Sep 21, 2015
I'm still struggling with what directions, content, tone, etc to use in the blog but all advice I've read and been given is "just do it, just write, and it will sort itself out. You can't think it into existence." So, that's what I'm doing - speedbumps, warts, fits and starts, and all.
This past week I had the opportunity to have several hundred people come through my studios. It was a lot of fun and a great chance to look around at the studio, since I had to clean it up a bit for the visitors, and kick start me on my roundtuits that have been languishing and gathering dust the past few weeks as I struggled with stepping into Phase 2 of the residency.
One of the studio visitors was the Mayor. He officially welcomed me to town, told me how much he's heard from people about what I'm doing with art and classes and the community, and gave me an official welcome gift. It's not quite the key to the city, but it's close! (I'm having difficulties attaching photos using this blog editing tool. Guh!) It's a label pin with the Troy, Ohio, USA logo on it. Trust me, it's pretty spiffy!
It was interesting having several hundred people coming through the studios. I felt a little bit like a docent in a museum. "Yes, I made that." "Yes, I'm an artist." The best conversations were with fellow artists and getting lost in conversations with them about the creative process and tips and information from locals about places I haven't been to yet and people I need to meet.
The studio tour was part of the town's "2nd Story Secrets" where 11 buildings in downtown opened up the 2nd stories. Everyone is used to seeing the businesses on the first floor and often wonder, "What's upstairs?" This tour was the chance for folks to find out.
It dawned on me as I was preparing the studio for the tour that I'm one of those people living in a cool space on the second floor of a cool downtown building.
I often go through small towns and look up at the second, third, fourth floors of the old buildings and wonder, "What's up there? What would it be like to have a studio up there?" Well, now I know!
There was so much history, some of the buildings dating back to the mid-1800s, with one building having uncovered (and refinishing) the hardwood floors from what used to be the saloon in town and another building have a giant open space that used to be a speakeasy theater (if I heard the history right, regardless, the huge open ballroom with creaky old wooden floors and tall leaded glass windows was dang neat.)
And there was a surprise secret location on the tour. I guess it's ok to divulge it now since the tour is over and it's not a secret anymore. There are tunnels under some of the buildlings there were part of the underground railroad. The tunnels gave a path to the river for slaves escaping the south. And one building has maintained their section of the tunnels and opened up a section of it for us to walk through. They've found animal bones from where people were left underground for a period of time waiting for their time to get to the river and set of leg irons. The leg irons were on display and we were allowed to pick them up to see how heavy they were. They were heavy.
To celebrate and recover from having to clean the studio, and keep it clean, and talking to a few hundred people, I opted to spend Sunday at the Ohio Fish and Shrimp Festival in Urbana, OH. I know! After spending an afternoon of entertaining people, I went to a crowded festival?
Indeed. Introverts can recharge in public spaces. Sometimes, crowded public spaces are the best places to recharge. You don't have to talk to people and you can find out of the way places to sit back, people watch, read, etc but soak in some kinetic energy and sunshine you may not find sitting on your couch at home.
This morning was decidated to admin tasks and heading to Panera for my internet time.
One of the many projects I've been working on during my residency has been a series of abstract/surrealistic painting I'm calling "The Dance of Anticipation". While they are more quick studies and experiments, I've been enjoying doing them and seeing where the brush and paint lead me.
Maybe next post, if I can figure out how to attach photos using this editing tool (and the only editing tool available to update the blog).
Until then.. chug along and get roundtuit.