Siesta Fiesta

I wrote this April 26 but had problems with the computer so it was never published.  Better late than never, right?  Enjoy reading:

What an awesome day on Siesta Key!  After church we walked to the fiesta in the Village and then to the beach.  Along the way we encountered the folks from Ships of Glass, Inc. out of Tampa.  This guy takes glass bottles, cuts off the top and bottom and then used the rest of the bottle cutting out curved sections to make the sails of his sailboats.  I bought a replica of the Bugeye “Edna E Lockwood”; a 9-log sailing bugeye, 53′ long, built in 1889 that was designated a national historic landmark.  It is now ported in St. Michaels, MD.  Its a beautiful piece of art so I bought it.  Although I’m currently “ported” in Florida, I, too, am from Maryland.   Check out their website: www.sipsofglassinc.com.

Further down the Village, we met up with photographer Lou DiVata who keeps is home here on Siesta Key.  According to his business card, he is a fine art nature photographer using natural light and patience.  His work is incredible.  I’ve met him at another art festival around Sarasota (either in Sarasota or Lido Key).  Anyway, my Travis, who loves owls, found a photograph of a horned owl that he couldn’t live without.  It will grace the walls of his bedroom.  You know I’m proud of him at age 12 making purchases like this.  Usually he’ll spend his money on trading cards or gum.  My little guy is growing up, sigh!  You can find Lou’s art on his website: www.loudivita.com.

Then we had to hit the beach, which was a total blast, as usual.  Gary swam, the boys dug holes in the sand, and I collected shells.  Siesta Key beach is my favorite.

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Inventions of Da Vinci at GWIZ

The Inventions of Da Vinci exhibit runs from April 13- September 7, 2009.

What it’s about: “Leonardo’s scientific and technical drawings have captured the imagination for centuries. This exhibition focuses on 16 drawings, through reproducing Leonardo’s drawings on graphic panels and also realizing the idea in model form. Originally developed by the IBM Corporation, this interpretive exhibition encourages visitors to explore these concepts, in many cases through hands-on experiences with working models.”

I took the boys to see this exhibit with another homeschool family.  It was well recieved by all 4 middle-schoolers.  Most of the exhibit is hands-on; you can touch the inventions and make them move.  Some, though, are not because they are more intricate and thus fragile.  Some were hanging. 

Each part of the exhibit there was a written explanation.  The boys took turns reading descriptions of the drawings before touching and moving the models of each invention.  There were flying machines, water pump machines, wheeled inventions, a printing press, a military tank.

There were two conclusions we all agreed on, other than it was a great exhibit.  The first was that  Leonardo was not just an inventor but an improver of things in his world, as well.  Some things may have already existed.  He was the one to put these inventions on paper for us all to see.   Secondly, as Ben Franklin was a great inventor of his time, Leonardo DaVinci was a great inventor of his.  You could pick out different periods of history where one great person did a lot to improve their world but we chose to compare DaVinci to Franklin.   As a result, the boys will be doing a side-by-side comparison/listing of each man’s great accomplishments; what they invented and what they improved on.  Half the job is done for my boys because one had used Leonardo for his Science and History Fair project this year.

Please support GWIZ and this terrific exhibit.  Be sure to pick up the Gallery Guide.  www.gwiz.org