Dare to Dream

Last week I was able to cross off an item from my bucket list by doing a photo shoot at the Salk Institute. This mid-century marvel is the brainchild of Jonas Salk with the bold architecture of Louis Kahn making it not only a revolutionary place for science and research, but a pilgrimage site for architecture and design lovers. The historic campus of the Salk Institute has long been one of those iconic San Diego sites that you may have seen captured somewhere on social media, but not known exactly where this magical place might be.  Something about its raw materials and reverent stare toward the sea is reminiscent of an ancient Greek temple of the gods. Salk’s vision for the institute was to “dare to make dreams into reality.” Stepping into the space, it is obvious this was a place meant to harmonize with nature in order to inspire the mind towards great discovery.

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Because it is a functioning laboratory and research center with a lot of student activity, access to the site is strict and is allowed only between certain hours. My talented friend Bronson and I were lucky enough to be granted permission for a low key shoot in the public space. Both of us had dreamed of creating imagery here for a long while and we took full advantage of our time.

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Although the central plaza and the iconic river of life are the most well known, we were both equally inspired by the harmony and flow of the stairways and flanking cavernous hallways.

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We had a break in our summer heat and got an atypical cloudy day for the time of year. Initially bummed about this, my mind was quickly changed when I saw how this enhanced the already gorgeous light play in the space by diffusing it in a really magical way.

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It was really hard to pull ourselves away from the space. As the sun set, we kept seeing the space evolve with the changing light. We were oh so grateful for the time we had and it was such a blast. I’m so thankful to Bronson for always being willing to create art with me. I found it profound to be creating imagery in a space where cures are created and life is saved on a daily basis.

~SG

All photos by Bronson Pate of Bauman Photographers

 

Outfit Details:

Dress: Halter Dress with Fringe by Zara
Earrings: Lotus Statement Earrings by Kendra Scott

Sense of Wonder

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” ― Rachel Carson

In my life I am constantly seeking out art and beauty in a longing to absorb them into my mind and spirit and reinterpret that energy into my own artistic projections into the world. I have a need to find and feel immersive experiences that reignite my childlike senses of wonder that is so easy to lose in the day to day grind of life. This is my own recipe for keeping me on the path of positivity and constant creation. After seeing last year’s first Wonderspaces installation here in San Diego I was filled with this type of inspiration and I instantly wanted more. I was so jazzed to hear a few months back that Wonderspaces would return with their second show entitled With Creative License in June. I was pleased to be invited to the preview night of this gorgeous installation. As good as last year’s show was, this was definitely next level.  Each of the show’s 15 installations was transformative in its own way and I loved each one, but I wanted to call out and do a quick review of a few of my favorites with some photo we took.

Submergence by Squid Soup

Text from Wonder Spaces Site: “Submergence is a large, immersive, walkthrough experience. It uses up to 8,064 individual points of suspended light to create feelings of presence and movement within physical space. The installation transforms space into a hybrid environment where virtual and physical worlds coincide. As you enter the piece, you are walking into a space occupied by both real and virtual components, and you can affect both” 

I would have a hard time believing anyone who would say this wasn’t their instant favorite. Maybe I just have a personal affinity for feeling like I’ve been taken into a completely new dimension. Moving about this sea of light and color I was immediately filled with awe and delight. I’ve never been in a space that felt so technological and yet so organically alive at the same time. I loved that you could really be part of it, touch it and come face to face with the piece. Its not something you are always allowed to do when experiencing art and it made me feel differently about it. This was the only installation that I had a hard time completely taking in the first time and went back to experience a second time.

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HOSHI by Nonotak Studio

This is the only repeating artist from last year’s show and the 2017 pace was one of my favorites so I was really excited to see this installation. There were many pieces that used light as medium, but there is more aggressive  about this one.As you enter the long hallway of pulsating light bars, sound and mirrors…it felt a lot like being in the highly curated mood of the final scene of a psychological thriller.  There isn’t much info about this piece on the Wonderspaces site or the artist’s site. Maybe it is supposed to speak for itself…which it certainly does.

