As a resident at OAC for about five months, from August 2013 to this January, I was able to make a fair amount of work. Some of the paintings are rather large, and as I was about to move to Brooklyn and begin my artist’s life there, I asked Mark to store the paintings at OAC until I could come back and retrieve them. Moving to NYC was of course exciting , but I found myself missing the serenity and beauty of Missouri, as well as the friends I’d made there, and began to consider a return trip in the spring.
So I was surprised and delighted when Mark contacted me about using my work in a two-person show at the OAC Art Center, with the ceramic artist James Tatum. The show was going to go up at the end of February, and I quickly booked a flight back for about a week’s stay, as there were paintings I wanted to work on more before exhibiting them.
The whole week was beyond lovely. I saw how Josh, my co-resident during my time at OAC, had taken over my old studio space and made it his own, completely transforming it. Josh and Rose, a lovely writer in residence, got together some local friends and hosted a dinner the first night. I had breakfast and visited with Mimi, a great friend of the residency who lives nearby. Went on walks at sunset and sat and read at the little hilltop cemetery nearby, as I would do so often during the late summer and fall. And between all revisiting all these wonderful experiences, I worked on my paintings. It was like a mini-residency, perfect and self-contained.
The week was capped by the opening night of the exhibition. Everything came together better than I could have hoped for, with the ceramics and paintings relating together dynamically in the beautiful OAC gallery. We had a great turnout, and friends old and new showed up. Sherry from the Greek restaurant down the street came and brought me baklava, which she used to tuck in to my bag for free when I’d get take-out. The parents of my studiomate in Brooklyn live nearby (crazy small world), and came to say hi. I felt the warmth and love of everyone who I’d met during those blissful months in Belle, and felt so grateful to have had the chance to come back and share my work with them.
I’m back in Brooklyn now, and am slowly settling into the slightly different (ahem) rhythm and pace of New York. But don’t get too used to my absence, Missouri! I’ll be back soon. With love until then,