Residency at Sanskriti Kendra, an Artists' Retreat Near New Delhi

I started my blog post about my experiences in India when I was there in December and early January. I finally finished it and published it today on my website!

My original intention, while at at the Sanskriti Kendra, an artists' retreat on four beautifully manicured acres outside of New Delhi, was to focus my work on the Yamuna River. Running from the Himalayas through New Delhi, a city with 20 million inhabitants, it is the most polluted river in India.

However, when I arrived at the Sanskriti Kendra, I was fascinated by the trees scattered throughout the property and labeled in both Hindi and English with names such as Tree of Sadness, Bodhi tree, Krishna's Buttercup and Devil's Tree. In spite of the pall of acrid smog that hung in the air at night, they seemed to thrive on the property. In fact the first tree one sees upon entering the property is a huge Banyan growing out of the gold-colored earth. These trees spoke to me of resilience, surviving in this Indian sanctuary in spite of the polluted air and water.

I carefully documented each tree and collected leaves to incorporate into my art. Some of the shapes I replicated as a black silhouette on a golden ground. Other leaf shapes I incorporated into mixed media works in the vivid colors of the flowers and the women's saris. All are on beautiful handmade paper purchased from Rickshaw Recycle in New Delhi.

Since my return from India, I've continued to work on these 12" x 9" pieces. In March I plan to complete the process during a two week residency at an artists' retreat on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

The work will be shown in an exhibition at Studio@620 in St Petersburg, along with drawings created by young people in both India and in Florida that depict solutions to the problems of pollution. The exhibition, Sanctuary, East and West is scheduled to open in mid-May, 2017, and to run for three weeks.  

My trip to India was funded by the Individual Artist's Grant I was awarded by Creative Pinellas last year. I am deeply grateful to have been afforded this remarkable experience.   

 New Delhi's Yamuna River

New Delhi's Yamuna River

 The banyan tree at the entrance to the Sanskriti Kendra

The banyan tree at the entrance to the Sanskriti Kendra

 My studio at Sanskriti Kendra

My studio at Sanskriti Kendra

 View from my bedroom window: the grounds of the Sanskrit Kendra in the early morning smog with a Silky Leaf tree in the foreground. 

View from my bedroom window: the grounds of the Sanskrit Kendra in the early morning smog with a Silky Leaf tree in the foreground. 

 Whistling Pine tree labeled in Hindi and English 

Whistling Pine tree labeled in Hindi and English 

 View of the Sanskriti Kendra grounds after the morning smog has lifted with a variety of trees in the background. There are numerous sculptures placed throughout the four acres of lovingly cared-for property.

View of the Sanskriti Kendra grounds after the morning smog has lifted with a variety of trees in the background. There are numerous sculptures placed throughout the four acres of lovingly cared-for property.

September 21 to October 1

These past weeks I have continued to deal with the many aspects of having somebody in my family who was very close to me pass away. On Tuesday I left for New York City to attend the memorial. I had planned, in the two days that I was there, to visit at least one museum show, possibly the Diane Arbus exhibition at the new Met Breuer.

I arrived in New York in plenty of time to attend the memorial for my beloved family member that evening. The celebration of his life, held on a rooftop in Brooklyn, was an outpouring of love and, as such, it was deeply moving.

The following day, after tying up family affairs in Brooklyn, I visited the Brooklyn Museum. I've visited New York many times over the years, but had never been to the Brooklyn Museum. It was particularly rewarding to see Judy Chicago's Dinner Party so beautifully displayed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the museum. Years ago, when I was a student in the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman's Building, in Los Angeles, I was one of the volunteers who worked on the Dinner Party. I also attended the opening at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in the late 70s. The installation languished in storage for years before it found a permanent home at the Brooklyn Museum. 

 On the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum

On the grounds of the Brooklyn Museum

 Judy Chicago's Dinner Party at the Brooklyn Museum

Judy Chicago's Dinner Party at the Brooklyn Museum

 Another view of The Dinner Party

Another view of The Dinner Party

 Place setting for Kali

Place setting for Kali

 Dinner Party place setting

Dinner Party place setting

 Place setting for Sojourner Truth

Place setting for Sojourner Truth

 Place setting for Sappho

Place setting for Sappho

 View inside the Brooklyn Museum

View inside the Brooklyn Museum

 Another view inside the Brooklyn Museum showing the combination of old and new architecture

Another view inside the Brooklyn Museum showing the combination of old and new architecture

