Friday, February 19, 2016

Day 4: Phoenix

Day 4, Phoenix:

Weather: Pleasant! Not to hot during the day and t-shirts for our early morning hike
Our bus for the day (pic taken at end of's night time, we didn't leave in the dark of morning!)

We're up early and go for a sunrise hike to the top of the mountain across the street and above the new transit center next to our hotel. THB calls it a mountain...around here, anything over 20 feet is a mountain. 

The hike/preserve/mini-mountain is due east of the airport so you see the planes lined up for landing and taking off

Back to the hotel, breakfast is a waffle with yogurt and banana for THB, yogurt parfait for DB, included, and a Starbucks coffee and NYT, $5.

Our hotel and the transit center (note roof garden)

Utility box

Utility box and Tempe city hall

For those of you following the news, we are very near the Phoenix offices of Zenefits. There's a great article today in the NYT on the very recent firing of the CEO; one of the reasons listed was the available-all-the-time (meaning ALL THE TIME) beer kegs in the Phoenix office!!
Preserved flour mill on left, and faintly at the top of modern building on right is Zenefits (t and s not lit...well, not lighted)

It's a short walk to the ASU Art Museum, and just as we found in our last visit in 2006, this is one terrific museum. 
Half the group walking

The other half of the group walking (what is DB looking at?)

THB would not have noticed this car before his cataract surgeries

Yes, officer, I kept walking while I took this shot

ASU Art Museum entrance: you actually walk down below street level to main entrance

Before you descend

There are four shows up, all great. We have several docents make presentations: one for the prints, which they pull out a bunch done by ceramicists; one for the other temporary installations.

The temp installations:

- Newly acquired work, including an interactive sound piece

Paul Smith at the sound piece "controls"

THB's favorite piece, brand new

- Work by a Cuban ex-pat, Tony Labat, who also selected other works by Cubans in the museum to display in and around his installation
Good title for the show, a homage to Cuba by an ex-pat

Functional pool table in the shape of Cuba

- Photos by Spencer Tunick (all from the collection of Stephane Jansen)

Stephane Jansen

- A fantastic exhibition on work that the museum owns that might be a forgery (lots of empty wall space with just the hooks up and a Remington that the outside group that did the exhibit proved was a fake!)

Remington: real or fake

Fake: titanium used in the picture and only available after Remington died (or at least after he painted this picture)

"Empty wall space" where presumed fakes used to hang

From there we move via bus for a short ride to Kurt Weiser's studio where Kurt gives us the background on how he does his painted porcelain pieces and has cups for sale.

In process, an example of what Kurt is known for

Lunch is long, too long, at Soi 4, a Thai restaurant. Too many courses served too slowly, even though the hot courses are very good; not enough time for dessert! Included.

After lunch we spend time at a private collector (the request is that if we use photos, we not identify the collector) who has been very generous with the ASU Museum and Research Center, and also is someone we bought a piece from privately. 

A hanging piece by Margaret Ford

Here are some of the works in the collection:

A short visit to a local ceramicist, Nick Bernard, followed by free time in downtown Scottsdale (THB and DB go for a short walk and then rest up on benches conveniently near where the bus is picking us up).

Famous for where the baseball execs hang out during spring training

The last stop of the day is at a Frank Lloyd Wright house that FLW designed for his son and daughter-in-law in 1950 and which has been renovated and, since much of the interior is filled with replacements, you can sit on the furniture, play the piano and walk around with your shoes off. 

Guest house

Dinner is outside in the interior courtyard (the house is circular, primarily on the second level reached by walking up a ramp), Mexican, no alcohol, and included.

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