Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Instead, see Gili's blog of us having a really nice Sunday brunch on the roof. Joe played chef really well and then we all just played. In Gili's sweatshirts since it was chilly up there. It was terribly fun. Gili asked for breaking moves and I found that I'm barely have any left. She's a great student, completely hilarious, and good at taking instruction (e.g., mirroring back your stupid behavior back at you).
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Good news: I start a p/t job assisting an artist when I get back from Oberlin. I like to think that I'd rather edition books than process Rome Prize applications (the other job opp that I turned down in the city). Let's hope that my art instincts win out over my admin ones!
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This is the view from the grave of my very good friend who died of leukemia in 2003. I had never visited it before, and my trip to Cali was spurred by the sudden desire to visit. It was pretty uneventful on the outside, except that the weather shifted suddenly and was rainy, windy, and cloudy, to the shock of my Californian host. But big things shifted inside, and I realized that
1. dead people's bodies don't go anywhere if they're buried in the ground
2. your life goes on even if someone you really love is buried in the ground
3. I don't have to live in California! [This is huge, for anyone who knows of my long-standing desire to live there.]
4. if I don't have to live in California, then I can be HERE, NOW! Hey, what a concept! I can just be happy with where I am now and not freak out about not being somewhere else!
and so on. I am happily shedding all the useless things, people, ideas, and dreams that I have been holding onto for a loooong time. I don't want anything that doesn't serve me anymore. What I do want: to read this, prep a really good class for Oberlin, and renew my commitment to a daily meditation and yoga practice. That's the short list. Wait, no more lists! Haha. Clearly, I'll need to recruit more help on this road.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Now, I have to get back to the business of my life and career. I spent yesterday unpacking, packing for my next residency next year, and prepping for my workshop in two weeks. I finally caved and went shopping for storage bins. I've avoided it for a long time, but the age of shoeboxes, paper bags, and random things shoved into random crannies is over.
I'm also very happy about this 30 business. Lots of letting go, making changes, resetting priorities. It's much easier when there's a big number to remind me.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I'm going to put that out of my mind for now as I stare at the piles. This is an image from Chela's studio, and even though it was Thursday, it feels like forever ago now that I'm back home. It's so tricky, this time, b/c I feel all the things I've learned and the subtle shifts that have happened from all the traveling. But that time goes up in smoke so quickly! But for now, I'm back in the same place, but at a different point in the spiral. I'm thankful for everything, mostly the over-the-top amazing friends that I have, like Anju, who saved my ass in a major logistical glitch at the end of my trip.
I have black ink all over my hands (it exploded in my blender; no surprise. I should have just left the ink in Wyoming) and realize I didn't avoid re-entry by going to California; I just delayed it! Tomorrow will be a huge work day, but how excited am I about tonight: sleeping in my own bed after five weeks! Yeeehaw!!
Friday, October 19, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Went to the Berkeley Art Museum this afternoon and saw two huge sheets of Korean handmade paper and some more Patty Chang stuff in the Asian American exhibit.
Lots of snacking and fielding phone calls and emails and feeling cold and overwhelmed but still loved. I probably kept myself too busy to freak out about my age. Gili made the wise observation that my "vacation" in Cali is just like any overscheduled day in NYC. Elbert says I do this every time I come here. I need to find an Overschedulers/overcommitters Anonymous.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Suddenly, I am face-to-face with the new decade, and completely unprepared! Yikes. I hid in Sunnyvale for another day to rewrite my Fulbright essays and panic about my slides. Hopefully, I will be able to get to SF tomorrow w/all my bags from WY and then to San Mateo. Somehow.