 The impressive entrance to the Brooklyn Library not far from the museum

The impressive entrance to the Brooklyn Library not far from the museum

 Home again! A view of Tampa International Airport

Home again! A view of Tampa International Airport

Grant-Related Activities, August 26 to September 1

What a week! On Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. the roofers arrived to replace my roof. Since a tropical depression was predicted to hit St Petersburg with rains starting around two p.m., it was nerve-wracking to watch my roof being removed, A crew of workers slaved away in the hot Florida sun until finally, at shortly after six, the rains came and they packed up their gear. I was surprised to see them back on Wednesday morning to complete the job in the pouring rain. The tropical depression has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Hermine, the full impact of which Florida will feel on Thursday, so the roof was completed in the nick of time. I'm relieved to finally have a brand new roof that, hopefully, will weather storms for years to come. (While replacing my roof isn't a grant-related activity, it's a reminder, as I mentioned in an earlier blog, that artists too, have to maintain the roof over their head, sometimes literally!)

This drama has certainly eaten into my work time. It's been difficult to concentrate over the constant din of thumps, bumps and hammering. I sympathize with Ms Tigger, my cat, who fears loud noises, and who retreated under the back deck during the roofing process, both on Tuesday and Wednesday, in spite of Wednesday's heavy rains.

I did, however, accomplish one thing over the past week: I finalized plans for an exhibition (through Galleries On the Go) at Ruth Eckerd Hall for my Morean Arts Center students and me. The exhibition will open on January 16 (just ten days after my residency at the Sanskriti Foundation in India ends) and will be up for two months. The date of the artists' reception is to be decided. I have, in the past, organized a number of exhibitions for my Morean Arts Center students: several group and solo shows at Everything Dolce, a now defunct coffee shop that was on St Petersburg's Central Avenue. Also a couple of exhibitions at Art du Monde, a gallery that was in Central Avenue Edge District until a few years ago and, two years ago, a group exhibition at the spacious Gallery 221, Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus.  

The first session of the fall courses starts next week at the Morean Arts Center. My six week Beginning/Intermediate Painting Course, in which students can explore oils, acrylics, water colors and mixed media, is on Tuesday evenings, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Or, for those who prefer a day-time class, I teach the same course on Thursday mornings from 9:30 until noon. Those interested in learning more about this, and the many other Morean Arts Center course offerings, can explore the Education pages on the Morean's web site. There is an option of signing up for just three of the six classes.  

As my trip to the Sanskriti Foundation draws closer, I'm beginning to experience both the excitement and the trepidation of a residency: there's an internal pressure to create.  After all, with such a major investment of time and resources, something good MUST come out of it, I tend to tell myself. This, combined with the challenges of traveling alone to a foreign country where English is not the mother tongue, and to which I have never been, sometimes feels intimidating. Then I remind myself that India is the place from whence the practices and the philosophy of yoga originate; I have studied and practiced these for many years, including yoga asanas (poses), scriptures, chanting and meditation. Attachment and ego have no place in yoga. I am, I tell myself, preparing to visit my spiritual home. The sage Jnaneshwar Maharaj said that the person "whose mind is not agitated in misfortune, whose desire for pleasure has disappeared, whose passion, fear and anger have departed, and whose meditation is steady is said to be a sage ... of steady wisdom."  I have a long way to go to reach this lofty state! 

I'm including some images from artists' retreats at which I've had residencies. These photographs bring back fond memories of long, uninterrupted hours spent making art in a variety of studios in beautiful, rural settings. Also of meals spent in the company of Fellows (visual artists, writers and composers from the world over), an occasional evening sharing our creative output, swimming in icy mountain streams or lakes surrounded by nature (including, on one occasion, a pair of mating snapping turtles), and hiking hilly (sometimes mountainous) trails, experiencing the unique gifts of the seasons. This is not something one can do in Florida with its year-round summer sunshine, interrupted by a few cold days and, of course, it's tropical storms. 

 A waterproof barrier is added to my roof before the rains come.

A waterproof barrier is added to my roof before the rains come.

 A view from the main gate of the  Virginia Center for the Creative Arts  located on the campus of Sweet Briar College in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was employed as a part-time arts administrator here and had a studio in the barn--a converted dairy barn where visual artists, writers and composers had studios. I returned to the VCCA several years ago as a Fellow and was able to enjoy working in my studio without the interruptions of administrative work (such as being called upon to remove a huge black snake from an Irish writer's studio!). 

