Opening on March 22 at the four-month-old Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, the exhibit “Pattern: Follow the Rules” riffs on a theme that is close to home—its host building’s exterior. The museum, designed by architect Zaha Hadid and located on the campus of Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, features steel pleats that envelop it in a light-reflecting skin. Essentially, pattern at its best.
“The architectural element referred to… as a ‘feat of digital engineering’ echoes elements of the paintings, photographs, sculptures and installations that make up ‘Pattern: Follow the Rules,’” says Alison Gass, curator of contemporary art.
One of those pieces, a string drawing called White Wave (2013) by Alyson Shotz, is comprised of thread strung in a pattern around nail heads pounded into the wall, the string and its shadows forming a surprisingly complex viewing experience. Developing her vision via computer, Shotz and her work illustrate another aspect of the exhibit: how the digital world—in particular the repetition and proliferation of pictures, according to Gass—is changing how we interact with and experience art and life in general.
“The rules and systems the artists have engaged embrace the conditions of contemporary visual culture,” says Gass. “Images are everywhere, and they can go on and on and on and on…” March 22 through June 23; E. Circle Dr., East Lansing, MI; 517-353-9836; broadmuseum.msu.edu.
Constructed of glass and steel and rising 96 feet out of the Louisiana earth, the U.S. Freedom Pavilion: The Boeing Center, at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, is a study in evolution. The building, which took 21 months to complete and opened officially in January, embodies a significant milestone in the growth of a museum that takes its educational and historical responsibilities to heart.
“The pavilion…[enables] us to present stories in ways far different from what you find in our other galleries,” says Gordon H. Mueller, president and CEO of the museum. “It provides dramatic spaces and the latest audio-visual technology to support education programs and conferences. Also, the pavilion is especially well suited for military ceremonies and other community events.”
Exhibits and special presentations—author and Pulitzer Prize finalist Arthur Herman leads the lecture “Freedom’s Forge: How American Business Produced Victory in World War II” on March 14—abound. “Vehicles of War” explores tanks, ambulances and other equipment. Service members receive due respects in “Service and Sacrifice,” and an exhibit of restored iconic airplanes, such as the North American P-51 Mustang and the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, tells the stories behind “warbirds.” And “Final Mission: The USS Tang Submarine Experience” recounts the adventures of the most successful submarine in the war (it sank 33 Japanese ships) and its demise in 1944.
It is an impressive display made all the more notable by its continuing growth, thanks to a $300 million capital expansion plan. Approved nine years ago and set for completion in 2015, it will ultimately increase the size of the museum fourfold, adding additional exhibit spaces, libraries and archives. At 945 Magazine St., New Orleans; 504-528-1944; nationalww2museum.org.
Chuck Brown, 1986. Photo by Dean Rutz for the Washington Times.
The 1980s were a hard chapter in Washington, D.C.’s history. Known as the “murder capital” shortly after the decade ended, the city’s underground music and graffiti scenes nevertheless thrived, helping to shape D.C. into what it is today. The new exhibit “Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s” (through April 7) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art shows how it was done.
The area harbored one of the most tenacious hardcore scenes in the country; punk had a similarly robust presence. But go-go music (a fiercely regional mash-up of danceable funk, R&B and early hip-hop) and the graffiti that stemmed from it became the city’s unofficial calling card, despite what was happening elsewhere.
“The go-go music and the art that came out of it, at least as far as the world outside D.C. was concerned, were almost totally overshadowed by the hip-hop culture that sprung up in New York at the same time,” says Roger Gastman, a D.C. local, graffiti historian and co-curator of the show. “So in some ways that neglect cycled around again and made that scene even more self-reliant.”
The exhibit illustrates the symbiotic relationship between the music and the street art of the period through posters, photographs, graphic art and other sundry items. Special programs and lectures punctuate the run, one with Gastman himself, who has written a dozen books on graffiti. But a documentary called The Legend of Cool “Disco” Dan is a particular highlight. Narrated by musician and activist Henry Rollins, it opened in conjunction with the exhibit and pays homage to Cool “Disco” Dan, a graffiti artist who many consider the father of a movement that made an unquestionable impact on a once questionable city.
“There are many graffiti writers who have done more graffiti or done it more skillfully and in greater quantity,” says assistant curator Caleb Neelon. “But Cool ‘Disco’ Dan made himself a beloved, integral part of his city and a symbol of an era.” 500 17th St. NW; 202-639-1700; corcoran.org.
