Art

Hunter Museum Lobby

Hunter Museum of American Art

Above, an Android PhotoSphere image of the event space in the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, TN. Just off the lobby, the space is three stories high. The staff told us there had been a concert the night before – if we had only known we would have been there.

The side behind my back and not visible is a window wall overlooking the Tennessee River. The Delta Queen paddleboat is docked below the museum. We learned during the trip that one can stay overnight on the boat in a passenger cabin. Next time!

Judi and I visited Chattanooga February 12-13, 2015, for a quick pre-Valentines Day getaway. It’s about a four-hour drive from Asheville (3.5 hours if Judi drives).

The Hunter is a nice little museum with a sizeable collection of 20th century artists, including Robert Rauschenberg and James Rosenquist, two of our favorites. Some of the 19th Century landscapes were breathtaking.

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Above, the oddly appealing bronze sculpture,  “Free Money” by Tom Otterness,  is at the entrance of the museum.

One of the current exhibitions at the Hunter is “The New York Times Magazine Photographs”, images ranging from fashion to movie stars to photojournalism by 35 different artists. The images are mainly from the last 15 years of the magazine.

My favorites were the stark black and whites of crews attempting to extinguish the burning Kuwaiti oil fields set on fire by Sadam Hussein’s retreating army following the first U. S. Gulf war. The workers were covered by a glistening film of black, black oil.

Photos from a feature article about solders killed in Afghanistan showed the rooms left behind in there childhood homes, preserved and immortalized by their parents, just as their children left them when they were sent off to war. Some of the beds still had teddy bears propped up on the pillows. They were devastating images that made me weep instantly.

The Hunter is well worth a visit – large enough to have a little bit for everyone, but small enough to be absorbed in an afternoon without exhausting yourself.

Art is the “Right Livelihood”

As a full-time web developer, with a long eye on becoming a full-time artist, a post on the CreativeLedge blog by an acquaintance, Bob Barancik, made me stop and think a moment.

In the post, “The Right Livelihood, Right Now!“, Bob and his co-authors say that the creative professions are better suited to withstand recession than most people who earn a salary at an office or manufacturer.

Presently, millions of American white collar and blue collar workers have lost their jobs or have been forced to accept shortened work weeks.

Millions of gainfully employed citizens count themselves among ‘The Working Worried.’ They live with the very real possibility of being sacked at a moment’s notice.”

So “where does this leave the creative person?”, the blog asks.

Actually, it leaves us surprisingly well off compared to most wage earners.

Money was never the key motivator in our lives. We set up small businesses and took day jobs so we could paint, make films, strut on stage, write, perform, and compose music, create on the computer, write plays and screenplays, design all and sundry sorts of things and experiences…

We need practical visionaries to create new and resilient American Dreams — the old ones are falling of their own accord into the dustbin of history.”

A tip of the hat to my wife, Judi Jetson, for sending me a link to Bob’s post.