Sunday, January 28, 2007

A Day of Art

Note: I referenced a lot of these places with hyperlinks for your enjoyment and reference.

I had one of those days where I over extended and I still didn't get to do everything I wanted to do. Yesterday I went out in service (ministry) with a friend early in the morning (okay 9:30, early for me) and then we met up with our husbands for lunch.

After lunch we came home and I just changed shoes and the kids and I went to an Open Studio of an artist I met at a WIVLA (Women in Visual and Literary Arts) meeting earlier this past week. (more about that later) Her Open Studio had some beautiful pieces. I encourage you to check out and support this local artist, Ann Bell. Look under florals and you'll see the sunflower painting I fell in love with.

After the Open Studio we proceeded on to the Museum of Fine Arts. We specifically went to see the Norman Rockwell painting of Ruby Bridges going to school with the U.S. Marshall's. This is the last weekend it's there. We talked about slavery and civil rights on the way to the museum. My daughter already knows the whole Ruby Bridges story. When we first heard the Lori McKenna song she wanted to know more about it so I got her the children's book and she could read that whole book to you before she actually learned how to read. So after we saw the painting she wrote a comment in the museum's book, "I have the Ruby Bridges book."

We walked quickly through the Impressionist's collection because the baby was getting impatient by this time and was hating his stroller. It always amazes me what an incredible collection of art we own. It's comical when people do not realize what an artistic city Houston is.

I will never forget for the rest of my life talking to a man in NYC (originally from India but educated in the U.S.) at a conference luncheon about the art I had seen in NY so far and he asked me, "It's interesting that you know so much about art being from Houston." THAT is SO offensive on so many levels, to me personally, but especially as to where I am from. I politely educated him about Houston at that point. That we are the fourth largest city in the nation, that we are a cosmopolitan city, about all of our arts. I'm sure he was sorry he had asked the question when I was through but I did it all in a very nice way. Be careful what you ask for!

I wanted to see the sculpture garden and the baby had been confined to his stroller for a while so we went across the street to the Lillie & Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden and I let the kids run around. They had a blast and I admired the sculptures. I bet no one realizes that we have a Rodin and a few Matisse pieces right across the street from the museum. You can even picnic in the garden if you want! Very romantic!

As I was driving home my sister called me and she was having a nice visit with one of our city's well known citizens, Macario Ramirez at his store, Casa Ramirez. I stopped by and had a visit and bought a couple of things. Maracas for the kids, a Luna (from the popular Mexican Loteria game) painted on a tile, a little hand painted tin mirror for my desk at work, and a tin red apple for my daughter's teacher.

By the end of the day I was exhausted but we still had late drink and tapa plans with some friends. After a shower and some rest, we met them around 9:30 at Catalan, a beautiful new restaurant in our recently restored Washington area of town. They have a beautiful restroom! There's something about a beautiful restroom that tells me a lot about the restaurant and what they care about. The tapas were wonderful of course. I had the calamari with a lime-jalapeƱo dip. Delicious! A little pricey, but good. We sat outside because we didn't have a reservation, but they had some nice heat lamps on outside and we were fine. Even this restaurant was a work of art! Just another example of the great things you can find in our "little" city.

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