Warhol comes to Cleveland

So, you know Andy Warhol is in Paris right now. Of course, even the best travel deals can still leave Europe’s cultural capital out of reach. Fortunately, you now have a backup plan: Cleveland.

The Cleaveland Institute of Art will be hosting a series of prints created by Warhol from 1974 to 1986 (from the Cochran Collection). Uncle Sam, Superman and Mickey Mouse will be in attendance – a rare opportunity that any pop art fanatic is sure to enjoy. The collection will be in town from June 5 to August 16. This is the first time the Cochran Collection can be seen in Ohio.

Reinberg Galleries director Bruce Checefsky say, “Andy Warhol is the perfect summer exhibition for University Circle because the show is filled with American popular culture.” He continues, “From soup can to Superman, supermarket to stardom, we revel in Warhol’s demystifying beauty.”

Bring mom to flowers for Mother’s Day

Several botanical gardens are having Mother’s Day events this Sunday. One of the advantages of going to a botanical garden, I’ve found, is that they usually have wonderful gift shops that are perfect places for picking up that last minute present.

If you’ve forgotten to buy your mother a gift, when she’s not looking, perhaps, when she’s basking in the fragrance of a floral paradise, slip into the shop to buy her a little something. Since the wedding season is upon us, pick up a wedding gift as well. Here are the first 10 botanical gardens I came across that listed a Mother’s Day happening. Nine are in the U.S. and one is not.

(This photo is from a tribute to redbuds and mothers at the Children’s Garden at the Cleveland Botanical Garden. My mom taught me to love redbuds too, so I thought this fitting.)

  1. Botanical Conservatory, Ft. Wayne, Indiana: Free admission and enjoy the butterflies besides.
  2. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine: Free admission to moms and there’s a special brunch. While your mom is eating, slip out to buy that gift.
  3. Cleveland Botanical Gardens, Cleveland, Ohio: Like the Web site says, the redbuds are in bloom and they’re gorgeous
  4. Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens, Belmont, North Carolina: Moms get in free with a paid admission and the first 250 moms get a potted plant.
  5. Denver Botanical Gardens, Denver, Colorado: The Mother’s Day brunch is sold out but you can bring your own picnic.
  6. Fernwood Botanical Gardens, Niles, Michigan: Enjoy music, food and a plant sale.
  7. Huntsville Botanical Gardens, Huntsville, Alabama: Moms can get a hydrangea, as long as they are available. There’s a dinosaur theme going on, but this has nothing to do with your mother.
  8. Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, Virginia: Free family photo for moms while supplies last and free plants to the first 500 moms who come.
  9. Tuscon Botanical Gardens, Tuscon, Arizona: Mom might like to learn about the dinosaurs here as well.
  10. And one not in the United States: Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens. If you took your mother to Australia for brunch, would she be impressed.

If you take your mother somewhere else on Sunday–or if you are a mom–ask for a discount. I got into a museum for free in Lugang, Taiwan once on Mother’s Day because I could claim motherhood. The museum gave me a rose as well. The one catch is, I think you probably need to have your child with you.

Cleveland International Film Festival

When snow dumps in massive amounts, one wonders about the events that happen once a year that require people to attend for a success to happen. Our friends moving back to Japan had two people show up for their moving sale. We managed to slide down their street to pick up a dresser we bought from them.

This past week a mega event started in Cleveland. We won tickets but weren’t able to head north since even heading down our street was questionable. Since this event is continuing through this week and next weekend, here’s a heads up. The Cleveland International Film Festival is a chance to see films that often don’t get noticed and a chance to see creativity at work when the dollar a movie can make is not necessarily the reason to make it. Each day offers a wide variety of choices.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Cleveland, going to this festival could not be more convenient. It’s being held at Tower City, a shopping mall with various eateries that is connected to Terminal Tower. If you park in the garage, you don’t have to step outside once. Although, I do recommend heading over through the mall to Terminal Tower which was once the second tallest building in the world in the early 1960s. The architecture is gorgeous. If you go out onto Euclid Avenue, you’ll see the Soliders and Sailors Monument in Public Square a few steps away. Parking for the film festival is free.

Spencer Tunick: Nudes, landscapes and global warming

At a recent trip to my son’s dentist, I was flipping through the latest issue of Time Magazine and came across a photo of hundreds of nude people standing on Aletsch Glacier in Switzerland. The photo was taken by Spencer Tunick on August 18 as Tunick’s effort to show the vulnerability of people and the planet due to global warming–an interesting, and certainly eye catching approach.

(The photo here is of participants walking up the glacier before their clothes came off. It’s on the Aletsch Glacier page of the Spencer Tunick Experience Web site. Yes, there’s a nude photo there as well.)

I find Tunick’s work tasteful and compelling, perhaps because I grew up in a house filled with art and surrounded by artists. Perhaps, I find Tunick’s work intriguing because there are so many people of all shapes, sizes and skin tones represented that the individual becomes part of the whole. As a person with a sociology background, people in groups draw me into the idea of the bigger picture of life and relationships. This is perhaps part of Tunick’s point. Seeing the photo in Time Magazine reminded me of my own missed Tunick opportunity.

A few years ago, a friend emailed me about participating in a Spencer Tunick photo shoot outside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Sure, I’m game, I thought, and registered. The photo shoot date was switched, however, and I had a conflict, so I was unable to participate after all. I wasn’t sure that I would have anyway, but it was a gleeful thought. My friend did show up along with hundreds of other people, for the event and thought the experience was wonderful and liberating. She ended up with a limited edition of the official photograph for her efforts and an interesting story to tell. She did mention how cold the ground was at that time in the morning.

Tunick’s most recent shoot was in Miami, Florida this past October. The photographs are on exhibit through the end of this month at the Sagmore Art Hotel in Miami. The one here is from the exhibit. If you can’t tell, it’s of men on rafts.

If you have a hankering to have a travel experience you won’t likely repeat elsewhere, register to participate in a future Spencer Tunick photography event. I’m sure he’s not done yet, so who knows where such an endeavor might take you.