Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Urban New Jersey; Matisse in Color; Picasso in Black and White

For AmeriCorps members, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is called a day on, not a day off. We are all supposed to participate in a community service project in honor of the day.

Through work, I traveled with a group of teens from New Brunswick in a 12-passenger van to Trenton, NJ. We spent the day making posters to advertise college opportunities for city schools, and then the teens networked with college representatives for an hour.

I'd never been to Trenton before, so I was interested in seeing a little bit of the city.

I left the event with a lot of hope--I saw an auditorium of teenagers who had the day off from school come back to school to learn more about college opportunities, and to help their peers learn more as well. That's impressive!

Today I took some Me Time. I took  myself on a date to New York City.

I knew about the Picasso in Black and White exhibit at the Guggenheim months before it opened in October.  I kept meaning to go, and tried to organize this trip with different groups of friends. But other plans came up, work ate up my weekends, the hurricane happened, and I've been sick for the last solid month.

I turned around and realized the exhibit closes tomorrow!

So I made it. It was a bright but windy day, and I think it dipped under 20 degrees. I actually looked forward to being in the Subway? Even if I was waiting on the platform for 20 minutes, it was warm!

I'd only been to the Guggenheim once before, three years ago. It felt good to return.

This snack cost $7. (Before tip!)

The Picasso exhibit was everything I hoped it would be.

My favorite piece in the exhibit was the first one to see on the walk up the corkscrew building:

"Woman Ironing"
At first I couldn't tell if the woman was naked, but then I saw the light playing off the skin of her forearms was different than the white of her dress. She is thin and lives a hard life, yet there's a softness to her, somehow.

I kept seeing signs for a Matisse exhibit at the Met, so I spoiled myself. I went to that as well! Matisse: In Search of True Painting was so vivid in contrast to the black and white Picasso stuff.

My favorite Matisse was "The Romanian Blouse."

Did you know that the way Van Gogh loved bright yellow is the way Matisse loved blue? (The blue in the skirt, above, was his favorite.)

Also loved "The Dream":

The museum itself looked gorgeous in the late afternoon light:

Phew, I am beat! Lots of walking in the cold, and trying to absorb so much light and shape and detail, makes me so sleepy. But I know I'll have beautiful dreams.

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