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A Monumental Impact "A Monumental Impact." Off the Easel Magazine. Fall 2012: 28-29.
The A-Lister's Guide: San Diego's Hot Spots "The A-Lister's Guide: San Diego's Hot Spots." Off the Easel Magazine. Summer 2012: 22-23.
Art in Las Vegas "Art in Las Vegas." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2012: 22-23.
America's Best: Children's Museums "America's Best: Children's Museums." Off the Easel Magazine. Winter 2012: 22-23.
The Best Museums in the West "The Best Museums in the West." Off the Easel Magazine. Fall 2011: 22-23.
A Taste of San Diego "A Taste of San Diego." Off the Easel Magazine. Summer 2011: 22-23.
The Best Glass Museums "The Best Glass Museums." Off the Easel Magazine. Summer 2011: 28-29.
On the Map: Touring the World’s Hotels and Resorts with the Best Art Collections "On the Map: Touring the World's Hotels and Resorts with the Best Art Collections." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2011: 22-23.
Food, Glorious Food "Food, Glorious Food." Off the Easel Magazine. Winter 2011: 22-23.
The Ultimate Day-Cation: San Diego Style "The Ultimate Day-Cation: San Diego Style." Off the Easel Magazine. Fall 2010: 22-23.
Singing the Praises of the 'Unsung' Museums "Singing the Praises of the 'Unsung' Museums." Off the Easel Magazine. Summer 2010: 20-21.
When in Rome: Touring the Sculptures of Italy "When in Rome: Touring the Sculptures of Italy." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2010: 28-29.
"A Monumental Impact." Off the Easel Magazine. Fall 2012: 28-29.
Art endures. From ancient Greek and Roman times, to the Renaissance, to modern day, art has been used in a multitude of ways to preserve and immortalize the past. Throughout history, it has been used to mark specific events, important people, military conquests, and much more. Today is no different. Because of their beauty and durability, magnificent sculptural monuments continue to be used to mark historical events. Art helps to ensure that as humanity progresses, we never forget the past and continue to learn from it. So come along with us as we take a trip up the coast to discover the fascinating history California has to share with us through art.
Cabrillo National Monument
The statue of Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo was constructed by sculptor Alvaro de Bree for the Portuguese Government in 1939 and given to the United States. It currently stands over the entrance to San Diego Bay at the southern tip of the Point Loma, commemorating the arrival of the first European on what is now the West coast of the United States. Commissioned as an explorer by the King of Spain, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo arrived in California on September 28, 1542. He commanded three ships: San Salvador, La Victoria, and San Miguel. His flagship San Salvador is currently being replicated by a partnership between the National Park Service and the San Diego Maritime Museum.
Vietnam War Memorial
The Vietnam War Memorial in Westminster is the first memorial to honor both American and Vietnamese soldiers who fought in Vietnam. It was designed and sculpted by Vietnamese artist, Tuan, who worked on the piece for almost exactly a year, beginning April 29, 2002. The memorial was unveiled on the 25th anniversary of the fall of Saigon.
A bronze sculpture of two soldiers, one American, one Vietnamese, stands above a large granite fountain wall, along with a bronze urn containing an eternal flame. Westminster is home to the largest Vietnamese community in the United States, and the memorial was funded privately by contributions from local residents.
Manzanar War Relocation Center Monument
The memorial marking the Manzanar cemetery was sculpted by prisoner stonemason Ryozo Kado in August of 1943 in recognition of the many lives that were lost at the Manzanar War Relocation Center and to ensure the location would never be forgotten. During World War II, the internment camp housed more than 11,000 Japanese Americans. When the Center was closed in 1945, many of those who had been forced to relocate there had no other life to which to return. The inscription reads, “Monument for the Pacification of Spirits.”
Bear Flag Monument
The Bear Flag Monument was erected by the Native Sons of the Golden West and the State of California to remember June 14, 1846, when the Bear Flag Party raised their flag on this site to mark the state of California free from Mexican rule. The original Bear Flag was designed by William L. Todd, a cousin of Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln. On July 9, 1846, the Bear Flag was replaced with an American Flag by Lieutenant J. W. Revere of the United States armed forces. The original Bear Flag was lost in a fire in 1906, but a replica now hangs in the Sonoma Barracks Museum.
West Coast World War II Memorial
The West Coast World War II Memorial, also known as the West Coast Memorial to the Missing, was constructed to honor the lives of servicemen whose bodies were never found or were lost at sea during Word War II. The memorial consists of a statue of Columbia (the female personification of America) sculpted by Jean De Marco. Behind her stands a grand curved wall, designed by architects Hervey Parke Clark and John F. Beuttler, engraved with over 400 names of the missing Americans and decorated with bas-reliefs. The memorial was built by the American Battle Monuments Commission and was dedicated on November 29, 1960.
"The A-Lister's Guide: San Diego's Hot Spots." Off the Easel Magazine. Summer 2012: 22-23.
What To Do This Summer For...
