big time art in miami

The art world is buzzing in preparation for America’s biggest art fair, coming December 1-4:  Art Basal Miami Beach. Art is featured from more than 260 galleries from all over the world.  The show exhibits works by more than 2,000 artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Nick CaveSoundsuit #1, 2009 , by Nick Cave

Cave’s Soundsuits are so named because they do make sounds when worn.  Scavenged materials make up the bizarre fashions, with items such as old bottle caps, beads and rusty iron sticks.

Robert IndianaRobert Indiana, Art

Indiana is an icon in the world of pop art, famous for creating the graphic “Love” with the letter “O” tilted at a slant. “Love” was made into a stamp, probably the most widely distributed Pop Art image with 300 million issued.

Nevin Aladag, Makramé, 2011Nevin Aladag, Makramé, 2011

Born in Turkey, Aladag lives and works in Berlin. Her sculpture is created with wire cable.

This is the tenth exhibition of Art Basal Miami Beach.

“The exhibiting galleries are among the world’s most respected art dealers, offering exceptional pieces by both renowned artists and cutting-edge newcomers. Special exhibition sections feature young galleries, performance art, public art projects and video art. The show will be a vital source for art lovers, allowing them to both discover new developments in contemporary art and experience rare museum-caliber artworks.” – Art Basal Miami


secret postcard art

The RCA Secret 2011 celebrated its 18th birthday this year.  The Royal College of Art in London holds a huge one day sale each year featuring postcard sized art for about $70. Sounds expensive to you?   Maybe not so much, considering you could own an original Manolo Blanhik, Olafur Elaisson or possibly an Anish Kapoor.

Yoko OnoYoko Ono

The Secret is that buyers do not know who has created each piece until they buy it and then check the signature on the back. This year there were 2,900 works of art, created by 1000 invited artists, including RCA postgrad students.

Manolo BlanhikManolo Blanhik

The Secret Sale is held to raise money to cover the budget for the grants and bursaries, with the goal being over $200,000. Postcards by famous artists can go up for auction at prices as high as $24,000.

Anish KapoorAnish Kapoor

People line up for days before the sale, camping out in chilly weather so they are among the first to purchase a Secret piece of art. Buyers can purchase up to 4 pieces. Go to the RCA Secret website to see more details, and view images of all of the art:

bring it on

It’s been damp and drizzly and chilly in the Midwest lately.  I say either fly me to somewhere tropical, or bring on the snow!

Oeffling - stained glass snowflakeLinda Oeffling, Stained Glass Snowflake, iridized krackle

Featured today are some snowflakes coming out of the studio.  Stained glass work, they are copper wired along the outside rim so they won’t pull apart in time.

Linda Oeffling - stained glass snowflakeLinda Oeffling, Stained Glass Snowflake, frost glass with dichroic center

The snowflakes with more open design have a spot of dichroic glass at the center.  Dichroic glass is an interesting material, originating with the aerospace industry.  In a special manufacturing process, metal oxides bond with glass in a vacuum chamber.  The resulting material reflects certain wavelengths of light and allows other to pass through. The result is a glowing, eye-catching glass that brings a sparkle to the project, capturing light in a unique way.

thanksgiving traditions in art

In my search for Thanksgiving art, I found some hilarious classic cards featuring odd things, like a baby on a platter, and a turkey with a smiling, blond, little girl’s face.  Then I moved on to inaccurate depictions of Native Americans, and pious Pilgrims.  I had to leave it at two pieces of artwork that simply convey warm, Autumn feelings and leave it at that!

Doris LeeThanksgiving, c. 1935, Doris Lee
American, 1905-1983

Doris Lee’s artistic career took off when “Thanksgiving”  won the Logan Prize in the annual at the Art Institute of Chicago. Her style ranged from her early folk art pieces to abstract style, and she moved between fine art and illustration with ease.  Read an interesting article about Lee from the New York Times 2008: Offering a Painter for History’s Reconsideration

Grandma MosesGrandma Moses, CATCHING THE THANKSGIVING TURKEY, 1943

Anna Mary Robertson Moses, Grandma Moses, is known as the greatest American folk painter of the twentieth century. She was the first American painter to achieve a significant international reputation in the post-World War II era. From humble beginnings as a self-taught artist on her farm, she became famous later in life and remains iconic today.  Read more about Grandma Moses at:

Have a happy, healthy, appreciative Thanksgiving!

the art of science awards 2011

Princeton University has just released the winners for the Art of Science Exhibition, a competition in its fifth annual year.

The Art of ScienceThe Art of Science, 2011, First Place Winner, Chaos and geomagnetic reversals
Christophe Gissinger (postdoc)
Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences/ Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
The magnetic field of the Earth has reversed its polarity several hundred times during the past 160 million years. This image shows a simple deterministic model illustrating the geomagnetic reversals.

There were 168 submissions this year, with 56 chosen as award winners for this year’s theme,”Intelligent Design”. The images were all produced during the course of scientific research.

The Art of Science 2011Fireworks
Yunlai Zha (GS)
Dept. of Electrical Engineering
Arsenic sulphide dissolved in a solution displays colorful random patterns after being spin-coated and baked on a chrome-evaporated glass slide.

The Art of Science 2011Iron Lotus
Elle Starkman
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
A ferrofluid is a liquid mixed with small metallic particles that can become magnetized in the presence of a magnetic field.

Visit the Princeton site to view all of the images, and read about cutting edge scientific development:

“The Art of Science exhibition explores the interplay between science and art. These practices both involve the pursuit of those moments of discovery when what you perceive suddenly becomes more than the sum of its parts. Each piece in this exhibition is, in its own way, a record of such a moment.” -from

Monday’s favorite things

Today’s favorite – glass art by self-taught artist Craig Mitchell Smith.

Craig Russell SmithWind, by Craig Russell Smith

I think the ultimate placement for glass is outside.  It seems contradictory, such a delicate, fragile material.  Yet it withstands wind and weather, and its beauty in natural light is breathtaking.

Craig Russell SmithThe Gift Blue, Craig Russell Smith

Smith works with metal smiths to create sculptures combining glass and metal. His forms are created in a kiln.

Craig Russell SmithMaking A Wish, Craig Russell Smith

Starting with a background in painting, Smith has also done interior and garden design, set design for theatres, and floral design.  With no training in working with glass, he experimented with jewelry, then quickly moved into kiln formed sculptural pieces.

Craig Russell SmithFountain: Flight of Water, Craig Russell Smith

About a year ago, in October of 2010, Smith opened his own gallery in Okemos, Michigan.  Visit his website to see more:


busy weekends coming

Ah, it’s Friday, but is that a sigh of relief at the end of the week, or a new breath to gain energy for all that can be done over the weekend? With Affair of the Arts complete, I am looking forward to another art show that is a lot of fun. If your weekends are busy, this show gives you plenty of options to choose from.

Crossing Borders Art Tour and Sale

Come to visit ~ Leave Inspired
November 19th and 20th  Saturday & Sunday
December 3rd and 4th  Saturday & Sunday
HOURSSaturday 11AM – 5PM  &  Sunday 11AM – 4PM

This Art Tour gives you a chance to peek inside the studio world of working artists.  Visit their website to view a map and plot out where to start your day:

Here are a few photos to get you started.  Click on the link above to view more – lots of artists and studios participating!

Carriage House PotteryCarriage House Pottery & Gallery

Don RambadtMetal Sculpture by Don Rambadt

Wilmot Artisan MarketPhotography, Paintings, and more at the Wilmot Artisan Market

Fox Valley GlassGlass Blowing Demos and Shop at Fox River Glass: &