A tribute

I was saddened yesterday to learn of the untimely passing of Bob Cassilly, who has long been one of my artistic heroes.

I never got to meet Cassilly. That’s a shame, because I expect we would have gotten along famously. His glorious masterwork — the St. Louis City Museum — is what I very much want to believe you’d get if I had an unlimited budget; a seven-story, 600,000-square-foot classroom; and way too much time on my hands. When Ron and I lived in the Metro-East, we spent a lot of time prowling through the corridors and caverns at the City Museum and climbing around on the sculptures at Turtle Park.

The first time I set foot in the City Museum, I fell in love with the ceiling and promised myself I’d install something like that in my home someday. This is the City Museum’s ceiling:

When Bob Waldmire passed away, his life and artwork became the inspiration for the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcar.

Last night, as Ron read me the news about Bob Cassilly, my mind went wandering back to Turtle Park and the City Museum, and I sensed a massive creative outburst bearing down on me at about 400 mph.

This is what I did this evening:

Plastic poultry netting: $6.50.
Upcycled plastic shopping bags: free.
This is what you get when you cut 10 plastic shopping bags into strips and weave them, homecoming-float-style, through cheap plastic poultry netting.
This is what an hour and a half looks like.

Based on the dimensions of the room and the time I’ve already invested, I’m estimating that this project will keep me occupied for a month or so, assuming I don’t get distracted by too many shiny objects along the way. It reminds me vaguely of the latch-hook pillow I made when I was 9. It’s not exactly like the City Museum’s ceiling, but the effect is similar, and I think Cassilly — with his penchant for upcycled art made from found objects and castoffs — would approve.

Emily