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition in Balboa Park
San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego
Open until September 9
Come and share in the memory of the Titanic for the 100 year anniversary of its sinking with this educational exhibition that is great for all ages! (877) 946-7797 www.sdnhm.org
Fun with Animals
Opening Day at Del Mar Race Track with the “One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest”
Del Mar Race Track, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar
July 18th Gates open at 11:30am
Price: Starting at $10 per person for admission (seating prices range)
Come join in the tradition and experience the thrill of horse racing while getting to participate in, or merely just observe, the elaborately creative hats in Opening Day’s One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest! The first place Grand Prize in each category is $300! (858) 755-1141 www.delmarracing.com
7th Annual Dog Days of Summer Contest and Canine Festival
Cardiff 101 MainStreet, 124 Aberdeen Drive, Cardiff-by-the-Sea
Saturday August 11th from 10am-3pm
Come to the festival that is a dog lover’s dream! Bring your dog to socialize, or maybe adopt a lovable companion while you are there! There will be dog contests, live music, food, an agility course, doggie crafts and much more! (760) 436-0431 www.cardiffdogdaysofsummer.com
La Jolla Fashion Film Festival
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla
July 26, 27 & 28th from 7:30 – 9:30pm
Price: $40 per person (all access passes available)
Come and experience the new artistic way of merging two major industries: film and fashion! Each night approximately twenty of the best international fashion short films will be shown, so don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to get more insight into the world of fashion film art! www.ljfff.com
5th Ave. and University Ave. San Diego
August 12th from 12-9pm
Come celebrate community spirit through music, arts, crafts, and food at Hillcrest’s annual Cityfest! (619) 299-3330 www.fabuloushillcrest.com
The Ashford University Summer Pops
Embarcadero Marina Park South, on San Diego Bay right behind the San Diego Convention Center.
Every week until Labor Day. Gates open at 6pm, concerts begin at 7:30pm unless otherwise noted
Come be entertained by incredible musicians while experiencing a beautiful view of the San Diego Bay! The Ashford University Summer Pops is San Diego Symphony’s annual outdoor summer concert series. There is a broad range of musical delights to choose, from renditions of The Temptations to The Eagles, Michael Jackson, Wilson Phillips and much more! (619) 235-0804 www.sandiegosymphony.org/concertcalendar/ summerpops.aspx
Fun in the Sun with Food and Drinks
San Diego Festival of Beer
Columbia and B street, Downtown San Diego
September 21st from 6pm - 11pm
Price: TBD (21+ event)
Enjoy Downtown San Diego with live music and samplings from over 70 different breweries! This event is put on by San Diego Professionals Against Cancer (SDPAC) to generate money for cancer research, patient treatment, and services. www.sdbeerfest.org
San Diego has many great summer events, so make sure to take advantage of as many as you can!
Art in Las Vegas
"Art in Las Vegas." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2012: 22-23.
When visiting any major city you’re sure to find art, and Las Vegas is no exception. In fact, in the midst of all the flashing neon lights, art abounds! So the next time you run off to Vegas for an adult getaway, don’t forget to take in the great art.
Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art 450 Fremont Street, Suite 280 Las Vegas, NV 89101 (702) 382-2926
This privately funded museum is located on Fre- mont Street in the Neonopolis complex in historic downtown. With more than 20,000 square feet of exhibit space, it is one of the best art museums in Las Vegas. Special education programs and cultural events are designed to enhance the quality of life and make art more accessible to the local Las Ve- gas community. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. General ad- mission is $3 per person, with groups of five or more discounted to $1 per person. www.snmfa.com
Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South Las Vegas, NV 89109 (702) 693-7111
The Bellagio is well known for its fine art gallery, but visitors to the resort have the opportunity to take in some remarkable publicly displayed art as well. Entering, Chihuly’s “Fiori di Como” is one of the first things guests see, along with the Italian mosaic tile flooring. Featuring an intricate array of flowers and birds, the mosaics are a perfect complement to the hotel’s always-changing indoor gardens.
In addition to its permanent collection, which features works from masters including Renoir, Pi- casso, Degas and Leger, the gallery also hosts impressive shows loaned from other galleries and museums. It is open Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Chil- dren under 12 are free, but must be accompanied by an adult. General admission for Nevada resi- dents with Nevada ID is $12 except on “locals’ night”, which is Wednesday, when admission for Nevadans is $8. www.bellagio.com
The Neon Museum 821 Las Vegas Blvd N Las Vegas, NV 89101 (702) 387-6366
One of best art museums in Las Vegas is also the most unusual. Who would have thought neon signs that once beckoned passers-by to come in and part with their money would one day become works of art, worthy of public display? This self-guided walking tour showcases the 1967 Hacienda Horse and Rider, the 1940 sign for the Chief Court Hotel, the lamp from the original 1966 Aladdin Hotel and the Nevada Motel sign from 1950 — the first sign to feature Las Vegas’s famous neon cowboy, Vegas Vic. Many famous mid-century and modern signs have found a second home in what is known as “The Boneyard”. The 150 or so historic signs are a favorite subject of aspiring local art- ists. Appointments for guided tours can be made through the museum’s administrative office. Office hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours commence Tuesday through Friday, twice daily at noon and 2 p.m.; on Saturday, tours begin at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Minimum donation is $15 per person. www.neonmuseum.org
City Center - Aria: Fine Art Collection 3730 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89109 (800) 851-1703
City Center is the first public space in Las Vegas to include a major permanent collection of art and it is one of the largest and most ambitious corporate art collections in existence today. The City Center Fine Art Collection features works by acclaimed artists, sculptors and visionaries including Maya Lin, Jenny Holzer, Nancy Rubins, Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, Frank Stella, Henry Moore, Richard Long and others. Paired with City Center’s unique architecture, the collection provides a sen- sory journey, displaying the works in a manner never before seen.
