Saturday, July 25, 2015

Rancho Deluxe Junkyard Art Mason City Iowa



Dear Art Lover,      
     Mason City, Iowa, is known as the town for homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and his students, as well as The Music Man, Meredith Willson. [Perhaps you recall the (musical) film with the famous tune “76 Trombones” or the lyrics spoken by Robert Preston, “Trouble, right here in River City” as I do].  Check it out:


     The great fringe benefit to Mason City for being River City is that they have never stopped teaching music at all levels in their schools! 
     However, Mason City is also home to "Rancho Deluxe Z Garden" aka con affetto “The Junkyard.”  I was there visiting family and thus, my aunt thought this was a “must see.”  Perhaps you will agree.

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art community art     What I like about these sorts of places is that there is usually a person with a vision.  He has an overall concept, but the details are rather open, as are the choice of materials for his 3-d collage of “outsider art.”  Sometimes they are the work of one man, as with Solomon’s Castle in central Florida.  I was told that “The Junkyard” is led by the property owner, but that he invites kids and others to contribute their own voices to the overall composition.  Whether or not the neighbors appreciate this look, there is a lot of community expressed here in the shared effort.  I may not want to live in a place such as it, but I am very glad these spaces exist.



The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art
hmm? Really the voice of the people?  Glad it does not say, "SLOW Children / [image] / At Play."

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

Ah HA!  There appear to be plans for expanding the maze of cubes into the back section of the property.

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa collage art

This is the Vietnam Memorial.  Sadly, there was a helmet and rifle that have since been stolen.  My aunt remembered those more clearly than what is left there now.

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa Vietnam Memorial

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa Vietnam Memorial

The Junkyard Outsider Art Park Mason City Iowa Vietnam Memorial


Happy Birthday, Skye in Oz!

My apologies from the long vacation from my blog.  I have been visiting family, friends, my recent Kickstarter project supporters, and galleries around the southeast and Midwest US.  The amount of driving I had to do really cut into quality time with so many people, and caused me to miss too many others.  I am now getting a bit settled in Austin, Texas, and working here until early September. 
Peace,
Kelly
~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher

P.S.  Here is a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home (I did not have time to note whether it was his or a student's actual design.)
Frank Lloyed Wright designed house Mason City Iowa

     This is the Mason City home for Meredith Willson, the original Music Man in Iowa, USA. 
The Music Man home museum Mason City Iowa Trouble in River City

Mason City home of Meredith Willson The Music Man

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Santa Fortunata Sorrento Italia


Dear Art Lover,

     I left Florence, Italy, with a large wide, but narrow box containing nine paintings (three on wood panels), surrounded by clothes and black squid-ink spaghetti for my family.  My backpack had all of my electronic gadgets that I needed for work in the US and a big pad of paper with two boxes of pastels.  That was my idea of traveling light for my flight.  In addition, I had an extra bag with food and random things that I anticipated using up during my last couple of days in Italia for a while.  After a train ride to Napoli (Naples) and catching the Circumvesuviana train to Sorrento, I knew that I was not having a good time.


     A man running a luggage storage facility at the station in Sorrento saved me.  I delighted when he told me that there was indeed a Mailboxes, Etc. nearby.  He charged me only five euro to store my box of art at the station overnight.  Feeling much lighter, I walked around in the rain to buy bus tickets to go to the campground, Santa Fortunata.  This second image is right outside of the station just before a 30-minute thunder and lightning storm passed over us.


     The SantaFortunata is a campground that also has cabins supplied with linens.  Mine was in a lovely location up a dirt path with a good view of the distant volcano Vesuvius.  I was thrilled with myself for leaving that awkward and heavy box behind!  A nearby restaurant provided a light dinner for takeout as I settled in for some computer work, creating images and files for art shipping.  Soon, I was deep asleep in this lovely haven.



     The next morning the birds were singing.  I took the bus back into downtown Sorrento carrying an empty backpack.  The guys at Mailboxes Etc. went with me to pick up my art box and allowed me to remove most of the stuff that surrounded the art.  They had to repackage it all anyway and also verify that I was shipping what I claimed to be shipping.  They copied my new digital files for the Customs paperwork that allows art to leave Italia.  Everything went well.  I then met a man named Giovanni de Liso selling luggage who also created nice Italian scenic paintings.  We had a wonderful chat after I purchased a small suitcase and he gave me advice on good local places to eat. 



