Tag Archives: dogs

The Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge (Simsbury, CT)

Date Of Visit: September 10, 2017

Location: 1 Old Bridge Rd, Simsbury, CT (about half an hour northwest of Hartford, CT)

Hours: Available 24 hours a day

Cost: Free (but donations are appreciated)

Parking: There is room for about a dozen or so cars in the parking lot off Old Bridge Rd

Handicapped Accessible: No, There are some poles at the entrance to the bridge to prevent vehicles from driving onto the bridge and I am not sure if wheelchairs could get past them (see photo below).

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Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: flowers strategically placed on a bridge, scenic, historical landmark

Website: Old Drake Hill Flower Bridge

Tips:

  • parking is located on located on Old Bridge Rd off Drake Hill Rd.  There’s no parking located at the entrance by Riverside Rd
  • popular place for weddings, engagements and portrait photography

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There’s more than one “bridge of flowers” in New England.

Inspired by the Bridge Of Flowers in Shelburne, MA, the Old Drake Bridge Of Flowers, is by no means as long or as flowery as the Bridge Of Flowers in Shelburne, MA.  Yet, what it lacks in length and variety of flowers it makes up for in charm.

Each section of the bridge is decorated with various flowers.  The bridge has 32 baskets and 48 boxes, some of which were built and added by an Eagle Scout, filled with flowers of an array of colors. The flowers bloom from late May to October.

During my visit, I met a woman who stops by every other day to water, trim and keep after the plants.  Clearly, she’s doing a wonderful job.

The bridge, originally built in 1892,  is an example of 19th century metal-truss bridge construction.  It spans 183 feet and includes a 12-foot roadway suspended 18 feet over Farmington River.  And it has been much traveled over the years.

The Old Drake Flower Bridge was originally built to be a one lane, one way bridge for vehicular traffic.  It was later replaced by a 2 lane bridge in 1992.  Finally, in 1995, it was restored as a pedestrian bridge.   It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984

There are also plants and flowers by the sides of  each entrance to the bridge.

At the entrance to the bridge, off to the left side, there is a memorial dedicated to the original bridge (the Weatogue Bridge) that was built there before it was replaced by the Old Drake Flower Bridge.

The inscription on the historical marker reads reads:

A toll bridge was built here 
in 1734 by order of 
the General Assembly 
it was the first 
highway bridge across 
the Farmington River

The Old Flower Bridge is a popular place for weddings, portrait photography shoots and engagements.  In fact, I turned around from the parking lot the first day I went there because there was a wedding or wedding shoot taking place and I didn’t want to disrupt them.  The second day I went I ran into a couple who had just gotten engaged.  The beaming couple asked me to take their photo and went on their merry way of future bliss.

The Old Flower Bridge is dog friendly.

Lisa (on the right) is a 5 year old Havanese.  I love seeing how happy and proud dog guardians are in their photos.

Tucker Jones is a 2 year old Corgi.

Leila is a 9 year old Bernese and Beagle mix.

Below is a link to The Flash Lady Photography.  The Flash Lady Photography conducted an engagement photo shoot on the bridge in 2015.  You may notice many of the flowers are not on the bridge when these photos were taken as it was the end of October when the photos were taken.  I hope they’re both very happy now!

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Granby D.O.G.G.S. Park (Salmon Brook Park, Granby, CT)

Plea

Date Of Visit: September 10, 2017

Location: Salmon Brook Park, 215 Salmon Brook Street Granby, CT (20 minutes northwest of Hartford, CT)

Cost: Free

Hours: open daily, sunrise to sunset

Parking: There are several parking areas.  The best place to park for the dog park is behind the big soccer field at the end of the road at the main entrance.

Highlights: table, chairs and bench, 1 acre for the dogs to play in, water source, two entrances/exits, double gated entrance

Website: Granby D.O.G.G.S. Park

Tips:

  • each visitor is allowed to bring 3 dogs each visit
  • No children under 8 are allowed in the dog park
  • The dog park is located in Salmon Brook Park

IMG_2791The D.O.G.G.S. part of Granby D.O.G.G.S. Park may stand for Dog Owners of Granby Getting Social.  But, it seems like the dogs that tend to get social there!

The one acre park, which has been open since November of 2005, has tables, chairs and a bench for dog sitter and guardians to sit and lovingly watch their dogs.  The park also has toys and a water source.  While dogs are allowed off leach at the park, they must be able to follow voice commands.

