The Other Zoo News – Washed Ashore

With all the tragic news about Harambe, the silverback gorilla that was shot to save a child at the Cincinnati Zoo, it’s nice to see other positive zoo news.

Washed Ashore is a multi-venue sculpture exhibit that is currently being hosted at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo through September 5, 2016. The large sea-life sculptures are made with plastic and other such trash items that have washed ashore.

What a great and colorful use of everyday, tossed-and-forgotten objects that really validates the statement, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” In this case, artwork that is truly everywhere.

washed-ashore-octopus-_Art Is Everywhere

washed-ashore-shark_Art Is Everywhere washed-ashore-parrotfish_Art Is EverywhereHere’s a little more info about Washed Ashore.org, their other exhibits and educational programs and what you can do with trash that you may find washed ashore on your beach this summer.

Jake Weidmann Wields a Mighty Pen

I ran across this video below about Jake Weidmann and his Master Penmanship, which is beyond just writing. His calligraphy, illustration, artwork and control over the pen just blew me away. I know how easy it is to mess up. He does to, Considering the detail involved in his work, it’s hard to imagine how many times he might have to start over to have a perfect version. I gave up perfection a long time ago but certainly can appreciate it as well as some human flaws that might add character.

I wasn’t familiar with his work but he wields a mighty pen.

He’s passionate about maintaining the human touch to art. The physical activity of putting pen to paper is strong enough to link the brain with intelligence, communication and engagement and learning beyond what just modern email or phone call, for that matter, can do.

Handwriting as we know it is inspired by Nature and how we interpret it. Writing for him is drawing and an artistic form of expression.

His art form calls for the necessity of making sure every human knows how to physically draw a letter onto paper. Bringing back the art form of writing letters is more than just nostalgic, it is a serious, time-labored endeavor with significant long-term meaning.

For instance would the Constitution have the same significance if it was an email?

In an age when we’re all moving to be more cloud based, which I certainly follow suit for convenience and backups, I also realize that “Digitality” loses permanence! Hard copy lasts, even if it does take up physical space. There is something “noteworthy” in the physical “indelibility” and maintaining a sense of dynamic culture through handwriting.

Weidmann is a true Renaissance man, not only mastering the pen but carving, creating them, building and carving a frame for his Master Penman certificate, that he wrote, illustrated and made — all art forms in and of themselves — but centered around the humble but mighty pen.

Jake Weidmann_Mightier_on Art is EverywhereJake Weidmann_Steward painting on Art IS EverywherHis handmade pens are beautiful but all sold out except this one.

Jake Weidmann_ergonomic pen on Art Is EverywhereAs he so eloquently says, “the written word gives such powerful life to [his] artwork.” And, I’d say in life. His portrait of Christ below was created in one single pen stroke!

Jake Weidmann_single stroke portrait of Christ on Art Is Everywhere

Down by the Sea

While vacationing in the OBX what better way to celebrate life than posting about a recent discovery about Google’s Ocean Project and in the process finding this Men at Work song that I hadn’t heard before — jazzy and reflective of the beach’s beauty and beyond.

Down by the sea
I found your hidden treasure
Just you and me,
We overdosed on pleasure…

Imagine searching for directions to somewhere on Google Maps and looking at the street view so you’ll know what your destination will look like in real-time as you drive to it. Google’s Ocean Project gives you this street view in the ocean — under the water. They are mapping the world’s oceans and I can’t think of anything more other-worldly, right here on earth and without having to travel far to find. Truly fascinating!

When you go to the site, click on any map marker in the bottom left and it will take you to a 3-D panoramic view of that underwater spot. You can click on any thumbnail picture view and go there as well.

Google Ocean project_2 on Art Is Everywhere

Google Ocean project_1 on Art Is Everywhere

Have fun searching and discovering a whole other word that most of us will rarely see in person. Here’s a magical spot in the Florida Keys, where I hope to visit someday in person.

Florida Keys_Google Project_Art Is EverywhereIn the meantime, I’m enjoying this Australian sea-side video set to Down By the Sea and the ocean at Ocracokein real-time. Just hope not to see any sharks this trip.

…Down by the sea
I found your hidden treasure
Just you and me
We over-dosed on pleasure

Listen to your heart
Screamin’ at the sky
Can’t you feel it tremble?
Don’t you wonder why?

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.

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

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