05 October 2011

A Tale of Two Capitols (part 1)

Last week two buyers for the Virginia Museum of Fine Art in Richmond, Virginia, visited LibertyTown with the idea of seeing more of Trista Chapman's work in our gallery. They were enthusiastic about 'discovering' my birds and my functional pots as well, so Jason and I drove down yesterday for a visit. Richmond was the capitol of the Confederacy during the Civil War. Washington, D.C. was the capitol of the North. My home here in Fredericksburg lies between the two, 50 miles in each direction. I visited D.C. today, but I'll write about that tomorrow.
Jason hasn't lived here long, but he knew about this amazing little place about 30 miles south of here called Squashpenny Junction. We took the very brief detour off of Rt. 1 and there it was amidst a crisscross of train tracks, engines and rail cars. (The name of the business is really evocative...who hasn't put a penny on a railroad track to see it squashed into a thin oval disc)As happens more often than is possible, it turned out that I knew the proprietor of the shop next door from many moons ago in the 'Burg. The place is chock-a-block full of "stuff" and we didn't dare go in for fear of losing the day. It is the classic maverick Americana. Their biggest customer comes every few months from Seattle, 3,000 miles away!
Richard was tending Squashpenny for his lady friend. The Folk Bank is his business, right across the road.
 The Museum recently completed a major addition and renovation and it is fantastic! This 'dumpling' by Jun Kuneko is part of a small sculpture garden. I love his work and it's always very cool to see work one admires in person.
Jason's artistic view
The most exciting piece at the Museum is "Mocha Dick" (wool felt, vinyl covered fabric and internal fan, 10'x14'x52') You'll never see a bigger felted project and it is wonderful. Mocha Dick is the real-life albino sperm whale that inspired Melville's Moby Dick.
Like any adult whale, it is covered in scars and barnacles. The deeper seams are actually zippers!

I left behind 5 bird pots and we shall see if customers find them amidst the usual museum store stuff. It's a nice opportunity.


Reneesance said...

Oh Mocha Dick is lovely! I worked at Theatre Virginia years ago before it had to close and one of the perks was getting to work in the same space as the museum every day.

Hannah said...

Now that whale really is amazing!

Lori Langford, Owner, Big Dog Pots Pottery said...

Many Congratulations! Your work is lovely, hopefully it will find a welcome home in this new venue. You must be very pleased!

Hermann Wundrum said...

Anything for the permanent collection at VMFA, Dan?


Christine said...

Thanks for the images of the whale, it's wonderful.