Always an Adventure
Many thanks to Mary C from my class in New Mexico this week who recommended this exhibition at the El Paso Museum of Art. I headed out of the Burro Street Boarding House early this morning in order to have plenty of time to enjoy the exhibit. Today I am excited to be making my way home to Orlando, because tomorrow Emilie turns 18!
The photos by David Douglas Duncan provided a look into the personal space and life of Picasso. There were photos of him working in his studio, enjoying personal time with his wife and children, and even sitting in the bath tub! The bath tub shot opened the show, and really made me smile. Pablo’s own smile from the tub was full of personality and certainly infectios. Mr. Duncan says that this was his very first meeting with Picasso, in the bathroom.
Of all the photos in the exhibition, and there were many, I think the one of Paloma and Pablo in the studio together was the one that moved me more than any other. When Emilie was this age she too would sit and work on her own art at the table in my studio. (A table that was a wedding gift to my parents, a table that my little brother had his model train on, the table that was in our kitchen when her father and I first moved into our house, before she was born). I used to keep art supplies and paper at the table, just for her. As Emilie balances on the cusp of a new stage of her life, I cannot help but reminisce in the memories of her childhood. I am sure that all of you Moms out there understand how I am feeling.
August 27th is the day Emilie and I travel together to Marymount Manhattan College, but I travel home alone.
Presentation is Everything
Isn’t it wonderful that art museums no longer have only white walls? It seems that both museums and galleries have gotten the memo that color on the walls contributes to the overall feel of the artwork being presented. Kudos for the El Paso Museum for their splashes of color throughout the Picasso exhibits and their entire space.
The El Paso Museum of art is free to the public, they do ask for a donation, but it is in no way mandatory. I was greeted at the door by employees who gave me a warm welcome and a quick overview of the space, explained the photography rules, pointed out the locations of the elevators and rest rooms, and lastly suggested the optional donation. Truly a first class experience.
In conjunction with the photography exhibit, there was a display of Picasso’s artwork on posters. The above poster, which reproduces Guernica, was the largest poster in the exhibition, and by far my favorite. This mural-sized oil painting on canvas was completed in 1937. The painting, which uses a palette of gray, black, and white, is regarded by many art critics as one of the most moving and powerful anti-war paintings in history. Standing at 11 ft 5 in tall and 25 ft 6 in wide, the large mural shows the suffering of people wrenched by violence and chaos. Prominent in the composition are a gored horse, a bull, and flames.
The painting was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, a Basque Countryvillage in northern Spain, by German and Italianwarplanes at the request of the Spanish Nationalists. Upon completion, Guernica was exhibited at the Spanish display at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne (Paris International Exposition) in the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris and then at other venues around the world. The touring exhibition was used to raise funds for Spanish war relief. The painting became famous and widely acclaimed, and it helped bring worldwide attention to the Spanish Civil War. –Wikepedia
I was fortunate enough to see this painting in person at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Spain at the impressionable age of 16. When I was a junior at Westfield High School, the Spanish class was presented with an opportunity to travel to Spain for spring break. I worked my tail off at McDonald’s that year in order to raise the $1K required for my very first trip to Europe.
And the rest was history, travel and art would be in my blood forever.
My drive from New Mexico to Texas was lovely today, clear blue skies, warm temperatures, and no traffic. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to teach and travel to this beautiful part of the country. Part of traveling to teach means having the opportunity to explore and experience some local color–my trip to the museum today was yet another wonderful benefit of my job.
Someone very insightful told me today that what might help my feeling melancholy over Emilie going off to college, would be to recount all the things I am grateful for. He told me to start with today and work backward. To take a moment and think about things like my visit to White Sands National Monument, The Lodge, Leslie’s pot luck dinner, my amazing class in Cloudcroft, and the fact that I have an awesome job.
Great advice for anyone.
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