The collection encompasses a multitude of styles and media. Ranging from sculpture and painting to large-scale, site-specific installations, it engages the visitor both visually and intellectually.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. South Las Vegas, NV 89109
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas showcases art in every medium, offering something for every taste. From the moment guests walk in they are treated to art, including LED works projected on huge columns by renowned artists such as Yoko Ono and T.J. Wilcox. The swanky hotel has now stepped up in an another big way with “Wallworks”, an artistic initiative aimed at, of all things, the parking struc- ture. One of the newer hotel and casinos, the Cos- mopolitan enlisted prominent graffiti artists Shepa- rd Fairey, Kenny Scharf, Retna and Shinique Smith to produce a series of murals that now grace four floors of the hotel garage. It’s art you see immedi- ately upon arrival and you’ll want to walk around to see it all. www.cosmopolitanlasvegas.com
Boulder City Public Art Scape Boulder City, Colorado
Boulder City, the town where the workers lived while building Hoover Dam, is about a 30-minute drive from Las Vegas, but once there you’ll feel worlds away from sin city. If that isn’t enough to pique your curiosity, the Boulder City Public Art Scape program has adorned the sidewalks and other downtown public spaces with a series of sculptures. The works, which include some near the historic Boulder Dam Hotel, run the gamut from familiar symbols and hu- man forms to abstract representations. The sculp- tures remain on display for one year, after which the entire exhibition is changed. The official BCPAS website offers a map for a self-guided walking tour of this year’s works. www.publicartscape.com
We would be remiss not to mention the opening of our newest gallery, Exclusive Collections at The Forum Shops at Caesars: 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South Las Vegas, Nevada 89109.
America’s Best: Children's Museums
"America's Best: Children's Museums." Off the Easel Magazine. Winter 2012: 22-23.
Exposing your kids to art has never been so much fun! It’s no surprise that most children have a natural love for art, especially when it involves the hands-on experience of playing with clay, building towers, dressing up, painting and everything in between. As art collectors we want to expose our children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to all that art and culture has to offer — and the best way to do this is through creative play. Luckily, there are many wonderful places across the country that offer fantastic opportunities to help establish their connection to the arts at an early age. We invite you to jump right in with us as we share with you some of the best children’s museums in America!
Art Institute of Chicago Chicago, Illinois
The Art Institute of Chicago is an unforgettable destination for kids of all ages and opened its first children’s gallery in 1926. Be sure to check out the “Mini Masters” classes, designed especially for three to five-year-olds (to be accompanied by an adult). This hour-long educational and interactive program includes reading a picture book, examining two to three works of fine art in one of the galleries, and working on an original art project. www.artic.edu/aic/kids
Children’s Museum of Phoenix Phoenix, Arizona
This is a great museum for busy little hands, because everything in this imaginative venue is hands-on. Little chefs can learn how to make pizzas at the kids’ kitchen, or shop like mom and dad at the market. They can also spin their wheels at the Pedal Power exhibit, or create their own masterpieces at the Art Studio. Children under three even have their own special area full of fuzzy objects, toys and other interesting things for their senses to explore. www.childrensmuseumofphoenix.org
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York City, New York
New York City is the art capital of the United States, so what better place to introduce your kids to art? Check out “Hello, Met!” – an hour-long introduction to this legendary museum’s collection, which is designed for families with kids ages five to twelve and includes the opportunity for them to sketch the masterpieces. Did you know that The Met even has a mascot — an ancient Egyptian earthenware hippopotamus named William? Try creating your own family adventure by choosing a theme such as “animals,” then take your kids on a scavenger hunt to see who can find the most animals hidden in the masterpieces! www.metmuseum.org/Learn/For%20Kids
Portland Children’s Museum Portland, Oregon
Located in the scenic Washington Park, across from the Portland Zoo and the Rose Gardens— you can spend the entire day exploring this spectacular museum! With many activities to try – guests can make a splash in Water Works, move “dirt” in the Dig Pit, direct a show in Play It Again Theater, scan items from your kid-sized cart in Grasshopper Grocery, or create a masterpiece in the extensive Clay Studio. The museum also hosts a story time for kids, which takes place under a whimsical tree house. Welcome to the place where imagination lives! www.portlandcm.org
The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis Indianapolis, Indiana
If your kids are into dinosaurs — trust us when we say that THIS is your place! Upon entering the museum, guests are immediately greeted by a life-sized replica of Tyrannosaurus Rex and then have the opportunity to explore the “What If” gallery, featuring a fossil dig. This museum has a 55-ton steam engine, a working 1927 carousel, and a 33-foot-tall water clock – the largest in North America. All this, plus a 130-seat planetarium with programs that teach kids how to identify stars, planets and other highlights of the solar system from their own backyard. A great museum to build right left brain power! www.childrensmuseum.org
Imagine it! Atlanta’s Children’s Museum Atlanta, Georgia
The mission of this museum is to “create environments and activities where young children ex- perience the power of imagination and the pure delight of learning.” Based on the theory of mul- tiple intelligences, “Imagine It!” permanent exhibits include the painting wall, the construction site, and a dress-up area where kids can dramatically act out story time. There are also many comfy enclosed areas for very young children to safely play. www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org
Boston Children's Museum Boston, Massachusetts
One of best museums for toddlers and pre-schoolers, there is a special version of the facility’s rock-climbing wall for three to five-year-olds, a tree house with hidden pathways, and a red car with a radio that plays Elmo’s version of the Beatles’ hit, “Baby, You Can Drive My Car.” It features a stage-like opera house, a life-size lobster boat that lets kids dress up as sailors, and an extensive doll and dollhouse collection. www.bostonkids.org
The Best Museums in the West
"The Best Museums in the West." Off the Easel Magazine. Fall 2011: 22-23.
