Thursday, December 22, 2011

Denver Art Museum Special Exhibits: Xu Beihong, Robert Adams, Threads of Heaven

We were so fortunate to visit the Denver Art Museum (DAM) when we did. There were three special exhibitions showing at the time. I had not heard of Xu Beihong before last week, but Paige was familiar with him and knew that the Xu Beihong exhibition was going to be something special. 

Xu Beihong (1895-1953) is known as the father of Chinese modern painting. This Master of Chinese Fine Arts travelled from China to Europe and then returned home, incorporating Western ideas and methods into his work. He was a highly influential fine arts leader and teacher in China.

The Xu Beihong movie and exhibit were fantastic. No photos were allowed, but I was able to get pictures of a few of his paintings from Wikimedia: Xu Beihong [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. 

The photos don't do justice to his use of color, but they give a glimpse of his ability. The Xu Beihong exhibit shows exclusively in Denver, and leaves the city to return to China. It will not be shown at any other museum in the U.S.

Portrait of a Young Lady, 1940

Chen Sanyuan, famous Chinese poet

Tian Heng's 500 Heroes. 

Portrait, 1936 (His wife)

Portrait of Ms. Jenny, 1939

The Threads of Heaven showcased over one hundred Chinese textile pieces and costumes. Some were hundreds of years old. Paige was really impressed. The colors and designs were fabulous. Photos weren't allowed.

From the Denver Art Museum website regarding the Robert Adams retrospective:

This important retrospective, organized by the Yale University Art Gallery, offers a comprehensive look at the work of a 20th century master who challenges conventional ideas of landscape photography by looking at damaged, marginal and overfamiliar places as well as places of quiet and seemingly untouched beauty. Born in 1937, Adams grew up in suburban Denver and lived and worked on Colorado’s Front Range until moving to Oregon in 1997. Adams is among the most prominent and influential photographers of his generation.

Here's my favorite art student reading up before entering the room. 
Adams' photos seemed to focus on the erosion of beauty by man's hands. There were many before and after (destruction) scenes of trees, homes and natural habitats.

Visits and Verse will be on hiatus until after the New Year. 

To all visitors of Visits and Verse: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Many blessings  to you and your loved ones, and may each of you be a blessing to many.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Visit to Denver Colorado's Art Museum

Today and next post I'll share more from our afternoon in Denver.

After Paige and I left the capitol building in Denver, we headed over to the Denver Art Museum.   


Normally in art museums I am most interested in oil paintings (can anything compare?), but today I am eager to share a few photos by Sebastiao Salgado, a Brazilian born in 1944. 

I love when art or poetry opens my eyes to historic events and makes me want to rush home to research and learn more. These photos had that effect.

And below is one of the most amazing photos I've ever seen. It inspires and exhorts me toward thankfulness (and to generosity, I hope) as much as one of Charles Dicken's most precious Christmas stories. Can you imagine enduring this for the hope of a bit of gold?

Next post: Happier views from the Denver Art Museum

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Visit to Denver, Colorado and the Capitol Building

After our tour of the University of Colorado in Boulder, we drove to Denver. We had an afternoon to spend there.  

If you had just one short afternoon to spend in Denver, what would you do?

Paige and I decided to visit the Capitol Building and the Denver Art Museum.

Since the days when the girls were young, our family has sort of had a goal of visiting all 50 capital cities and capitol buildings. Mark has been to Denver a number of times on business, but this was the first opportunity I had to see Denver and the capitol. I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity. Paige, too.

The other side

The Colorado Capitol is a fine, well-kept building, but it lacks some of the grandeur of Wisconsin's Capitol building. Wisconsinites will know what I mean.

My travel companion taking a photo

The rotunda and the Christmas tree
The ceiling

A miniature Lincoln statue; it was about four feet tall.

After a short tour of the capitol, we drove over to the nearby Denver Art Museum.

Next post: The Denver Art Museum (DAM) hosts a fabulous exhibit

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Visit to Boulder, Colorado and Colorado University

Last week Paige and I flew to Colorado. It was my first time to the state, but Paige had been there once with our church youth group (about 7 years ago) for a back-packing adventure. 

We rented a car at the Denver airport and drove about 45 minutes to our hotel in Boulder. Mark had made the reservations for us using his points. It was the first time I'd rented a car without Mark along.

We found our way to the Residence Inn, Boulder.

