Friday, April 18, 2014

Palm-Aire residents catch a little Bradenton culture at DaVinci and Village of the Arts

 Judy Radasch, Donna Vasko and Jeannine Lyons with Baobab Gallery owner Gordon Turner. provided photo

Sue Brooks of Palm-Aire tells us that members of the Art Association recently took in a few Bradenton cultural attractions.

Here's Sue's account:

Recently, 32 Art Association of Palm-Aire members and guests took a docent-led tour through the Da Vinci Machines Exhibit at the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium. They learned of Da Vinci’s life, and how he became a mechanical wizard in the fields of war machines, flight, hydraulics and architectural innovations. Many of his inventions are the basis for modern day aviation, nautical, mechanical and hydraulic machines. Some of the models can be operated to gain a first- hand appreciation of how they worked.

Reproductions of his most famous paintings line the walls, reminding all that he was a master painter too.
There was a lot I didn’t know about Da Vinci.....I thought he was just a painter. So the fact that he invented
so many things was surprising to me.

 One invention, an octagonal mirrored stall that his models could stand in, enabled him to see all sides of them, without having them move. Another interesting fact was that he got involved with anatomy...he started doing autopsies to study the structure of the human body, which subsequently got him exiled from Italy as it was against the teachings of the Catholic church.

Da Vinci was left handed and learned how to write words backwards, starting on the right side of the paper so that he didn’t smudge the ink. He was a self-taught person; he wasn’t allowed to attend school since he was an illegitimate child, his father having had an affair with a local peasant. However, by the time he was 14 his father recognized his art ability and made arrangements for him to study under renowned Florentine painter Verrocchio.

Known today mainly as a painter and sculptor, Da Vinci was also an architect, musician, mathematician,
engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer – the epitome of the Renaissance

The Exhibition is one of three currently on display in the world, and the only one in the US. The very informative docent traveling with the Exhibit made the tour most enjoyable. It will be in Bradenton through
May 18, 2014, and is an interesting place to take guests. You can contact the Exhibit at 941-209-1236 for daily scheduled docent tours.

Following lunch, the group traveled to the Village of the Arts in Bradenton, and was guided through the area
by Gordon Turner, one of the local artists. The area is primarily open on Friday and Saturday, but several shops opened specially for our group.

Gordon Turner’s Baobab Tree Gallery has some nice metal pieces (fish, birds, wildlife), jewelry, and watercolor paintings. The Divine Excess Folk Art contained many different folk art pieces as well as eclectic outdoor art … the gallery’s back yard was interesting. The Village Mystic carries jewelry and wall hangings. Joan Peters Gallery has paintings in a variety of media. The Dancing Crane Gallery has paintings and small art objects.

Village of the Arts is 4 blocks south of Manatee Avenue, between 9th St. W and 14th St. W, with a primary focus on 12th St. W. The website is . For more information, call 941-747-8056.

 Jackie Hendrix, Sara Masciopinto, and Pat Merchant at DaVinci. photo provided

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