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Events & Exhibitions

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Gus*Modern Sale (There’s a Feel-Good Catch…)

Becky

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We’re having a sale, with a catch: Support your local food bank with at least 3 non-perishable items or donate at foodbankscanada.ca and receive 15% off items from Gus*Modern.

So it’s easy, while you’re taking care of that cleaning out the pantry New Year’s drudgery, put a few things aside for others; after all, if you haven’t eaten it by now, you’re not going to, and it’s going to waste. Stop by a local food bank (find one in this directory) and drop off whatever you can. Remember, once the holidays are over donations tend to take a big dive, so people need your help more than ever, especially during this polar arctic blast of freezing temperatures.

Or if you don’t feel like leaving the sofa, just donate over at foodbankscanada.ca and then hope on over to all the Gus*Modern goodies and shop with a 15% discount.

Ossington Coffee Table from Gus*Modern

The Ossington Coffee Table is a mix of dark metal and walnut wood. Best of all, it has a clever open shelf for coffee table books, tabloids and the remotes. It also comes in stainless.

The Truss Chair by Gus*Modern

The Truss Chair has Scandinavian modern simplicity, but plays a little with geometry, giving it a contemporary look as well. It strikes me as the kind of chair the best student in furniture design class presents for his/her final review and gets a dream job from one of the jurors.

Carmichael Loft Sofa by Gus*Modern

Finally, a sale is a great time to invest in a sofa that will last for many years to come. Whether you like the unique Carmichael Loft Sofa or are in need of a low, mid-century modern style sectional sofa, Gus*Modern has an option for you.

Shop all Gus*Modern

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Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Great Exhibition: Paul Rand at MoDA

Becky

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Hey All! If any of you are in Atlanta between now and January 30 2013, I highly recommend swinging by the Paul Rand exhibition over at the Museum of Design Atlanta. It was very inspiring; I had no idea one man was behind so many amazing logos, book designs and graphic design principles. Unfortunately, trying to Google “Paul Rand” brings up some a lot of unrelated sites, so I’ve included the direct link to the exhibit at the end of this post.

MoDA is located right across Peachtree Street from the High Museum of Art in a very cool building that was redesigned/remodeled/given a green makeover by Perkins + Will. The MoDA space is on the first floor; its entrance is next to the entrance to the public library.

The lobby is filled with inspiring quotes from Rand, as well as an interactive exercise and a four-minute video.

Rand looked to so many different things for inspiration, including buoys:

The exhibition included a slew of amazing book cover designs by Rand.

His iconic UPS logo is one of his best known. What I enjoyed much was some of the original mock ups they have. The IBM rebus graphic below is just cut-up paper affixed with Scotch tape:

The resulting graphic:

The exhibition also included fabric he’d designed, his own chair designed by Alvar Aalto, and the plans for his and his wife’s modern home, which I would  love to learn more about as it looked like a very thoughtful mid-century mod abode with a cool courtyard. I’ll see what I can find and get back to you on that later.

Another highlight were these Rand-designed covers for Direction when he was in his 20s.

Alright, I’ll stop spoiling the entire show for you; click here to learn more about it and MoDA.

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Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

On Display: Pasquale Natale’s Houses

Becky

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Last weekend Friday I had a chance to head down to Provincetown on the tip of Cape Cod. Just a 90 minute ride from where I usually stay in Mashpee, once you hit Wellfleet and Truro, Cape Cod takes on an other-worldly feeling. Ocean on both sides, undulating dunes, wild grasses and the cutest little tiny cottages along the beach you’ve ever seen.

Once you hit Commercial Street in P-town things heat up; drag queens are riding their bikes down the street advertising their shows (be sure to hit Varla’s if you can), bikes ding their bells as they weave down both sides of the pedestrian-overtaken, one-way street and friends call out to friends from the balconies of restaurants and B&Bs.

photo: Becky Harris

For me, the best part of it can be hitting the galleries. While trying to remember where MDV3 Gallery was, I wandered into A Gallery, where they had just set up the show “Home Again: A continuation of the House”  by Pasquale Natale (it was opening that evening). 150 little fabric houses lined a 10-inch deep shelf around the gallery, some of them in handmade boiled wool, others in crochet and more fanciful patterned fabrics. The mini-village was appropriate in this place, where a 100 square foot beach shack is common.

photo: Becky Harris

photo: Becky Harris

photo: Becky Harris

photo: Becky Harris

The little village is not unlike any functioning community; diverse, patched together, some houses standing straighter than others, some more modest in their cladding. I suppose it didn’t hit me I was shaking up the village before the opening by buying one and brining the ranks down to 149 little houses.

photo: Becky Harris

In 1992 Pasquale wanted to reclaim the positive sign, something that had gained such a negative connotation during the AIDS epidemic, and make it positive again. 21 years later with so many advances in medicine made, it’s interesting to view them in a new light.

