Tag Archives: United States

Exploring Chicago’s Sculptures

Is there anything more majestic than a sculpture? Many people would agree that sculptures have the perfect combination of beauty, balance, stateliness, and solidity. Rich in art and culture, Chicago has one of the most impressive arrays of sculptures of any location on earth. Let’s explore Chicago’s sumptuous offering of sculpture art.

Located in Chicago’s Jackson Park, the Statue of the Republic was created in 1918 by Daniel Chester French. The 24 feet high sculpture was crafted of gilded bronze and made in celebration of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition’s 25th anniversary. Funded by Benjamin Ferguson, the Statue of the Republic is fondly known by most Chicagoans as “The Golden Lady.”

Fountain of Time, a sculpture nestled in Washington Park, was created by Lorado Taft and dedicated to Chicago in 1922. Molded of concrete reinforced by steel, Fountain of Time features various figures being hovered over by Father Time. The celebratory sculpture was created after Great Britain and the United States had experienced 100 years of peace.

The Bowman and the Spearman, sculpted by Ivan Mestrovic, are located in Grant Park. Two separate sculptures, The Bowman and the Spearman have been watching over Congress Plaza since 1928. The pieces of art were designed to honor Native Americans and their unique struggles. The Bowman and the Spearman were cast in Yugoslavia and later brought to the United States to be settled in Chicago.

Ceres, the mythical Roman goddess of grain, was crafted of aluminum by John Storrs and has been a permanent fixture atop Chicago’s Board of Trade Building since 1930. Ceres clutches a sack of corn in her right hand and a sheaf of wheat in her left. Storrs masterpiece weighs 6,500 pounds and signifies the commodities market.

The Picasso, a sculpture created by Pablo Picasso himself, was settled in Chicago’s Daley Plaza in 1967. Surprisingly, the Picasso is not a hands-off piece of artwork. Chicagoans often use it as a slide or something to climb on. The Picasso weighs an astounding 162 tons.

While Chicago boasts numerous exquisite pieces of priceless artwork, its presentation of sculpture art is perhaps the most grand of all its attractions, drawing in visitors from all over the world. Have you explored Chicago’s sculptures lately?

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Do you have a Memorial Day Quote?

Here is a Memorial Day quote that I wanted to share for Memorial day weekend.

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

John F. Kennedy

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Only Once-in-One-Hundred-Years Eclipse

Moonglow

Moonglow

As a child, did you ever talk to the Man in the Moon? If so, you were in good company. Millions of people throughout the world are drawn to the beautiful presence in the sky that only shows its face at night. But while you might agree that the moon is stunning, would you ever guess it serves as a mirror?

Mirror, Mirror, in the Moon…

The moon has mirror-like properties. On June 5-6, 2012, we will see Venus dance across the face of the sun. The moon’s role in this performance will be an important one — it will act as a mirror, reflecting Venus for us to see!

The Magical Moon

There is something mystical about the moon that has captured many a scholar. In fact, the moon has been studied for years –Galileo, one of its early suitors, first gazed upon it in 1609. Since then, there have been expeditions into the galaxy and plenty of further study. What have the moon’s pursuers discovered about it?

They discovered that we can see just around 59 percent of the surface of the moon because it rotates in-step with the sun. But the surface of the moon that we can see is breathtaking, encouraging many to eagerly anticipate various phases of the lunar cycle.

This Sunday, the moon and sun will collaborate to bring the world a spectacular show.

Did you know that much of the world is waiting in anticipation for the eclipse that will take place this Sunday? The eclipse that’s approaching is not just any eclipse; it is an annular eclipse.

An annular eclipse is one that has the appearance of a “ring of fire.” Why is this? “Because the moon is further away from the earth than it might otherwise be…it will appear smaller than usual, and will let the edges of the sun peek around it.”

The last annular eclipse that was able to been seen from the United States happened twenty years ago. After this Sunday’s eclipse, the next of this particular type won’t happen again for 50 to 80 years.

See the moon for yourself

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Thomas Kinkade: The “Painter of Light”

Thomas Kinkade, popularly known as the “Painter of Light,” passed away in his sleep at the age of 54. His inspirational work touched the lives of many and will continue to live on.

Blessed with an ability to capture a moment in time, Kinkade preserved some of the most beautiful scenes of life in his paintings. Those who admire his work know that each of his paintings offer an escape from reality.

