Happy Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, so from now on the days get longer and longer. It is also Valda, an Indo-Iranian holiday celebrating the struggle between darkness and light. Light is winning from this day forward (until next year). ):
Well, the main reason I haven’t been here in a bit, is because I just finished addressing and stamping 2,000 holiday cards. They went out this morning.
There’s a new exhibit at The Mattress Factory, called Queloides, which is Spanish for the word keloids. This word is an English medical term for off color scaring of skin from surgery and other injuries. Many people believe black skin is more prone to this. Hence the theme of the exhibit about racism in Cuba, the artwork is by Cuban artists exploring this. One piece called “Artificial Breathing” has the words Am I Not a Man and Brother and it has ice crystals created by a freezer behind the wall referring to the cold shoulder many young blacks feel in Cuba. As you enter the Mattress Factory, there’s an old Plymouth with a dozen ceramic black legs holding it up. This piece is called “The Raft”. The show runs through February 27 and cost $10 for adults. The Mattress Factory is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
There’s a new exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Art called “The Art of Structure.” It’s a combination of an exhibit at the Princeton University Art Museum “Felix Candela: Engineer, Builder, Structural Artist” and “The Art of Structural Design: A Swiss Legacy”. It examines the relationships between art and engineering. One of the structures the exhibit looks at is the George Washington Bridge (it was supposed to be clad in stone or masonry, but since it was built during the Great Depression, that extravagance was scrapped). They also look at the Christian Menn designed Sunniberg Bridge in Switzerland, a very cool bridge with low cable support systems and a wavy deck. They also look at buildings made of cement, that gave the architects a lot of leeway in design. This medium wasn’t embraced too much in America, but there’s some great examples in Latin America. Puerto Rico’s Bacardi Rum Factory and Candela’s hyperbolic paraboloids in designing everything from churches to band stands. It runs through January 17 with the normal museum hours 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturdays, open late Thursdays through 8 p.m. Noon until 5 p.m. on Sundays. The price is $15 unless you get your tickets here, then it’s only $9.
Skip and Christina (and Hunter) have recently relocated to the Northside from Florida. They stayed with me during their relocation processes and called me Friday to see if I knew an officiant, they wanted to get married here today. So I hooked them up with Larry Goyda and they were married this evening. It was really nice. They’re such a nice couple, and Hunter’s such a cute kid.
There’s a guy that came up with a neat idea, he’s making plush toys that are designed to look like germs. He did this to make kids comfortable with what causes common ailments. They have a whole series with plushes called measles, rubella, e-coli and many others. Check out his web site Giant Microbes.
One final entry before I sign off for the night, Old Economy Village over in Beaver County is stealing the Cathedral of Learning’s nationality rooms’ tradition of having a holiday tree of that room’s nationality. (And I don’t mean “stealing” in a bad way. The Puerto Rican’s stole the name The Parador from the Spanish and I stole the name from the Puerto Ricans, so I’m OK with “stealing” on that level-some would call it borrowing). Old Economy is the original settlement of a group of German immigrants that almost had to close last year due to cuts in state funding. Some local volunteers got it saved. The ethnic trees this year represent England, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Serbia and Ukraine.