ArtSmart Roundtable: Andrew Wyeth's Wind from the Sea

detail of andrew wyeth wind from the sea
detail of Andrew Wyeth's Wind from the Sea, 1947.

As I wandered the West Building at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, a wispy web of white paint caught my eye. Andrew Wyeth's Wind from the Sea is essentially that, an image of the wind, captured in a painting of an open window. While in front of the work, I marveled at how he was able to capture the feeling of the movement of the curtain billowing from the wind. I pondered the process the artist must go through to translate an image in life to the two dimensional canvas. But, today, as I revisited the painting again, I began to ponder instead, why did I even notice it?

Artsmart Roundtable: Richard Serra's Band Sculpture

Richard Serra lacma

Nothing beats being in front of a work of art. Sometimes these works travel to you, in exhibits and to museums nearby. Other times, you've got to travel to the work itself, which is definitely the case when it comes to the work of Richard Serra. His over-sized works made of steel are often site-specific and their installation alone is labor intensive. These aren't works that travel and that's ok. Because, after all, it's a good excuse to get out there in the world and see it for yourself. Serra can give you an excuse to travel to Spain, the Hudson River Valley, Qatar, or, in this case, my latest Serra sighting was in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art when I came face-to-face with Band (2006).

ArtSmart Roundtable: University Art Galleries

detail Yale University Art Gallery

When you think of seeing art on a trip in the United States, it's easiest to gravitate towards the most well known museums in large cities. However, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy art in excellent musuems, in lesser-known places. One great place to look at art are at any of the American universities across the country. Universities have both the resources and benefactors to help foster an environment for collecting and displaying a significant collection of art. Further, the university setting puts an emphasis on learning from art, as well as about art. It makes for a unique museum experience. Almost every university has an art collection of some sorts, including these four university art museums of note in the United States.

Tasting Journey: Revolver Brewing


I often come across passionate, enthusiastic characters in my travels. More often than not they have something to do food and drinks. I love learning about their passion for what they create and I love sharing my finds with you, so you can visit too.

Revolver Brewing is a newcomer to the craft beer scene in Texas with their grand opening in Granbury, Texas, in October 2012. World class beers for a Texas palate are created by Grant Wood, a former brewer for the Boston Beer Company. Wood found his way back to Texas, alongside owner Rhett Keisler, to get back to their roots and create craft beer for a Texas audience. The beers they craft are light-bodied, full of flavor, and the brewery, well-worth a visit the next time you're in the Dallas area. They've got big plans and I suspect they'll be making interesting beers for many years to come.

Tasting Journey: Barking Rocks Winery


I often come across passionate, enthusiastic characters in my travels. More often than not they have something to do food and drinks. I love learning about their passion for what they create and I love sharing my finds with you, so you can visit too.

At Barking Rocks Winery in Granbury, Texas, each grape crushing reveals a different path. The winemaker, Tiberia, is not interested in recreating the same bottle of wine again and again, but instead lets the grapes lead him through each barrelling. The journey of Barking Rocks Winery began ten years ago with an early retirement and a career change that led Tiberia to reinvent himself, dropping his first name and returning to his Italian heritage through winemaking. For the past decade, he and his wife Sissy have been sticking to their motto “making wine, friends and events happen.”

Tasting Texas: Classic Tastes and New Traditions in Granbury, Texas


Texas is big. (Dinner plate cinnamon roll big.) It’s a whole other world with regions and cultural divisions that I can’t even begin to cover or, as a foreigner, ever understand. As outsiders, we cling to our stereotypes of Texas in an effort to make sense of it all. Television, the media, and George W. Bush have helped us, for better or worse, attempt to understand the subtleties of what it means to be Texan. But, let’s push those preconceived notions of Texas out of our mind, for the moment, and take a look at another representation of Texas, its cuisine.

ArtSmart Roundtable: The Menil Collection in Houston, Texas


exterior, Menil Collection

Beginning in 1971, with the opening of the Rothko Chapel, the de Menil family had big plans for this neighborhood in Houston, Texas. The Chapel is a structure designed to house the paintings of Abstract Expressionist artist, Mark Rothko and a place for reflection and spirituality, regardless of your god. It set the tone for what was to come. A few years later, in 1987, the Menil Collection opened its doors and over the years has become more than just the art collection of a family housed in a museum. While, it does refer to a building of such expression, it is just one of many in a campus of art, architecture, and sculpture collected by the de Menil family displayed in the Montrose neighborhood. In addition to the Rothko Chapel, there is outdoor sculpture, galleries dedicated to the work of Cy Twombly and Dan Flavin, and until this year a re-imagined Byzantine Chapel to house frescos saved from Cyprus. (After 15 years, the frescos were returned to Cyprus in March 2012. You can learn more and see video and photography of the former installation, at Byzantine Fresco Chapel website.) All-in-all, the Menil collection and its environs is a place to be inspired, to feel, and to interact with art in a way that’s uncommon in today’s wall-text driven art experience.

Tasting... the Oregon Coast

oregon coast food

The Oregon Coast, just a few hours drive from Portland, Oregon, may be well known for its 300 miles of public beaches, haystack rocks made popular in the film The Goonies, or for its many lighthouse photo ops. But that's not all that there is to enjoy in this scenic corner of the Pacific Northwest; the food alone is worth the trip. Fresh seafood, locally made cheeses and beers, and seaside restaurants that serve up stellar views alongside their locally-sourced cuisine.  Whether you're planning a trip to the Oregon Coast or just looking for a bit of travel inspiration, a sampling of our favorite bites from last summer will be sure to whet your appetite.

Forget The Guidebook: New York City

We think the web is full of great "travel guides," created by people who live and love the places we visit. Before you shell out a dime on a bland, mass-produced book, check out these great blogs and websites before your next trip to New York City, and get a taste of the city as locals see it.
Brooklyn Bridge
Image: ugod.

Researching a trip can be overwhelming when you start. What are you going to do? Where will you find information about your destination? Just searching for the place will likely land you tons of sites wanting to sell you guides, tours, and a ton of other stuff you probably don't want or need. Local blogs, sites, and other local-centered resources are one of the best places to look, but how do you find the good ones? A regular city is difficult enough, but how do you crack a huge nut like New York City? Keep reading to check out some of the great blogs and resources that I've found, to help you have a great trip to the Big Apple, without driving yourself crazy.

Artsmart Roundtable: An Architectural Tour at Madison Square Park

Flatiron Building
Flatiron Building, 1901-1903

New York City's architecture can be overwhelming and with the hub and bub of the city passing you by, it can be hard to take in. After visiting New York recently, I realized that parks are the perfect homebase for doing an impromptu architectural tour. One of the finest is Madison Square Park, who not only gives you a front row seat to one of New York's most noted landmarks, the Flatiron Building (pictured above,) but a peek at architecture both old and new, and maybe even a milkshake.