Monday, November 3, 2014

More pictures from Doha

Now that the power has been restored following yesterday's blizzard (we got 12 inches of snow on November 2--unheard of!) I can post some more photos.
 Installation of (a 10 foot section of) Library at the Ambassador's residence.You can see it's in a terrific location, as the main front entrance to the residence is to my back so it's the first thing anyone would see directly in front of them upon arrival. In this shot the carpenters are adding strips of wood from which the panels will be hung, in front of that doorway. I think that thing on the right that says Century has been relocated. It is something the Ambassador's sons Jake and Ryan were using for their martial arts practice!
 Installation progressing smoothly, with Bart working alongside the two very capable carpenters.
 All five panels matched up perfectly (p*h*e*w*) so there wasn't a lot of fussing afterward.

Friday, October 31, 2014


 Richard Serra, "East-West,/West-East" in the Qatari desert
 Bookbinding workshop at Katara Cultural Village, Wednesday, October 29, 2014
 Maowia introducing Qatar's Most Famous Artist, Yousef Ahmad, at Al Markhiya Gallery at Katara, at the opening for Qatari artist Ahmed Kassim and Palestinian artist Dena Mattar, October 29, 2014
Meeting with Huda Abdulla Al Saadi, the Director of the Girls Creativity Center and Wasfy, Ceramics Teacher, in preparation for the two workshops I would conduct there a little later in the week, October 26, 2014. Maowia, Cultural Affairs Advisor from the U.S. Embassy and our intrepid escort, helps with communication.

Okay, all those hoping for more pictures than I was able to post during the visit, here is a very small selection (all photos courtesy of Bart, my personal assistant, without whom there would not be as many pictures as I usually have to show after a trip) just to give you a taste of the range of activities covered in just a few short days in Doha. Where to begin trying to describe how incredible this trip was? Exhilarating and exciting, fresh, eye opening, exotic, HOT, amazing, rich. Those are just a few words worthy of describing the experience. I have many people to thank for making sure everything went smoothly and that I got as much as I did out of this wonderful cultural exchange: the U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith and her husband Ray, Maowia, Kristen (the cultural attaché), Huda, Abbie (no kidding, her name is Abi, or similar but says she will now perhaps change it to my spelling!), Wasfy, the Director of the Katara Art Center (whose name I unfortunately did not catch!), and of course many, many others. I was introduced to more wonderful people than I can possibly remember. So grateful for everyone's help and support.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Sightseeing yesterday

I'm trying a second time today to post...hope I don't lose it again...Yesterday we drove to the west side of the one hour. We passed more construction, a small herd of camels, desert, more desert, then turned right at the Cuban Hospital, where thrroad splits. The reason  or  oing was to see, out in the middle of the desert, Richard Serra's majestic installation "east Meets West, West meets East." There is a short New Yorker from the April 14, 2014 issue that will telll you more. Google Richard Serra Doha desert. Then we went to the Museum of Islamic Art, housed inan I. M. Pei designed building. Stunning, both the building and the collection.   My favorite objects were the books and illustrated pages. Lots of gold leaf. After a rest and swim back at the hotel we were taken to the Souq, the location of the original and ongoing open "standing" market, a bit tourist oriented but containing many art galleries as well,  where we met Mohammed, an artist who has organized a major symposium for artists from around the world; he invited me to attend the one coming up in November, most expenses paid. I now have his business card for any interested artist to look into participating. I also have a really nice catalog from the one that took place earlier this year. We had a wonderful meal at an Iranian restaurant where I learned how to properly
pronounce the word taboulleh.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Library has been installed at the Ambassador's residence

Yesterday was a full day, starting with a full--and I mean FULL-- breakfast spread of anything you could imagine from around the world, from olives to smoked salmon to dragon fruit. We were picked up at 8:30 to go meet with the wonderful people who run the Girls Creativity Center, which is an art center for all ages and has facilities for painting, ceramics, calligraphy,, computer graphic design. This is where I will be giving the workshops tomorrow and Wednesday. After working out some details having to be ready with materials, we were then taken to the Ambassador's residence, where we found no fewer than 12 people waiting to help with the uncrating. The packing job proved to be impressive; there was only one small repair to be made. After some discussion about wall prep the two carpenters went off to get wood to hang the piece from. Kristen had arrived and we had a chance to admire the other art that had been installed last week. Everything looks fantastic. The rest of the install went smoothly. More later.Right now getting picked up to go the desert!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

We have arrived in Doha!