In the meantime, this is a perfect sign of getting older. A friend last week emailed, saying, you're birthday is Tuesday next week! And I wrote back, saying, NO, it's Wednesday! Now I know to trust my friends.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Friday, October 12, 2007
Chris, Joana, Marianne, and I all took a great hike up to the highest peak that is closest to the property. The view was stunning. And hilarious, b/c a herd of cows was grazing in our front "lawn" (like vast expanses of grassland). On our way to town today, we saw real cowboys!!! At least four of them, and at least two herding dogs, and one guy was even swinging a lasso in the air! What they were doing was very sad, separating the calves from their mothers. But then again, the bumper sticker I saw in town before I pigged out on an amazing Mexican lunch was also depressing: "vote Republican." Ew.
Back to packing!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
LAVA's 4th Annual Handstand-a-Thon
Saturday, October 20 @ 7pm
A fundraiser for the LAVA Studio's Student Scholarship Fund and Community Programs
Help us raise money by raising your toes in the air. Get pledges for each minute that we as a community (that means you, too!) spend with our feet off the floor. Our goal this year is $7,500!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get a pledge sheet. If you can't make it to the event or would prefer to make a gift before the event, you can do so by mailing in a check (payable to VOLCANO LOVE INC) or by giving online using the "Just Give" button on our contact page.
|[n.b. - please excuse my poor typography on this; I'm too tired to do anything but cut and paste.]|
And sure enough, I was putting dishes away today and a glass bowl just exploded in my hand. I have a tiny cut but otherwise was able to blot all the shards off of my hands. It wasn't like last year, thank goodness. And props to Joana for cleaning up for me (I had gone into shock and she stepped in as mom).
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
These are tags from Marianne's studio. I love her little notes, and her paintings.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Snow in the far mountains melted today since it warmed up. I took an hour-long walk at high noon with Chris, and then an almost two-hour hike up to 1,000 Acres with Joana close to sundown. I tried running up a hill and then almost fell over trying to catch my breath.
I'll miss crunching around everywhere. And seeing pregnant cows, deers with white tails that look like huge waving flags, and rabbits.
But it's not over yet! This is one of my gazillion sample books. I'm paper sample book queen. I like doing the small ones that look like books but have no pages. I'm just trying to stay happy my last week, not beat up on myself for how much/little work I've done, and get my business into order as best I can before flying off to California (Ellen says we can go to Santa Cruz when I get there! Wohoo!).
It's super nice, taking a day off from the studio. I stayed up late last night finishing up sample books of handmade paper. I have two hard cover, two accordion, and four "paint chip" ones to give away to the staff when they come by for open studios on Tuesday. I got to a good place, where I thought, I've done enough to feel fine about walking away and doing serious Fulbright work. It's a nice feeling not to torture myself about not doing enough work.
p.s. - I'm not taking the job. It's not worth the money, time, and energy. My family and friends to whom I've detailed the entire situation fully support me, so Connecticut, here I come! In 2008, I mean.
Saturday, October 06, 2007
New Project: labotanica
I wanted to share some news that I've started a new project called labotanica. It is fledgling and intentionally small. labotanica essentially features three elements---- a small grants program offered twice a year, a modest quarterly magazine, and an archive which is in progress. labotanica maps intersections between poetics and social transformation. While the website and archive are still being developed, I wanted to announce that there are two opportunities coming up, including the grants program and submissions for the first issue of the magazine.
The next deadline for the grants program is 1/15/08. I've kicked it off by contributing $120. Like cadre and service works, it is small program created by artists and it basically makes funding more accessible and it thrives on reciprocity. I'm interested in challenging the traditional model of funding and believe that philanthropy can happen on many levels, with everyday people. Grants fund small projects that intersect poetics and social transformation such as research, art projects, small exhibitions, writing, interviews, community gardens, social work, small performance, or studies in healing. If you have questions send me an email. You can apply online or you can send it to me through email, which might be easier. To apply, submit 500 word proposal, work sample, application and ten dollar donation. For more info, or if you would like to make a donation to the grants program: http://labotanica.org/projects
As for the magazine, the theme is "The Search for Virginity", inspired by Jimmie Durham's 1991 essay. A modest printed quarterly publication, the magazine will feature material from labotanica's archive and new articles and interviews, centered on "The Search for Virginity". Materials will range including takes on colonialism and Manifest Destiny to new beginnings and rebirth. To contribute, for advertising rates, or just to support, contact email@example.com
Let me know if you have any questions, and please forward this announcement to like minds.
