Archive for May, 2008

exchange rate be damned

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

For those of you who didn’t get the memo, I’m in Europe! And after 3 summers of easy, inexpensive travel in South-east Asia, I am now dealing with the painful sticker shock of how little the dollar is worth in Europe. I had a hot dog and a hot chocolate from a 7-11 in Copenhagen the other night, and it cost $10 US. Ouch.

Prior to Denmark, I spent a few days in London with my Manila friends Maria Taniguchi and Rita Nazareno, who are now living there. I also got to meet up with Laura McKinney, one of my former Leadership High School students, who’s working there for 6 months! Such a treat.

The weather wasn’t super-cooperative (except for the sunny morning when I left, natch), but I still managed to see some art, to enjoy being back in London, and to goof around with Maria and Rita. Those two totally spoiled me. Rita made spamsilog for breakfast one day! Spamsilog in London. Yesss.

Woff, Rita, Maria in West Hampstead:
And a wall I became obsessed with at a fun bar we went to called Trash Palace, in Chinatown:
I need that wallpaper like yesterday.

Maria’s just finishing up her first year in the MFA program at Goldsmiths: it was a treat to get to visit the campus studios, to see what she’s been working on, and to get a better sense of the young British art scene. We also visited her friend Lui Medina, another artist from Manila who was preparing for her own master’s graduation exhibition at the Slade. Mm, I am SO glad that I’m done with my degree. Also glad that I got my degree from somewhere outside the stressed-out fishbowl of the international art market. There’s some great talent here, but the pressure is intense!

Maria at Goldsmiths:
other Goldsmiths pics (this is Maria’s studio mate):

hallway with graphite “mural”:
Art schools are fun to visit.

After a mildly harrowing day of travel, getting my embarrassingly heavy luggage across half of London , a couple of airports, and a couple of train stations, I made it to Copenhagen Thursday evening.

One thing we don’t get on the California latitude is lovely long summer nights like more northern places do. It’s not even June 21 yet, but it doesn’t get dark in Denmark until about 10:30 pm or so, and then starts getting light again around 4 am. Even though I got in around 6 pm, I could still take a nice, long evening stroll around the city. Gorgeous! I’ll be coming back at least a couple times to see it more in-depth.
Got up the next day, checked out of the hotel, and then dragged my luggage onto a train for Jyderup, a mere hour away.
And Soelyst Artist in Residence Centre, where I’ll be for the next month, is not even a 5-minute walk from the station! Perfect.
I’ve been here a little over 24 hours, and I’m still rubbing my eyes, trying to process the loveliness and simplicity of it all. I’m not sure if I could be further from Oakland if I tried. I dragged my rolly suitcase across all the gravel (great comedy moment) to the main building here:
And was given a warm welcome, and then installed in my bedroom here (the open window):
I got here a little early, so I’ll get my studio space on Monday, I think.

There was a reception for Pastiche, Soelyst’s summer outdoor sculpture exhibition, so a nice little crowd of folks showed up in the evening (these pics were taken around 6 pm) for the event:

A lot of folks from the exhibition are staying at Soelyst through the weekend, so I’ve already met some other nice, talented artists.

I feel just total gratitude to be here, and to finally be able to relax, unwind, and start making art again without daily stress or distraction. It’s so quiet, and green, and lovely, I still can’t quite believe I’m here.
Look! I’m surrounded by trees! How crazy is that?
Wofford, stupefied by the loveliness, and grinning on the inside, big-time.

a tiana update

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

A couple days after the May 17 fund-raiser for Tiana, this email from her husband Leo came in:

What a night! And all because of YOU beautiful artists.

You raised $108,000 in about five hours. EVERYTHING sold!

There will be a catalogue from the show I have been told…and something else from me. Please forward this to other artists that you know contributed, but I don’t have their e-mail address and aren’t listed above.

Tiana is walking on air right now; feeling the love and generosity that you all have been sending her way. She feels well enough to swim and go on short hikes. Each week she feels a bit better.

Deepest gratitude and love is sent to all of you from us.


