Exhibition | Wisconsin Triennial 2016 at Madison Museum of Contemporary Art

Several weeks ago, after attending the last outdoor Farmers’ Market on the capitol square, I ventured into MMoCA and was pleasantly surprised by the Wisconsin Triennial exhibit. Featuring only local state artist, it opened on September 23 and will be on display through January 8, 2017. The exhibit aims to give an idea of the diverse types of art that are being created within Wisconsin. Below are a selection of photos from the exhibit, which I hope motivate you to go and see this free exhibit!


Fern Stations : On Invisibility by Meg Mitchell

Beads, Birds and Bombs series by John Hitchcock


Selections from the project Transmission Networks by Brendan Baylor

Selections from Remnants series by Amy Fichter


Blue Little Red Barn by Michael Kautzer


Exhibition | Minidoka on My Mind: Paintings and Prints by Roger Shimomura at KSU’s Beach Museum of Art

 “I offer this exhibition as a metaphor for the impending threat posed by current times, and as a warning and reminder that during international crises our government seems to consistently lose its memory regarding past mistakes.” 

-Roger Shimomura
Shimomura began the series “Minidoka on My Mind” in 2008. The paintings and prints are based on his experience and his grandmother’s journal about their time in an internment camp during World War II. Shimomura offers a uniquely Midwestern point of view on being Asian American and racial discrimination at the time. Most of the images in this collection include the barbed wire present in the camps and imitate more traditional Japanese artistic styles.
The exhibit is on display in the Beach Museum’s Hyle Family Gallery from April 5 through July 17, 2016.         

Exhibition | Behind the Glass Eye: Photographs by Toyo Miyatake at KSU’s Beach Museum of Art

Miyatake worked in Los Angeles in the 1920’s and 30’s after immigrating from Japan. With the advent of World War II, he was placed in an internment camp and continued to take photographs. He was inspired by Edward Weston and offers unique perspective in his photographs. 

From April 5 through July 31, 2016 Miyatake’s photography exhibit will be on display at the Beach Museum


Book Review | Native Fashion Now: North American Indian Style by Karen Kramer

Previously authored for and published by Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) Reviews in May 2016.


Accompanying the exhibition Native Fashion Now, the first extensive traveling exhibition of modern fashion representing indigenous North American designers, this book honors contemporary Native American fashion throughout the past sixty-five years. As Curator of Native American Art and Culture at the Peabody Essex Museum for over twenty years, Kramer is clearly well versed in her field. This text fills a gap present in the formal literature about contemporary Native American fashion since the publication of Native American Fashions: Modern Adaptations of Traditional Designs by Margaret Wood in 1981.

By showcasing the works and backgrounds of dozens of Native American artists, Kramer reveals the ongoing evolution of Native artists choosing to use fashion as a vehicle for individual, social, and cultural expression while respecting cultural tradition and values. She stresses the diversity that exists among Native Americans of different tribal and mixed backgrounds and their collective efforts to break down stereotypes surrounding American Indian apparel.

In accordance with the exhibit, the book categorizes artists into four defined groups: Pathbreakers, Revisitors, Activators, and Provacateurs. Textual contributions from three field experts provide astute details about selected exhibit pieces. Brief insights into the work of most artists are given, and quotes from a handful are also included.

Full page, high quality, color photographs comprise the majority of this book. Reproductions are visually stunning and the captions are thoroughly informative. Dust jacket photos are eye-catching, and the book’s coffee table size is fitting. The thick, glossy pages and a solidly stitched binding result in a durable, high-quality volume. In addition to photography credits, Kramer has included a selected bibliography for additional research leads and a comprehensive index that allows the reader to access information from a variety of angles.

Appropriate for all audiences, the text is well written and logically organized. It would be an excellent reference piece for anyone researching Native American fashion, fashion collaborations, the use of cultural symbols in fashion, or stylistic evolution in Native arts. Moreover, this book belongs in all academic libraries providing resources for students in Native American studies or art and design.

