More Mural Magic-Part 1

I have come across such a profusion of murals this past year, I will dedicate an occasional post to them. Each will be introduced by the featured photo above, which also depicts a mural from a local coffee shop, and offers an interpretation of the Colorado State flag, shown here:

Im vergangenen Jahr bin ich einer solchen Vielzahl an Wandmalereien begegnet, daß ich ihnen von Zeit zu Zeit einen Beitrag widmen werde. Ich werde jeden mit dem obigen Bild einleiten, das übrigens auch ein Gemälde von der Außenwand einer hiesigen Kaffeestube darstellt, und die Flagge Colorados interpretiert, die hier gezeigt wird:

The two horizontal blue bars represent Colorado’s blue sky, the white bar its many snowcapped mountains. The red “C” stands for our state’s ruddy soil, and the central golden globe for our many days of sunshine, averaging more than 300/year.

Die zwei blauen horizontalen Balken repräsentieren Colorados blauen Himmel, der weiße die schneebedeckten Berge. Das rote „C“ steht für die rote Erde unseres Staates, die goldene Kugel in seinem Zentrum für unsere vielen Sonnentage, im Durchschnitt über 300 Tage/Jahr.

Today’s post celebrates Colorado’s fauna, ranging from definitely extinct to nearly extinct. While humankind can’t be blamed for the disappearance of dinosaurs, we do carry the burden of nearly having eradicated the American bison. Fortunately, the species could be saved, but others were not so fortunate. The responsibility to protect and preserve animals and their habitats rests on our shoulders. For their sakes, and ours, may they continue to thrive, so that we can admire them in their natural surroundings, and not simply in zoos, or murals, for that matter.

Der heutige Beitrag feiert Colorados Fauna, inklusive ausgestorbener und einst bedrohter Arten. Obwohl die Menschheit nicht für das Verschwinden der Dinosaurier verantwortlich ist, tragen wir die Bürde, die nordamerikanischen Büffel fast ausgerottet zu haben. Glücklicherweise konnten sie gerettet werden, doch andere hatten weniger Glück. Die Verantwortung, Tiere sowie ihren Lebensraum zu schützen ruht auf unseren Schultern. Hoffen wir, daß sie weiterhin gedeihen, um ihret- und  unsertwillen, so daß wir sie nicht nur in Zoos oder Wandgemälden bewundern können, sondern in freier Wildbahn.

Glassy Surprises

Colorado Springs‘ Fine Arts Center had long been on my „must see“ list, and when it offered free visitation in March, I finally filled this glaring gap in my education. I wanted to explore at least two exhibits, one permanent, the other temporary, but otherwise had no preconceived notions. Incidentally, the museum will celebrate its centenary throughout this year, having originated as the Broadmoor Arts Academy in 1919.

Immediately upon entering the lobby, my attention was riveted by the Medusa-like light fixture featured above, but the title Chihuly Chandelier didn’t mean anything to me. Later, when I strolled into a darkened gallery highlighted and illuminated by an array of additional glass art, I learned about world-renowned (where have I been?) American glass artist, Dale Chihuly (born 1941), whose designs have dazzled viewers everywhere. They certainly dazzled me, and I became an instant fan. Additional research revealed that a 1976 accident resulted in blindness in the artist’s left eye. The associated loss of depth perception and a subsequent shoulder dislocation both affected his ability to blow glass, and forced him to limit himself to designing, rather than fashioning his art. According to a quote on Wikipedia, Chihuly describes his role as “more choreographer than dancer, more supervisor than participant, more director than actor.”

The Persian Wall Installation was arranged by the artist in 2006 and emulates some of the oldest surviving ancient glasswork from the Persian Empire of the 5th and 4th centuries BC. Concentric circles in contrasting colors captivate and charm.

Macchias are glass bowls characterized by spots (macchia is Italian for spot, from Latin macula). Countless color combinations make each one of these calyx-like structures unique, and assorted varieties resting on pedestals form so-called macchia forests.

The focal point of the room was the Orange Hornet Chandelier, composed of 384 pieces, which add up to a weight of 1200 pounds. In addition to hornets, it reminded me of ristras (from Latin restis, for rope or cord), decorative strings of red chili peppers popular in the American Southwest. The ponderous taper, first installed in Venice in 1993 as a smaller incarnation, had additional elements added specifically for the Fine Arts Center, to commemorate its 2007 reopening after a major expansion.

For the same occasion, the museum’s café was adorned with a third luster, the Gilded Blue Sapphire Chandelier, a cerulean dream with golden touches.

My outing reminded me that chance meetings are often the best. Encountering Chihuly’s creations was a wonderful surprise, and in this instance my ignorance was indeed my bliss.

Mural Magic

While I have never stayed as an overnight guest at our local 5-star Broadmoor Hotel, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2018, I occasionally treat myself to coffee and cake in one of its cafés. This pretext enables me to walk the tastefully-landscaped grounds, to enjoy views of nearby Cheyenne Mountain, and to admire a graceful pair of Mute Swans in the property’s central lake. The establishment is known for the artwork that adorns the interior and ambling through its corridors is like walking through a museum. Paintings and statues celebrate the history of the American West and make it easy to while away hours.

Obwohl ich noch nie in unserem hiesigen Fünfsternehotel “Broadmoor”, das 2018 sein 100-jähriges Jubiläum feierte, übernachtet habe, verwöhne ich mich gelegentlich mit Kaffee und Kuchen in einem seiner Cafés. Dieser Vorwand ermöglicht es mir, durch die geschmackvoll gestaltete Gartenanlage zu spazieren, die Sicht auf den nahegelegenen Berg, Cheyenne Mountain, zu genießen, und ein graziles Schwanenpaar auf dem zentral gelegenen See zu bewundern. Das Etablissement ist für seine Kunstsammlung bekannt, und durch seine inneren Hallen zu wandeln, ähnelt einem Besuch in einer Kunstgalerie. Gemälde und Plastiken feiern die Geschichte des amerikanischen Westens, und lassen Stunden wie im Fluge vergehen.

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover cursor over it.

Zum Vergrößern, das Bild bitte anklicken. Um den Titel zu lesen, mit der Maus darüber schweben.

I never visit without directing my steps to a cozy corner whose walls are beautified by a delightful mural. Examples of our regional flora are exquisitely and lovingly rendered, and while I feast on the colorful blossoms, a number of winged creatures do the same in their own way.

Meine Ausflüge dorthin sind ohne das Aufsuchen einer gemütlichen, von einem wunderschönen Wandgemälde verzierten Ecke nicht komplett. Vertreter unserer hiesigen Flora werden in liebevollem Detail dargestellt, und während ich mich an den farbenprächtigen Blüten auf meine Art labe, tut es mir eine Anzahl beschwingter Kreaturen auf ihre Weise gleich.