Saturday, October 27

An Artsy Day in Edmonton

Every once in a while something else about being an adult (especially an employed one who finds herself enslaved to the man) gets me down for a bit.  This week it has been the realization that I am not free and THREE WEEKS of vacation is just not enough.  I want to GO somewhere (Russia, perhaps), I want to visit my family and I want to take long weekends to explore other parts of Canada.  It will be another year before I acquire a coveted 4 weeks of vacay.  That sounds pretty good, actually.  BUT - it will be 8 years after that before I get 5.  

So I can whine and sulk about it (which I plan to do) or (and) I can make being in Edmonton feel like being a  vacation.  No, that's cheesy.  But it is up to me to keep my life from feeling monotonous, to make sure that my evenings and weekends include me getting involved in the community.  That is something I'm already trying to do - climbing 3-4 nights a week, French classes on Thursdays, the occasional community event like classic movies at the Royal Alberta Museum.  But I can try harder.  

Today was a good day to start trying.  The downtown farmers market moved inside city hall for the winter and I went in search of some pricey gourmet chocolate bars made right here in Edmonton.  Apparently Kerstin used to have a store here but then she moved to Germany and her sister kindly feeds the cravings of Edmontonians on Saturdays.  I'm new to this but I'm already a fan.  This time I went for "pumpkin pie".  Yep, chocolate and pieces of flaky pieness and pumpkinness.  


Conveniently, right kitty-corner to city hall is the Alberta Art Gallery (aga).  A lovely building that is even lovelier inside.

This was not taken by me.  I stole it from the internet.  But it has snow so that is accurate.
Until today I had always wanted to go inside but just hadn't.  Sight unseen I bought a membership to encourage myself to go whenever I pass by (every few weeks) and get discounts on things like drop-in art classes and their acclaimed quarterly art parties running until 2am on Saturdays which always sell out.  It was a well-spent $65.  Their exhibits are well thought out and beautifully executed.  Plus I can hunker down for a tour every hour or so throughout the afternoon.  Without the tours I miss things in the art.  I am not always sure where to start thinking about and reflecting on it.  

One of their current exhibits, "Beautiful Monsters", looks at renaissance and baroque prints/engravings of monstrous creatures.  After the interactive tour (my fave!) I could tell the difference between these two styles and identify symbols in the paintings.  It made me want to dig deeper into Greek and Roman mythology and even Biblical mythology to better be able to interpret symbolism in art from this time.  A new hobby?
The second tour was upstairs and it looked at just one piece of contemporary art.  Good thing because it is the type of weird junk I would have walked up to, cocked my head to the side to look more contemplative, possibly paced around once and then walked out thinking "I don't get it".  However with an artsy mind to guide me we started talking big questions.  The piece was by Susan Sze - she made what appears to be a representation of earth and the cosmos from man made elements all balanced very precariously.  Perhaps a comment on our current state.  She represented some as already lost (blackened) but she left us a small way out.  Hopefully we can find it.  


Add all this to climbing tonight I'd call it a great day overall.  I need creativity and expression back in my life. I've put back exercise and started to put back friendships/social life.  Now I need volunteering and art.  What else might be missing?
What elements do you need in your life?  Are they represented?

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