Tag Archives: art

Child helps journalist

Here is a story that I wrote for Columbus Alive this week.

Declan helped.

Not because he is a particularly good editor or writer at two and a half, but because he makes me think about the nature of the universe as well as its incomprehensible size — things that can come in handy when you’re writing about art. In this case, keeping up with his interest in spatial dimensions and string theory directly applied to the wonderful work and artist that I wrote about.

I consider some of the abstract concepts in galleries, community centers and museums on a fairly regular basis. In print, I try to make them less intimidating to people, to help them see the joy, intrigue and adventure inherent in considering the questions that art can raise. I don’t always succeed, but I try.

Growing up, I always considered science, especially physics, to be too large and logical for the likes of someone like me. But Declan has helped me see the joy, intrigue and adventure inherent in considering the questions that astrophysics can raise and how, much in the way that you don’t have to be a critic to appreciate art, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to appreciate the cosmos.

Life soundtrack: The Posies, “I Am the Cosmos”: Launch

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Child of the Giant Corn

Corn, tomatoes and cucumbers give all Ohioans a reason to live through the muggy muck of August. And it took Declan no time at all to learn to love the food of his ancestors (his great grandfather and great-great Uncle were once the Grand Marshalls of the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival).

He went absolutely wild at the Field of Corn in Dublin the other day, surveying the giant kernels up close, and running, running, running through the rows of ears.

Imagine this from the perspective of a 3-foot-tall person.

Ohio State has an extensive site about corn, including a monthly podcast about conditions for growing corn.

That other state that begins and ends with a vowel and is also known for corn has its own Corn Cam.

Life soundtrack: Earl Scruggs & Lester Flatt, Foggy Mountain Jamboree, “Shuckin’ the Corn”
Earl Scruggs & Lester Flatt - Foggy Mountain Jamboree - Shuckin' the Corn

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Andy Wormhole

One of the great joys of the DVR is the fact that I can catch up on all of the old episodes of Star Trek: Voyager and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine that I missed when I had a social life. (I managed to pull off watching all of The Next Generation episodes I hadn’t seen before during those first few months of napping and nursing.)

As a result Declan has two requests that he makes daily: “space show watch?” and “wormhole watch?” These are usually code for “lie down and snuggle with me after I jump up and down while looking at images of space.”

But it’s more than a TV/snuggling fixation. His vocabulary expands daily: rocketship, Earth, meteor, planet. Space toys, outside of Twilight Turtle aren’t very easy to find at his developmental level. I stapled cosmic felt onto a board for the playroom last week, threw velcro backing on some glow in the dark stars and made a few planets and spaceships for him to stick on there. I think he would prefer that the whole room was covered in felt so he could stick these things wherever he wished, but at least it’s getting a little use.

When I went to a craft store to get some things for this project the other day, I also spotted a small reproduction of Andy Warhol’s painting, “Space ship” on sale for $2.50. I snagged it and handed it to Declan as soon as I walked in the door. “Space ship!” his father trumpeted.

“Oooooh! Space ship,” Declan repeated.

“It’s Andy Warhol,” I told them.

“Andy Wormhole!” said Declan, wandering into the living room, holding it in his hands. “Space ship wormhole!”

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Daddy mogul, baby critic

Daddy mogul
Originally uploaded by tzt.

Due to his father’s strange adventure on the Judge Judy show and a visit to my father’s house for Thanksgiving, Declan has made his way to Los Angeles and Manhattan at the grand old age of six months.

He’s wandered through the Getty Center, MOMA and even The Aldrich in Connecticut.

Suffice to say, he has an appreciation for minimalist and abstract painting that his father and I may never develop.

He shrieks with joy when he sees bright orange or yellow.

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