Thursday, January 31, 2008

Mai Thao: Fairview, MO

Here's a few highlights from the Senior Session of Mai Thao (say it like "towel".) I love Senior Sessions! These kids are fun, energetic and easy to work with; they have awesome outfit variety and they're game for anything. I really love to see the surprise on their faces when they come back and see their portraits, and they're like, "WOW! Do I really look like that??" and I'm like, "Yeah. That's you." Word of note: Book your senior session with us by Valentine's Day, and we'll put your name in a drawing to win a free iPod shuffle. Odds are determined by how many '08 Seniors book between now and then, so yeah, you might actually win. We'll post the winner on our blog. As if you needed an excuse to have incredible senior portraits taken at Calotype. :)

La Concha Motel Sign is a Wreck

I've been photographing signs for years. Many of the signs that I have photographed have either been torn down or a total wreck. I took this picture of the La Concha Motel sign about 6 years ago. Today the sign is a sight for sore eyes, still there but barely recognizable. The motel itself was made up of four swooping shells below which contained floor to ceiling glass. The motel was designed by Paul Williams, the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects. His work included more than 3000 buildings including million dollar estates for Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Filling the Silence at the Heart of Things

This week I had occasion to go to Volunteer Park on Capitol Hill. It is a large and beautiful treasure which includes a formidable old world glass plant conservatory, the Asian Art Museum, lovely grounds for strolling, and a large round tower. As I was looking at the view, a woman climbed into the "Black Sun" sculpture by Isamu Noguchi (or as Soundgarden titled this inspiration on their song "Black Hole Sun") to see what the view of the reservoir and Space Needle might look like. Don't let the sunshine fool you; the reservoir she's peering into was partially frozen and gulls were walking and sliding on the ice!

Asian Art Museum

I thought you might like to see the art deco era exterior of Seattle's Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park. It was designed by Carl F. Gould, the head of the University of Washington's school of architecture and opened in 1933 as the Seattle Art Museum.The building was privately funded by Art Institute of Seattle president Richard Fuller and presented as a gift to the city. When the Seattle Art Museum moved to new digs on 1st Avenue downtown in 1991, SAM rededicated this building as its Asian Art Museum. One year ago this month SAM dedicated its third campus, the Olympic Sculpture Park. All three sites are wildly popular. For a photo of the shadows cast by the interesting metalwork you see on the glass panels of the entryway, click on my More Seattle Stuff site.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Photo Exhibit at Books & Books, Coral Gables, Florida

I am very pleased to announce that 24 of my photos (a mix of of landscapes, still lifes, and abstracts) will be on display 7 - 31 Dec, 2007 at Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida. For those of you in the area with an interest in my work, please stop by for the opening of the exhibit on Friday, December 7, from 7 to 10 pm. Since Books & Books also has an in-house cafe, there will be ample - and free - (courtesy Dr. Rosa Abraira) munchies and drinks! :-) This wonderful local bookstore was founded by (current, and two-term, American Booksellers Association president) Mitchell Kaplan in 1982, and has since grown to become one of the best known and well-respected independent bookstores in the country. I am honored, and humbled, at having been given this rare opportunity to display a few of my works at this venue.

Friday, January 25, 2008


Thought this sign from Japan was amusing, maybe something to do some creative mind-tripping with. Hmmm, should I make generalizations, use a little linguistic thinking? There's a part of linguistics called kinesics, which is nothing more than body language. In Japan they bow; they also don't smile as much as Americans do. My best guess about why they included the English word "smile" on this sign is that they wanted to do something "American," something brash and daring. People in Japan don't always smile when they're happy. Sometimes they smile when they are covering up shame to save face. Saving face is very important in Japan. People there just don't like to lose their dignity, especially in public.