A view from the main gate of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts located on the campus of Sweet Briar College in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was employed as a part-time arts administrator here and had a studio in the barn--a converted dairy barn where visual artists, writers and composers had studios. I returned to the VCCA several years ago as a Fellow and was able to enjoy working in my studio without the interruptions of administrative work (such as being called upon to remove a huge black snake from an Irish writer's studio!). 

 The VCCA barn. My studio was to the left of the cupola. The art gallery was under the cupola and this is where, in 1999, we exhibited  Art from Mt Saint Angelo: Pleasants, Prins and Two Monks.   

The VCCA barn. My studio was to the left of the cupola. The art gallery was under the cupola and this is where, in 1999, we exhibited Art from Mt Saint Angelo: Pleasants, Prins and Two Monks. 

 The Rock House at the  Hambidge Center   near R  abun Gap  in the mountains of North Georgia.  

The Rock House at the Hambidge Center near Rabun Gap in the mountains of North Georgia.  

 I have had several residencies at the Hambidge Center since the early 2000s. This was the view from my studio window during my most recent residency.

I have had several residencies at the Hambidge Center since the early 2000s. This was the view from my studio window during my most recent residency.

 Above: A secluded spot on the lawn outside the Rock House at the Hambidge Center.  Below:  The Mary Anderson Center  on the property of a monastery in Southern Indiana. This is where I had a residency for a month prior to moving to Florida. I found a treasure or two in the silo that were incorporated into my art during my residency. Later, as you can see in the middle image, the silo was torn down. The photograph on the right is of the lake where, because of insurance regulations, Fellows could only swim with a monk. Thus my monk friend became "the swimming monk," since he was the only monk I could find who liked to swim in the lake.  

Above: A secluded spot on the lawn outside the Rock House at the Hambidge Center.

Below: The Mary Anderson Center on the property of a monastery in Southern Indiana. This is where I had a residency for a month prior to moving to Florida. I found a treasure or two in the silo that were incorporated into my art during my residency. Later, as you can see in the middle image, the silo was torn down. The photograph on the right is of the lake where, because of insurance regulations, Fellows could only swim with a monk. Thus my monk friend became "the swimming monk," since he was the only monk I could find who liked to swim in the lake.  

  Peace with Virginia Leaf,  Sumi Ink on handmade paper, 32" x 40", from a series of drawings  created during my residency at the VCCA. 

Peace with Virginia Leaf, Sumi Ink on handmade paper, 32" x 40", from a series of drawings  created during my residency at the VCCA. 

 A solo exhibition at the Mahaffey Theater in St Petersburg in 2013 showing  Planetary Movement  (on the right), mixed media on canvas, 56" x 89", made from a weathered canvas tarp I found in the silo during my residency at the Mary Anderson Center.

A solo exhibition at the Mahaffey Theater in St Petersburg in 2013 showing Planetary Movement (on the right), mixed media on canvas, 56" x 89", made from a weathered canvas tarp I found in the silo during my residency at the Mary Anderson Center.

  Dark Cross Redeemed,  resin, latex and mixed media on canvas, 38" x 36". Completed during a residency at the Hambidge Center. In the collection of Sal and Dee Perconti.

Dark Cross Redeemed, resin, latex and mixed media on canvas, 38" x 36". Completed during a residency at the Hambidge Center. In the collection of Sal and Dee Perconti.

  Chiti's Play,  tar and mixed media on canvas, 75" x 72" created during a residency at the Hambidge Center. In the Collection of Rob Holley.  

Chiti's Play, tar and mixed media on canvas, 75" x 72" created during a residency at the Hambidge Center. In the Collection of Rob Holley.  

August 19 to 25, Grant-Related Activities

I finally completed the task of scanning slides of my many artist in residence projects. This is a relief!

This week my new assistant, who has a BA in Marketing, and I worked on follow-up emails for a mailing sent out in the spring. She also added names to my contact list in preparation for an email that I plan to send out next week announcing the Creative Pinellas Conversations with the Fellows event at St Petersburg's freeFall Theater on Monday, September 12, 9:30 to 11:30, as well as other updates, and she prepared my studio for today's painting class.