The large park, which has mulch over most of the park, gives dogs of all shapes and sizes lots of room to roam and chase each other and trees to play hide and seek.

During my visit to the dog park, there was a “Canine Swim” fund raiser at the pond in Salmon Brook Park, just a short walk from the dog park.

A $10 fee was charged for each dog that wanted to play in the water at the pond.  The funds were being raised to put toward maintenance of the dog park.

The dogs loved running around and into the pond.

Some of the many beautiful dogs I met at the dog park and fundraiser are shown below:

Roxy is a 12 year old mixed breed.  She is a therapy dog who likes to visit children, the elderly and anyone else who needs a little “dog therapy.”

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Cooper is a 7 month old Boston Terrier.  Cooper has complete heterochromia; he has two different colored eyes (his left eye is blue, his right eye is brown).

Gabe is a Great Pyrenees.  His guardian wasn’t sure what his age was exactly.  He and his parents found him on the side of the road and decided to take him in.

Heidi is an 8 year old Golden Retriever.  She loves to “retrieve”.  Get it!?

Molly the is a 5 year old Collie.

The aptly named Bear is a one and half year old Newfoundland.

From left to right, Ruby (named after Ruby Tuesday) is a 3 year old Saint Bernard.  Her brother, Ollie (named after Olive Garden) is a 2 year old Saint Bernard.  Anybody else getting hungry for lunch?

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Today’s featured link is a blog post by Out And About Mom about Salmon Brook Park, where the dog park is located.  I have featured Out And About Mom on my blog before.  She tends to blog about Connecticut attractions exclusively  and she does a great job in her posts.  Her post about the playground area at the park can be found here.


Ogunquit Dog Park (Ogunquit, ME)

Date Of Visit: August 25, 2017

Location: Spring Hill Rd, off Berwick Rd., Ogunquit, ME

Hours: Open daily, dusk to dawn

Parking: There is room for about 4 or 5 cars by the entrance with additional parking on the side of the road to the park.

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: spacious park for dogs to play, kiddie pool, balls to throw, seating

Tips:

  • The park is located on a side road (Spring Hill Rd) with no other businesses or buildings, so there is ample parking on the side of the road if you can’t find a spot in the main parking area
  • I had some difficulty finding the park.  The website says to use this in your GPS as the address: 323 Berwick Rd. Ogunquit.  You will see a sign on Berwick Rd for the park.  It is the turn after Meadow Lane if you are coming from the east.  Or, if you are coming from the west and you see Meadow Lane you have gone too far.

Website: Ogunquit Dog Park

 

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Since its opening on January 15, 2011, Ogunquit Dog Park has been a play land for dogs of all breeds.  But, it may be it’s hidden history and a very special dog that makes the park so special.

Ogunquit Dog Park is spacious enough for lots of dogs to run around and play.  There are also benches and chairs to sit at while your dog enjoys the park.  And, of course, trees.

The one acre park is has a pool, shed, hydrant and tennis balls to throw to the dogs.  The shed at the entrance was built by the students at the local vocational high school in Wells, Maine.  The wood shavings on the ground give the park a pretty look.

Perhaps the highlight of the park is the memorial to Perkins, and all beloved dogs, that is set up inconspicuously near the center of the park by a tree.

IMG_0631 After Perkins, a golden retriever who used to frequent the park, passed away on Monday, October 26th, 2015, the pet’s guardian (Martin) and some other people came together to set up a memorial for him.  Perkins, whose “nana” worked in Perkins Cove, used to act as the “greeter” standing outside the door greeting customers and being cute.  Eventually, Perkins’ dad would decided to look into opening the park.  And, from there, the idea began to snowball.    There is also a note from the dog’s guardian and some photos of him.  I wish I could have met him.

For safety purposes during entry and exit of the park, the dog park is fully fenced with double gates.  There is a separate section for small dogs and a small trail to thee side of the park. Water that is piped in from a 3 year old, 600 foot deep well at the Transfer Station is available from April 1 to mid-November.  Also, the area is sprayed for ticks every 2 months with an organic solution.

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There was a steady flow of four legged visitors during my visit.

Ruby is a 7 year old Wheaton Terrier.  She also played an instrumental role in the opening of the dog park as she helped pull the yellow ribbon on the gate of the park to formally open the park.

Dice is an 11 month old Husky and Blue Heeler.  If you look closely, you may notice he has one brown eye and one blue eye.

