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.)