Today was the last class of the summer and afterwards a group of us celebrated several  successful paintings, created over the course of a six weeks session, with lunch at a nearby Asian restaurant. In two weeks time, Thursday, September 8, at 9:30 a.m., we move back into the Morean Arts Center, having been banished for the summer while camp was in session. I'm looking forward to having the extra space! Our last Tuesday evening class of the summer session went well, ending in a critique of some excellent paintings (in oils, acrylics and watercolors), including those of a model who the class had been drawing, then painting, for the past four weeks.

In my blog, from time to time, I've mentioned a mixed media diptych (or possibly a future triptych), part of the Terra Firma series, that I've been working on for weeks. At last, in desperation, I took an electric sander to one of the panels and removed as much of the paint as I could. I then reworked the canvas. I'm finally happy with the way the two panels work together. At least for the time being!   

 One panel from the diptych,  Meditation on Water.   Rhoplex, acrylics, oil sticks, graphite, on canvas, 24 x 48 inches. 

One panel from the diptych, Meditation on Water.  Rhoplex, acrylics, oil sticks, graphite, on canvas, 24 x 48 inches. 

 A scene from my Tuesday evening Beginning/Intermediate Painting Course at the  Morean A  rts Center.    

A scene from my Tuesday evening Beginning/Intermediate Painting Course at the Morean Arts Center.   

 Some of the life drawings my students did during the most recent Beginning/Intermediate Painting Course at the Morean Arts Center.  Some of these were done by "old hands," others by complete novices who valiantly agreed to give drawing from life a try. 

Some of the life drawings my students did during the most recent Beginning/Intermediate Painting Course at the Morean Arts Center.  Some of these were done by "old hands," others by complete novices who valiantly agreed to give drawing from life a try. 

 Students at work in my St Petersburg  studio. It was converted from a garage with the assistance of a Professional Development Individual Artist Grant from Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Department in 2007.   

Students at work in my St Petersburg  studio. It was converted from a garage with the assistance of a Professional Development Individual Artist Grant from Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Department in 2007.

 

 Students and I taking a break on my back deck before getting back to work in my studio.

Students and I taking a break on my back deck before getting back to work in my studio.

 Work in progress-- Meditation on Water,  diptych.   Rhoplex, acrylics, oil sticks, graphite, on canvas, 48 x 48 inches.   I'm debating whether the panels will end up being horizontal or vertical.   

Work in progress--Meditation on Water, diptych.  Rhoplex, acrylics, oil sticks, graphite, on canvas, 48 x 48 inches.  I'm debating whether the panels will end up being horizontal or vertical.

 

August 12 to 18, Grant Related Activities

As anybody who knows me well will tell you, teaching is an important part of my art practice. After obtaining a BFA degree, I went on to get my California Teaching Credentials in Art, K through 12, then a Master's Degree in Art and a Ph.D. in Studio Art and Arts Administration (hoping that the terminal degree would enable me to teach in colleges and universities).

I've taught drawing at Ringling College of Art and Design; sculpture at Hillsborough Community College, Ybor City; Art Appreciation at Barry University in Tampa and, for the past fifteen years or so, I've taught painting in Eckerd College's Program for Experienced Learners and, on occasion, in the College's residential program.  A few times a year I teach mixed media workshops in my studio (as well as, once in a while, at the Morean Arts Center where I've taught painting for over fifteen years) and, recently, I taught a mixed media retreat with Dr. Linn Sennott at Rainbow Rivers Center in Dunnellon, Florida. 

When I'm in India in December, I plan to work with children in New Delhi and incorporate their art in my installation, to be shown at St Petersburg's Studio@620 next year. This will be similar to the way in which I incorporated the drawings of local teens (whom I taught as an artist in residence with Youth Art Corps ) into my installation, Sanctuary at Gallery 221, Hillsborough Community College, Tampa, in 2014.

I'm still scanning slides! I moved on this week, from slides of my own art, to scanning slides of residencies. I was an Artist in Residence with the New Mexico Arts Division and with the Virginia Commission for the Arts, with VSA, New Mexico and Florida--with whom I still do residencies--and, for several years, with Youth Arts Corps in Pinellas County as well as Creative Clay's Creative Care, an arts in healthcare program, at Ronald MacDonald House, All Children's Hospital and St Anthony's Hospital, where I still teach art to patients. Then there were several short-term residencies, such as the one I did with Tampa's Children's Board a few years ago, illustrating  the play, My Children! My Africa! by South African playwright, Athol Fugard, and the one I did last year at Hampshire College, Massachusetts, with students in the environmental studies program as well as art education students. The most recent was on Monday at St Petersburg's Museum of Fine Arts where, for the first time, I taught art to Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers through VSA, Florida. I'm including images here of a few of those hundreds of residencies. Sadly, some of the scanned images are grainy and have faded over time.

