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Friday’s Field Trip: A Day of Play in a Sculpture Garden

After weeks of bad weather, (rain, snow, freezing rain, winter mix, sleet) we finally had a sunny day on Friday. I decided to head over to the Delaware Art Museum, walk their Labyrinth and enjoy their sculpture garden.

Several of the sculptures in the Copeland Sculpture Garden are immensely popular in Wilmington, probably because they are so accessible. The Crying Giant by Tom Otterness is a perfect example. Children love, love, love this piece. They sit on the feet, swing around the legs; make up stories about why the giant is crying, and try to make the giant feel better. That level of interaction between artwork and its audience is hard to find.

Crying Giant Image  by Tom Otterness  Image Copyright Gail A. Sisolak 20123

Trickster Joe Moss, Delaware artist and Newark resident, creates art pieces equally engaging. His sculptures frequently have both a sight and sound component. Orifice II, his bright red disks, is a perfect example. The center directs the viewers gaze to a specific point, while the bowed shapes reflect sound.

Orifice II by Joe Moss Image Copyright 2013 by Gail A. Sisolak

Orifice II by Joe Moss Image Copyright 2013 by Gail A. Sisolak

In these two videos, made by the Delaware Division of the Arts, Moss shares some of his work and his design processes.

My personal favorite is a kinetic sculpture by George Rickey called Three Rectangles Horizontal Jointed Gyratory III. Gyratory? I love new words, so I was immediately intrigued. It only takes a few seconds for the wind to shift and the TRHJG to whirl, creating an entirely new work of art. This would make an ideal gorilla art project. I’d love to sneak in the gardens in the dead of night, and put stickers on the rectangles saying “Oz,” “Narnia” and “Neverland,” and turn the sculpture into a dancing signpost. I’ll have to Photoshop one of my photos some day, since I’d never REALLY destroy another artist’s work.

Three Rectangles Horizontal Jointed Gyratory III by George Rickey  Image Copyright 2013 by Gail A. Sisolak

Three Rectangles Horizontal Jointed Gyratory III by George Rickey Image Copyright 2013 by Gail A. Sisolak

At least I am constant in my affection. I saw Rickey’s Two Red Lines at the Oakland Museum sometime prior to 1973, and it made a lasting impression on me. If fact, it is one of only two pieces I remember seeing.

He’s a video of his work.

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Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is Right!


Haluski: Copyright Gail A. Sisolak 2013

Haluski: Copyright Gail A. Sisolak 2013

On my last trip to Pittsburgh, MAD2Go had the chance to stop in at Kelly O’s Diner in Pittsburgh. I must admit I’ve always been a bit suspicious of restaurants featured on TV shows. Even if they were good prior to filming, they are often victims of their own success as viewers mob well-rated venues. 

I was pleasantly surprised by the meal I had at Kelly O’s after it was showcased on Triple D. I visited the downtown location, which featured a vibrant nouveau-retro décor.

Copyright: Gail A. Sisolak 2013

Copyright Gail A. Sisolak 2013

I particularly wanted to try the haluski, which I had never seen on a menu. Apparently it’s a church fair staple in Pittsburgh, since the city has a large population descended from Eastern European immigrants. 

Haluski is Slovak Soul food; a dish I have made and enjoyed many times. Its three main ingredients are cabbage, noodles, and onions. When I was young, my mother used to make the noodles, but like most people she now uses store bought. I don’t have a written copy of the recipe, because every Slovak woman had her own version and they probably varied depending on the amount of cabbage and onions on hand.

 My Mother taught me to make haluski in the following proportions: 

1/2 stick of butter

1 medium head of cabbage

2 large onions

Salt and Pepper to taste

A healthy dash of paprika 

In a heavy skillet, brown the onion in butter. When browned, add salt, pepper, paprika and cabbage. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Add a little water or broth as needed; cook until cabbage is tender. My Mother usually served it over good quality egg noodles. 

Kelly O’s adds a couple of twists to their version of haluski—they top theirs with bacon and a dusting of shredded cheese.

While I loved the addition of the bacon, at first it seemed a little strange. Then I remembered early cooking lessons with my Mom. Back in the day, she saved the bacon fat from the skillet and poured it into a clean glass jar. Instead of using shorting or butter when pan frying, she would use a scoop of bacon fat. It was obviously not heart healthy, but the fat added a tremendous amount of flavor. There is a good chance a made haluski with bacon fat at some point.

Kelly O’s Diner

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Slovak Folk Crafts Animated Wood Carving

Click on image to go to our video tour of the animated wood carving.

Click on image to go to our video tour of the animated wood carving.

Tom and I visited the Slovak Folk Crafts Shop after our recent trip to Pittsburgh. We were surprised and delighted to see the largest animated wood carving in the United States. The Jednota published my story on page 17 of the February 13, 2013 edition of the Jednota.

Click to access FEB-13TH-ISSUE.pdf

Click on the image above to go to our video collage of the wood carving.