Impressionism, Peru, March Madness

Impressionism, Peru, March Madness

I was sitting around Saturday afternoon, dilly-dallying between NCAA Tournament games and looking for something to do. Michigan State was busy running their opponents, the Tigers of Memphis University, right out of the gym like a pack of whimpering Shih Tzus. Needless to say, Memphis was looking very un-tigerly, and I needed a break from sports.

“But Aidan, why would you willingly leave your man-cave?  MARCH MADNESS IS ON!”

Well, aside from the loss of feeling in my buttocks, legs, and feet, I was also famished, my fridge was empty, and my clothes were starting to smell like this guy’s bathroom. ‘Tis the curse of sports addiction, I say! Especially when the tournament rolls around. Us gladiator-game fans start to go crazy, losing all sight of the important things in life (like hygiene and proper nutrition, for starters). Winter has lingered for far too long, and everyone is salivating in anticipation for their Spring Fever to set in.

Which is exactly why I needed a break. So, I stood up, cracked my back, did a few stretches, and began my trek towards the Paul Creative Arts Center. It was a beautifully brisk day. Windy and cold, yes, but the sun was refreshing, and heck, I was intent on admiring some masterfully crafted artwork. The experience was therapeutic…

The top floor of the art gallery was a large, beautiful exhibit of photographs and digital prints called the “Sacred Landscapes of Peru,” photographed by Carl Austin Hyatt – a Portsmouth photographer who regularly travels to South America to document and study indigenous practices. “His black and white photographs depict archaeological sites and contemporary life in the rugged Peruvian Highlands.” Personally, I found this description to be far too humble. They were some of the most beautiful photographs I’ve seen to date: Machu Pichu, the Andes Mountain ranges, shaman rituals, and a stunning set of a 103 year old native woman.

There are a few high resolution images of his work here – Unfortunately, I was unable to take many quality pictures, since the glass frames created an obnoxious glare-effect.

Downstairs, the museum played host to a diverse and breathtaking collection of California Impressionism Paintings from the Irvine Museum, CA. The greatest thing about these exhibits is that you don’t need to be an Arts Major to appreciate them. I’m a writer and a sports junkie. That’s about it. I can’t paint or draw or take photographs (beyond the occasional Instagram pic). But you don’t need any expertise to admire beautiful landscapes, finely-detailed brush-strokes, and vivid color use. The downstairs exhibit was chock-full of beauty, and during my 45 minute stay, I completely forgot about the NCAA Tournament, and the hunger in my belly, and the impending, homework-induced doom that awaited me. But then I remembered, “SYRACUSE PLAYS TONIGHT! RUN AIDAN RUN!”  I took off my artistically meditative cap, and donned a new one: My barbaric, basketball loving, buffalo-wings-eating Syracuse hat.

And they won. And I cheered. Top ranked Indiana faces Syracuse in the next round. The fat is in the fire. Go Orange! And you, oh faithful and wise reader, go check out some art.

Here is a slideshow of my photos taken at the exhibit.