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December 19, 2016

"The Building of the City Beautiful", Joaquin Miller's Poems

This series was influenced by Joaquin Miller's book, "The Building of the City Beautiful". I stumbled across his book from 1905 at Strand bookstore, NYC, with beautiful pages and gorgeous tattered edges.  I applied black gesso just below each title and created my personal vision of city beautiful. It is an intermingling of theories and cultures, a city where from chaos comes unity.

I found the language too filled with religious content, so I redacted it.  From this darkness emerges new life. The outcome is my interpretation from his title, each page a new experience of the theme.

Upon further research, the poet Joaquin Miller, turns out to be an extraordinary character.  Born either in 1839 or 1841 in Indiana, in a town he claimed his father founded while heading West by wagon. He worked as a pony express rider, fought Indians and then joined them for a year, and finally found his resting spot in Oakland, California, now called Joaquin Miller Park.  He was a great believer in quality of life with natural surroundings.

"The park's 500 acres are heavily wooded with coast redwoods, coast live oaks, and pines. Many of the trees were originally planted by Miller himself. The Oakland Hills location provides panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay area. The park features include miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, an off-leash dog area, an amphitheater, and picnicking."



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