His idyllic settings, infused with radiant light, include nature scenes; gardens and seascapes, as well as nostalgic homes, cottages and cityscapes. He painted a classic America; one that many dream of and long for. Kinkade’s paintings depict the world that many people wanted to be part of – picture perfect in every way.

The painter once said, “My mission as an artist is to capture those special moments in life adorned with beauty and light. I work to create images that project a serene simplicity that can be appreciated and enjoyed by everyone.” He painted for the people, not for the critics.

Even those unfamiliar with Kinkade’s paintings can see that his work tells a story. The champions and collectors of Kinkade’s endeavors know there is more than meets the eye in each painting. For instance, the “Painter of Light” always included his wife’s initials. He also inserted his very first hero, Norman Rockwell, into many of his pieces. If you spot the boy working his paper rout on a bicycle in “Hometown Morning”, then you have discovered Kinkade himself, preserved in the moment he met his beloved wife Nanette.

Much of the inspiration for his art was fueled by his faith. Despite a less than ideal childhood, Kinkade always clung to his art. By the age of sixteen, he had become an accomplished painter. He studied at the University of California at Berkley and then worked as an artist for films.

Many people credit his time spent working on films as the experience that enabled him to grasp the effects of light, which he transferred to his painting. All of his paintings include a warm, radiant and comforting light that calls one back to a simpler time.

Thomas Kinkade’s life mission, to make art available to everyone that they might enjoy beauty, is still a reality. Though the talented and generous man is gone, he lives on through his paintings. Millions of people will still stand looking at his paintings, caught for a moment in the comforting and inspiring worlds he created.

http://www.artbythomaskinkade.com/thomas_kinkade.html

http://www.thomaskinkade.com/magi/servlet/com.asucon.ebiz.biography.web.tk.BiographyServlet

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Romare Bearden and Abstract Expressionist Art

Romare Bearden was an artist whose personal style went against the “mainstream” of art in the post World War II era. Overtime, Bearden’s style did not change as other artists’ did. He remained consistent in his abstract and expressive approach.  This is evident in all of his paintings and even more so in his collages.

Being an abstract expressionist, Bearden’s individual style developed over time.  At first he drew cartoons for magazines, then he began to paint and finally he started making collages.  All of his art was influenced by locations, people, and culture. His many travels along the east coast of the United States influenced his art work, along with his loyalty to his heritage.

The culture of African American life was a large focus for him. He shed much light on the oppression of African American people from the time of the Great Depression, through the Civil Rights Movement and onto their advancements toward equality.  He also concentrated on his heritage, depicting slaves and their migration to the north.

In addition to this, another common theme of his art was jazz music.  This greatly advanced his individual style. His art relayed one common theme but his style was advanced by his personal interpretation of jazz music.  Bearden constructed collages in the same way jazz musicians created a song — with many staccato notes played by multiple instruments. In the same sense, Bearden cut and pasted many small excerpts of paintings and photographs to create a larger work of art.

He also added paint to his collages making many pieces a hybrid of two art forms; half of the piece was painted and the other half was cut and pasted. Such creativity earned him the title of an abstract expressionist artist. While abstract elements were painted, the collage portions were realistic images taken from photographs.

The reason Bearden used this technique was because he felt that art portraying the lives of African American’s did not give full value to the individual.  This is why he used collages. In doing so he was able to combine abstract art with real images so that people of different cultures could grasp the subject matter of the African American culture: The people. This is why his theme always exemplified people of color.

Through the work of Romare Bearden, many lives were affected and individuals were better positioned to understand the struggles that African Americans faced throughout the 20th century.  The heritage of African American’s influenced an entire movement that advanced human equality.  Their struggle produced freedom.  In effect, the outside the box thinking of Romare Bearden created his unique style. A freedom all of its own.

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Did you love this Segmation blog post? If yes, great! Here are a few more posts you will enjoy:

— How the Father of Abstract Expressionism Forsook Fame to Pursue Art
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/08/15/how-father-abstract-expressionism-forsook-fame-pursue-art/

— The Beauty of Abstract Art
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/paint-by-number-kits-create-thousands-artists/

— Knitting Is More Than an Art, It Is a Cause
https://segmation.wordpress.com/2013/01/29/knitting-more-than-art-cause/

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The Op-Art of Josef Albers

Josef Albers, photograph by Arnold Newman, 1948. © Arnold Newman

In a recent post, a popular art form of the 20th century was introduced. Op-Art puts thought provoking optical illusions onto a flat canvas. During the early 1900’s, the art form flourished with the creative use of lines and patterns. At the start, artists used black and white paint or ink to create captivating images; color was incorporated later. One artist and theorist at the forefront of this art style, who also pioneered the technique of adding color, was a man by the name Josef Albers.

