Mondays have a bad reputation and our Monday that week deserved the label. Awful. But the week redeemed itself with a Wednesday that was perfection.
After a quick trip down the mountain to Roanoke, we lifted our bottomed-out psyches at Mill Mountain Coffee and Tea, then soared with the Paul Villinski installations at the Taubman Museum of Art around the corner.
Villinski’s showcase exhibit “Passage” hovered, as if in an updraft, above the atrium. “Passage,” a large-scale wooden glider with a 33-foot wingspan reminiscent of the balsa wood gliders he loved as a boy, is part precise construction and part whimsey. A thousand black butterflies, carefully fashioned from reclaimed material found on New York City streets, cover the glider and appear to help it stay aloft. “Emblematic of hope and liberation,” the artist says.
Paul Villinski oversees installation of his sculpture “Passage” in Taubman Museum’s atrium. Photo, Stephanie Klein-Davis, The Roanoke Times.
Flight connotes mankind’s desire to leave our earthly concerns behind, Villinski believes. Maybe that’s what lured me — the promise of a few hours to leave behind my concerns from two days before. And it worked! I was spell-bound the minute we walked inside. Peter had to nudge me to turn my attention to the docent just inside the door. “You were transported the minute you walked in,” she said, laughing. Indeed I was. She told me that the glider would actually be air-worthy if it had skins, and if there were a very small person licensed to pilot it.
“Farther,” Villinski’s exhibit in an upstairs gallery, was equally, magically moving, with flights of butterflies and birds, and other flights of fancy that captivated us.
Both “Passage” and “Farther” will be at the Taubman through January 21, 2018.
“Aerialist,” 10′ wide wings made of knife blades, depicts risks of flight..
Close-up of more than 300 found knives.
Husband Peter studies a “Farther” display.
“Prescience, 2017” Dozens of butterflies seem to become a whole, large swallowtail.
Birds morph from obsolete LP records, musical notes in flight.
“Consonance” 1992, found gloves and gold leaf.
“Comforter” made from unstitched cotton work gloves. Peter studies “Quilt” in the background.
“Homeward Bound,” juried art. Although I didn’t know it beforehand, seventy-four works by fifty-nine Virginia artists, all winners to my eye, were housed in other galleries. Many pieces are made from found objects — bobby pins, keys, hats, old nightgowns, horsehair — plus fascinating paintings, drawings, and sculpture all helped make our day.
“Homeward bound,” is the Taubman’s first juried art show, and will remain only through July 17. Hurry home.
Genesis Chapman’s first place “Same place two years apart,” depicts a kettle hole on Bent Mountain.
Millicent Young’s “Predator” placed second with her sculpture made from grapevine and horsehair.
“Willie and George and the Briarwood pipe,” one of two third place paintings by Brian Sieveking.
“Power bear” by Susan Jamison.
“These memories too are bound to die,” by Mary Chiaramonte. This one touched me!
Matt Lively’s “Forced evolution.”
We ended our perfect day, such a welcome antidote to Monday, with a walk around City Market. There, I found the perfect peaches and blueberries for our evening to come. The peak of perfection, if I may say so.