Monday, November 10, 2014

Microsoft #reIMAGINE 2014 Conference - Getting Here

November 9, 2014

Typically, there's nothing exciting about a flight between Atlanta - Minneapolis - Fargo, except this time, I was able to appreciate the art exhibit displayed between T gates and concourse A at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport.

Foreground: TRAVELING FAMILYBy Amos Supuni
Born 1970 Malawi

Background: GALACTIC DANCERTapfuma Gutsa
Born 1956 Harare, Zimbabwe

This permanent collection of twenty contemporary stone sculptures from Zimbabwe debuted in 2001 and is one of the largest publicly owned and exhibited collections of its kind. Located in the pedestrian corridor of the Transportation Mall between the T Gates and Concourse A, it features twelve of Zimbabwe's top artists. Though the Art Program chose these sculptures for their intrinsic beauty, the themes explored by the artists also seem universal. The works delve into the importance of family, humanity's relationship with nature and desire to be spiritually connected. The Art Program hopes that these common themes resonate with passengers of all backgrounds.

AT ONE WITH NATUREBy Gladman Zinyeka
1962-2000 Gutu district, Zimbabwe

To create each piece the talented Zimbabwean artists skillfully hand-carved the stone to rough out the initial form without the use of power tools. Next the artists smoothed out select surfaces with sandpaper. Wax was applied to some of the surfaces to create contrasting textures that enhance the work's beauty and emotive qualities.

1962 - 2000 Gutu district, Zimbabwe

One of my favorite sculptures is "Who will raise the child" by Gladman Zinyeka. The mother, father and child in "Who Will Raise the Child" lament the AIDS epidemic that leaves many children without parents. Thematically, Zinyeka's sculptures often meditate on the socio-economic effects of displacement and urbanization, as well as ecological issues.

Picture of tribal village

While they are hundreds of pictures lined up on each wall of the corridor, this village caught my attention as the colors are so intense and the intrinsic and elaborate designs on each of the homes is impressive.

Born 1942 Chiota reserve, Zimbabwe
In "Protecting Spirit," a spiritual presence with human form stands guard over children protecting them from harm. With the eye placed in the figure's hand, Mubayi has created a powerful totemic presence that speaks to the mystery of the spiritual world. Expressing the spirit world and its connectedness to Zimbabwean culture is very important to Mubayi. As with most of Mubayi's work, he used the very hard Springstone for this piece.

Atlanta Bread & Bar

After enjoying the art exhibit, it was time for a beer and some food. This time my choice of spot was the Atlanta Bread and Bar, located next to gate A12, which offers a local experience in a fun and sophisticated atmosphere with delicious food and a full service bar which carries premium and local brands for beer, wine and specialty cocktails. The menu features Atlanta Bread Company fresh soups and made to order sandwiches along with Panini which are served on a variety of daily baked breads. The bar offers an extended menu of appetizers, salads and entrees, including Shrimp and Grits, Steak with Chimichurri Sauce and Chicken Breast with Gouda Grits and Collard Greens. If you ever transiting through concourse A in the morning, they also offer a full service breakfast menu with French toast, omelets, steel cut oatmeal and more!

My flight left at 7:15 PM and had me in Minneapolis at 9:00 PM with only 40 minutes between flights. Fortunately, the flight left from concourse G, which is located next to concourse F, so it was only a 5 minute walk between the arrival gate and the departure gate. Onboard the flight to Fargo, I had a chance to sit next to Cheri Schoenfish, HR Director for the Skype team at Microsoft - and Errol's better half.

Cheri and I on board our flight from MSP to FAR

Upon arriving in Fargo, the scenery changed from endless pictures and sculptures to one of heavy equipment vehicles, small bobcats, and the mother of them all, this all terrain snowmobile - or would this be a SASM (Sport Activity Snowmobile)

Snowmobile at Hector International in Fargo, ND

Errol and Cheri were extremely welcoming and kind to offer a ride from the airport to the Holiday Inn, where I will be staying for the duration of the conference. Being it was late, it was time to go to bed to get some rest after check in.

Until next post!

Mariano Gomez, MVP
Intelligent Partnerships, LLC


Meena said...

Mr Gomez ,

I have followed your blog almost 5 yrs ago when I was struggling to integrate a . Net assembly with dexterity . There was not much documentation by Microsoft and your blog was my biggest help
Today seeing u in person and attending your session was truly very special for me . Will
Continue following ur blog from today
Thanks a lot

Meena Niyogi said...

Awesome session today
Thank you

Meenakshi Niyogi said...

I followed your blog several years ago when struggling to integrate my .net assembly with dexterity programming
Your blog at that time was THE only useful
Resource for me
Today seeing you in person and attending your session
Was a treat for us
Thanks for all you do