Maybe you noticed my blog has a new category to click on in the menu up top. It’s ok if you missed the addition of a new category. I know you’re busy (and maybe stressed too). Today I’m here to tell you what that new category is all about.
The new category is all about…
I’ve taken some of my best photographs and turned them into postcards. Those postcards are for sale, so you can send my photos through the mail to your postcard friends and other special people, or you can keep them for yourself.
All of the postcards are sized to go through the United States Postal Service with a 35 cent postcard stamp. They also make great small space artwork for vans, camper trailers, motorhomes, teardrops, 5th wheels, and other tiny (or not so tiny) homes.
The price is only $5 for six postcards or $10 for a dozen cards. The cost of me sending the cards to you is included in the price. If you want larger quantities, let me know and I’ll figure out a price for you. You can get all one design or mix and match designs.
I don’t have an order button, so folks can contact me via email at email@example.com and let me know what they want and we can discuss payment methods. (I accept PayPal, Venmo,and GiftRocket, as well as cash and money orders for people who want to mail payment.)
I have all of the designs shown below available for your postcard pleasure.
I took all the photos shown on the postcards in this post and created the layouts as well. The only artwork I didn’t do was the Rubber Tramp Artist logo. That was created by the talented Samantha Adelle before her sad, untimely passing.
I once had to catch a bus in Chicago. There were many hours between the time the first ride deposited us in the Windy City and when we had to board the bus. Instead of sitting and waiting, my traveling companion suggested we explore downtown.
I’d been to Chicago before. Once I flew into Chicago (which airport, I don’t remember), then traveled on public transportation to the bus station where I caught a bus that took me to a small town in Wisconsin. At least twice I traveled by train to Chicago and caught a connecting train for the next leg of my journey at Union Station.
I’m not one of those people who leaves the train or bus station or airport for a bit of fun before I make my connection. I’m one of those people who fears missing my connection. I’m one who sits. I’m one who waits.
I once sat for three or four hours in the packed downtown Las Vegas, NV Greyhound station because I was afraid of losing my place on a probably overbooked bus. I could have stored my bag and walked outside to see the sights, but I didn’t. I waited in the crowded waiting room so I was sure to make it home as planned.
Even more unbelievable, I once spent an entire eight hour layover in the Hong Kong airport because I was scared to venture out and find public transit in a strange land. I was worried about all of the many things that could have gone wrong if I had left the security of the transportation hub. I was afraid of a disaster that would have made me miss my connecting flight.
However, this time in Chicago my traveling companion insisted we venture out and look around. He was not one to sit and wait. Luckily, we had access to luggage lockers, so we were able to secure our big backpacks rather than haul them around with us.
We walked toward the water, and by water I mean Lake Michigan. I’d seen Lake Michigan before, when I’d visited my college boyfriend’s hometown of Milwaukee. I vaguely remembered the hugeness of the Lake.
As we walked down the urban sidewalks, we saw many panhandlers standing back against the buildings. They were mostly older Black people, and they had a panhandling technique I’d never encountered before. Instead of muttering Spare some change? Spare some change? or asking for a dollar to catch the bus or get something to eat, they simply shook the cups they held. The cups obviously already had some coins in them; I could hear the coins clinking against each other. I guess words are unnecessary when everyone already knows the script.
Before we made it to the Lake, we saw the huge reflective sculpture in Millennium Park. I’d seen the object in movies. It often turns up when filmmakers want to distinguish an anonymous big city as specifically Chicago. I don’t remember trying to find the sculpture; I think we just happened upon it nestled among the skyscrapers of downtown.
According to the Choose Chicago website, Cloud Gate (also known as The Bean)
is one of the world’s largest permanent outdoor art installations…
The exterior of The Bean is made entirely of stainless steel. It was created using computer technology to precisely cut 168 massive steel plates, which were then fitted together and welded shut for a completely seamless finish…
[It is] is 33 feet high, 42 feet wide, and 66 feet long. It weighs about 110 tons — roughly the same as 15 adult elephants.
is regarded as one of the most prominent British-Indian sculptors of his generation…
Kapoor is well known for his intense, almost spiritual, outdoor and indoor site-specific works in which he marries a Modernist sense of pure materiality with a fascination for the manipulation of form and the perception of space. Kapoor, who was born in Bombay and moved to London in the 1970s to study art, first worked on abstract and organic sculptures using fundamental natural materials such as granite, limestone, marble, pigment, and plaster.
