There have been many a photo taken and several articles written about the Modernism Museum prior to my visit yesterday.
The museum, which is fairly new to Palm Springs, was created by visionary artist, designer and friend Tracy Turco, so it was already obvious to me that it would be anything but mundane.
Clearly, it is a fun place to visit with exceptional attention to detail showcasing all things mid-century Modern from the late 50s to the early 70s era.
The museum is not only for tourists or locals but will serve the community as a gathering place to socialize in an inspired atmosphere located in the heart of Palm Springs. There’s a glittery disco roller rink at the back of the museum and a comfy colourful seating area which can be rented out for parties. How much fun is that?
This beauty salon contains vintage memorabilia as well as a hairdryer that Marion Davies sat under weekly in Hollywood when she was the mistress to William Randolph Hearst.
I took plenty more photos with my Samsung phone camera but think it best that you visit and take some yourself. In a place like this it’s very easy to get carried away and therefore, give too much away.
Let’s not forget the store where you can buy some fun stuff:
On Saturday I attended the opening night of “The Pearl Fishers” – George Bizet’s 1863 opera taking place at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver.
I went with my friend Rosa, who is an opera buff and always fills me in on what is good and what is not. The Pearl Fishers; a good Opera, is here in Vancouver until October 30th.
The opera is an aquired taste. Going to the opera is either a love or hate relationship for most people – unlike the storyline involved in most operas where love and hate coexist. I’m somewhat in the middle. If the sets are beautiful, if the costumes are exotic and the music is wonderful (and of course the singing is always excellent) then I’m happy. But like going to a foreign film where you have to read the subtitles to know what they’re talking about, in an opera our eyes tend to wander up and down between the stage and reading the lines high above the stage to find out what exactly they’re trying to convey. Things happen fast in opera land. It’s emotionally charged and super dramatic. Obviously over the top to make sure the point gets across, but with soulful song and dance. And simply gorgeous costumes.
If you want my simple synopsis of this opera, think Popeye the Sailor Man and his old muscular navy buddy Bluto whose friendship ends due to their rivalry over Olive Oyl. Maybe this is how bullying began – on the account of a woman.
Emily Cooper Photography
If you want the real synopsis here is the overview taken from the opera website:
The Pearl Fishers returns to Vancouver Opera for the first time in nearly 30 years. Directed by Vancouver favourite Rachel Peake, this dramatic opera tells the tale of two devoted friends and the woman that comes between them. The famous “friendship duet”, Au fond du temple saint, is one of the most beautiful and recognizable pieces in the opera repertoire. Be swept away by the lush orchestration and Bizet’s trademark melodies.
What makes an Artist tick?Saying things with color and shapes that you cannot say any other way because there are no words. Only feelings.
Everything Comes Next…
I popped into a pop-up art gallery on Dunbar called “Visual Space”so say hello to my friend Bi (Bee) who graduated from Emily Carr and take in her impressive work and that of four other artists: Kier Enemark, Ann Robson, N Byrtus and Mark Yeomanthat. They all make up a group called “Collective Chemistry.” I love that name.
If you’d like to inquire about these pieces and more (not shown here) please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org)
“The Aim of Art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance” – Aristotle.
Art Vancouver, Western Canada’s most prestigious art fair is back this year at the Vancouver Convention Center West. Featuring reputable galleries and artists from across Canada and around the world. May 5 – 8th 2022.
I attended the opening with my friend Megan last night. It was an overwhelming feast for the eyes as we wandered around and visited all the exhibitors. There is truly something for everyone’s taste – well almost. No booth is alike.
What I realize from having visited various art shows and galleries is that we can appreciate a painting, sculpture, photograph and other mixed media works of art for the sheer ingenuity each of these artists put into their work as well as the power of a message, whether you like the piece for yourself or not.
Maybe you don’t find a work visually appealing or perhaps it doesn’t go with your décor, but we can still try to accept and welcome all the different styles, imagination and heart put into the work – and as this show went to prove, there’s plenty of inventiveness out there, and overall…that goes to create an incredible event.
Industrial Design Artist German Aguirre Reder
Lisa Wolfin – Director’s Foreword:
“Whether it be with a piece of clay, brush, or pencil, we all have the capacity to create love. To say something through a full scale of colour or none at all, it is art which gives a voice to anyone who wishes to use it. And it is only when you have the courage to share and admire these gifts that an event like Art Vancouver is made possible. Surrounding ourselves with original art in our homes, the loving energy used to create the art emanates into our space.”
