December 29, 2015

Celebrating Ten Years!

I can hardly believe it but this is my 500th post since joining the Blogosphere in January 2006.  It seems impossible that what began almost as a lark has evolved and endured and infused itself into my life in a way I could never have imagined.  The self-imposed responsibility of finding and reporting on fifty topics a year for the past ten years has become a part of my psyche - often challenging, sometimes frustrating, but always rewarding especially when someone I meet says, "Oh, I read your blog"!

So in celebration of an anniversary that I am proud to have achieved, I took a look back at a decade's worth of trips, art fairs, exhibitions, books, events and miscellaneous commentary to try to choose one highlight from each year.  Part stroll down memory lane, part refresher course in art history, I tried to select posts that resonated personally or that I felt were especially memorable though not necessarily the most exotic.  And now, for your reviewing pleasure, I present my own, highly arbitrary, Top 10 "Georgina Kelman :: Works on Paper" Blog posts...

In May of 2006 I went to New Orleans to visit a lady who needed help with her art collection in the aftermath of the hurricane.  I had never been to The Big Easy and though I knew that the city had sustained major damage during the storm, I was unprepared for the devastation that was everywhere.  "Katrina 8 Months Later" documents my tour of the Lakeview district and is a tribute to the gutsy determination of the residents who chose to re-build rather than give up.

It was impossible to limit my 2007 choice to a single post as the centerpiece of my year was a crossing on board the marvelous Queen Mary II.  "Ahoy from the High Seas" was dispatched from the middle of the North Atlantic, while "New York, New York" is an ode to this majestic city and the emotional sight of the Statue of Liberty as we sailed into the harbor.

Regular readers know that I am a devoted Francophile and that I indulge this propensity several times a year.  I've posted many missives from Paris chronicling museum shows, historical tours, weather events and adventures in dining, but one of my favorites was written in June of 2008 when I visited Richard Serra's "Monumenta" installation at the Grand Palais.  It was an awe-inspiring art work in a magnificent space and one that has stayed with me ever since.

A very pleasant surprise was a short trip to Nashville, Tennessee, taken in September of 2009.  There was so much to see and do that it took two blogs to cover a three day visit and I invite you on a tour of "History and Art" and "The Music City" for a taste of its unique cultural scene.

Another three day whirlwind visit, this time to Scandinavia in May of 2010, provided material for "Stockholm Sojourn".  From the "Vasa", a 17th century imperial battleship raised from its watery grave, to the imposing Stockholm Cathedral, to the avant garde Moderna Museet, to the hustle and bustle of the Ostermalm Food Hall, there is a lot to see in this northern city and I did my best to cover it all!

"A Walk in the Footsteps of Antoni Gaudi" mixed architecture with sightseeing as I spent a lovely day in May 2011 visiting every structure still extant designed by the master of Catalan Modernism. From the grandiose Sagrada Familia to the fanciful Park Güell, Antoni Gaudi left an indelible mark on his native Barcelona and it was a wonderful way to explore this beautiful city.

One event that I look forward to every March is The European Fine Art Fair, an annual extravaganza featuring the finest and rarest art and antiques imaginable.  For ten days, collectors, dealers, museum curators and the simply curious, converge on the small Dutch city of Maastricht as it becomes the center of the universe for all things unique and beautiful.  It was my great pleasure to be present for the opening day of its silver anniversary edition in 2012.

The passing of the great Canadian artist Alex Colville in July of 2013 was poignant to me personally as he had been Chancellor of Acadia University when I was a student there in the 1980s.  I well remembered Mr. Colville on campus and even then I was aware that he was a unique and very important figure in the art world.  His reputation, and my admiration for his work, has only increased over the years.

A walk on the beach while in Florida to attend Art Basel Miami Beach in December of 2014, led to a rather unusual rescue mission!  My husband and I discovered a tiny Loggerhead turtle caught in a rough sea and unable to swim.  Recognizing that this little creature, an endangered species, was in distress, we were able to contact the "Turtle Truck" belonging to the Sea Turtle Conservation Program of Miami-Dade County, which arrived with lights flashing to take the little baby to safety.  We were anointed "Turtle Rangers" with a credited "save" and it was one of my proudest moments!

2015 is nearly over and I think I would have to choose my excursion in June to the ancient city of Angers as a singularly serendipitous experience.  Located in France's Loire Valley, Angers is famous for hydrangeas, Cointreau liquor, the massive 9th century fortress that dominates the town and especially the Apocalypse Tapestry housed within.  It started off as a day trip with some Parisian friends, and turned into a voyage of discovery and a very fun time.

Looking back over the past ten years, I am amazed at all the places and experiences I've reported on-line and even more amazed that so many of you were curious enough to share them with me.  I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and sincerely hope you will continue the journey with me in years to come.  May 2016 bring you and yours all the very best life has to offer and may it bring us together, at least virtually, soon again!

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