Anish Kapoor’s webpage about Cloud Gate features preliminary sketches for the sculpture, plans for construction, and a photo of it being built. The webpage says
Cloud Gate is a single object of around 25×15×12m. It is made of polished stainless steel and is seamless. Cloud Gate draws in the sky and the surrounding buildings. In a vertical city, this is a horizontal object. Seamless form confuses scale.
I was a lucky photographer on the day of our visit to Millennium Park. There were clouds in the Chicago sky, and they were reflected in the shiny surface of Cloud Gate. We were also fortunate to arrive early in the morning, before crowds surrounded the sculpture. I was able to get some nice photos without too many people in the frame.
…a blob-shaped mirror that vaguely resembles a bean.
He goes on to say,
It is as unremarkable as it sounds.
Oh Zach S., I beg to differ! Yes, Cloud Gate is rather blob shaped, and it is certainly mirrored. As to whether or not it looks like a bean…Who cares? “The Bean” is only a nickname anyway. I suspect the artist was not necessarily trying to convey the idea of a bean when he created the piece.
Where I really disagree with Zach S. is his assertion that Cloud Gate is “unremarkable.” I think Cloud Gate is quite remarkable. I like its size and its heft. Cloud Gate takes up space, yet its reflective surface brings the sky down closer to human level. The reflective surface also draws people to the sculpture, including me and my traveling companion.
What’s that over there? we wondered.
Let’s go see it, we said as we went closer.
I don’t remember what day of the week we wondered into Millennium Park and discovered Cloud Gate, but as the day progressed, more people arrived. By the time we left the area, crowds had come and gone, all looking at the art piece and taking photos too.
My favorite part of my experience with Cloud Gate was playing with the reflective surface. Like a funhouse mirror, Cloud Gate shows visitors a view of themselves that’s not quite true. I moved closer, then backed up to see how my figure changed with distance. The changes made me contemplate who I was, really.
After spending some time with Cloud Gate, we walked down to the water and looked out at Lake Michigan. It was as big as I remembered…bigger, maybe.
We sat on the grass and contemplated the water. It was nice to rest for a while before we got up again and walked to a new adventure.
I can’t say I’m a big fan of Chicago. To me it seems to lack the charm of San Francisco with its bright murals and Painted Ladies Victorian houses or the gritty but captivating street culture of New York City. Maybe I’ve never been to the right places in Chicago, never seen what it has to offer me. In any case, I really enjoyed seeing Cloud Gate, Millennium Park, and Lake Michigan. I don’t care if it’s more a touristy area and less what locals think of as the real Chicago. I don’t care if locals think it’s overrated. I don’t care what Zach S. thinks. I think Cloud Gate is really cool.
During our early March 2020 trip to Santa Fe, we walked from the Plaza to the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi (more commonly known as Saint Francis Cathedral). One of the things we saw at the Cathedral was the 7 and 1/2-foot-tall statue of Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.
I grew up Catholic, so I had heard of Kateri Tekakwitha before viewing the statute in Santa Fe. For everyone who doesn’t know, she was the first Native American canonized as a saint. According to Catholic Online,
St. Kateri Tekakwitha is the first Native American to be recognized as a saint by the Catholic Church. She was born in 1656, in the Mohawk village of Ossernenon [in what is now central New York state]…
The website says her mother was Algonquin and her father was Mohawk and gives more details about her religious life.
At age 19, Kateri Tekakwitha converted to Catholicism, taking a vow of chastity and pledging to marry only Jesus Christ. Her decision was very unpopular [among her community]…to avoid persecution, she traveled to a Christian native community south of Montreal.
Kateri was very devout and was known for her steadfast devotion…just five years after her conversion to Catholicism, she became ill and passed away at age 24, on April 17, 1680.
Estella Loretto is currently the only Native American woman working in monumental bronze sculpting. She is recognized internationally as one of the finest sculptors living today…She has studied and trained with mentors including her mother, her grandmother, and most notably with Native American sculptor Allen Houser-Haozous.
