Following the advice of I Heart Mom – Part I, Friday, my sister and I took Mom to the North Carolina Art Museum off of Blue Ridge Road/Wade Avenue. Walking in from the parking lot the new building was glowing. The weather was warm. Excitement drifted in the breeze.
Inside, live jazz blew into every space and people gathered at small tables crowded by appetizer plates and wine glasses as we waded through a very long line for our own copitas de vino.
Wandering into what could have been mistaken for a cozy cabin, we checked out a small room off to the side of the main area, the John James Audubon exhibit. Owls and hawks watched over us as we viewed his original large-as-life drawings. Our state bird, the Cardinal, made an appearance along with other birds that can be found in NC.
Ah, the impressive Golden Eagle! This is Audubon’s drawing, the real bird can be found at Grandfather Mountain.
Leaving the main building we strolled over to the new building that was completed just last year (April 2010). As we snuck a peak into Iris, a “sophisticated, full-service” restaurant where we would have dinner soon, we entered the gallery along a glass paneled walkway. I awed at the optical illusions before us. We had been transported to a big city art museum and as we passed between rooms, the ceiling asked the same question each time: Light or no light? Socket or panel?
Like Rodin’s Two Hands, noticing the unexpected was all in our perspective.
8:30pm came (the last reservation time, open till 10pm) and we took our seats in the well-lit, serenely draped dining room. Perspective was again toying with us and I gazed at the wall behind me. How do such heavy twigs, some as big around as my wrist, create the illusion of wildly tranquil whisps?
After our NC crabcake appetizer, we shared bits of each other’s dinner: local Trout, risotto and the Sea Bass special. Amazing.
Walking back to car, the full moon was intense and magical. I was reminded of all the eyes that have ever been struck by it’s glow, of all the things those eyes have helped hands create to express the mind and spirit of an individual, and a culture – that we now view in large white spaces dedicated to the celebration of human invention.
I am thankful for that opportunity. For the truth that things have changed and will continue to. And I will try to be as open as the moon as they do.