Yesterday afternoon we were wandering along the shoreline, playing in the surf and happening upon gorgeous shells that were strewn along the shore. Gorgeous shells just cast about like little gems. No matter how many times I visit this part of the Gulf Coast – Marco Island and Sanibel Island – I’m always amazed by the shells. Amazed someone has not already scooped them all up and hauled them away. Surprised that there are always more. And thrilled by all of the beauty that you will just stumble upon.
As I woke up this morning and reflected on our experiences yesterday, I was reminded of this poem I love – on what we love and value. Its a perfectly timed reminder to be present and elevate and focus on what really matters. Thanks, Ms. Walker.
We Alone Can Devalue Gold – by Alice Walker
We alone can devalue gold
by not caring
if it falls or rises
in the marketplace.
Wherever there is gold
there is a chain, you know,
and if your chain
so much the worse
and sea-shaped stones
are all as rare.
This could be our revolution:
to love what is plentiful
as much as
We were in DC a couple of weeks ago to celebrate our oldest daughter’s 21st birthday. I was excited to fit in a visit to the Renwick Gallery to see their exhibit – Wonder! I love that the exhibits were large and immersive – experiences that you could take in with all of your senses. In the exhibit they basically turned over the museum space to nine contemporary artists, who filled the space with large, immersive and stunning exhibits. The boys and I had a great time exploring the museum. Highly recommend!
Check out this link to take a virtual tour of the exhibit. It’s absolutely worth a visit the next time you are in the DC area.
There always seems to be a great festival or concert going on in New Orleans, and this trip was no exception – it was the weekend of the Satchmo Summerfest. And the great musical traditions of Louis Armstrong live on in his hometown! The event featured many different traditional jazz and brass bands playing on the grounds of the Old U.S. Mint just off the French Market.
We saw some great bands – my favorite was the Paulin Brothers Jazz Band. I loved the stories they told about growing up in New Orleans in a musical family and how much jazz music was a part of their life. Forgot to take a video – but here’s a YouTube clip of them:
Between performances, the NOLA Jitterbugs taught dance lessons, and encouraged the crowd to dance during the performances – which they did. It was as much fun to watch the dancers as to hear the terrific music 🙂 Something about swing dancing just makes me smile – it seems so happy and so free. There was a dad out there teaching his little girls to dance, couples of all ages sowing off their great dance moves, and some colorful characters too!
As family vacations go – places with great music, art, and food tend to be high on the list of destinations. So New Orleans is a family favorite. We are back in NOLA for summer vacation and timing couldn’t be better: both the Satchmo Summerfest and the Whitney White Linen Night art event are going on this week. Add that to the great restaurant destinations and you have the makings of a terrific week.
Part 1: Whitney White Linen Night
Basically its a mega-art party that shuts down 4 blocks of Julia Street in the Warehouse District of NOLA the first Saturday in August each year. Lucky for us we happened to be here to experience it! Apparently to fight the blazing heat of summer in August, locals took to wearing light colors and breathable fabrics. That tradition gave a theme to the annual art event – where art lovers come out decked out in their best summer whites to enjoy the scene and tour the galleries. There were several shows opening on White Linen night, plus live music and food from local restaurants.
We saw some great artwork and love that so many people came out for the event. Realized in seeing other pictures that we missed some big exhibits – so definitely want to get back by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Contemporary Art Center for some of the things we missed on White Linen Night.
By some accounts, as many as 45,000 visitors participated in the mega art event called White Linen Night in NOLA
The NOLA art community out in their best summer whites to tour the galleries on Julia Street
One of several great live bands performing
The golden light of sunset cast a great glow down Julia Street
Josh came out to check out the artwork
Natalie was part of the sea of white on Julia St.
This installation had a crystal piece hung for each death by handgun in NOLA in 2015. It is updated daily.
This made me think of makerspace and the fun signs we could make
a piece reflecting on torture
This installation included a cross hung in the american flag was inscribed with racial slurs
A Dale Chihuly glass sculpture was part of the exhibit
And of course Nat and Josh had to squeeze in a photobomb – as I was trying to get a pic of one of my favorite sculptures of the night.
A few great links to check out the NOLA art scene: