The other night my friend, Kara and I trekked to the Skirball Center for the opening of the Maira Kalman exhibit. To say that I loved the exhibit would be an understatement. I am hoping to go back a couple of times before it closes. It's one thing to see the exhibit as it's presented in the book, Maira Kalman: Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World) and then it's a whole other ball game to see it in person. I really enjoyed the self guided tour and the freedom to wander around the exhibit hall exploring the objects and artwork up close. In addition to the artwork, there is also a film that continuously loops in a side room (you can see some of the films on youtube). Make sure that you look UP in the exhibit hall as well.
Maira was there for a discussion with Ingrid Schaffner. I was a bit disappointed in the discussion. They went through the exhibit catalog and talked a bit about certain pieces. Don't get me wrong, I loved being there but I wanted more. I also wanted it to be more personal and not just a Q and A type discussion. It flowed more like an interview instead of a discussion between two friends. Just saying.
Maira also said that with the other exhibits (and with the upcoming NYC exhibit), she usually sets up a little shop where she sells cans of mushy peas. She apologized for not being able to do that in L.A. One of the articles in the exhibit is a card with a button sewed on it. It mentions Maira sewing buttons a few years ago at an event for $1 a button. How fun would that have been?
After the discussion, I jumped up and ran to get in line to have Maira sign my books. I have every book that has her name on it, but I'm not one of those people. LOL You know the kind-the ones who have the author sign every book that they own in one sitting. I had a hard time deciding which book to bring so I ended up asking her to sign The Principles of Uncertainty and And The Pursuit of Happiness. She was very kind to stay and sign books after the event. It definitely was a huge highlight!!! I walked away with a very big smile on my face.
The exhibit runs through February 13th. It's a MUST see exhibit. I would also recommend that you pick up the exhibit catalog for a more in depth look at the work.
If you don't know who Maira Kalman is, run, don't walk, to your nearest library.
2 years ago