Catching up

Sorry to have been so out of touch for a while.  Since arriving in Michigan I have been full tilt driving back and forth between Ox Bow in Saugatuck and the Art Prize in Grand Rapids. Been feeling a bit torn and lost in the limen of making work at Ox Bow and then representing my work at Grand Rapids. Usually one follows the other, not run simultaneously.  The crowds for Art Prize are astounding, So much so that they brought the website down with too much usage.  It is great to know that so many thousands of people are seeing my work, but alas, I cannot trust them with walking through my work.  They are just not an art seeing crowd and the kids just think they can touch everything.  An artist I met from Chicago did a smart thing, she put up a sample of her piece under a sign that says guilt free art to touch.  The crowds were using my tubes as an obstacle course, where many just could not handle the turns very well, so many of the plants started to sink from the jostling and finally we had to rope the installation off.  Only when I go there do I allow people to walk through, but even then when there is a surge you just never know.
Tomorrow evening they are supposed to announce the top 10 artists with the most votes. I have been in the top 25 of my area of town, which is really the top 130 of over 1,500 artists. So who knows, I could maybe stand a chance to win something out here.  Just gotta wait and see.  In the mean time I am trying to continue my experiments and work back at Ox Bow, but have to be honest and say that it has been hard to be present at both venues.  My body finally decided to quit on Sunday night and got sick enough to make me sleep all day monday.  The two places are so different.  Ox Bow is on the water surrounded by woods, the smells of wood burning fireplaces, the constant chirping of the crickets and the most awesome food!  I would like to explore the trails a bit and take a canoe ride, but I feel the pressure to work work work in the studio when I have the time and energy when I am not out in Grand Rapids which is urban, crowded, and about selling the work versus making it.  I try not to eat while I am there, so I can get back to Ox Bow and eat a plate from dinner that was put aside for me.
With less than two weeks to go now, It has been a blessing to have this experience of traveling for so many months.  I thank you all for your interest in following me throughout my adventures so far in 2011, but for the first time this morning I began to feel that it was time to go home.  I am ready to move back into my apartment and my new studio for the next year down in Chelsea, hopefully land at least one teaching gig and get to work on expanding upon my experiments of the summer for my one-person show in the late Spring.
Today is the New Year, L’Shana Tovah, a time for reflection and new beginnings. There is so much to wish for, so many people to pray for, so much more work to do to pull ourselves and this world out from below all the happenings of this year and decade. On my way out to Michigan I drove on September 11th, not an easy day to be alone in a car for 14 hours, For my way back I leave on October 8, the day of Yom Kippur; not sure I will make the fast, gotta be too careful about not driving too fast this time.

Best,
Michele

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