When I am at home I spend a lot of time in my basement studio with only a tiny window up high to see the light of day. And while I was in the studio as of 8am this morning, I will be taking a break and getting outside and on with life. I have to sing at a wedding later today, but after that it is my goal to investigate a little section of the Green Circle Trail in my hometown, something I am hoping to base my piece of jewelry on for my Challenge of Travel reveal next Saturday, August 31st. The theme for the Challenge this year is to go on a staycation in your own hometown and celebrate what makes it a wonderful place to live.
So today I would like to share something special about my hometown of Stevens Point, Wisconsin. We have a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) in our community. This university has a very respected College of Natural Resources. They are also known for their outstanding art, theater, dance and music programs.
On the campus, there is an incredible mural along the wall of the College of Natural Resources. This mural was created in 1975 led ceramics professor named Richard Schneider and is a huge mosaic that is pretty cutting edge even today.
"With computer technology donated by Control Data Corporation, the design was divided into 286,200 tiny squares, each of which was analyzed for light/dark values on a 28-step scale. Professor Schneider then created designs from the different Natural Resources disciplines which coincided with the requirements of the light/dark scale. The computer generated forty photographic negative printouts which were enlarged and assembled into a 6 by 18 foot composite of the mural and in which each tiny square appeared as a ¼ inch square of the appropriate symbol for that value. This assemblage was divided into 646 panels, mostly 3 by 4 feet, designed to coincide with existing joints on the building itself."
It really is quite an incredible sight, but one that I take for granted. So when I was on the campus recently for my daughter to participate in the Point Tap Festival, a three day tap dance intensive with instructors and dancers coming in from across the country, I thought I would take a few shots.(That in itself is an amazing testament to the quality of the dance education on campus).
|UWSP Mural on the College of Natural Resources building|
But also nearby was a newer art installation that I came to find out was put up earlier this year with a visiting art professor. It is called 'Garden of Curiosities.' This set of structures looks a little like a bunch of huts that almost have a human shape with heads and bodies. Upon closer inspection it is clear that they have doors and windows. It was created with branches that were harvested in an environmentally sensitive way and invites the viewer to participate in the experience by walking through and inside each of them.
As I approached it closer, I could hear the twittering of dozens of birds and could see them swooping and circling the structures. It looked like they were having a blast! This art installation is not only a beautiful sight, but is like a bird's playland! I felt as if I were a tiny baby bird surrounded by my home nest. It made me wish I had wings!
|Garden of Curiosities art exhibit at UWSP|
I used a cardinal in a birch tree pendant from Heather Powers at Humblebeads paired with a strand of czech glass beads, red coral rounds and some mother of pearl chips. I had a strand of these little silver leaves from I don't know where and they seemed like the perfect accompaniment to this Cardinal spotted in the trees.
I also made a bracelet with a ceramic button that I picked up from Lisa Peters Art at the Bead & Button Show. The focal is totally awesome. I have a lot of luck with Lisa's pieces of art in that things I make with them usually sing beautifully. This bracelet, however, strikes a sour note.
I don't know if Miss Lisa is making any more of these, and each one that I saw from her was different, sculpted by hand, so this might very well be a one-of-a-kind. I might just need to bid on my own item in the silent auction I like it so much! ;-)
|Cardinal ID - bracelet|
What hidden gem have you discovered in your hometown OR
what treasure in your town is waiting to be discovered by you?
Now... go out there and discover it! And if you are interested in joining me in the Challenge of Travel blog hop, I would still take you! You can sign up for the hop through Sunday. And then on Monday, I will be sending the reminder email.