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France, Paris: The Throne in the Palace of the Louvre

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France is celebrating 160th anniversary of diplomatic ties between France and Japan. Japonismes 2018: Les Ames en Resonance, will run through February 2019 involving exhibitions and events promoting Japanese art and design. Visual artist Kohei Nawa’s monumental sculpture “Throne” has one of the most prestigious spots in Paris: the Louvre. “I see the location as a connecting portal of modern lifestyles and the past, says Nawa, the Kyoto-based artist whose 10.4-meter-tall work is installed under I.M. Pei’s 1989 glass pyramid in the Louvre’s main courtyard.

The making of the throne itself involved both the past and the present. It was designed using state-of-the-art 3D modeling software and carved by robotic arms, however its gleaming gold leaf exterior was hand-applied by Japanese traditional craftspeople.

“The maximum capacity the pyramid can hold is 3 tons, so I told the museum I would ship a sculpture weighing exactly 3 tons,” says Nawa about the work’s creation. “I think they were bit worried, but after it went up, the Louvre’s curator, Martin Kiefer, told me the sculpture looks like it’s been at the pyramid all along.”

It’s not Nawa’s first “Throne” and it is different in that in previous iterations there was usually a small child seated within Nawa’s unique abstract shapes and geometric forms. For the Louvre, the seat is strikingly empty.

“Thrones are for kings. Here, the seat is for the authority that will eventually take over the control in the future. I left the seat empty to emphasize the invisibility,” says Nawa.

It sounds ominous, but Nawa goes on to explain that he foresees the type of power we see controlling today’s politics, economy and lifestyles as disappearing in the future, and in its place will be a very different form of authority. It could be artificial intelligence and advanced computer technology that will “take the throne,” he suggests, while we blindly follow, something that history has shown us that humans have had the tendency to do.

To us it is interesting that he chose a throne to be placed in this, the Palace of the Louvre, where French Kings sat on their thrones. Francis I chose this edifice as the residence for French kings and where it remained thus until good old King Louis XIV decided to move to Versailles and this building was then used to store his pretty things.

France, Paris: Liberty Leading the People in the Louvre

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Though foreigners flock to see the Mona Lisa, to the French, the most important painting in the Louvre – the unofficial national painting of France is this one, Liberty Leading the People by Delacroix. The bare-breasted female figure, who is called Marianne became a symbol of Liberty for the French Republic. Though Delacroix painted the July Revolution of 1830, the broken bodies beneath the flag depict the 40 years of civil war, political and social upheavals necessary to conquer the monarchy in order to win a representative government. The huge 8′ by 10′ scale adds to the dramatic patriotism.

France, Paris: The Unnerving Raft of the Medusa at the Louvre

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If you think life is tough, think of all the sailors that went out into the unknown seas. The shipwrecked Madusa, was left with 115 out of the original 400 sailors on board. There was very little food and water but lots of wine which led to heavy drinking, murder, mutiny and cannibalism. When rescued, only 15 were left alive. This work by Theodore Gericault’s was a seismic shift in art from the stiff neo-classicism of the past to the dramatic and emotional Romanticism in art. It is more of the most macabre painting in the Louvre.

France, Paris: Michelangelo’s Slaves

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With everyone crowding in to see the Mona Lisa, you can head elsewhere in the Louvre Museum to find 100’s of other famous artists’ works, starting with Michelangelo. He was so brilliant at coaxing human emotions out of the stone. Here are two representations of slaves so painfully showing their despair.

France, Paris: Sleeping Hermaphroditus

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At first glance this looks like a naked woman sleeping on a very soft cushioned bed but you would be mistaken on both counts. Originally found in the Borgehese gallery in Rome, obviously ancient audiences were comfortable with mixed gender concepts. She might be a he, and Bernini the master sculptor has made marble appear so soft.

France, Paris: Venus, Samothrace, and Mona

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Three of the most recognized pieces of art in the world. The Venus de Milo (found on the Greek island of Milo) is over 200o yrs old and is still seen as the epitomy of classical female beauty. The Winged Victory of Samothrace is a mastery of carving – just notice the wind ruffling her 2200-year- old dress. And dear old Mona, our guide said she has that secret smile because she knows where Rodin hid The Thinker’s clothing! (See him at the Rodin Museum here in Paris)

Great Britain, London: St. Paul’s Cathedral Whispering Gallery

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If you have strong calf muscles, it is definitely worth the 100’s of winding steps to the Whispering Gallery. Not only does it give you a great view of the cathedral below, but you can learn the whisper secret. You can ask one of the guides up there to tell you where to sit to try it out. Don’t give up, it’s delightful when you can make the hundreds-year-old magic work.