Tiana, Olive and Leo

intersection for the arts’ june 6 fundraiser

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

More art auction fundraising fun! I’m trying to tie up some loose-end posts from home, so as part of that quest, here’s my plug for Intersection for the Arts’ Annual Fundraiser.
Their preview gallery is up and running, so check it out.

I donated a satellite drawing I made a few years ago:

Transmission EQV 1, 2003
20.5″ x 16.5″ frame (18″ x 12″ image)
Ink and watercolor on paper

I’m not sure how the color looks on other monitors, but the satellite is a grayish-blue, on off-white/ivory paper.

Intersection’s 2008 Extravaganza,
Annual Fundraising Art Auction & Birthday Party

Friday, June 6, 2008, 7pm
$20 admission
(includes bid number for the auction and entrance to the party afterward featuring live DJs, music, food, wine, performances, and more)

Intersection for the Arts is located in San Francisco’s Mission District,
at 446 Valencia Street, between 15th and 16th Streets.


Friday, May 30th, 2008

Coming up for air, at long last. Boy, is it nice.
I’m in Denmark now! More on that later, as I’m backlogged on posts from the past 2 weeks as it is.

June is the month where things slow back down to their proper pace: I’m now at Soelyst Artist in Residence Centre for the next 30 days, which will hopefully compensate for the utter mania of the previous few months. Nevertheless! The mania has had its moments.

I left the U.S. on May 24, and the week prior was sort of a blur of packing up the house, painting, grading, and selling crap on Craigslist. PLUS a flight down to LA to participate in a most excellent Galleon Trade panel at UCLA, organized by my #1 BFF GT co-conspirator, Dr Lucy Mae San Pablo Burns.

Lucy and the Reannimal in action:


It was wonderful to get the Galleon Trade re-launched. I have more posts about that shortly, in regards to another upcoming Galleon Trade exhibition! (As they say in Conan the Barbarian, “… And this story shall also be told.“)

Anyway. The panel was super-great, but what truly made my head spin was our after-panel meal at a new restaurant in LA that, for obvious reasons, is my new favorite destination in town:

A bazillion kinds of waffles! We even got to have a waffle sundae!

Man. Life is good.

OK. More on the Europe thing shortly. Just had to get the waffle/LA post out of the way.

It’s only right.


Friday, May 9th, 2008

Two of my classes have already ended, my third ends this Tuesday.

Having barely survived my first semester back in the world of the pedagogically employed, I am both thrilled to have finally gotten back in the teacherly saddle, and also utterly drained by all of the attendant mayhem. It’s been so fantastic to be teaching again, but I am definitely having to re-learn, and re-pace myself when it comes to juggling that with also being an artist. I have NO idea how I did it when I was still a full-time public school teacher.
Oh. Yeah. I gave up being an artist for four years. Now I remember.

Last week, a fortuitous intersection of those two worlds, art and education, occurred at, appropriately enough, Intersection for the Arts. I went there for an evening meeting, which was being held in the gallery. The current show is an amazing installation by Weston Teruya and Michele Carlson called “How I Learned To… that looks at the construction of nationhood and identity through a sculptural disruption of institutional educational spaces.

Their project exposes the power dynamics contained within the architecture and set-up of traditional American classrooms and explores how histories of marginalized communities are taught and absorbed into concepts of nationhood and citizenship. The installation functions to destabilize and re-imagine the environment that we learn and grow up in. And it’s really lovely: familiar, institutional, smart, curious, imaginative. It’s on until May 24: catch it if you’re in the Mission.

A few snaps I snapped:

How I Learned To…
by Weston Teruya & Michele Carlson

April 21 – May 24, 2008
Gallery Hours: Wed-Sat, 12-6pm, FREE
Artists Talk: Saturday May 24, 2pm

Intersection for the Arts
446 Valencia Street, SF

summing up some of your attention

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

In a nutshell:
There is no greater pleasure than getting to be on a panel discussion with a moderator who gracefully steers the conversation, all the while effortlessly balancing a queer burlesque star’s discarded bra from a pre-panel striptease on her lap.

This is why panel discussions are awesome.
Or maybe, how more panel discussions should be this awesome.
I would have taken more photos, but I was on stage, in a panel discussion at the time.