Meanwhile I made progress on the second panel of the mixed media diptych I've been working on for the past few weeks and, so far, I'm happy with the way it's turning out. 

I also completed a drainage system in the area between my back deck and my studio which, during heavy rains, became a flood zone. It looks good--hopefully it will accomplish its purpose!    

 Magical Marty, made for a VSA, New Mexico, project. I made three interactive sculptures as part of this residency.

Magical Marty, made for a VSA, New Mexico, project. I made three interactive sculptures as part of this residency.

 Pojoaque High School students with  I'll WIPP You and Waste You Away , an installation as part of  Art Windows on Route 66 , which, in competition with professional artists, won Honorable Mention. It was a protest against the Waste Isolation Pilot Project which was being planned to carry nuclear waste past their school in rural New Mexico to Carlsbad Caverns in Southern New Mexico.  

Pojoaque High School students with I'll WIPP You and Waste You Away, an installation as part of Art Windows on Route 66, which, in competition with professional artists, won Honorable Mention. It was a protest against the Waste Isolation Pilot Project which was being planned to carry nuclear waste past their school in rural New Mexico to Carlsbad Caverns in Southern New Mexico.  

 The Jungle project, made with Special Education students at Pojoaque elementary school.  In a recording session, students made animal sounds to mimic the animal that they had created. The recorded sounds became a part of the final installation, the background was inspired by Matisse's cut-outs.

The Jungle project, made with Special Education students at Pojoaque elementary school.  In a recording session, students made animal sounds to mimic the animal that they had created. The recorded sounds became a part of the final installation, the background was inspired by Matisse's cut-outs.

 The Ice Palace, created with  children and their parents at the Children's Museum in Santa Fe.   

The Ice Palace, created with children and their parents at the Children's Museum in Santa Fe.  

 A batik made by a camper at Buck's Rock Summer Camp where I taught batik-making for a couple of summers in the early '90s. 

A batik made by a camper at Buck's Rock Summer Camp where I taught batik-making for a couple of summers in the early '90s. 

 Preparing for the Earth Day Santa Fe parade, a residency I did with students at Sweeney Elementary School in which they protested the Exxon Valdez oil spill that had recently occurred. The students learned how clowns, minstrels and comedians have been the voice of protest in communities  from the Medieval era until the present day.     

Preparing for the Earth Day Santa Fe parade, a residency I did with students at Sweeney Elementary School in which they protested the Exxon Valdez oil spill that had recently occurred. The students learned how clowns, minstrels and comedians have been the voice of protest in communities from the Medieval era until the present day.    

 Sweeney Elementary students participating in the Earth Day Santa Fe parade with their posters made during the residency.  

Sweeney Elementary students participating in the Earth Day Santa Fe parade with their posters made during the residency.  

 For several summers I worked with a few of my Ringling College students making collaborative installations with youth at recreation centers throughout Pinellas County through Youth Arts Corps. Here the teens and their counselor at Childs Park Recreation Center show off a train made with recycled materials and papier maché. At the end of the summer, after a morning spent "Scrubbin' the Burg" (clearing litter from St Petersburg's streets), the teens came with their completed installations to St Petersburg's Coliseum where the creations, ranging from rocket ships to circus scenes, were judged by members of the City Council.  

For several summers I worked with a few of my Ringling College students making collaborative installations with youth at recreation centers throughout Pinellas County through Youth Arts Corps. Here the teens and their counselor at Childs Park Recreation Center show off a train made with recycled materials and papier maché. At the end of the summer, after a morning spent "Scrubbin' the Burg" (clearing litter from St Petersburg's streets), the teens came with their completed installations to St Petersburg's Coliseum where the creations, ranging from rocket ships to circus scenes, were judged by members of the City Council.  

 An apartment building created by the youth at Wildwood Recreation Center as part of the Youth Arts Corps summer project. 

An apartment building created by the youth at Wildwood Recreation Center as part of the Youth Arts Corps summer project. 

 The Magic Tree created by family members of patients at All Children's Hospital, a collaborative project with dancer and choreographer, Paula Kramer.

The Magic Tree created by family members of patients at All Children's Hospital, a collaborative project with dancer and choreographer, Paula Kramer.

