There’s a section of my morning exercise class in which I feel like one of the ladies of River City in The Music Man. It’s a Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn moment of wacky classical beauty, in which we lift our arms to the music, and I remember Grecian urns.
You may recall that this is the same exercise class that incorporates the dancing hippos music of Disney’s first Fantasia. The animation in my head keeps me going.
But the Grecian urns made me think not only of truth and beauty but also of the unusual ceramic cups and bowls I saw yesterday at the little ISU art gallery in Uptown Normal, which just re-opened with end-of-semester work by art students.
Traditional art—like paintings and photography—and postmodern art, like ironic juxtapositions of everyday stuff. Very impressive as you walk in the door is a gigantic snack-pack of Goldfish, opened, the golden fish spilling out onto the floor. They are made of orange glass, and the package is made of metal.
I loved Vanity, an actual old vanity, its top drawer open, with cosmetics cast of ghostly white translucent glass.
And in the back of the room, right beside the refreshment table, still not wiped clean from the opening reception, was a white box mounted with a whimsical edible installation that looked like a neighborhood made of pudding cups, colored ice cream cones, and artfully strewn jelly beans.
“I didn’t see a label for that one,” I said to the student artist/gallery host, “but that’s an installation, right?”
She smiled. “That’s actually stuff left over from the reception,” she said. “We just did that. I didn’t know it was still there.”
“That was my second choice,” I said. And my preferred reality.