Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Washington, D.C. Trip (Part 2)

Friday, May 13 - Conference Wrap-Up, National Portrait Gallery
I met up for lunch with my mentee R on Friday at Matchbox Chinatown and then spent about 30 minutes at the nearby National Portrait Gallery, based on her recommendation. So amazing that most of the museums in D.C. don't charge any admission fee! I enjoyed some of the portraits of contemporary figures, such as the four female Supreme Court Justices and author Toni Morrison:

I spent the most time in the exhibition of American Portraiture Today, which features submissions from artists across the country who work in a variety of media to create their portraits:

And I couldn't resist a few animal pictures and sculptures as well...

Saturday, May 14 - National Museum of Women in the Arts
The cloudy and rainy weather finally broke on Friday afternoon, and it was lovely to see the sun when I woke up on Saturday morning. So frustrating that I'm still not running again yet after my surgery, as it would have been so great to get out to enjoy the area! I made do with walking to the White House and along the National Mall on my way back to the hotel after my wonderful morning visit to the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

I had very fond memories of this Museum from the trip that Mom and I took to D.C. in spring 2001, and I wasn't at all disappointed with my return visit. The current exhibition, She Who Tells a Story, features women photographers from the Arab world. Their images were striking, emotional, political, ironic, revealing, intriguing, and moving. Several of them were accompanied by comments from the photographers themselves that could be accessed via a free cell-phone audio guide to provide additional insight into the context, motivation, and messages behind the images.

A series of images features a "newlywed couple" in various settings that contrast scenes from their daily life with a war-like environment. Here, they're behind a sandbag bunker celebrating something with a cake.

I eventually realized that filling the frame with the artwork was more effective than trying to line up a perfect shot to feature the work hanging on the wall of the gallery. This close-up of the woman with a gun by her ear is overlaid by arabic text written across the image. I also rather like that the reflection vaguely shows another photograph on the opposite wall as well as a faint image of myself taking a picture of the picture.

Which item doesn't belong in this fruit bowl???

A series of images was printed as negative impressions, throwing everything into stark contrast with the reversal of what you'd expect to see printed as white versus black.

This image comes from a series that evoked potential album covers from female singers who are forbidden from performing in their country.

I know this panorama is difficult to see, but it shows a mother, daughter, and baby doll in a sequence from left to right as they all get more and more covered, losing their identities and their smiles, until the final image shows only the black cloth of the drapery that hid them.

This is another in the series featuring images with arabic text written on top.

The six women above are the singers who can't perform in their country. The exhibition included this display of six still photos of the performers along with a similar display on the opposite wall that showed videos of them singing with no sound, highlighting again the loss of their voices.

The designs and patterns overlaying the lounging woman in this tryptych are bullets and shell casings...


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