renwick tree

“Middle Fork” by John Grade. Cedar.

Buon Anno a tutti!

I thought I’d take a short break from food posts to share some photos from a recent day trip I took to DC with my husband. I say “day trip” even though I live less than 10 miles from the city because I don’t get there as often as I like, or should. I tend to stay in my little “holler,” as I call it, working in the kitchen or at the computer. Every so often, though, I crave a trip to a museum or gallery ~ the way I sometimes crave braised greens or a nice dish of pasta. I just need to go.

The Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery, near the White House, recently reopened after a two-year renovation and I’ve been wanting to see the featured exhibition. It’s called WONDER. Nine contemporary artists explore the theme through large-scale installations using materials from tropical bugs to discarded tires.

Wonder is a word that comes up a lot, especially during the holidays (star of wonder, winter wonderland), but sometimes I feel like we people pay less and less attention to it in our daily lives. I know I do.

A museum or gallery is the perfect place to rekindle that feeling of awe and I found it at the Renwick. The works of these nine artists are extraordinary. One, John Grade, made a plaster cast of a hemlock tree and then recreated it (hanging horizontally, suspended, in a gallery room) using thousands of tiny pieces of hand-carved reclaimed cedar. The architect and artist Maya Lin recreated the contours of the Chesapeake Bay from marbles. My pics don’t do the works justice (and I didn’t capture all nine). You can view the works online. But If you happen to be in or near DC any time before May 8 be sure to go.

Wishing you all a wonderful ~ as in full of wonder ~ 2016.

“Shindig” by Patrick Dougherty. Saplings and sticks.


“Untitled” by Tara Donovan. Stalagmite-like structures made of index cards.

bug room horizontal

“In the Midnight Garden” by Jennifer Angus. Insects from Malaysia, Thailand, Papua New Guinea.

bug installation

Closeup detail, “In the Midnight Garden” by Jennifer Angus.

Chesapeake marbles

“Folding the Chesapeake” by Maya Lin. Fiberglass marbles.

renwick tree 2

“Middle Fork” by John Grade (another view). Cedar.

6 Responses to Wonder

  1. Rosa Jeanne Mayland January 1, 2016 at 2:15 pm #

    A magnificent exhibition.

    Best wishes for the New Year!



  2. Marisa Franca @ All Our Way January 1, 2016 at 3:30 pm #

    Thank you Dominica, Felice Anno Nuovo!! I loved your photos.

  3. elisa January 1, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    Artists create the world the way they imagine….Buon Anno Domenica!!

  4. amelia from z tasty life January 1, 2016 at 4:16 pm #

    meraviglia!!! augurissimi Domenica: speriamo di incontrarci quest’anno

  5. Chiara January 3, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    bellissime foto Domenica, buon 2016 !

  6. Frank Fariello January 4, 2016 at 8:49 am #

    Cool. I work just blocks from the Renwick—you’ve inspired me to pay a visit. Happy New Year, Domenica!

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