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Black Balloons by Tadao Cern

Text from Wonder Spaces Site: “For an extensive amount of time, I had an idea to connect two balloons. I found a free minute between the other currently run projects, bought two balloons, and got overwhelmed by the result. It was so unpretentious and so magical at the same time! That opposition created by two very simple and playful objects once again brought a unique childlike sense of discovery.”

This piece caught my attention the most when I saw the marketing promo imagery for Wonderspaces. Something about balloons has a very deep emotional connection in my psyche…perhaps something from childhood. In the color black and in a strict geometric pattern they take on a new meaning and a strange feeling very different from the colorful free flowing nature of balloons. There is palpable tension between the two planes. Physically connected by their strings but in two different realities.

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 Into the Breath by Stefano Ogliari Badessi

Text from Wonder Spaces Site: “Made of plastic bags, Into the Breath is a Dragon Balloon. Stefano Ogliari Badessi is a nomadic installation artist. He has adapted his creations to be mobile and transportable, giving him the freedom to pack up and take his art to any remote corner of the globe. Each of his installations is first imagined as a fantasy to touch some alternate sphere of reality and then realized using unique sensory combinations and performance collaborations.”

 This was a space that was the most calming of all the installations. Although very large, the space has a very unique lightness about it.  It’s one the only times I’ve been excited to remove my shoes in a public place.  Stepping inside was like going into a dream. Contemplative, warm, meditative and soft.  It was like existing inside of the lungs of a very large mystical creature. Being outside of it was almost as amazing. Hard to believe this heavenly golden atmosphere is created by recycled plastic bags.

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~SG

The Bash

What can I really say about Bloom Bash? This is the event that consumes my mind all year long. If I was personified as a party…I think this would be me. With my years of experience, I  have the skill as a planner to create a pretty good party with almost any theme, however Bloom Bash is where I get to live out my every event fantasy. Nothing is considered too gaudy, too flashy, or too over the top and I can surround myself with overwhelming, large scale, immersive art installations. That is my party heaven!

The event is known for its multi-color and multi-sensory experiences with the showcasing of up and coming artists at its center. Ramping up for this year, I had my work cut out for me as last year’s all encompassing rainbow centerpiece installation by HOTTEA was such a huge hit and with the addition of an installation but the Journey Project, it was also the first year I showcased two artists instead of just one. This is a party-going crowd that is always hungry for more. More Art! More to do! More to See!

Naturally I had to find some artist work with big presence but not too much like last years’.  I had been seeing these amazing lantern like installations Serge & Yelena of HYBYCOZO all over Instagram and they instantly made me fall in love. The different laser cut patterns of their different sizes of HYBY’s, as they call them, cast their various patterns all around them making the space and people immediately around them as much a part of the art as the work itself.

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Our second artist was a close friend of the HYBYCOZO crew and their work ties in perfectly together. We brought out the installation entitled Enunciation by Taylor Dean Harrison and it perfectly balances the other works. Where HYBYCOZO radiates out, Enunciation draws you in. I was a super fan of how it felt to be inside this color changing space.baumanphotographers_2922.jpgBaumanPhotographers_3502BaumanPhotographers_3445BaumanPhotographers_3468BaumanPhotographers_3476

The art is always my favorite part of this event, but the party itself is just rip roaring fun. The JetBlue sponsored nightclub was a blast and we danced forever.

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And as always there were an extravagant array of treats from our local restaurant and dessertier partners from all over the city.

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I always say this…but I REALLY cannot wait for next year’s Bash.