Estella was commissioned by Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan to create a monumental bronze statue of Saint Kateri, which has welcomed visitors at the entrance to Saint Francis Cathedral in Santa Fe, NM, since 2003.
The 2012 article “Long Journey to Sainthood” by Staci Matlock in the Santa Fe New Mexican explains the look of Loretto’s Kateri sculpture.
While other statues and paintings of Kateri show her in traditional Mohawk dress with two braids, Loretto envisioned her more in Pueblo style. In her statue, Kateri has loose flowing hair, kind eyes and is holding four feathers with a rosary. “She’s in Pueblo country,” Loretto said when the statue was unveiled in 2003. “I’m an artist. I have to do her the way she comes to me.”
I’d often wondered why this station of Saint Kateri looked so different from other images I’d seen of her. Now I know!
I enjoyed visiting this statue and taking some photos of it. I hope if you ever travel to Santa Fe, you too can spend some time here.
I’ve already written two posts about my recent visit to Meow Wolf, one a general review and one about buying a piece of art from the Art-o-mat® in the lobby. Yet, I still have a lot of photos I haven’t shared.
What’s weird is that while I felt as if I took a lot of photos while in the House of Eternal Return exhibit, when I look through my photos, I realize there were so many photo opportunities that I missed. I was trying to experience the experience and not live behind my camera, but it seems like I left out so much.
Of course, it would be difficult to adequately explain Meow Wolf to you even if I had carefully photographed every single different thing I saw. (Such a task would take a very long time.) There’s so much going on in the place. There are not only objects and paintings to look at, but there’s music happening and ever-changing lights. Some of the lights and music change because of something someone touches. In some places one can play music by touching lights. Almost every aspect of the House of Eternal Return is a multisensory extravaganza.
The only way to even begin to understand Meow Wolf is to make your own visit. Actually, there may be no way to understand Meow Wolf completely. But I certainly can’t explain it to you.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Meow Wolf for me is that those people have an entire bus in there! Is it a reference to Ken Kesey’s bus Furthur? Are the Meow Wolf artists on the bus or off the bus? Did I mention the bus is vertical, with its engine and front wheels in the air? We first encountered the bus on the ground floor. I was beyond pleased when we went upstairs and found the front half of it sticking up through the floor.
But is it art? Who cares? It’s an entire bus (or most of an entire bus…I couldn’t tell if it was all there) inside a building sticking up through the floor. What is there not to love?
Here area few more random things I saw during my visit to Meow Wolf.
Even the long hallway between the ticket counter and the restrooms was full of art. The whole place was about art and life and thought and coolness.
When I go back to Meow Wolf, and I do plan to go back, I will take more photos.
I’m doing something a little different today. Maybe you noticed. I’m using galleries for the first time so I can share many photos at once with you. If you click on the smaller photos, they’ll enlarge so you can see the better. I’d love to know what you think about this format. Tell me what you think in the comments.
I took the photos in this post unless otherwise noted. The low light in the exhibit made for substandard image quality. My apologies.
After a little more than two hours in Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, NM, The Man and I thought we had seen all there was to see. (Spoiler alert: We didn’t. The Man saw a photo of a ship on a magnet in the gift shop and realized we hadn’t laid eyes on the actual structure. We had no idea how to get to the ship at the time, so we decided we were ready to leave. We think we know how to find the ship now, which is one of the reasons we want to go back.)
Anyway, we were on our way to the Meow Wolf gift shop so I could pick up a couple of postcards (and two is all I bought since they cost $1 each), when I saw it: the Art-o-mat®.
I’d heard of Art-o-mat® machines, although the term for them in my brain was “art vending machine.” I’d maybe even seen one, somewhere, but I’d never bought art from one before. I figured if there was ever a time and place for buying art from a vending machine, that time and place was now, in the lobby of one of the greatest art spaces I had ever experienced.
