february 9, 2018

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“To live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal,
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes to let it go,
to let it go.”
~ Mary Oliver

 

the tower (snapseed)

 

I was walking to the car after work, reminiscing about all the cool stuff I used to find along the way that I would photograph and write about in the outhouse. I was feeling I’d exhausted the supply. No sooner did the thought cross my mind that I was stopped in my tracks by the wooden relief sculptures between every set of doors on the Whitehall Classroom Building and Patterson Office Tower. I’ve been around campus for more than 25 years now, and while I noticed the reliefs, I never really saw them until today, the very second I thought I wasn’t paying attention.  The symbolism is both ancient and modern in appearance, as the rectangular and square elements highlight the style of the 1960’s and 70’s (the buildings were erected in 1969). In cursory searches, I haven’t found any information about the reliefs, but somewhere, someone knows the meaning of the symbols, who had the idea to add this art to the buildings, and who the artist was. I would love to know the answer to these questions, and I hope I never stop paying attention, even if I’ve seen it all before. Coming back to mindfulness: it’s good for my soul.

 

Whitehall (snapseed)

november 25, 2017

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“I believe that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade… And try to find somebody whose life has given them vodka, and have a party.” ~ Ron White

 

Happy Chihulmas

 

I’d been waiting months to see the Chihuly exhibit at Maker’s Mark Distillery with Marcie Christensen and Annie Bassoni. Our night finally arrived, and off we went into an absolutely beautiful, albeit chilly, evening. You might recall that I’d seen the exhibit last month, but that just meant I could be their tour guide tonight. It also meant I could be a bit more prepared for photos since I knew what to expect. And, as a bonus, the distillery had decorated for Christmas. Very pretty.

 

wonderment

 

As Marcie pointed out, photographs of Chihuly’s work don’t do it justice – none of it. Doesn’t matter what piece it is. I’ve yet to see a photo that’s even close to the experience of actually standing before a piece. The wow factor defies description. The work is so intricate and fluid that no two elements, no two angles look the same. There’s always something new to discover. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Marcie and Annie take it all in. I imagine I looked very similar when I first saw the exhibit.

 

always look up

 

On top of all this, during our ride to Loretto (where Maker’s Mark is located), we had great conversations about spirituality and books and travel. Marcie told us all about her upcoming trips. She’s leaving soon for Africa, then Hawaii, then Scotland with a little Texas and California thrown in for domestic pleasure. Annie and I, and her many other friends, will live vicariously though her travel adventures, but one thing’s for sure: we three won’t be forgetting Chihuly night at Maker’s Mark anytime soon. This was a gift!

november 14, 2017

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“Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does.” ~ Unknown 

 

pew seating

 

A few years ago Eric Weig showed me a (different) picture of these people in a pew. He kept saying he wanted one, or he wanted to be one, I don’t remember now. I didn’t understand what he was talking about until he told me the story. I had forgotten that story until today, when I walked into the Internet Archive’s main building in San Francisco. I was there for a meeting being held in the main auditorium. The Internet Archive is a former Christian Science Church (it’s not the same as Scientology, just to be clear). When they took over the church, they left the sanctuary intact. In fact, most of their offices are downstairs in the “Sunday School.” Anyway, IA’s founder, Brewster Kahle, was inspired by the Terracotta Warriors, so he commissioned an artist to make clay statues of everyone who works at IA for at least three years. Once made, they’re placed in the pews or along the sanctuary walls. It’s both hilarious and unnerving the first time you walk in, or at least it was for me because I had forgotten Eric’s story. Each statue is about 3 feet tall, give or take, and made of clay. The sanctuary houses over 100 people now. A group of us had lunch with one of IA’s main programmers, and I have to say, I’d work for them long after my clay mini-Ko took her spot on a pew. It’s such a  refreshingly forward-thinking group, and the meeting I was in today was filled with equally progressive minds. I chalk this up to one great day.

 

from the front

october 25, 2017

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“When the past calls let it go straight to voicemail, because it has nothing new to say.” ~ Unknown

 

success

 

Meet Faith Harders. Faith is a Librarian in the Design Library. About a year ago she discovered that Don Galloway was a graduate of UK’s Theater program and a native of Brooksville, KY. If you don’t know his name, you might recognize his face (those of a certain age won’t recognize either). Galloway is best known as Sgt. Ed Brown on Ironside. He went on to do two Perry Mason movies with Ironside star Raymond Burr. He also had roles on TV, in particular General Hospital as Buzz Stryker, and he played husband to JoBeth Williams’ character in the hit movie The Big Chill, one of my all-time favorites. 

 

success #2

 

Faith was so excited by the Galloway discovery that she wanted to pursue an oral history project about him. Galloway died in 2009 at the age of 71, but there were still plenty of fellow actors and family members to talk to. She deposited 14 interviews with us a couple of months ago. She then petitioned the university to erect a flag in his honor. These flags are common around campus except they usually depict successful businessmen, engineers, or doctors. There are very few commemorating arts graduates. In fact, this is the only one I know of. Yesterday, we made the Don Galloway Oral History Project interviews accessible online. I sent Faith an email saying as much, and I offered congratulations on the flag. It turned out that she didn’t know her petition for the flag had been successful, and this morning I received an enthusiastic, “I’m going to look at it right now,” email. I grabbed my camera in hopes of catching her at the flag, and sure enough, I did. Faith is a perfect example of what can happen when you have a great idea and follow it through. I’m so proud of her, and I’m really pleased to see the arts getting some UK love.

