By Lori Hope Baumel
Originally appeared in Around Wellington Magazine on February 1, 2015
How do you interpret the title above? Do you think of art that depicts love, or about those who love art in general? The art of loving, as portrayed in a variety of creative formats can be a very emotional experience. For thousands of years, painters, composers, sculptors and such have been creating pieces that encapsulate what they want to define as love.
In recent years, the Internet and instant sharing has enabled us to say, “I love you” in a many ways. In our everyday life, things that would have been unimaginable even 20 years ago are available right at our fingertips. E-cards and email deliver various forms of expression immediately. Social networking provides instant sharing of photos or messages that convey the happiness or sorrows in our lives. But to what degree does this digital sharing feel sincere… and how does it compare to the past?
First, let’s explore a famous piece of art that depicts a loving embrace:
The Kiss by Gustav Klimt
The Kiss (Lovers) was created by the Austrian painter Gustav Klimt between 1908 and 1909. The work was painted during the highpoint of his “Golden Period” It is composed of oil paint with applied layers of gold leaf on a square canvas. The image depicts a couple embracing, their bodies entwined in elaborate robes whose style is influenced by the Art Nouveau movement of the era, an aspect that gives it its modern, yet evocative appearance. The painting is housed in the Belvedere museum in Vienna. It is considered to be one of Klimt’s most popular and perhaps, most commercialized, works.
Two summers ago, my husband and I were lucky enough to visit Vienna during the celebration of Klimt’s 150th birthday. We looked forward, and with great anticipation, to seeing The Kiss with our own eyes, during our trip to Vienna’s Österreichische Galerie Belvedere museum in the Belvedere palace.
At the museum, there was a line of people waiting to view the piece. When it was finally our turn to step out of the queue to see it, my feelings were almost indescribable… but I will try. Swirls of Klimt’s paintbrush came alive. The gold leaf glistened. I experienced an adrenalin rush unlike any I had before. I stood there for a few minutes in awe. There were others patiently waiting their turn to view The Kiss. So I moved on.
We then explored the rest of the museum. It was wonderful. But something was gnawing at me. I had to go back… I had to see it one more time. We waited to see it again. But this time, I whispered to the canvas of lovers embracing, “Hello my friends.” My eyes covered every inch of the canvas hoping to remember each stroke of paint. At that point, I felt satisfied and was able to walk away.
Did the artist think that his piece would convey so much emotional energy? Did he anticipate it representing the “art of loving” through the ages? Of course, no artist of that era could ever imagine the commercialization of his or her work to the degree that it has been mass-produced. I’ve seen The Kiss on everything from mugs to pillows. The reprints do it no justice. Admittedly, I have both the mug and pillow and they are a reminder of when I saw the work in the flesh, so to speak… a reminder of a time when I was deeply moved. A time when… I fell in love with the art that depicted the art of loving.
Now, over a century later, we are able to create art about love in ways that Klimt, Picasso or even St. Valentine himself could not have imagined. As an example, the following video took nine months to create, yet can be viewed in a minute and a half. I am sure you’ll LOVE it and enjoy the experience. Happy Valentine’s Day.
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Live… Go… Do!
Top 5 List for February 2015
1) Pop the popcorn and watch the Academy Awards on ABC!
Adrien Brody kisses his presenter, Halle Berry, prior to accepting his Oscar.
On February 22, 2015, Neal Patrick Harris will be hosting Hollywood’s big night. It’s the Super Bowl of movies at my house.
For more information see:
‘Women of Vision:
National Geographic Photographers on Assignment’ Exhibition at the
Palm Beach Photographic Centre
From now until March 22, 2015
“Women of Vision” features nearly 100 photographs, including moving depictions of far-flung cultures, compelling illustrations of conceptual topics such as memory and teenage brain chemistry, and arresting images of social issues like child marriage and 21st-century slavery. In addition to the photographs, visitors will have an opportunity to learn how National Geographic magazine picture editors work closely with the photographers to select images and tell a story. Video vignettes will present first-person accounts that reveal the photographers’ individual styles, passions and approaches to their craft.” – PBPC Press Release
For more information call 561-253-2600 or go to:
3) Feeling generous?
Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast Honor the Kretzer Piano Music Foundation
At the13th Annual
WATCH A RISING STAR Vocal Competition
At The Kravis Center – February 21
Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast, which empowers young people to own their economic success and reaches over 18,000 students in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie and Hendry Counties, announced that it will be honoring the Kretzer Piano Music Foundation at the upcoming Junior Achievement’s WATCH A RISING STAR Vocal Competition. The family friendly event will be held at the Cohen Pavilion of the Kravis Center on Saturday, February 21, at 6:30 pm.
“We are honoring the Kretzer Piano Music Foundation because it exemplifies the Three Pillars of Junior Achievement: Financial Responsibility, Workforce Readiness and Entrepreneurship,” says Claudia Kirk Barto, President of Junior Achievement of the Palm Beaches & Treasure Coast. “The non-profit organization raises awareness of the importance of music as a part of every child’s life and complete education. They strive to make music education available to children who come from families of limited means and provide performance opportunities for young musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Founded by Kathi Kretzer Sayler, one of the originators of Junior Achievement’s WATCH A RISING STAR Vocal Competition, the Kretzer Piano Music Foundation also sponsors the Kretzer Kids, a group of talented music students who take turns entertaining on weekends at local nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Junior Achievement’s WATCH A RISING STAR Vocal Competition is the perfect event to honor the outstanding work of the Kretzer Piano Music Foundation,” says Ms. Barto.