Austria, Vienna: Glorious Surroundings Lead to Glorious Decisions

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How can you sit and deliberate laws when you are distracted by all this fabulous art and architecture in the Rathaus (City Hall) in Vienna? To get on a tour, make sure to sign up ahead of time.

US: Newburyport, MA – Scarecrows Decorate Lampposts in Downtown Newburyport

On Columbus Day weekend head to Newburyport for their annual Fall Harvest Festival. Enjoy great food, live music, and family fun while celebrating autumn’s arrival. Explore downtown shops as well as craft vendor booths from artisans all over New England.

A Newburyport tradition, Fall Harvest Festival features talented artisans offering handmade crafts & artwork, great local food vendors and live music that will keep your toes tapping.  Bring the kids in the morning for children’s entertainment in Market Square.

One of the most fun parts of the Newburyport Fall Harvest Festival is the Annual Scarecrow Contest. This year will be the 17th annual scarecrow contest and the goal of this creative competition is to create a gallery of fun, inventive scarecrows throughout Market Square.

Schedule:

  • Kids’ Entertainment – Market Square | Sunday & Monday from 10:30-11:30 am
  • Craft ShowSunday & Monday 10 am-5pm
  • Food VendorsSunday & Monday 10 am-5pm
  • Scarecrow Contest | Sunday 12pm – Monday 2pm
  • Live Music in Market Square | 1pm – 4pm

Location: Downtown Newburyport, Market Square, Newburyport, MA 01950
Date: Sun & Mon, Oct 7 & 8
Time: 10am – 5pm
Tel: 978-572-1494
facebook.com/events/2003581069655826
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: newburyportchamber.org

US: Annapolis, MD – A Week Long Celebration of the Arts and the Irish

Celebrating Annapolis’ Diverse Arts Scene, Annapolis Arts Week was created to bring together the area’s local artists and musicians for a week of art, food, block parties, events, music, and festivals.Plein Air Painter on Main Street(1)

The week includes major events: Paint Annapolis, a county-wide, juried, plein air competition celebrating its 15th year with 30 distinguished artists from around the globe. The artists will create 300 landscape works, highlighting the special colonial architecture, marine atmosphere, and overall energy of Annapolis. p a i n t a n n a p o l i s . o r g

Paint Annapolis features special events every day:

Sunday, June 3: Dueling Brushes – Quick Draw at Susan B Campbell Park
Monday June 4: Artist paint in Anne Arundel County
Tuesday, June 5: Paint the Bay Reception at Annapolis Maritime Museum
6-8pm
Wednesday, June 6: Artists paint in the city of Annapolis
Nocturne at dusk – Dinner Under the Stars
Thursday, June 7: Artists paint in the historic district
Art on the Avenue, Maryland Avenue, 5-7pm
Friday, June 8: Collector’s Award Reception, 6:30 – 9pm
Saturday June 9 & Sunday June 10: Reception & Sales at Circle Gallery
Mimosas & Muffins: Sunday 11am – 1pm

Here are some additional events going on throughout Annapolis Arts Week:

BagPipe Players March through Main StreetThe Annapolis Irish Festival where you can enjoy traditional Celtic music and Irish rock bands on three different stages, along with workshops and exhibits. Try some delicious Irish beef stew and other Irish favorites. Little Leprechaun Land (open on Saturday only 11am– 4pm) provides pony rides, face painting and other free activities for the kids.  June 1 & 2, 2018 at Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds annapolisirishfestival.com

16th Annual First Sunday Arts Festival Shop among the creations of 130 local and regional artisans; dine at outdoor cafes; and enjoy the music of more than seven live bands. It’s a great time to explore art galleries, take a game room challenge and/or create your own artwork at shops on West Street taking place on First block of West and Calvert Streets,  Sunday, June 3 – 11am – 5pm – Admission: Free firstsundayarts.comShopping_at_the_First_Sunday_Arts_Festival.JPG

Dinner Under the Stars is a place for families and friends to come together and for couples to experience a romantic evening under the stars. Artists will paint from sundown to sunrise alongside the hundreds who come to dine, drink, and dance under the night sky. Spend Wednesday evenings dining, dancing and listening to live bands in the middle of the first block of West Street, just off Church Circle. Wednesdays, June 6, 13, 20, 27, 6pm – 10pm dinnerunderthestars.orgDinner_Under_the_Stars_with_St_Annes_and_State_House_in_background.jpg

Photo Credit: VisitAnnapolis.org & Kenneth Tom Photography

Location: Various
Date: June 1 -10, 2018
Hours: Various
Tel: 410-268-4566
annapolisartsweek.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitannapolis.org