Last week Steve and I drove my totally packed van to Minneapolis in order to fly to Phoenix. Crazy? Not really! This strange travel arrangement was the only way for me to attend Friday night's reception at the Mesa Contemporary Art Museum and then arrive on time to start my month-long art residency with Springboard for the Arts in Fergus Falls, Minnesota. The reception included a VIP/Members hour from 6 - 7 followed by the public opening from 7 - 10. It was lots of fun!
(Above: The unique shadows on the wall in my space!)
The staff did a fabulous job finishing up the installation ... like creating the unique signage and also setting the lights in such a way that shadows of the baskets and threads were cast on all the surrounding walls. (To see more about this solo installation, CLICK HERE.)
The reception was the main reason for going to Arizona ... but ... how can one visit Arizona and not seek out a few great cacti?
Steve and I got plenty of sight-seeing and hiking done over the whirlwind weekend! We went to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum which is about 55 miles outside Phoenix. More than a typical "arboretum", this place was acres and acres of carefully maintained landscapes ... including areas for eucalyptus and other Australian plants, a butterfly garden, herb garden, plus a gallery for art and an extensive plant sale.
I took plenty more photos ... and posted several at the end of this blog entry.
On Saturday, Steve and I went to Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. Strangely, I took no photos of the actual Joshua trees. I have no idea why ... other than the fact that we were really HIKING ... as in a three mile loop, another one-mile loop, and then an hour climbing over giant boulders. Sometimes I get too wrapped up in the hike and the views to remember my camera! Yet, my camera was the first thing I thought of went encountering a chuckwalla lizard! We saw two!
In 1983 while on our way to watch The Ohio State Buckeyes play in the Rose Bowl, we drove past Amboy Crater. This remote location is just off historic route 66. Back then we said, "One day, we'll return!" Well, Sunday was that day! It was great!
We were the only ones there. The hike was about two miles and worth every step. We also talked about time and our own futures. In 1983 we could plan to "return some day". It seemed like we had so much time ahead of us. Now, we are just going to travel as much as we can ... to see as many places as possible ... knowing that there isn't enough time to visit all the places we'd like to see and little chance of returning for a second look. This sort of thinking makes me appreciate every moment, every view, every step. It was a great day ... and it ended in a return flight to Minnesota. (Steve flew back to Columbia, South Carolina.)
(Above: Fergus Falls' former state hospital.)
This morning I drove from Minneapolis to Fergus Falls to start my one-month art residency. The program is fantastic ... starting with accommodations on the grounds of the former State Hospital. (Click here to learn more about this building, its architecture and history.) My provided, furnished, one-bedroom apartment is in the renovated male nurses' building.
(Above: The former male nurses' accommodations ... now an upscale apartment building where artists-in-residence also live!)
Other buildings are being renovated into luxury apartments. The grounds are beautiful and vast. There's plenty to explore!
I've already moved into this nice living room ... with WiFi! The bedroom is just beyond.
Above the bed hangs a community art project ... a grid of 40 square canvases painted by as many community members. The closet is nearly half the size of the bedroom. (I don't think all the closets in my house could equal the space!)
The kitchen is really, really nice ...
... and for those who know I spent a month at an art residency with just an outhouse ... well ... the bathroom is also very, very nice!
(The Kaddatz Gallery on Lincoln Street in Fergus Falls.)
The provided studio space is in the basement of the Kaddatz Gallery. I have 24/7 access and have already met some of the other, permanent, artists who live/work in the building on the second and third floors. The first floor is a non-profit gallery and arts reading room. This area is closed on Monday ... so I'll meet more people tomorrow!
Moving in was easy! In addition to this beautiful staircase, there's an elevator. The basement includes the educational/workshop space and a life drawing room.
This is my space. It actually has very good lighting. I was so excited that I had to get started on my project right away!
My proposal is to create a series of artist books using old, anonymous family photos. I sorted through my collection ... putting things into piles. I likely have enough for several month so I'll have to work hard. I'll be blogging more as the project unfolds. In the mean time ... scroll down for a few more photos from Arizona