I took tons of photos so as I’m sharing some today, I’ll post more next week. Let me know what you think.
We loved a lot of what we saw
Still; if you’re focused on a very specific style for a set area of your home, you may or may not find what you’re looking for, even at a show of this calibre. Art is so subjective. You have to fall in love with your personal choice and it has to evoke some emotion. Art for art’s sake is not enough.
I highly recommend Art International Vancouver – this weekend.
Back at the Factory…or in this case the cultural center…
A group of us attended an art/film/book signing event for Mary Woronov; former muse to Andy Warhol. A muse by definition is a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist. However, Woronov has since become her own creative artist as actor, figurative painter and author. But getting back to Andy…
I’ve always had a fascination with Andy Warhol, going so far as once trying to locate him (at a relatively young age) at his studio in Manhattan that everyone referred to as “the Factory.” Unfortunately he wasn’t there and I’m not even sure what would have happened had I found him. Perhaps he’d have hired me as an assistant, perhaps he would have put me in one of his underground movies and I would’ve become his muse or maybe he would have just told me to scram…but I didn’t see it that way.
Being a bit of a mystery, his work appealed to me and he was way ahead of his time having eventually predicted what is now happening with social media where an average person can become famous through avenues like YouTube or tik tok. It’s fascinating actually; the world is wide open and yet; it’s not really “real.” Reality TV, influencers and Art is everywhere. I remember Warhol’s “Interview Magazine”, nicknamed “The Crystal Ball of Pop”, featuring interviews with celebrities, artists, musicians, and creative thinkers. In 2018, the publication ‘folded’ and ended both its print and web publications. Times have changed. But sometimes it’s important to hear significant stories from the past.
Which brings me to my recent meeting with former Warhol muse and cult star Mary Woronov. It was at the closing reception of her art series “the mystery of the red shoe” and a movie she starred in called “Rock ‘n Roll High School,” at the Palm Springs Cultural Center last Saturday night – the closing night of a MARY WORONOV MEGASPECTIVE presented by The Ebersole Hughes Company – the same documentarian duo who did “House of Cardin,” “My Name is Lopez,” “Mansfield 66/67,” “Dear Mom, Love Cher,” and others. I’m a huge fan of their work.
Sponsored by HELLTOWN Whiskey & The Cheetah Hotel (links below).
Gathered around was an eclectic bunch, to say the least: An “in-the-know” crowd of documentarians, entertainers, musicians, whiskey makers and the odd blogger who remains curious.
It’s clear that not everyone knows who Mary Woronov is. A major cult figure as an actress for her work with Andy Warhol and Roger Corman films, she is also an accomplished painter and writer, having published three books —Wake for the Angels: Paintings and Stories, her autobiography Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory, and the novel Snake.
Woronov joined Warhol’s entourage after a class trip to the Factory and starred in a number of his underground films (Chelsea Girls for one), and she appeared as a go-go dancer in the Velvet Underground’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows. She left the Factory in the late 1960s and, after recovering from a heavy methamphetamine addiction, spent two years in Europe with a friend. It was during this time, Warhol was shot by Valerie Solanas, and thanks to the now altered Factory dynamic, “there was nothing to go back to.” She then supported herself with work in off-Broadway theatre, got married to director/producer Theodore Gershuny, appearing in three of his films.
Woronov is most famous for her role as Mary Bland in Paul Bartel’s black comedy Eating Raoul (1982).
She’s also funny as hell. It was a pleasure being in her company.
Speaking of hell….there was Helltown Whiskey where co-founder Roy Rogers Oldenkamp (an L.A. Art Dealer) gave my friend Ramona and me a little education on the making of whiskey as we sampled whiskey sours which turned out to be pretty darn tasty. The evening ended with us getting a lift to another bar called Truss & Twine with an entertainer who plays piano and sings Dean Martin tunes while his wife sings Dinah Shore oldies. The show is appropriately called “Dino and Dinah.”
I love observing how other people live. Very nice of the owners to open up their homes and let others take a peek inside and make them feel terribly envious by doing so. I was feeling very Bleue in this home…but in the most positive way.