And has already been a rich experience. Everything feels new. The traveling to get here is now behind us and we are ready for the rich cultural experience. I am particularly looking forward to installing my piece tomorrow. We will shortly be going out for our first meal here; I think it needs to be Middle Eastern though there are many choices. After a few hours napping this morning after checking in to the hotel we took a long stroll along the Corniche, absorbing the amazing architecture, the recent and continuous construction, the unique fishing boats and especially the views of the skyline back toward the Four Seasons. Then we had to return for a swim in the very salty, bouyant Persian Gulf water. At first the heat was a little shocking, coming from Maine's coolong fall temperatures, but we got used to it, continuing to drink plenty of water.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Countdown to Qatar: One week!

It hardly seems real that a week from tomorrow we will be on our direct flight to Qatar from Philadelphia. We had some friends over last night for dinner, one of whom is from Jordan. He told us to expect a lot of heat! Which we knew of course, but he emphasized it...Just as it is cooling off here in the north it will be very hot in the Persian Gulf. Can't quite imagine that but I can imagine we will be indoors a lot; I hope to sit on a beach for a bit at our hotel! It looks like I may be giving a presentation to an art class at Virginia Commonwealth University which has a branch in Doha. This is going to be so exciting and different, I just can't wait for the trip to be underway and to meet Dana Shell Smith, our recently appointed US Ambassador to Qatar.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Countdown to Qatar: Ten days!

For some reason I couldn't add text to my last post. What you're seeing is the art transport van and Flo and Angel packing up Library to send it on its way to Qatar for the Art in Embassies exhibition. What professionals! I have no worries that the panels will arrive safely as they were packed in bubble wrap then surrounded by cardboard then they will be crated for further protection. As long as they don't sit in the hot desert sun (some parts might melt due to the wax I use here and there) they'll be fine.
Spent last week getting ready for my annual two day Open Studio event as part of the Belfast Creative Coalition Farm and Art Tour. Saturday was slow, due, I think, to the dark and cool day but Sunday was fantastic. Sunny blue sky and warm sun brought lots of people out and I saw old friends as well as new. The studio is packed right now with new work from the summer and early fall. It's great to have a way to share it with those interested enough to make the trip to Appleton.
This week the lovely people who are making the arrangements for the Artist Exchange, Welmoed and Kristen (as well as many others, I'm sure!), will be working on my itinerary for the days I'll be in Qatar so I should know shortly what my responsibilities will be. I've been lucky enough to meet a great couple here who lived recently in Doha and they have been sharing their thoughts, including reassuring me that Qatar Airlines will treat us very well on the flight over! Now I'm actually looking forward to the flights!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Countdown to Qatar: Four weeks away

Sunrise over the Camden Hills from our house in Appleton. These beautiful September days in Maine are precious. We're loving the sunrises, ground fog, foliage that's beginning to color up. We'll be doing our best to take adavnatge of this weather until October 24 when we board a plane for the Persian Gulf. We will be there less than a week but after talking with someone yesetrday who had lived in Qatar for two years recently I am feeling more excited and prepared for the adventure. We now know where we will be staying. The transport van is due next week to pick up the work and then it's just a question of finding out what else I will be asked to do, after I have installed Library.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Countdown to Qatar --Five weeks away

Flights have been arranged, arrangements arranged, hotel reserved, visa to be granted upon arrival, art transport van due next week. It's coming together, after a long wait, all summer. I have been revisitng the five panel part that will be installed in Qatar, adding, subtracting, inserting, reattaching, securing, even gluing so everything stays in place during trael then for the two and a half to three years I won't see the piece so won't be able to add to it or change it or secure things that have detached...this is a GOOD thing! I have discovered the other artists whose work will be included: Jeffery Becton, Gabriella d'Italia, Grace deGennaro, Clare Seidl, Anne Neely, Shannon Rankin and Alex Katz! To be invited on the Artist Exchange (even if it is to just install the work) is monumental. Other responsibilites have yet to be disclosed.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Countdown to Qatar 6 weeks away

It's count down time for the Artist Exchange trip to Qatar. It's just over six weeks away now. The piece I am sending is ready to ship but I don't ye know when the transportation company is coming to get it. Questions are really starting to come up. Not doubts, but questions having to do witht he specifics of the trip. We don't have our flight details yet! I will hopefully be talking to the travel coordinator with the Art in Embassies Program this week, today or tomorrow.

