Our skies have gone from looking like this every day.
To about as blue as you can get. I’ve taken a couple of bike rides and they have been grueling in the heat.
Even on Flag Day. Not too many people celebrate Flag Day any longer.
While going to the library the other day I checked out this installation nearby.
I love fun stuff like this.
I don’t know who made or who paid for it but I’ll take it.
And a shot from the past,
From the past!! This is (was) the the River West Amphitheater on the west bank of the Arkansas River in Tulsa. Back in the day there were all sorts of concerts, local and touring bands and orchestras, rock, country, anything. It is now all gone. I never saw an event there but the performers were on this stage out floating in the water and everybody else was on the bank. I took lots of photos of it on my after work runs.
I suscribe to Philbrook Museum‘s instagram feed and for weeks they have been posting images of a new “Installation” in the gardens at Philbrook of a 19th century cabin shingled with plasticized clothes and a fireplace made out of books. So I have been muttering to myself this whole time, “What are they up to now??? a cabin shingled with t shirts???” Them crazy artist types at it again.
So I ventured over there last week. We have a family membership thanks to Nana, the world’s greatest MIL. So I can check on those artist types whenever I want.
And yep, it is true. Philbrook has built a cabin out in the back 40 of their acreage and it has plastisized tshirts for shingles on the roof, and chinking in the logs, along with some LED lights. And a fireplace made out of books.
And they have some beautiful stained glass windows and some great many lights in the ceiling made out of found glass. And you know what it all works. It was a dark, overcast day outside but inside it was bright and sunny and just plain wonderful. My iphone pics do not do it justice. It was a very bright happy place. Light was coming in everywhere but the floor!!
The artist behind all this is Karl Unnasch, who specializes in stained glass and all things considered with light.
This whole”Installation” thing is something new to me and it seems that Philbrook is doing more of these. They seem to be temporary and not meant to last forever and you know somehow it works for me. So I guess that I approve of this cabin and what the artist types are up to.
This installation is called “Slumgullion (The Venerate Outpost)” If you know what that means, please let us know. Or at least let me know since everybody but me seems to think it makes perfect sense.
Check out Philbrook’s web site. They got all sorts of info on hours and what they are doing, which is considerable. You know they have two sites now, right?
Sunday morning the family got up and Logan had breakfast and we dropped him off at his job at the Neighborhood Walmart and Heather and I went to have breakfast. Afterward we headed out to Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum of Art to check out their newest exhibit “Innovative Expressions” which turned out to be very academic but interesting. It showcased the printmaking art of Mary Cassatt, Edgar Degas, and Camille Pissarro. I learned some things that I didn’t know before. I didn’t take any photos though. Check it out if you are in town. It is open until September 9.
After the exhibit we toured the three levels of galleries. It doesn’t take us long as we have been there many times before so seeing the art is like meeting old friends. Philbrook does a good job of swapping things out and so we always see things we hadn’t seen before. I love Thomas Moran’s “Grand Canyon” (above).
And this one is a favorite of mine. I am from New Mexico and too me nothing beats snow on adobe like this, “Tesuque (Dark Houses)” by Theordore Van Soelen. It is also special because when I was born my family was living the Tesuque Ranger Station.
This is one that I don’t remember seeing but Heather told me that it has been on display before. So meet my new friend, “Bridge over the Stour” by Childe Hassam. I love it.
Next we went to the gardens of the museum. It had been raining earlier but then settled into a very light sprinkle. The tempietto in the background may be the most photographed item in Tulsa. I think it is beautiful. I’m always trying to think of something new so here I focused on the flowers which caused the tempietto to soften. You can tell there is a person on the other side of the pond who is way out of focus.
It is my lovely wife, Heather. The gardens at Philbrook are especially lush this time of year. Their gardening staff really works hard keeping things tidy and green.
I spotted a purple coneflower.
Another area of the gardens that I liked.
We had a great leisurely couple of hours at Philbrook. It is a great place to get away from it all for a short time. If you plan on visiting check their web site for all sorts of information for days and hours of operation, special exhibits, events and all sorts of other information.
We have something new in downtown Tulsa. Stickwork artist Patrick Dougherty, with a lot of help, installed “Prairie Schooners” at Tulsa’s least used park, Chapman Centennial Green on the south edge of downtown. The project was sponsored by the Urban Core Art Project.
