When Weaving Becomes a Lens for Seeing Life

Imagine life as a loom. The lengths of string composing the warp are pulled taught, stretched out like so many days, months, and years—a suspended vertical calendar. And making up the weft are threads of varying color and texture mingling in a sometimes chaotic and sometimes beautiful way. Each thread represents the presence of a […]

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How to Visit an Art Gallery with Kids without Losing Your Cool

Looking at art with kids is a way of exposing them to the marvelous diversity of artistic expression and to a range of cultures. A visit to an art gallery or museum can be an opportunity not just to cultivate self-control and attention, but also to nurture creativity and curiosity.

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Interior Space and Exterior Surface: Anish Kapoor at Sakip Sabanci

Sculpture, I thought, is the opposite of void. Sculpture, I thought, projects itself into space. Sculpture, I thought, is presence. That’s what I thought, at least, until I met Anish Kapoor’s voids. I expected to see sculpture at the Kapoor show at Sakip Sabanci Muzesi in Istanbul, and I wasn’t disappointed. Kapoor has garnered international […]

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Victim or Survivor?—Giacometti, Ovarian Cancer and a Glimpse of Glory

Victims of a shipwreck—that phrase stuck with me. It’s a description I’ve been thinking about a lot over the last few weeks as a friend’s long struggle with ovarian cancer nears its end. I read the words last spring on the wall of the Pera Museum in Istanbul one morning when my husband and I […]

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Surviving the visual tsunami: A response to Mark Galli

Yesterday the arresting question, “Can we survive the visual tsunami?” showed up in my Twitter feed. The tinge of apocalyptic concern in the title of Mark Galli’s meditation for Christianity Today got my attention. Tsunami sounds bad. But for me, a designer who loves the arts, visual sounds good. I respect Mark Galli tremendously and […]

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For the Time Being: Thoughts on Auden’s Christmas Oratorio

Five years ago I read W.H. Auden’s Christmas oratorio, For the Time Being, for the first time. I’ve found myself drawn to it during Advent every year since. His psychological insights into the players that populate the narrative breathe life into a story that often feels too familiar to fully appreciate. But it’s his meditation […]

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Damien Hirst: Facing Death, Searching for Life

When I saw the Damien Hirst retrospective at the Tate Gallery in London, I had only known Hirst’s work from headlines. My impression from a few poor reproductions was that he was all about death. The retrospective told me that I had been, well, dead wrong. He has a lot to say about life and […]

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Alice Neel: Painting as Encounter

Alice Neel was eighty years old when she resumed painting a self-portrait she had begun some four years earlier. In it she leans attentively forward, one eyebrow raised in critical assessment of her subject, glasses perched on her nose as if to sharpen her clarity of vision. She wields her paintbrush as a suggestion that […]

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