Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Our New Park

We have a new park in Los Angeles. It's called Los Angeles State Historic Park. It's located just north of Chinatown in the old Taylor Yard, formerly known as The Cornfields. On Memorial Day, Larry and I took a field trip to visit the new park. 
2005. The Cornfields at Taylor Yard

The park is long and narrow, running alongside the train tracks. In fact, at the south end of the park, you'll find the Chinatown Station of the Gold Line...very convenient. 
It was a warm day and the trees are still new, so there is little shade in the park, except under the footbridge.
The sight-lines toward our downtown skyline are glorious. This park is perfect for big, public events. There is tons of space for a stage, seating, booths and more. 

Not sure what the circular "jousting" area is for? The Metro train runs next to the Park

There are many paths and roads in and around the park, perfect for jogging, walking and strolling

The "Endless Orchard" installation by Fallen Fruit

There are two permanent buildings with restroom facilities and meeting rooms. The landscaping looks to be somewhat drought tolerant. The buildings are vaguely Asian in design.
All in all, once the trees grow, it should be a lovely park.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

1958. Hollywood Memorial Park is now known as Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Photo from LAPL Archives, Herald-Examiner Collection

Memorial Day is a day to remember all the people who have served, and are serving, in the armed forces; our surviving veterans; and to honor those who have died in past wars. Below is a photo of my Dad, George, and his brothers soon after World War II, posing in their uniforms. Thanks, guys!
Mort, Hi and George Bloom.  Los Angeles, 1946

Lately, the Memorial Day holiday has been known as the kick-off to the summer. We understand it to be just another day off from work, time for a short vacation, sales at the mall or the family barbecue get-together. 
From Wikipedia, here's the description of the Memorial Day Holiday: Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May (May 29 in 2017). Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in the military serviceFirst enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the Civil War), it was expanded after World War I.

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Thursday, May 25, 2017


This past Sunday, Shayne and I visited the Tinkertown Museum and grounds in the Sandia Mountains, New Mexico. I'd heard about this place and wanted to see it in person. Wow! Ross Ward, the creator of Tinkertown, starting carving figures for the various miniature vignettes in 1962. He continued his folk art passion until his premature death in 2002. Ward's family maintains and adds to the musem.
Most of the exhibits are housed in these ramshackle buildings, resembling an old western town
Not only are there carved vignettes of old western towns (some of them are animated), circuses and such, there is a collection of western memorabilia, antiques and Americana in the winding hallways of this rambling museum.
Photographs really do not do this place justice. You must visit to see the work that went into this interesting folk art environment!

The Circus with animated features
Tiny carved men working on a tiny carved building! I have a feeling that this place will never be finished!

Detail of tiny carved horses
Click on photos to embiggen
Outdoors there is a wall made of bottles, a large yacht, a decorated art car and more. 
Decorated Art Jeep
Bottle Wall

Thanks for driving us out to the Sandia Mountains to see this cultural landmark, Shayne!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Albuquerque's Fiber Fiesta

I attended Fiber Fiesta in Albuquerque this year with my good friend, Shayne. The Fiesta is organized by the Albuquerque Fiber Arts Council. This is a juried show and exhibition with many vendors, held at EXPO New Mexico in the Manuel Lujan Complex. Two large convention-like spaces were filled with quilts, weaving, knit and crochet items, felted art and more. It was a feast for the eyes. We both were very inspired by many of the pieces. Here's a small sample of some of the art we saw:

"Elsie" quilt. I LOVE Elsie
Knit Hand-Warmers
The Felted World
Woven Wall Hangings
Woven Dish Towel, too pretty to use!
The obligatory New Mexico church Quilt
Hand-made leather shoes and sandals
Whimsical Critters

Felted Hats

Latvian Design Knit Mittens. Blue Ribbon Prize!

Our Lady of Guadalupe Crocheted Shawl. A very CREATIVE crochet artist!
There were so many vendors! Many booths offered hand-spun and hand-dyed yarn. I managed to restrain myself and only purchase one beautiful skein of Sandia fingering sock weight merino and nylon blend yarn from ZiaWoolz. This particular skein's colorway is called "Bee Keeper in Love," dyed by Dagmar, pictured below.
Dagmar from ZiaWoolz

I have other skeins in similar tones that I may combine into some fabulous project!
I am SO making a throw like this, using leftover sock yarn and the corner-to-corner stitch. Seen at the ZiaWoolz Booth

My L.A. friend, Shayne has lived in Albuquerque for ten years, so we ran into a few of her friends. It was a delightful afternoon of yarnyness and inspiration!

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Soft and Hard Art

Last Saturday we made the trek out to Highland Park for the North East L.A. art walk. We met up with our friends Suzette and Mark for dinner at the Good Girl Dinette and then wandered across the street to Future Studio.
Good Girl Dinette, Highland Park
Chicken Boy, the Statue of Liberty of Los Angeles, lives on the roof of Future Studio

We ALWAYS visit Future Studio, since this is the gallery our friends, Amy and Stuart own. An added plus is that Chicken Boy lives here. This month, the quilts of Ruby Nishio were on view. We saw Ruby's first solo show at Future in 2010. I must say, Ruby's work has only gotten better over the past seven years!
Ruby Nishio in 2010

Larry Blends Right In. This was my MOST favorite quilt!

Close-Up of Favorite Quilt

Quilted Potholders by Ruby Nishio

Tom, talking to Claire at Future Studio

Ruby often uses Japanese-inspired fabrics in her quilt designs. She also uses floral patterned fabrics that speak to her love of gardening. All the quilts are pieced together meticulously into intricate patterns and are then hand-quilted. It was an inspiring show! I recently found out that Ruby is in her 90s!
Mona, Jeff and Larry
Tom and Barbara

Heather and Gallery Owner, Amy

Larry and Ellen

We saw many friends at the opening and had a wonderful time.
Next stop on the Gallery Tour was Avenue 50 Studio, right next to the Metro Line train tracks. There are five rambling gallery rooms in this complex. Each room had a different show. I'd heard a piece on NPR Radio during the day about the show in the first gallery, curated by artist, Eric Almanza. The show is called "Art as Resistance: Paintings in Protest to a Trump Presidency." All five rooms and the sidewalks outside were packed! The painting that took my attention in the first gallery was "A Banquet Without Consequences" by Alex Schaefer. Read about it here. I was immediately attracted to Schaefer's depiction of Warren Buffet in the center, playing the ukulele. This reminded me of the phrase "Nero fiddled while Rome burned."
"A Banquet Without Consequences" by Alex Schaefer, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 44

In addition to other paintings and sculptures in Gallery One, there was a Trump piƱata stuffed with post-it notes from protesters to his administration. Later in the evening, the Trumpster was dethroned.
Protests come spilling out along with candy!
We spent a lot of time in the subsequent galleries, including the following shows: "Animating the Archives: The Women's Building," "Herencia (Inheritance)" and the Arroyo Arts Collective Space. I spied actress, Dakota Johnson in one of the galleries. I kinneared a photo of her.
Dakota Johnson in the Women's Building Gallery at Avenue 50 Studio

It was an exhausting, but rewarding evening!

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