Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Halloween Past

35 years ago.
My college roommate Laura and I won first prize
 in a costume contest.
Groucho and Harpo Marx.
Fun times!
I wasn't always a 'party-poop.'

Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Work is what you do for others...Art is what you do for yourself." ~Stephen Sondheim

 On our recent trip to Chicago
this is where I lived for two entire days.
The Art Institute of Chicago.
And I still didn't see everything within it's walls.

 The museum is just a block from the edge of Millennium Park.

 There was an interesting fountain with images of faces projected
 on large columns facing each other.
Each face would morph into another face.
After each face would smile it would purse it's lips
and a strong stream of water would shoot out.
Little children were having such fun playing underneath it.

This famous painting, 
'A Sunday on La Grande Jatte'
by French painter, George Seurat
has always been a favorite.
One of my most loved musicals is Stephen Sondheim's
Sunday in the Park with George
based on Seurat's life and this painting.
The painting was done in the style of Pointillism,
  painted with thousands of dots.

 I have always adored this painting as well.
'Paris Street, Rainy Day'
by Gustave Caillebotte.

 There were several paintings by Monet.
His famous Water Lilies series and this one called 'Irises.'
It really was a thrill to realize I was seeing the originals
of so many paintings I had studied in my 
arts and humanities classes.

Exciting to see several Degas' ballerinas.
I loved these paintings as a child;
ballet being my first love.

 I got carried away taking so many photos and trying to take it all in
 that I had to take a mid-day break to recharge my battery
 (and my phone battery.)

There was a special exhibit of the work of Belgian Surrealist 
Rene Magritte.
I am not a huge fan of Surrealism
but wanted to see it while I was there.
It was strange and fascinating.
 I recognized many of the images from art books I have read.
 This image is featured prominently in John Green's book,
The Fault in Our Stars.
'This is not a pipe.'

 There was a gallery that displayed all of the beautiful works of
  Tiffany Decor and Glass Company
Especially adored this exquisite window called 'Lilies.' (1892-95)

And, of course, the famous Tiffany Lamp.

 There was an entire wall titled 'American Windows'
by famed French stained glass artist
Marc Chagall (1887-1985)

 This was really exquisite.
A wax on plaster head created by
American artist, Malvina Hoffman (1887-1966)
of the renowned ballerina Pavlova.
She had seen her perform in London
and they became close friends.

'The Old Guitarist'
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

 'Abraham Lincoln'
Daniel Chester French (1850-1931)
This is the bronzed, smaller version
of the life-sized Lincoln Memorial
in Washington D.C.

 There was an entire gallery devoted to glass paper-weights as art.
A gentleman had donated his lifetime collection.
Several walls had mountings of the weights
 done in  patterns like kaleidoscopes.
They were just beautiful.
If you look closely you will see bees
 surrounding a hive with flowers.

 No museum is complete without a portrait gallery.
I was particularly drawn to this emotional painting,
'The Captive Slave'
by John Philip Simpson (1827)

This beautiful memorial fountain is at the edge of Millennium Park.
The park was finished in 2004.

The day before we were to fly home from Chicago
a distraught O'Hara Airport employee tried to kill himself 
by burning a major traffic control center.
2000 flights were cancelled and
 the entire Midwest was at a stand-still.
It affected the entire airline industry.
Some of my husband's colleagues were at the airport
 ready to board a flight.
They opted to rent a car and drive to Indiana to fly out.
When we arrived at the airport Saturday morning, 
it was like a ghost-town.
Still many cancelled flights.
Our morning flight was delayed 4 times until the evening
but fortunately we were able to fly home.
Quite the adventure.
I will close this post with a photo I took outside my plane window.
Doesn't it look like ice on an ocean?

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Sidewalks of Chicago

I did this photo in black and white as it reminded me of an old noir movie setting.
A few weeks ago I accompanied my husband on a 
business trip to the grand city of Chicago.
To be honest, it had never been on my list of places
 I was interesting in visiting.
However, I am so glad I tagged along.
It was fabulous!

The waterfront was right across from our hotel.
We enjoyed a stroll along side it on our first evening.
 I loved the architecture.
And, and of course Chicago can boast of having some of 
the greatest in the world.
(Home of Andrew Lloyd Wright.)
This is the home of WGN Radio
 housed in the Chicago Tribune Building.

This is another angle of the Chicago Tribune Building.
From here I began my walk on the 'Magnificent Mile.'

