Today’s entry is about landscape-this time the Midwestern landscape. I was born in the Midwest but moved away when I was three. My cousin, Ken Bloomhorst, however, has lived in the Midwest most of his life, first in Ohio and then in Indiana. He has been an artist ever since he popped out of my Aunt Maurece and maybe even before.
When Ken started art school, I hear that his parents wrung their hands and worried about how he was ever going to make a living. Parents do this sort of thing. But Ken had served a hitch in the Army so he was up to whatever arguments they could throw at him. He got his revenge by pursuing art and making a good living as a partner in an advertising agency in Indianapolis. You should have heard his parents brag then! (That’s another story.)
You can find Ken’s work in the Smithsonian and the Library of Congress. He also designed the logo for the EPA. But to my mind, Ken’s art will always epitomize what is best about the Midwest.
To learn more about Ken’s work, go to his web sites.
We tend to think of inspiring landscapes in terms of scenic vistas from a Kodak Moment, or maybe the azure blue ocean lapping onto a pristine white sandy beach strewn with exotic shells. Instead of these, Isaiah Zagar had a weedy, garbage filled, vermin infested city lot as his landscape. He turned it into an urban oasis using empty bottles, broken dishes, bicycle wheels and whatever else looked interesting to him.
Philadelphia is an old town by American standards, full of tiny little streets and by-ways you can barely get your car down without holding your breath and praying. But Zagar has spread his magic through many of the streets in my neighborhood. You turn a corner and suddenly, standing before you is a wall festooned with glistening jeweled globs of glass, shards of mirror, tiles and dishes.
You can find out more about Isaiah Zagar by going to http://www.isaiahzagar.org/