The inspiration for Art-o-mat® came to artist Clark Whittington while observing a friend who had a Pavlovian reaction to the crinkle of cellophane…
In June 1997, Clark was set to have a solo art show at a local cafe, Penny Universitie in Winston-Salem, N.C. He used a recently-banned cigarette machine to create the first Art-o-mat®…The machine sold Clark’s black & white photographs mounted on blocks for $1.00 each…
AIC [Artists in Cellophane] is the sponsoring organization of Art-o-mat®. The mission of AIC is to encourage art consumption by combining the worlds of art and commerce in an innovative form. AIC believes that art should be progressive, yet personal and approachable…
Do you have a $5 bill, I asked The Man. I’d broken my fiver to buy a pair of Meow Wolf chromadepth glasses (a waste of $1, as far as The Man and I were concerned) and spent another buck to have my fortune told by Alva, a robotic soothsayer from Portals Bermuda stationed in a glass cube in the arcade. I was now $2 short of buying a small piece of art from the Art-o-mat®.
The Man pulled out his wallet, rummaged through it, and produced a $5 bill. Yes! Now we could choose which knob to pull.
Oh! What a decision! We had twenty choices after all! Twenty. Choices.
The top row had the name of a specific artist above each knob. Of course, I didn’t recognize any of the names. There was even information about what kind of art would be dispensed above some of the knobs. Did I want a leather key ring? Did I want matchbox art? I was overcome by choices.
On the second row, each knob was labeled “Random Art.” Maybe I would be better off if I let the Universe decide what piece of art I needed. Of course, there were still ten “Random Art” choices. I managed to narrow my choices down to two.
Should I go with creating a rainbow by buying art? (Note: I knew that buying art doesn’t really create rainbows even before I read the disclaimer.) Should a take a chance on an unknown artist? Although I’m not much of a gambler, I decided to go with taking a chance.
The Man fed the money into the bill acceptor of the sort one uses to get change at a car wash or laundromat. Now was my moment to pull the knob.
The aforementioned Art-o-mat® website answers the question What do you get? [from the dispenser] this way:
The experience of pulling the knob alone is quite a thrill, but you also walk away with an original work of art. What an easy way to become an art collector.
Pulling the knob was a thrill. Those old machines were built to be sturdy, so I had to give it a strong tug. I was rewarded with a hearty thunk! when the art fell into the tray at the bottom of the dispenser. I reached in and grabbed something the approximate size and shape of a package of cigarettes, although this item was heavier than the packs of cigarettes I’ve held. I thought the art would come in an old cigarette box, but instead it was wrapped in paper to keep it from getting scratched. I peeled off the paper and found a small painting (or maybe the image was created with markers) on a block of wood.
I’m not sure what exactly is depicted here. Like all good art, it leaves the viewer with some questions. Is that the sun in the upper left? Is that water on the bottom? Is it a lake? An ocean? Why is it jagged? What’s in the space between the sun and the water? The middle space looks really hot. Is it hell? Phoenix in July? What does it all mean?
You can answer those questions for yourself. You can ask more questions if you like. As for me, I appreciate this piece of art and its randomness and mystery. Most of all, I enjoyed the experience of buying art from a vending machine.
The Man and I finally visited Meow Wolf in Santa Fe, NM, and we had an awesome time. I want to tell you all about it, but please know that my words and photographs simply cannot do the place justice.
Actually, even if I could tell you all about Meow Wolf and show you all of my photos, I probably shouldn’t. Part of the fun for me was going in fresh, not really knowing what to expect. Before I went, I purposefully avoided doing a lot of research on the place. I wanted to experience what was there without a lot of foreknowledge.
I did know a little bit about Meow Wolf before I went, and I will share some information with you.
Meow Wolf is an arts and entertainment group based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. [The group was] established in 2008 as an art collective.
The aforementioned webpage says,
Meow Wolf is comprised of over 400 employees creating and supporting art across a variety of media, including architecture, sculpture, painting, photography, video production, cross-reality (AR/VR/MR), music, audio engineering, narrative writing, costuming, performance, and more!
Also, Meow Wolf is housed inside an old bowling alley! According to the Meow Wolf FAQs, the bowling alley closed in 2008 and sat empty for several years. There is no bowling there now and the lanes have been stripped out.
While reading those FAQs to learn more about the old bowling alley, I learned how Meow Wolf got its name.
At the very first meeting of the collective in 2008, everyone put two words into a hat. Then they picked two random words out of the hat and got “Meow Wolf.”
There are some things you should know about Meow Wolf Santa Fe before you go. It is located at 1352 Rufina Circle, just off Cerrillos Road. Regular hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 8pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to 10pm. Meow Wolf is closed on Tuesdays. Check holiday closures here.
