Friday, October 28, 2011

Yelp Event at the Polasek

Yelp held an event at the Albin Polasek Museum for active Yelp reviewers. When I pulled in, I noticed cars parked on the grass lawn so I parked beside them. When I walked towards the building I noticed that there was valet parking available. The young woman at the reception table looked up my name and made up my name tag. Inside an artist was painting a portrait. Christine MacPhail, a harpist was playing just outside the back door. The sweet music drifted through the flower garden as the sun set. There was a food station set up with a delicious ravioli and pasta dish from Brio Tuscan Grill.

I needed my book light to sketch since it was soon pitch black outside. I kept layering on washes making my sketch darker and darker. Inside the museum there was a show of Soviet propaganda art. Socialist Realism was established in 1934 and lasted through the Cold War. The artists were required to communicate the ideals of Revolutionary Socialism and social responsibility to the citizens. Artists were able to travel the world and were paid handsomely. Their oraznization was called "The Workers of the Revolutionary Poster."

One poster that caught my eye was done in 1961, the year I was born. Castro stood heroically in the foreground with excited citizens cheering all around him. The poster read, "The People of Cuba are Undefinable!" 1961 was the year of the Cuban Missile crisis. The world was almost thrown into nuclear war as America and the Soviets faced off. I am amazed my parents were willing to bring a new life into a world on the brink of total annihilation.

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


Nora MacPhail said...

Lovely painting! That's my sister at the harp!! You totally captured her gesture! Wonderful.
Happy Painting,
Nora MacPhail

Harpist Christine MacPhail said...

Thank you Thomas for being kind enough to include me in your artwork once again. Beautifully done as always!