It is made up of branches and sticks from trail cleanup and tree trimming projects here in Tulsa. They are in there very good. The day I took these photos there was a gale blowing downtown and the structures were not going anywhere. The tops were waving about fairly well. I don’t know how they rooted the structures in but they in good.
Prairie Schooners is what the covered wagons that the pioneers used to go west and steal land from the Native Americans. I can see the resemblance to that. It also looks like sailboats out ocean.
The structures bend and wave in the strong wind and seem almost alive, they way they move. They look ghostly.
An example of the complex and very strong weaving of the natural materials used to make the structures.
They are very complex and make little rooms and there are no “Do not touch” signs anywhere. The place invites touching. It’s a very happy place.
It is due to be installed for a year, until March 2019, so you got some time to check it out yourself.
I was running around at lunch Thursday and decided to pop in to the Philbrook Museum to check out their new acquisition of Kehinde Wiley’s “Equestrian Portrait of King Philip IV.” I’ve seen several photographs of it but you know, with paintings you really have to be be there.
The painting is huge. It takes up a whole wall. It shows a black man in a modern urban camo outfit atop a horse in a classic pose, complete with a sword. The rest of the painting could have come from a few hundred years ago. It is obvious that the painter is skilled and I didn’t have the “Are you kidding me” reaction I get sometimes with modern art. Wiley has been chosen to paint President Obama’s portrait to be unveiled this year.
The subject in the painting is very engaging. He is kind of half glancing at the room and that has changes the tone from your usual painting. And the painting’s colors are vivid and the paint seems so fresh it sparkles. It is a striking work. And yet I worry about how this work will age. Will it still be on display in 50 years or will it be stuck in storage somewhere. I know it is modern art, and nobody knows how modern art is going to “age.” So I am glad that they went got this instead of something “safer.”
I highly recommend that you check this painting out for yourself. Like I said it is a very striking work of art.
Chihuly’s art is amazing. Blown glass with all sorts of colors made into all sorts of shapes. Big pieces, little pieces, everything.
As good as the art is, the presentation is also special. The setting, the lighting, everything is perfect. Not only the glass but the shadows and the reflections are part of the installation.
All sorts of designs are his hallmark.
They had some of his paintings on display along with three videos of him in action. His painting technique fascinated me. This isn’t some guy with a beret dabbing at a canvas. He paints directly from the tubes in big bold strokes. He drips paint from buckets, it is all very physical. They had videos of the glass being blown. Big burly guys struggling with the big pieces trying to get the color and shapes right. This is very muscular art.
The exhibition has two parts “Chihuly in the Gallery” and “Chihuly in the Forest.” The piece above seemed to hover in mid air and seemed alive as it shimmered in the sun. It reminded me of something from a Stephen King story. This piece contains over a thousand individual pieces.
The art seemed a part of the forest, the woods and the glass complimenting each other.
Once a week or so they have a nightime exhibit. I think that would be spectacular.
I love this boat.
And these two pieces.
And not far away were two fawns. That is cool. I don’t know where mom was. They were in a safe spot.
Afterwards we drifted in the town square of Bentonville to eat and came across Sam Walton’s first store and museum.
They had an old time soda fountain with ice cream at 99 cents a scoop. Not a bad finish to a great road trip.
Friday was my day off and I went to Tulsa’s Philbrook Museum to check out the recently opened exhibition of a selection of Cheech Marin’s collection of Chicano Art. Marin is of course half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong. Who knew that he had a world famous collection of Chicano Art?
Tirando Rollo (I Love You) by Gaspar Enriquez
It is amazing. A wide variety of styles of both established and new artists. They were all new to me. I had never seen an exhibition dedicated to Chicano art before.
If La Virgen Returned by Pablo Andres Cristi
Many of the works are political or religious in nature and they all express strong emotions such as the above work by Cristi reflecting his feeling that the Catholic Church has hurt his people more than helped.
I have not heard the word “Chicano” used very much in decades. Growing up in New Mexico it was a common term and seemed interchangeable with Mexican-American with connotations of cultural pride. I don’t know why I haven’t heard it in Oklahoma especially since there is quite a bit of Hispanic cultural influence here. From my brief survey on the internet the term is still controversial and not everybody considers in a positive light.
I found the art to be remarkable and very good and succeeded maybe in enlarging my world a little bit. The exhibition recently opened and will be a Philbrook until early September. Check the Philbrook link for deatails.