Why do we call it a bank of elevators? My guess is that at one time, only banks had lifts. Rest assured, this is no bank.
Royal Caribbean ships have elevator banks that are functional, stylish and serve as a showcase for hanging art. No two banks are the same which is not only refreshing but helpful. Helpful, in that, on some of the larger ships, it’s easy to get disoriented. Having distinct elevator banks helps with getting your bearings. I can’t tell you how many times I forgot whether I was at the front or back of the boat. Unless you’re up top or by a window, it’s almost irrelevant, but knowing which direction to walk for a meal is an acquired skill.
Also, each night the crew replaces a floor tile in each elevator with the name of the day. So not only do you know which part of the ship you’re on, you’re reminded the day of the week. Little orientation hist never hurt anyone. Anyway, if memory serves me, this was at the back of the Oasis of the Seas, or was it the front?
On our night in Kansas City, we drove around after having dinner in the Plaza area. I took this photo in front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. There were sculptures all over; can you find one in this image of the Bloch Building? Maybe this Google Map link will help.
From a quick observation, it appears that Kansas City has a thriving arts community. There were signs of it everywhere; galleries, public art, murals and of course, music venues all over the place. I would love to come back to explore and take more photos.
I have mixed emotions about taking photos of public art. By itself, it’s not very original to take a snapshot of someone else’s art. But if it can be a part of a larger narrative, then maybe I’m okay with it. For instance, I think taking a picture of a mural is a step away from photocopying. However, perhaps it can be framed to tell a different story. That’s still derivative art, but I’m a little bit more okay with that. So going forward, I’ll have to decide whether it passes the sniff test on a case by case basis.
Driving east on I90 through South Dakota there are some strange sights. This sculpture is one we encountered as we approached the Badlands. Here is a Google Maps link
The open space seems endless along the highway. Mile after mile, it stretches across the country. The gently rolling landscape is broken sporadically by rest stops, gas stations and quirky recreations of western towns where billboards advertise coffee for five-cents.
We came upon this sculpture near a stop known as 1880 Town. It’s not far from Badlands National Park which, among other things, is known for large fossilized bones from 33 million years ago. Perhaps back then, the dinosaurs were as familiar as the Buffalo along the plains of South Dakota. I think everything looked much different, and I wonder what it will look like in another thirty-million years.
This is inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, aka SFMOMA. The last time I was in California I visited, seeing as many exhibits as I could. This is the central atrium with a skylight at the top. These types of shots are disorienting until you figure it out. That’s the whole point, a little mind puzzle.
I spent a lot of time at the photography exhibits as well as the abstract paintings. The photos were from film and taken over fifty years ago, documenting an era in LA that I found fascinating. The abstract paintings were just as intriguing, some with such extraordinary detail that it was hard to imagine the effort required. But then that’s the reason to go; to see new things and learn.
I visited each floor, finally arriving at the top where I walked across a bridge under the skylight, which is bigger than it appears here. There was a lot of stairs, a lot of walking and a lot of standing and observing. When I finally got to the top I took the elevator down and grabbed this image before leaving with a coffee and a head full of new ideas and inspirations.
This is from one of the many terraces at the Hotel Arts Barcelona. We arrived here in the morning after an overnight flight from DC. In fact we were too early, so while waiting for our room I walked around to explore and take a few pictures. The hotel gets its name from the collection of public art in and around the hotel.
Unlike other areas, this is in a modern section of town and the outdoor art accents the area to give it a unique feel. It’s in contrast to an area like the gothic quarter, but like any big city there are distinct districts with completely different atmospheres.
Even though we couldn’t check-in right away the terraces and patios were nice places to decompress after a long flight. It didn’t hurt that they seemed to have an endless supply of complementary champagne while we waited.
This is part of the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco. Naturally the design caught my eye and is another example of art in architecture. As unusual a shape as it is, the wide angle lens accentuates the effect. The surrounding buildings seem to bend into its gravitational pull.
Public art can evoke imagination transporting the thoughts of any who take the time to notice. I believe it subconsciously stimulates our inner worlds one individual at a time.
We all need art in our lives. Many of us live, move and age in a world without acknowledgment of art. We ignore it. I am no exception, racing at the feet of another god, unmindful of my surroundings. But eventually we tire of being disconnected from deeper meaning. Art is a portal to the place it was created. That’s an opaque way of saying it leads back to creative energy, because it’s the product of a creative.
I have never considered myself a creative. But I’ve come to appreciate creatives and their art. And through the practice of the craft of photography I begin to recognize creative similarities in my own and different mediums. If I, of all people, can become aware of the value of art, then there’s hope indeed.
I don’t need to tell you because everyone knows Ron is in Toronto. I ran into Ron the other day while wandering around Toronto. It was raining and not too many people were out, but that could have been because it was Sunday morning. In any case, as I said, I was wandering about in the rain and there, right in front of me is Ron. I was a little surprised to see Ron.
I’m a little shy, so I wasn’t sure if I should go right up to Ron or just hang back. I decided to hang back, safer that way. There were a few other people milling about but I’m not sure if they recognized Ron.
I was about to walk up and take a photo but then it happened. As I sat there transfixed I heard an incessant noise, or shout. I looked around and as I looked behind me there was a large group of Chinese tourist shouting for me to get out of the way. I was standing in front of Ron in Toronto and ruining their shot. I can understand that, I hate when that happens. Some people can be oblivious to others trying to get a perfect photo. At that moment the someone was me.
Anyway, just as quickly as they appeared they vanished into the grey morning drizzle of an October day. I was left wondering how so many could disappear so quickly. I must say these tourist are efficient in the extreme.
Finally I had my chance, it was just me and Ron in Toronto. I approached and took a picture. This is Ron, in Toronto.
This is a small section of the front facade of Catedral de Barcelona. I could stand out front of this building and stare at the details for hours. Judging by the other people standing here, some did. I’m easily impressed, which is not to say this isn’t an amazing work of architecture, it’s just that I rarely get a chance to see buildings like this, so when I do I’m usually overwhelmed.
I think that if I see beautiful things often it helps boost my sense of esthetic. That’s true about anything, the more we do the better we get, so on and so on. That’s why I think public art is vital to a city. When it’s always there it strikes a cord, albeit subtle or even unconscious, but vital nonetheless. I just returned from Vancouver where I spent some time downtown. They have a lot of public art on display. I would say the people who see that art have a higher sense of aesthetic whether they realize it or not.
Barcelona has a tonne of public art, everywhere you look. And according to my theory, the residents of that city have a very high aesthetic IQ. That goes for a lot of like minded european cities where art is central. Of course I just stated what any european, and any art lover, already knows; that art is good for us and adds to the vitality of a city. Stating the obvious is just how I roll.