8 articles Tag art

How to Spend 48 Hours in Wichita, Kansas

Wichita, KansasThe largest city in the state of Kansas sure has a lot to offer; so how best do you go about spending 48 hours in the Air Capital of the World, as it is also known?

Well, read on as we find out!

Trip to Kansas Aviation Museum

While in Wichita, you can never be far away from aviation and avionics, can you? Well, given the city’s legacy in these areas, a trip to Kansas Aviation Museum is definitely an idyllic way to spend time while in Wichita.

The site of this museum is in fact the former Wichita Municipal Airport, setup in the 1930s. Eventually, it took the shape of a museum much later in 1991.

Today, you can enjoy viewing airplanes such as the Cessna T-37, Beech Starship, B-52D Stratofortress, Boeing 737-2H4, as well as the Learjet 23 among others. You can also enjoy an annual “Play on a Plane Day” event held at the museum, in case you happen to be in Wichita at that time.

Wichita Art Museum

Art enthusiasts will certainly enjoy visiting Wichita Art Museum which is in fact the largest art museum in all of Kansas with over 7,000 unique artworks from all over housed in the museum.

Additionally, there are a lot of art galleries in the city; as an art enthusiast, we do recommend that you do try and visit these as well.

Sedgwick County Zoo

No trip to Wichita will be complete without visiting the city’s Sedgwick County Zoo, which is not only the largest zoo in the state of Kansas but also one of the largest in all of United States.

Shopping

Wichita does offer ample avenues for you to shop with ease.

Bradley Fair, an outdoor mall on the city’s North Rock Road is especially recommended for a number of cool apparel stores, besides restaurants that offer delectable cuisine unique to the area.

There are also the usual malls like Towne East Square and Towne West Square with typical retail outlets you will find in much of America.

Food

For a memorable culinary experience, we do wholeheartedly recommend heading out to the city’s Old Town. Situated just across from downtown, it is easy to get here and the food and drinks scene here is quite vibrant with a lot of unique gastronomic delicacies to try out.

The city’s Waterfront is another unique destination for a lot of special experiences that foodies would want to have. There are just so many nice restaurants here and the whole place is done up so well; you definitely would not want to miss out on this place!

Wichita Travel Made Easy with ESTA

ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization is a special provision for travelers from select countries which allows them to travel to the US without having to obtain a visa in advance.

As a part of the entire exercise to ‘Check my ESTA’, viz. to ensure you are actually eligible to travel to the US under this program, you must confirm:

  • You do actually belong to one of the countries on the VWP or Visa Waiver Program list; not necessarily as a citizen – being an eligible national would suffice.

  • Your planned trip to the US should not exceed 90 days.

  • You should not have a Visitor’s Visa to the US already.

  • The purpose of your trip to the US should quite clearly be either business or pleasure.

Many travelers to Wichita have had memorable trips to the Aviation Capital of the World, all thanks to the ESTA provision.

Accordingly, we do reiterate that you confirm your eligibility for the program as per the ‘Check my ESTA’ checklist we have shared above.

Music

As a music buff, you will definitely enjoy your time in Wichita. After all, there’s a lot going on – on this front, not only from a Kansan perspective but indeed an American and international one.

First up, there is Wichita Symphony Orchestra which performs regularly. Then, there are Wichita Grand Opera and Music Theatre Wichita, both of which are well known all over America.

Finally, as the place where the electric guitar was born, there sure is an electrifying buzz to Wichita, on the musical front!

Botanica

Botanica is an experience unique to Wichita which we wholeheartedly recommend if you have 48 hours to spend in the city. There are as many as 24 immaculately designed gardens within Botanica, which definitely make a perfect setting for your Instagram ‘Wichita trip’ Story!

Conclusion

Ultimately, you will hardly find 48 hours to be adequate to explore and experience Wichita to the fullest.

At the same time, if that is all the time you have, this article will surely help you make the most of it!

If you are an international traveler eligible for ESTA, don’t forget to do a ‘Check my ESTA’ as specified above!

