Sunday, February 27, 2011

NOLA...part two

Feb 16
Wakey wakey...its a full day ahead of us.  Officially Day One of the Notions and Potions workshop in New Orleans.  Field trips on the itinerary today....First on the schedule for the class:

Pharmacy Museum
We wandered to the French Quartier and stopped in this very old phamacy.   I loved this place and what a great pre place to inspire the class to make apothecary thingies.
 If only I could have taken a few things with me....
Perhaps not the leeches.

Next stop
St. Louis Cemetery
The famous above ground graves of NOLA.  Above ground because New Orleans is below sea leve and the graves would be filled with water otherwise.  
Ahhhh, a cemetery...Well you know I like this kind of thing...

Below is from the tomb of voodoo mama Marie Laveau.  The XXXs are are supposed to bring three items, write three Xs or knock three times to have your wish come true.  And yes...I did knock three never know.

I love the rust stains below the fence:

Okay lets get moving...

The rest of the day was a free day so Andrea and I split up from the group and headed to Royal Street to see some galleries and antique stores.
Along the way we saw this dude:

Andrea was filming him "Matrix" style and she walked over to me to show me her footage.  We then hear a very audible "AHEM!" from Uncle Sam.  She promptly returned and plunked some money in the hat.

We also saw these Cajun dudes...on certain times of the day there were as many as twenty or so of this group hangin' out playing on this corner.

Happy Hour...
Time to try a Sazerac at the beautifully Art Deco Roosevelt Hotel.
Then dinner at Coops...a bit of the wait...however the waitress was friendly... and actually she was pretty tipsy...but, then again, so were we.
A few doors down...I see my long lost children, Ben and Scary,  in a shop window.  

 Another door down we came across a pretty nifty psuedo-Soviet absinthe bar called Pravda. 
 Photo by Gary Niebuhr
I have to say really like the idea of absinthe, I love the presentation and the history, but I just don't like the flavor of anise.  I did try a Swiss brand (that was clear and not green), which only had a subtle licorice flavor....Now, that,  I  liked.

...a long fun day is over...
I had to get rested...the next morning was the first day of class.
to be continued

Saturday, February 26, 2011

NOLA...what a friggin' cool trip. Part One

Well returned from New Orleans last week...75 degrees to 0...yikes...that was an eye opener!  The workshop was an amazing and fun experience.  Here's what went down...

Feb 14th
Arrived on Valentines Day... wandered around as I waited for the organizer, Katherine Engen, and my girlfriend, Andrea Matus, to arrive.  I came across this little procession...which at first I thought to be an actual Jazz casket, though.

  Andrea and I grabbed a little dinner while some of the other arrivers headed to Emeril's.  I called Katherine after din din and said lets meet at the R Bar for an after dinner cocktail. was Shot and a Haircut night...
No one in our group partook of the offer so we headed to a little bar called the Spotted Cat

dancing everywhere...look at Katherine go

and even this little guy got into the scene

Feb 15th
Next morin'...the early arrivers are feeling the effects of a late night in off we go to the world Elizabeth's for breakfast...
Waiting for food....
so Katherine and I decide on a little hair of the dog...Bloody Marys...mmmmmmmmm
A bit of wandering and shopping then it is off to the Napoleon House for lunch
Andrea and I hanging beneath the fronds in the courtyard..
No one can resist the  famous Napoleon House Pimms Cups....

that evening:

Meet and Greet
at the Voodoo Museum
A very interesting and amazing experience...
Here's the famous Voodoo practitioner, Marie Laveau:

Cinnamon makes love potions and gris gris bags...
that's it for now...
to be continued........

