Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sept 17, 2008 - Island Getaway

These are some of the unique plant life found on a very secluded island off the coast of Africa called Socotra. It's an almost alien world that has been geographically isolated from the mainland for 6 or 7 million years. Like the Galapagos Islands, this island has 700 extremely rare species of flora and fauna, one third of which are found nowhere else on earth.

The Island has been declared a World Heritage Site and has around 40,000 inhabitants. If you're looking for a little getaway the island is geared toward eco-tourism—trekking, camel riding, cave exploration, snorkeling, and diving on shipwrecks—no beachfront hotels and restaurants. But it could be a place you'll never forget. What is unfortunate is that Socotra is located off the coast of Yemen, one of the hot spots for violence in our world as evidenced by the attempted bombing of the US Embassy just yesterday.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sept 14, 2008 - Open Art Studios

Time goes by too fast. There are times when I seem to have lots to tell you about and then it slips away and suddenly a whole month has gone by. August was great, slow and a bit lazy. The weather was amazing too. Mild and comfortable, a rare thing in my memory. You just need some time to be lazy every once in awhile. September is definitely accelerating my days. I'm working on a few freelance projects and I have a good stream of lamp orders to get done, including some custom work which isn't that common for me. I'll show you the results when they're done.

I wanted to take some time to promote the Open Art Studios tour here in the Madison area. It's coming up on the weekend of Oct 4-5. Around 150 artists open up their studios to the public for one weekend only. For a lot of these artists it's the only time during the year when you can actually see an artist's true working environment. And I think it's kind of fascinating. Unfortunately, for the last 4 years I've been one of the artists showing and I haven't been able to take the tour myself. But I'd really like to. There's something about seeing behind-the-scenes. It tells much more of the story behind an artist's unique vision. That's kind of what I'm trying to do with this blog but being in the environment is much different than seeing pictures of it.

Here's how it works. We are fortunate to have a preview exhibit at the wonderful Overture Center in downtown Madison. The exhibit is in the Community Galleries from Sept. 22 to Oct. 10. The galleries are located on 3 floors of the center located off the main rotunda entrance. The exhibit features one work from every artist participating in the event. The idea being that you can pick the artists you want to visit based on the work you see in the exhibit. Printed maps of all the artist's studio locations are available at the galleries and at local library branches and community centers. There's also an opening for this exhibit on Sept. 26 from 6 pm-9 pm. There will be a cash bar and a great silent auction. 

Go to the official Open Art Studios web site for more information. The site features a listing of all the artists, their work, and an interactive map of the studio locations. There are also a few locations where a group of artists are showing. These are artists who don't have studios near by or whose studios just aren't able to handle the public coming through. Take this very rare opportunity to visit some studios including mine, pictured below. Have a great day. It's very dark and rainy here but it makes me feel better about staying in and making lamps. Ciao. m