~SG

all Photos by Bauman Photographers

Art Alive Premiere: All that Glitters

Another Art Alive has come and gone and I’m always amazed at how totally satisfied and energized I feel after an extremely successful year of this event, while also being completely physically and emotional depleted. It’s a yearlong effort for me that takes many weeks to mentally recover from. This year was no different. I’m over the moon about how divine everything turned out and the buzz that is still in the air. Our Premiere Dinner that kicks off the event for our donors is the ultimate test of these contrary feelings. This event is the one that raises the most money over the weekend and has the most pressure. It must be very high touch, surprising, art-centered and utterly glamorous. No small feat for an event with a nonprofit budget and attendees that go to exquisite parties all over the world. Somehow I seem to pull this off year after year. It’s a bit terrifying every year to hear “how on earth will you ever top last year” and “there’s no way it could possibly get better.” Flattering I suppose…yet all the while a big scary challenge to have this monumental task placed in my hands. I choose to take this challenge head on year after year knowing it’s always a big risk with big reward for the whole museum if done right.I like to say that stepping into the dinner space each year is like getting a glimpse inside my mind. I dare say it’s true. Not many people dream of glittering champagne bubble ceilings and vintage gold forks…but I do.

This year we opened an exhibition of Nancy Lorenz’ artwork called Moon Gold alongside the Art Alive exhibition. It’s a glittering gilded fantasy of an exhibition and it inspired this year’s Rotunda Installation and the dinner was set in the adjoining gallery. As guests entered the cocktail hour, they were greeted by the amazingly overwhelming “Infinite Garden” Installation by the amazing floral artists Natasha and Daniel at Waterlily Pond. It was a 40’ rotating gold double helix with cascading flowers in warm tones. It perfectly captured the mood of Nancy Lorenz work blended with the festive fun of Art Alive. It was pure perfection. I of course dressed to match in a matte gold sequin gown by Dress the Population.

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After much time admiring this installation and getting our full of Veuve and spun gold cocktails, it was time for dinner. We opened the doors and the guests got their first view of the Moon Gold exhibition. Liquid gold canvases in many hues, mother of pearl inlay and elaborate painted screens set the scene for the rest of the evening.

As the guests drew near the dinner room, hints of movement could be scene. Vario Productions constructed me a full floor to ceiling projection room with scrolling  images of Nancy’s work and alternating video imagery set to elicit the feeling of being inside of her paintings. PEP creative executed my design for the ceiling treatment meant to make you feel like you were inside a glittering bubbling champagne glass. The custom swooped tables alternated poured Gold and Silver contrasting details including the gorgeous gilded centerpieces from Green Fresh Florals. The ethereal sounds of the shadowlands band and the tantalizing fare from Cost helped round out the senses to make it a truly immersive dining experience.

04261892b0007204261892b0006804261892b0003704261892b0005004261892b0004104261892b0010604261892b00238As the final course was served, the mood was light and festive. I was nearing time to leave this heavenly space and adjourn to return to the rotunda for more music, mingling and sweet treats. Everyone was a bubbly as the champagne and it was so nice to hear how everyone had been inspired by the nights revelries.

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I was told once again “best dinner yet” and “how will you possibly top this next year?” All I can say is that I’m up for the challenge and to stay tuned for another peek inside my brain. I wish I could say I actually had time to take a load off after this magical night, but Art Alive had just begun. Bloom Bash was looming and I cant wait to share the details of that night next week.

~SG

Tastemaker

I’ve had a bit of writers block lately as the new year started out very busy from the get go. With Art Alive season being upon me while understaffed in our department, as well as a slew of family illnesses and extremely busy weekends, I have not had the accurate words to describe anything creative in the depths of my tiredness. I suppose we all get in those ruts where we get stuck in the day to day minutiae. Something’s gotta give right? And it’s usually our extras. The things that don’t pay the bills or fulfill the basic needs of you and your family. It’s the things that feed your soul that get cut…and my soul can only be starved for so long. For a few weeks I haven’t known what to write even though I have had the desire, but then a few opportunities came up that were really exciting. I was approached by a couple of publications to be featured and I thought writing about this would be the perfect way to get back on the blog swing since they both came out in the same week.

A local online publication called SD Voyager contacted me to cover me as a featured interview in their series about local interesting people to meet. It was a fun article and I got to share a lot of photos of my favorite events designs over the past couple years. Check it out here.