Drisky is 7 months old.  Love his white socks!

Delaney is a mixed breed from South Carolina.

Rudy, the brown and white dog in the photos above, is a 9 year old Brittany Spaniel.

Today’s New England related link of the day is a poem dedicated to Perkins written by Richard W. Perkins:

Farewell Dear Friends

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Marginal Way (Oguinquit, ME)

 

Date Of Visit: August 26, 2017

Location: Shore Rd, Ogunquit, ME  (2 hours and 45 minutes south of Bangor, ME and 1 hour and 15 minutes northeast of Concord, NH)

Hours: daily, sunrise to sunset

Cost: Free

Parking: There are several parking lots in the area and limited street parking is also available.  I parked at a lot on School St which is directly across from the entrance to Marginal Way.  The lots usually charge by the hour.  Below is a link to the municipal parking lots in the area:

Parking Lots Near Marginal Way

Distance/Difficulty: 1.25 miles (2.5 miles round trip)/easy

Handicapped Accessible: Yes, although some areas are narrow, it is handicapped accessible

Dog Friendly: Yes, but only during certain times of the year.  Dogs are permitted on the Marginal Way from October 1st to March 31st

Fitbit Stats: 2,5 miles, 4,768 steps, 752 calories

Highlights: scenic views, easy path, steps on the trail that lead to the beach

Website: Marginal Way Preservation Fund

Trail Maps: Marginal Way Trail Maps

Tips:

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Located Marginal Walk is anything but.  With its scenic views along the rocky coastline, access to Ogunquit Beach and pretty flowers and trees, Marginal Way is  a must see for anyone residing in or visiting Maine.

From the beginning of the walk, Marginal Way serves up some pretty views and a wide spectrum of colorful flowers.  The flowers from Sparhawk, the hotel located next to the entrance.

There are some stunning views along the way.

The path along the walk is generally wide with some narrow areas.  Most of the path is paved and I did see people with strollers.  There is also a bridge that is wide enough for two traffic and also seems to be handicapped accessible.

One of the unique things about this cliff walk is that you can walk down to the beach.  I noticed a few surfers ( I wish I learned how to surf in my younger days – maybe next year!)and sun seekers enjoying this part of the beach.  The rocks on the beach gave the beach a more natural feel.  There are also a few sandbars which allow you to walk out pretty far in the water.

Perhaps the best part of the walk, or at least the most rewarding part, is Perkins Cove at the end of the walk.  There  are a few eateries, several shops and a bridge.  The arts and crafts shops, coffee shop and candy store (which I highly recommend) give the area a quaint feel.

Sadly, dogs were not allowed on Marginal Way during my visit since they are only allowed on the walk during the fall and winter seasons.  But, I did see lots of dogs on the way to my car and at the end of the walk.

Gus, a 5 year old English Bulldog, was dressed to the nines for his photo shoot.

Landon, a 7 year old mixed hound retriever, showed me his pearly whites.

Below are some videos from my walk.  Just listening to the surf is so soothing.

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ICA-Part II (Boston, MA)

*This is Part II of my 2 part series about the ICA Museum in Boston, MA.  To view the first part please click here*

In addition to the works of Nari Ward, the ICA displayed art exhibits from a variety of other artists.  One of these artists is Dana Shutz’s.

Dana, an American artist based out of Brooklyn, is widely known for injecting humor into her gestural paintings.  She  has studied art extensively , even studying abroad at the Norwich School of Art and Design in Norwich, England.  While not all of her work had a description of their meaning or intent, I think many of them are fairly self-explanatory or, at the least, left to our own interpretation.

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Elevator On Canvas, 2017, oil on canvas.  This work is part of a series of paintings of an imagined struggle between larger than life figures and giant insects glimpsed between the gleaming doors of an elevator.  Besides addressing people’s claustrophobia, the art may speak to the current heated debate, inner struggles or struggle for attention within the public arena.

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Conflict, 2017, oil on canvas.  This work portrays a quarrel, possibly between lovers, The couple in the painting are both embracing and fighting at the same time.

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To Have A Head, 2017, oil on canvas.

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Shame, 2017, oil on canvas.

