Art Appreciation

 16th Street stairs in San Francisco, CA.

16th Street stairs in San Francisco, CA.

Art is actually all around us...well, here in the Bay Area anyway. I look for it and always find it elsewhere too. Finding it doesn't necessarily mean going to a museum. It's out and about on the streets, stairs, grassy fields and is found within many incarnations. It's not always a stationary object...it could be an organic transformative experience that is here and gone. For me, I love when it's serendipitous--glancing over to the triangular Island in the middle of a busy road, a statue of Ghandi or Sojourner Truth or even Lenin. 

The 16th Street Stairs in San Francisco allow you to experience the art by walking up or down the stairs...each landing affords a view of the whole theme for that section and provides a necessary resting place to catch your breathe--these are steep stairs built into a hillside. 

 

 Olympic Sculpture park in Seattle, WA. 

Olympic Sculpture park in Seattle, WA. 

I'm exhausted from the month long Open Studios, and while I love to see beautiful objects, I don't always want to have a PHD to understand what I'm looking at. Sometimes just taking it in is enough. There is something to say about beauty in structures and configurations, as well as their settings, ie: Site Specific.

To me, the sculpture park in Seattle, seems as if was exclusively made for this Calder Sculpture. The chairs nearby are coordinated, in the exact same shade of red to go with the sculpture. Alternate views from any direction ensure taking in the full sculpture visually and within its setting. The viewer walks all around and through the piece, allowing every rivet and angle of the structure to be seen-even the underbelly. This piece might not look so great in a crowded downtown surrounded by department stores and skyscrapers but definitely commands the space at the sculpture park.

 

 The Conservatory at the Chihuly Glass Gardens

The Conservatory at the Chihuly Glass Gardens

Apparently Dale Chihuly, the glass blower, has always been taken with glass enclosed conservatories. So much so, that he worked with an architect to design and build one at the Chihuly Glass Gardens in Seattle. Not only are the glass sculptures, chandeliers and gardens remarkable, but this structure, the conservatory is equally extraordinary. All glass enclosed, you could enjoy the outdoor gardens in any direction while staying warm inside. The ceiling of the conservatory is laced with a spectacular floral sculpture, stretching out the full length of the ceiling. 

 Outside at the Chihuly Glass Gardens in Seattle, WA.

Outside at the Chihuly Glass Gardens in Seattle, WA.

Wandering outside, the view to the conservatory is beautiful as well. While perusing the gardens you see the conservatory from various angles. The Gardens are literally that, plantings of flora among the glass sculptures. The glass upstages the planted flora -as they are meant to. The actual flora is really the backdrop for the Flora-like glass sculptures on these spectacular grounds. On a bright sunny day the colors are electrified and with each turn on the path you are surprised by glass blossoms in a kaleidoscope of hues. These gardens were such a pleasure to visit that soon after I paid the hefty entrance fee, I completely forgot about it and was taken in with the beauty of the shapes, color and juxtapositions of these astonishing and over-the-top creations. 

I know if I wander around in San Francisco, I'll come across murals, tile projects, sculpture, architecture and other oddities, just there for the viewing...it's not hard to find Art, we live within it every day.