Take the sidewalk to the right, then turn left, then up the stairs. There was snow on the ground.

The lady at Avis gave us a free upgrade. I don't know why.  What fun!

Boulder, Colorado (photo credit Colorado University, http://www.colorado.edu/)
Paige is interested in the Art History department at Colorado University, Boulder. She plans to apply to the graduate program there, so we travelled to tour the school.

We took a wonderful two hour tour of the beautiful new Art and Art History Building

Afterward we ate here

Later, we got healthy fruit smoothies here

Next Post: More of Colorado and what we did with an afternoon in Denver

Monday, December 12, 2011

Let's Visit Hong Kong: Lantern Festival

Lantern Festival from Paige's Journal 

Before our first week of classes even started, there was a National holiday.  September 11th was the date of the Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival.  Eight friends and I went to Causeway Bay in the evening to celebrate with the locals.  Causeway Bay is one of the more popular parts of town on Hong Kong Island; it’s where Times Square is (the Hong Kong version).  This is a huge Buddhist holiday.  I’m not sure what exactly is being celebrated or why, but I know a lot of people celebrate. 

We got downtown and it was really crowded.  Part of the festival was a lantern exhibit on the fair grounds.  There was a cornucopia of lanterns.  Some were beautiful and some of them were cheesy.


Towards the back of the site was a huge lantern sculpture in the shape of a fish.  The sculpture was so big it made the Guinness Book of World Records!  It was humongous.  It also lit up and changed colors.

Record-breaking lantern sculpture

Another portion of this holiday celebration is a dragon dance. I’m not sure why it’s done, but my friends and I wanted to see it.  We waited around hours for it to start.  The crowd began to thicken, and visibility became zero.  We had a couple of guys over 6 feet tall, and they couldn’t even see, mostly because of all the little kids on their parents shoulders.  That gave us, the 20-something old art students, an idea.  We put one of our girls on the shoulders of one of our guys.  We gave her a camera, and told her to record the performance so we could see too.  The plan worked well until Chris (guy Chris) got tired.  We were all exhausted.

Priya on Chris' shoulders. It was about 95 degrees and humid.

Another part of the Festival

About 20 minutes before the performance, we decided to leave and try to dodge the crowds.  It kept getting even more crowded.  We were in a group of nine, not ideal for a big crowd.  We didn’t want anyone to get separated, so I came up with the idea (in honor of the holiday) to make a human dragon.  We all grabbed the shoulders of the person in front of us, then weaved through the crowds.  After getting separated from each other often earlier that evening, it was refreshing to be able to move together.  We walked for about a half-mile using the “human dragon” technique.  Sure, we inconvenienced some people, but it was worth it to stay together.  I could hear my friend yelling “Mhgoi” at people, and them replying, “sorry”.  Mhgoi means excuse me.  We finally got out of the chaos and back to our refuge, Sham Shui Po in Kowloon (where SCAD is located).


The next Visits and Verse post is scheduled for Monday, the 19th. Paige is home on break now from Hong Kong and we plan to spend some time together. One of the things we've scheduled is a short visit to Boulder. Paige wants to check out a school there for its Master's program in Art History. I've never been to Colorado before.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Two Verses: "Personal Space" is at the Camel Saloon, plus Handful of Stones

I'm pleased to announce that two of my poems are out today. "Personal Space" appears on the Camel Saloon site today (Thursday, December 8, 2011).  Plus check out Handful of Stones (see link below).
Photo above is by Dan Searle, London, England


At the Tavern of Inner Beauty<br>the beer is cold<br>the whiskey Irish<br>& the door is always open


Personal Space

by Lori Lipsky

What a surprise you’ve never learned
No matter how many times you bump your
Tray into mine, you will reach the front
Of the cafeteria line at the same time

Unfilled seats abound
At the movie theater, but
You sit directly in front of me and
Drape your coat back so it hangs on my knees

One restroom stall occupied
Twenty still available
You choose the one
Closest to me

In the long line for the cashier
You hit my backside with your
Cart seven times
As we wait

Empty lockers at the gym
Are in plentiful supply
You pick the one
Adjacent to me

Groups of available chairs
Are open at the concert
You plop down
Right beside me

Must your hip touch my hip?
Must your shoulder rub my shoulder?
We’ve never met—the rule on a bench ought to be
Three inches on either side

Another moan squelched
You should hear my thoughts
A scream right now would
Lighten the load


Handful of Stones also published my "stone" today:

Thanks for stopping by.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Typhoon Passes by Hong Kong: From Paige's Journal

Map from About.com:
Paige lives in the Castle Bay Area, New Territories (Hong Kong)--left side of the map, on the South China Sea
Have you ever experienced a typhoon? Been close to one?