J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA: The Getty Center is a must-see destination that offers visitors the opportunity to view a rare and extensive collection – for free! The visit starts off with a short tram ride up the hill that offers spectacular views of downtown Los Angeles and beyond. The gorgeously designed modern buildings, made up of travertine stone, house extraordinary pre-20th century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts, such as Van Gogh’s Irises, as well as 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs. The central garden, designed by artist Robert Irwin, is maze-like and serene, with water features and a wide spectrum of plant life. Whether visitors choose to spend their day lounging and enjoying the Center’s panoramic views and landscaping or exploring its many galleries, time spent at the Getty Center is sure to be enjoyable. www.getty.edu/museum
Getty Villa, Los Angeles, CA: To get a different feel for the Getty collection, head out to the second location of the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Villa, in Pacific Palisades. Focused on the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria, its antiquities are housed within Roman-inspired archi- tecture as well as surrounded by Roman-style gardens. www.getty.edu/visit
De Young Museum, San Francisco, CA: The de Young Museum is one of the top attractions in ‘the city by the bay.’ Its eclectic collection includes American art from the 17th through the 21st centuries, international contemporary art, textiles, costumes, as well as art from the Americas, the Pacific and Africa. Though the de Young has undergone many incarnations since its opening in 1895, its newly-built copper structure, meant to oxidize over the years, includes an open-to-public viewing tower that juts out from the trees of Golden Gate Park. deyoung.famsf.org
San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, CA: Of course, this list would be incomplete without a San Diego landmark museum. Considered the region’s “oldest and largest art museum,” the San Diego Museum of Art’s pieces range in date from 5,000 B.C. to 2001 A.D. However, most would say its Spanish pieces by the likes of El Greco are the highlight of the collection. Located in Balboa Park along with the San Diego Zoo and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, the building in which the mu- seum is housed was designed with a plateresque Spanish architectural style to coordinate with the park’s buildings originally constructed for the Pana- ma-California Exposition of 1915. www.sdmart.org
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA: As the largest art museum in the western U.S., Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) boasts 100,000 objects that span the length of history. LACMA is a seven-building complex neighboring the LaBrea Tar Pits. Just outside of LACMA’s walls is its unmistakable sculpture Urban Light, which incorporates more than 200 restored cast-iron lamp posts from Los Angeles County. Exhibitions currently on display include a Tim Burton collection of drawings, paintings, and other relics of his creative work. In addition to its vast collection of art, LACMA offers public programs like concerts and film screenings. www.lacma.org
A Taste of San Diego
"A Taste of San Diego." Off the Easel Magazine. Summer 2011: 22-23.
The Best Kept Secrets of San Diego. Annette Legaspi’s Guide to the Best Local Restaurants.
New York has its pizza. Philadelphia has the cheese-steak. And, of course, San Diego would not be the same without an authentic, hole-in-the-wall taco shop.
If you really want to be an authority on San Diego, you have to know just where to go for real Mexican food. That is, without actually going to Mexico. San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and SeaWorld attract tourists by the thousands, but with a reputation as a resort destination, it is easy to miss San Diego’s rich and multifaceted character. Every little neighborhood has a personality of its own. Annette Legaspi’s original food tour, A Taste of San Diego, offers visitors and locals the chance to become better acquainted with the city through a universally shared delight: food.
Annette conceived her food tour after participating in a tasting tour on vacation in Hawaii. She happily admits, “All my vacations revolve around food!” And she is not alone. As a third generation San Diegan, she takes you off the beaten path, to the places you would never find yourself, because, after all, isn’t that the point of having a tour guide?
1) HOMETOWN DRIVING TOUR: Dining out with Annette is like spending the Sunday afternoon with an old friend. Her personal connection to the restaurants and her relationship with their owners, offer her excellent insights into her beloved city. On the Hometown driving tour, Annette has chosen several of her must-have dishes from local haunts around the town. And if you wonder what she gets out of this business, she responds, “I love my city, I want to show it off, and I love food.” Indeed, Annette takes great delight in her guests’ reactions: “They get so excited about a tortilla!” she laughs.
2) HOMETOWN AND “TRIPLE D” DRIVING TOUR: Guy Fieri’s Show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” on the Food Network puts San Diego on the map for hometown comfort food, and attracts foodies of all ages who want to try the dishes they have seen on television. Annette’s “Triple D” driving tour makes it easy to do just that. In order to provide a proper balance of restaurants, Annette has combined the best of the Hometown Tour with Fieri’s San Diego favorites.
3) DOWNTOWN WALKING TOUR: Downtown San Diego always promises a host of fine dining destinations, but sometimes, the best food is just around the corner. Just off of the Gaslamp Quarter’s busy thoroughfare lie the unknown culinary gems. It may seem difficult to accommodate for various dietary restrictions on a food tasting excursion, but with prior notice, Annette can even make her Downtown Tour all vegetarian. So if you thought that you knew downtown, A Taste of San Diego will open your eyes to an entirely new city.
4) MISSION HILLS WALKING TOUR: Because the Mission Hills walking tour takes place in the afternoon, the restaurants’ relaxed pace allows the owners and managers to pay personal attention to the tour group. Richard, the owner of Cafe Bleu, introduced himself and his staff. As it turns out, his daughter is a sommelier, a wine connoisseur who personally makes all of the restaurant’s wine selections.
As the tour sampled a plate of unique pear ravioli, the general manager at Olivetto provided great suggestions for special events in their venue and made sure to remind everyone of their gluten-free pasta options.
Annette Legaspi’s well-rounded personality allows her to naturally connect with her fellow food tourists. She attended fashion college, but subsequently turned to a different occupation. Annette chose to work in the male-dominated field of construction and greatly enjoyed the competition that drove her to obtain her contractor’s license. Although her culinary interests seem so distant from her contracting work, A Taste of San Diego provides balance and fulfills her love for cooking, hosting, and entertaining. A Taste of San Diego has opened her eyes to new dishes to re-create, and new friends with whom she can share her love of the culinary arts.
