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These Precious Things

We’ve gotten a lot of awesome practical gifts from friends and family in anticipation of Miranda joining us this coming May. Everything has been wonderful and much appreciated; it’s always humbling when friends find a way to be particularly thoughtful in joining with me in some joy.

But two of the gifts we’ve received recently have felt strikingly beautiful to me. I want to share them below…

An artwork by Jen.

This piece, a printwork created from many layers of oil monotypes, is related to a group of works that Jen Meanley showed at Manifest in Cincinnati, OH over the past month. Jen sent it out of the blue when she heard Alison and I were pregnant. I love it and feel honored to have it.

I know Jen from grad school. She was such a strong presence at IU; her paintings and intelligence both intimidated and awed me during my time there. I’m glad we have continued to communicate over the years and I love that her’s will be among the first art Miranda will see.

A rattle from Connie.

Connie Gillock is a longtime friend of ours. I first met her at Ox-Bow in the summer of 2001. Connie has shown herself to be a master gift-giver; it’s a skill she’s fostered in her daughters. I can sense the great joy they get from giving, and appreciate how they keep it simple and genuine. This beautiful silver rattle is amazingly elegant… I can’t wait to see it in Miranda’s hands.

Thanks, Jen. Thanks, Connie.

Roberta Smith on Art and Time

A great contemplation by the NYTs Roberta Smith from December 31st, 2009.

“Each piece of [art] is a concentration or distillation of ideas, inspiration, sensibility and craftsmanship into a frozen, obdurately physical moment that focuses our attention and then unfolds in the mind. Sometimes what unfolds is a chronological narrative conveyed by a single representative image or a series of them; sometimes it is an intense experience that seems to takes you out of time, yet persists and reverberates in the echo chamber of personal memory. Usually it is a combination of both.”

I couldn’t agree more. Read the rest here.