 In the summer of 2012 I returned to New Mexico, where I had lived from 1980 until 1993, and, through a program of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, I worked with teenage girls over the course of a few days, painting flowers with acrylics on canvas "like Georgia O'Keeffe."

In the summer of 2012 I returned to New Mexico, where I had lived from 1980 until 1993, and, through a program of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, I worked with teenage girls over the course of a few days, painting flowers with acrylics on canvas "like Georgia O'Keeffe."

 While living in New Mexico, I collaborated with Lind Piper, an actor, story teller and theater director, on several projects. This is a huge papier maché head, one of several made by students at an elementary school in Farmington, NM. The heads depicted the various stereotypes in the play that the children wrote and acted before an audience of friends and family. The message of the play was: learn to see people as individuals and not as stereotypes based on prejudice.     

While living in New Mexico, I collaborated with Lind Piper, an actor, story teller and theater director, on several projects. This is a huge papier maché head, one of several made by students at an elementary school in Farmington, NM. The heads depicted the various stereotypes in the play that the children wrote and acted before an audience of friends and family. The message of the play was: learn to see people as individuals and not as stereotypes based on prejudice.     

  Linda Piper's and my most successful residency as collaborators was with the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center in Albuquerque, NM, where we worked with incarcerated youth to write and perform a play about the individuals behind the masks we present to the world. The play was called "Hidden Images." My role was to create masks, sets and publicity with the young inmates. A few days before the big day of the show, the sheriff arrived to release our male lead. He begged the sheriff to allow him to stay until after the performance, the sheriff conceded, and the show went on! 

Linda Piper's and my most successful residency as collaborators was with the Youth Diagnostic and Development Center in Albuquerque, NM, where we worked with incarcerated youth to write and perform a play about the individuals behind the masks we present to the world. The play was called "Hidden Images." My role was to create masks, sets and publicity with the young inmates. A few days before the big day of the show, the sheriff arrived to release our male lead. He begged the sheriff to allow him to stay until after the performance, the sheriff conceded, and the show went on! 

 One summer, a few years ago, I worked in tandem with a couple of educators and a writer to address the issue of bullying in our communities. The project was entitled "Speak Up Speak Now!" We worked with the teens in various Pinellas County institutions and my role, as the visual artist, was to make posters with  the teens  using collagraphed self portraits with anti-bullying slogans like "My name is Brianna, I'm an Upstander not a Bystander!" The posters were exhibited at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St Petersburg.     

One summer, a few years ago, I worked in tandem with a couple of educators and a writer to address the issue of bullying in our communities. The project was entitled "Speak Up Speak Now!" We worked with the teens in various Pinellas County institutions and my role, as the visual artist, was to make posters with the teens using collagraphed self portraits with anti-bullying slogans like "My name is Brianna, I'm an Upstander not a Bystander!" The posters were exhibited at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St Petersburg.     

 The "Speak Up Speak Now!" exhibition at the Florida Holocaust Museum 

The "Speak Up Speak Now!" exhibition at the Florida Holocaust Museum 

 I worked, as a member of the Creative Care team, at All Children's Hospital to assist young patients create the illustrations for an alphabet book written by Noelle Schneider.

I worked, as a member of the Creative Care team, at All Children's Hospital to assist young patients create the illustrations for an alphabet book written by Noelle Schneider.

 An illustration, done by an All Children's Hospital patient, for Noelle Schneider's book.

An illustration, done by an All Children's Hospital patient, for Noelle Schneider's book.

  A collaborative project, a  picket fence created by the Youth Arts Corps teens at Skyview Recreation Center in Pinellas Park where I taught art in the after school program for several years.  

A collaborative project, a picket fence created by the Youth Arts Corps teens at Skyview Recreation Center in Pinellas Park where I taught art in the after school program for several years.  

 Ryan W., a student in Creative Clay's Transitions program, working on a sculpture in my studio as part of the Art Link program that teams Creative Clay artists with professional artists.

Ryan W., a student in Creative Clay's Transitions program, working on a sculpture in my studio as part of the Art Link program that teams Creative Clay artists with professional artists.

 The sculptures Ryan W. and I made out of recycled materials and papier maché. These were some of the characters in the book that Ryan wrote as part of our Creative Clay's Art Link project.

The sculptures Ryan W. and I made out of recycled materials and papier maché. These were some of the characters in the book that Ryan wrote as part of our Creative Clay's Art Link project.