Friday, August 8, 2014

NEWS! Fantastic Opportunity!!!

Now that I have received some of the official paperwork for this opportunity I feel more comfortable sharing the exciting news: a scaled down version of Library has been chosen to be included in an exhibit at the ambassador's residence in Doha, Qatar as part of the Art In Embassies Program. I am flattered and honored and excited. I'll be traveling there sometime in the fall to install it, which is an opportunity in itself! If you are interested in knowing more about the Art In Embassies Program, established in 1963 by John F. Kennedy to promote the exchange of art and culture, you can go to their facebook page
and see pictures of exhibitions in different U.S. embassy residences all over the world. My work will remain in Qatar for two and a half years or so. Thanks to the new U.S. ambassador to Qatar, Dana Shell Smith, and the curator for AIE Camille Benton for making this happen, and for putting together what will no doubt be a dynamite show. The AIE Program also publishes a catalogue to go along with the exhibit, a very nice bonus. (Image above is Library being installed at Waterfall Arts in Belfast, ME, January 2014.)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Some coverage in ARTscope magazine

Look for a one page article on my large wall installation, Library, in the March/April issue of Artscope magazine.

The Ring and the Book

One of the five pieces I have in the UNE collage show in Portland.Many thanks to Anne Zill for including my work in this wonderful show.

Opening at UNE

It was a lovely summer evening last night for the opening of Making A New Whole: The Art of Collage at the University of New England Art Gallery in Portland. Very well attended and I met Anne Zill, finally, as well as a few of the artists I did not already know. If you can see the show, it will be up until September 28th. The hours of the gallery are limited to Wednesday through Saturday 1-4 and by appointment but it is worth the trip and the effort if you can make it work!

Opening at UNE

It was a lovely evening for the opening last night of Making A New Whole:The Art of Collage at the University of New England Art Gallery in Portland. I have five pieces in the show. It will be up until September 28, but the hours re limited to Wednesday through Saturday 1-4, so plan accordingly. It's worth a visit if you can get there!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Stack, 2014

And it helps to have images organized beforehand...
Stack, an altered book (or bunch of books), winter 2014

Thanks to my workshop attendees!!

Once again I am humbly reminded how easy it is to post something on this blog and that I need to do so more often. Thanks to the 12 or so folks in Castine who attended my workshop on making an altered book on Saturday. You were a lot of fun and as always I learned from you as you learned from me. Thank you to Pat Dunham and the Friends of the Castine Library who organized and got me to teach the workshop.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Lots of new opportunities

The Biennial may be behind me now but as a result of being included in that great show I have new opportunities coming my way. Following the deinstallation of Library from the museum I brought it to Belfast where I reinstalled it in the Clifford Gallery at Waterfall Arts, adding another ten feet of panels. I'll be giving an artist talk there on March 13, 7 p.m. For the month of  March I'll have work in the Lewis Gallery at the Portland Public Library in a show called Collage X 10, curated by Bruce Brown. Thank you , Bruce, for choosing my work among ten to be exhibited. This show will be expanded in the summer to include other artists where it will be on view at the University of New England Gallery also in Portland. Following the Collage X 10 show I'll have some work in an exhibit of book arts, again at the Public Library. Also in April I'll have a few pieces in a show in Belfast at Aarhus Gallery, a show called Paper, which should be a fun show, as all shows are at Aarhus. I'm helping with an open call show at Waterfall Arts in April and May that will be all about printmaking; this is to bring attention to and celebrate the creation of a printmaking studio at Waterfall Arts.
And, watch for an article about Library in the March/April issue of Artscope! Many thanks to Lynn Karlin who so kindly took a bunch of pictures of Library for me. I am full of gratitude for these opportunities and for being able to work on my art full time.