Ukrainian Eggs

Ukrainian egg
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I spent the past six years of Easter weekends in South Bend or Chicago with adopted friends and family, so it was nice to be home. My mom created some amazing additions to the Ukrainian egg display, which reminded me of my 4-H demonstration when I was 10 years old, “How to Decorate a Ukrainian Egg.”

I’d decorated a Purple Ribbon winner egg or two in the past, but I waited until the night before the county fair to prepare my demo. It was not a pretty experience and should have been a sign to cancel the whole thing off. But the show went on. And what a show it was.

One of the decorating steps involves using a syringe to extract the yolk and egg white. And, that’s exactly when my demonstration began to crack. Literally. Sometimes you end up with a cracked eggshell and must start over, so I was prepared with extra eggs. Of course, the first one broke. And the second. And the third. At this age, my young mind was not yet filled with foul words, and I explained these mishaps by saying “Oh bummer,” “That happens,” and “I’ve got more.” I was so determined to get it right. Wouldn’t you know that the fourth egg shattered too? And the fifth! Damn eggs.

At this point, I must have thought the only way to salvage a demonstration gone awry is to turn it into a comedy show. I may or may not have sabotaged my demo by squeezing the hell out of the sixth and last egg. Just for fun. I don’t remember exactly, but I do remember that The Show Must Go On! It was then, my dear readers, that I finished my demo with an imaginary egg. Can you even imagine?

When the results came in, I learned I’d received a Yellow ribbon. In 4-H, that’s a courtesy ribbon. It means “Thanks for trying” or “Better luck next time.”

And that’s the story of the time I got egg on my face.

Ukrainian egg

Grandma
Grandma C.GrandparentsGrandma P., Grandpa P. and Mom

Rainbow Light

Chicago Cultural Center - Tiffany dome
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Home to the world’s largest Tiffany dome, today’s Chicago Cultural Center opened in 1897 as the first Chicago Public Library. The Tiffany dome is approximately 38 feet in diameter and spans more than 1,000 square feet. It contains some 30,000 pieces of glass in 243 sections held within an ornate cast iron frame. If you find yourself in the Loop in Chicago, it’s worth a quick visit at Michigan Ave and Washington Street, and it’s free.

Chicago Cultural Center - Tiffany dome

Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center - Tiffany dome

Chicago Cultural Center

Chicago Cultural Center - Tiffany dome

Chicago Cultural Center - Tiffany dome

Hotel Burnham

Chicago - State Street

Tiffany

Tiffany stained glass - Marshall Fields, Chicago
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Tiffany Globe, designed and assembled by Tiffany Studios New York, 1907

Each globe contains 487 milky yellow opalescent glass pieces configured in a style Louis Comfort Tiffany called “iridescent luster.” Once part of a grand Tiffany ceiling at Marshall Field’s State Street Chicago store. My Grandma Curry once worked in that Chicago store selling swimsuits. In the summer of 2006, I lived on State Street in Chicago, half a block from that store. I then lived in Chicago (suburbs) for four years. Today, I work for the company that, for a time, owned Marshall Field’s. Full circle.

Art Faux Real

Lifelike
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Saturday morning included a visit to the Walker Art Center and its new exhibit, Lifelike. Contemporary art can be harder for me to absorb because my interpretation often calls me to question “What is art?” But, perhaps that’s precisely the point. While art certainly reflects the creativity and interpretation of the artist, a work of art also becomes something to be interpreted by viewers who observe it, react to it, admire it, and maybe even question it. Based on each viewer’s life experiences and creativity, art can have vastly different interpretations and meanings. And in that sense, the study or reflection on a work of art is as relevant as the art itself.

Art museums are important because they not only give visitors the best possible stage to see the art, but also experience the art. You can better appreciate the scope of a large work, or the fine detail of a painting or sculpture, by walking around it from different vantage points and seeing it three-dimensionally. Museums are also a shared experience, if you take notice to watch and listen to others as they interpret the art in their own unique ways. Museum staffer Carol was on hand to share info about the Lifelike exhibit, the museum itself, as well as offer tips on the best vantage point for photos. It’s clear she has enthusiasm for the arts.

I left the museum with an increased appreciation for contemporary art, and I’ll be back for more than Lifelike as a new, card-carrying member. If you’re in the Twin Cities, you can visit the Walker Art Center Tuesday-Sunday, on Target Free Thursday evenings, or Free First Saturdays.

En route to my car, I stopped in the Cowles Conservatory to warm up a bit and snap a few pics. More photos below.

Carol
Carol, Walker Art Center museum staff

MushroomsMushrooms (or are they?)

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden - ConservatoryThanks to the couple who visited at just the right moment to make this photo.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Monkey Vines