During the month of March, I embarked on a 30-day challenge to do one cultural activity each day. I have kept up with it (mostly). During the month, I learned some really interesting new facts, saw some really beautiful jewellery and increased my knowledge. Here is a rundown of the activities I did for days 7 – 31. The first 6 days are chronicled here, but here are some of my other details.
Day 7: It was getting to the end of the day and I had not figured out what I was going to do for my culture day. Luckily, a friend had a hilarious art book called “We go to the Gallery”. It is a satirical children’s book that is sooo hilarious. The best line is when the mom explains to her boy that “only venture capitalists are allowed to play with Jeff Koons balloons.”
Day 8: I read through the New York Times Art section. The most interesting article was this one about seeing beauty in design.
Day 9: I read through an issue of Hello Magazine. I threw pop culture into the mix as well. What can I say, I was stuck on a train and had no wifi. I had to do something! I ended up reading
Day 10: Doh, did not do anything culture related 🙁
Day 11: I decided to explore the website of the national archives and found this really interesting article about Shakespeare and what was in his will. I did not realize that he’d had two daughters. Check it out here.
Day 12: Read through this month’s edition of Vanity Fair. Found an interesting article about Robert Mapplethrorpe and decided that I wanted to learn more about who he was, his artwork and story.
Day 13: Found a few online mini documentaries but the one was this talk I found by Patti Smith, his one time lover. I was really impressed by how she talked about his love of work and how he would keep working despite the two of them not being able to afford food – even to the point where his hands were shaking from hunger. It made me feel super lazy and spoiled.
Day 14: Skipped a day again…bad girl 🙁
Day 15: I started reading a book about Monet that I got at the Royal Academy. It is interesting to learn about his life and how it impacted his work.
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. – John F. Kennedy
Day 16: I received the art “-ism” book that I mentioned earlier in the challenge and I put down the Monet book to start looking at this one. Eventually I put it in my laptop bag to read to and from work.
Day 17: I am a part of the Quintessentially Art Patron Scheme and they held an event with artist Ori Gersht. Super amazing work!
Day 18: I was really excited to find out that artist Grayson Perry would be speaking at the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London. I was sad when I found out that I was on the waitlist. I was happy when I got the call that I could join the event!! I’m in!
Day 19: I went back to the Painted Flowers exhibit with another friend. There were some interesting new things I noticed about the paintings. I also realised how much I like the painter Santiago Rusiñol.
Day 20: 🙁
Day 21: I woke up and read an article in TimeOut about Grime music and an artist named Kano. Usually I would not do this because I know the music I like and stick to it.
Day 22: I read more of the art -isms book. It has really helped me get a perspective on the different art genres and how they interact. There were certain schools that I thought were the same but they are not…it is focused on Western art though. I’ve made a mental note to find some books that will help broaden my horizons even more.
Day 23: At this point I was getting worried. I did not have a cultural activity planned for the day. Then a friend called to invite me to the Batman v Superman media premier. Whoo hoo! The movie was definitely a thriller but had too many explosions for me.
Day 24: Actually listened to Kano songs that I read about on 21 March. Most of the songs were not for me but from some reason I could not stop listening to Garage Skank.
Day 25 – 26: 🙁
Day 27: I went to the V&A in London to see the Al Thani Collection exhibit. Sadly the tickets were sold out but I decided to check out their standing jewellery exhibit. It was a nice primer for what I would see the next day and…well, I just love jewels. I also made sure to buy a ticket for the exhibit the next day.
Day 28: I went to Al Thani Collection exhibit. I just loved the collection and it was so amazing to see the size of the gems. Wonderful! If you can see it in London or another city, I highly recommend it. the designs and history are just spectacular.
Day 29: Nada…I am feeling a bit lazy. 🙁
“To create one’s world in any of the arts takes courage.” – Georgia O’Keeffe, American modernist painter; artist
Day 30: I went to a late night event at the Science Museum. It was great! There was a DJ, a silent disco and lots of other cool stuff. I was bummed to not be able to do the Red Arrows (the UK equivalent of the Blue Angels) simulator but I arrived too late.
Day 31: I mentioned earlier that I have a membership to the Quintessentially Art Patrons Scheme. I have not been using it as much as I should so I set up some time with one of the art advisors to see the Calder exhibit at the Tate Modern and the Vogue exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery.
Ok, so I cheated and skipped six days but that still left 25 days this month were I was engaged in some cultural activity. I felt proud when I went to the Calder exhibit and could converse intelligently with the art adviser. I knew a couple of the genres and was familiar with some of Calder’s contemporaries. The most important thing was that I got into the habit of doing something that I enjoy on a regular basis. I look forward to attending more galleries, plays, operas, etc.