Do Artists Need to be Poor to be Relevant?

Banksy

On our way to Liverpool on Friday, Husband and I were having a bit of a music sesh in the car, playing lots of CDs and going through some albums that we haven’t listened to in a while. We’re both massive fans of The Streets and one of the albums that got a play was Mike Skinner’s first, Original Pirate Material. I said to Husband that it would be on my all-time top ten albums list and he agreed, but we went on to discuss how Mike’s later projects didn’t have nearly as much of an impact as his first.

We decided it was because, when Mr. Skinner made his first album, he was young and ‘real’ – he didn’t have a lot of money, he was just an average lad making his way in the world and writing about his experiences. When you listen to his music is has a reality to it, a grittiness that makes it so unique. Our hypothesis about the subsequent albums is that as his success spiralled, he took a step away from the normality of his life and it made his writing less relevant to normal people and the audience with whom his previous work had resonated so deeply.

It reminded me of a conversation that I had with two of Husband’s cousins a couple of Christmasses ago. The conversation had got onto Banksy, the infamous yet anonymous street artist and political commentator who has taken the world by storm in the last few years. At the time, another ‘outing’ had happened where someone had claimed to the press that Banksy was not, in fact, a normal bloke from Bath who’d worked his way up in the street-art subculture, but was actually privately educated and from a wealthy background.

Both of Husband’s cousins were disgusted that he was potentially middle class and almost seemed to feel betrayed by his apparent class status. I asked them both at the time if artists needed to be poor to be subversive, especially given that a lot of Banksy’s art is so political, but they couldn’t quite come to a conclusion as to why it was unsuitable for someone of means to be commenting on politics in such an ‘urban’ way. And if Banksy was a rich boy, was his social commentary less authentic, because he lacked first-hand experience?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m by NO means advocating the middle and upper classes, I’m a working class girl from a background of union members and hard-grafters, but I do find it interesting that there seems to be a correlation between how people view certain artists and the class that those artists would most identify with. I looked back through the ages too, and it’s not just a recent phenomena – Picasso is one of the most divisive artists in history, but I’ve heard many an anecdote about him having to burn some of his early canvasses just to stay warm, during times of abject poverty when he couldn’t afford wood for his fire. Van Gogh died without a penny to his namem having never found fame during his life, only to be one of the most celebrated impressionists of modern times.

It’s not just artists either – Jimi Hendrix, Ringo Starr, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley all came from poverty and I can’t help but wonder if their individual impacts on the music world would have been so great had they been born middle or upper class? If they’d have had the edge and drive that they needed to become superstars? Sure, there are plenty of actors, artists, comedians and musician (especially in The UK) who were afforded the privilege of money and good education,  but I find it interesting how much more respect people are given when they appear to have ‘come from nothing’, and how the relevance of their music is increased by it.

So, how about you? Would you be disappointed to find out that Banksy was from a rich family? Would it make you think less of his art, or is the message the same regardless of what he came from? Does a person’s origins give them more of a right to comment on society, and does poverty make that opinion more authentic?

Let me know, I’m really interested in your opinion!

Draw With Me – August

The lovely Sonia over at This Mummy Loves has come up with a new linky with her daughter, which involves a theme being set for our littlies, who then draw a picture to represent that theme. This month’s theme was ‘Summer’, so I got Sausage on the case, who came up with this beautiful, seasonal offering:

Sausage's SummerSausage’s Summer – Aged 5

This is a multimedia composition, using both pencils and pastels, and although chicks, lambs and rabbits usually represent spring, we had such a naff spring this year that I think all of these things became far more synonymous with summer! One thing that I adore about Sausage’s art is that everyone depicted, be they human, animal or mineral, is always smiling. I like to hope that’s because my daughter is also happy and views the world around her through happy eyes.

Anyway, that’s our effort for this month. Sonia is planning to do this every month and it’s something that I can see Sausage and I getting involved with on a regular basis. Click the button below to go over to This Mummy Loves and see the rest of the entries.

