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Yesterday, I had the privilege of experiencing the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at the Hirshorn in Washington, D.C.

Knowing next to nothing about Kusama, her artwork, or the nature of the exhibit and what it showcased, we decided to take an adventure. Literally the only thing I knew about the exhibit was that a visitor recently destroyed one of her thin, hollow, plastic polka-dotted pumpkins while taking a selfie. (That’s a whole other topic that I witnessed yesterday which I may decide to discuss as a side note at the end of this blog.)

We left Lancaster for an overnight stay about 30 minutes outside of downtown Washington, D.C. The next morning, the alarm clock went off at 5am and off we went, aiming to reach the Hirshorn at 6am. Through overhearing discussions once we stepped in line (behind 60 other people bundled in blankets and coats in the 55 degree weather), I discovered that only 700 free passes would be given to those in line and they wouldn’t start giving them out until 10am. Thankfully, we packed plenty of books to read, sketchbooks to draw in, Yahtzee, fruit, and water to drink.

All of my assumptions about this exhibit were completely and utterly wrong, guys. Aside from the expectation of bewilderment as a result of staring at endless polkadots, I had literally no idea what I was getting into.

You see, I honestly thought we would be free to enter the so-called “infinity mirror” rooms freely with the freedom to walk out of one and into the other. But Kusama had a different intention entirely. The infinity mirror rooms are enclosed in box-like structures with a door that opens and shuts. Basically, you wait in line with whomever you’ve come to visit the Hirshorn with. When it’s your turn to view one of the five infinity rooms, a staff member opens the door, allows you to enter, and shuts the door behind you for either 20 or 30 seconds. There,  you stand in silence and awe looking at the objects inside (lights, glowing pumpkins, pink polka dotted balls). The box is coated in mirrors and gives the feeling that the objects go on forever and ever and ever and ever.


There were several different feelings which popped up for me personally. The first and most apparent was that of voyeurism. We all have gone to art exhibitions and looked at artwork, but have you ever been met with your reflection? In the infinity mirror rooms, you are met with the image of your self as you turn and look into an imaginary abyss of infinite lights. It was almost uncomfortable at times watching myself, jaw open, in awe.

But this caused me to be completely present. The lines—which seemed to take forever with a grumbling tummy—seemed to last forever. A lot of wonderful conversation was had in each line as we waited for those 20 to 30 precious experiential moments. It was truly amazing. It taught patience and presence, and was full of illumination and voyeuristic qualities which only brought it back to feeling present again.

I have never experienced an exhibit quite like Yayoi Kusama’s. The themes that intricately wove themselves throughout the Hirshorn were incredibly relevant in today’s digitally connected—and therefore existentially disconnected—world which we experience everyday through our phones and computers. It was refreshing and revitalizing.

Thank you for reading! I hope local artists can revisit these themes in their artwork so we can all have similar experiences!

 

Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama at Hirshorn

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, VS NAIL BAR!

VS Nail Bar is by far our favorite place to get a manicure, pedicure, or full set of acrylics. TTDLanc writer recently got a full set of almond shaped acrylic nails and was so pleased with her experience. “I haven’t gotten my nails done for almost ten years, so I was very nervous. Owner Stephanie greeted me warmly and offered me a glass of wine while she pampered me,” Emily says of her experience.
Emily’s nails right after getting done. Stephanie created a natural look with a little pizazz on the ring finger of each hand.

Come in and celebrate VS’s 1st birthday! Until April 13, VS is offering $20 specials for gel manicure or regular pedicure. “We’ve had one fabulous year, so make an appointment!” owner Stephanie says. They are having a drawing for a free gift from Mary Kay and are also doing a giveaway for a free spa pedi. The $20 special is valid through April 13th. Appointments are preferred. Designs not included in price.

VS Nail Bar
330 West Main Street
Landsville, PA 17538

www.facebook.com/VSNailBar

Call for more information at (717) 537-2110.


Opening Spring ArtWalk weekend, on May 5th Red Raven Art Company will host a new show titled Lancaster, A Love Letter. The show will feature work by local woodburner and painter Jenny Germann.  Germann will exhibit many of her unique burnings/painting on wood throughout the month of May. The exhibition will focus on a variety of Germann’s favorite locations and experiences in Lancaster—including work featuring the recent vigils and protests taking place around the city.

