April 30, 2019
This morning, my brother and I headed to the Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, while our sisters explored the The Ringling in Sarasota. Regardless of destination, we all wished we’d had more time there.
The highlight of this morning, however, was our 30-minute ride to St. Pete. We had an Uber driver named Marc-Henry Jean. Marc is a young man who came to our country about ten years ago from Haiti to get an education. He spoke no English before coming to the US, but managed to earn a degree in Business Management. Marc asked us very insightful questions regarding religion, management, and politics. He listened and responded respectfully, adding his own thoughts when appropriate. The ride ended too soon.
Marc is an entrepreneur already, with a clothing line called Yes to Love, No to Hate. but he is saving money to earn a master’s degree in Entrepreneurship to gain more skills. To that end, he has set himself a minimum earnings goal per day, if he makes it early, he can spend time on other things, if not, he will work until midnight if necessary. Besides his clothing line, Marc has written a small book called Grow Together in Prayer, Reflection and Action. I’ve purchased his book and look forward to reading his insights. Keep an eye on this young man, I think you’ll hear more about him in the future.
I really wasn’t very familiar with Salvador Dalí’s work. The museum was highly recommended by several friends, and it lived up to everything they said. A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse had been avid collectors of Dalí’s art, having aquired about 2,000 pieces. When they decided to donate the collection, there was a stipulation that it all be housed in one location. The City of St. Petersburg took over the collection in 1982, which was originally housed in a former marine warehouse. A new museum was built, one that’s built to withstand strong hurricanes and floods, opening in 2011.
Dalí (accent on the second syllable, by the way) was born in 1904, and expressed an early interest in art. His father arranged his first exhibition, at their home, when Salvador was 13 years old. We were just in time for a tour where we learned more about the evolution of Dalí’s style. We were taught about some of the symbolism and the attention to tiny details in his paintings. I now understand why people peer closely at paintings, looking for the meanings. I was doing it as well by the end of the tour.
Dalí’s cubist style is reflected in the above painting of his wife, Gala. When viewed from a distance, however, this becomes something else entirely, as demonstrated here. It helps to squint a little too.
This evening we took a sunset sail off of Anna Maria island. It was a lovely night, although we were inundated by Lovebugs, an invasive bug that is harmful, but very annoying. This is mating season, and there is no escaping them. Even as we moved out into the Gulf, they were with us on the boat.
That didn’t spoil the evening, though. It was a peaceful way to end the day. The next day was one of relaxing and preparing to return to the cold Midwest.