The parking lot at Meow Wolf is rather small, but parking is also available on nearby streets. The Man and I visited at noon on a Sunday and had to park about two blocks away. The parking lot is not available to RVs, trailers, or other oversized vehicles; such vehicles must be parked on the street. Vandwellers traveling with companion animals should note that animal control may be called if animals are left unattended in vehicles in the Meow Wolf parking lot. Vandwellers should also note that overnight parking is not allowed in the lot.
Strollers, backpacks and oversized bags are not allowed in the exhibit, but the items can be securely stored for you for a small fee. Stroller/walker/wheel chair storage is complementary.
An important concern for many people is the accessibility of Meow Wolf. This is what the FAQ page has to say about accessibility:
[T]he first floor of our exhibition is ADA accessible and navigable by crutches, walkers, wheelchairs or scooters, but some areas may require additional navigational guidance from our docent staff (they are here to help!). There is almost always more than one way to access to an area…We do not have elevators…to the second floor, though, and the second floor is much more difficult to navigate as well (more single steps up/down and narrow passageways). Areas with flashing lights are located behind clearly labeled doors. You do not need to coordinate ADA accommodations with staff prior to your arrival – just know that we are here to help however we can.
Also note that there are many places throughout the exhibit to sit and rest. From cushions on the floor to sofas and chairs, you do not have to be on your feet for hours on end. There are also several points where it is possible to exit to the lobby so you can visit the restroom, get a snack or beverage at Float Cafe & Bar, browse in the gift shop, or quietly create art in the David Loughridge Learning Center. You can decide to go back into the thick of things as long as you haven’t left the building.
If you’re concerned about getting overstimulated at Meow Wolf (and this is a distinct possibility for many folks), consider picking up a sensory bag at the front desk. What is a sensory bag? The FAQ page says
[s]ensory bags are a tool guests can utilize to aid in their experience inside House of Eternal Return. Each bag can be checked out upon arrival and has items inside to help ground and re-center folks who might feel overstimulated or overwhelmed while inside the exhibit.
Admission to Meow Wolf is what I consider pricey. The regular adult admission price is $30. The regular admission price for a child over the age of four is $20. Children ages four and under enjoy free admission! (Anyone under 14 needs to be accompanied and supervised by a guardian over 18 years old.) Students, seniors 65 and older, and members of the military pay $25 to get in.
If you’re a New Mexico resident, you’re in luck because you get a discount. Cost of admission for adult residents of New Mexico is $25. Children who are residents of New Mexico pay only $15, and the student/senior/military rate for New Mexico residents is $20. However, every Monday and Wednesday night (4-8 PM) and Second Sunday of the month New Mexico residents pay only half off the New Mexico resident admission rate.
While I typically enjoy activities that are free and cheap, I recognize that my admission fee is helping to pay artists and maintain the Meow Wolf facilities. I can tell you that every aspect of Meow Wolf from the restrooms to the tree houses to the cushions on the floor were clean and in perfect working order.
I was also pleasantly surprised that I did not encounter a single person behaving in an obnoxious way. Although there were lots of people at Meow Wolf the day we visited, people were being respectful of one another. Children were having a good time, but no one was screaming or running or annoying strangers. Adults were well-behaved too, and not once did the word asshat run through my mind.
If you haven’t already figured it out, there’s a lot going on at Meow Wolf House of Eternal Return. There is an actual, full-size house, complete with portals (hint: there are five) to other dimensions. (And here’s another hint for you: start with the house. You can start in the other dimensions, but for your first time, I HIGHLY recommend you start with the house.)
You will see people stepping into and out of household appliances; you can step through some of them too, if you wish. There’s a mystery you can try to solve as you move through the house. (I’m not sure if it’s possible to solve the mystery or if it is meant to remain unsolved, but look for the clues and decide for yourself.) You can open cabinets in the kitchen and find wondrous things. You can sit in the bathtub or on the toilet of the wavy-floored bathroom. You can look into the cookie jar and see what awaits you there.
Once you move through the portals, you enter fantasy worlds filled with art and music and soft lights and magic. Well, maybe not magic; maybe what you experience is technology cleverly disguised to seem like magic. Even if you’ve never dabbled in psychedelics, you will know you’re in a the midst of some trippy shit.