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This feature was really great, however the one I was the most excited about participating in was San Diego Magazine. They reached out to me in January and asked me to be a Tastemaker in the April issue. A Tastemaker in this sense is basically a local influencer known for a specific style and taste level. They asked me to share about myself but mostly had me select some products that I can’t live without. These were basically things I like to wear or use that I consider my go-to’s. This is something I like to talk about on my blog so it was really great to do it in an official capacity. Below is the feature from the magazine that came out today!

Picture1I got to mention this blog also which is super cool! I’m so happy that this has become a real integrated part of what I am known for.

I always like an excuse for a photoshoot so I had some new photos taken just for this feature and I am super happy with them so I wanted to share more than just the one they selected. Below is a small selection of my favorites taken in my favorite gallery in the Museum by the talented Bronson Pate of Bauman Photographers.

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These articles mean a lot because it shows that by working hard and pursuing what you are passionate about with integrity, people will take notice. Always be genuine and true to yourself.

~SG

Road Trip 2017

The new year has proven way busier already than anticipated and I’m just now finally having a chance to review the road trip we took to close out 2017. Better late than never I say as it was too spectacular not to share. This time of year is starting to become an annual voyage into America’s high desert. Last year we explored Northern Arizona and this year we plunged into the National and State parks of southern Utah. We decided to drive instead of fly to a starting point this year and chose Vegas as our midway point to help break up the car time. I’m a huge fan of Vegas…but probably not for the same reasons as most. I do not like gambling, overpriced food and drinks and loud smoky rooms. This is why we generally stay away from the strip. What else is there to do in Vegas then? Much I say! The art scene is deeper than you would expect and there is plenty of off-strip delicious food and charming institutions to enjoy.

On our way in, we stopped at the quite popular Seven Magic Mountains installation by Ugo Rondinone. If I had my druthers, we would have stopped at a different time of day because this over Instagrammed installation is downright packed  in the middle of the day. Our tight schedule unfortunately wouldn’t allow it so I settled for our afternoon pass-by. Even though it was pretty busy, it didn’t take away from enjoying the installation. Colorful and of impressive scale, it has just the right balance of blend and contrast with its desert surroundings. We managed to get some great photos despite having to dodge the other oblivious onlookers.

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We headed into town and unfortunately we were staying on-strip for our first night due to the proximity to the second art installation I had planned to see. I definitely did not like our hotel, but the experience we had the next morning made it all worth it. I had read about a “secret” art installation hidden in the Shops at Crystals. James Turrell’s Akhob was commissioned by Louis Vuitton and set underneath their store on the strip. Unfortunately this is not for the spur of moment trip to Vegas, as I had to make a  reservation about 3 months in advance. You are greeted by the artist’s reps and ushered by elevator beneath the store. You enter a small dark space where they orient you before taking you up the hall to the installation entry point. Its an immediate contrast with a pure white waiting room with dark stairs leading up into the main space. Ascending the temple like stairs into  the round opening  of the first room was surreal. There are 3 rooms in succession filled with bright light on a slow color changing flow. The third cannot be accessed as its a 6′ drop…or so I’m told as you cannot tell where the room really begins or ends. Turrell’s installations are primarily concerned with light and space and  are meant to play with your eyes. It felt like floating in a never ending tunnel. it was a pretty magical space. Photos were not allowed, but I posted a photo below from Motherboard who reviewed the space. If you are planning a Vegas trip far enough in advance to reserve a time to experience this, I highly recommend it.

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We hit the road immediately after this experience to head to Zion National park. The drive alone was gorgeous, but as soon as you see that first peak you definitely know where you are. Its name makes reference to the holy mountain in Jerusalem, and I certainly feel God’s presence in a place like this. We enjoyed the small local town the evening we arrived but got up very early and hiked up to the main valley overlook. What a spectacular view!!  It was definitely one of those spots that didn’t seem real…as if you were placed in front of a giant painting. I wish I would have booked 2 nights in Zion as it turned out to be my favorite stop on our trek. The crisp dry air and rainbow rock temples are what dreams are made of.  I will definitely be back to this park.

