Look Up

Is there something in your life that gives you the sense that everything will be okay, everything will work out? Clouds give me this sense. They are my blanket of security thanks to Andy’s room in Toy Story. The cloud wallpaper in Andy’s room is the opening visual of the movie.

Woody from the film Toy Story
Toy Story, John Lasseter (1995)

My brother’s infatuation with Pixar movies heavily influenced my childhood, and Toy Story was the go-to VHS. To this day, it remains my favorite Disney movie. So, when I see a sky full of clouds, I think of a young sister and her brother munching on Cheetos, drinking Dr. Pepper in a cold basement while watching Toy Story. Ah, the power of clouds.

Clouds have the unique ability to change shape; what we see is up to our imagination. Cloud watching is this magical adventure in which anything can be seen. All you have to do is look up, perhaps you will find your security blanket.

I’ve created a cloud watching kit and map of Minneapolis. Of course this is weather permitting and serves more as a suggestion of what to do when spring comes around the corner.

What to bring:

Pillow, notebook, pencils, earbuds, and a cup on a flannel blanket
  • Blanket to sit on and get cozy
  • Pillow to rest your head
  • Picnic basket full of deliciousness
  • Thermos full of coffee, tea or lemonade depending on the season
  • Scarf - you never know when the temp will drop in Minnesota
  • Sunglasses - clouds are great to look at when you’re not blinded by the rays
  • Notebook, pen and colored pencils to write and illustrate your thoughts
  • Music - a great narrator of nature (Explosions in the Sky does it best)
  • A friend - shared experiences are simply the best

Where to:

Paper map
  • St. Anthony Main, the sidewalk cafes next to the river bring you to another world
  • Restaurant rooftops downtown
  • Weisman Art Museum - clouds inside! Go see Clouds, Temporarily Visible
  • The mall - catch some clouds in between classes
  • TCF Bank Stadium - game day with a side of clouds. Ski-U-Mah!
  • Van Cleve Park

Go escape. There is an adventure land that lives above you every day waiting to be discovered.

To learn about clouds and why they have captured the imagination of artists throughout history, sign up for author Gavin Pretor-Pinney's talk at WAM this Wednesday, February 17th. 

Layna Mestad

Layna Mestad I’m a senior majoring in Strategic Communications with a focus on Art History and Museum Studies. I’m Minnesota born and raised and am a lover of the north shore and antique shops. I love to find a quiet corner amidst the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities to curl up and read a book, most likely about the happenings of the sixties. Art and history make me intrigued in the world that surrounds me. I will forever be a student to that fascinating combination. I am so excited to be a part of WAM and promote this museum to the university community and beyond.

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