 

success #3

september 27, 2017

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“Don’t let the stuff of life obscure the radiant light that shines from within you.” ~ Terry A. Gordon

 

a bright light

 

Rebecca Campbell is one of the most gifted artists I know. She makes exquisite dolls and assorted figures in a really unique, soft, inviting style. Over the years, you’ve seen me stalk her husband, David, with my camera, but he was ill during the Sorghum Festival. That meant poor Becs caught the lens. She said, “I thought it was some hunched over old woman sneaking up on me.” “It was!” I replied. Thanks for playing, Rebecca. You’re always a joy to run into.

 

sneakin’ up you

august 31, 2017

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“Magic happens when you don’t give up, even though you want to.
The Universe always falls in love with a stubborn heart.”
~ Unknown

 

extra special (snapseed)

 

Last Christmas Judy Sackett gave me an original Joe Molinaro mug. It was one of my all-time favorite gifts. If I haven’t told you about Joe, let me fix that. Joe is one of America’s best ceramicists. He recently retired from Eastern Kentucky University where he’d been teaching ceramics. During his tenure there he studied indigenous pottery craft in Ecuador (and other places, too, but mostly in Ecuador). That in-depth study surely informed his organic style. He creates stunningly beautiful work; truly elegant in its simplicity. As a bonus, he’s a super awesome guy. Naturally, I was thrilled when Judy gave me one of his pieces because I could never afford one on my own. So, you can imagine my heartbreak when, last Saturday, I dropped Joe’s mug onto a kitchen counter only to have it shatter into thousands of pieces. There was no way to fix it. I was sick. I confessed to Judy that I had destroyed my beloved gift. She, being the queen of awesome, today brought me another Joe Molinaro mug. I couldn’t believe it! I don’t know what I ever did to deserve such kindness, but I’m sure glad I did it. 

august 16, 2017

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“Love fiercely, fight with honor, and always keep courage and compassion in your heart.” ~ VL Cox

 

Corage the Dog (snapseed)

 

Aunt Lois’ youngest granddaughter is Macie. Today was her first day of 6th grade, but until today, she’d been hanging out with Aunt Lois and our hero and shero. A day or two after mom was moved to Cardinal Hill she drew Corage the Dog. Corage now decorates mom’s wall with his motto: “All the things I do for love.” Macie is the sweetest girl I know. She brings a smile to our hero and shero every time she’s with them. She and Corage bring a smile to me. 

june 10, 2017

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“Psychologists say, once you learn how to be happy,
you will not tolerate being around people who make you feel anything less.”
~ Unknown

 

art

 

Before the days of art murals there were these. Ads were painted on buildings and barns, large and small, city and country. This RC Cola painting adorns a wall in Whitesburg and I couldn’t help but admire it. Happy Saturday to us all!

june 6, 2017

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“Turn your face stubbornly to the light, and keep it there.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

 

honest Abe

 

A few weeks ago Crystal traveled to Austin, Texas to attend a Photogrammetry workshop. This type of photography involves many photos, multiple angles, and a single object from which a map or a 3D model can be created of said object with specialized software. Basically, the software uses the photos to measure the object. 

 

round and round

 

This afternoon Crystal decided to photograph the giant Abe Lincoln head in the Special Collections lobby from which to create a 3D model. Abe is a hollow bronze created by Gutzon Borglum, the artist who created Mount Rushmore. Our Abe was a model for that larger work. I lent a hand (and a flash), and I learned a lot about Photogrammetry along the way. One thing we both learned: close your eyes before the flash goes off. 

 

forgot to close the ‘ol eyes

may 12, 2017

posted in: art, photography | 3

“Do something wonderful, people may imitate it.” ~ Albert Schweitzer

 

sweeties

 

Lori-Lyn Hurley had an opening reception this evening at St. Raphael’s gallery. Her beautiful paintings lined the gallery walls in few but mighty numbers. I’m so proud of her for doing the work she loves and putting it out there for the world to enjoy and appreciate. And that man of hers, Tracy; still one of the finest human beings ever. The two of them together fill me with more joy than should be allowed, and any time in their presence is a gift. I got an unexpected treat at the reception, too. Stacy and I met St. Raphael’s interim rector Rev. Karen Booth. She was engaging and her story was very familiar. She has a BA in fine art photography from EKU (who does that sound like?); and she left the church for a time before coming back to earn her Masters of Divinity. I don’t have the latter, of course, but I do identify with why one would take an extended break from organized religion. It’s amazing to me how many people I know who have had similar experiences. They’re brought up in the church, leave or become disillusioned for one reason or another, and then called to return. Most if not all are the most genuine, compassionate Christians I’ve ever known, so there was little surprise that I connected with Rev. Booth. I got to see two of my favorite people, hang out with Stacy, and meet a new awesome person. I win Friday.

 

shining stars

 

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