Spring Is Coming!

Spring forward! We have more daylight today as Daylight Savings Time begins!

Although spring isn’t officially here until the 20th, I really start to feel it when it’s light at night. Tonight it will be light until 7pm!

It also makes me start to think about things that I’d like to do this summer. I’ve been to Florida and California more recently than New York, which is so much closer! I just learned about an interesting art exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that I would love to see.

Right here in Boston, I’m interested in getting over to the Institute of Contemporary Art far more often. There are several exhibits I’m interested in seeing. As I write this, I’m sensing a theme. I guess I want to go to museums more often! Years ago, I would go on a regular basis and I really miss it.

But I don’t have to wait until summer to visit more museums. Let me focus on the present and what I can do now. Get myself to some museums! I work just a couple of T stops from the MFA, so I could even go for a lunch break.

Thinking about spring flowers and the end of winter, a passage that I recently read in a poem by Rumi, comes to mind.

That light reveals

flowers growing in this place.

I am so amazed:

where death is,

there flowers also grow.

Harvard University Dining: Meatballs Inspired by the Art of Corita Kent

Corita Kent Makes Meatballs SingBack in January, I wrote a post about a Corita Kent art exhibit in Pittsburgh. Those of us in the Boston area know her work from the bright colors on the gas tank by the expressway. But her art extends far beyond that.

Last month, a new exhibit of her work called, “Corita Kent and the Language of Pop” made its debut at Harvard Art Museums. The exhibit does not end until May 8, 2016*, so we have time to plan to see it — for those of us who are local or even if you are planning a trip to the Boston area. I will definitely make my way over there!

As a celebration of the exhibit, last week Harvard University Dining Services hosted a Corita Night in the dining halls. They asked, “what would happen if food and art collided?”

The Harvard Gazette reported that Chefs answered the question by creating meatballs inspired by her image “song about the greatness,” which was used in a DelMonte ketchup ad and reads “Makes meatballs sing.”

Luke Parker, Winthrop House’s senior chef, drew on his love of spice and dished out Thai chicken meatballs seasoned with curry, lemongrass, and coconut milk. …

Over in Leverett House, chef Kathleen Smith drew on her travels in Mexico — and her Mexican boyfriend — to create the night’s menu. Her albondigas came drenched in a spicy chipotle sauce.

Sounds like a delicious menu and shows how Corita Kent‘s art is timeless and continues to inspire us all.

*Updated 4/3/2016* I was just watching a segment on CBS Sunday Morning about Corita Kent and realized that I got the dates wrong on this post. Unfortunately the exhibit at Harvard ended in January and I missed it again! Ugh! Well, if you are near San Antonio, you do have until May 8th to see it.

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Image Credit: song about the greatness, © Courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Margaret Fisher Fund.

If You’re Decorating Your Office….

PacificoYou might be interested in some art by Isabel Shamitz. Especially if you’re looking for some nice art to decorate an office space. If you just want to look for free, then stop by the library this month and take a look.

During April, the Thomas Crane Public Library in Quincy, has an exhibit of Shamitz’s work called A Tale of Two Cities: an exploration of Boston and Quincy images.

As I was walking around picking up some books that I had put on hold and looking at the new DVDs, I saw her paintings. The colors, texture and mood drew me right in! Because the exhibit focuses on the Quincy and Boston area, I recognized some places too.

If you’re from the area, you’ll probably have a sense of familiarity. Also, Shamitz’s style reminded me of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks.

That feeling of looking into the private world of another by glancing into a coffee shop window and seeing strangers interact. A certain light that puts you into a nostalgic mood when you’re not even sure what you’re feeling nostalgic about. But it’s there and quite palpable.

Since my work brings me to many a different office, one of the first things that I notice is the art work on the walls. That and where is the coffee located.

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Image: Screen shot of painting by Isabel Shamitz from Thomas Crane Public Library event website.

Corita Kent: Throwback Thursday: Boston Gas Tanks

Gas tank art of Corita KentAfter reading a recent article about Sister Corita Kent, it reminded me of my 1991 picture of the two gas tanks. Now there is only one gas tank, but thankfully the beautiful art of Corita Kent was preserved.

As a child, I used to be so excited when I would see the familiar Boston landmark. The big splashes of bright colors painted on one of the two gas tanks as my father drove our family into Boston countless times on the expressway. Until I saw that gas tank, I never thought about art being placed on objects that weren’t necessarily art. Corita Kent brought art to the masses even if you weren’t looking for it. There it was.

On January 31st, an exhibit of her work will be opening at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh called Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent. The exhibit will be there until April 19th and covers more than 30 years of her work. Below is an excerpt from the website.

In her rich and varied career, she was a designer, teacher, feminist, and activist for civil rights and anti-war causes. Her thousands of posters, murals, and signature serigraphs reflect these combined passions for faith and politics. Kent became one of the most popular graphic artists of the 1960s and ‘70s, and her images remain iconic symbols that address the larger questions and concerns of that turbulent time and continue to influence many artists today.

While several exhibitions have focused on Corita’s work from the ‘60s, Someday is Now is the first major museum show to survey her entire career, including early abstractions and text pieces as well as the more lyrical works made in the 1970s and 1980s. The exhibition also includes rarely shown photographs Corita used for teaching and documentary purposes.

This looks like a great exhibit if you get the chance to go. It appears to be traveling to different cities, so maybe it will stop by a location near you.

Edgar Allen Poe Statue in Boston

Edgar Allen Poe Square in Boston

We had another unseasonably warm day in Boston yesterday. Since I was already downtown meeting with someone for an article that I am working on, I decided to enjoy the weather and walk around a bit afterwards.

Edgar Allen Poe is a favorite writer of mine, and a new statute of him was just unveiled in Boston this past Sunday, October 5th.

Edgar Allen Poe Statue in Boston

I walked over to Edgar Allen Poe Square and took a look for myself. It’s so much smaller than I expected! There were a few other people walking around looking and taking pictures too.

If you were walking and not paying attention, say looking down at your phone, it would be quite easy to smash into it and take quite a topple.

The directions that I was given by various people were sketchy at best. Let me give you the benefit of my wandering around and make it easier for you to find.

If you take the T, get out at Boylston Street on the Green Line. After you exit, cross the street onto Boylston Street and walk away from Boston Common towards Charles Street and looking at Park Square.

While I was admiring the statue, I couldn’t help but think about all the negative comments Poe made about the city of his birth. He was not fond of Boston.

Does he like this or is he rolling over in his grave? Something to think about with Halloween arriving soon and the man who wrote to terrify now conjured up and walking amongst us. The “Do Not Enter” sign appearing before him might just be taking on a whole new meaning…..