Friday, February 11, 2011

Strange Angels

Strange Angels Exhibit 
111 Front St. 
Missoula MT
 On display thru the end of the Month
Artist Talk on Feb 24th 7:00pm
for more info go to their website:

Last Friday was the opening reception for my exhibit at the Brink.  What a blast!  It was packed all night.  Thank everyone who came by.  Don't forget if you want to learn a bit more about the various Strange Angels come on by Thurs. Feb 24 at 7 pm for a little lecture.  In the meantime I thought I'd give you a little tour of the exhibit.  Each piece was based on a particular angel from either Judaic, Christian or Islamic writings.  So here we go:

Strange Angels
Divine envoys.  This is the traditional definition of an angel.  The western traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, are full of legends and tales of humankind’s relationship with these messengers.  Their numbers vast, and in some writings, considered countless, and each with task that aligns with certain attributes of that particular angel.  There are good angels and bad angels (usually called demons). There are angels of water, of death, of the moon, of the streams, of alchemy, of sea creatures, etc.  If it can be conceived, most likely there is a legend that connects an angel to it.
Traditionally perceived as soft, fluffy, ethereal things that float through clouds like butterflies huffing helium, I decided to reinterpret these strange beings.  Since they were allegedly created before the tangible universe, it seemed to me that these creatures might need to make certain adjustments in order to enter the physical realm. My goal was to transform these messengers into a combination of physical and supernatural manifestations. Like mystical mechanisms, they remain ethereal and otherworldly yet with a dose of the familiar and tactile.  

Mostly found in Judaic traditions, Sariel is often invoked for his protective powers.  Considered to be a benevolent angel of death.  Legend has it that it was Sariel who retrieved the soul of Moses.

In Islamic traditions, it is said that four angels were sent  to gather dust from the four corners of the world, but only Israfel succeeded; it was from this dust that Adam was created.  According to legend he waits century after century prepared to blow his trumpet to announce the Last Judgment. 

Golem of Prague
Not an angel or demon in the strict sense of the words, this protector was created by man.  
Rabbi Loew created the Golem out of clay and alchemy as means to protect the Jews from anti-Semitic attacks in the Jewish ghetto of Prague during the 16th century.  

A primordial beast of the deep and a massive sea serpent, which, according to legend, is destined to be destroyed at the end of time.

The archangel, who according to Christian legend was God’s lead warrior and commander in the battle of the armies of Light and the armies of darkness.
  Often depicted in struggle with Lucifer as he casts him out of Heaven. 

If you're wondering what is hanging next to the piece...
Guad Pods
little Guadalupes made from tree pods I found in Oaxaca

This angel watches the events of the Cosmos unfold but does little or nothing to interfere as the time and history unfolds.  Angel of solitude and tears, he is said to preside over the death of kings.

 :  The Angel of Mysteries and the keeper of all secret knowledge.  According to myth Raziel is said to have come to the aid of Adam and Eve after their expulsion from Eden by giving them the book Sefer Raziel HaMalach  (Book of Raziel the Angel) as a way for them to find there way back and to better understand their creator.  Other angels disliked this and stole the book from Adam, casting it into the ocean.  Instead of punishing Raziel, God retrieves the book from the sea, with the help of Rahab, and returns it to Adam and Eve.

 A defiant angel of the primordial sea.  Legend has it that Rehab defied God and was destroyed for refusing to separate the upper and lower waters ate the time of creation.  Rahab was once again destroyed for not cooperating, as the Hebrews fled Pharaoh during the parting of the Red Sea.

 Lilith and demon daughters:  Jewish legend has her made of the same material and equal to Adam.  She was his partner before Eve but her refusal to submit to Adam’s will, resulted in her banishment.  
 She fled to the Red Sea where she mated with demons giving birth to a hundred demon children per day.  To spite God she vowed revenge against the descendants of Eve.  Pregnant mothers and young children were at particular risk to Lilith’s revenge.

Angel of healing. He had the task of binding and casting the demon Azazel into a hole and covering him with jagged rocks until Judgment day. 

: Some myths hold him as the demon associated with gluttony, others with pride.  Considered to be a prominent fallen angel during the war in Heaven.

Angel of repentance who watches over the Gates of Eden with a fiery sword, and considered to be as unsympathetic as any demon might be.  He is the holder of the key to the Pit of Hell.

One of the most important angels in Jewish mythology in that this angel was one of the few that was allowed to look onto God’s countenance as well as to sit next to Him.  The reason for this is that he is attributed to being a divine scribe, a keeper of heavenly secrets, and a recorder of the sins and merits of humanity.

There you have it....hope to see you on the 24th.