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June 2011 Archives

Form From Peace and Joy

Minneapolis Japanese Garden.JPGCuriosity Camp delves into the art and aesthetics of Japanese gardens

Dating back 1,500 years, the art of the Japanese garden continues to grow in popularity in the West. Today, there are hundreds of major public Japanese gardens in North America, and scores of smaller public gardens, along with many privately owned spaces, large and small.

This summer, Curiosity Camp participants will have the opportunity to learn more about the history and fundamental principles of this revered art form, as well as see how Japanese-style gardening is adaptable to many environments, including the Minnesota climate. Evoking Nature: The Aesthetics of Japanese-Style Gardens, takes place July 13.

Among the instructors for the camp is internationally celebrated landscape artist David Slawson. As Slawson explains, behind the timelessness of these "paintings with rocks, soil, plants, and water," and what attracts people to them "is the way they recreate the essence of the beauty found in nature. This beauty resonates across boundaries of time and culture because the Japanese sought to communicate what they felt in nature through art, and so developed design principles over centuries of trial and error that tuned into universals of human perception and the natural world."

MACC Paintings Conservation.jpgWhile it may not actually be populated by swashbucklers like Indiana Jones or crime-solvers like Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, the real-life field of art and archaeological conservation does have its share of heroes--and a fair amount of intrigue. And, of course, the cachet of playing a role in preserving some of history's most precious and invaluable treasures.

This July 20, participants in the Preserving Precious Objects Curiosity Camp will get the chance to go behind the scenes of three different conservation labs to learn about and understand how museums and individuals care for, maintain, and conserve objects and artworks.