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Our final stop would be Bryce Canyon National Park, but I decided to make a day trip detour on our way at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes State park. I am enchanted by dunes and these pink natural wonders were too  good to resist. We grabbed some lunch and took the long straight road down a narrowing valley that lead us to an observation area overlooking the unique sand formations of the park. I was mesmerized and I scarfed my sandwich quickly to head out to go romping through sand. The larger dunes didn’t seem as far as they were but we managed to reach the closest ones and tromped all over. We had a blast, but after wading through deep pink sand in hiking boots with a toddler for a couple hours, we were sandy and spent.

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Bryce Canyon was only a short distance from the dunes so we arrived by early afternoon. We chose to stay in a cabin house on the far end of the park rather than right by the main entry to the canyon. Cabin is a loose term…these were houses with renovated kitchens, a fireplace and a patio hot tub overlooking the sprawling desert. I was ready to call it a night after our 2 previous hikes that day and get straight to hot-tubbing, but we had heard that sunset was the best time to view the canyon from the rim trail so I was coerced to drag myself back out for more hiking. I ended up glad  that we did because what a sight it was. As the sun went down we were able to experience all the best colors of the canyon and surrounding horizon. The hoodoo formations are so very unique and for all of this canyon’s comparison to the grand canyon, how can you really adequately compare beauty against beauty or art against art.

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DC6EDA97-7DAC-4CB4-AC73-AD2D62BBBD18We did a little more hiking before our return to Vegas, but started back early through the red rock landscape for our long haul back. We managed to squeeze in a couple more small intrigues before returning home. That night we checked out the Downtown Container Park in the Vegas Arts District near Fremont for some eats and strolled the scene to check out some of the great murals leftover by the Life is Beautiful festival. There are some gorgeous big name muralist works around there. My favorite was this Felipe Pantone mural that is 3D and has solar powered light up elements.

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Full of heart but very tired, we were ready to get back to San Diego, but not before a couple more peeks at art installations and quick stop at the Lion Habitat Ranch. I’m quite the animal lover, and when I heard there is a lion rescue in the desert with the fun addition of a famous painting giraffe you could also pay extra to feed, I couldn’t resist.  It was a quaint set-up with an impressive amount of lions of all ages saved from a defunct casino. They do good work and their lions are very happy. The giraffe was a sweet juvenile with a rambunctious temperament. Getting to feed and pet him was such a rare treat.

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All-in-all it was a magical 5 days full of wondrous of sites both man-made and God-made. Can’t wait for our next adventure!

~SG

Rainbow Bright

As a kid I was obsessed with colorful clothes and accessories. Never having been shy to show off a bold statement my whole life, I embraced the trendy rainbow pieces of the 90’s throughout junior high and high school. Once I was out of school however, I didn’t really think it was appropriate for adults to wear rainbow clothes in everyday life. That changed recently when I saw the Gucci pre-fall 2017 collection.  It was so full of whimsy and some simply amazing key rainbow pieces it gave me the confidence in needed to start incorporating some multicolor madness into my personal wardrobe.

Some of the best rainbow pieces I have found so far have come from ASOS. I have recently purchased 2 very comfy and bold Rainbow sweater dresses from the site and just had to pair them in pics with some very colorful locations.

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The first pic features the Warehouse rainbow stripe sparkle dress. Unfortunately this one has recently sold out. The second is the recently added Daisy Street jumper dress in rainbow. Both are cozy warm and a great way to incorporate some rainbow in the winter.

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And however impractical the Gucci Rainbow platform sneakers are, I still crave them heavily. I settled for a pair from a brand that has been my favorite for cheeky footwear since high school. These Rocket Dog Reagle Rainbow Platform Sneakers are low enough for everyday wear and surprisingly come in my larger size 11. They also have some pretty serious rainbow platform sandals in all heights I’m peeping for summer.

I’m so happy I’ve ben able to don some rainbow-wear…without looking too much like a cartoon character I hope. The point is….Wear what you love!

~SG