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Art Finds

Friday, June 09, 2017

Checking Out Chihuly’s Studio and Bainbridge Island

Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches

Our trip ended in Seattle, where my husband, Josh, had a conference with the Association of Art Museum Directors. Our hotel was a step up from where my daughter, Sophie, and I had spent the last many nights: the Fairmont Olympic, built in 1924 and beautifully renovated, well located within walking distance of the waterfront. Our two favorite activities in Seattle were visiting Bainbridge Island and getting an inside tour of Dale Chihuly’s private studio. We took the commuter ferry over to Bainbridge, got an island map, shopped, wine tasted, and visited the truly lush Bloedel Reserve on the north end of Bainbridge. Steve had recommended that we bike Bainbridge, but we couldn’t figure out how to fit that in. In terms of the Chihuly private studio tour, all I can say is "WOW." We’ve done glassblowing a number of times, but, trust me, we never created anything like this. Chihuly was born in 1941 in Tacoma, WA, and resides nearby. His studio is full of collections of items which inspire him—indigenous baskets to blankets to vintage bathing suits to old children’s books. My only regret is the road trip ended and I didn't get to see Mt. Rainier up close. Next time!

Thanks again for following along this week. It was a pleasure to discuss the highlights of my trip. If you need any help with your travels out West, please contact me at ActiveTravels.


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/09/17 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, June 07, 2017

Portland’s Copper Goddess

Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches

While we had fun in our midway stop of Sacramento, enjoying wonderful coffee at Pachamama, a great breakfast at Orphan and a tour of the memorable California State House, it was Portland we loved. Drinks at Angel Face and at 23 Hoyt, dinners at Harvest at the Bindery and at the Mediterranean Exploration Company, pie at Random Order Coffee House and Bakery, brunches at Kenny and Zuke’s and JAM, and, of course, lots and lots of books at Powell’s Books. We also spent a long time downtown at the Lan Su Chinese Garden, with its tea house, and had massages at the nearby Fei Long Spa. But the unique highlight today was the Portlandia statue (Portland's very own Greek goddess). Portlandia is the second-largest of its type in the United States, after the Statue of Liberty. Our local friends insisted we stop and stare. You can read Tom Wolfe’s humorous 1986 Newsweek Magazine piece here.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/07/17 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, June 01, 2017

Chihuly at New York Botanical Garden

Vibrant Chihuly glass sculptures in nature go together like chocolate and roasted marshmallows come summer. The latest installment can now be seen at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx. We ambled through the serene grounds yesterday afternoon on the way out of the city and found his familiar multi-colored balls juggled together on a rowboat, long red tubes jutting out of logs, and a spiky blue flower that contrasted well with the surrounding green meadows. It’s understandable to see why garden designers would go gaga over Chihuly’s objects. The tall cattails and reeds or the graceful allure of a heron-like sculpture seem to blend perfectly with the natural world. Far more exciting for me was seeing and smelling the many peonies in bloom, including one named after the acclaimed travel writer, Lowell Thomas. Chihuly’s work will be on view until October 29th. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/01/17 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, May 25, 2017

Happy 100th, JFK

May 29th marks the 100th birthday of John F. Kennedy. To commemorate the occasion, The National Portrait Gallery is displaying photographs from his life in a gem of show simply titled, “Celebrate: John F. Kennedy.” 72 portraits from the museum’s collection are on view through July 9 including a wonderful pastel by Shirley Seltzer Cooper. You’ll see well-known images of JFK holding John John’s hand in the White House along with rarely seen early shots of Jackie and JFK dating. 
As if you needed another reason to visit the National Portrait Gallery, one of my requisite stops every time I visit DC. Home to the official portrait of every president, Nixon never looked so good in a painting by Norman Rockwell and Bill Clinton never looked so bad in a painting by Chuck Close. The building also houses the Smithsonian Collection of American Art, which includes epic-sized works by Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church (a marvelous depiction of the Northern Lights) and Thomas Hart Benton. Afterwards, grab a latte and rest your weary feet in the courtyard. 
John F. Kennedy (1961), by Shirley Seltzer Cooper

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/25/17 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Spoleto Turns 40

Since its inception 40 years ago, the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, has proven itself to be one of the premier arts festivals in the world. Over the years, they have previewed over 100 productions including plays by Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, and Laurie Anderson. The 17-day event, held May 26-June 11, 2017, features theater, jazz, classical music, opera, and dance at historic venues across town. Spend the night at one of our favorite addresses in town, the circa-1886 Wentworth Mansion. Based in Charleston's historic center, this 21-room boutique hotel was once a four-story manor home owned by a wealthy cotton merchant. Included in their rates are complimentary continental breakfast, afternoon tea, and cocktails in the evening. Don't forget to check out the formal gardens and rooftop terrace where you can see a panorama of the city. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/16/17 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, May 12, 2017

Wish You Were Here

Having spent half my childhood listening to Pink Floyd on my headphones, I’m incredibly excited by the following news. Starting tomorrow at London’s V&A Museum is a blockbuster exhibition on the band titled “Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains.” The show traces Pink Floyd’s origins from the 60s London psychedelic scene, when they were house band at the UFO nightclub, through landmark albums like “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall.” On display are scores of instruments, letters, items of clothing and other artifacts, as well as some impressively large installations, like a replica of London’s Battersea Power Station, the structure that appears with the flying pig on the cover of the band’s 1977 album “Animals.” Yes, the pig is also on display. There’s a hint of nostalgia to the show, which comes 50 years after the release of Pink Floyd’s first album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” recorded at Abbey Road Studios the same time The Beatles were creating “Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band” in the next room. The exhibition will be at the V&A through October 1st. 

