Friday, March 30, 2012

Travels in Spain

From March 11-27 I was in Spain, staying in a small village called Acequias, about half an hour south of Granada. Our friends Dusty and David Haller have the use of a wonderful three-story house in the village, and invited me and my husband and Karen Thomsen and Harold Ryan (old friends from Denmark) to stay with them there for a few weeks. As Karen said, "we're all old friends from the 70's, and now we're almost IN our 70's!"

In exchange, we did some work in the house, which was really great. I like participating in the life of the places where I travel. Here's a shot of me putting cement plaster on the wall out near the street.

One of my primary objectives during this trip was to go back to the small village, Otívar, where my mother had lived for about a year, in 1980, when she was a bit younger than I am. I had visited Spain with her about 12 years ago, and we went together to Otívar for a few hours. My mother died a year ago, on March 29, and I wasn't sure if I could find the people she was connected to. My husband, R.D. Eno, and two of our friends drove with me there, and I took with me a photograph I have from the time my mother lived in the village there (the photo on the left below).

I met a woman coming out of a bar and showed my photograph and said I was looking for anybody who had known my mother when she was in the village. Amazingly, she went next door and brought down Ana and Jose Perez. He was the son of the man in the photograph. They very generously brought me up to their living room and gave me wine and tapas, and we talked about the time my mother had lived there. Later R.D. took a photo of us in the same place (actually a bit to the left of it, as there were cars parked in front of the other window).

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Window for the Green Mountain Film Festival

I've put up a rant about the film Lost Bohemia in the window of Capitol Copy in Montpelier. This film, for which SPA is a Community Sponsor, will be shown at the Green Mountain Film Festival on
  • Friday, March 23 6:00 pm @ City Hall Arts Center
  • Saturday, March 24 10:30 am @ City Hall Arts Center
Here's part of my text:

OK, so here's the question I want to ask: what's the purpose and importance of an arts center, and are artists themselves a critical -- or even a valuable -- part of the picture? Of course, we all understand that art, dance, music, and theater can't be made without the creators of art, but it is certainly possible to stash them away in isolated, cheap digs, like cows in a barn, and just milk them and bring the "art" product to market. Or we could just keep recycling the products of dead artists and not need to be bothered with contemporary work...

And now I'm falling down and going out of town for two weeks!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Storytime at SPA

I put a tremendous amount of effort into curating the Storytime exhibit at Studio Place Arts (SPA), where I have a studio on the third floor. I was interested in exploring the human impulse to construct narratives. I have noticed that even when people are looking at abstract work, they tend to see images and construct stories about what's going on. It's as though we need to make things make sense -- and not only descriptively (what it looks like), but also narratively (what's happening). When I called for and selected work, I expected more pieces with words and text -- lots of comic books, drawings, collages, etc. That just didn't come in, but what I got is truly fascinating and of amazingly high quality. I love every single piece in the show, and am sorry if I didn't get a good shot of your piece among these images.

Artists in the exhibit are (not in alphabetical order, but in order of the groupings of work): Cereal Lab, Julia Shirar, R.C. Sayler, Nancy Dwyer, Phil Whitman, Owen Bissex, Rachi Farrow, Beth Robinson, Bryce LeVan Cushing, Rob Millard-Mendez, Dorothy Weicker, Kristin Richland, John Douglas, Janet Fredericks, Jack Rowell, Carol Radsprecher, Whitney Ramage, Fran Bull, Lisa Lillibridge, Dana Walrath, Valerie Hird, Jill Pabich, Delia Robinson, Adelaide Tyrol, Kate Bieschke, Micah R.O. Litant, Jude Bond, Stephen Derrickson, Bonnie Gloris, Kelly Glentz Brush, Bonnie Morrisey, Rio Aubry Taylor, Robert Towne, Dave Kearns, and Peter Schumann.

The opening reception is tonight from 5:30 - 7:30 at SPA. Here is a little digital tour around the exhibit (the large work is very large, so smaller pieces get lost a bit in these overview shots, but not as you are actually moving around the gallery.

These are shots of the first floor Gallery.

The exhibit continues on the second floor, with work I think of as "Animal Tales". The work in the space outside the elevator all has a connection to animals, while the work on the wall in the hall is much more about social commentary.