Friday, June 17, 2011

Gastronomical Adaptation a first real meal and finding perfect pastries

If you are going to really be in a place,  cooking is one way to get there.  Today decided to take the plunge and not simply boil water for pasta and buy bread for breakfast.  I'd seen the butcher shop (the little sausages), finally found enough bravo to buy produce w/o knowing Italian from the open air venders (one on a canal the other in front of the Arsenale) through a lot of hand gestures, nods, nos, and smiles and came back to our super Italiano orange-countered kitchen to make a true lunch.  

Noticed while shopping that zucchini is sold as a zucchini with and w/o its flower, guess which one is the more highly prized? --  Got to use garlic, which I can't do so easily with a beloved that is sensitive to its malodorous  scent.  and I got to use arugala, which I "discovered" back in the States, very Italiano.

Note: no pasta just produce from this place.  What does this have to do with art?  Well if your stomach is content, it shall lead to inspiration and capacity to endure long stretches of art making...


 This is a perfect cream donut. Eat your heart out Dunkin doughnuts..  It too is made fresh every day... uh ohhhh..... Ciao Bella!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Observations (Alicia from the Venice Six)

unhappy capture   

Grandmothers are similar in some ways regardless of their ethnicities or languages spoken. 
This image was taken on the 3rd day and I was hoping to surreptitiously take a picture of this woman that I was observing for ten minutes, who was watching us, (not just us the Venice Six or the Marist artist group that we are members of for this month, but all the hub ub of U>-+<S: tourists, stroll-ers, families hanging on the corner by one of Venice's 365 bridges), she was watching the whole of us in  another evening of the chilling out before finishing our days with  dinner 
and andare a letto (going to bed).  

I noticed that the Venetian grandmothers are just like the general impressions filmmakers have conveyed of Italian ones: women in housecoats in a window or doorway maybe with a cigarette (or not) but always with a watchful eye towards... us? Their street maybe? Their friends or families that may be in our crowd that they keep abreast of or safe.  It is uncertain.  
I see they are very intent about what lies before them. 
So I am like a birdwatcher getting my little point and shoot, steadily, slowly. Just as I am ready to click--- darn. Well she catches me. Just like she probably catches everything else that happens in a 100' radius of where she lives between 6am and her calling it in for the night.  

 You may note: she is not very happy with me.  I smile in apology certain that I am adding yet another layer of  idiota tourista to her  understandings... of us.

My grandmother did the same thing  in Flushing,Queens  
on Ash Ave near Kissena Boulevard where I grew up through warm summer evenings.
Buonanotte  Nonnina.  Buonanotte.

I miss my peeps as I peep out and everywhere  there is art.  And is it art?
It will take time to answer this question for all of us I believe.

Here is the poster that as a fellow artist I was called to respond to with heartfelt and somewhat respecful appropriation.  It was at the entrance to a small wine bar on a street that I doubt we will find easily again.  We were there to watch the sun fade pastel colors into night  while nibbling on cichetti (open faced sandwiches with chopped Italiano delecacies  of meat, cheese or fish).

We are in an incredible place.  Dylan Mclaughlin turned 22 on the 15th of June, our 3rd day here.  All of us are experiencing the world rocking in somewhat slow motion.  The vaporetos take us everywhere.  To wait for them we are on the water on a floating platform. We are between islands for a minimum of 90 minutes per day. So we, the Venice Six, living in the 7,000' Sangres of Santa Fe, NM are suddenly waterbabies lulled into the reality that nothing is still. We've been asking each other "do you feel like the world is rocking?" "yeah, it was bad this morning" or "yesterday but not today" or "it's like being dizzy, but not" So we are all acclimating in similar fashion, with hot tired feet from walking everywhere to see, well to see so much. 

To come to the academy where we work each day we travel between Venice and Murano. It is the Abate Zanetti Glass School ( a pristine almost churchlike setting where people work as casually as imaginable to shape mind blowing glass like bubble gum: tennis shoes, no goggles, no gloves, no leathers or even cloth jacket as a man of maybe 40-50 years experience with no hesitation moves between the oven and a small chair whole holding a wooden pallet to curve a lump of glass into a vase with a small bust and minimal waistline that widens into a sturdy yet still delicate base.  We watched him in awe today, day four,  move in nonchalant grace.

All of us are grateful to be here.  Ciao miei amici!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

First day of blog: organizing to get to Venice

There are six of us.  The Venice Six is a group of students from IAIA or if you're not from Santa Fe, NM and don't know much about the southwest, we're from the Institute of American Indian Arts.  This school has had at least four lifetimes.  It began as the Art Studio, taught by Dorothy Dunn in 1932. This was part of the Santa Fe Indian School a mandatory regional boarding school for American Indian children. Dorothy's vision and campaign helped soften the direction of the boarding school by developing and marketing  "Indian art" She taught Native children about a style of mark making that later on would become authenticated as "real" Indian art.... and for a long long time (1960s) were the time that would begin to break out) Dorothy Dunn's vision of what was American Indian art ruled.

Today is May 19, 2011.  Real Indian Art is in the making, five out of the six of us going from the IAIA are from federally recognized tribes.  We six were accepted into a prestigious month long art program that parallels the 2011 Venice Biennale. We will be inhaling and making art in Venice and Murano, Italy and we will show through the Marist College auxillary show to the Venice Biennale the week of July 4th... (hmm  is there  a shape of dramatic irony forming? -- is a second American Indian opera in the wings ready to be born?)  

Until we get there the blogs will be short and sweet--talking about Venice, art, the process of getting ready, working to make sure all of us go( finding the money we'll need ). If you want to see more about who we are and what this means to us, go to The Venice Six at the Biennale .

Our goal for this blog is to get those who've stood with us, (supported us  financially and spiritually), to see what we see, so there will be lots of photos of the art world around us, the work we are making, and short word bytes and indigenous and artistic musings and insights.   Stay with us and thank you.