Since she started the business last year, Annette has been making big plans for her tours. Her guests love to give their insights and share restaurant suggestions for various areas of San Diego. Many of those who take her tour are San Diego natives, living locally, who want to enjoy and explore their hometown in a new fashion. No matter what they discover, Annette assures us, “No one walks away hungry!”
A Taste of San Diego
The Best Glass Museums
"The Best Glass Museums." Off the Easel Magazine. Summer 2011: 28-29.
The illustrious, seductive and slightly dangerous quality of glass has attracted many artists through the ages as an intriguing medium for creating fine works of art. From the lava-hot environment needed for glass to melt and morph, to the precise science and skill required to produce a single piece of glass art – the entire glass-making process is truly remarkable. For those interested in learning more about the art of glass and its celebrated artists – here is our short list of some of the most extraordinary current glass exhibitions:
THE MUSEUM OF GLASS – TACOMA, WA: Tacoma’s landmark Museum of Glass offers a dynamic learning environment to appreciate the medium of glass through creative experiences, collections and exhibitions. Fans of world-famous glass artist Dale Chihuly will find themselves inspired, stunned and satisfied with his The Chihuly Bridge of Glass – a 550 foot long overpass public art installation that links the Museum to the city of Tacoma. Visitors will also have the opportunity to view an astounding piece, Fluent Steps by Martin Blank, which consists of 754 individually hand-sculpted pieces of glass rendering Blank’s artistic interpretation of water. Other than the outdoor installations surrounding the museum, there are a wide range of exhibitions on display such as the work of American artist Beth Lipman. Lipman engages the viewer with her impressive, awe-inspiring floor-to-ceiling pieces. With so much glass-blowing history throughout the town and Pacific Northwest region overall, Tacoma is a must for any glass art enthusiast. Don’t miss: the Hot Shop. Witness art coming alive as the Museum’s resident team of artists demonstrate the fascinating process of creating works of art from molten glass. Glassblowing is a mesmerizing and magical process, and many visitors spend hours in the Hot Shop. What you will see is not just a staged demo, but an authentic artistic process—real artists engaged in real creative projects.
THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART – NEW YORK CITY: At the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the American wing includes the unmistakable glass works by Louis C. Tiffany, who is one of the most well-known and exceptionally talented glass artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth-centuries. Featuring a gorgeous selection of Tiffany windows, lamps and jewelry, the Met’s glass collection offers a brilliant display of color, light and harmony with each work – in fact, the famous Tiffany stained-glass windows are praised for having “the most naturalistic depictions of flowers and plants in all of stained glass.”
THE CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS – CORNING, NY: Visitors at this venue have the option to view the extensive collection the museum houses or can even put their skills to the test and take a glass-making class themselves. Many classes are offered here, but for the people who would rather admire glass than make it, the museum displays a wide range of exhibitions. A recent exhibition titled “Tiffany Treasures” featured nearly 60 of Tiffany’s blown-glass works from outside collectors. Other galleries worth looking at are: The Origins of Glassmaking, Glass of the Romans, Asian Glass, and Paperweights of the World. With such an extensive collection and various activities and classes to partake in this museum is a glass lover’s heaven.
TOLEDO MUSEUM OF ART – TOLEDO, OH: If you find yourself in “Middle America” then be sure to stop in Ohio at the Toledo Museum of Art. This museum features a world-renowned glass collection of more than 5,000 works of art, landing it as one of the top glass museums in the country. The spacious museum gives visitors many things to admire with its special glass exhibitions, artist studios and the famous Glass Pavilion. This unique curved glass structure is a work of art itself that was designed by Tokyo-based SANAA, ltd., and won Travel + Leisure’s 2007 Design Award for “Best Museum.”www.toledomuseum.org
VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM – LONDON, UK: Lastly, if you are looking to experience glass while travel- ing abroad, London is home to the Victoria and Albert Museum where the National Collection of Glass resides. There they house more than 6,000 pieces covering 4,000 years of world history. Artists from around the world have their art on display here, including Kyoto- based artist Niyoko Ikuta who derives influence from nature, ethnic conflict, and prayer. With glass pieces from the Middle East, Europe, and America, there is something at this museum to please everyone.www.vam.ac.uk
EC Custom Glass Chandeliers Available in three sizes. www.ecgallery.com
"On the Map: Touring the World's Hotels and Resorts with the Best Art Collections." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2011: 22-23.
Imagine sitting in your living room, leisurely contemplating the Picasso over your fireplace. You look to the other side of the room and greet one of Warhol’s prints. A Renoir masterpiece completes your survey, and then you return to reading the newspaper. If this does not sound exactly like home, it can become a reality on your next vacation. All over the world, boutique hotels negotiate with museum curators, haunt fine art auctions, and commission works from contemporary masters to claim the unforgettable title being an “art hotel.”
Bellagio, Las Vegas, Nevada: Las Vegas does not shy away from indulgence, and the Bellagio Hotel is no exception to that rule. Its name consistently remains synonymous with opulence and luxury. The Bellagio Hotel’s amenities cater to its visitors’ every possible desire through the landmark hotel’s prestigious art gallery. The Bellagio cooperates with a variety of museums and art collections in order to develop one-of-a-kind exhibitions by the world’s most renowned artists of the modern era. Rarely found outside of conventional museums and private collections, Renoir, Warhol, Degas, and Léger grace this gallery’s walls. Exhibitions change throughout the year and often feature special events that highlight the collection. Tickets and gallery hours are available online at Bellagio’s website, so find out how Las Vegas has expanded beyond casinos and nightclubs to deliver the world’s most appealing and iconic cultural delights!
