Sunday, May 31, 2015

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is located downtown near the Walker Art Center.  I discovered it when I was visiting St Paul.  Looking through the “things to go in the area” magazine in the hotel, I saw a picture of Spoonbridge and Cherry.  I had to see it in person.  In less than 45 minutes I was in Minneapolis.

Here is my other favorite sculpture from the garden.  It consisted of 4 walls that were both transparent and reflective.  I tried to take a photo to show that I could see through the glass wall to the other side and also see my reflection.  The experience differed at each of the 4 walls based on the angle of the sun.  The effect was fascinating.

My friend and I are standing on one side of the wall.
The tress in the background are on the other side of the wall.

A ghost-like reflection

This side of the wall (exactly opposite of the 1st photo)
is entirely reflective based on the sun.

The garden also includes a conservatory that houses a large, glass sculpture of a fish.  The flowers that were blooming made the conservatory smell amazing!

I want to go back to Minneapolis one day to visit the Walker Art Center, which houses contemporary art.  What are some of your favorite museums?

- christina

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Transformation

I know I frequently mention my BFF and, once again, she will be the subject of my post.  My BFF visited me over spring break with the singular goal to reorganize my 3 large craft cabinets. Yes, we always have the goal of making art when we are together (see this post), but on this visit she was like a woman possessed.  She specifically arrived one day early to tackle my cabinets while I was at work.  Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, she pulled efficiency out of chaos and clutter!  And she enjoyed herself, mostly because it is easier to organize someone else’s hoarded collection of art supplies than it is to organize your own.

Here is where the transformation began.

1 of my 3 unorganized cabinets

Everything had to be unloaded.  Who knew I had so much stuff?

We purchased clear shoeboxes from The Container Store, the key to the organization plan.  Luckily I went to work while my BFF slaved over all the flotsam and jetsam, which she divided into themes - paper, fabric, jewelry.  The transformation was 90% completed when I returned from work, and the change was remarkable.


Paper & Jewelry


We used 32 shoe boxes.

My BFF started an excellent labeling system!

I have to share the amazing fact that while my BFF was organizing my cabinets she also cooked a large pot of vegetarian chili for our dinner.  It was delicious.  She rocks and I am lucky to have her as a best friend.

The cabinets are finished and I vow to keep them organized.  Maybe next time I go to visit my BFF we can organize her craft room.  Maybe. :)

- christina

Sunday, May 10, 2015


“Creativity begins with a problem.”

    Jonah Lehrer, from the book Imagine

I listened to the audio book Imagine on my recent drive to St. Paul.  The book is about creativity: what it is, who has it, and how to encourage it in individuals and organizations.  I really enjoyed the book and was considering suggesting it to my book club, so I went to Amazon to read some reviews.  Boy, was I surprised?  Imagine was removed from shelves by the publisher in 2012 because the author was found guilty of plagiarism and fabricating quotes (specifically quotes by Bob Dylan).  I was so disappointed.

In spite of the controversy surrounding the book, it did make me think about creativity.  I had not previously connected the word ”problem” to “art” but now I see how those two go together.  When I imagine a completed piece of art I have to problem solve ways to make it come to fruition.  What media should I use?  How large should the piece be?  How will I attach/mount/hang it?  For me there is something comforting about thinking of making art as a problem to be solved.  Perhaps it is my analytical side that wants creativity to be more tangible.

The author points out that creativity requires combining ideas and skills from all areas of background knowledge.  In order to accomplish that, he suggests a less focused approach.  Step away from the problem you are trying to solve, think about the forest rather than an individual tree, and talk to people who have no connection to the problem.  You never know how an idle conversation around the water cooler or an interaction at the gym might spark an idea that leads to a breakthrough.  Similarly, the author sites a study that showed people with ADHD are more creative due to their inability to focus.  I now have doubts about the authenticity of that study, but it is an interesting hypothesis to consider while working with students.

The bottom line is that creativity is complex, challenging, intriguing and often elusive.  Most of all, it must be practiced.  So off I go to work on my art ….

- christina