DAY TWO: ART in COLUMBUS AND CINCINNATI

It was raining when I set off  around 8AM.  Forecast predicted storms all afternoon and evening.  I decided to spend the day in Columbus and perhaps Cincinnati, perusing art museums. No camping tonight.

First stop, Zanesville.  This was a roadtrip victory.  Momentum propels me onward but curiosity got me to turn off the highway.   Found a lovely cafe run by Mennonites.  I talked for awhile with manager Jonathan about the place and about his ministry there.  The food was delicious in that white midwestern gravy way.

 

In Columbus, I parked at the art museum and walked to a bookstore in the German Village, a lovely neighborhood about a mile and a half away.  On the way back, I walked through their topiary garden, shrubs positioned and pruned to represent Seurrat’s Sunday in the Park with George.  I kid you not.

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Columbus’ Art Museum was lovely.  They had a special exhibition called A Measure of Humanity.  22 artists did just that in a variety of ways.  One that moved me immensely was a video made by a mother.  She filmed the distance in various places she could let her toddler run away from her.  It was surprisingly moving and suspenseful. The lower image here is a geneological chart made from fictitious people on food products.

 

 

I went up to their American Art galleries and found some moving primitive art by Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson and Elijah Pierce. Aminah’s work contains actual fabrics and buttons.  Elijah’s work on the right is carved and is about Watergate.

 

I got to see local artist’s work like this by Cody Heichel.

 

I also viewed smaller or lesser known work of masters like Matisse:

 

I also found a lot of work by the American painter, Marsden Hartley.

 

I stopped for some Buckeye chocolates–peanutbutter and chocolate confections.  Then it was time to head to Cincinnati.  NO RAIN.  SUNSHINE for the rest of the day.  Storms must have blown by us.

Here in Cincinnati, I went right to the Art Museum.  My favorite experience there was talking with a high school or college aged girl named Devon.  She was sitting on a bench looking at a Wyeth and writing in a notebook.  I sat next to her and asked her what she was doing.  She was taking a creative writing class and their assignment was to find a painting and to write a story out of it.  I asked her why she chose that one.  I asked her what was coming up for her.  She showed me what she had written so far.  We looked at the painting together for quite awhile discussing what kind of day this was for the man in the painting, what the light and shadow was doing, how Wyeth’s space felt to her…it was a magical connection and she got hit by an idea, I saw it happen…that the man was staring out at the sea because the light was different this day than it ever had been before…we parted, smiling, shaking hands, moving on into our lives–never to cross paths again perhaps…..

Confession: Taking photos of art work is like collecting souvenirs.  I put them into a computer file and they give back all year when my computer screen jumps into screensaver mode.  Anyway, I drove downtown to the Walker Art Center and perused five floors of installations of Contemporary Art.  I’m more connected to painting right now but contemporary mixed media or sculptural or performance or video art can make me see differently.  Sometimes it just annoys me.  Sometimes it mesmerizes.

Tonight I stay in an AirBNB in town here.

PS-I’m deeply saddened about the Muslim Ban and the retirement of Chief Justice Kennedy.  I worry for us all–that our divisions will become even more entrenched; that our points of view even more polarized.

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