Monday, June 28

NY bits and pieces

Besides going up to NYC last week for the gallery opening, we also spent some time bumming around Southern Manhattan. Most of the time was spent at the National Museum of the American Indian right next to Battery Park. It's a beautiful building- former customs house, and they have changing exhibitions exploring both the history of first peoples in North America as well as contemporary art and culture. These 2 images come from the exhibit "Song for the Horse Nation", which explores the importance of horses in native culture and how that is expressed in art, tools, clothing, and horse accessories up to the present time. The baby bonnet above shows exquisite quill-work on leather. It was mentioned that the status of women was elevated when the horse became widespread, as horse labor freed women to spend more time on handwork.
The cloth below is a document called a "winter count". Read in a spiral from upper left, the cloth depicts important events within a tribe in a pictorial manner. I'm reminded of hand scrolls in Ancient Hindu culture where painted cloths become mnemonic devices for the recounting of oral history.
Unfortunately photography wasn't allowed in the gallery where an exhibit of contemporary art by native artists entitled "Hide: Skin as Material" was displayed. However the exhibit is viewable online here. I especially enjoyed the work of Sonya Kelliher-Combs.
Walking up Broadway, I was struck by this wall and I-beams (you know me and walls). At first I didn't get it. It looked like either a structure had collapsed or some artist had built a parody of a construction. It wasn't till we walked past the building beyond it, that I realized the odd tilted structure was buttressing the stand-alone building! I enjoyed the play of geometry in space. Everything is art.
Home again, Home again, I finished the little map piece documenting the day. The coins came from Chinatown and sort of create the rolling route between NY and Philly. The dark blue concentric rings delineate my home turf.

Tomorrow I'm off again for a few days. I won't be able to access the Internet, but when I come back I'll have loads to share-- Amish quilts and Fiber Arts International exhibit info.

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