before you know it and remind you that art can be created in many clever ways. These take the term “hand painted” to a new level.

okurie-cherryblossom-1

Cherry Blossom photos via Fubiz

Hand Painted Cherry Blossom photos via Fubiz 2These murals by muralist Yosuke Tan are painted with hand prints on the windows of an abandoned school in Japan. Upon first site they appear quite beautiful as the light streaming through the window makes the red hand prints brilliantly shine, however, when you realize where and how they are painted, they can also invoke a sense of uneasiness similar to the one I get when I envision those twin and ghost children and the “red room” reference in the Shining movie. Clever and a little creepy at the same time.

Hand Painted Cherry Blossom photos via Fubiz 3 Hand Painted Cherry Blossom photos via Fubiz 44. Finally, learning about the Kaos Temple on Yatzer really blew me away! Spanish artist Okuda San Miguel really transforms the former Santa Barbara church with his characteristic geometric style murals based on the Kaos star reference. kaos star via chaos grimoireYou just have to see the images on Yatzer to really understand how a church can come back to life not only as a skateboard palace but now affectionately known now as the Kaos [skate] temple where skateboarding and other miracles happen. Not surprisingly the origin of the word Chaos comes from Kaos, From Ancient Greek χάος (“vast chasm, void”), but in this case, I think a unique order has been implemented.

Kaos Temple_yatzer_AIE 1

Kaos Temple photos via Yatzer

Kaos Temple_yatzer_AIE 2 Kaos Temple_yatzer_AIE 3 Kaos Temple_yatzer_AIE 4 Kaos Temple_yatzer_AIE 5 Kaos Temple_yatzer_AIE 6Okuda San Miguel really takes his murals to church, so to speak, which brings a little more significance to this Take Me to Church song by Hozier.

You can read more about the artist’s background and design influence in his interview on Colossal.

Church Exterior via Colossal_AIE

Church Exterior via Colossal

Skate church via Colossal_AIE

Skate Church Interior

 

The Completion of a Life Size Bird Mural Starts the New Year

What a perfect way to start the new year with the completion of the life size bird mural, So Simple, a Beginning.

It was about a year ago that I first wrote about Jane Kim of InkDwell‘s endeavor to depict the evolution of the world’s birds in a giant 70 x 40 foot mural for Cornell University’s Department of Ornithology. It’s taken a year and that’s pretty miraculous considering the intricate detail and accuracy involved to paint 270 birds and even a few dinosaurs.

Here are InkDwell‘s photos below showing the stunning result. Casart wallcoverings were used in the early stage as temporary wallpaper templates for the continents and geographical locations on top of which the birds were painted.

1_Many birds painted by Jane Kim on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Many birds painted by Jane Kim

African Section of mural on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

African Section of mural

Cassowary bird painted by Jane Kim on Slipcovers for your walls, casartblog

Cassowary Bird

Jane adding details Secretary Bird_casartblog

Secretary Bird

early stage of bird mural_casartblog

Early Stages

Cormorant in progress_casartblog

Cormorant in progress

Great grey owl_casartblog

Great Grey Owl

Detail Broadbill bird_casartblog

Detail Broadbill Bird

Great Hornbill_casarblog

Great Hornbill

Congratulations to Jane and her crew for all their hard work to create the largest and first-of-its-kind educational mural about the evolution of birds!!

Casart coverings is glad to have played even a small part in this major endeavor.

Next time you’re in New York, be sure to visit the Cornell University’s Lab of Ornithology to see the mural in person and perhaps even do a little bird watching while there.

Something New for a Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

This just may be the year to try something new.

For instance, if cleaning clutter and starting with fresh palette in your home is an objective, then find ways to use old things, like using old catalogs to make decorative Christmas trees that you can give as gifts for next year. Check off list early — Christmas gifts for next year are already done and catalogs gone. Cheers!

Christmas catalog tree on Art Is EverywhereYou can also recycle using Freecycle, where one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Post what you don’t want, leave it outside your house and chances are, someone will answer the call and pick up as theirs to claim.

Merry Christmas from the City of Lights

Picking up from my last post, my husband had a lot more pictures while at the COP21 Conference in Paris.

I thought they would be worth sharing in a post to express a Merry Christmas from the City of Lights.

