Monday, August 10, 2009

Birthday Weekend

This weekend was hot but we had fun. We focused on sculpture. On Friday night we went to a "collaborative art event" at Tall Grass Gallery and Governor's State University. There was a quick gallery tour at Tall Grass--they have a new sculpture exhibit "With These Hands." There are some really interesting pieces in the exhibit.

Then we were bussed over to GSU for a tour of the Manilow Sculpture Garden that didn't happen (impending rain, that also didn't happen, changed the plan). Instead we saw a slide show of a long-term exhibit in the part of Horizons by Steinunn Thorarinsdottir.

The sculpture is figural and very interesting and the slide show included slides of the pieces from several installations as the exhibit has traveled around the U.S. so we got to see different perspectives. It will be at the Manilow park through next summer. We could see the figures standing across a small lake from the building we were in. It was kind of eerie in the sunset.

We also got an overview of the sculpture park and then a talk on some Oceanic ethnographic objects currently on display at the University. They included two carved posts and other objects from one men's house.

On Sunday we finally got out to the Illinois State Museum gallery in Lockport, IL to see a retrospective exhibit of the work of L. Brent Kington. He worked in both fine, miniature cast silver and larger, elegant iron and steel sculptures. While his silver work is rather baroque, his work as a blacksmith is minimalistic and sinuous--not something I'd associate with the material.

We could identify many influences from history, literature, art and different cultures in his work. He could take three long pieces of metal and shape them very simply, yet they told an entire story...I found it really inspiring and it reminded me how important it is to get out and see all sorts of art and experience every culture.

This exhibit runs through September 25. (Lockport also has a great quilt shop, Thimbles, just up the street from the Gallery.)

Oh, and we bought a car Saturday. We pretty much finalized the purchase of a new red Toyota Rav4 with the government stimulus money. Our "klunker" is a 1990s Chevy Suburban and the gas mileage was pretty bad so we will get the full stimulus amount. Paperwork is being processed and the car due in the next delivery. (oh, and, no, contrary to what the news media keeps reporting: we weren't planning on trading the Suburban in soon anyway--we would have driven it until the wheels fell off. And, yes, the only reason we decided we could do this now was the boost from the stimulus money.) The car's on order--I'll post a photo when it arrives.

Work has been flat-out crazy-busy, not what one usually expects from summer in an academic environment, but there it is. My birthday was no exception. Lots of fun things happened, though. A high-school friend found me on Facebook, a niece noticed it was my birthday and sent greetings, I got some lovely e-cards and e-mails from friends.

At home hubby had lovely plans. A nice dinner with a big piece of cake for me, a sparkly card with and I.O.U. to go see the Harry Potter exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry and a big bar of luxury chocolate. He even picked out a movie he knew I wanted to see: My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I think he thought he'd hate it (chic flick), but instead he laughed and enjoyed it as much as I did.

World Embroideries dropped by with a lovely gift--one of her amazing temari balls--I am thrilled and honored. The two sides are different and I spent a lot of time just looking at it last night.


Colleen said...

Wow!! What a busy weekend!! Glad you had a wonderful Birthday!

Judy S. said...

Sounds like you had a very nice birthday, Marjorie. A belated Happy Birthday to you!

Kathy said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

Sounds like you had a very busy weekend. But a good one.

I love that temari ball. So pretty.