 Artwork created by Hampshire College environmental studies students for the "Hampshire Living Tree" project. The paintings of farm animals are seen here drying in the campus farm barn prior to being incorporated into a collaborative collage to be hung in a new state-of-the-arts, environmentally friendly building being erected on campus.

Artwork created by Hampshire College environmental studies students for the "Hampshire Living Tree" project. The paintings of farm animals are seen here drying in the campus farm barn prior to being incorporated into a collaborative collage to be hung in a new state-of-the-arts, environmentally friendly building being erected on campus.

 A detail from the "Hampshire Living Tree" collaborative collage.

A detail from the "Hampshire Living Tree" collaborative collage.

 Some of the participants during the Spring Mixed Media Creativity Retreat at Rainbow Rivers Center in 2016 at an early morning yoga session prior to returning to their cabins to make art.

Some of the participants during the Spring Mixed Media Creativity Retreat at Rainbow Rivers Center in 2016 at an early morning yoga session prior to returning to their cabins to make art.

 Drawing session during our Spring Mixed Media Creativity Retreat at Rainbow Rivers Center, Dunnelon.

Drawing session during our Spring Mixed Media Creativity Retreat at Rainbow Rivers Center, Dunnelon.

August 5 to August 11, Grant-Related Activities

Besides continuing to sort through slides, so that I can get the images that I need to save professionally scanned and starting a new panel as part of my large diptych (or, perhaps, triptych?), I addressed the area between my back deck and my studio that turns into a swamp in rainy weather. Several weeks ago I added stepping stones. This week I removed the grass in the area, laid down weed barrier fabric and am covering it with shells to improve the drainage. I'm hoping to have to project completed by the end of next week, along with the installation of my new roof, which, weather permitting, is scheduled for August 26. 

A lot of time was wasted this week with a back-and-forth communication with someone in Lithuania who expressed interest in my art having seen it on my web site. They claimed they wanted to purchase three pieces. 

Not long ago I had a similar experience where someone "interested in purchasing my art" sent me a check for the art, plus the cost of shipping. Happily my friends on FaceBook alerted me to this common scam before I shipped the art. As a result, I didn't deposit the check, which would have bounced, giving the criminal access to my banking information. I still have the check! I notified the police, but they weren't interested on following up, just told me to alert my friends, which I'm doing.

The Lithuanian scammer sounded fairly genuine so I proceeded with caution. She wanted to purchase the art with a credit card and asked me to research the cost of shipping from St Petersburg to Vilnius, Lithuania. I notified her of the estimated shipping cost. She then asked me to use her preferred shippers--a new company based in Ireland. I navigated to their web site and an image of moving water immediately made me feel seasick--not the way a professional shippers' web site should make one feel! The typos were another indicator of something fishy. I did some research and discovered that this, too, is a common scam using stolen credit cards and bogus "shippers." I informed the scammer that we would use my local shippers or the deal was off. End of deal!  

So...in between starting a new diptych panel, dealing with a scammer and my building projects and juggling my teaching schedule (on Monday I start working with Alzheimer's patients and their caregivers at the Museum of Fine Arts), I slowly proceeded with with the slide scanning project. It's taken me on a trip down memory lane from a Crossing the Line ceremony on a cruise ship heading from Durban, South Africa, to Brindisi, Italy, when I was twenty and heading to a job as a graphic artist in an advertising agency on Fleet Street, London, to the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, when I hitch-hiked through Europe at the age of twenty-one, to, more recently, exhibitions of my art all over the United Sates, both in solo and group shows. I'm using a little scanner, borrowed from Eckerd College where I teach, to scan slides that are fun to look at but don't need to be of professional quality--the majority of them are not going on my web site. I'm posting some of those faded and somewhat grainy images here.    

   

 At the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin while hitch-hiking with two South African friends around Europe.

At the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin while hitch-hiking with two South African friends around Europe.

 The  Virgin and the Whore  float as part of a Women Take Back the Night march in San Francisco. This was a collaborative project, organized by performance artists Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz, in which I participated, along with a group of fellow students in the Feminist Studio Workshop at the  Woman's Building    in Los Angeles.  Also, while a student at the Feminist Studio Workshop, I joined the team of volunteers who worked on Judy Chicago's  Dinner Party  now on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum.

