I’ve recently fallen in love with curling. I hear crickets on your side of the computer. I know it doesn’t bring as much excitement as sky-diving, rock climbing, or even growing a nice little garden in the backyard, but it has become my new thing.
For those not familiar with curling, think of combining shuffleboard and chess and then put that on ice. Those crickets are getting louder. Originating from Scotland, it came to America and later the Wausau area in the 1920s when prospective curlers took to the frozen rivers and lakes. Today, Wausau boasts a large curling club and perhaps the finest indoor sole-purpose curling facility in the country.
I mention my budding love with curling because I’ve felt this way before. When I was fourteen, I got my first guitar. It became a thing when I played for hours on end, trying to match the riffs of Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, and especially James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett. I was – and am – by no means a virtuoso. But, I love playing. Each time I pick up an electric guitar, plug it into a Marshall amplifier and hit an open E chord, it’s like a big fish, first kiss, and base hit all rolled into one.
Needless to say, I was excited when the Woodson Art Museum scheduled the exhibition Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of the Guitar. Featuring forty styles of guitars from the National Guitar Museum, the exhibition explores guitar design as an art form and how it influences the different types of music we love.
This may seem like a departure for the Art Museum. Although the Woodson explored the art of design in 2011 with an exhibition focused on Herman Miller furniture, this is different. The guitar means many things to many different people and I will be interested to see how our visitors respond and the perspectives they “pickup” after viewing Medieval to Metal.
Maybe it will lead to hearing different types of Crickets . . .
P.S. Because I wrote this on the anniversary of Buddy Holly’s death, the title seemed an appropriate connection to the end of the blog. Please “Google” the title if you have no idea what I am talking about.