If you’re headed to the Cape for an early fall trip this weekend (highly recommended; the throngs of tourists have dispersed), be sure to stop by A Gallery at 192 Commercial Street. The show will run through September 10, 2013.  While you’re down at that end of the street, be sure to stop by MDV3 down at 142 Commercial Street, and Adam Peck Gallery across the street at 137 Commercial Street.

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Monday, August 12th, 2013

The Island Institute and Photography of Peter Ralston

Becky

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I’m up in Maine right now and this weekend and I popped into The Island Institute’s Rockland headquarters and store, Archipelago. The Institute was celebrating its 30th anniversary and it was not only amazing to hear about all of the great work they’ve done to sustain Maine’s island and remote coastal communities, but also to look at all of the amazing photographs by co-founder Peter Ralston. There was an exhibit and the entire building is filled with them, to which we were allowed rare access.

Clearing by Peter Ralston

Ralston began the Island Institute with Phil Conkling in 1983 with a shoestring budget that has grown to $5 million dollars a year. Around 50 employees work hard to preserve the unique cultures of these special places, as well as help their economies, educational systems, marine management and more. I always enjoy their journal very much and if you are a fan of the coast of Maine, I recommend you join this wonderful organization and help their efforts. When you join, you get a 10% discount at their store, Archipelago, which has amazing made in Maine artwork, jewelry, pottery and other items, like gorgeous blankets from Swan Island.

Spectre by Peter Ralston

Cofounder Peter Ralston is one of my favorite photographers of all time. He can capture fog, boats, still lifes, animals, landscapes, seascapes, photos of houses in such a way that they look like an Andrew Wyeth egg tempura painting … his photographs have documented Maine’s islands and coastal communities for decades.

Glint by Peter Ralston

Learn more about visiting/joining The Island Institute

Noontide by Peter Ralston

Learn more about/purchase the photography of Peter Ralston

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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

Eero Saarinen’s Greatest Hits

Becky

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I am so excited for Museum of Design Atlanta’s upcoming Eero Saarinen exhibit – it starts this Sunday April 14th and will run through June 30, 2013. For those of you who won’t be in Atlanta during that time, I thought we could do a post on Saarinen here to let you enjoy his work too. Here’s a quick peek at a fe of his greatest hits:

The Miller House, Columbus, Indiana 1957: Now owned and maintained by The Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Miller House is open for tours. If you visit, be sure to pay attention the landscape by Daniel Urban Kiley; it’s one of the most spectacular modern gardens in the U.S. and the interior fun provided by Alexander Girard. Tickets sell out fast, so be sure to plan ahead if you’re planning a trip to the modern-architecture rich Columbus! You can buy them here.

photos via The Indianapolis Museum of Art

The TWA Terminal at JFK 1962: The last time I was in this building, it was leaky and there was a bird flying around, but this architecture was all about the Jet Age, back when flying was glamorous and exciting:

photo by Ezra Stoller

John Deere Headquarters, Moline, Illinois 1964: After catching the eye of John Deere’s president, William Hewitt with his designs, Saarinen designed the striking headquarters for the company. The project is a wonderful example of modern architecture living in harmony with its surroundings:

photo via johndeere.com

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis 1965: One of the most iconic structures (at 630 feet high, it’s also the tallest monument) in the U.S. is also by Saarinen. Again, he teamed up with Dan Kiley to complete the landscape. Isn’t this picture crazy? It gives me vertico just thinking about it, and it also makes me miss my erector set!

Saarinen’s furniture designs continue to be some of the most popular examples of mid-century modern style today.

He designed the Womb Chair (1964) at the behest of his good pal Florence Knoll, who wanted a chair she could curl up in. If one wants to stretch out in it, the matching ottoman is a great addition.

Of course, his tulip table, a.k.a. Knoll Saarinen Table (1956), is one of the most iconic pieces of furniture from the mid-century modern period. Saarinen was not fond of legs and wanted a cleaner look when it came to kitchen and dining areas. “The undercarriage of chairs and tables in a typical interior makes an ugly, confusing, unrestful world,” he said. “I wanted to clear up the slum of legs. I wanted to make the chair all one thing again.”

For a typical kitchen table with four legs plus four chairs, Saarinen decreased “the slum of legs” from 20 legs to 5 pedestals. Not too shabby!

For those of you in Atlanta during the next few months, be sure to check out MODA’s Eero Saarinen exhibit!

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