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Shaking Out The Bed, 2015, oil on canvas.  This 18 foot wide canvas recalls the Western tradition of history painting.  This painting differs from most history paintings in that it does not highlight noteworthy men and women in our history.  Rather, her painting consists of everyday items that revolve around people in bed.  All of the things we use and, dare I say, rely upon on a daily basis.  A calendar, an alarm clock, day old pizza (a must) and a glass of water are some of the items Dana included in her painting.  Dana said she “wanted the whole painting to feel like a book that was being opened, like you were shaking out of bed and all of the objects contained within are falling and suspended in front of the scene.”  She went on to say she wanted to convey the feeling that “you just missed the alarm and the world is coming back to you in pieces.”

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Flasher, 2012, oil on canvas.

In addition to Shutz’s work, there were a number of other artist’s work being displayed at the ICA.

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Trace, 1980, by Nancy Graves made of bronze, steel, polychromed patina and paint.  Trace depicts a dynamic, wind-blown tree with its bright-green forked trunk rising from a red and brown ground and curving toward the top.  The amorphous crown of leaves is composed of layered, multicolored sheets of steel grating punctuated with geometric lines and grids.  Graves likes to inject nature and the natural world into her works.

Hidden Relief, 2001, by Sarah Sze made of a halogen work lamp on tripod stand, rulers, spring clamps, levels, plastic, styrofoam, bamboo, toothpicks, branches, bottle caps, string, artificial plants, artificial moss, T-square, Alligator clamps, T-pins, cotton swabs, pushpins, dried plants, paint and glass (or pretty much everything but the kitchen sink).

Sarah uses everyday items, like the items included in this display, to create site-specific sculptures and installations that take on the character of landscapes, architecture and improvisational systems.  She used a sample palette of white, orange, yellow, blue and black throughout the work which is brightened by work lights.  Sarah also drew diagram-like lines using pins and string in this work of art.

 

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Depose II by Keith Sonnier made of nylon sailcloth, metal.  This inflatable design balanced a ready made aesthetic with painted geometric elements.  The inflatable part of the sculpture assumes an anthropomorphic form that, when mixed with air from the blower, suggests a living being.  Initially a limp sack, the sculpture must breathe and expand to assume its final form. The title references the act of being deposed, wherein a person is required to give oral out-of-court testimony. The person being deposed is often asked exceedingly personal questions. Perhaps the pinched or pressed inflatable alludes to the feeling of duress that might arise from having to tell the truth in a compromising situation.

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Untitled (Topanga, CA, Umbrella 17) by Sam Falls made of nylon.  Untitled displays the fabric of an umbrella without the support and pinned to the wall.  Sam exposed some of the umbrella’s nylon panels in the California sun for a prolonged period of time.  Then, he interspersed the faded panels with panels that had been kept out of the sun causing a contrast in the colors of the sculpture.  Sam’s work of art invites speculation about the elements of time and change in art and nature.

The intermediate-Inceptive Sphere, 2016, by Haegue Yank made of artificial straw, steel stand, powder coating, artificial plants, artificial fruits, plastic twine, Indian bells and casters.

The Intermediate-Inceptive Sphere is an anthropomorphic sculpture that belongs to a series of woven straw works titled The Intermediates.  The sculpture is adorned with items such as bells that are meant to hang from the necks of cows in India and Korean bridal headpieces.  The work of art also invokes Asian folk cultures, shamanic figures and their rituals.  Haegue used plastic straw to foreground the tension between the organic and synthetic in contemporary life.

Ashes, 2017, is a video by acclaimed director Steve McQueen.

Ashes presents footage on two sides of a freestanding screen. One of the sides, originally shot on soft, grainy Super 8 film, shows a young, carefree fisherman named Ashes balancing playfully on a boat. The other side shows a second projection, shot in 16 mm film, that shows Ashes’s unexpected fate. The videos conjure an easy vitality and a vivid description of place against the darker forces of society and fate.

The last, but not least, attraction at the museum is the view.  Full length glass windows give stunning views of Boston Harbor.  I bet it must be spectacular during sunsets.

On the way to the train station, we met these dogs taking a stroll along the boardwalk at Fort Port Channel.

Emmerson, a 13 year old Shetland, was very comfortable in his stroller

Archie, a 10 year old Yorkie peeking out from behind Emmerson, decided to get out and walk around.

There were also some pretty views of Boston at night along the way.

Today’s featured blogger is The Culture Club.  The Culture Club visited the ICA recently.  I thought his post would be a good companion to my post since he may have photographed pieces I may have missed or weren’t on display when I visited the museum.  You can find his post here.  The Culture does reviews, writes about music and entertainment and he’s got a cute dog!

