35 articles

I took my 5 year old to see Matilda

art - kids
Matilda, The Musical

Matilda, The Musical

… and she LOVED it.

One of my closest friends in the world lives in Mexico City and comes to NY a few times a year for a taste of her old hometown. During this most recent visit, we took our children (my kindergartener and her 7th grade son) to see the Royal Shakespeare Company’s brilliant musical production of the dark and slightly twisted Roald Dahl’s Matilda.

It was over two hours long, the actors spoke and sang in heavy British accents that even I had trouble following at times, and yet my daughter was riveted. And so was I.

The set (designed by Rob Howell) was a movable feast of letters and desktops and books and bedrooms that truly captured the spirit of the story without being at all distracting. The performances were all mesmerizing and fully deserving of all of the Tony nominations they have received. (for once!)

I could go on and on, but there’s no real point. The New York Times review says it all.

drawing of trunchbull

An inspired artist rendering of the evil Miss Trunchbull, with “I hate kids” in kids spelling scrawled across the top.

What I would like to do is to share one piece of advice with anyone who is considering taking a small kid to a Broadway show that starts right about bath time and ends long after the lights usually are turned out.

Read the book with your kids. At least once if not twice. Talk about it constantly. Draw the characters. (see above photo of the evil Miss Trunchbull) If there’s a soundtrack available, buy it and listen to it. Don’t worry about ruining the story. The more they know, the more they will love it. Oh and bring lots of snacks.

Click below for a few more photos and a link to buy tickets… — Read more

The sketchbook project

the sketchbook project 2013 brooklyn

Here’s my sketchbook, still drying at the 11th hour.

There is an excellent place in Williamsburg called the Brooklyn Art Library which is, first and foremost, the home of The Sketchbook Project– a library of thousands of sketchbooks filled with original drawings, paintings and photographs made by artists of all stripes over the past 7 years (it all started in Atlanta in 2006, but moved to Brooklyn, like so many do, in 2010)

Each year all sorts of doodlers, be they professional artists, designers, hobbyists or, for example, my daughter, fill the 32 pages of a blank sketchbook with their work, send it off to Brooklyn to be catalogued, digitized (if they so choose) and then sent off on a national tour, to be checked out by like minded souls all over the country.

It’s an awesome project, and I have wanted to participate for years, but have only now, just this week, finally gotten it together to hand one in.

At the last minute, of course. (See above photo of the spray adhesive drying in front of the heater before I take the book in)

But I had a blast doing it. My daughter and I both got our books at the same time. This summer. She finished hers in a day, and it is brilliant. (mind you, I’m biased, but still…) Another day for the collage on the cover and she was off to the races.

I had a more complicated concept that involved photos (because lets face it, I can’t draw to save my life) which I had to edit, print and affix to the pages I had decorated (that’s where the doodling part came in.) I started in August, finished the backgrounds over the weekend and then did all the rest of it on Monday night, between  the time my husband came home from work and took over (bless him) and… um… 5 am. Just like college!

Here’s a sample page, haphazardly shot right before I had to run out the door to hand it in. The left image is of some amusement park on Long Isand and the right is of one of the best performances of an operatic duet I have ever seen, at a community center on the tiny island of Ilseboro, ME.

The book made it to it’s new home just in the nick of time and will now go on tour and spend the rest of it’s days surrounded by other bursts of human creativity.

A few more pages. These were all shot in Mumbai:

And these are two different displays of items for sale. One at MOMA, the other in Rockaway:

Here’s hoping that this sketchbook will help inspire some other people to make something creative. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

Oh and here’s a cute video that the Art Library folks made about the project. Not sure when the 2014 sign ups begin, but you should all think about doing a book… it’s fun… and you don’t have to stay up till 5 am to finish it, I swear…

Art or commerce?


GS_signSchool let out early last Wednseday, so we took advantage and headed up to MOMA to check out the lastest iteration of artist Martha Rosler’s massive performance/installation of a garage sale. It’s up through November 30, and well worth checking out.

A panoramic view of the show at MOMA.

A panoramic view of the show at MOMA.

The show is set up in the museum’s Marron atrium, which gives the artist a huge indoor space to display the hundreds (and hundreds) of second hand items on offer. The stuff came from all over (the artist, museum staff and public all dontated things) which made for more of a historical moment-in-time display than the voyeristic this-is-my-life feeling that some of Rosler’s previous sales evoked. (Her first “sale” took place at UCSD in 1973) But it was no less satisfying, and we left with a shopping bag full of goods, each piece slightly discounted after I followed the directions on the sign which encouraged participants to haggle.


— Read more

arts and crafts – sheila hicks at sikklema jenkins


I love this show.

Sheila Hicks is a genius. And her exhibit (on view right now through June 2 at Sikkema Jenkins in Chelsea) is not to be missed if you have any interest in checking out work that takes the traditional craft of weaving to a whole new level that can only be described as sublime.

Every encounter with this work, from her tiny framed swatches of colorfully woven yarn with the odd porcupine spine thrown in (above) to larger more sculptural pieces made (for example) from seagrass emerging from a clawfoot tub (below) inspires me both to pick up a loom and get to work creating my own projets and to go out there and make a bunch of money so that I can afford to take one (or five) of these pieces home with me.

Her work also serves as monumental and stunning proof that one does not have to be a 25 year old hipster to be contributing beautifully relevant pieces to the lexicon. Born in 1934, this Sheila Hicks has been around the block, and her experience imbues the work with an intensity it might not otherwise have.

More pretty pictures if you click below…

Here are a few other examples of why I love what this woman is doing. And a compelling argument for hauling yourself over to Chelsea to check the show out before it’s gone…

A tiny framed piece of… twine..? How does twine become so moving?

A wall sized colorful riff…

A detail… with porcupine quills.

And just a little something for the corner…

Anybody want to take up weaving with me?

pure action!

If you live, or are planning to be anywhere near, Brooklyn, NY between now and May 23rd, run don’t walk to see Elizabeth Streb’s extraordinary company of dancers (they call themselves action engineers) perform their latest show, aptly titled Run Up Walls. And if you have kids, bring ‘em. This show is a rare convergence of profound beauty, headscratching physical feats and pure, non-stop action, complete with film, sound and robotic effects that serve to bring everyone deeper into the world of extreme possibility that Streb creates.

The performers are the centerpiece, and they do, literally at one point, run up the walls. These are the people I want to be friends with when the sh*t hits the fan, because they will physically be able to tackle any kind of Terminator-like future the bad guys throw our way. There is a metal eyebeam that they play chicken with, jumping over and ducking under and running around it with expressions of pure joy– as if they could not possibly be having more fun anywhere on earth. There are harnesses and a huge truss that rises up into the ether from which the dancers fly with arms outstretched. Our toddler was so captivated that she jumped out of her seat and stood, eyes transfixed, right at the corner of the stage for the entire second act.

click below for more:

Everyone leaves the show excited and inspired. You feel like you just might be able to fly. Which, in this day and age, is a rare and amazing way to feel. They also have an incredible series of classes, for both kids and adults, so that we all can begin to learn how to fly. After seeing this show, I cannot imagine continuing without that knowledge. Click here to find out more about the company and to buy tickets.And tell everybody you know to come check them out. A world full of Elizabeth Streb’s kind of action is a more beautiful place to be for sure.