'Animals', album cover art, Roger Waters, 1977. © Pink Floyd Music Ltd

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/12/17 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Canada Week: Walk in the Footsteps of Canada’s Group of Seven Artists

Enter Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario and you can’t help be mesmerized by Canada’s source of artistic pride, the Group of Seven. These renowned landscape painters first exhibited together in 1920 at this same museum. Peering at the impressive mountains, lakes, and sky, I’ve often thought to myself that I’d love be at these exact spots in person. Over the years, some of my favorite stories have been following in the footsteps of artists, like visiting Winslow Homer’s Prouts Neck, Maine, or Georgia O’Keeffe’s Lake George. Now I’m hoping to get the chance to visit the landscape that inspired several of these Canadian greats, specifically A. Y. Jackson and Franklin Carmichael who used northeastern Ontario as their backdrop. First stop is Sudbury, where I’ll see many more works by these artists at the Art Gallery of Sudbury, and my first scenic overlook, the A. Y. Jackson Lookout outside of town. The highlight is Killarney Provincial Park where I’ll be hiking and paddling smack dab in the middle of a Carmichael canvas, ringed by the La Cloche Mountains. I’ll continue along the Georgian Bay coastal route, with a must-stop at Manitoulin Island before returning to Sudbury. 

Franklin Carmichael
Light and Shadow, 1937
Courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/13/17 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Arizona Week—The Impressive Musical Instrument Museum

When Lisa mentioned to me that there was a museum devoted to music in the northern outskirts of Phoenix, I initially scoffed at the idea, having already been to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Seattle. Thankfully, she persuaded me to visit the Musical Instrument Museum since it ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. Unfortunately, we didn’t have nearly enough time to view the entire collection in this large building (give yourself at least 2 hours, preferably 3 hours). We went upstairs first to see the exhibitions devoted to music around the world. In the European galleries, display cases are arranged by country. Simply walk up to the Belarus video and your headset will automatically play the indigenous folk music of that country. In fact, the headset was amazing, immediately picking up the music in front of you without having to input numbers. In the United States/Canada gallery, I loved seeing the old clips of Coltrane and Miles in the jazz section, Natalie MacMaster work her fiddle in the Cape Breton display, and Lalo Guerrero singing about his native Barrio Viejo in Tucson, which we had just visited the day prior. Downstairs in the Artist Gallery, you’ll find the piano John Lennon used to write “Imagine,” Stevie Ray Vaughn’s signature guitar which he jams on in a video clip, and wardrobes worn by Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Taylor Swift. Nearby is the Experience Gallery, where you can pound the drums, try the xylophone, and other bizarre metal instruments that seemed better suited for Tibetan monks. A whole lot of fun that’s highly recommended when you’re next in Phoenix. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/24/17 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, January 02, 2017

Top 5 Dream Days in 2016, Savoring the Art Scene in Cape Town

Frankly, every day we spent in Cape Town in September was a dream, from strolling the magnificent gardens of Kirstenbosch to sampling the wines of Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to biking the Cape of Good Hope. But it’s hard to top the first day in Cape Town, waking up to a gluttonous feast at the classic Mount Nelson Hotel and then being escorted to the top art studios in town by local bead merchant, Stephen Long. The Gallery Shop, on bustling Church Street (48), is a gem of a small store selling colorfully beaded jewelry, sculpture, wall hangings, pillowcases, and more. Owner Lorin Strieman used to run the gift shop at the National Gallery and she has a great eye for contemporary South African craft. It’s hard not to purchase all the whimsical beaded animals at Monkeybiz. It was wonderful to walk upstairs and see the artists sitting together and laughing while creating art. Just as alluring was the work at Streetwires, where sculpture of all sizes is created by wire and bead. Bags in hand from all the goods we purchased, we visited the colorful houses and mosques found in the Bo-Kaap neighborhood still home to a large Cape Malay population. That evening, we were back in the center of town for First Thursday Art Walk, a great opportunity to see all the art galleries on Church Street with a glass of Stellenbosch pinotage in hand. That’s what I call a Dream Day! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/02/17 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, December 12, 2016

Stocking Stuffer No. 1: Jim Jermanok’s “Beyond the Craft”

Having sat next to my brother at a number of his workshops, including stops at Harvard and the Seattle Film Festival, I know firsthand how incredibly inspirational his talks can be. Jim’s already worn so many hats in the entertainment world—talent agent to stars like Alan Arkin and Helen Hayes, screenwriter, director, theater director, documentarian, award-winning producer—and known so much talent that have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and others that have failed miserably. In fact, he’s distinctly qualified to understand and analyze why some people can make a good living pursuing their creative ambitions and others stuff those dreams away in a dimly lit office far from their film, art, or journalism schools. Take it from a guy who’s worked as a full-time travel writer and screenwriter for the past two decades, Spielberg is not going to call on line one and you’ll be marketing far more than you’ll be writing. 

Finally Jim has organized all of his thoughts and anecdotes into one book, Beyond The Craft, published this past September. Not only will you learn how to network effectively, creating a detailed marketing plan of follow-up phone calls, but you’ll understand the necessity of knowing everything about the business side, most importantly who are the players who can hire you or show your wares. Jim also delves into the psychological aspects of dealing with rejection and the importance of surrounding yourself with incredibly supportive friends. He’s literally been all over the world delivering his seminar on How to Live a Creative Life. In fact, Jim just returned from Amman and Tel Aviv teaching filmmakers and writers on how to best make their voices and visions shine. Beyond the Craft should be mandatory reading at every film and art school across the nation, a pragmatic step-by-step guide to making your dreams a reality. If you don’t believe me, take it from the guy in the picture with Jim, Martin Landau, who knows a thing or two about success. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/12/16 at 06:00 AM
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about us
photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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