 


ICA-Part I (Boston, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 25, 2017

Location: 25 Harbor Shore Drive, Boston, MA

Hours:

Tuesday + Wednesday: 10 AM – 5 PM
Thursday + Friday*: 10 AM – 9 PM
*First Friday of every month: 10 AM – 5 PM
Saturday + Sunday: 10 AM – 5 PM

Closed Mondays, except on the following national holidays, when admission is FREE for all: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day.

Closed on Patriot’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Cost:

General Admission: $15
Seniors: $13
Students: $10
Youth 17 and under: FREE

Admission is FREE for all eve

Parking:There are several parking options that are listed at their ICA parking info

Highlights: creative art displays, info sessions about the art

Tips:

  • parking is very limited in this area.  The museum recommends using public transportation.
  • The museum only has art on the 1st and 4th floors of the building (mostly the 4th floor)

Website: ICA

*I had to split this post into two parts, as it was too big for WordPress to save.  Part I of this post will center upon the works of the featured artist Nari Ward.  The second part of this post will focus on some of the other art at the museum.  I have also included half of the number of the cute dogs I photographed during this visit*

 

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Always at the intersection of art and social issues, he ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston) recently highlighted the works of an artist who uses his art to make various statements about our social, economic and political climate.  Even if you may not agree with or see his points of view, I am sure you will enjoy his artistic aptitude.

During my visit, Jamaican and American Nari Ward’s work was being featured in his “Sun Splashed” exhibit at the museum.

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Sunsplashed, 2015, is the centerpiece of the art exhibit.  The second work of art is called, Scandal Bag: History Feeds Mistrust.

Nardi, born in 1963 in Jamaica and currently based in New York City, uses everyday items to create works of art that play on the history, economy and social issues surrounding his environment.  He also embraces cultural diversity.

Nari uses wood, metal, iron and other materials with everyday items such as soda bottles.  Nari hits on some hot button issues such as migration, citizenship and economic disparity in his works.

One of the things that struck me about these works of art is the thought and creativity that went behind all of them.

The We The People exhibit by Nari Ward was one of the main works of art at the ICA.  In fact, many of his works of art are being featured

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If you look very closely, you may notice it is not written in ink.  Rather, it is spelled out in artistic dangling shoelaces.  This exhibit was being displayed a block away from the museum.  It surely created a lot of interest and lured in quite a few visitors eager to learn more about Nari’s works of art.

 

Below are Nari’s works of art that were being displayed with a brief description and explanation of their meaning.  Sadly, his art is no longer there as the exhibit’s last day was September 3.  The first work of art is rather unconventional.  But, it was very interesting.

 

Jacuzzi Bed by Nari Ward is made of headboards arranged around heating lamps and fans.  The work of art is meant to produce an approximation of the Caribbean breeze.  The name is meant to conjure association with pleasure and comfort.  Nari says the work conveys his sense of nostalgic displacement.

 

Sky Juice, 1993, is made of an umbrella, iron fence, plastic soda bottles, photographs, Tropical Fantasy soda and sugar.  The soda bottles, hanging from the umbrella, have photos inside of them.  His goal was to create a work of art with disparate things from everyday life to create a work of art everyone can relate to.  “Sky Juice” is the name of a Bahamian drink made from coconut milk and gin (yum).

During my visit, one of the museum guides led an open discussion about the work of art where visitors and she discussed the deeper meaning of the work of art and what the work of art means to them.  She did this several different works of art during my visit.

 

Mango Tourist, 2011, by Nari, are “snowman-like” sculptures are made of burnt foam spheres that he decorated with mango seeds and small electrical parts.  The small capacitors bear traces of the economic and industrial history of New England and of course the snowmen are a staple of our winters.  The organic mango seeds resonate with his memories of Jamaica.

 

Happy Smilers: Duty Free Shopping, 1996, by Nari is made of awning, plastic soda bottles, fire hose, a fire escape, salt, sand, household elements, an audio recording, speakers and an aloe vera plant.  Party music and background conversation from the speakers gave the display a feeling of sitting on a fire escape on a hot summer night.

This exhibit was inspired by a candy store not far from where he lives in Harlem, New York.  While the store appeared to be a convenience store, it was really the site of a small scale gambling site.  This gave Nadir the idea of making an exhibit that shows you can’t judge a place, person or thing by outside appearances.

