Places to Visit

Kinetic Penguins - Makes Me Smile

Looks like I need to make bitforms in NYC a regular stop for our occasional visit to the Big Apple. We missed this show of interactive Penguins by Daniel Rozin but also, in looking at the list of past exhibitions, there have been many fun kinetic art exhibitions. 

Daniel Rozin Penguins

I certainly would have spent some time interacting with these dancing Penguins.

Daniel Rozin Penguins 2

Links of interest:

 

Theo Jansen- Stranbeest in Boston

Exciting news for those of us who love kinetic sculpture. The Peabody Essex Museum located in Salem, Massachusetts is having the first United States show of the work of kinetic artist Theo Jansen.

 Strandbeest by Theo Jansen

Strandbeest by Theo Jansen

The exhibition opens September 19th and runs through January 3rd. Most exciting though is coming up in the next 2 weeks are scheduled walks for the sculpture in public places. The first is this Saturday, August 22nd at Cranes Beach from 10 AM- noon. The wind powered structure will take a beach stroll. 

Information about additional planned events can be seen here on their website. Those of us in New England need to plan to see some of these happening and visit the museum for a rare opportunity to see the marvelous work of Theo Jansen

Organic Mechanic • Blair Somerville

I definitely would like to take a little trip to New Zealand and Australia. That has always been on my bucket list. This video pushed it higher up on the list. Here is a kindred tinkerer with whom, I expect, I could have some interesting conversations.  

Image source: Colossall

Blair Somerville lives and creates on the South Island of New Zealand. There he operates the Lost Gypsy Gallery in a converted old school bus.

Image source: Inka Parei

And he whiles away the hours creating kinetic sculpture and automata from found materials. His style and mine are worlds apart but it is all in the mechanics....making it work.  What fun.

Images source: Colossall

Images source: Colossall

He doesn't have a website that I could find but was recently featured in this beautifully crafted and whimsical video by Joey Bania. It is a very entertaining, motion filled wonderland. Enjoy.

I love the part where he tries to assign words to what he does. His choices - Rustic Automata, Organic Mechanic, Tinkerer all creating Fine Acts of Junk! 

 via Colossall

MAD Museum • Mechanical Art & Design

Do you live in, near or are traveling to Stratford Upon the Avon in the UK soon? If so you might want to put the MAD Museum on you must see list.  They have just moved/expanded and reopened on 4/5 Henley Street. They have included one of my sculptures, Swoop, in their exhibit along with an extensive collection of other kinetic art.

 

They sent a series of photos from opening week.

  

Looks like a place I could easily spend an afternoon! 

For those that can't visit, online info is a little basic at this point.  Not a lot of photos or videos of the work in the museum.  They do have and extensive resource list of kinetic artists on their site here which should provide all of us with hours of online exploration and entertainment!

 

 

Searching for Sculptures Across America

It has been quite awhile since I've posted on the blog and for good reason. Marji and I have just returned from a 7 week road trip exploring America. We left on September 5th with few specific plans but several broad goals. One of those goals was to experience any sculpture parks we traveled near. Some folks collect baseball parks, others national parks. We collect sculpture parks.  The quest was inspired by our frequent visits to both Storm King Art Center (Mountationville, NY) and Grounds for Sculpture (Hamilton, NJ).

We started with a Google search that ended at a Wikipedia article listing sculpture parks around the world. We concentrated on the USA for this trip! The first park to cross our path was the Scandaga River Sculpture Park in Wells, NY. It was in a remote area near the Adirondacks and we had our doubts as we followed the GPS. But it led us to the beautiful garden of artist John Van Alstine and his studio. It was our lucky day because the artist was home. We had a delightful visit.

Sculpture and Photo credit • John Vanalstine

John told us of a recently published book by Francesca Cigola titled Art Parks: A Tour of America's Sculpture Parks and Gardens, and recommended it as a resource for our travels. We located it on Amazon and had it waiting for us at a friend's home as we passed near Pittsburgh.We used it extensively and adjusted routes to view the parks shared in this book. It directed us to a wide range of parks and wonderful sculpture across America. We saw very little new kinetic work (more info later), but many exciting sculptures.   

The book was helpful in locating some extremely interesting parks. Be sure to cross reference things with online resources because some have restricted viewing. Of note, the northeast has the highest concentration of sculpture parks by far and we never knew about a host of them. We didn't visit any of those because we can see them as day trips from home. We have some interesting weekend trips ahead!

Here is a quick overview of a few of our discoveries.

Normade by Plensa at PapaJohn Sculpture Park Des Moines, Iowa

 

Sequences by Richard Serra at Cantor Art Center, Stanford University

 

A Flock of Signs by Kim Beck at 100 Acres in Indianapolis, IN

 

Our trip was exciting on many levels but especially because of the art we saw, both natural and man made.  I will continue to share additional information about the various sculptures parks we visited across America in future blog posts. Check back regularly. You might discover a place you need to visit!