Our friends Jessica, Jackii, Stef, and her boyfriend Justin came to stay with us over Memorial Day weekend. We had a blast Saturday, and things were just as busy on Sunday. We started off by going to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
We had a picnic in the Sculpture Park in the shadow of the Shuttlecocks by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. We had homemade potato salad, bitty sandwiches, brie and crackers, and the mixed berries with lime juice and honey that I’m currently obsessed with.
This little dude kept trying to steal our food. He’s a brave city chipmunk, I guess.
The sculpture park is amazing. The museum is surrounded by brick trails taking you over hills and on twists: you can’t see all of the sculptures from one spot. There are parts in the bare sun, and parts that are tree-lined and shaded. (The above picture is from Jackii’s phone.)
The temporary installation of the Sun Pavilion was pretty darn cool: it was all solar panels and shipping containers and recycled materials.
It made me want to go to the thrift store to buy some cheap furniture to chop up.
There may have been some rolling down some hills. Just in case you thought we were pretentious and sophisticated.
My favorite sculpture in the park is Ferment by Roxy Paine. It looks like something straight out of Wonderland; like the moment a tree is struck by lightening, captured.
My favorite work inside is Tracer by Robert Rauschenberg. I looked at it for a long time while our friends were checking out things Jake and I have already seen. I like to think about the layers and the process. What section did he work on first? The work is saturated with symbolism, so I wonder if the overlapping of certain parts over others have metaphorical significance as well as visual appeal. I could sit in front of Tracer all day.
Jessica and I took a portrait with Buddha. Hah! A video camera was focused on a Buddha sculpture and the output of the video camera, which captured the sculpture and what was behind it, was displayed onto an old television. The work is Watching Buddha by Nam June Paik. I wish our camera battery hadn’t have ran out right before we got to this piece (the extra we packed was dead too-woops). But camera phone pictures are better than nothing.
I really like the patterns (and nerd appeal) in Research into a Growth Hormone by Alfred Jensen.
The displays advertising the World’s Fairs exhibit make me really want to buy tickets. Jake and I will have to do a budget check and decide. We probably won’t go, because our June entertainment budget will go towards the Maker Fair, but I hope we can squeeze it in.
We spent a long time thinking about Baccarat by Max Beckmann because it’s kind of scary (and we were tired by this point). We had fun guessing the meaning before reading the placard to see who’s interpretation was closest to the artist’s. (This one’s Jackii’s photo too.)
Jake loves Olive Orchard by Vincent Van Gogh. The brushwork keeps your eyes moving around the painting, making it hard to pull away. And the colors are very calming.
We were all excited that we could touch part of the Lola Project. It’s not often you’re encouraged to touch things in a museum! This wire car frame has plastic wrap over it– there’s a whole working car made from this model! With plastic wrap! Weird.
We left the museum as it was closing at 5:00, sad that we ran out of time and couldn’t fit in Giant Rooftop Chess. The girls wanted to stop at It’s a Beautiful Day, which is not my favorite local shop. I can’t stand patchouli, so I can only spend a few minutes at a time in here. That said, the record shop in there is AWESOME. And so reasonably priced. We may have come home with a few keepers (and we intend to go back for a few more expensive records later).
We came back, grilled dinner, and Jake then rode his scooter to scout out the free symphony concert at Union Station for us. It was way too busy to try to drive down there and park, so he enjoyed the symphony solo for a bit before coming back home. He maaaay have snuck into the VIP section. Naughty boy.
We chilled at Holly House for a bit, and more friends stopped by to hang out. Jake decided to work a bit while Jessica, Jackii, Harvey, Lisa, and I walked down to the Riot Room to see The Good Foot, an awesome local soul group.
It sounded amazing, but it was super crowded. And everyone there seemed to be freakishly tall. I kept getting accidentally elbowed in the face.
All of our Denver friends left Monday morning. We were sad to see them go, but at least Jessica will be back in Kansas City in August for our friend Steve’s wedding. And we’re glad to have things back to a normal pace around here. And we’re very glad to have Eliza and Jonas back.
What do you do when you have friends come to town?