Most of Germann’s work is created through woodburning.  She uses torches and pyrography machines to capture her vision and to create distinct line qualities on wood. By using a this method, she is able to create imagery, texture, and depth in her work by burning directly into the wood.  After the woodburning is finished, she adds evocative color with inks, watercolor, or acrylic.

“My work is based on locations that hold significance in my life. I use landscapes and portraits to convey experiences, often drawing influence from my daily observations while living in Lancaster City.”

Germann lives and works in Lancaster PA.  She earned her BFA from the University of Kansas and an MS from Eastern University.  She is married to local cabinetmaker/furniture designer Evan Germann and together, they have 2 dogs.

 

 

What: Jenny Germann – woodburner and painter (jennygermann.com)

What: Feature art exhibition, Lancaster, A Love Letter

When: Opening May 5th,  show will be up through May 31, 2017

Where: Red Raven Art Company, downtown Lancaster

 

For more images / information, contact:

Jenny Germann – 717.283.6543 / info@jennygermann.com

 

Things To Do Lancaster caught up with one of the cutest couples in Lancaster—Emily Moccero and Evan Young of The Velveteen Stabit.

Emily and Evan accumulated quite a collection of lapel pins and in an attempt to display them, they came up with velvet-lined cork boards—thus the name “Velveteen Stabit.” After making a few of the corkboards, they looked into designing their own pins to go along with the boards. However, the pin sales really took off and they realized they enjoyed designing the pins that they kept on keeping on!

Things To Do Lancaster: What style would you say your pins are?
The Velveteen Stabit: We try to design things that we want to wear, and since there are two of us, our style is a little schizophrenic; both of our personalities show throughout our line. A few of our pins feature various types of wings which are inspired from different vintage auto/moto logos, and some of our designs have elements which are more inspired by fantasy. All of our designs have clean and simple lines and can be appreciated by a range of audience. We feel that our unique sources of inspiration are a good representation of who we are as people, and as a result, who we are as a brand.

TTDL: Is there anything special about the quality of materials?
TVS: As far as materials go, theres not too much to it – metal and colored enamel (enamel is essentially glass in this context). However, something to note is that the majority of enamel pins in our class are manufactured overseas, but we make sure that ours are 100% made in USA. We’re proud of that!
TTDL: Tell me how you create a pin from start to finish.
TVS: It all starts out with an idea. Sometimes we have long brainstorming sessions and other times a good idea will just randomly pop into one of our heads. After the idea is agreed on, we discuss how it should look and do some rough sketches. It is then translated into Adobe Illustrator where it is made into a vector file. Here is when we do all the fine-tuning on the designs and pick colors and size. The finished design is then sent to our USA manufacturer. While we are waiting on production (about a month), we design our packaging card.  Once we have the physical pin in hand we can do our product photography, online store listings, and some social media marketing.  Taking great photos and showing off our pins (marketing) are the biggest part of the “job” and it’s a lot of fun.
Additionally, The Velveteen Stabit also has a huge stock of amazing vintage pins and brooches available on their website. “We have so much fun finding them at flea markets and antique stores— it really makes for an exciting day!” Certain Saturdays in the summer are reserved for “flea market dates.” They also don’t just sell pins—they’ve got a range of patches and hats, and have recently started collaborations with other local Lancaster artists to design bandanas and pins as well.

Featured image from The Pottery Works.

WE LOVE POTTERY WORKS! If you’re looking for a really cool way to spend an evening, need a new birthday party theme idea, or simply need some time to yourself in a vibrant space, head to The Pottery Works in historic downtown Lancaster.

The paint-your-own pottery studio is owned by Marcie Natale, who opened the shop 14 years ago in 2003. Marcie also owns sister stores The Gem Den and The Bead Works also located in downtown Lancaster.

Perhaps the coolest part about The Pottery Works is their discount calendar. Every day they’re open, they offer a different type of discount, like a Ladies Night where all pieces are 15% off for ladies, or lunch specials where all pieces are 20% off. You can pick up one of their monthly calendars at the counter. From piggy banks, to knick knacks, to full dinner sets, to cookie jars, we are positive you’ll find something you’ll be excited to paint—and within your price range!