Learning how to cook from a TV show is one thing. Learning how to cook straight from a star-chef source is quite another. Food University at Caesars Palace (March 27–29)—an intensive, three-day culinary school of sorts in Las Vegas—gives just that opportunity to everyday chefs who are eager to learn more.
“This is going to be the next-level food experience,” says Robin Leach, a cofounder of Food Network and one of the University’s organizers. “We felt the time had come for a food event to actually provide meaningful culinary information and education executed in a fun way so the audience can take it away and use it in their daily lives.”
The nine cooking classes and various seminars feature a host of chefs and culinary experts, including Claudine Pépin (daughter of Jacques), Christina Wilson (the season-10 winner of Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen) and Colman Andrews (of the Daily Meal). François Payard will lead a course on chocolate, Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes fame will teach cake decorating, and Frank Pellegrino of Rao’s will show the ins and outs of classic Italian fare.
Participants will also enjoy field trips to a handful of Las Vegas eateries and receive all the utensils, tools and cookware needed for 72 hours of chef duty as well as a special rate on accommodations at Caesars Palace. Proceeds benefit Keep Memory Alive, an organization that researches brain-disorder cures, which sweetens this experience even more. March 27–29; $1,995; 3570 S. Las Vegas Blvd.; 866-840-8822; FoodUniversityLasVegas.com.
Every two to three years the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., introduces a new addition to its vast permanent collection. On March 5, it will induct a high-style stunner: the Art Jewel 2009 Black Label Masterpiece Royal Butterfly brooch by jewelry artist Cindy Chao.
Though the museum focuses on raw materials, the piece—composed of 2,328 gems (77 carats in total), including sapphires, rubies, tsavorite garnets and fancy-colored and regular diamonds—represents the educational power of a finished object. “Our primary mission is as a gem collection,” says Dr. Jeffrey Post, curator of the Gems and Minerals Collection. “But as most gems eventually are set in jewelry, and that is how they are donated to us, we are fortunate to have a collection that represents many great designers and design periods.”
The brooch, the first gift by a Taiwanese designer, joins items from the likes of Cartier, Tiffany, Harry Winston and Paula Crevoshay. Chao’s Black Label Masterpiece line is capped at just 36 pieces per year, and the Royal Butterfly—which changes colors when viewed under ultraviolet light—is a perfect combination of beauty, technical skill and hidden fascination. “That is what we want objects in our collection to do,” says Post. “Tell our visitors stories that will delight and inspire them.” Constitution Ave. NW; 202-633-1000; mnh.si.edu.
Holding to a philosophy that photography is the art of our time, V&M Photography, the month-old sibling of online vintage purveyor V&M (Vintage & Modern), aims to spread the good word with its equally new Emerging Artist series. Dedicated to the cause—the site will post one new photo from a burgeoning artist every day—it is also eager to give back. Through February 24, V&M Photography will donate 50 percent of net proceeds to the New York Foundation for the Arts (nyfa.org), which supports artists affected by Hurricane Sandy.
It is a generous outpour, riffing on an overall desire to foster both the famous and the fresh. “We’re as committed to the shock of the old as the shock of the new,” says Courtney Eldridge, curator of the Emerging Artist series. “We’re equally devoted to the genius of masters like Stanley Kubrick and Sam Haskins as to exhibiting breakthrough photographs of relatively unknown artists—works that deliver the promise of famous careers in the making here and now.”
The talent runs deep. A photo encapsulating a tender moment between a boy and a girl, shot by 17-year-old Connie Gegenfurtner from Germany, provides a raw (though no-less-sophisticated) perspective. Renowned photographer Chris Friel—short-listed for the Sunday Times Landscape Photographer of the Year award four years running—is represented by a mesmerizing unedited shot of the sun taken with a handheld camera from a fast-moving boat (pictured here).
Eldridge and R. Adam Smith, V&M CEO, sifted through hundreds of photographs last November to choose the first 30 images for the series. Their approach mirrored what the site strives to do—let the images speak for themselves. “We didn’t discuss age, nationality, when or where the artist had been exhibited before,” says Eldridge. “[We chose] solely on the merit and brilliance of the individual photographs.” Prints, from $75; photo.vandm.com.
It seems that the pig is destined to take top billing in culinary circles for a long time to come. And Cochon 555—a ten-city-tour cooking competition set on spreading the gospel of sustainable production and heritage pigs—is out to prove it, stopping in Atlanta on February 17 before continuing to the likes of the Four Seasons Resort Vail (March 10), Washington, D.C. (April 7) and the House of Blues in Los Angeles (May 5). The journey ends at the Grand Cochon, held at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen on June 16.