This home is like stepping into a vacation. It’s a nod to the owners’ appreciation of beauty and being by the ocean with a modern nautical theme (despite being in the desert) as variations of water colors flow throughout, from vibrant turquoise to rich navy blues. It’s just gorgeous. I’m aware that I overuse this word but I just can’t think of another better word to describe this house and many others on the modernism open home tours.
Michelle Boudreau (pic below) recently re-designed the 1958 William Krisel originally designed Alexander Company home. She seamlessly merged materials and new spaces with modern technology while respecting the existing mid-century cherished design details.
To create a poetic home that embraces the Palm Springs lifestyle, Boudreau selected from brands such as Brizo, Dunn-Edwards Paints, Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting, Hunter Douglas & Tidelli.
The 2,400 square foot artful interior space boasts four bedrooms & four bathrooms. And lots of gorgeous attractive coffee-table books which I adore. The home and the books are inspired by the owners’ colorful personalities and passion for sailing and travel.
The home is nestled below the San Gorgonio mountain range in Vista Las Palmas, Palm Springs.
All photos: d. king
Modernism week is on until February 27th. Get tickets for events while they last here:
Welcome to the start of Modernism week here in Palm Springs…home to the largest concentration of Mid-Century Modern architecture in the United States.Modernismweek is an annual celebration and appreciation of all things midcentury modern. Think design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. This is one of the busiest times of year for tourism in Palm Springs when hundreds of events take place that include the modernism show & sale, fabulous signature home tours, films, lectures, premier double decker architectural bus tours, nightly parties, live music, walking and bike tours, fashion shows, classic cars, modern garden tours and even more. Of course numbers to events are a bit more limited now and keeping a safe distance is still in place, however it feels like things are getting back to normal.
Today I toured the stunning 1975 Palm Springs residence referred to as the “Seventies Sackley” home, as it was designed by noted architect Stan Sackley. The home was recently reimagined by interior designers Michael Ostrow and Roger Stoker of Grace Home Furnishings who purchased it in 2012.
Located in the prestigious Indian Canyons neighborhood, the house boasts deep mid-century roots and a distinctive architectural style. Situated on nearly a quarter acre lot, the 3,044 square foot home contains three bedrooms, three bathrooms and a beautiful saltwater pool and spa. It has brilliant mountain views, high ceilings, clerestory windows and walls of glass. The formal entryway is expansive and the dining area leads to a step-down living and media room, while walls of glass line the back of the house that open to the pool with a wondrous view of the San Jacinto mountains.
A favorite feature for the couple is the combo living room and media room which is separated by one of Sackley’s signature touches, a see-through fireplace with stacked stone detail.
The house’s custom glazed floor tiles were another coveted element, as they’ve believed to have been designed for the house by Sackley himself.
Stan Sackley is described by Ostrow and Stoker as an architect who left a great body of work but has remained somewhat under-appreciated until recent years. Ostrow shared that following Sackley’s death in 2001, his work archives were sold at a yard sale. “Soon after, someone would go up and down the street asking people if they wanted to buy the floorplans to their house,” he says. “We’re lucky to have it so we can see how the kitchen was configured.” When they gutted the kitchen, they located a piece of laminate that was from the old cabinet and found the old countertop, a walnut laminated material and a matte white glazed tile. “What we put back in makes it almost look like the original kitchen,” Ostrow says.
When it came time for an update to the home, Stoker and Ostrow decided to implement changes that remained sensitive to the architect’s original design. Eventually, the pair decided on a modest renovation of the kitchen and bathroom with no structural changes. Luckily, the couple got their hands on Sackley’s original furniture floorplan.
The interiors now feature a classic modern take on Palm Springs style, with a bold green and blue color palette. Vintage pieces are used throughout the home alongside contemporary pieces from Ostrow and Stoker’s own Grace Home Furnishings Collection and showroom lines.
Capturing the ordinary and making it extraordinary.
This in a nutshell is what best describes the photography of Janet Slater. You can see for yourself in the splattering of her work shown here on this site.
I had the pleasure of meeting Janet this past summer in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. We had dinner at a mutual friend’s house. I was amazed at her creativity, imagination and ability to capture small details. It’s the small details that an experienced photographer uses to capture emotion and turns it into an art form. And so, it’s not just another sunset, another beach shot…you get the picture (pun intended).