BROWNIE POINTS: You can BYOB, BYO snacks, and pieces are available for pick-up just one week after you complete them! They also offer painting classes.

The Pottery Works
www.facebook.com/thepotteryworks.com
IG: @thepotteryworks

 

Lancaster Documentaries just launched their new Facebook page. The man behind the lens is named Alexander Monelli. You may recognize his name from the Lancaster Itnernational Short Film Festival, as he won Best Home Grown Film at the fest in 2015—the film featured Robert Brock, owner of Hole in the Wall Puppet Theater.

His newest release is called “Trick.” This is the fourth Lancaster Documentary which tells the story of 80-year-old Tom Shultz (“Mr. Magic”) and his new career as a magician in Lancaster, fulfilling a lifelong passion.

 

A kid-friendly holiday shopping event is occurring on Sunday, December 18th from 12-8pm at the 209 Hazel Street location of Springhouse Brewery. Gifts and handmade items will include jewelry, clothing, housewares, holiday decor, stationary, and kitchen eclectics.

All or parts of sales will go to support A Week Away, which—if you are not already familiar with the program—provides a week of peace in the chaotic lives of families battling a life-threatening illness.

#LightTheTree2016

basura2

Do you love cutting-edge clothing? Are you a trendsetter? Are you looking for some fresh digs every week?

Basura Thrift Boutique (106 East King Street) has it all, and more. Jae Santiago—owner of Basura and also co-founder of High Fever parties here in Lancaster—is constantly adding new items to her zesty thrift boutique, for men and women. The shop showcases all the funky, cool clothes that many of us trendsetters can’t wait to get our hands on! She also regularly adds local artisans to her carefully selected collection.

Platform shoes, funky sweaters, brightly patterned dresses, and denim skirts often find their way into Jae’s hands. Cute, miniature clothespins decorate the clothing as her price tags and she is always changing things around as items fly off the shelves.

Make sure you also follow her in Instagram and Facebook. Jae has a knack for styling outfits and posting outfit inspirations quite frequently.

 

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Instagram: @dig_basura
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shopbasura

Art

FullSizeRender (2)For over 30 years, Adams County artist Liliana Arias has been painting using vibrant colors, abstract styling and realism. Native to Colombia, Arias’ multinational exposure allows her to creatively depict unique landscapes and lively characters.

Arias’ has exhibited internationally and studied with the late Colombian painter and sculptor Alejandro Obregón.

Join Zoetropolis Art House on Friday, November 6th from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. as they welcome Arias during her opening night. Arias work will remain at Zoetroplis through the reminder of November.

Zoetroplis Art House is located at 315 W. James St, Lancaster, PA 17603.

 

 

IMG_4378Have you been wondering about the art scattered around Lancaster? Are you interested in learning about some of it in a little more details? If so, consider the option of a guided public art tour, which can be arranged by contacting the office of public art. I recently accompanied public art manager, Tracy Beyl and a group of seniors from Garden Spot Village as they took a bus trip through the city to see some of the city’s murals and sculptures, many of which were commissioned and installed on city property through the efforts of the public art office, with input from residents of the neighborhoods surrounding the installations.

In the course of the tour, Tracy shares information about artists and artwork, as well as about the process behind bringing public art to the city. Things I learned included the fact that the number of spokes on the gears in Changing Gears — located in Crystal Park — reference the number of original American colonies and Pennsylvania’s place in them, and that the arches in Dancing Arches — located in Rodney Park — were shaped and positioned to echo the shape of a Conestoga Wagon, which was often used by settlers heading west, and originated in Lancaster County. Many of the works highlighted on the tour were located in small neighborhood parks, and theIMG_4373 (1) combination of public art and public parks is entirely intentional; as the city renovates neighborhood parks in need of attention, a work of public art is commissioned as part of the new overall design.

Over the course of the tour, which lasted just under hour, since the group opted not to leave to bus and not to have lunch at Lancaster Brewing Company, which has a cistern-turned-public-art-project on the outside of its building, several people, including the bus driver, commented that they were seeing parts of the city they had never seen before, which, according to Tracy, is not unusual.