Friday, June 06, 2008

Sculpture in the Dell

No matter how long you live in a community, there are always new things to learn about and new fun places to go. Yew Dell Gardens, in nearby Crestwood, KY, is such a place. The private home of Theodore Klein, noted gardener and artist, has been developed into an outstanding botanical garden, mixing giant old pine and oak trees, pathways lined with elegant holly trees, and multitudes of flowering and non-flowering garden plants. For amateurs like us, everything is labeled. Although we probably won't be able to afford any of the art, we did get some ideas for other things to put in our yard when the landscapers clear out the area under the pine trees. I'd like to look for some old millstones and plant ferns, some different hostas, and maybe impatiens for color.

Tonight is the opening of Sculpture in the Dell, featuring local artists of many types. To me, the most impressive pieces were the large limestone sculptures and fountains placed throughout the grounds. Every time I turned in another direction, I saw more sculptures I hadn't noticed before. In addition to the art, and the opportunity to actually meet the artists, we ran into several friends from the area we hadn't seen for many years, as well as new friends and fellow volunteer naturalists.

The first one here is called Transition Bird. I can see the bird at the top, but never did decide what it was transitioning from. The face in anguish is called Overcoming Oppression, and the artist notes "This piece is about pushing past our self-imposed limitations." The green Cornacopia is "about our blossoming in the abundance of the universal Life Force. What are we harvesting?" Meg White created both Overcoming Oppression and Cougar, shown here. I asked if anyone ever told her that women can't do sculpture, especially in limestone. She chuckled and said that people sometimes confused her work with Don Lawler, a friend and fellow stone worker. However, she uses all the heavy duty stone working tools, and showed us the muscles from it! As both a strong and expressive woman, she works on the details of the cougar fur as it crouches beneath a ledge. The entire work shows some of the rough markings where the stone was quarried out initially as well. Very unusual. I enjoyed hearing the artist's interpretations of their own work.

The Cicadas are back - not quite the force we had in Louisville a few years ago, in my opinion- but enough in Yew Dell to make quite a racket. Two people at Indiana University, in Bloomington, created a movie in 2004 documenting the cicadas and won an award for it. Entitled "Return of the 17-Year Cicada", I expected the kind of monster movie spoof that college students might create. Instead, I found a very well done, serious movie about the life cycle of this insect, and recommend it to anyone reading this blog. In the meantime, here are some pictures of the case left by the nymph after leaving its underground home, and the adults, along with my own movie.

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