Thursday, July 14, 2011

Visible value

When I first began taking photographs, I started a collection that continues to this day.

I now have boxes and albums and binders full of prints, negatives, and transparencies.

I never see them, but I know where they are.

With digital cameras (and smartphones) came even more photographs I could store away for that rare occasion when I needed an image.

Now I have a digital photo frame that's finally allowing my many fave pics to see the light of day.

I've loaded the memory card with pictures of people, places and plants in bloom.

The display of images reminds me of moments captured and the cycle of seasons.

It's documentation and reaffirmation all in one.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The utility of art

In today's app-happy culture, I've run across an entirely different display of creative applications.

Most visits to restaurant restrooms are brief in-and-out episodes, no cameras please. But in this case, I took the time to mark the occasion with a photo. The National Mechanics Bar & Restaurant in Old City Philadelphia offered this plumbing twist. It makes you wonder which came first: the artful concept or a workable fix for a bad piece of planning.

The mechanical mailbox presented another fresh approach to old technology. Was this a case of using (or reusing) the supplies at hand -- or searching for a novel way to recycle a piece of the past?

This last example is more organic. It reminds me of the cairns I've seen in my travels, most recently in Stanley Park, Vancouver. There is less overt utility here, although it does have some promotional value. The squash cairn was used to draw shoppers into the nearby Hidden Treasures Antiques in Gradyville, Pennsylvania.

There are times when I like to stroll through art galleries, but my visits are few in number these days. So when I can stumble across art in real life (or life imitating art), it's a wonderful treat.