Classical 91.5

Visual arts

Mike Gilbert is holding a cup of coffee in one hand and picking up trash with the other when I pull up to Schiller Park.

His company 5Linx, just moved across the street to the Harro East building, and Gilbert noticed the park had been what he calls "forgotten."

Eight years ago, Jessica Marten – Curator in Charge/Curator of American Art at Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery – was poking around among the paintings in a museum storage space when a small piece caught her eye.

It was many things. The artist’s medium, egg tempera and gold leaf, suggested medieval paintings, and the illuminated manuscripts of monks. The extensive use of borders is what might be seen on a tapestry. And the central figure looked like an image from Frida Kahlo: A woman in pain, clutching her head. Her eyes are bleeding.

One of my favorite little things about Rochester that I discovered after moving here is that we had busts of Goethe and Schiller around town.  Sadly, Goethe was stolen a few years ago from Highland Park, never to be seen again. But we still have Friedrich Schiller, best known to music fans as the writer of the words to the Ode to Joy, used by Beethoven in the finale of his ninth symphony.

Joy, beautiful spark of the gods,
Daughter from Elysium,
We enter, drunk with fire,
Heavenly One, thy sanctuary!
Your magic binds again
What convention strictly divides;
All people become brothers,
Where your gentle wing abides.

Today, as I biked by, I had to stop – because Schiller had some artistic company, right next to his little park on Andrews Street. Fiber art (yarnbombing?) by someone who knew his musical connections. The lighting was a little blah this morning, but still – hope these make you smile too. 
 

An iconic figure in the art world, both in Rochester and around the world has died.

Wendell Castle died in his Scottsville home on Saturday. That word came Sunday morning from RIT, where Castle was an artist in residence. He was 85 years old.

Wendell Castle was an artist for more than 60 years and is considered a founder of the American Crafts and Art Furniture movements. More than 100  of his works are installed in museums worldwide, and up until recently, was still innovating in his studio in the Rochester area.