I spent Thanksgiving with my spouse, child and my inlaws. Today we went to see a production of “The Nutcracker” – which has become a family tradition. The Fresno production is lovely – the children are always ridiculously cute; the Sacramento Valley Ballet (the performance is a joint production between a local ballet studio and the Ballet Co) is wonderful, and the dancers work really well with their young counterparts. The sets are also beautiful – the whole thing, down to the way that Dr. Drosselmeyer’s silly magic tricks conceal his true magical abilities) comes alive on stage.
On the way home from the theater, we stopped to check out the ongoing development of a Patrick Dougherty installation, called “Learning Curve.” We have a Doughtery installation more local to us as well. My son calls it “The Woozle House” – which has always struck me as just right.
These sculptures: you can be in them, around them, look into them, look through them, and they smell like fresh wood. The one near us sometimes has squirrels playing in it, and there’s almost always kids playing around it – weaving in and out and through it – during the day time. They’re sustainable and they give back to the earth. They make people, even sensible grown people, want to play. But what I love best about Dougherty’s work is that sometimes the support posts – cut willow put directly into the ground, start to take root. They literally root and grow leaves and sometimes have other plants use them to grow. The one near our house is now about half green. The art actually comes alive.
Something to strive for, I think.