German-born American artist, Josef Albers studied at the Bauhaus school for arts and crafts in Germany. The school existed at the time of Nazi dominance in Germany and, subsequently, closed in 1933. After spending decade at Bauhaus as an art instructor, Alber’s emigrated to the United States, where he continued his career as an artist and teacher.

After spending some time in the United States, Albers accepted a position at teaching at Yale University. It was there that Josef Albers was able to advance the graphic art program before retiring from teaching in 1958.

In the early years of his retirement, as a fellow at Yale, Albers received funding to exhibit and lecture on the art form he had done so much to advance. By this time, Albers had catapulted many artists into successful careers. The list of notable students includes Richard Anuszkiewicz and Eva Hesse. Both artists are considered major forces in the Op-Art movement that swept the world during the 1960’s and 70’s.

Aside from his artwork and teaching, Josef Albers added another form of art to his long list of talents: In 1963, his book, Interaction of Color detailed the theory behind colorful op-art. This writing built upon a foundational thought of Albers — that colors have an internal and deceptive logic all-their-own.

Albers continued to paint and write until he died in 1976. However, the impression he left on the world of art, especially as an abstract painter and theorist, continues to live and influence abstract art today. Even though much of his work is well known and recognizable, it continues to thrive because of the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation. To this day, the organization supports exhibitions featuring the work of Josef Albers and his wife Anni, who was a textile artist.

The contribution Josef Albers made to the world of art is undeniable. He was successful at merging traditional European art with modern American art, to create an abstract style all his own. While his roots were grounded in the type of constructivist thinking that allowed Bauhaus school of arts and crafts to flourish, his experiences in America allowed him freedom to explore patterns and colors that are now the signature of optical art.

Op-art and graphic art continue to advance while consistently affirming Josef Albers influence. The world renowned teacher, artist, and color theorist is very much alive in the work of abstract artists today. Whether it is through his written words, paintings, or students who survived him, Albers will influence young artists for years to come.

No words can conclude a story about the life of this great man, except, perhaps his own. Alber’s was quoted as saying, “Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature. I prefer to see with closed eyes.” Others are happy to have their eyes opened by the influential life and art of Josef Albers. May his legacy and art been seen for years to come.

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Lady Liberty (www.segmation.com)

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The Statue of Liberty is a massive sculpture located in New York Harbor. It was designed by Frédéric Bartholdi and is a gift to the United States from France. Dedicated in 1886, it has become an icon of liberty and freedom and a recognized landmark throughout the world. The 151 foot Lady Liberty holds a torch with her right hand and a tablet, symbolizing the law, in her left hand. Our set of Lady Liberty patterns are based on a wonderful set of photographs of the statue. Back dropped against blue skies, and wispy clouds, the patterns show the Statue of Liberty from many angles and various close-ups. We’ve also included a pattern of the Las Vegas replica of the statue.
Over 20 patterns!

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Thomas Cole Founder of the Hudson River School www.segmation.com

Thomas Cole Founder of the Hudson River School Pattern Set for Segmation SegPlay® PC released (see more details here)

Thomas Cole (1801-1848) was an American artist who is regarded as the Founder of the Hudson River School. This school represented an art movement that emphasized realistic and detailed portraits of the American landscape with themes of romanticism and naturalism. Thomas Cole was born in England, but moved to the United States as a youth. His talents for painting were soon discovered and his works focused on landscapes. He also painted allegorical works including his famous “The Course of Empire” series. Our large set of Thomas Cole paintings includes many of his most recognized works including “The Oxbow”, “The Garden of Eden”, “The Fountain of Vaucluse”, “A View near Tivoli”, “Falls of Kaaterskill”, “Il Penseroso”, “The Course of Empire Consummation”, “Autumn in the Catskills”, “Arch of Nero”, “Mount Aetna from Taormina”, “Home in the Woods”, “Self Portrait”, and “Titan’s Goblet”.

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Thomas Cole Founder of the Hudson River School

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