The Joule Hotel, Dallas, Texas: Venture through The Joule Hotel’s eclectic assemblage of fine art and intriguing architecture and design when you visit Dallas. The Joule does justice to its membership to The Luxury Collection hotels, for one will rarely find a combination of pieces such as this. Acclaimed living artists like Richard Phillips, John Holt Smith, and Joseph Stashkevetch stand alongside the fine arts industry moguls like Andy Warhol – thanks to the hotel’s close relationship with private collectors. Warhol’s “Electric Chairs” stands proudly in the lobby, and his “Diamond Dust Shoes” was featured here as well. Even at the swimming pool does one encounter The Joule’s art installations: David Levinthal’s Barbie photographs will be sure to entertain and inspire.
La Colombe d'Or, St-Paul de Vence: France has attracted artists for centuries, providing inviting venues at which painters, poets, and thinkers can come together to share their ideas and techniques. In Provence lies a small inn and restaurant born in 1920 out of Parisian café-culture. In exchange for room and board, notable artists bequeathed paintings and sketches, which remain there to this day. La Colombe d’Or furnishes its guests with an opportunity to walk in the footsteps of Fernand Léger, Joan Miró, and many more. Unlike the large hotel conglomerates that add fine art to correspond to their luxurious amenities, La Colombe d’Or has matured with its artists and boasts a rich personal history in relation to the artists themselves.
Eresin Crown Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey: The Eresin Crown Hotel in Istanbul has literally unearthed precious works of art from Turkey’s colorful history. Upon building the hotel on the site of the Great Palace in Sultanahmet, the developers found artifacts from the beneath the ground as old as the 3rd century BC. Upon their discovery, The Eresin Crown became Istanbul’s “museum hotel”. The hotel also houses a contemporary art gallery featuring the mixed media works of Gültekin Çizgen, which focus upon local themes and Turkish culture. For those who wish to explore Istanbul, the city’s most promising attractions lie within walking distance of this luxurious destination.
The Ritz-Carlton, Singapore: An enormous art collection resides at the Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore. Rarely does one find 4,200 pieces, including Dale Chihuly glass sculpture, Frank Stella’s abstracts, and, of course, Andy Warhol. Stunning landscaped gardens and sophisticated architecture make the hotel ideal to house and display these works. Whether you visit for business or pleasure, the Ritz-Carlton makes it easy to enjoy the finer things in life by uniting art with its patrons. Situate this prestigious getaway in the middle of Singapore’s booming cultural capital of the Marina Centre, and you will return from your visit to Asia with the memory of an unforgettable experience.
Ellerman House, Cape Town, South Africa: The paintings and works of art that furnish Ellerman House usher the guest into the spirit of Cape Town. The art collection includes a variety of original contemporary canvases that tell the story and the spirit of the region. Allow these works of seasoned masters and the modern voice of the country’s emerging local talent to be your cultural ambassador. As a Relais & Chateaux luxury hotel member, Ellerman House promises every comfort imaginable, with the finest wine and cuisine. Take in sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean and explore Africa’s breathtaking scenery. South Africa’s superb attractions are like no others in the world, and Ellerman’s art collection speaks to the heart of the adventurous tourist.
"Food, Glorious Food." Off the Easel Magazine. Winter 2011: 22-23.
Plan your ultimate culinary adventure for 2011 with today’s top Food and Wine Festivals nationwide! What better way to celebrate a city than with the best food and wine that the region has to offer? All around the country, wineries, sommeliers, celebrity chefs, mixologists and food critics come together to unite the culinary talents and contribute a spirit of delectable competition that can only benefit your taste buds. The following 2011 Food and Wine Festivals promise to engage your senses and generate your “epicuriosity.”
The Food Network’s South Beach Wine and Food Festival: February 24–27 in Miami, Florida: The 10th annual festival proudly presents a new official cookbook and draws the household names of Food Network stars such as Paula Deen, Giada De Laurentiis, Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay, to name a few. Festival favorites include the Amstel Light Burger Bash hosted by Rachel Ray and The Best Thing I Ever Ate at the Beach with Duff Goldman. A late night Let Them Eat Cake Anniversary Party with Emeril Lagasse and Martha Stewart brings together some of the best bakers in the country to commemorate this 10th birthday celebration. There are also plenty of wine events, including Wine Spectator Trade Tasting and Ultimate Beginnings Wine and Cheese Party. Proceeds benefit the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University. While in South Beach, explore the iconic, colorful lifeguard towers along the sand or take a walking tour of the city’s Art Deco District, reminiscent of the area’s architecture of the 1930s. www.sobefest.com
The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience: May 25–28 in New Orleans, Louisiana: This non-profit organization benefits The Big Easy’s restoration and growth through contributions to wildlife efforts, educational programs, and tourism and hospitality development. This 20-year celebration offers tastings and seminars, such as the Top Chef Q&A Panel with past contenders Jamie Lauren, Hosea Rosenberg, Jeff McInnis and Ron Duprat. The Royal Street Stroll allows participants to explore galleries and shops accompanied by music and drinks along the way. The festival even celebrates a “Wine Lovers Musical”—where audience members enjoy a wine tasting while watching a musical praising the joys of wine and love! There is something for everyone, and provides an excellent excuse to visit the legendary city of New Orleans. Along with the bustling jazz clubs of the French Quarter, New Orleans is home to historical plantations and architectural sites, Mardi Gras museums such as The Backstreet Cultural Museum, and the Audubon Zoo. www.nowfe.com