There’s an entire bus in there and a dinner you wouldn’t want to eat even if you could. There are beams of red light you can play like harp strings (or drums), giant birds, and a multitude of items that will make you wonder WTF?Is it art? you may ask yourself. Does it really matter? It’s beauty and fun and color and experimentation and the chance for childlike wonder.
When we left Meow Wolf (after realizing we’d missed an entire reality but too tired to figure out how to get to it), The Man said he’d enjoyed himself but didn’t really feel the need to ever go back. But the next day, we were still talking about our experiences in the House of Eternal Return, and we both admitted we were excited to explore the place again. (Maybe it’s called the House of Eternal Return because so many visitors want to go back.)
I can’t speak for other people who’ve been there, but The Man and I are saving our pennies so we can visit Meow Wolf again.
I took the photos in this post, except for the very last one. The low light in most of the exhibits and the camera on my cheap phone made for substandard photographs. My apologies.
To celebrate Nevada Day, today I will share with you photos I took of Nevada Car at spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity that I attended with Nolagirl in the spring of 2018. Interestingly, Nevada Car hails from Bisbee, AZ. The Art Car Agency website says the art was created by David Best and is owned by Patrick Dailey.
It turns out that David Best is a big deal when it comes to art cars. In the 2015 article “David Best: the Man Who Builds Art – and Burns It” author Geoff Dyer writes that Best got into doing art cars
in the early 1980s, in Houston, right at the beginning of the art-car craze but – in a way that is typical – is careful to emphasize that he was just one of a number of people involved at the time, that the first art car was actually done by Jackie Harris.
Here’s a front view of Nevada Car.
It was really difficult to get a photo of the full view of this car with my camera. In my opinion that’s actually ok because the beauty is in the details.
Here’s some sort of gaming device attached to the car. In the same photo I see about a hundred tiny white buttons, a plastic sea turtle, a stack of smaller-than-life traffic cones that were maybe once bright orange but are now faded and dingy, a toy baseball batter, a combination lock, and a dozen rusty bottle caps. What do you see that I’m missing?
In this photo it looks like a dozen gumball machines and a kindergarten class worth of Happy Meals upchucked onto a relatively small area of the car. All of these crappy plastic toys merge into such a cohesive whole that it’s hard to pick out individual objects. Look! There’s Buzz Lightyear! To the right, a dozen plastic crabs! I see a leg! I see a lion! I see creatures I can’t identify.
In an article on the KQED Spark website, Best’s process is described like this:
… Best strips vehicles down to the core before reconstructing them, striving to make the car’s original form unrecognizable. Rather than merely gluing objects to the body of a car, Best, who religiously goes to the dump, likes to use found object materials that ultimately take on their own personality. After making 30 art cars and 2 buses, Best has worked with over 10,000 people.
It’s easy for me to imagine an artist finding these items at the dump and being delighted to add them to an art car work in progress.
I’m not sure why this is piece is called Nevada Car. Because of the gaming devices? Because of the gaming device that says “Nevada Club”? I wish this exhibit of art cars had included statements from the artists.
I like the juxtaposition of the statues of saints next to this old gaming device. Is it a commentary on praying for luck? An observation of the degree to which our society treats money as divine? A mere putting-together of objects in a way that looked pleasing to the artist’s eye?
I found my favorite feature of Nevada Car, and it didn’t have much to do with Nevada. I’m not talking about the BMW emblem either.
I’ll leave you with a wish for a Happy Nevada day and a self portrait with dancing bear in chrome.
World Photography Day…aims to inspire photographers across the planet to share a single photo with a simple purpose: to share their world with the world.
Unfortunately, at the time I’m writing this post (on Christmas Day 2018) I can’t figure out where we are supposed to share our single photo today. The World Photo Day Facebook page hasn’t been updated since August 2017, and when I go to the Wold Photo Day website, I get an Error 521 message (“web server is down”). Maybe by the time this post actually runs in August of 2019, there will be updated information out in the world.
In the meantime, I want to share photos today of two of my favorite things: cameras and vans!
Yep, it’s the Camera Van!