In Paris COP21 country flag columns on Art Is Everywhere

Country flags decorate COP21 conference columns.

Trees and green projection at COP21 conference in Paris on Art Is Everywhere

Could this be Obscura Digital with the Racing Extinction folks projecting green and trees onto conference buildings?

Torch-like street lights make the streets festive in Paris on Art Is Everywhere

Torch-like street lights make the streets festive.

This is a crazy street scene, typical of driving in Paris. I’m not sure how it was filmed. Where’s the median?

 

Polar bear window display in Paris on Art Is Everywhere

Window displays simply and beautifully celebrate the winter holiday season…

Fashionable window display in Paris on Art Is Everywhere

… and dressing up…

Christmas display in Paris on Art Is Everywhere

… and Christmas

Notre Dame at night on Art Is Everywhere

Notre Dame at night is breathtaking with its intricate architecture.

Side view of Notre Dame at night on Art Is Everywhere

On the Seine on Art Is Everywhere

Along the Seine

Church facade in Paris on Art Is Everywhere

Church facade

Hector Guimaud's famous Metropolitan Metro entrance in Paris on Art Is Everywhere

Hector Guimaud’s famous Metropolitan Metro entrance

Montmartre on Art Is Everywhere

Montmartre

Beautiful mosaics inside Montmartre on Art Is Everywhere

Beautiful mosaics inside

Arc de Triomphe on Art Is Everywhere

Arc de Triomphe

Even the architectural coverups are artistic in Paris on Art Is Everywhere

Even the architectural coverups are artistic

A view from the top of Arc de Triomphe on Art Is Everywhere

A view from the top of the Arc…

... and an Eiffel Tower half visible in fog on Art Is Everywhere

… and an Eiffel Tower half visible in fog

View of the electric Champs Élysées on Art Is Everywhere

View of the electric Champs Élysées

 

Paris' Eternal Flame at the Arc on Art Is Everywhere

Paris’ Eternal Flame at the Arc

It’s so great to see Parisians celebrating life and this festive Christmas season.

What would Christmas be without people, friends and family and…

Parisian people and Christmas lights on Art Is Everywhereexceptional food as in this delectable French menu and…

A menu of delectible Parisian food on Art Is Everywhereand wonderful wine, bien sur!

Glorious French wine on Art Is EverywhereTo end, a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower is all decked out in red.

Miniature Eiffel Tower in Red on Art Is EverywhereWishing you a Merry Christmas!

 

 

 

 

 

Racing Extinction

After watching the film Racing Extinction, I thought it deserving of a blog post, because not only is it well done,* I like animals and  I’ve posted about efforts to save sharks and others before but it uses art to get its point across. In writing this post, I realized there have been a series of coincidental confluent events taking place in the process.

manta ray digital obscura projection on Art Is Everywhere

Majestic Manta Rays are just some of the animals featured and with a positive outcome.

At the time of this writing, the film has had over 11.5 million viewers, and just the other day, the video sound collaborators projected inspirational images of near extinct animals on the outside of the Vatican. Confluence #1: I just posted about the Pope and a mural created in his honor in my last post.

Racing Extinction on Art Is EverywhereOK, the location and animation in itself is pretty amazing. Just watch. Note: it requires patience for it starts after 10 minutes of silence with a lot of pauses and shots of the audience at night with only camera phones visible. It’s a meditative piece that is different than the Racing Extinction film but serves a similar purpose. There is no commentary only images and sounds of the animals with beautiful transitions. This gives a lot of time for reflection, which is the objective after all.

You’ll be amazed at how many animals are on the extinction list. Most all of the butterflies that I have painted + my clown fish in my fish tank (precisely because they are in people’s fish tanks and coral reef depletion). These are just to name a few that will hit home.

butterfly digital obscura 1 on Art Is Everywherebutterfly digital obscura 2 on Art Is Everywherebutterfly digital obscura 3 on Art Is Everywhereclown fish digital obscura projection on Art Is EverywhereI had already sent the film information to my husband, who happens to be attending the Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, thinking he might see the Racing Extinction folks in attendance. No report yet but coincidentally and yet probably strategically planned to market the film a the time of this climate change conference. Confluence #2. Instead, I received a beautiful picture of Paris, “the city of [Christmas / holiday] lights.”

