Dale Chihuly

February 11, 2008 | filed under plain cool, spotlight | 1 Comment 

Not everyone has a favorite glass blower…I do. His name is Dale Chihuly and I’ve loved him since I found out about him in high school. So for quite some time. He’s been a known artist for several decades now, but I recognize that still not many are familiar with him or his work. Maybe now you’ll have a favorite glass blower, too.

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Born in 1941 in Tacoma, Washington, Dale Chihuly was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington. After graduating in 1965, Chihuly enrolled in the first glass program in the country at the University of Wisconsin. He continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for over a decade.

In 1968, Chihuly was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to work at the Venini factory in Venice, Italy. While in Venice, Chihuly observed the team approach to blowing glass, which is critical to the way he works today. In 1971 Chihuly co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. With this international glass center, Chihuly has led the avant-garde in the development of glass as a fine art.

His work is included in over two hundred museum collections worldwide. He has been the recipient of many awards, including seven honorary doctorates and two fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chihuly has created many well-known series of works, among them the Baskets, Persians, and Seaforms, but he is also celebrated for large architectural installations. In 1995 he embarked on the international project, Chihuly over Venice, which involved working in glass factories in Finland, Ireland and Mexico, with the resultant sculptures installed over the canals and piazze of Venice.

In 1999, Chihuly mounted his most ambitious installation to date, Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem; more than one million visitors attended the Tower of David Museum to view his installations. In 2001 the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, curated the exhibition Chihuly at the V&A. He exhibited at the Salt Lake Art Center during the 2002 Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. His first major glasshouse exhibition, Chihuly in the Park: A Garden of Glass was on display at the Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago. The Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, was dedicated in 2002.

In 2003, Chihuly begins the Fiori series for the opening exhibition at the Tacoma Art Museum’s new building. TAM designs a permanent installation for its collection of his works. Chihuly at the Conservatory opens at the Franklin Park Conservatory, Columbus, Ohio. In 2004, Chihuly creates new forms in his Fioriseries for an exhibition at Marlborough Gallery, New York. The Orlando Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, become the first
museums to collaborate and present simultaneous major exhibitions of his work. Presents a glasshouse exhibition at Atlanta Botanical Garden.

In 2005, Chihuly marries Leslie Jackson. Mounts a major garden exhibition at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, outside London. Shows at Marlborough Monaco and Marlborough Fine Art, London. Exhibits at the
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Coral Gables, Florida. In 2006, Mother, Viola, dies at the age of ninety-eight in Tacoma, Washington. Also in 2006 Chihuly presents glasshouse exhibitions at the Missouri Botanical Garden and The New York Botanical Garden. Chihuly in Tacoma, hotshop sessions at the Museum of Glass, reunites Chihuly and glassblowers from important periods in his development.



What If…

February 11, 2008 | filed under inspiring, pay attention, plain cool, spotlight | Leave a Comment 

What If logoyou lived in a community where your input was valued?  What if there was a vacant lot and instead of building a new building that would more than likely not benefit area residents, you were asked what you needed?  What if there’s a growing interest in growing your own food in a dense urban environment where land is scarce? 

The What-If Project is a really interesting architectural project that favors community involvement over creating the traditional architectural monuments that most firms seeks to build.  My personal favorite of their projects is the “Vacant Lot” project in the Shoreditch neighborhood in London where a vacant lot was tranformed into a green space.  Seventy half-ton bags were filled with soil.  Each resident looks after a bag and grows their own fruits, vegetables, and flowers.  What a great idea.

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What My World Sounds Like: Dejion

February 6, 2008 | filed under listen, pay attention, plain cool, spotlight, what my world sounds like | 1 Comment 

Dejion

Ever the enthusiast, I can’t help but to share the goodness in my life (or at least I try).  The past few days, I have been listening to quite a treat.  If you act fast, you’ll be able to thank me for changing your musical trajectory if but for a while.

One of music’s most hidden treasures is trying to throw himself out of obscurity–but the conditions have to be right.   Unwilling to compromise himself or his work, musical extraordinaire Dejion has been inching his way towards mainstream attention for quite some time.  He’s worked with some of the biggest names in music and only remains unknown to you because of his refusal to be shafted by the pirates of the industry (not a reference to downloaders).

Ask any hooper and they’ll tell you that some of the best ball players play street ball.  In 1998, Kweli said that some of the best rappers were underground.  Perhaps all the world’s greatest treasures are hidden…until they’re discovered and unsurfaced.

Let me do my little part and unearth a piece of this trove…

Being–necessarily and understandably–ridiculously protective over his music, I can’t make any promises as to how long you’ll be able to hear any of it, but if you go to his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/DejionMusic, you’ll be transported to an eargasmic world of delicious harmonies, delectable arrangements, and spectacular production…among other things.  Take it for checking.

*Due to protective measures employed, I have no copies of the music to upload.  Therefore, you’ll have to visit the site referenced above.



Composting made easy!

December 23, 2007 | filed under plain cool, spotlight | Leave a Comment 

NatureMillI’m so excited about this product I’ve recently found. I’m certain I come off as ambivalent, one minute decrying products, the next praising them. Thing is…just because I’m ready to change doesn’t mean the rest of the world is. Step by step, I suppose. For those highly urbanized individuals who depend on products and aren’t giving them up anytime soon, there’s still good for you to do.

I often think about farming and how I don’t want to farm with toxic soil. Now I’ll just make my own. 😉 Thanks to a product called NatureMill, ordinary individuals–urban or rural–can do their own composting in a matter of weeks.

According to NatureMill, up to 40% of the waste in landfills is food waste. With their composting products, the waste will never make it to the landfill. Taking up only a few feet of space and an electrical outlet, you put in your organic waste: coffee grounds, tea bags, and vegetable/meat/dairy remains. Turn the machine on and the computer supercharges and regulates the heat and oxygen levels, accelerating the composting process. What can take months now takes two weeks. With a price tag of $299, less than an iPhone, gaming system, or top of the line camera for all you techy Christmas shoppers and comparable to the price of a trash compactor, there’s not a barrage of reasons for why one shouldn’t be adding NatureMill to the list of things to get to improve your positive contributions to the world.

For pet owners, there’s also a version for composting pet waste. Check out www.naturemill.com to learn more.



Do you [want to] blog?

December 20, 2007 | filed under learn something, random, spotlight | Leave a Comment 

I’m evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they’re letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it’s still free.



Spotlight…Su-en Wong

November 7, 2007 | filed under inspiring, plain cool, spotlight | Leave a Comment 

Su-en Wong

Su-en Wong

Su-en Wong

Su-en Wong

Su-en Wong

Two words come to mind when I think of Su-en Wong: friggin dope! She draws all of this. Insane. Her biography reads:

Su-en was born in Singapore in 1973. She spent her early years with aspirations of becoming a ballerina. She seemed to be much better at the piano bench than at the ballet though, so at age 16, Su-en left for the United States to embark ona career of piano performance. It wasn’t long until she discovered stage fright, as well as an affinity and true love for painting and drawing. She gladly changed career paths once again, and now, some years later, Su-en is happily living and making paintings in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the true center of the universe!

The message here: follow your heart! Passion=purpose.



Joey Dott

November 7, 2007 | filed under spotlight, website | Leave a Comment 

Cast Off Consciousness Series

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I love his work!  These are a few of his latest  paintings.  They’re so bright and I definitely think are among my favorite pieces of his right now.  To see more, go to www.joeydott.com.



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