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November 22, 2017: Museum Day

I wasn’t up for leaving here today. Had plenty to do including getting the ponies out and working on the recycling book. Add to this, it seemed like it was going to be a nice day. However, I had free tickets – got them last year at a silent auction at the Irish Dance recital. We also had a debt to repay – our friend Andre had for no charge at all excavated our arena site. Additionally, we had never been to the Alaska Museum. So Pete had determined that today was a good day to head to town. So Alice and Andre accompanied us.

Grumble, grumble, grumble. I’d forgotten that being in museums energizes me and I always feel at home in them. Today was no exception. It was a wonderful day. The best exhibit was the first – Ray Troll is a Ketchikan-based artist who paired up with a paleontologist. The pair traveled from Baja to Barrow, checking out the sites. Their resultant work is now on display.

I have a hard time putting the various eras into a context that I can understand. I also have a hard time with the various categories that the mammals fit into. But Troll’s use of imagery and the way the material is displayed made perfect sense to me. The accompanying videos also helped me to better understand how the pair went about making the art/science connection.

And my neighbor Alice was the perfect interpretive buddy – we shared one another’s enthusiasm for the various displays. She also was in no hurry to move on to the other exhibits. We spent many hours looking at Troll’s work together and saw things we would not have seen otherwise in his work, like the cheeseburgers and the vaniboo that he and the paleontologist traveled around in. And Alice was the one who noticed that the couch covering had a fossil pattern on it.

I was so impressed – Troll has been so incredibly prolific. He also wrote the tunes in the videos. I hope that wherever he is, he knows that his hard work and foresight was not at all for naught. I think this was actually the best museum exhibit that I have ever seen.

A woman who was an interpretive guide talked with us about volcanos and eruptions. This is her area of academic study. A lot of what she said was way over my head. I should have gotten a photo of her, under the timeframe in which the subject is the Six Extinction Periods.

We also spent considerable time looking at a David Pettibone installation, one in which he spent a year doing paintings of one tree. He had four sets of six canvases each – the four sets represented the four seasons – and paintings of trees and leaves and plants in between. I felt like I was in the forest during the various times of the year. And it occurred to me that the artist must have felt like he was kin with that tree by the time the year was over.

So much to see. There was a chair that you sat in, you pulled a rope and you rose into the air. It only went part way up. Must have been a safety consideration.

I wish that we all could have stayed in Anchorage for a few days. How wonderful it would have been, to have a sleepover in the museum.

Well, most likely not possible. But I want to go back – soon.

Next: 324. 11/23/17: The Writing Life: Figuring it all Out

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