Monday, 28 September 2015

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Some New Art

Spousal Unit D and I went to a local gallery and were really intrigued by the work of a painter named Alex Kuno, who did a series called "The Miscreants of Tiny Town". We knew immediately that we had to buy a couple of these amazing works!

Chicago's Curly Fine Art gallery website cites the artist as saying,
"... while producing work for three consecutive and eerily well-received solo shows in galleries throughout Minneapolis and Saint Paul in the early part of 2012, I realized that a lot of my viewers were drawn to my work not just because they wanted to laugh off apocalyptic paranoia, but it started to seem like they were finally coming to terms with the sad inevitability of it. The skies were getting rustier, my landscapes were getting scabbier, and the outcomes of my characters were overtly dire. Still, one of the prevalent themes running through these early 2012 shows was that an apocalypse couldn’t exist without survivors. I thought there was hope in that sentiment somewhere. "

MnO (Minnesota Original) notes, "Appreciators of Alex Kuno’s series The Miscreants of Tiny Town often have a very different–and more optimistic–perception of the images than the painter himself." Here is their image of the artist.

 Unfortunately I missed the gallery "opening" (which was really a closing, since the artist came at the end of the show), but the artist described his works and explained some of his paintings.

I don't know if I have a more optimistic opinion than the artist, but I did chose a picture of two children clinging together in what looks like a dance marathon bcause it seemed like they were surviving because of each other and I identified with the painting. It does seem hopeful.

Spousal Unit D, chose a different image in which a boy is being tempted by a boy scout who wants him to turn the handle and possibly release all kinds of evil roiling blackness on the world. The girl holds him back and of course we don't know who will win the contest, but the roiling evil takes up 2/3s of the image and the boy scout is commanding and hard to ignore. In the right hand corner a little admonition notes, "Let History be your Compass."

Finally we got a painting called "The State of Things and Cats." I guess cats are likely not good beings in this world as they lurk in the grass while a girl with a bird attached to her chest or heart walks by unsuspecting. I still like the image though!

We focused on the children of Tiny Town, but I don't think they are the Miscreants. (Perhaps the boy scout and the cats and the roiling evil are the genuine miscreants). We are happy to have these Tiny Town tots dwelling amongst us now. The way the world has been going we have been living amongst the miscreant sfor a while now.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

2015 Renaissance Festival

So we went to opening weekend of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and then went back for the belly dance weekend. Unfortunately I completely forgot my camera on the belly dance jaunt so I only have a few photos taken with my phone. Nonetheless I want to put up a few pictures to show what a great time we had.

As always we saw some interesting people and thingsThe first is that, when you enter now things have changed greatly. It seems there are only a few places in the U.S. where the sand for fracking can be come by and so they are literally digging up the ground beneath our Renaissance feet (and tires). The parking lot is smaller and we have to walk much farther to get to the festival. As you can see below we have to walk down into the pit and then back up to get from the parking lot to the realm.

Of course we had to visit our friend Marla at M. Ferrara Leather. She doesn't seem to age or get any less beautiful. 

We also stopped to see the Danger Committee who had a few new stupid tricks up their sleeves as well as some of the same old diatribes about the renaissance festival and its attendees.

We saw a new tumbling act called "Tumble and Toil".

They're still working out the kinks, but we enjoyed seeing something new.
Jim and Lazlo did most of the same jokes at the feast. They tried adding a few new ones but I can't say that it improved the show any. It was still bawdy and the guys loved the infantile humor and the women seemed pretty intoxicated and oblivious.

They had this new thing where they took trash cans with elastic plastic across one end and used them as guns to knock cups off of people's heads (or hands as seen below). Later they fed smoke machine smoke into the trash cans and shot smoke circles. That was pretty cute!

One of my favorite parts is the Royal Revelers. They sing bawdy limericks and even though as far as I can tell they don't change lyrics either too much, the costumes and voices are beautiful and I always enjoy hearing them sing.

The food was good and they kept the wine flowing.

...and we got to hear Zilch the Tory Steller do his Renaissance Free bird rendition onhis Mandolin. "Nay, Nay I cannoteth Change. Nonny, Nonny I cannoteth Change..." 

There was also a magician and of course the belly dancers.

The first day we had lovely sunny weather and everyone joyed in it.

I enjoyed seeing the costumes...

and interesting people.  These women came to see the belly dancers and had a marvelous time.

Of course we did too, because the dancers were entertianing and energetic.


These fairies were a delightful addition to the fair ambiance.

I laughed really hard at this woman's shredded turkey leg which she held up gingerly as she ate.

There turned out to be two dogs in this wagon!

And I didn't get a good shot, but the cooler weather of the second weekend meant more people in mail and armor.

We also stopped by the gypsy camp to see the tribal dancers.

We did a lot more and bought some stuff too, but that is a bit of our visit this year!