Your eyes and ears on the world of art and culture.

I know that many of you, like myself, are fans of the glasswork of Dale Chihuly. There is now an exquisite exhibit of his work at the New York Botanical Garden. Feast on 18 photos, where you will see variations on familiar works as well as new pieces.

All of the public sculpture in the U.K. will be digitized by the year 2020. The project includes 170,000 publicly owned works, making the U.K. the first nation to accomplish this feat. Many of the works have never been on display and most of them have not been professionally photographed. Others are subject to damage. The director of Art U.K., the outfit charged with this task, says that more international artists are part of the public sculpture collection than is the case with their painting collection.

More than 40 years ago I was asked to curate an exhibition of digital art for a museum in the Pacific Northwest. One of the projects I proposed was to initiate a story on a computer accessible to the public, and then invite visitors to choose their own costumes, story line, ending, characters, etc. Although the museum's chief curator was enthusiastic, the Board of Directors of the Museum turned it down, saying that computers were only a fad and would not last. (One of my favorite historical nuggets!) Now comes Netflix with an interactive show which allows the audience to make choices that will alter the narrative.

In 2009, NASA lauched the Keppler Space Telescope Mission. At the time, NASA asked those who were interested to submit their names for inclusion on the mission, so I entered the names of myself and my grandchildren. Now, by proxy, all of us are part of the extraordinary findings of Keppler, including finding 219 new planets, 10 planets close in size to the Earth and showing signs of water, and 80% of all planet candidates for possible life forms. These findings occurred in just the first 4 years of the Keppler Mission, which has now been extended. Recently Keppler revealed an exoplanet that appears quite similar to Earth - it is being called KOI (ie, Keppler Object of Interest) 7711.

Here is one more of the private Collections that I have been showing you. This one, by Francoise and Jean-Philippe Billarant in Paris, concentrates on minimalist and conceptual art and was put together over a 35-year period. The couple took a 62-year-old grain silo outside of Paris and redesigned it into a 26,000 square foot gallery. They have expressed their philosophy this way: "We're interested in art that resists an immediate understanding in order to reveal itself over time."

I recently became aware of the landscape paintings of Jack Stuppin. Stuppin is one year older than I and now lives in Sonoma County, California. His bright and energetic landscapes have a naive quality to them and combine a sense of simplicity with rather complex constructions.

A French photographer named Pierre Gonnord has recently been producing haunting photographs of children, afer a career creating portraits of Spanish miners. These arresting images, in a series called Light of the Soul, are being shown at Festival Portraits in Vichy, France, through September 10. Gonnord is also a talented writer: about one of the portraits, he writes: "To take a portrait is also to fight against oblivion. It's the cannibalisation of the other, of his difference and our common part of humanity. The communion, the appropriation of beauty, grace, dignity, that makes us a little more equal. A little more eternal as well".

You might want to compare Gonnord's portraits of real people, treated like Old Master paintings, to those of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye. Born in British-Ghana, Yiadom-Boakye's subjects do not exist in real life but come from her imagination. 17 of them are on exhibit at the New Museum in New York, most of them painted on herrigbone linen. Her sources, she claims, are experience, memory, found images, and improvisation. Most of them are finished in one day. A writer as well, she has said: "I don't paint about the writing, or write about the painting. It's just the opposite, in fact: I write about the things I can't paint and paint the things I can't write about."

c. Corinne Whitaker 2017