Way back on the 14th — a Tuesday — I got off of work a little early and Kate & I jumped in the car and drove to Madison. Rusty had already been there for a couple of days, and still had another before returning home.

The big event was the opening reception for "Floating On Waves," the 2016 Summer Art Showcase at Promega; a cultural exchange exhibition celebrating artistic & personal relationships forged over the past 16 years between professional artists in Japan and Wisconsin. There were 10 Japanese artists in attendance, and six from Wisconsin — Rusty was among them. It was 11 years ago that we hosted an artist in our home, as part of this exchange, and exactly three years ago that Rusty was in Japan!

(I've re-formatted a couple of posts from the 2005 visit if you'd like to time travel. There was a kimono show and Rusty modeled! It was interesting to read my then-thoughts & feelings – pre-Alabama Chanin thoughts & feelings — about the time and emotion invested in selecting, dyeing, sewing, and embroidering such a garment! My work barely measures a blip in comparison, but I get it even more now!)


Dripping 2


Dripping 1

These etchings by Sohee Kim are my hands-down favorites, and I wonder when I'll hit upon the justification for purchasing one! My wheels are turning.


detail: Dripping 1


Fascinating work! Whimsical, thoughtful, I can't stop thinking about it!


I also enjoyed the work of Nanami Ishihara.


detail: Crisis Call – Day Breaks

And Kanako Akiyama. Mesmerizing!



This amazing wool & mohair weaving is by our friend Pat Filzen, who primarily uses wool from her own sheep in her work!


Beautiful view from the rooftop terrace at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center.


I also got a kick out of the view of this lab — from the "ghosts" to the school kids' science-art-models.

Over the days that followed, there were artist activities and tours in the Madison area, then many of them made their way to NE Wisconsin… for more activities and tours.



We met at Pat's house on both Sunday and Monday nights. (Pat and her husband moved 2 years ago from a farmette in the country that I would die for, into this ca. 1952 treasure of a house, complete with original pink ceramic-tiled bathrooms and a new custom kitchen, that I would die for all over again!)


The "cultural exchange" continued with things like playing croquet…


…and sharing meals, including grilled bratwurst and a fantastic selection of Wisconsin cheeses, among other things.

We also sampled some amazing sushi made for us by one of the visitors.


Many years ago, Rusty and I went to Artexpo New York where he was approached by a company from Japan that was interested in using some of his images for jigsaw puzzles. Eventually, terms were agreed upon and about a half-dozen puzzles were issued, ranging in size from 500 pieces to 2014! He was given a small number of each as part of the agreement and they have been slowly, carefully distributed over the years.


A small sampling remains and the 500-piece Reading Porch was subject of another cultural exchange! And what a hoot. Everyone got in on the action, beginning Sunday night…


…and finished by Monday night!


The kids and I have done a few of these puzzles over the years, but Rusty had never worked on one before!


Clean windows!

Tonight it's the Grand Opening of Match Factory with Yesterday's Parties, by Madison-based artist Matthew Bakkom, and I cannot wait! I had the tiniest of previews of this experimental installation yesterday while I did my Kate's-got-a-gallery-opening thing and cleaned the windows! I can't wait to see it.

Tomorrow, I'm second-shooting a wedding with my niece!!

Life is full and busy and good… but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to a little downtime!

5 thoughts on “Artsy

  1. I am a puzzle lover…where can I buy one of Rusty’s? And I’m thinking I may need to make a drive to Kaukauna when I’m visiting my parents in August. I need to see Rusty’s work in person!

  2. I love how you’ve got so much art in your life — from Rusty’s work and your own pursuits, to exhibits with exquisite etchings, to puzzles, and more! I had to go look at Sohee Kim’s website and now I want Onbu 3 and Dripping 1. What incredible detail!

  3. Wow – all of that creative energy nearly pops right off the page! The cultural exchange adds another layer of interest….but art still speaks to us no matter the language. Can’t wait to see more about Kate’s new venture (clean windows and all). Thanks for sharing!

  4. There is so much happening in this post alone. The art is stunning and I can see why you want to own one of Sohee Kim’s pieces. You truly had a busy and art filled weekend. I wonder if any of Rusty’s puzzles are around. I’m going to try and find one to do. They look hard and fun! I hope soon you’re able to get in a weekend of relaxation and down time.

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