Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Back to the races

Networking would not be so exhausting if temperatures hadn't climbed so high today. Scorching! My car's sensor said 101 degrees Fahrenheit. It was enough to melt my memory, so I left my homework for tomorrow's session in the flat file. Oh, well. But I had a wonderful visit to ICA today, which includes huge open lab space, so I got to meet lots of conservators and the majority of the people in this photo. Their photographer worked at Oberlin for years and was the very first person to shoot slides for me. I hired him on the advice of a professor, and meeting him again today after 14 years made me wonder if my best experiences with photographers are with very tall ones.

Anyhow, it was jolly good fun. Conservators are a breed of people I feel a certain kinship to, and in another life I might have gone that route. I saw the most amazing Man Ray pipe with glass bubble (Ce qui manque à nous tous), huge WPA murals, 18th century painted chairs, large survey maps of the parks being built in Cleveland down to every last tree (each tree marked with a central circle and a larger one to indicate its size and even its type: butternut, cherry, oak, beech, you name it), a Native American drawing, a Warhol print, a large textile and its replica from the Hayes House, and a flaking but gorgeous French painting. Lots of ideas to consider, and yet another wagonload of people and places to approach.

Then, back to the Morgan for a meeting and finishing up the huge screen that Tom and I started yesterday. He had made eight beautiful panels to be displayed four on each side of a double-hinged folding screen, out of big-ass-type sheets. One was the giving tree, where donors names printed onto leaves will be attached (for this weekend's garden dedication, which is why the place has been whipped in to the usual pre-event frenzy). The other side is more abstract, but just as lovely. He made the custom screen after the sheets were made and was wondering about the best way to adhere the huge sheets on either side of the thin primed plywood in each panel. I mixed up some methylcellulose and he found a big paint roller and flat tray so we could make some slow PVA. It took a little bit of a learning curve but by the last set today, we were ready to start a screen-making business! That's a joke, but it was nice to work together because we do that well. Of course, I got a handful of bites each day, no surprise.

The real work week has begun! And I forgot to mention that two of my pieces from a 2009 national park residency are in an online exhibit.

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