Sunday, September 21, 2008

Died and Gone to Heaven

Last Wednesday Steve and I headed north. The last time we went to New England was in 1981 on our honeymoon. We stayed in West Virginia the first night and visited Dingman's Falls in Pennsylvania on the second day. It was a blast! (Most people reading my blog wouldn't really know that my married name is SUSAN LENZ DINGMAN. We really don't know if Steve's family hails from this location...but it was fun nonetheless.)

(Above: Dingman's Falls, Pennsylvania. Click on image to enlarge.)

We took goofy the one below...which I'm calling Dingman falls in Dingman Falls!

We spent the second night near the Manchester, NH airport. Steve flew home early the next morning and I drove on into the Robert M. MacNamara Foundation on Westport Island. I don't remember a big truck crossing the center lane or some other fatal collision....but my arrival seems very, very much like HEAVEN. There are no words to describe this place.

(Above: The mailbox. Below: The front of main building, a relocated 1860s era barn from Pennsylvania with over 9,000 square feet! Click here for Michael Perkins page...he moved the building and created most of the extraordinary furniture inside the building.)

Below: View of "The Barn" from the back.

Sure, the architecture alone makes this place special....but it's just the tip of the iceberg. The food is amazing...generally local, organic, perfectly seasoned, beautifully presented, and accompanied by fine wine. I might have to photograph all my meals! All the dishes, eating utensils, serving containers, and table decorations are also....hand crafted!

I'll be taking photos soon of the interior...including The Red Room where I'm staying. The studio space is beyond my wildest dreams. Every need is provided. In fact, one doesn't even have to ask for equipment and color-correcting lights, additional shelving units or even temporary walls to use as design boards....they are all here.

There are four other artists here: a painter, a photographer, a writer, and a ceramist. I'll write about each of them in days to come. For now....we are simply working...creating art....using the uninterrupted time productively. Since Friday, I started and finished a new piece in my Decision Portrait series....Blood Donor. I'll post it tomorrow. I started another In Box piece this afternoon and am planning to work in a sketch book/journal every day too.

It's not all "work" either. On Saturday we were driven into nearby Wiscasset to the James Patrick Gallery for the opening of "The Ripple Effect". The exhibition featured four contemporary ceramic artists (two of which just finished the summer session at the MacNamara Foundation). They were Robert Shay, Martin Tagseth, Shoji Satake, and Jennifer Allen. The work was all wonderful, top quality, and surprisingly affordable....but it was the building that fascinated me most.

The converted church was perfectly adapted to every gallery need yet retained the feeling of a sacred place. The show was in the "nave" but there was a lower level in which all the artists represented also had work. Even going to the bathroom was an artistic experience!

Above: Eve's bathroom. Below Adam's bathroom. Amazing!) More images, more details, and stitching to come!


Guzzisue said...

wow, just look at that bathroom! more photos please :-)

Viv's Visuals said...

Amazing bathrooms!!!! Pics are gorgeous too! Thanks for sharing. My first visit to your blog but I'll be back!

Doreen G said...

What an amazing experience you are having Susan and I so look forward to seeing everything that goes on while you are there.
Well done you..

arlee said...

OH Susan! To be in such a place just to create art, to create art justly---oh, i am speechless, you lucky woman--have fun and fulfillment during your residency!

Elizabeth said...

Oh want an amazing adventure you are in for!!! I do so love this part of the world and would so love to have such an adventure. I can't wait to see more pictures and to hear more of your experiences!!

Kimberly Bendillo said...

Susan--I have been anxiously awaiting your post--I am so glad your new surroundings are so pleasing!! Everything looks perfect! I agree--the presentation of the meals alone would do it for me! Wow! I know you will have a fabulous time there! I am so happy for you!!


Aussie Jo said...

You lucky, lucky girl.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

wow, those bathrooms are incredible and what a lovely building.

Colorfuldayz said...

Oh wow ... I cannot wait to hear about the rest of your time in Maine. It looks to be incrediable.

Wanda said...

You mean you SLEEP in the Red Room??? Holy smoke! Are you royalty and forgot to tell me?? Wow...this is such an amazing place and I am so proud of you. They certainly chose wisely in choosing you!