On February 21, Junior Achievement’s WATCH A RISING STAR Vocal Competition will spotlight five musical finalists: Sydney Carbo of Young Singers of the Palm Beaches, Christina Layton of The King’s Academy, Katie Rodgers of The Pine School and Virginia Mims and Drew Tanabe, both from Dreyfoos School of the Arts. For the first time, all five finalists are Junior Achievement alumni.
Last fall, high school seniors from Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Hendry Counties were nominated to compete for a spot as a finalist in Junior Achievement’s WATCH A RISING STAR Vocal Competition. Over 40 students were nominated to compete, but after a vigorous audition process, the pool of talent was narrowed to the final five.
In the months leading up to the competition on February 21, the finalists will receive vocal and performance coaching from veteran Broadway performers, Jackie Bayne Gillman and Jason Gillman, and will have several opportunities to showcase their talent by performing at various venues throughout the community.
After months of coaching and practicing, the finalists will perform at the Kravis Center on February 21 for a crowd of over 400 guests. Competing for up to $11,000 in scholarship money, the winners will be selected that evening by the audience and esteemed judges, including jazz singer Donna Singer, Broadway actress Jodie Langel and Nashville recording star Monique McCall.
Junior Achievement’s WATCH A RISING STAR Vocal Competition also will include a silent auction, live auction, plated dinner, and a concert showcasing these talented young vocalists. Held in the Kravis Center’s Cohen Pavilion, the menu will be provided by Catering By The Breakers at the Kravis Center.
Tickets for Junior Achievement’s WATCH A RISING STAR Vocal Competition are $200 and Table Sponsorships are available. For more information, please visit www.juniorachievement.com or call 561.242.9468.
About Junior Achievement
Junior Achievement is the world’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through twelfth grade knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. JA programs are taught by volunteers in the classroom and after school in over 120 schools and organizations throughout Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, and Hendry Counties. Junior Achievement programs are funded through contributions from businesses, individuals, foundations, and special event fundraisers. Visit www.juniorachievement.com for more information.
4) It’s “Season” at The Norton Museum… Don’t miss:
Art After Dark
SPONSORED BY THE ADDISON HINES CHARITABLE TRUST
THURSDAYS FROM 5 – 9 P.M.
The Norton’s most popular weekly program – Where Culture and Entertainment Meet! – offers eclectic programming, including exceptional music of all genres, captivating conversations with curators, docent-led tours, art activities, film, dance, wine tastings, chef demos, and more. All activities and performances are included with admission.
For more information see:
5) The Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County
Invites the Public to Several Fun & Informative Events
Pretty & Spice – February 7-8
Book Discussion Series – February 10
Rhythms of Stone Lecture & Workshop – February 12-16
Pretty & Spice
Orchids on Saturday & Herbs on Sunday
Saturday, February 7, 9 am to 4 pm
Sunday, February 8, 9 am to 3:30 pm
Throughout the Garden – Free admission
+ Orchids on Saturday
This plant sale offers a great opportunity to view beautiful orchid displays with a fun and informative lecture on topics such as Basic Orchid Care and the opportunity to acquire the best orchid and shade loving plants.
+ Herbs on Sunday
Discover the joy of herbs with special lectures, and demonstrations on cooking with herbs. Famous Chef Matthew Comsy will be here on Sunday in this specialty demonstration, participants will review ways of enjoying the herbs that can be homegrown, and sample some treats. Nina Kauder will discuss the benefits of herbs and raw foods. This promises to be a lively and fun demonstration that will encourage a healthier, tastier lifestyle.
Mounts Botanical Garden Book Discussion Series
Tuesday, February 12 – 7 to 8:30 pm
Clayton Hutcheson Complex – Conference Room
In partnership with the Palm Beach County Library System, this new series provides an opportunity for book and garden enthusiasts to meet together to experience exciting fiction and non-fiction titles related to all aspects of gardening and horticulture. The featured premiere novel for this month will be The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan.
Rhythms of Stone
Lecture & Workshop
Thursday, February 12 – 6 pm to 7:30 pm
Saturday through Monday, February 14 – 16
9 am to 3 pm
$400 for members; $475 for nonmembers
In this remarkable new series, DJ Garrity, the former Sculptor-In-Residence at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, will explore the aesthetic and creative process of stone sculpting.
+ Lecture on Thursday
In his Rhythms of Stone Lecture, Garrity will present a visual illustration derived from his Nobel Laureate Series of portraits in stone and his book of the same title. He will discuss the historical background of the ‘process aesthetic’ from European Masters to the colossal sculpture of the American West.
+ Workshop Saturday through Monday
Garrity developed this garden sculpture workshop as a hands-on interpretive training program in collaboration with the National Park Service of America. He will lead participants with no previous experience through a creative process that uses traditional hand tools to create unique garden sculptures in stone. The program has been well received by gardeners, artists and the lifelong learning community.
To register for any of the events and workshops at The Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County, please call 561.233.1757. Events at Mounts are accessible to people with disabilities.
About The Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County:
With a mission to inspire the public, Mounts Botanical Garden is Palm Beach County’s oldest and largest botanical garden, offering gorgeous displays of tropical and sub-tropical plants, plus informative classes, workshops, and other fun-filled events. The Garden contains more than 2,000 species of plants, including Florida native plants, exotic and tropical fruit trees, herbs, palms, bromeliads and more. Mounts Botanical Garden is a facility of the Palm Beach County Extension Service, which is in partnership with the University of Florida and the Friends of Mounts Botanical Garden.
Located at 531 North Military Trail in West Palm Beach, The Mounts Botanical Garden of Palm Beach County is open Monday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. The suggested donation for entry to the Garden is $5 per person. For more information, please call 561.233.1757 or visit www.mounts.org.