Janet shows a lot of diversity on her web page so I had to pick and choose which ones to showcase here. That alone was a challenge. Her interest runs the gamut of architecture, nature, ballet, bridges and barns…and more.
Did you know that it wasn’t until the 1940’s that photography was accepted as an art form?
Alfred Stieglitz ( American photographer, Author; The Photographer’s Eye, Art Dealer 1864-1946) is credited with getting photography accepted as an art form.
Obviously a different effort put forward than painting or sculpting, although the capture is what defines the art.
It’s the peaceful moments in a noisy world. The element of surprise and the unexpected. It’s the calm before the storm, the water droplets, the perfect and imperfect smiles and a sparkle in the eyes; these are some of the short-lasting emotional moments that makes every photographer’s dream shot.
Janet was awarded the FCAPA (Fellowship in the Canadian Association for Photographic Art). A high honour in recognition of her high standard of photographic achievement. More on the link below.
You can browse more of her work and also make a purchase at:
This film festival is something I look forward to attending and blogging about every year. The lineup has always been excellent and it’s nice to sit with and bump into the same familiar faces. No doubt this time is going to be different. The familiarity of sharing a cinematic experience with a crowd is on hold for now and we’ll all be happy when things return to normal and we’re able to sit together again. So until then…
British Columbia’s biggest annual celebration of cinema is just around the corner.
From Noon on September 24 to October 7th, film lovers province-wide will enjoy over 100 feature films and events showcasing exciting, groundbreaking and provocative cinema and creators from around the globe.
You’ll be able to watch this year’s stellar line-up from the comfort of your home via VIFF Connect, VIFF’s new online streaming platform. For the first time, audiences across BC can watch VIFF curated cinema and viewers around the world can tune into our Talks and Conferences.
Let me introduce you to extremely talented Canadian visual artist Kris Friesen. Everybody has a story. He can paint yours.
The header today is the finished mural at the Greek restaurant Koutouki in the 124 Street neighborhood of Edmonton. It depicts a colorful streetscape of busy life in restaurants and cafes in Athens. By Kris Friesen.
I first met Kris about 15 years ago when my husband and I commissioned him to paint a wall on part of our outdoor courtyard after seeing his work on the outside of a gelato shop on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.
Our friend Jackie was anxious to take us to this new place for the best gelato in the city, but as good as it was we were more mesmerized by the lifelike Italian scene depicted on one whole side of the building. The attention to detail was amazing. Actually, it was the best mural we’d seen to date and it got us thinking about how we could incorporate something personal to our own outdoor space. So I got in touch with the shop owner who let Kris know we were interested. Unfortunately the shop along with the mural is no longer there.
We had some ideas, Kris painted a story board and voila, our idea came to life. A bit Santa Fe, a bit Wine Country and some water and mountains off to the distance. And of course, an expanse of sky. When we sat out there we felt like we had a special view of everything we like. And it was after that that we wondered why on earth we hadn’t asked him to paint another wall. We pondered that idea for several years. Then we decided to move on it.
However by then Kris had unfortunately for us, moved to Edmonton and we dressed up the blank wall with a wall hanging and later on a mirror with plants in front. We felt it needed something. Fast forward to this past summer when I found Kris’s website and sent him an e-mail not even sure he’d remember me. Surprisingly he did. By this time he had moved to Duncan, B.C. – at least it was a lot closer. I told him my husband had passed away and that we had been talking for years about wanting to get him back to do some more art. Luckily for me, Kris was Vancouver bound for several days just recently so we discussed the wall. I thought Spring would be a perfect time to start however Kris was going traveling for a while and not sure exactly when he’d be back. Since the weather was good and considering how well the other mural held up over the years, I decided to go ahead.
I wanted the older mural to be extended around the corner and a few other things added to the much smaller blank wall area; which would have not been in the original plan.
The work in progress:
Mural Mural on the Wall – I’m very happy with the finished result. He even put another protective coating on the first mural which had held up very well and re-painted a few things on the upstairs deck. Oh yeah; he also painted some rocks, sagebrush, flowers, gekkos and butterflies on the upstairs deck. Looks great.
Here’s a small sampling of his other diverse original works of art. Kris not only paints murals. He started with that, however now he paints on canvas and panels mostly.