Saturday, March 26, 2011

Leu Gardens

I went to Leu Gardens last week to sketch and report on a meeting of the City Public Art Advisory Board. This group selects artwork that hangs on the walls at City Hall and chooses the sculptures found in public places around town. Developers pay a 1 percent fee that goes into Public Art Fund coffers. As an artist I figured it was my responsibility to learn more. When I got to the Leu Gardens reception desk, I was told that there was not enough interest among members of the board and they didn't have enough members planning to attend for a quorum. An e-mail was sent out at 8am that morning canceling the board meeting. I was not informed. Most people don't know this board exists. Now I know why.

Later that week, I returned to Leu Gardens for the Annual plant sale. Terry and I go to this event every year to get inspiration for our own garden. It was a beautiful day with flowers in bloom everywhere. I arrived before Terry thinking I might get a sketch. Mosquitoes drove me away from one spot and an old man started telling me all about a geyser that apparently used to shoot up 100 feet from Lake Fairview. Since my sketch opportunities had been interrupted, I decided to get an ice cream cone. Delicious.

When Terry arrived I decided to simply stroll and enjoy the perfect weather. We kept running into people we knew, like Doug Rhodehamel, who now has a show called Dessication which uses dried plant matter to create whimsical under water creatures. Amanda Chadwick joined us. It was rather fun watching Amanda try and catch a photo of a Monarch butterfly on her iPhone. The Monarch never posed for long and Amanda was always in the wrong spot. I believe she did get her shot in the end. After seeing all the vendors, the three of us went down to the lake side gazebo. We bumped into Genevieve Bernard and Seth Kubersky And the conversations bounced between Passover practices, bird watching and travel adventures. Turtles and fish circled in the water expecting a hand out. An Osprey swooped down and splashed into the water grabbing a fish. The setting sun sparkled on the waters surface. It was a perfect way to end the day.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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