The name Happy Smilers was derived from a band that was led by Nadir’s uncle that entertained tourists in Jamaica in the 1970’s.  The fire escape and discarded furniture wrapped in fire hoses suggest an urban tableau.  The salt and sand, aloe vera plant, speakers and bright yellow walls are drawn from the cultural context of Jamaica.  The salt evokes a common Jamaican expression about the devil not being able to step over salt.  The succulent symbolizes healing.  Lastly, the soundtrack symbolizes one of the artist’s earliest childhood memories of lying in bed at night while he listened to rain fall on his tin roof in Jamaica.

 

The Naturalization Table is an exhibit based on Nari’s personal experience of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen, this interactive artwork gives museum visitors a better understanding of that process. During certain days, visitors could add their photo to the display.

 

Radha Liquorsoul, 2010, is a metal and neon sign made of PVC tube, artificial flowers, shoelaces and shoe tips.  This was part of a work made from out of use liquor store signs that Nari removed from building facades in New York.  Ward was interested in the many uses and impact liquor has in our lives.  Nari also used shoe tips (which Nari considers a a signature material that symbolizes human presence), shoelaces and artificial flowers.  Nari was partly inspired by impromptu street or roadside memorials.

 

Homeland, Sweet Homeland, 2012, is made of cloth, plastic, megaphones, razor wires, feathers, chains and silver spoons.  The “Miranda Rights” which are listed on this work have appeared as a running theme on many of Nari’s works.  The combination of razor wire, megaphones, leather and gold thread with feathers were meant to evoke a kitschy domestic memento and a heraldic government edict.

 

Rock, Booked, Scissor, Vice, 2010, is made of book, rock, scissors and vice.  This exhibit was spawned from a mistake.  When Nari first saw the “Black’s Law Dictionary” as a child he thought there were different law dictionaries for white and black people.  Although his brother corrected, his initial thought stuck with him and inspired his work.    To create this work, Nari cinched the dictionary with a vice, pierced it with scissors and weighted it with a stone.  It is meant to symbolize a violent reenactment of the game “rock, paper, scissors.”  It is meant to represent the seemingly arbitrary application of the law experienced by people in many of the communities in America.

 

Savior, 1996, is made of a shopping cart, plastic garbage bags, cloth, bottles, metal fence, earth, wheel, mirror, chair and clocks.  Nari constructed the sculpture by utilizing the shopping cart, a common item, and using items to bling it up.  In the blue bag you can see clocks.  The sculpture had an accompany video titled, “Pushing Savior.”

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Iron Heavens, 1995, made of metal pans, cotton and wooden bats came from Nari’s observation that the holes dotting the the metal surfaces of certain baking pans look like stars.  Nari collaged pans together on a wall to evoke the night sky.

Nari used baseball bats to form a ground to the heaven above.  The bats were burned, sterilized and had cotton applied to their surfaces.  This was meant to convey violence and healing.  The materials were also used to signify the American South, especially the older south.  The cotton was used to signify slavery as that was the main crop slaves used to pick.  The baseball bats were used to signify the violence many blacks suffered.  The overall arrangement recalls the yard assemblages and sculptural folk traditions of the region.

 

Glory, 2004, consists of an oil barrel, fluorescent and ultraviolet tubes, computer parts, DVD audio recording, Plexiglas, fan, camera casing elements, paint cans, cement, towels and  rubber roofing membrane.

The tanning bed is made out of old oil barrels.  As this work of art was built one year after the Iraq attack, he used the oil barrels represent the political debates over the connection between oil and patriotism.

The oil barrel also signifies the issues related to identity and race.  While in some cultures, a tan is viewed as a mark of leisure and privilege.  However, “pigmentocracy” can ascribe a higher value to lighter skin tones in some societies.

As you stand by the Glory sculpture, you can hear recordings of voices and people talking in hushed tones.

 

Afroochase, 2010, made of ink, a found vinyl banner, cowrie shells, Afro picks and felt weatherstripping is built from a Chase Bank banner that he found mixed with various materials each of which have a symbolic meaning.

The cowrie shell has several possible meanings.  The shell has been used as a form of currency,  It is also used in divination ceremonies in African and North African and South African religious contexts.

Afro picks have been used as a symbol of black cultural identity and the shapes of the particular picks (the raised fist of the Black Power movement) refers to black nationalism and resistance.

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Crusader, 2006, is made of a shopping cart, chandelier, trophy elements, metals, plastic bags and plastic containers.