Day Long Walking Photo Tour of 20 Sights in Sydney, Australia

The loop I walked this day provided me with ample photo opportunities and around 10 miles worth of pavement covered. I am a fairly quick sightseer, though I do take lots of photos, and the walk from start to finish including a brief lunch stop lasted about 6-8 hours. Adding breakfast and dinner onto this would pretty much exhaust you, but allow you to feel you’d seen just about all of downtown Sydney’s major tourist spots in a day. Below is a summary of the itinerary and at the bottom I’ve broken it up by place with brief explanations and photos I shot in Sydney.

day long walking photo tour of 15 sydney sights
Itinerary:  The location of my base hotel was near the Rocks district, the Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay. I started by walking down through the Rocks district, past the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, along Circular Quay and past the ferry terminals and the Opera House to the Royal Botanical Gardens. From there I continued to the Art Gallery of New South Wales, which is very worth seeing and offers free admission. I continued through to Hyde Park for a nice view of St Mary’s Cathedral and the park itself is Australia’s oldest with a lovely tree lined walk. From there it was a few minutes to St Andrew’s Cathedral, again Australia’s oldest, and a fine example of the Gothic Revival style.

About two blocks down George Street, Chinatown begins. Though this isn’t particularly interesting if you have high expectations or have been to large Chinatowns like those of San Francisco and New York, the Chinese Friendship Garden is reasonably priced and worth a visit. From there you can visit Paddy’s Markets, which offers a huge selection of touristy trinkets, bazaar goods and a large fruit and vegetable market in the back. If that market leaves you with a taste for more you can possibly stop by the Powerhouse Museum before grabbing lunch at the Fish Market. Close up views of many sea delicacies you’ve never heard of provides an excellent photo opportunity. Need more fish? The Australian National Maritime Museum offers free admission and free Wi-Fi.

Next to the museum is the Pyrmont Bridge, a pedestrian bridge with a flare and great view of the city and Darling Harbour. The Sydney Observatory is also free and as a member of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences offers informative plaques. The park around the Observatory is very nice with benches and large trees, good for cooling off or taking a rest. It’s downhill from here to Lower Fort Street and the Miller’s Point community that you can see on your way to Dawes Park and Sydney’s Harbour Bridge. A late afternoon stroll unto the bridge will give you some great views of the harbor and the Opera House with boats cruising the blue waters.

My suggestion is to use the Google Maps app on your smartphone. You can search the locations ahead of time and save them as stars them on the map. Do this while you have Wi-Fi and you will still be able to access the map with locations when you no longer have service. If you let location services work, you can use the GPS tracker to follow your route around the city from star to star during the day all without having cell service. People in these neighborhoods are also super helpful about offering directions when asked. Most of them speak English and don’t at all mind pointing you along your way.

Places of Interest:

Rocks districthistoric area of downtown Sydney, traditional sandstone architecture gave it the Rocks name. Offers many shops and restaurants.


Museum of Contemporary Art Australia : offers free admission to some exhibits and aims “to engage audiences with contemporary art and ideas through the presentation of a diverse program of exhibitions and special events.”


Circular Quaya large transit hub for trains, ferries and busses, but also has restaurants and good views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. Check out the Spice Room for some excellent Indian food.


Sydney Opera HouseArchitecturally stunning, it opened in 1973.


Royal Botanical GardensCelebrating their 200th anniversary this year (2016), the gardens cover 74 acres and have diverse plant species. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair is a big photo draw here, though I’m not entirely sure why.


Art Gallery of New South Wales offers free admission, has lots to see in various styles


Hyde Park 40 acres, oldest park, big fountain, lovely old tree lined path, big monument


St Mary’s Cathedral : Geometric Decorated Gothic, Roman Catholic, longest Australian church, consecrated in 1882


St Andrew’s CathedralGothic Revival, Anglican Church, Stained glass windows, Australia’s oldest, completed in 1868


Chinatownhas an actual gate, lots of restaurants, some shops


Chinese Friendship Garden pagodas, plants, teahouse and tranquility. adults AU $6


Paddy’s MarketsHaymarket location dates back over 150 years. lots of stalls, trinkets and a fruit and veg market.


Powerhouse Museum : you have to pay to go in here, so I did not go… it is part of the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences group.


