As I sit down to write this post, I have a homemade vanilla-honey latte to my left and an almond pastry fresh from the Publix bakery to my right. This seems to me to be a perfectly fitted way to close out a day as lovely as this one. I don’t often get a day free from both work and classes, so I do my best to take advantage of those rare gems whenever they come my way.
I’ll start by saying my mom and I are kindred spirits. We have our own quiet rhythms, and we most often operate very differently from my dad and siblings. My love for arts, culture, fashion, and food has been passed down directly from her. Today was just about as close as we could have gotten to a perfect day for us.
Our big outing of the day was the Huntsville Museum of Art, somewhere neither of us had visited in years. Every time I visit the park that surrounds the museum, I make myself a mental promise to go, and this is the first time I’ve made good on that promise.
What enticed us to the museum today of all days was the temporary Gloria Vanderbilt exhibit that’s scheduled to leave the 24th of this month. As I mentioned before, my mother and I both adore fashion and art, so we simply could not miss a Gloria Vanderbilt exhibit. We were the very first ones inside the building, right as the clock changed to 10:00. After purchasing our tickets (mine at a discounted price with my university ID, something I’ll be taking advantage of for the next four years), we made our way into the spacious front gallery, adorned with the diverse art of Gloria. Ranging from the 60s all the way to the 2000s, these pieces told stories of a life of love and unabashed creativity. My favorite part of the gallery was Gloria’s ability to work with any medium: textile, acrylic, oil.
Another gallery held a collection of some of the most iconic photos of Gloria, including magazine cover and glimpses into her creative studio space and artfully adorned apartment. Sadly neither Vanderbilt gallery allowed photography, so you will have to take my word on how gorgeous the art was (unless of course, you visit the museum yourself.)
Another room brought us into a world of Jonathan Becker photography, artful images of celebrities and socialites and designers.
Yet another room, my favorite so far, held rich acrylic Ponchin paintings; landscapes depicted in colors that made you want to jump right into the frames.
After passing through a hall decked in fabulous sculptures of different mediums, we landed on the final exhibit of our day: a look into the world of art inspired by the force of nature that was Frida Kahlo. This section of the gallery had a little something for everyone; quilted scenes, pop-culture-inspired portraits, collaged tributes. If you are at all familiar with the work of Frida, you can imagine the vibrancy occupying every wall in that gallery.
After a quick stop in the gift shop on our way out (where we purchased classic art-inspired reusable totes and postcards of our favorite Gloria Vanderbilt painting), we walked around to the park-facing side of the museum to grab our favorite lunch.
If you’ve never experienced the butternut squash ravioli at Huntsville’s very own Pane e Vino, you just haven’t lived. (I am not being dramatic in the slightest.) This meal is a treat my mom and I only get about once a year, so we do our best to make the most of it. We went all out, sharing a Caesar salad, a plate of extra garlic-y bruschetta, and the coveted entrée of ravioli. If your soul needs some healing, my recommendation is always Italian food.
Our day on the town was brought to an end with a trip to the craft store to satisfy our newly inspired creative tendencies. Here’s to a 2021 full of art, adventure, and wonderful Tuesdays.
Until next time, Sophia ❤