The closest I've gotten is having a daughter near one as it mercifully stayed out in the ocean, passing by Hong Kong.
Remember a couple of months ago when we were hearing about typhoons near the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong? I got a bit worried for Paige after a friend suggested to me I had something to worry about. Paige lives in New Territories, less than one hundred yards from the ocean (Castle Bay Area). Here's what she was doing: 

A Typhoon Passes by Hong Kong Island from the journals of Daughter Paige 

This week my school has been warned about a typhoon passing Hong Kong.  Yesterday (Wednesday Sept 28th), we got our first warning.  A sign in my apartment lobby told us that we were at Warning  Level 1.  I went to school and when I came back, the sign was changed to a warning 3.  I went to bed, noticing that the wind seemed to be picking up.  I at one point woke up at two in the morning thinking that my 23-story apartment tower was going to fall over.  I looked out my bedroom window at the violently swaying palm trees.  Just beyond the trees is the ocean, which was very rough as well.  The rain picked up, and I watched it hit our windows sideways. 

This morning SCAD HK students received an email that we were at warning 8, and classes were canceled for the day.  Honestly, that was a relief because I didn’t have my homework finished and I would have had to work hard that morning to get it done in time.  Naturally what does one do when they’re told they get an extra day on an assignment?  Take a nap!  I fell asleep to the sound of the rain abusing my window and the sound of the wind fighting to break through.  Weirdly, whenever the storm would calm down, the lack of a ruckus would wake me up.  Whenever I awoke, I looked out the window again.  The clouds were moving so fast it was almost nauseating. 

At one point of the day it didn’t rain for a couple hours. My friend, Chris and I ventured out into the wind to find some food.  It was a really calm part of the day. Everyone else seemed to be taking advantage of the break in rain outside as well. 


Paige's windows held strong, but several in her complex did not. One of her friend's windows broke during the storm. 
Have a great day today, no matter what weather you are experiencing.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Steeple Photos for "The Steeple"

Here are the last of the steeple photos. Many thanks to those friends who shared their snapshots with us.

 Iowa County?  photo by Anita Klumpers

Cornerstone Church of Waterloo, Waterloo, WI, photo by Sandy Schelthelm

St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Delafield, WI, photo by Anita Klumpers

St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Deerfield, WI, photo by Sandy Schelthelm

And here's the poem one more time for those who haven't read it yet:

The Steeple
by Lori Lipsky

The village spire
Built high and seen
From north and east
And surrounding fields

Has its effect
On those nearby
Who view the steeple
Day after day

To some it is beauty
To others a warning
Still others pursue its
Point to the heavens above

It's December already. Steve Miller was right. Time does keep on "slipping into the future." Have a good week!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More Steeple Photos for "The Steeple" Verse

Congratulations to the winner of the steeple photo drawing! The $25 Amazon Gift Card goes to ....Sue Finley. Thank you to Sue and the others who sent in Steeple photos. Sue, be sure to send me your address (FB or e-mail) and I'll send the card right out.

Today's photos of steeples were sent in by Sandy Schelthelm of Marshall, Wisconsin.  I always enjoy seeing Sandy's photos on Facebook and I love these. Thanks, Sandy!

Here's the poem again:

The Steeple
by Lori Lipsky

The village spire
Built high and seen
From north and east
And surrounding fields

Has its effect
On those nearby
Who view the steeple
Day after day

To some it is beauty
To others a warning
Still others pursue its
Point to the heavens above

St. Joseph's Catholic Church of East Bristol, WI
Taken 10-23-2011

Gaston School Gallery in Cottage Grove, WI
Taken 10-31-2011

St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Deerfield, WI
Taken 9-21-2011 

Cornerstone Church of Waterloo in Waterloo, WI
Taken 10-23-2011

Basilica of St. Josaphat, St. Josaphat's Polish Roman Catholic Church in Milwaukee, WI
Taken 9-21-2011

I hope you all have a terrific weekend!


Next Week: A few more steeples and more of Hong Kong