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Archive for May 19th, 2009

Buildings can be art…

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

The premise of my ColorJoy blog, for those who may be new here, is this: Art can be found almost anywhere, if one looks.

We need not frame a flat object and put it on the wall, for something to be art. You may disagree with my specific examples, but I hope that my premise might open up the concept that perhaps art is more accessible than this society typically believes.

Gardens, good food, comfy/happy gatherings, costuming (either for stage or just as choices we make getting dressed), music, dance, poetry, other writing, even raising a child, are all creative acts that I propose might be called art in one way or another. Or so I propose.

In our society, we like to make the concept of “Art” so big and unattainable, that we limit our minds and our own expression. This concept held me back, personally. I did not call myself “artist” until I was 32 years old, mostly because I do not draw or paint (I have typically worked in 3 dimensions, or in performance). It makes me sad that the idea might still be holding back others.


I could spend a week writing about that idea. However, what I want to show you today, would be two photos of a wonderful old building. It is in the East Town area of Grand Rapids, Michigan. We visited Grand Rapids on Mother’s Day and stopped in East Town on the way back home.

This building, Brian tells me, was once used by the Zondervan Publishing company. Right now it appears to be something else, but there is merely a small sign by a side door and something I could not read on the face of the clock.


We walked around this building, which takes up much of a city block. Somehow the original cornerstone with the date on it, is no longer visible from the street.

I wish I knew exactly when it was built. I’m guessing early in the 1900s, given the style… depending on whether it was cutting edge or current style when it was built.

Isn’t the building lovely? Yes, buildings can be art. This building sure does perk up the streets upon which it sits.

Spring is Fully Sprung!

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

twoducksoldtown.jpgIt is incredible to see the changes in the plants here between a week ago and today. Last week we had trees where they were starting to have tiny leaves. Now, more trees than not are so full you can not see through them. The leaves are thick and green, and healthy.

I walked with friend Cynthia a week ago in Old Town. One block from Grand River and Washington, a step and a half from the curb, was a duck just resting, curled up with her head under part of a wing.

She had one eye peering at us making sure we were not a threat, but she never moved at all. Her partner can be seen in the background, and he was not any more worried about us than she was.

woldumarlogcabinmay09-25.jpgMind you, we were chatting in our typical animated way as we walked. This duck was not threatened. It is so odd to see wildlife not scared by loud humans! They are truly city ducks, I figure.

On Mother’s Day, I met my own Mom at Woldumar Nature Center. Brian was performing with the Scarlet Runner String Band, and it turned out a number of folks we knew were also performing. First I have a photo of the log cabin on the property.

lacloggersb25.jpgThen I show Trina (front) and her friend from LA Cloggers. Trina used to practice and teach at Foster Community Center, when I also worked in the building. It is fun to run into her, from time to time, at events like this.

Finally, I show a photo of our dear friend Art Cameron. Notice the little girl peeking out through the doorway. She enjoyed his set.