Friday, September 28, 2012

An Art Museum Soliloquy & Greek Eats

Last Sunday, the Speed Art Museum finally closed its doors for a three-year renovation. It was really bittersweet to see the place cleaned out and ready for dis-assemblage. 

One of my first memories of the Speed is from fall 2009, when I went with my creative writing class to create an ekphrastic poem. I sat on a bench staring at a large, splattered canvas entitled "Potentially Pat's Living Room." I could see the clouds through the slits of window panes at the top of the building, sun illuminating their shapes, making them almost appear cartoon-ish. I could hear the trickle of a fountain, the smell of oil on canvas, and I was swelling with endorphines. 

I went back for an art history project and spent my day walking around and observing the museum in its entirety. I found a piece on the second floor that I was particularly drawn to, featuring a winding country road alongside a hearty tree, as the sun set in fall. The colors were vividly autumnal and the movement in the brushstrokes made me feel the whistle of the wind on my skin. 

Another class project called for me to find a piece of art from any medium and compare it to another art form of a different medium and explain its implications. Part of the Native American collection had been moved to the spotlight section and I felt myself peculiarly drawn to the ornate pipes and pipe bowls. The pipe bowls reminded me of Ziggurats, semi-pyramidal religious constructions of ancient Mesopotamia. Worshippers would bring sculptures of gods for a priest to place inside; the larger the sculpture, the more favor the god would have on the family. The pipe bowls were also used in religious ceremonies when tribe elders would summon their ancestors. The ornateness of the pipes and bowls would depend on the 'commitment' of the tribe to the god and could also recommend to anthropologists the wealthiness of a given region. 

Aside from various school projects, I visited the Speed many times with others. One time I particularly remember was last winter when the Speed hosted an Impressionist/Post-Impressionist exhibition. The gallery was filled with Renoir, Chagall, Monet, Manet, Degas... I felt like I was back in London, surrounded by so much timeless history. I ended up losing one of my favorite magenta leather gloves. Figuring it would be gone but hoping for the best, I called the museum the next day and someone had turned in my glove! I should've known that the Speed would host compassionate beings. 

I feel deeply saddened by the fact that I won't get to see any exhibits or stop in on a stressful day to just look at a Picasso, Monet, or Cassat. I can't just walk into the medieval wooden room or the tapestry room, alight with stained glass windows to the ceiling. The majesty will be gone for awhile.

~ ~ ~

Scott, Amy, and Michelle

Sam and Meagan

 On a brighter note, I had a lovely evening with my writing center cohort last night. We went downtown for Mediterranean food at Yafa. Honestly, if you're in the Louisville-area, this is probably the best Greek food you're going to find.

We all played "Never Have I Ever" and enjoyed our various dishes. I ended up getting a gyro plate with pita and walnut baklava for dessert. Afterward, we went to Sam's townhouse and I basically became super jealous because his house is so gorgeous and he has the best taste. He told me he'd help me decorate when I finally get my own place--I'm going to hold him to it!

Earlier in the day, Meagan and I laughed at pictures of cats with bad grammar and hunted for Modcloth discount codes on Pinterest--We ended up finding the largest one for 20%! Needless to say, we were ready to order from our favorite online clothing site again.

Life is pretty hectic. But I'm really trying to take it a day at a time. I'm surrounded by so many great people and I feel like I couldn't be any luckier.


  1. I want some delicious greek food!

  2. Such fun pictures :) There really isn't much better then fresh, yummy, greek food!