     Around town are several bronze sculptures by Arnaldo Pomodoro.  He is quite famous with a bronze sphere with similar geometric shapes emerging from it as one of the sculptures at the Vatican Museum.  They are all well cared for and the patina seems new to me.  This is impressive, especially for a coastal town.   
   
     In the afternoon I headed back to Santa Fortunata and brought my computer down to the beach at the bottom of their cliffs.  It was so relaxing to make “my office” at the edge of the sea.  It was so good to swim again and then work beside the music of the waves.

 
    It was the pattern during my visit for an evening storm to roll-in.  It was so exciting to be there with the wind whipping around and the rain hitting my metal roof.  The morning after was clear and gorgeous.  I would recommend this place as a great home base for visiting the areas around Vesuvius, such as Pompei (Pompeii in English) and Ercolano (Herculaneum in English).

Tanti auguri di buon compleanno, carissima Susanna! 
Peace,

Kelly

~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher





Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mitoraj Sculpture in Pietrasanta



Dear Art Lover,
     In my search for a permanent studio and also a home, I have been back to Pietrasanta, Italy, “land of the stone carvers.”  Sadly, I found a couple of studios that I liked, but I still have yet to find a home.  It has been hard to commit to one without having the other since my art and my life are so closely connected.

Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy
      In any event, my more recent visit to Pietrasanta gave me a surprise:  Many works by the recently late Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj (March 26, 1944 – October 6, 2014) grace the Piazza del Duomo in Pietrasanta!  I like his work, the way over life-size big bronze sculpture being impressive in and of itself, but sometimes I find myself leaving a bit depressed.  His figures are idealized, or perhaps imitations of idealized figures, such as were made by the Greeks.  They are beautiful and no doubt well made, but I am not sure of which emotion he hopes to elicit from me.

     Walking amongst the larger-than-life figures (as was the great experience in the main piazza of Pietrasanta) tends to make me feel small, as if I am nothing meandering in a sea of a dead ancient civilization.  These are all relics and I find myself feeling a sense of loss, but I am not sure of what?  But I also find myself a bit curious:  Who were they?  Why do they find themselves in pieces and lying around, seemingly unwanted?  Why does Mitoraj like the squares, some empty, others, as show here, with a face inside.  I can think of many interpretations, as I am sure that you can.  So, the art works in the end because it does help us ponder, and each viewer takes from it what he wishes.

Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy
Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy
Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy



  












Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy



Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy Bronze Sculpture
Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy bronze
internal textures
















     That said, this cracking clay series intrigues me.  I tend to like the beauty in destruction at whatever speed.  I have taken some close-up shots so that you may see his mark-making in the clay, the armature (supporting framework, in this case, metal), and how the sun is drying out this clay and causing it to give Mitoraj’s signature cracking.  His work “Passo Segreto” is shown here.

     I find this process fascinating.  I would like to know more about it actually.  Not only because the artist Mitoraj died last October and thus, I wonder if these creations are done by others, but to his specs, or even whether this is not actually clay that is drying out in the piazza, but is in fact, BRONZES made to look like cracking clay.  But I suspect the former. 

     Mud tends to crack in patterns.  Fractals are the mathematical term for the lines/designs of these shapes.  You may see some of the dramatic patterns here.  I am curious how much is totally natural and how much is altered by the armature underneath.  I also took a shot of the underside so that you may see this armature.  I saw Mitoraj’s work in several other places and he occasionally makes a sculpture that seems intended to be displayed against a wall.  Or, he enjoys showing “his undies.”

     This exhibition titled “Mito e Musica” [Myth and Music] in Pietrasanta continues through 30 August.

Peace,

Kelly

~ Kelly Borsheim, sculptor, painter, writer, teacher


Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy

Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy

Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy

Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy
Cracking Clay (sculpture detail)

Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy
close-up of eye & socket Mitoraj sculpture

Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy metal armature
Metal armature on the back/inside of the giant face sculpture


Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy

Igor Mitoraj Sculpture Exhibition in Pietrasanta, Italy
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