Side note: I enjoyed watching the U2 Live concert the same night they just played in Paris. I always wanted to see them play live and I felt like I was there. There were a lot of moving moments and it was incredible how immediate the news was about it, with thoughts of Paris and San Bernadino and terrorism on everyone’s minds.

Paris Lights on Art Is EverywhereBesides man over fishing and killing animals, the film claims that the extinction of some animals is due to climate change. *Here’s where my politics differ to some degree but this is not a political blog so I won’t belabor points here because it’s been a roundabout argument from both sides of the subject. I’ll just say that I agree that some sensible steps to reduce carbon and methane emissions should be carefully considered and where adversely and economically impacted, there has to be a mutual meeting ground in order to get results. I do not believe man is completely in control of the world’s climate — that would be a tall and bold and almost arrogant “projection” to make when the world’s natural climate is changing all the time and there are larger forces than just man alone contributing. Nonetheless, the Racing Extinction group has a petition started on their website, if you’d like to join.

Confluence #3. I had mentioned I had written about efforts helping animal extinction before. This is the film’s main focus. OK, man is one of those animals but primarily it is about other animals with whom we share the planet. The manta ray and rare birds are among some. Confluence #4 will be in a separate post documenting the history of the world’s birds in a mural just completed and about which I just received the story alert at the time of this writing.

Regarding the Oceanic Preservation Society’s film production team: One of the photographers, Joel Sartore, creator of the Photo Arc [I’d like to feature in a single blog post, it is so impressive] and in fact the director, Louie Psihoyos, all work and have worked for the National Geographic, a publication I have been a long time supporter of and even took over my father’s subscription from 1921. I’m still wondering what to do with all the magazines because I’m running out of space, but I renew each year. The visuals and stories are worth reading and I like to support its efforts as well as its photographers, like Stephen Alvarez, about whom I’ve written before. Confluence #5.

Finally, this large-scale film projection is created and “performed” by Obscura Digital, behind the creative force of Travis Threlkel its founder and projection mapping. It is another group about which I’ve featured in a blog post (Confluence #6). Their creative concept is to use not only the Vatican but other buildings while traveling around in a Tesla and projecting on surfaces as moving graffiti if you will is both clever, ambitious and innovative. I’m in awe of the entire production from conception to execution to strategically creating the necessary buzz to spread the word, that there is one thing everyone can do. This in itself, may be an initial start to seeing results. I’ve already started…

Largest Paint By Number Project Gets a Papal Boost

During Pope Francis’ trip to the United States, he dropped by to sign his name to the largest paint by number project in Philadelphia.

The mural, Faith and Family in the 21st Century, was officially dedicated on November 30th. It is made up of 153  5 foot square panels painted at the World Meeting of Families on Sept 25. It is the largest 4,200 square feet mural painted by more than 2,700 people and Pope Francis added the final touch with his signature.

Largest Paint by number mural signed by Pope Francis_Mural on Art Is EverywhwereMost likely the mural will also gain fame as being entered into the Guinness Book of World Records.

 Meg Saligman’s impressive public artwork, Undoing Knots, was on display during the Pope’s visit at Basilica of St. Peter and Paul. It is composed of over 100,000 individual ribbons with handwritten personal struggles that are tied to the 13 feet high and 20 wooden framework that encircles the basilica dome.

Meg Saligman_undoing knots1_Art Is Everywhere

Meg Saligman photos via Omaha.com

Meg Saligman_undoing knots2_Art Is Everywhere Meg Saligman_undoing knots3_Art Is EverywhereMs. Saligman is most noted for her incredibly large, realistic public art murals in Philadelphia and across the country. We saw some of her work when we were in the city last taking a self-guided public mural tour on foot.

Philadelphia Muses by Meg Fish Saligman_Art Is Everywhere

Philadelphia Muses mural by Meg Fish Saligman

There are a couple other recent news items to update.

Regarding the controversial mural I wrote about in Jefferson County, Alabama, the committee was split on a decision for what to do. They agreed to hire a consultant to see if the murals could be removed safely. If not, they will have to come up with another solution. There are two more areas within the courtroom to paint updated murals showing progression with a more contemporary viewpoint.

With the December Christmas season starting to get into full swing, I thought this mural painted by Agostino Lacurci in Rome, Italy, reminded me of a certain jolly fella. Think so?

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