“Pigs are the most magical animals in the world,” says founder Brady Lowe. “They are a canvas of flavor for chefs, and consumers are learning about the benefits of heritage breeds and how to find them and cook them at home.”
The competition is fierce; judges score on flavor, utilization and presentation. Fifty chefs throughout the tour will create a snout-to-tail feast (butchering included) using heritage pigs such as the Tamworth, Red Wattle and Mulefoot. Guests taste it all (including wines from family wineries), judges weigh in and ten finalists meet in Aspen for the finale.
Lowe has seen just about everything in the competition’s five years. “Pork-eos,” sandwich cookies filled with lard by chef David Varley of the Michael Mina Group, have crossed his path, as has a whole roasted pig stuffed with $10,000 worth of truffles. And while this year’s creations are sure to impress, his main objective is simple. “To get everyone to put heritage pork in their mouth,” he explains. “Once they do, it’s a game changer—it’s like trying chocolate cake for the first time.” Tickets, $125 (general admission) and $200 (VIP); cochon555.com.
Why ski at one top Colorado resort when you can hit the slopes at—and enjoy the amenities of—two? The Sonnenalp in Vail (20 Vail Rd.; 970-476-5656; sonnenalp.com) and the Hotel Madeline Telluride (568 Mountain Village Blvd.; 970-369-0880; hotelmadelinetelluride.com) have teamed up to create an unforgettable experience called the Ski Dream package (February 18 to 23). Featuring three nights in Vail and three nights in Telluride, the package offers a unique way to spend nearly a week immersed in pristine winter environs.
A private, chartered jet takes care of airport transfer from Denver. Once settled in at the hotels, let the skiing begin. Along with top-notch runs—ten inches of snow fell this past week, with more in the forecast—Sonnenalp will host a dog-sledding experience for two and Hotel Madeline will stage heli-skiing (best for intermediate to advanced skiers). The combination is a treat, proving that winter, in all its glory, can be unequivocally grand. February 18 to 23; $23,500; 800-654-8312; firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is something undeniably romantic about a piece of jewelry from Larkspur & Hawk, a collection of gemstone-based pieces designed by founder Emily Satloff, who uses an 18th-century technique called foiling to manipulate a stone’s color and maximize its reflective properties. “It starts with a sketch that comes to life with a careful selection of gemstones and colored metallic foils,” she explains. “Each piece is then handcrafted to attain a unique play of light and color, fitted to each particular design. The jewel is literally transformed by its foil.”
The earrings pictured here—the Halley Pear (white topaz, russet foil, rose gold–washed silver; $1,000) and the Olivia Button (white topaz, fuchsia foil, oxidized silver; $1,100)—exemplify the method. Satloff, a former antique jewelry dealer and curator at the New-York Historical Society, oversees the production of her wares in New York, where all the jewelry is handcrafted. “The collection is encompassing of a broad spectrum of women,” she says. “Whether worn to the office, a day of errands or at night to a party, there is functionality in each design.” 212-340-9067; larkspurandhawk.com.
The South Beach Wine & Food Festival, a Food Network event presented by Food & Wine magazine, has become an eagerly anticipated tradition in Miami, featuring more celebrity chefs, world-class food and memorable parties than most people can handle. (It is Miami, after all.) Celebrating its tenth year in 2011, this year’s gathering, running February 21 to 24, promises to be no less exciting.
“We’re always on the lookout for new trends and talent,” says festival founder and director Lee Schrager. “It’s a balance of keeping everyone’s favorite classic events fresh with new faces, as well as creating new events that highlight new product launches and trends.”
From seminars to meals of all stripes, there is plenty to enjoy. Fans can pay homage to chef Nobu Matsuhisa and Christophe Navarre, the CEO of Moët Hennessy, at a special tribute dinner (February 23; $500) presided over by Martha Stewart at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Legendary Spanish chef José Andrés hosts a celebrity chef golf tournament at Turnberry Isle Resort (February 23; $650, $2,000 per foursome), and country singer and Food Network new addition Trisha Yearwood helms a Southern-style brunch at the Loews (February 24; $150).
Drinks get a nod, too. Emeril Lagasse (pictured above) spearheads an affair at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden (February 22; $95) featuring cocktails by Bar Lab, and Nelson Mandela’s family chose the festival for the U.S. launch of its family wine label. But it’s not all about food, drink and festivities. Since its inception the celebration has raised roughly $17 million for the Chaplin School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at Florida International University, meaning the culinary future looks extremely bright. February 21 to 24; sobefest.com.
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