Saturday, January 11, 2014

Saturday Snapshot: Wild Raspberries in Ireland

wild raspberries

Along the road going by my in-laws, there are bushes and brambles dividing fields from the street. In a few are some wild raspberry bushes, and I caught some late berries on a bush that hadn’t been eaten by the birds yet.


Monday, January 6, 2014

ArtSmart Roundtable: 5 2014 Shows Not to Be Missed in Boston

Happy 2014!

This year’s first ArtSmart post is about art exhibitions, shows, or pieces to see in 2014. Since I’ll be tethered the the Greater Boston area travel-wise for most of the year (though Baby Art Nerd may make some road trips later in the year), I decided to highlight shows in Boston. We’ve got a lot of fantastic museums and exhibition spaces, the momentum to bring more public art to the city, and a new mayor who will hopefully continue to champion the arts.

If there is one thing I’m most excited about experiencing with Baby Art Nerd, it’s taking him or her to museums. I’ll be using my New England Museum Association membership to it’s full advantage with lots of trips to area museums.

In no particular order, here are 5 upcoming shows that I’m looking forward to seeing this year.

William Kentridge: The Refusal of Time

At the ICA Boston February 5 – May 14, 2014.

The ICA seems to be on a roll with artists interested in exploring our notion of time. Josiah McElhenny‘s exhibition 2 years ago also looked at time, as a circular force rather than linear one. And really, I always am fascinated by science-y themes in contemporary art. With all the science and tech people in Boston, I’m sure this show will be well attended.

Quilts and Color: The Pilgrim/Roy Collection

At the Museum of Fine Arts Boston April 6 – July 27, 2014.

Going from multimedia conceptual art to handmade quilts. 60 American quilts will be featured in this exhibition with a particular focus on ones that are inspired by Abstract Expressionism and Op Art. I enjoy AbEx art, as well as textiles, but I’m also excited about this show because nearly all the works are made by women. At a standard AbEx show, you *might* get a Helen Frakenthaler piece but usually the show is dominated by male artists.

Boston Loves Impressionism

February 14 – May 26, 2014.

Another MFA exhibition. Now, I’m generally not the biggest fan of Impressionism (I appreciate that they led to more modern art, but it just doesn’t move me.), but I’m intrigued by the concept behind this particular show. From today (January 6) through January 29th, the public is voting on the pieces that will be in the exhibition. So it’s a crowdsourced exhibition of a generally popular movement that always brings traffic in. It will be interesting to see what the public wants to see versus a curator’s choices. Coming from a collections background, it should be interesting to see how the MFA pulls everything together in 2 weeks. One would imagine that they’ll create labels during the final round, but that’s still A LOT of work to do behind the scenes in a short time. I also hope they’ll indicate which pieces were the most popular. You can be sure that I’ll vote for the most obscure pieces.

California Design

March 29 – July 6, 2014 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA.

I love mid-century modern design. But this show will highlight only California designers of the movement rather than the global big names. Hyper-specific collections speak to me in a way that’s more engaging because you can see how artists were influenced by each other. Plus I just want to lust after the Eames pieces. The PEM has a GINORMOUS endowment which has given them a lot of freedom to create really interesting shows and collaborations (this show is from LACMA).

Opening of New Harvard Art Museums

Okay, so this technically isn’t an exhibition, but the Harvard Art Museums used to be spread out in three buildings in Cambridge. The new museum addition is designed by Renzo Piano, and I have a bit of a design crush on him ever since I interned at the High Museum in Atlanta in 2005. The opening is slated for Fall 2014 and will unite the collections in a single building. Plus my cousin works for a Harvard sustainability office and might be able to get me an early tour. Score! I love Piano’s use of light and ability to create spaces that give art room to breathe. If I make only one of these 5, it will be the opening of the Harvard Art Museum.

What is ArtSmart?  A couple fellow travel bloggers with an interest in art and I decided to do a roundtable series focused on making our readers “art smart”, e.g. understanding why certain works of art are famous and worth the visit while traveling.  At the end of this post are links to the other ArtSmart posts by participating bloggers.  Interested in joining the Roundtable?  Check out our Facebook page or email me.

This Month’s Fellow ArtSmart Roundtable Articles:

Alexandra of ArtTrav: What art to see in Florence in 2014

Lesley of CultureTripper: Reopening of the Mauritshuis, The Hague.

Christina of Daydream Tourist: Threatened Venice

Ashley of No Onions Extra Pickles: 2014 Art Worth Traveling for in the USA

Jenna of This Is My Happiness: Art Exhibitions to Catch in 2014

Murissa of The Wanderfull Traveler: Top 5 Museum Visits in 2014: From Vancouver to Venice

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Saturday Snapshot: Equestrian Statue in Copenhagen

statue, horse, Copenhagen

I just loved the patina-ed blue green of the copper statue against the ridiculously blue post-rainy sky in Copenhagen. The old city is a pretty compact place that you can easily walk around and explore, though the public transportation is relatively easy to navigate, too.

Monday, December 30, 2013

My Top 7 Posts of 2013

Y’all, 2013 is over in less than 36 hours. WHERE DID IT GO?

While my frequency in posting has slacked off a little thanks to the fatigue of growing a human, I think A Sense of Place has had a lot of useful, engaging posts this year. ArtSmart is always popular and there were some others, too.

Without further ado, the top 7 posts this year:

1.) 12 Tips for Visiting Dublin


I put this guide together ahead of TBEX Dublin. It’s been a few years since I studied there, but I’ve been back often enough to remember what’s not so obvious for first timers.

2.) Chartres Cathedral in 18 Photos



My second favorite church in France (after Sainte-Chapelle). In fact, my undergrad advisor has written books about the stained glass here as most is original Gothic. This was one of my favorite days on our Paris trip, and I took plenty of photos while I was there.

3.) ArtSmart Roundtable: The Best Hidden Museum in Paris Is All Architecture


This museum isn’t on the “must-see” lists in guidebooks or listicles, but I think it is an absolutely fantastic museum for architecture geeks. It’s in the Trocadero complex directly across from the Eiffel Tower, so you have some amazing views before you’re even inside.

4.) Arancello Rosso Recipe

Infusing vodka with blood orange peels.

I mean, a recipe for booze. What more do you want? While I missed blood orange season when we went to Rome, I did sample limoncello…quite often.

5.) ArtSmart Roundtable: Medieval Monks Had a Sense of Humor

Unknown  Italian, about 1460 - 1480  Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment  23 3/4 x 17 5/16 in.  MS. LUDWIG VI 2

Italian, about 1460 – 1480
Tempera colors, gold leaf, and ink on parchment
23 3/4 x 17 5/16 in.

Many of people think of medieval art as all religious and that the artists must’ve been pious and stuffy. Actually, you can find a lot of ridiculous images, raunchy images, and hilarious ones, too. Plus monks would write jokes and poems in the margins of manuscripts.

6.) Gin and Tonic Cupcakes

cocktail, cupcake, booze cake

My favorite cocktail in cupcake form. Because gin.

7.) Street Art in Paris

political art, street art, Marais

While you can easily spend weeks inside museums and churches in Paris, there’s plenty of art to see outside on walls and fences. Be sure to look around you instead of hurrying from one place to another.

Those are 2013’s top posts. The year went by so fast, but it was full of so many wonderful trips and experiences. I can’t wait for what 2014 will hold!


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday Snapshot: Boats on Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada

boats on bay


It’s partly snow-covered here in Cambridge, so I went looking through my photos to find something different. This is from the bay where my parents live, but they’re around the corner on the right.

Here’s hoping 2014 brings some more great views and fun places to visit.