Here is a night shot of the famous Wrigley Building.

We enjoyed a delicious dinner at Giordanos.
Famous for Chicago deep-dish pizza.
This was the plaza outside the restaurant.
Perfect weather to eat outside.

 On my Magnificent Mile walk I enjoyed window shopping
at all the famous stores.
I had to make a stop at the American Girl Place.
Two of our daughters owned and loved 
an American Doll in their childhood.
This is the anchor store.
It was fun to see all the 'retired' dolls as well as the new models.

I especially loved this 60's era doll in the bug.

 Striking facade for Burberry, a famous London store.

 Neat to see the Chicago Theatre district as well.

 There were strange-looking horses in Chicago.

 Several boats took architect tours throughout the day.

 One evening we found a 'British Pub'
and had some 'authentic' British food such as
Bangers and Mash, Yorkshire Pudding and Pot Pie.
(My husband is always great 
about catering to my British obsessions.)

 Each day I walked through Millennial Park 
which was built in 2004.
I would sit for a bit and 'people-watch' as they gathered around this
giant silver jelly bean.
Fascinating installation.

Here is an artistic shot from inside and underneath the bean.

Next post I will share photos of where I spent most of my time.
Stayed tuned.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Rooftop (or rather 'Streettop' this time around)

 Photo by my talented friend Justin Hackworth

For those of you who still read my blog
you will be familiar with my association with 
The Rooftop Concert Series in Provo.
 This past Friday was the 5th Anniversary Concert.
The 'powers that be' behind this series had been working secretly
for at least 6 months to get Neon Trees to headline.
Back in 2011 when I was working my first season with the series,
Neon Trees was on deck to perform but had to regretfully back out
because of contract obligations with their record label.
(Their replacement that evening:
Imagine Dragons!
Go figure.)
Because Neon Trees had formed as a band in Provo
and basically started their fan base here,
they had always wanted to do the Rooftop.
Now a world-renowned band, it was a major coup to land them
for this concert. Logistically it was a challenge.
So when the surprise was announced only three days before the actual concert,
everything swung into high gear!

 Cammy and her friend Claire were excited.
We arrived early to stake out our spot.
As the evening wore on however, it didn't matter that we
had claimed a space.
It soon grew into one giant mosh of people.
Standing room only.

 Photo credit: Sam Schultz, owner of Sammy's, from the rooftop above.

It was an unbelievable night!
This is Center Street in Provo, Utah.
The crowds continued to swell throughout the concert.
(In fact, after the sad outcome of the BYU vs. USU football game,
Many fair-weather fans left to join this party.)
Keep in mind that my family attended the very first 
Rooftop Concert in 2010 and there were perhaps
 200 in attendance.
There has never been anything like this in Provo Town!

The openers were The Blue Aces, an all-girl band.
They have played the rooftop before.
These gals are a tight, amazing band,
formed in high school just a few years ago.
Now recent high school graduates.
Keep an eye on them.
They will go places.

 photo credit: Justin Hackworth

And of course, my FAVORITE local band:
They were the original headliners and were such good sports,
(in my opinion) to be bumped.
(It should be noted that they are good friends with Neon Trees
and there was nothing but positive love and respect going on.)
They sounded incredible singing many songs off their new album
which was released to the public that evening.

Photo of my advanced copy with a personal 'love note' for me:)
 I have blogged about this band before, so forgive the gushing.
They are meticulous musicians and wonderful, kind human beings.
I lovingly call them 'My Boys in the Band.'
They all have talented, beautiful wives
 and some have become fathers
since we first became friends.
Their new CD is fantastic and I feel they will have much success.

 I am a fan-girl at heart.
(21 years old on the inside.)
It was a treat to be invited to Fictionist's private preview party
for friends and family a few weeks ago,
hosted by our local music hot-spot Velour.
Robbie (lead guitar/vocals)
 took this silly photo with me at that event.

 Photo credit: Justin Hackworth

What can I say?
They rocked the house, or rather, the city!
Since I first heard them in 2007,
it is amazing to realize these four
returned Mormon missionaries are heard on radios stations
around the world and selling out concert venues everywhere.
It was great to hear of their love and devotion for Provo
(and Tyler Glenn made it very clear throughout their set.)

Mayor Curtis gave the band the Key to the City.
Drummer Elaine Bradley was beside herself,
 jumping around like a little girl on Christmas morning.
The energy was electric.
It was a night that will be remembered for a long time.

Blurry duo selfie.