Sunday, May 28, 2017

Henry Church

top left is a live human head of a sitting person atop the boulder
Henry Church Jr. was a Chagrin Falls blacksmith, and a folk artist. He had no art training, and such people are called by the art establishment in America 'primitivists', or "folk art primitivists". His chief work is a bas-relief stone carving next to the Chagrin River, and down a semi-treacherous steep path. This is part of the South Chagrin reservation of the Cleveland Metroparks. It is the only trail, of several, in the park that is described as "challenging". Officially this is in Benleyville, if you see an outline of Cuyahoga County's eastern border, this is the bump out that would have been in Geauga if the line ran entirely north/south.

There are ridiculous stories that Henry came secretly at night to carve this, and to have it discovered as an Indian work. To reach the spot, in the dark, without falling into the river, or breaking bones is really hard to conceive. There is a walkway to it, almost certainly paid for by Franklin Roosevelt, because who else would have? So much that was good and enduring was built under Roosevelt (and therefore more reason for him and his programmes to be hated by the anti-Democratic forces). Since Church, probably could not levitate, he had to have scaffolding or ladders to work.

On the maps this is called "Squaw Rock", and Squaw Rock Picnic Area, Squaw Rock Hiking Trail Loop and such; but signage at the park has replaced it with "Henry Church _____". Over recent years, there has been a growing consensus that the word 'squaw' has been used insultingly and derogatorily over the years, and in many places the word has been replaced. Henry completed this sculpture in 1885, and he called it “The Rape of the Indians by the White Man”. As time has passed, the soft rock has had nature reduce its clarity, and vandals have removed parts of the sculpture, so that the woman and child are faceless. Her breasts have been removed. There are several other figures that are not very clear, there is an eagle in the upper left, and below it and further left is a quiver of arrows. The serpent had more distinguishable scales in the past, and other figures have been discerned.
Someone carved in handsome letters "WELCOME.", it has been unnecessarily added to.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

off Fleet, by Lansing

On Broadway, between Miles and Harvard there is the Newburg post office. That is the neighborhood in Cleveland which is "Slavic Village". This neighborhood made 60 Minutes, and the national press as being the "epicenter" of defaulted mortgages. This led to many vacant properties. The houses are probably scheduled for demolition. There has been many new vacant lots in the area, really the entire city. The local neighborhood development organisation has had artists use empty houses as an art project "Rooms to Let" for the public to view during a weekend.  In addition, they have added elements to make it a festival.
 Edward Raffel. Rafter Dance.
LED lights randomly blinking in the attic are fun to watch dance. The pattern, very quickly changes. I wanted to watch this alone for a goodly time, but other people came, and the air did not circulate well.
 A street performer playing with fire
The Cleveland Art Museum brought out a van. The original painting is in the museum, Pablo Picasso's Harlequin with Violin, "Si tu veux" of 1918. Someone painted it on wood, and cut it into puzzle pieces to be put together again.
 David King, et alia. "45"
This room from the outside suggests an alternate Wicked Witch of the East, when Dorothy Gale finds shoes extending from under a house, and a tornado above. Well, the artists say it is a mushroom cloud coming from the 'tweets' (cakes in the shape of bluebirds) of a hollow and dangerous man.

Friday, May 19, 2017

the painted cocks have arrived

General Tso's Chicken is standing on a mound of rice.

The last year of the public art project of Chinese zodiac animals has hit the streets about St Clair and Superior, East 30th, Chester. I have generally felt compelled toward completeness. Of the twenty new sculptures listed, eighteen were visible yesterday evening. They started with the year of the dog, and from that point the year of the cock is last, and they are not going to use that word, instead the Victorian bowlderisation 'rooster'. My new dog, Cassius, barked at a previous year's ram, yesterday. It would be something for him to see the forty dogs they had the first year.

This is the twelfth year of the animals. A few years into it the Cleveland Asian Festival has begun, and the St. Clair Superior Dev. Corp. who owns the sculptures (until the auction) have tried to place them on the streets immediately before the street festival. A group of the new figures, then, are mounted on East 30th in front of Asia Plaza.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Czechy music

One of the pieces played was Smetana's gloriously lovely Vltava (Moldau) from Ma Vlast. The Vltava is a river, and it flows through the capital city Praha (Prague). The Charles Bridge crosses the Vltava. The curtain that covers the stage is that city, river and bridge. Could kismet or serendipity find a better place in Cleveland to perform Vltava? It is that rare piece which has a triangle featured, one of the few times it is a principal, and adds so much to that enchanting melody. On the way to the car, i turned around and saw that musician, he may have thought i was kidding him, but the performance was very satisfying.

