Thursday, September 9, 2010

Trip to the North Carolina Museum of Art

The North Carolina Museum of Art reopened its doors in April after completing some major renovations.  I have not had the opportunity to go there since the renovation, and the last time that I went to the museum was with my now husband on our first official date.  My friend, Diane, mentioned last week that she was going to go to the museum on Saturday, so I happily volunteered my time to go with her (a.k.a. I kind of invited myself to go).

North Carolina Museum of Art

We met at the NCMA and decided to start things off with a delicious brunch at the Iris Cafe, located just inside the newly constructed buildings of the museum.  The cafe is very spacious and very white - white tables, white walls, white chairs.  Spurts of color were added by way of table mats and Gerbia daisies on every table.  A large installation balanced the openness of the white room by covering the main wall with bare branches and vines from ceiling to floor.  The swirling arrangement of the piece made it flow like water on the wall.

If there is one thing I love more than art, it is good food.  For brunch, I ordered a mimosa and the Carolina crab cake Benedict, served on a spinach waffle, drizzled in a golden curry Hollandaise sauce, and served with brunch potatoes.  It was to die for.

Brunch at Cafe Iris

After stuffing ourselves with brunch, we began to find our way through the maze of exhibits.  Diane had a degree in art history and served as my own personal museum guide.  We slowly explored each painting, each sculpture, each piece at the museum and enjoyed all of the rich history and expression we found around us.

Cinderella had glass slippers.  I have a glass dress.  Top that, Cinderella!

Light FixturePortraitSculptureB-ball Anyone?

I particularly enjoyed the Rodin exhibit.  It extended out into the courtyard just outside of the museum.  Outside, we found Rodin's sculptures bordering a rectangular pond stocked with lily pads.  We were lucky to have a warm, sunny day to enjoy the area.

Victory is Mine!Don't Lose Your HeadWater LilyWater Lily 2

I think those Rodin statues are checking her out.

I don't know about Diane, but I left the museum feeling inspired, dreaming about the next painting I would create and wondering where it would end up.  In someone's home?  On the wall of an office?  Displayed in a museum like this?  No matter its destination, a painting is an artifact of an artist's soul, and yet, it has a life and a history of its own separate from the artist.  Knowing this, and being able to see works of art collected in one space like this, gives me a special kind of energy.  On the one hand, I imagine the artist creating, pondering his empty canvas or staring at his slab of marble.  And with a special force guiding him, he creates a piece that merits preservation beyond his own life.  On the other hand, I imagine the life of the work as it leaves its master's hands and becomes the prize and inspiration for those who possess it.  Knowing that there is a story behind every work of art, inspires me to discover what is the magic about the work I am drawn to.  This exercise energizes me and lulls me into a deep appreciation for the arts.  For me, the arts are magical.  And a little magic every now and then never hurt anybody.

"A sincere artist is not one who makes a faithful attempt to put on to canvas what is in front of him, 
but one who tries to create something which is, in itself, a living thing.
- William Dobell

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