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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Black sunburst

This tie isn't colorful--it only has two colors, and the least colorful of all the colors at that--but that's all Gene Meyer needs to create a fantastic op art polka-dot sunburst. (Or a stainless-steel colander, as Mrs. Veneer posits.) His designs can be maddeningly simple, yet instantly attractive and unforgettable. That's genius at work.

And now I will blather on about Ithaca some more. For all its spots of scenic beauty--Fall Creek, Beebe Lake, Ithaca Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Cayuga Lake, etc.-- my favorite site was the sculpture garden at the Cornell Arboretum. There stand several large sculptures made by a Cornell art class in 1961-1963 of reinforced concrete: one is a stylized bull or minotaur, one is a pair of abstract shapes involved in some form of coupling, another is a trio of slender towers that look like one of Richard Powers's alien landscapes come to life. The setting is perfect, a glade in the midst of old trees on three sides, giving the sculptures the appearance of a space age magic circle. They stand as a monument to the power of the human imagination; not just the imagination to dream up strange forms and realize them in concrete, but also to adapt, to face changes and to effect changes, to find creative solutions to real problems. If you visit Ithaca, don't miss this special place.

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