This well-known sculpture did not disappointment me when I saw it in person. “Spoonbridge and Cherry” by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen is in the beautiful sculpture garden of the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis. The park is a nice distraction from the nearby city and highways with a great selection of work by mostly modern and contemporary artists. This sculpture is interesting from all sides and it wasn’t as crowded as I expected. One person did try to walk on it (it is called Spoonbridge after all) and a voice appeared from a hidden speaker telling him to get off. We were clearly being watched. After his warning he quickly ran away and I had my opening to take some photos, so thanks, random security voice!
The Weisman Museum of Art had a ton of great pieces that kept me busy examining and reading about for a couple of hours. This piece, James Kielkopf’s Untitled, held my attention for quite a while with its ability to trick my eye into thinking it was a 2-dimensional drawing when it’s actually a hanging sculpture. I love the shadows and the way it changes when you walk around it. Some art you don’t expect to grab you so strongly, but those are the best ones. Seeing some paintings by famous artists I’ve enjoyed intellectually, but others just hit me emotionally and creatively, and they’re usually the ones you didn’t see coming.
I spent the weekend in Washington, DC, and I had a lot of plans to go around and see some of my favorite places. That didn’t really work out because work had me extremely busy and it was pouring rain one night. Before I left I did get to take a stroll around the Mall up past some of the memorials I rarely visit. I haven’t been to the Lincoln Memorial in a long time, but it was just as crowded and popular as always. This shot makes me think of the calm, respectful idea that was intended for the monument.
Austin, Texas has been a mixture of busy and lazy. We have seen a lot, done a little, and eaten way too much. On a lazy day, we strolled through the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, where Charles Umlauf’s many sculptures adorn a gorgeous open space of green. The little ponds and bridges made the shaded walk feel like a real day off as we learned about his incredible work ethic and attention to detail and meaning in his pieces. The Diver is a rendering of Umlauf’s son, and across the pond is “The Kiss” in a very intimate and romantic location. A lot of thought was put into the placement and spacing of the work, and the garden was a great place I would love to visit again.
On our way through Texas we had a chance to stop in El Paso for a day, and it was a really nice time. We checked out the art museum, which had some great local art and a focus on female artists. Along I-10 and driving through the city we could see this large X across the border in Juarez. It was created by Chihuahuan artist Sebastian, and it represents the mixed heritage of Mexican culture as well as the troubled history between the border cities. It was an imposing figure on the horizon as we drove past the bridge into Mexico and headed farther into Texas.
Another memorial in the D.C. area that doesn’t get a lot of attention is the Iwo Jima Marine Corps Veterans Memorial. It’s outside the city next to Arlington National Cemetery, and it’s a great monument with a great view of the city from a high point. We stopped by at night and I enjoyed getting some more interesting shots that didn’t include the entire sculpture. I think cropping it in like this gives it a more dynamic feeling and somehow makes it feel more real.