Friday, February 26, 2016

Chicago Artists

We're here to catch up with lots of friends and relatives.  It turned out Thursday was artist day.

First, a familiar Alaskan artist transformed the landscape.  These two pictures are a couple of hours apart.

Then we went to visit a first cousin of my mom's, who is also an artist of some stature - Gerda Bernstein.  We, fortunately, met her at her studio.  My mom's had a lithograph of hers hanging in her house forever and I've seen catalogues of her work.  But since most of her works are large installation pieces, there's nothing like seeing things as they were meant to be seen.  The studio is a small gallery.  Some of the installations are up, but most are represented by photographs.  I want to do more on Gerda, but were busy every day visiting folks so this is just a brief post.

On the left is view from near the entrance to the studio.

This piece is called Gaza Tunnel.  It's a reconstruction of the tunnels used to smuggle things into Gaza.  But this tunnel is reimagined to be lined with books and the idea of the transformational power of books.

Most of her works raise issues of people's suffering in the world.  As I understand it - though I'm not positive - many early works were holocaust related and the focus has taken in other oppressed peoples.

I'm afraid I was overpowered by the art in the studio.  My initial interest in Gerda is that she's the only person I know of who is still alive who knew my mother when she was a young girl in Germany.  We talked about that a little bit, but the art was too strong to resist.

Here's a break as we drove through downtown Chicago.  The snow hadn't stuck everywhere.

I've been reminded that I'm no longer on the West Coast.  Drivers don't even think about stopping for pedestrians.

Thursday evening we followed up with folks we connected with at my Peace Corps group reunion in Portland.  We went to hear Edward G. McDaniels playing the base at Buddy Guy's blues club.  It was a wonderful evening.  Ed is on the right.  Great music, food, and conversation.

There was a picture of Barack Obama and Buddy Guy with this quote:  "People sometimes ask me what the biggest perk of being president is.  Number one is the plane.  Number two is Buddy guy comes here all the time to my house with his guitar."

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