Friday, January 20, 2006

Shrinky Dinks

Last night, the lovely Mrs. H and I went to the Corcoran Gallery of Art for an Andy Warhol activity. Apparently, it was some sort of coloring party that Andy (a Pittsburgher by the way -- Go Steelers!) used to do with his friends. Last night they were making shinky dinks, and you got to have some wine and chocolate and hang out. Unfortunately, the museum expected 400 people to show up and got something like 700. Thus, they ran out of shrinky dinks before Mrs. H and I could get there.

Not to be detered, though, we walked around the gallery, and were really impressed. I had never been in it before, but it turned out to be a really amazing space. They had one exhibit on the banjo in American art (Mrs. H really liked the Wegeman at the bottom of the page. Cute, floppy, melancholy dogs are her thing.) It was very informative and well laid out. And then, there was the Sam Gilliam retrospective on the main part of the second floor. Wow. I was really taken with his art. I honestly had never heard of him before (am I admitting too much of my unrefined-ness?). The images on the webpage don't really do justice to their feeling within the gallery. They're so big and alive. There was a large rotunda in the main hall with 5 or 6 draped colorful sheets hanging down from the center of the room. It was visually so interesting. The lines and folds in his pieces were so vibrant. I wanted to sit and learn to draw just so that I could try to capture them. My favorite piece was one that in shape looks like the one on the front page of the website, but was multi colored, and then I guess he used some type of acrylic paint and a spackling type knife to create these huge parallel ridges all over the piece in a variety of colors. I really would like to try to create something that imitated that someday when I get a workshop.

Anyway, we had a great time, and it was a smart move on behalf of the Corcoran to get people like us in there in on a weekday evening when the museums are typically closed. Personally, I just love museums, and I don't think that I've been going enough lately (especially since I live here with all these great ones). The empty space and the quiet is so wonderful. It also really takes me back to my childhood when I would go constantly to classes at the Carnegie in Pittsburgh. I think I'm going to try to make an effort to go to more stuff like this, and then when I retire again, I can spend all day in them.

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