Nolagirl and I encountered Camera Van at spark! Mesa’s Festival of Creativity which we attended in the spring of 2018. There were a lot of art cars there and a few art vans too, including Camera Van.
…covered with more than 2,000 cameras and assorted photography paraphernalia. It took him two years to complete.
Harrod Blank is also the creator of the Art Car World museum in Douglas, AZ. According the the musem’s website, Art Car World is
[a] museum dedicated entirely to the celebration and preservation of this popular mobile art form…located in historic downtown Douglas, Arizona. Currently under construction, Art Car World will feature a permanent collection of 42 popular Art Cars with more on rotating exhibition.
Art Car World is located at 450 E 8th Street in Douglas, AZ and is open by appointment only. You can contact the museum to schedule a visit or to get more information via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by sending a letter to the street address given above.
Be sure to visit the Camera Van website to see the surprise on the vehicle’s roof.
If you like, take some photos today. Share them on Facebook or Instagram or go old school and have prints made. However you do it, use photography to share your world with the world.
If you enjoyed this post, you may also want to read about another art van called California Fantasy Van and an art car called J Gurl that were also at the spark! Festival.
My favorite Little Free Library (LFL) Nolagirl and I visited during our Phoenix Little Free Library excursion was the second one we went to. This one has the name “Friendly by Nature,” and the charter number is 5974. This registered LFL is decorated with beautiful, colorful mosaics and sits at the front of a yard decorated with more mosaics.
Little Free Library is a registered nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world.
As soon as Nolagirl parked in front of the house this LFL
belongs to, I was attracted to the library’s bright colors. I was really
excited when I got out of the vehicle and moved closer to the library and
discovered the brightly colored scenes were composed from irregular tiles. WOW!
I also greatly appreciated the desert scenes featured on this LFL. Pictured on
the LFL are a saguaro cactus, the hot midday sun, and the starry night visible
when one leaves the city behind. Beneath the moonlight, there is a row of
books, much like those found in the actual Little Free Library.
The outside of the Little Free Library was not the only thing on the property sporting bright mosaics. Several round poles just beyond the LFL were also decorated with colorful tiles. I didn’t want to infringe upon the privacy of the steward of the little library, but I did snap a few photos of other pieces of mosaic art.
I was so impressed with the artistic work that I wrote out a
quick note expressing my appreciation. I left the note tucked in the LFL. I
think it’s really important to tell people when we like their work. I know from
experience that artists often don’t get enough positive feedback, so I like to
rectify that situation when I can.
I left my email address on the note, and several days later I was pleased to find a message from the artist in my inbox. She wrote,
Thank you for the postcard regarding my Little Free Library and my other mosaics. I retired from Intel about three years ago and started making mosaics. I have done many commissions.
My adobe house, courtyard and casita are my inspiration!
The artist then invited me to come over and see more of her mosaics! Wow! I was so flattered. Unfortunately, I already had plans for all of my days in Phoenix and I was unable to visit the artist and see more of her work. So disappointing! I’ve dropped the ball during my subsequent visits to Phoenix and never made plans to go over to this gracious woman’s house. My bad. Maybe someday I can still pay her a visit. I sure hope so because I want to see more of these splendid mosaics!
It’s difficult to adequately capture the sculpture Two Horses in one photograph because the piece has many angles to explore. I’d taken one shot of it (the photo above) during my visit to downtown Mesa in the spring of 2016, but I never thought this photo was enough. During my exploration of a few blocks of downtown Mesa with Nolagirl in March of 2018, I was able to get a few more shots.
Two Horses was created by artist William Barnhart. According to Barnhart’s website, he received a BFA from Brigham Young University in 1984 and continued with graduate studies at Arizona State University in 1985. He is a resident of Mesa and has been a professional artist for over 30 years.
You can see more of William Barnhart’s sculptures on his webpage, which shows both sculptures in a pre-cast state and those that have been cast in bronze.
I love the texture of this piece, which begs to be touched. The plaque on the base of this piece explains how Barnhart made the horses look this way.
The sculpture’s unique surface was created by layering wet plaster over modeled forms of two horses, then allowing the plaster to run and drip. The effect is a texture with a random, organic appearance over a highly controlled form. Subsequent processes were used to transform the sculpture into its final bronze state.