Draw With Me – This Mummy Loves

Win a Personalised Print from Name Art

I’m absolutely thrilled to be able to start the week by offering Mum’s the Word readers the chance to enter another fabulous giveaway and I’m particularly happy because I’m a huge fan of this brand. Name Art offer personalised gifts of the funkiest variety, with the Original Twitter Addict Mug being the most famous and coveted item of all, owned by the likes of Kirstie Allsopp, Theo Paphitis and Sarah Brown!

I love the uniqueness of Name Art and the clever way that Charis has made her highly recognisable brand into so many different products. There are prints for just about any occasion  from the birth of a child to weddings to cocktail hour,  and there are even clothing, door plaques and mouse mats available, amongst other things.

Charis, the lady behind the Name Art brand, has kindly offered Mum’s the Word’s readers the chance to win a personalised, unframed 25x25cm print of your choice with some truly lovely options to choose from (these are just a couple of them):

(frames not included in prize)

For your chance to win this awesome prize, just fill in the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Fat Face Launch Kids Competition to Celebrate 25 Years!

We’re big fans of Fat Face in the Mum’s the Word household, their clothes are funky and really high quality and are just a little bit different to what you’d find in your average high street store. This year is their 25th birthday and to celebrate, they’re inviting kids to design their own t-shirt. The winner will see their t-shirt design made for them and win a £100 Fat Face gift card.

Sausage is massively into art and design at the moment, so we’ll definitely be getting involved and sending our entry in. If you’re entering too, be sure to get it in by 14th April!

To enter, go to the Fat Face website or click on the poster above.

(Disclosure: We were compensated with vouchers to write this post, however we love Fat Face regardless of payment and will definitely be entering the competition!)

Closer to Nature – Moon Corner

Yesterday, I had to go and pay a cheque into the bank and as it’s only a ten minute walk and it was a nice day, I took a wander during my lunch hour. On my way, I spotted this little mosaic which was pretty run down and overgrown, but striking nonetheless. I loved the way that it looked as though the earth was reclaiming it again and there was something a bit spiritual about it, especially as I noticed it was called ‘Moon Corner’.

I couldn’t believe I’d never noticed it before and was excited to tell Husband about it when I got home. I barely got the word ‘mosaic’ out before he said “Yeah, that’s Moon Corner, it’s been there for years”. I did a quick Google search and didn’t come up with much info about it, other than one piece which said it had been made in collaboration with the Zimbabwean community, but I don’t know how true that is.

So, for my first ‘Closer to Nature’ in AGES, I give you Moon Corner, which may not be a natural occurrence but it certainly looks like nature is taking over once more.

 

 

So. I’ve shown you mine. Now it’s your turn to show me yours!

Mum's the Word

Five Easy Steps to Brighten Up Your Kitchen

Anyone who has lived in rented accommodation knows that the flats and houses tend to be magnolia palaces, painted in the most drab and inoffensive shades of ‘BLAH’ and you’re often under other contraints, such as a contract that states you can’t paint the walls or put nails in the walls to hang pictures.

Although my kitchen is the one room in the house with a modicum of colour on the walls (a nice shade of urine yellow…), Sausage’s latest passion has really helped to brighten the place up, so without further ado, I give you ‘Five Easy Steps to Brighten Up Your Kitchen’:

1. Copulate.

2. Get pregnant.

3. Give birth.

4. Wait around three and a half years for your child to grow up and develop an interest in painting.

5. Stick said paintings liberally around your magnolia palace.

A VOILA!

[slideshow]

Just in case you’re curious, the octopus in the drawing is called Shirley! 

The Best Card Ever…

Husband and Sausage love to draw together and I’m often presented with a card that she’s commissioned her Daddy to draw for me. I just got handed one and I think it’s my favourite yet:

Good to know, right? Just to add to the overall effect and presumably just in case I didn’t know what a stinky bum was, here’s the inside:

I wonder if Hallmark are looking for any new designs? ‘Cause this one is genius!