This was on Sunday afternoon, i finally made it to Bohemian Hall on Broadway. And the second time i heard the Heights Chamber Orchestra. I have missed going again and again. The Czechs have kept up the hall to look like the turn of last century, with Sokol posters of the interwar period. It was an elderly audience. We got to hear a mostly Czechy programme. A Dvorak Slavonic Dance, which was repeated as an encore; the aforesaid Moldau; Mozart's Prague Symphony; and my first hearing of Massenet's orchestral suite, Scenes Pittoresques, which i really enjoyed, and wonder why it is not better known.
 Concertmaster/first violinist Emily Cornelius
 bass Rand Forbes
The only distraction was the yellow light the bulbs gave off. If it was any stronger, only black and white fotos could be viewed without being disappointed. The big fiddle has had some mileage, not as bd as Willie's guitar, but still.

Once again into the streets...

outside Saint Casimir Cleveland
praying a decade
Once again we find ourselves outside on the street before the church of Saint Casimir Cleveland petitioning an appeal. People did not have approval to stand outside the closed church for 139 Sundays after the parishioners were evicted, yet they persisted. Saint Casimir is now opened, many believing with the intervention of Mary the Mother of God. The same Mary of Guadalupe, Czestochowa, and Fatima. Families of northeastern Ohio who came from Meso-America, have made pilgrimage to Saint Casimir Church and have asked for Mother Mary's intercession to keep their families together in this moment of travail. Mary wants families to remain together, but we are having political troubles, which some use as a reason to separate families.

This has been a problem for years. The deportation of people is a political industry in the United States. And now matters have gotten worse. The United States is now subject to a regime commanded by a fascist buffoon. His first campaign speech was a ridiculously vicious attack on Mexicans, one so patterned that it sounded like a hoax; but no, the man was believed. And now he has given a cruel enforcement policy impetus to be more onerous and harsh. People who fall under scrutiny, without proper papers, enter a world of what exists written in dystopian fiction. One minister, who spoke to-day, likened it to only being comparable to things that happened under Nazi Germany.

To-day there came together HOLA, a local Latino rights group, led by Veronica Dahlberg and supporters from American born northeastern Ohio residents, a few from the parish of St. Casimir, and a few religious people of other communities, and legal activists, and friends. They listened to a few speakers, and prayed a decade of the rosary. Some of this was covered by local press, and a national film documentarian, David Sutherland, who is working on a project for PBS.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

new paint job

I have suggested before [click] that Plato's car is a matador red 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air sport coupe with a India ivory hard top. This is how that shadow looked like four years ago.
To-day this may be a 1958 paint color, Panama yellow.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

2017 Miscellany #3 w/Superman

 Main Library Cleveland is celebrating a home town boy.
Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster of Glenville (then around E. 105th, a primarily Jewish neighborhood in Cleveland) created Superman, and he (as many people's parents came from elsewhere). The planet Krypton could symbolise an old country that no longer exists for Clark Kent, and one he could not return to.
This is a prototype of a planned stainless steel (man of steel) statue for a future Siegel and Shuster plaza.

May 2nd. Uptown Brass Quintet. Broadway United Methodist. John Williams Throne Room Theme Star Wars.
This will be the last year of the Chinese Zodiac public art project. A veterinary clinic had these two previous statues.
Whiskey Island/Wendy Park, with football stadium (L), railroad bridge (R).
a white crowned sparrow, a throw's distance from the birdy sign

Monday, May 8, 2017

geodesic dome

 These make a pattern pleasant to view, a dome here is independent of a building.
The world's largest open air geodesic dome is in Russell Township of Geauga County Ohio. It is 103' high, and 274' in diameter sitting on five pylons. Most of it is aluminum hexagons, after a bucky ball design. It was built in 1958-9 for American Society for Metals. Under it is an office building, and a mineral garden.

To-day was the first time since c.1992 when i delivered mail to it. The building has its own zip code, and it gets mail from all over the world. At the time their mail was one cloth sack per day. It was a beautiful, cool, sunny day. We were the only ones outside admiring the well landscaped, and maintained campus. It is quite lovely. 
Most of the polygons are hexagons, like that of a honeycomb made into a sphere. The center one at the apex is a pentagon. 

 There are two fountains, and this frog was in one.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Parma Polish Parade 2017

Last Sunday there was the Polish Constitution Parade on Fleet Avenue Cleveland, and the temperature was in the middle 80s. Since then it has been mostly rain in the 40s. To-day the sun came out, but the chill lingered. Nearby the start of the parade someone displayed some humour. The marching route was Ridge Road from Parma Circle to Snow Road.
 Dogs know how to parade.
 Two of Parma's four high schools' bands marched, Normandy and Parma.

Parma has several churches. The only Polish one is St. Mary's Polish National Catholic. From Ghoulardi's late night teevee show in the middle 1960s, Parma has been portrayed as comically Polish. The only nod to the joke was a small unit of the public art project, Flamingo Power. One of the area's groups that come to many parades was the Ghostbusters' wagon. I forget who this lone imperial storm trooper marched with.