A few weeks ago, Moonie insisted we check out “Flowers vs. the Frost,” which was billed as “a celebration to embrace the end of the growing season,” at the downtown club Aurora.
Boy, does my dude like to embrace things that grow.
Flowers vs. the Frost turned out to be a group of happy people bringing together all the flowers still left – many grown and donated by a nice young lady we met there – for a last joyful arrangement instead of letting the frost take them away. Everyone collaborated in some way in using the petals to create images like they do in Day of the Dead altars in Mexico.
My dude sure loves art and celebrations. And, of course, flowers.
First he checked out one of the drawings that our friend Jen was making, which would be turned into flower art.
Then Moonie helped out at the “beheading station,” where the flowers were de-petaled so they could become art.
So many flowers!
“LOVE” is a famous pop art sculpture by Robert Indiana that has iconically been reproduced in everything from stamps to album covers. I’ve seen the one in NYC and someday will see the one at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Moonie, well, he doesn’t need to travel. He finds love everywhere he goes.
Even Moonie-sized shiny Robert Indiana love.
Last night Moonie and I headed to the AS220 Project Space to view “Toy Portraits” by Sandy MacDonald Studio, which is on display now through January 30th. He was so excited to see paintings of some of his toy friends!
It was so crowded, packed to the gills with art lovers and well-wishers, that we first ducked into the non-Sandy half of the project space to view works by talented artist Antoine Revoy. His whimsical illustrations featured interesting and colorful character concepts. Moonie really liked “Meteorites (Noah’s Ark)” – although he was a little concerned that the polar bears’ tummies looked suspiciously full.
But then we found a break in the crowd and headed in to see Sandy’s paintings in their own special little room. Oh boy!
Last October, Chris Daltry of The ‘Mericans was looking for help from creative friends for a project. When I showed up to aid Chris and his artist wife Jennifer I also met two new people, J.J. and Renee, who’ve since become important to Moonie. It’s always nice to meet people through music or art, and in this case it was a combination of both!
The ‘Mericans were creating a set of Marshall stacks to decorate the walls of The Parlour, an excellent Providence venue that attracts fantastic local and regional talent, for an upcoming show where The ‘Mericans planned to pose as Spinal Tap. It turned out to be one of the funnest and funniest nights I’ve ever had, and you can catch a lot of their Spinal Tap set on YouTube.
But even better, the Marshall stacks that the Daltrys and Renee and J.J. and I helped make served not only as a backdrop that night (mostly thanks to Jennifer’s realistic touches – she is a talented RISD grad!), but for more than 14 months and counting. I get a little thrill every time I see photos of rock, folk, rap, reggae, comedy, and all kinds of other acts that have performed in front of our Marshall stacks over the past year-plus. The Parlour is in no rush to take the stacks down, and during dozens, maybe scores, of shows since 2014 I’ve overheard all kinds of people saying how great they look there.
Fast forward a year to November, when Renee called me and J.J. back together to make a new set of Marshall stacks, this time for The Wilbury Theatre Group‘s production of “Passing Strange.” I looked down and pint-sized Moonie was holding his paintbrush, grinning and raring to go.
So off we went to Renee’s.
Another participant of Natick Artists Open Studios, the funky person whose funky artwork Moonie had already admired at Renew Arts & Industry, was none other than Virginia Fitzgerald. Virginia is tireless, always chasing opportunities to showcase the whimsy and color and beauty she constantly sees in the world around her. I met her in a photography workshop this summer, but I’d already been familiar with some of her dress sculptures that I’d had a chance to photograph in earlier workshops. Now it was Moonie’s turn to get up close and personal with Virginia’s work, and he was more than happy to run around her colorful studio with dresses made out of every material imaginable – and some beyond imagination.
Some were just Moonie’s size…
…And some were way too big for him.
Moonie and I made the most wonderful stop during Natick Artists Open House to see David Lang Studios at 25 Washington Avenue. David is a Renaissance man, with interests and talents in photography, literature, painting, sculpture, and everything in between, and his studio is a haven for scavenged and unwanted items that David gives a second chance by making them part of a narrative or whimsical or unexpectedly elegant piece of art. For adults and children alike, and especially for curious little pink-haired trolls, his studio is part museum, part playground, and Moonie had a ball checking out some of its crazy contents.
Like this motion-activated, sound-filled sculpture.
And this one, “The Swine Flew,” that I’ve seen in museum shows David has done.
And “The Castinetti Sisters.’
Yesterday was Moonie’s first day home, and mine too from being away on a trip, so I asked what he wanted to do. I saw his little mind burn steam going back and forth between music and cookies and dancing and hugging flowers, but he finally decided.
“Art!” he shouted.
“OK, let’s do art,” I said.
“And leaves!” he added.
“And leaves,” I agreed.
Fall is the prettiest season to be in my home state of Massachusetts, so I drove Moonie up to Natick, where the Natick Artists Open Studios was in its second and final day. What a beautiful day to see 70 local artists!
We stopped to take a few little walks at Turner Pond and Middlesex Pond and at Kingsbury Grist Mill.