The 29th Annual Food and Wine Classic in Aspen: June 17–19 in Aspen, Colorado: Cooking demonstrations from top chefs like Mario Batali and Giada De Laurentiis will leave you spellbound, and wine seminars will take a tour of the globe’s vineyards. Past events, such as Two Decades of Dom Perignon with Richard Betts and Robert Bohr and Best Wines for Haute Dogs with Joshua Wesson provide a wealth of knowledge and continual entertainment. Food & Wine donates 2 percent of each ticket sale to the Grow for Good campaign that supports sustainable agricultural efforts with the Wholesome Wave Foundation. Upon visiting the beautiful city of Aspen, enjoy white water rafting or even a flight in a hot air balloon. Aspen’s rich history also offers the Smuggler Mine, an old silver mine from the 1800s. With a unique blend of adventure and culture, the Food and Wine Classic embodies the spirit of this resort locale. www.foodandwine.com/promo/classic-in-aspen
Epcot International Food and Wine Festival: Fall, 2011 in Orlando, Florida: Disney asks you to “be our guest” at the Epcot Theme Park in Orlando, Florida. In addition to the food and wine at this major event, enjoy shopping, concerts, guest speakers and signings, and even the Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon! An exclusive dining experience, such as the “3D” Disney’s Dessert Discovery, will be sure to indulge your inner child. On that note, the renowned Walt Disney World parks, such as Magic Kingdom, are perfect for kids of any age. While you are in Orlando, check out the Festival of the Masters, Downtown Disney’s very own art festival. www.disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/specialevents/epcot-international-food-and-wine-festival
San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival: Fall, 2011 in San Diego, California: It is impossible to take the beauty and the opportunity of San Diego for granted, and our city’s very own wine and food festival has exemplified that for the past seven years. 800 wines, 70 local chefs, along with tastings, auctions and cruises take advantage of the best that Southern California has to offer. Unforgettable personalities, such as Top Chef’s Brian Malarkey and “Sam the Cooking Guy” Sam Zien have highlighted the dazzling array of this festival’s talent. Located right on the bay, these delectable attractions are accompanied by fine art, such as that of “The Painter of Chefs” Christopher M. While in San Diego, enjoy the nearby Seaport Village district, the lively downtown Gaslamp Quarter, and the various museums and architectural beauty of Balboa Park. www.worldofwineevents.com
Other national Food and Wine Festivals to consider
Pacific Wine and Food Festival: March 17–20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California: www.pacificwineandfood.com
Food and Wine Entertaining Showcase: Fall, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois: www.foodandwine.com/promo/chicago
"The Ultimate Day-Cation: San Diego Style." Off the Easel Magazine. Fall 2010: 22-23.
Having become a recent phenomenon as one of the most preferred forms of vacationing, especially during tough financial times, “stay-cations” offer the opportunity to experience the overall feeling that a traditional vacation offers, all while staying within close proximity to home. “Day-cations” on the other hand, offer an additional challenge—to take an amazing trip in your own city, all in one day.
Although saving money on airfare and transportation is an obvious bonus when opting for a stay-cation or day-cation, you may wonder how anything at home can ever compare to the experience gained when traveling to a new place altogether. Well, if you live in San Diego, the answer is quite simple. Take a quick inventory of our year-round sunny weather, our stunning coastlines, and the many exciting attractions right at our fingertips and you’ll realize that day-cationing in America’s Finest City offers more than enough opportunities to escape, unwind and explore!
Here is our short list of destinations around town to consider, when creating your ultimate day-cation experience:
Adventure in Paradise: With a wide range of high-performance activities from hang gliding to scuba diving to kite surfing or kayaking, adrenaline junkies will have no trouble finding ways to push their limits.
Indulge and Enjoy: In case you haven’t noticed, San Diego is steadily gaining recognition as a city to reckon with when it comes to culinary talent. Here are some new-on-the-scene gems to add to your day-cation dining extravaganza:
Fun in the Park: It’s hard to imagine many places in the world with more to see and do than our very own Balboa Park! Be sure to check on the latest exhibits and events during the fall/holiday season, including one of San Diego’s favorite holiday events, “December Nights.” Fun for the whole family, the historic park offers everything from the world-famous San Diego Zoo to the Natural History Museum and San Diego Air & Space Museum. Finish your day off with a memorable dining experience at The Prado Restaurant.
Escape to Coronado: For a romantic day-trip, hop on a ferry at Broadway Pier downtown and take a nostalgic, 15-minute ride across the Bay to Coronado Ferry Landing. Rent some beach cruises, explore the island and drop in for a sunset dinner at Il Fornaio Restaurant. Ask for a table on the outdoor patio near the fireplace—we promise incredible skyline views and excellent Italian fare!
Surf & Sand: From beach-bumming it on the sand to taking on the SoCal surf, THIS is why we live here in the first place! Up and down our golden coast there are endless opportunities to experience the San Diego lifestyle to its fullest. The North County stretch of 101 Highway between Del Mar and Carlsbad is an ideal place to spend your day-cation at the beach—some must-sees along the way:
"Singing the Praises of the 'Unsung' Museums." Off the Easel Magazine. Summer 2010: 20-21.
Seeking out the most famous places in the world to view art is a must for any traveling art lover. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Sistine Chapel in Rome or the Louvre in Paris are a few of the usual suspects when we think of the world’s top art destinations. However, while these institutions are rightfully recognized for being must-sees, it’s also important to point out a remarkable roster of less-known venues that we believe are equally worth exploring. To tempt your curiosity, we’ve compiled a short list of “Unsung Art Museums”—a line-up of secret gems that offer truly unforgettable experiences!
