Stranger in the City

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I like to explore and photograph art in other cities, then try to write up some kind of original blog post about unexpected finds, like these in Philadelphia, Portland, Seattle, and Kansas City. I don’t know why I’ve never thought to do this in my home town — guess the old cliche of something being too close to notice is too true.

Last month I heard about a blogger who recently moved here from LA and after talking with the husband, I got inspired to put on my stranger in a strange land glasses and walk around town. Partly this was motivated because I’ve been trying to document public art in our region and get it listed on our Springfield Public Art blog.

But as these things go, the quest took on a life of its own. In attempts to profile public art works in their best light, I started visiting different city and park sites many times at different times of day and night. Getting out of my car and walking side roads I hadn’t traveled before was also a great excuse to get outside and soak up the wonderful October-November weather and brilliant turning of the leaves.

Since winter is just around the corner, there was an urgency to capture as much on camera as I could before the grass and leaves were completely gone — and the project became a little like a trophy hunt. And though most of the photos I was trying to get were rather didactic, I couldn’t help but stop along the way for other photos of lonely spots, unusual or forgotten things, and as my friend Christine says, “all things absurd, ironic and delightful.”

Here’s a few of my detour photos in the gallery below. Click to see larger.

As my collection of photographs has swollen out of control, I’ve been learning to use Aperture to organize photos – a very handy program indeed!  I’ve also been learning to geo-tag them and have gotten immersed in the world of Google maps and Google Earth — but that’s a whole other topic I’ll have to finish writing about tomorrow.

Vintage Photo Friday

Once I took this class jointly taught by a poet and a photographer. The class was called “image and text” and we did all sorts of interesting projects that I should write up, because they could be the starting inspiration for others too.

oldphoto-dandyguy.jpgOne project was to find an old photograph or series of photos that you didn’t know anything about and write a story. I’ve sort of collected some old photos that seem story-like to me, although I have written any about these yet. So you’re welcome to use them for inspiration and make up your own stories.

This dandy-looking guy gets more interesting when you find he’s part of a group of tiny photos with krinkle-cut edges. Not sure what these fellows are up to, but I think they’re wearing makeup.


Then there’s this strange contraption. Is it a boat? Is it a truck? Is it a boat-truck? Or maybe it’s an ark.


This guy gets more interesting when you turn the photo over. I think it says, “What do you think of our Sunday best. Everyone does it like this on the day of rest & it’s all right too.”


Here’s some other Vintage Photo Friday links:

Paper Dolls for Boys

Pineapples and Artichokes

My Own Crafty Wonderland

A Jen Too Many



Cheetah Velour


Vintage Friday again!

Here are some old photos I scanned to use in the introduction for my artist’s talk tomorrow evening at the Modern Materials exhibition opening weekend.

Modern Materials: The Art of the Quilt
[Artspace] at Untitled
1 NE 3rd Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Hours: Tues – Fri: 10am-6pm, Sat: 10am-4pm
July 10 – August 29, 2009
Opening Reception July 10 at 5 pm
Artist’s talk by Pam RuBert, July 11 at 6:30 pm

Yes, that me in the brown cat-eye glasses:


And the blue cat-eye glasses….


Apparently, even as a child I couldn’t get away from large cartoon characters……



and showed an early interest in technology.


and as my mom always said, had fat knees.

Today we are also crating up one of Russ’s 7’x7′ neon sculptures to deliver to the Spiva Art Center on the way to the other show. His show, Brave Art, opens next week at the Spiva, so I’ll be posting more about that installation as soon as we get back from Modern Materials. Gotta run — have a great weekend, and hope to see some of you at the reception tonight!