Crusader has been described as  a radiant poetic work that mixes the personal and political.  Nari used comedy to make a political statement about his feelings concerning the second Gulf War.  Oil plays a central theme in many of his works, evident by the oil canisters in this work.

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Beat Box, made of an old New York City payphone, a drum and a fire extinguisher was made as a way of showing the different ways people have communicated.  The old (the drums which have been used as nonverbal communication in some traditions ) with the modern (the payphone).  After Ward had modified the pay phone he put it back outside where it had originally came from.  Imagine the looks on the people’s faces when they tried to make phone calls!

 

I noticed how Nari likes to incorporate audio and videos into his exhibit.  This is only one example of this.  Those chairs look very comfortable!

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Den, 1999, made of wood, chain-link fence, metal pole, tacks, rug and wooden furniture legs

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Chrysalis, 2010, made of mirror, rope, foam, and a found paper bag

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Vertical Hold, 1996, made of yarn and bottles. This sculpture was made from old, used glass bottles Nari found at a dump site and some bottles he found while he was in residence at a Shaker community in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.  He wove the bottles together with string thus creating a web that he described as a quilt.  This work was inspired by bottle trees, a traditional African, Caribbean and Southern black sculptural form that was believed to protect against evil spirits.

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Canned Smiles, 2013, explores the intersection of art history and identity.  Nari was influenced by another artist, Piero Manzini.  Piero created Merda d’artista (Artist’s Shit) that consisted of 90 small cans labeled with the title that he sold.  The art exhibit by Piero was a sarcastic way of saying that anything that belongs to an artist is worth value.  It also was a commentary about how not all art may have merit.

Ward’s art display aims to question people’s perceived stereotypes and the reality of constructed values.  Nari used the Black Smiles idea to play on the minstrel shows which used to be popular in America during the 19th century.  The work inspires us to ask whether the notion of a smile trapped in a can is any more or less strange than the ideas we construct around identity.

During my visit, the ere was a social gathering on the desk of the museum.  Music, food and refreshments were being served and there were a number of therapy dogs at the event.

A “cuddle zone” was created by visual artist J.R. Uretsky.  The “Cuddle Zone” featured nine therapy dogs from Dog B.O.N.E.S. There was also quilted works for people to use as comfort aids.  You will also some of the dogs wore or sat on these quilted comfort aids.

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Hey, we all can use this kind of therapy!

In fact, the dogs were so popular and in such high demand, I was only able to photograph two of these special dogs.

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Spider is a 5 year old chihuahua.

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Ruby Pearl is a 4 year old pitbull.

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Wheels & Waffles (West Springfield, MA)

Date Of Visit: August 19, 2017

Location: Eastern States Exposition Center,  Avenue Of The States, 1305 Memorial Ave, West Springfield, MA

Cost: Free

Parking: There is ample parking located at the entrance

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Wheels N Waffles

Highlights: classic cards dating back to the early 1900s, waffles

Tips:

  • The “Avenue of the States” (where the event was held) got the name because it has a replica of each state’s house of each state in New England on its premises
  • The Wheels & Waffles event is usually held at the Eastern States Exposition Center twice each summer, annually

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What goes better together than wheels and….waffles?  Well, that was what was on the menu at the Eastern Exposition Center last month.

There were some novelty card there too like this “General Lee” Dukes Of Hazzard replica car.

And this replica of Herbie The Love Bug

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If only I was better at identifying cars with the years they were built.  Unfortunately, that’s not my forte.  But, I still appreciate the curves, style and power of these vehicles.

Look at those fins and designs.  Those beautiful, beautiful fins…

Not all of the cars were from the 50’s and 60’s.  In fact, some of you may have owned some of these more recent classics.

I’ve always loved long, shapely cars.  So, of course this was my favorite.

Of course, as the name of the event suggests, there waffles provided by the Storrowton Tavern.

 

The “Avenue Of The States” didn’t get its name by accident.  The grounds have a replica of each original state house for each of the six New England states.  Below is the original state house of Massachusetts.

Here is what the Boston State House actually looks like (courtesy of everstockphoto.com)

Wheels & Waffles is a dog friendly event and I’m really not sure what I thought were more beautiful, the dogs or the cars.  OK, it was the dogs.

CJ is a 5 or 6 year old Jack Russell Terrier.

Lola is a 3 year old Lab.

Gunner is a 2 and a half year old Lab mix.

Below is a video of the Wheels & Waffles event

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