The Brooklyn Museum of Art: New York City, NY, United States: When considering art and “The Big Apple,” it’s impossible not to think of The Met. Visitors who have already explored this well-known landmark, however, would be well advised to take a trip across the Brooklyn Bridge to The Brooklyn Museum of Art (BMA). Situated within the same complex as the Botanical Garden and Prospect Park, the BMA holds the title for being the second largest art museum in the country. This exceptional museum is home to approximately 1.5 million pieces and a variety of world-class collections that span virtually every time period and culture. It’s known for its stunning temporary exhibits as well as its more permanent collections in Contemporary, Egyptian, Classical and European art.
Jacquemart-André Museum: Paris, France: There may never be another art museum more famous than the Louvre in Paris. Yet, a wonderful alternative while vacationing in the “City of Lights” is the Jacquemart-André Museum. Housed in the formerly private mansion of Edouard André, this extraordinary museum holds a more intimate but equally enthralling collection. Architecturally stunning both inside and out, the André family dedicated much of their time and resources to procuring the art of the Masters. In addition, the museum also includes a café, bookstore and gift shop open daily to visitors. From 18th century France to the Italian Renaissance and beyond, this museum is a wonderful place to enjoy an art-filled afternoon.
The Somerset House: London, England: While London is most famous for the Tate Modern and National Gallery, the lesser-known Somerset House is located in a wonderful neoclassical building in the heart of the city, and is an incredibly significant center for major works of art, including works from the old Masters, along with impressionistic paintings. In addition to the visual arts, the Somerset House is host to a series of concerts, films and contemporary art exhibits year-round. And as if that weren’t enough, Michelin-starred Chef, Tom Aikens, has recently opened a restaurant called Tom’s Terrace on the Somerset property. Eat, play and be merry as you soak up all of the art and culture that the Somerset has to offer!
Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza: Madrid, Spain: The entire country of Spain and the city of Madrid in particular, is brimming with beautiful artwork. While The Prado is Madrid’s most famous museum, the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza is considered by many to have one of the finest collections of art in the world. Located in Madrid’s Golden Triangle, the Thyssen is home to more than 700 paintings, including works from such Masters as Rembrandt, Goya, Caravaggio and El Greco. Beginning in the 1920s, this once private collection spans eight centuries and is known for its eclecticism. From the Baroque Masters and the Gothic Renaissance, to expressionism and impressionism, to the Dada movement and Surrealism, this museum offers an inspiring experience for all.
Armand Hammer Museum of Art: Los Angeles, CA, United States: Across the west coast region of the United States, The J. Paul Getty Center is considered by most to be Los Angeles’s premier art museum. However, that certainly does not mean that it is the only one worth seeing! The Armand Hammer Museum is a fantastic alternative, located near the UCLA campus. The Hammer is home to a mix of both contemporary and classical exhibitions, with a smaller collection of impressionistic and post impressionistic works and paintings by Rembrandt, Titian and Chardin. The museum is celebrated for its contemporary artworks and permanent collections, as well as an exciting tour of temporary exhibits on display all year long.
When in Rome: Touring the Sculptures of Italy
"When in Rome: Touring the Sculptures of Italy." Off the Easel Magazine. Spring 2010: 28-29.
Just imagine… you’ve been dreaming about this trip for months and now the day has finally arrived. Benvenuto! You’re in Italy! There are so many reasons to visit—the food, the wine, the fashion, the history… but above all, Italy is about the incredible opportunities to experience art.
As you study the tourist guides for places to go, each page is brimming with options—it’s clear that Italy is an art enthusiast’s dream come true. The country holds limitless examples of every type of artwork and craft imaginable, from Da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in Milan to the handmade masks of Venice…the only problem is deciding where to begin!
So why not narrow your options by focusing on just one art form? Consider this Top Five list highlighting some of Italy’s most remarkable sculptures. Experts and art fanatics agree that these masterpieces are all must-sees when exploring the “Land of Love and Beauty.”
1) “David” by Michelangelo: Perhaps considered to be the defining masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture, Michelangelo’s David (1501–1504) is located in the Galleria dell’Accademia in Florence. This stunning marble sculpture depicts the Biblical King David, and, unlike previous depictions, is not portrayed as victorious at the end of his battle against Goliath, but rather in quiet contemplation before the fight begins.
2) “The Rape of Sabine Women” by Giambologna: This marble piece was created by the Renaissance sculptor Giovanni Giambologna and can be found at the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. It was inspired by a legend from the history of Rome which states that the first generation of Roman men abducted their wives from the neighboring town of Sabine.
3) “Capitoline Wolf” by Unknown Artist: This bronze sculpture was made by the ancient Etruscan civilization of Tuscany in the 5th century B.C., with the twins added in the 15th century A.D. by sculptor Antonio Pollaiuolo. An icon of Rome, it can be found in the Musei Capitolini, where it has been housed since 1473. According to its founding myth, Capitoline Wolf is the depiction of the she-wolf who cared for the twin Gods Romulus and Remus, after they had been cast out by their uncle Amulius.
4) “Apollo and Daphne” by Bernini: Housed at the Galleria Borghese in Rome, this Baroque life-sized marble sculpture was created by Gian Lorenzo Bernini between 1622 and 1625. The statue depicts the story of Daphne, whose father turns her into a Laurel Tree to protect her from Apollo’s advances.
5) “Laocoön and His Sons” by Unknown Artist: Also known as Gruppo del Laocoonte, this tremendous sculpture depicts Laocoön the Trojan priest and his sons as they are being strangled by sea serpents. The story goes that after Laocoön attempted to expose the scheme of the Trojan Horse, the Gods sent snakes down to kill him. Laocoön and His Sons is housed in the Vatican Museums in Vatican City, the date and artist still unknown.
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