Summer is slowly, very wet and greenly coming to the coast of Maine. It’s been over a year since I sent out a newsletter; perhaps because of the economy and the election. I’ve been working - just more quietly. In December, I moved all my materials into the barn studio. I have plenty of room, desk and wall space with which to work and have all my supplies in one place again. The views out my windows are beautiful in summer or snow. I love the space.
I finished a major project this winter; the book, “Requiem.” The piece was just selected as one of 5 finalists for the Minnesota Center for Book Arts International Book Arts Award. I’ll attend the conference in late July. http://www.mnbookarts.org/events/mcbaprize.html
Amanda Degener of Cave Paper made the walnut stained papers and bound the book. I met Amanda at a Haystack School of Crafts retreat where she gave it to me saying, “Do something with it.” It’s a thick, rough and beautiful book and needed big words. With Benjamin Britten’s “War Requiem” in mind, I wrote the Requiem Mass and then more words about war, names of casualties and prayers. I liked working with the codex form of folded, sewn pages as it made me think about continuity, progression and timing. The book includes poems by Maine poets Lee Sharkey who I’ve collaborated with before, and near the end, a beautiful poem, “Grief Arrives” by Stuart Kestenbaum from his newest book.
After “Requiem,” I worked on several new pieces that are now showing in Portland, Oregon. “The Beautiful Book” is at 23 Sandy Gallery from June 5 to 27, 2009. Laura Russell has excellent online information about the exhibit at: www.23sandygallery.comI also donated 2 pieces to Carver Hill Gallery’s upcoming fundraiser for the New Hope for Women, a family violence prevention program in the midcoast.
I’ll spend the next few months working on several other projects. I am working on a Percent for Art commission for the new Penobscot County Courthouse in Bangor, Maine. Thanks to the election results, and having a legal scholar as president, it’s an inspiring time to be writing words from the US and Maine Constitutions. The 4 large, framed panels will be installed this fall.
In May, I traveled to Berkeley, CA for a daughter’s graduation and was joined by her twin sister, her husband and mine. It was a beautiful, warm week and included a trip to the Asian Art Museum, one of my favorites.I’m now home for a season of kayaking on the bay, long summer nights, and visits from our daughters, family and friends. I am very fortunate.