Monthly Archives: May 2014

Fujiko Nakaya’s fog installations

'Veil' at the Glass House

‘Veil’ at the Glass House

Imagine fog as a medium for creating art.  How cool (damp, too….) is that?

Fujiko Nakaya is a Japanese artist who uses fog to create art installations.  Her father was a physicist who made the first artificial snowflakes.  Ms Nakaya uses a chemical free, fine nozzle system adapted from an invention originally intended for agricultural use.

Ms Nakaya presented her first fog installation at the Osaka World Expo in 1970.  She currently has The Glass House in Connecticut enveloped in fog.  She says, “I’m making an invisible, natural phenomenon visible.”

Unfortunately, the Art Caravan won’t be travelling to New Canaan, Connecticut any time soon…..but, who knows?  The installation is open to the public from May 1 to November 30, 2014.

Dale Chihuly, Chihuly Garden and Glass

When you’re in Seattle…..

The Chihuly Garden and Glass is another ‘must see’ museum in Seattle.  Not to be confused with the Museum of Glass, in Tacoma,  this is a new development which opened in 2012.  showcasing the glass work of  Dale Chihuly.

There’s a series of galleries, exhibiting his work in chronological sequence, as well as a glass house/conservatory, and the gardens.  When you go, make sure you see the videos, too.  The scenes from the river installation are not to be missed.

May is a great time to visit.  As they say in the Northwest, “…it’s all about the spring gardens.”

Here is a short list (shortlist*) of reasons why I like the Seattle Art Museum….

Inopportune: Stage One

Inopportune: Stage One

-the art (of course)  It begins outside the building, with the Impressive Hammering Man sculpture. In the foyer is the attention grabbing installation, Inopportune: Stage One by Cai Guo-Qiang.  It never ceases to amuse, thrill and entertain me.  All this wonderful art work, and you haven’t even paid for your ticket…..

reasonable membership rates   An annual membership (couple, or family, or individual) is under $100.

Perfectly garnished for the Miro exhibit!

Perfectly garnished for the Miro exhibit

the cafe   Taste features delicious food, and very good service, in an attractive room.

a gift shop (SAM Shop) AND a separate book shop (SAM Books)

Across the street from the SAM

Across the street from the SAM, viewed from Taste cafe

-location  It’s right downtown, with easy access for visitors, and, apparently, neighbours with a sense of humour

the name  Just like the WAG (Winnipeg Art Gallery) or the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), SAM is a comfortably familiar name to toss around…..”Goin’ to the SAM”


*the short list (shortlist) inspired by Jian Ghomeshi in his memoir 1982


Joan Miro at the Seattle Art Museum

I finally made it to the Joan Miro exhibition, The Experience of Seeing, at the Seattle Art Museum.  Very soon after entering the gallery, I unexpectedly ran into a colleague, who remarked, “I am strangely moved by the show.”   She voiced my feelings exactly.  Maybe it’s being in the presence of genius that moves us?  (I don’t know, but I do know I felt the same way when I visited Monet’s home and gardens in France.  So much beauty….but that’s a blog for another time.)

The Experience of Seeing deals largely with the last two decades of Miro’s life.  The numerous sculptures were a highlight for me.  They are engaging, and often whimsical creations of ‘found’ objects that are then cast in bronze, using lost wax casting . I wasn’t the only one walking around with a smile on my face….and I’d bet the creators of ET were familiar with Miro’s works.

The original Art Caravan

My first Art Caravan


Once upon a summer…..a long, long time ago……I spent a July and August doing art and crafts with kids in Red Deer, Alberta.  Every week I’d set up in a different city park, with the ‘arts and crafts’ trailer full of  supplies.  (Fortunately, I wasn’t responsible for moving the caravan to the new locations. The ‘Bug’ was a great car, but not up to any heavy towing…)

It was a great way to spend the summer: working outdoors, making things, and getting paid to do it.  Macrame, anyone?

The highlight of the week for the kids was when we  tie-dyed t-shirts.  It was a no-fail project they all liked:  instant colour, and functionality. My favourite part of the project came after the t-shirts were draped, or hung to dry.  As part of our ‘clean up’, we took the leftover dyes, grabbed some paintbrushes, and ’embellished’ the sidewalks and streets close by…..creating our own site specific, temporary works of art.