Sydney Fish Market“largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the third largest seafood market in terms of variety in the world”


Australian National Maritime Museumfree admission, maritime collections and exhibitions

Pyrmont Bridge : opened in 1902, a pedestrian bridge since 1981 in the swing style with a great view of the city


Darling Harbourhome to restaurants, attractions and more…

Sydney Observatory : free, park, historic site, telescopes, planetarium, member of Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences


Lower Fort Street in Miller’s Point : historic neighborhood, protested area…


Dawes Park : historical park with great views of Sydney Cove, at the end of Harbour bridge


Sydney’s Harbour Bridgesteel through arch bridge, finished in 1932, length = 1,149 m (3,770 ft)


For more about my Sydney trip, check out this post about arriving in Sydney and look forward to my future post about visiting the Blue Mountains and maybe another on Sydney’s beaches.

Native Fashion – as seen in New Orleans, LA

Recently, I reviewed the publication Native Fashion Now for the Art Libraries Society of North America. Reading this exhibition catalogue got me thinking more about the influence and instances of Native American style in the modern art and fashion realms. On a recent trip to New Orleans, I documented some of these.

At the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans in Teen Art Exhibition: Voice of a New Era, I observed two interesting pieces, but am missing the caption for the blue one – sorry! Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Suit 2015 by Justin “Tugga” Cloud (beads, fabric, sequins, canvas, feathers, floss)

Mardi Gras Indian Big Chief Suit 2015 Justin Cloud.

captured from cacno.org

 my photos:  


Saw this beaded piece at The Bead Shop on Magazine Street.

At Carmo, a Brazilian cafe specializing in vegetarianizing yummy foods, I spotted these lovely earrings, seed bead glass in a Native (inspired?) pattern.

Native style seed bead earrings

This fine lady was happy to talk about native fashion and also reminded me to share two great resources.

Beyond Buckskin (Mission Statement): “Beyond Buckskin empowers Native American artists and designers, advancing the quality of Native American fashion through education while providing an in depth podium for societal participation. Inspired by relevant historical and contemporary Native American clothing design and art, Beyond Buckskin promotes cultural appreciation, social relationships, authenticity and creativity.”

Native Max Magazine (Mission Statement): “Native Max Magazine’s mission is to bring the best indigenous talent and most empowering and engaging content across a range of media platforms like publishing, digital, interactive events, consumer products and services to a broader range of audience, and to invite the world to read the magazine and discover the Native American and First Nations cultures and stories; ultimately changing the way Native Americans and First Nations people are portrayed in the world.”

To read more about the Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibit, see their blog. The exhibit will be traveling to serval states during 2016 and 2017. My review of Native Fashion Now will be published in June.

Arrival in Sydney, Australia – Harbour Bridge & Contemporary Art

The pilot announced the flight from San Francisco to Sydney would be about 14.5 hours. Luckily, United provides free beer and wine on this flight (I skipped the sleeping pills).

Flying into Sydney was quite a site with the beautiful harbor and trees everywhere. After arriving around 8am I chose to take a Redy2Go shuttle from the airport to my downtown hotel. Taxis run about AU $65, and there’s a fee for using the train through the airport station, so $17 USD for a 30-45 min ride with a handful of other travelers seemed like the best option. You can pay by credit card at the shuttle counter at the airport or book ahead online.

The hotel room wasn’t ready upon arrival, so I enjoyed strolling across the Sydney Harbour Bridge and snapping photos of the Opera House and harbor. Then I meandered through the historic Rocks district and checked out the free exhibits at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia. The 20th Biennale of Sydney, on display from 18 March– 5 June 2016, featured some excellent photographs.


20th Biennale of Sydney exhibit at Museum of Contemporary Art Australia

I grabbed lunch nearby past Circular Quay at Yayoi Garden, a Japanese restaurant popular with business lunchers. The food was unique and service was great, but taste was a bit lacking in my Omaze Don and the sashimi.

After lunch, the day and a half of flying and jetlag were catching up to me, so I took a hot bath and tucked myself in for a quick nap that ended up lasting 12 hours, oops… Check out my next post about walking ten miles around Sydney to see all the sights in a day!