Lea treated me to a delicious lunch at the museum restaurant, Iris, which featured great contemporary American cuisine and a knowledgeable and attentive wait staff. A tender-crumbed rosemary parmesan biscotti started the culinary adventure. I had a lentil-mushroom soup (garnished with toasted coconut) and a half sandwich of curry chicken salad along with a side of sweet potato fries. Lea talked me into a scoop of blueberry sherbet for dessert. (It was lovely, garnished with fresh berries.) Our waiter, Kyle Jackson, said he was an artist and suggested we look for his notecards in the gift shop. We did not find them, so they must have sold out. I hope he gets them restocked soon.
Here are some pics of the art along the outdoor trail.
I liked the wire mesh heads.
I thought the rock in a tree was more of a dangerous-looking engineering feat than art, but the bluebird found it useful as a perch. (Functional art, one could say.)
I found some harmony in the large concrete rings.
I also gave this piece a thumbs-up. The pattern reminded me of a quilt, and the shape reminded me of a stingray.
It also got the bluebird's approval as a perch.
There was a sculpture on the hill that didn't do much for me. From the far side it looked a bit like an oil pumpjack, and from this vantage point I could sort of imagine a donkey on the hill, though the piece was not meant to represent either one.
The next piece turned out to be interesting to me because it was made from the brick of the prison, Polk Youth Correctional Facility, that used to be on this location. When I first moved to Raleigh (way back in the day before GPS, internet, and Google Maps), I believe I might have used the prison as one of the landmarks to help me anticipate the turn onto Blue Ridge Rd. where I attended church and also where the lady lived who rented out a room to me. My older brother had probably given me directions since he had lived in Raleigh a couple of years. I have had dreams in which that area of highway and the prison were imagined, and I can only guess the significance was that it was a landmark to me.
I think this piece looks rather like a fir cone or spruce cone from the distance. (I remember a kid's book where a little homely girl (elf, maybe?) was sent to the moon on a fir cone to marry the lonely man in the moon. This rocket is quite reminiscent of that or perhaps a mullein seed head.)
The swiftly moving clouds gave the appearance that the tower was toppling.
I liked the warmth of the brick, most likely made from local area red clay.
We also viewed quite a bit of art inside the museum. There were sculptures, pottery, paintings, and more. Some pieces of pottery were as old as the second or third century BC, which I found mind boggling.
Here is a modern piece, called "Truly Grateful" that I thought was particularly expressive.
A point of pride for the NCMA is the Rodin exhibit.
Of course, I had to get a picture of "The Thinker." I first saw a replica of "The Thinker" in my pastor's house when I was a child. That pastor and his wife were both educators who had a positive influence on me.
We had a great visit, and Lea and I agreed there was enough that we didn't see that we'll have to go back sometime.