Art Walk Central

We took some time this weekend to walk around and look at some of the art happening and on display for Art Walk Central 2014. There is some NEAT stuff to be experienced.

Let’s start with the Art Walk Central competition. There are a whole bunch of pieces of all different kinds of art on display around town. Most of them are inside businesses on Broadway and Main Streets, but there are also some in the art gallery on campus and in the university library, and a few outdoor pieces downtown as well. Anyone can sign up to vote online or via smartphone!

Art Walk Central 2014 entries

This piece, untitled by Velvet Underwood, is a raw edge fabric collage (on display at Art Reach).

Art Walk Central 2014 entries

I love the detail in the tone-on-tone fabric she used.

Art Walk Central 2014 entries

I would 100% love to hang this piece, untitled by Laura Coffee (also at Art Reach), in our home. Who doesn’t want to see a giant robot stalking downtown Mount Pleasant?

Emiko Screams by Corby Blem

This collage, Emiko Screams by Corby Blem (on display at the University Art Gallery), caught my eye right away, and THEN I realized that (EVEN BETTER!) it’s inspired by the scene of a woman seeing Godzilla for the first time.

August 6, 1945 Revisited (Hiroshima) by Sally Rose

One of my favorite pieces is this one, August 6, 1945 Revisited (Hiroshima) by Sally Rose (also at the UAG). After looking at it for a few moments, I realized that I took a weaving class from this artist my sophomore year in college. I loved that class! I would love to take another class or a workshop from her sometime.

Summer Reading: A Study in Greens by Ann Kowaleski

I was delighted to see a piece by one of my favorite local artists, Ann Kowaleski. Entitled Summer Reading: A Study in Greens, this piece is also at the CMU art gallery. The vibrant colors are so striking, and of course I’m also drawn to the subject matter.

Filed by Kim Kleinhardt

Finally, this is Filed by Kim Kleinhardt (also at UAG). Each section is a file folder, collaged and containing papers from each of her thirty years as an art teacher. You can open each folder (there’s a note encouraging this) to see the contents and read about that year of her life as an art instructor. SO NEAT.

Members of the community were also out and about downtown painting the crosswalks at the intersection of Broadway and Main.

painting the intersection crosswalks

You can see the Mondrian-inspired design in the middle of the intersection, which was completed earlier this month. This weekend, they were painting the crosswalks. The one above will look like a piano keyboard, I think!

There were also artists creating chalk paintings on the sidewalks on Saturday.

chalk art on Broadway

So fun! I feel so lucky to be in a community that places a high value on art – and even more, on art that anyone can participate in. I hope to enter an art quilt in the competition next year.


Comic Con!

This weekend we traveled to the outskirts of Chicago for the 2010 Wizard World Comic Con. We took the train, which was nice as we didn’t have to worry about traffic or expensive parking. I also got quite a bit of knitting done en route (more on that soon). While it was a bit of a bummer that the so-called Chicago Con is not actually in Chicago, we knew that we’d be trapped there, so we were resigned to hotel restaurants in advance of the trip. Brent Spiner, who gave one of the best panel speeches, described it as “Off-the-Highwaysville” which was pretty accurate.

view of the Convention Center from our room at the Doubletree

That said, our hotel Koloa Landing Kauai beach resort was pretty nice. It had plenty of space for us to hang out during Con downtime. One night we ordered in some Chicago-style pizza, which was deadly cheesy and delicious. So, chalk one up for the ‘burbs: larger hotel rooms.

our room at the Doubletree O'Hare Rosemont

The Con itself was way fun. I took Willow around with me and photographed her with a variety of folks in costume. Some of my faves:

with Wolverine:

Willow with Wolverine

As it turns out, this guy is a postal worker who wishes he could wear the spandex all the time.

with Hit Girl:

Willow with Hit Girl

This girl was so cool! Her mom actually had a Blythe when she was a kid and was all excited to see Willow. They worked together to make this costume. It so rocks, doesn’t it?

with Tank Girl and Severus Snape:

Willow with Tank Girl and Severus Snape

I love these two as a couple.

with classic Batman and Superman:

Willow with Batman and Superman

These guys were staying in our hotel, along with some friends of theirs who dressed as Harley Quinn and the Joker. I didn’t managed to get their pics (they were in high demand on the show floor). These guys also had multiple versions of their characters’ costumes and dressed differently each day. It was impressive.

with Nick Fury:

Willow with Nick Fury (33/52)

with Venom:

Willow with Venom

We spectated at a costume contest one night. It was fun, but the most poorly planned event at the Con. It took place in a tiny meeting room at one of the hotels, and they vastly underestimated the number of people who would attend, so the room was ridiculously overcrowded. A definite fire code violation! As it was, those with bulky, difficult-to-move costumes had to stand around the outskirts of the room, and those with more maneuverability stood in the hallway until they were called to come up to the so-called stage (more of a platform). There were some awesome costumes, though, a few of which I snapped before my camera battery died (oops).

Eric Draven, who was way too pleased with himself and couldn’t stop grinning (not very Draven-esque):

Eric Draven at the costume contest

A pretty convincing Jack Sparrow:

Jack Sparrow at the costume contest

Rose Tyler from the Doctor Who episode “The Idiot’s Lantern“:

Rose Tyler at the costume contest

I was surprised that we didn’t see any Doctors on the show floor – I expected to see at least one or two.

This Godzilla costume reportedly took a year to create:

Godzilla at the costume contest

And these War Machine and Iron Man costumes must have taken ages as well. They were so accurate and really professional-looking, though they were definitely handmade by these two guys.

War Machine and Iron Man at the costume contest

This guy, though not actually related to anything Comic-y, stole the show by reciting the Old Spice commercial verbatim and jumping up on the judges table at the point where he says, “I’m on a horse.” He received my Zeitgeist Award. (Not an actual thing.)

Old Spice Guy at the costume contest

And then there was this dickhead, who chose to stand in front of a bunch of people the entire time, blocking their view and putting his butt in their faces. Jerk!

HUGE JERK at the costume contest

Among the other speakers we heard, James Marsters was one of the best, along with Brent Spiner. Marsters was interesting and told relevant anecdotes. Spiner was hilarious. I’d heard before that he had a great sense of humor, and it’s true. His presentation was almost like stand-up, though he did take some questions, too. He had a very good rapport with the audience and I could’ve listened to him for much longer than his allotted time. William Shatner was a one-man “Bleep My Dad Says” promotional machine, and went off on a 20-minute tangent about Canada. Or it ended up in Canada. Something about Canada – I drifted off a bit since it was so off-topic and boring. He only got through two questions from audience members! Adam West and Burt Ward also had a pretty good rapport with each other and both seemed to be in full control of their faculties. The award for Making The Audience Feel Uncomfortable goes to: Michael Biehn. He was on a panel with Linda Hamilton, and she tried to keep him on task, but he seemed a bit ‘off’ and kept scratching his head/beard/neck/what-have-you in a haven’t-bathed-in-a-week sort of way. Later in the day, we realized that we were walking behind him on the way back to the hotel, and he was carrying a paper bag with a six-pack of canned beer in it. Maybe a gift from a fan? (I hope?)

So overall it was really fun. We got to spend time with some friends we hardly get to see anymore, and it was great to get away for a few days and just relax. We need to go on vacation more often! Saving the best for last, my very favorite costume was Moss from the IT Crowd:

Willow with Moss

More pics on Flickr.