Ayanna Jolivet Mccloud
Friday, October 05, 2007
Time to open the polls: I have to decide by Monday if I will take a program assistant job at a nonprofit that grants artists big money/residencies, working for an old friend and coworker. It's 20-24 hours/week, from late October to late April. It means I can't leave NY for six months, and that I may have to forgo a residency I already have planned for 2008. Also, if I get any others, I will have to decline them. Thoughts?
This is a sheet of cattail seed "paper" - I call it cattail seed dryer lint. Didn't work so well on its own, which is good news: no need to harvest or cook or anything anymore. I can call it quits. But I wanted to show the image b/c Terttu said that my flickr pics make it look like I'm cooking poop. I'd like to state for the record that I was cooking cattail seeds and fluff, not poop. Though I found that the cowpies in the hills all turn to paper as they sit and dry out. Other people make cow poop paper, but I do not. Hopefully after tonight, I will stop making paper already b/c I should get cracking on other artwork, sample books, and that unspeakable app.
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I replaced the sink plumbing, and hope to pull some more sheets as I digest. I overate at dinner: I made split pea soup and had two bowls. And then Joana's lime Tostitos (aka crack), Nancy's chicken/rice dish and mashed butternut squash, and Marianne's chicken and green bean stirfry. Ug. The good news is that I think this is my first overeating of the residency! Instead of overeating every meal.
Julie Laffin, a dear friend, just sent a link to images from her performance piece from this summer in Prague at the Quadrennial. Clover Morell, another dear friend, was the performer.
One more publication-related tidbit: Phoebe Damrosch has a new book out! I found out via Jami's blog, and almost fell off my chair. I met Phoebe in 1995 at music boot camp when she was a violist with hair past her ass. Look at her now! I love seeing what happens to my music geek cohort.
Afterwards, we all went out to dinner, and I was able to catch up more. I was so touched b/c he said I was a really good writer, and that I should put my writing on my website as well as my artwork (the prime example being the sestina I had in my slide show). He was impressed with everything I've been up to, and said my work was really unique. I told him that the Pulp Function show (where my brick wall is) is traveling eventually to Casper, WY! He grew up in Wyoming, and ended up east for grad school, and then landed in my hometown. She grew up in Sheridan, and they spend summer months here now that they are both retired from teaching.
I remember his classroom, how Farewell to Manzanar was bound, his handwriting, and learning grammar. This last thing is something I've been thinking about for years, since grad school. When I found out that most Americans don't learn or value grammar, I felt grateful that I didn't miss out.
Imagine being at the Pony in north central Wyoming, having a beer and bacon cheeseburger, flanked by a middle school teacher and his wife!! At the end of dinner, we talked about the talks in North Korea, and about how my great uncle Kim Dae-jung, the past South Korean president, was committed to reunification. Then I gifted them with the paper sample book I had brought to the presentation, and watched them drive away in their car with New York plates.
That makes up for all the cattail I lost by inadvertently unplugging my sink vat and having it all pour out on the floor. I also came back to the news that my artwork has been accepted for Art-o-mat! Yay.
Monday, October 01, 2007
In case you haven't noticed, I'm going a little stir crazy. I miss proximity to the opposite sex (or even just the option for proximity once in a while), and am a little stressed by the whole "is this enough food until our next grocery run?" survival strategy. But I had a good work day, thanks to Chris' brilliant suggestion to use the sink as a vat. Duh. It even looks like the vats I first made paper in. I undid the plumbing, stopped it up, and voila! I can finally make decently sized sheets. What a relief. Doing all the 5x8" ones were making me insane.
Tomorrow: presentations to the community at the Sheridan bookstore! It'll be nice to meet new people and have dinner in town.