unofficial art tours

25 06 2009

a couple of weeks ago shawn and i steeled ourselves for a somewhat poignant and bravery-requiring trip to the syracuse farmer’s market, where we ended up not needing too much bravery at all to buy tomatoes and lettuces and incense and heaps of strawberries for that evening’s potluck up at nellthegreat‘s. also we got to sample a scape, which i’d never seen for sale before, or known the name of, but i felt all kinds of smart for sight-guessing what it had to be even before we were close enough to smell their cut ends. and then we walked by a center kiosk mostly decorated by stained-glass bugs and ribbons and other small, cute pieces, in the midst of which was this gorgeous moon-adorned tree-scape that i fell completely, extravagantly in love with. i don’t spend money on me. i don’t grab up things. i’m not a must-have-that sort of girl, but i kept going back and back, and eventually the must-have nature of the scene became clear to the girl selling the art, who lit up like a firework. “really? really? you have no idea how starving we are. you would make our day–hell, our week if you bought that. you would make this month’s mortgage!” with encouragement like that, the deal had to find a way to come through, although that became logistically tricky for a while, because neither of us had enough cash, the artists (minding-the-booth-girl and her brother) didn’t have a card reader, and the market’s ATM was down. after much questing shawn found another, and retrieved his own money for the beautiful thing, calling it a (wholly undeserved and phenomenal, if you ask me) birthday present. while he was off making that happen, i stood and chatted with the sister of the set, who told me about the piece, that it was her brother’s, that he’d done it in an inspired fit of careless making, not even using the pencil to draw the pieces first, just free-cutting and hoping they’d fit together, that they were both in their first year of the craft, that they were working out of their basement with supplies they bought for $50 off craigslist when an artist had died and his friend had put up posts to offload some of his belongings, that they’d gone without heat half the winter to save enough to buy the glass to make enough art to sell come summer–and then she ran to the car to grab her brother and drag him back so he could repeat the creation story and we could thank each other, me–him for the act of creation and him–me for the patronage. the picture can’t do it justice, because whatever light you use to grab a piece of good stained glass accentuates a range of features at the exclusion of a hundred more, but see:

and this is my favorite of the photos i came home with from the bridge in frederick, which there’s not much to say about other than it’s worth stopping by and wandering around peering at the detail of for far longer than i had to spend, so you should try it sometime:

and i neglected to mention it at the time, but a few weeks before that paul and john and jill and i took a field trip (literally) out to a venue in canandaigua to hear david byrne (and ani, who was kind enough to open, and kick a little ass all of her own) burn down the house in many, many tones and colors. and also we got to see him wear a tutu:

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