July 10, 2012

Sketching on Mud Island

On Saturday the Memphis Urban Sketchers met at Mud Island to sketch in the Mississippi River Museum. During July we require indoor sketching venues, and this one was fantastic.

I got there early and sketched the monorail track. There was a line to get in! I was thrilled to see people waiting to go over there. I noticed a lot of accents and languages other than English being spoken by the people in line.
I rode the monorail over there. So fun!

I've never met a museum I didn't like, but this one is especially fun. It's got an audio element that I had forgotten about. A large part of the museum is "sets" for lack of a better word (?) of old riverboats, and there are recordings of people saying things that might have been said on them, like talk of gambling or boat races or boilers exploding.
The recording in the pilot house unfortunately is on a pretty short loop, so I had to get out of there quick. Sara had the same experience.
 I found a place to sit to sketch this one. I could still hear the pilot house track, but it wasn't as bad. This area was dark, so I colored the back in with colored pencil, which I haven't used in quite a while.

The picture below is of this crazy slanted people mover? Flat escalator? I don't remember this from my visits when I was a kid, but I found it fascinating.

The thing about this place is it's really like a time capsule from 1982. Everything is exactly the same. Sure, some of it could use a little TLC, but mostly it's just fun and would suffer for being changed. Except maybe the part with the "wax" figures. Those are a little creepy.
But this part is still so awesome! The whole Mississippi River in miniature! We had so much fun splashing through it when we were kids. I was always fascinated by the big map of Memphis. That's my shadow looming over my neighborhood.

The next image shows the map's age: Memphis State University has been University of Memphis for almost 20 years.
After all of that sketching and wandering, I sat and spent some quality time with my river. It's really low right now, but as awesome as ever.
When I exited the monorail coming back, the first thing I saw was Greely Myatt's Quiltsurround, outside City Hall.
Walking to my left a little I saw Vito Acconci's Roof Like a Liquid Flung Over the Plaza in front of the Cannon Center.

Sometimes my city is awesome.

Go visit Mud Island! It's free to walk over and visit the park. The monorail is $4 - come on, it's fun! And the museum + monorail is $10. Nice folks there, and Memphis Urban Sketchers appreciates them letting us sketch!


Madeline said...

Hi! Just stumbled onto your blog and enjoyed this post. :) I love cities, and I live in one on the Mississipi, too. Enjoyed the interspersed photos and sketches, and love your eye for art in your hometown.

Elizabeth Alley said...

Thank you! Just got back from a trip full of sketching in Santo Domingo, so I hope you'll visit again to see them.

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