The Virgin and the Whore float as part of a Women Take Back the Night march in San Francisco. This was a collaborative project, organized by performance artists Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz, in which I participated, along with a group of fellow students in the Feminist Studio Workshop at the Woman's Building in Los Angeles.  Also, while a student at the Feminist Studio Workshop, I joined the team of volunteers who worked on Judy Chicago's Dinner Party now on permanent display at the Brooklyn Museum.

 A detail, made from bones and handmade paper, from the installation,   Suttee, Moths and the Bomb: a Trinity,   that was exhibited in solo and group shows at various locations in New Mexico and Montana, also in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Tampa and St Petersburg.

A detail, made from bones and handmade paper, from the installation, Suttee, Moths and the Bomb: a Trinity, that was exhibited in solo and group shows at various locations in New Mexico and Montana, also in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Tampa and St Petersburg.

 In my studio at Salt Creek Artworks shortly after I arrived in St Petersburg in 2000. It was located on Fourth Street South until a few years ago. This is where I had my first solo exhibition in St Petersburg. T he series,   Bound Crosses and Boundary Crossings,   a part of that show, was also exhibited in Richmond VA, Atlanta GA, at Hillsborough Community College in Ybor City and was part of my mini-retrospective,   Rose Marie Prins: The East Coast Years   at St Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater in 2013. 

In my studio at Salt Creek Artworks shortly after I arrived in St Petersburg in 2000. It was located on Fourth Street South until a few years ago. This is where I had my first solo exhibition in St Petersburg. The series, Bound Crosses and Boundary Crossings, a part of that show, was also exhibited in Richmond VA, Atlanta GA, at Hillsborough Community College in Ybor City and was part of my mini-retrospective, Rose Marie Prins: The East Coast Years at St Petersburg's Mahaffey Theater in 2013. 

 A detail from an installation,   Modern Interior ,  at Project Creo in the old pyramid pier building, St Petersburg, as part of a group show of installation art in the early 2000s

A detail from an installation, Modern Interior, at Project Creo in the old pyramid pier building, St Petersburg, as part of a group show of installation art in the early 2000s

 At the opening of   War and Peace and the Height in Between ,  a solo exhibition at the Catherine Hickman Theater in Gulfport a few years ago.  The Height in Between  was the title of American poet, Timothy Houghton's book of poems that was published earlier that year. He wrote the poem,  A War Far and Near  for me. I made an artists book of the same title which I read at the opening . 

At the opening of War and Peace and the Height in Between, a solo exhibition at the Catherine Hickman Theater in Gulfport a few years ago. The Height in Between was the title of American poet, Timothy Houghton's book of poems that was published earlier that year. He wrote the poem, A War Far and Near for me. I made an artists book of the same title which I read at the opening . 

   Homeland, Lost and Found ,  a collaborative installation inspired by a poem by Salah Al Hamdani with music composed and arranged by Rick Neal of element-dao, video by Jim Sennott and calligraphy by Charlene McCarthy. I was awarded a solo show in 2014, having won Best-of-Show the previous year at the Morean Arts Center.   Rose Marie Prins: Homeland Lost and Found  was a solo show in which I invited the other artists to collaborate with me.

Homeland, Lost and Found, a collaborative installation inspired by a poem by Salah Al Hamdani with music composed and arranged by Rick Neal of element-dao, video by Jim Sennott and calligraphy by Charlene McCarthy. I was awarded a solo show in 2014, having won Best-of-Show the previous year at the Morean Arts Center.  Rose Marie Prins: Homeland Lost and Found was a solo show in which I invited the other artists to collaborate with me.

July 29 to August 4, Grant-Related Activities

My slide-sorting activities continued throughout the weekend. And the task is still not complete! While working on the slides, I put my most recent painting in the Terra Firma series up in the living room so that each time I walked past it, I would see it, hoping that it would "speak" to me. It was almost finished but something about it wasn't working . I decided the color was too harsh and that I needed to soften it. Since the oil stick I'd applied most recently was still tacky, I sprinkled some graphite powder onto my painting (a mixed media work on canvas) then burnished it onto the surface. The graphite didn't soften the color, it killed it! So I washed it off, knowing that the graphite would adhere to the textural valleys. Now the color is both softer and richer, almost luminous.

I've decided that I'd like to see this painting as part of a triptych, so I headed to one of our local art supply stores to pick up a couple of canvases (they're on sale there this week--I'm always on the hunt for a bargain!) As I type this in my studio, the canvases are beckoning me BUT I have had teaching obligations to fulfill both at St Anthony's Hospital on Monday and at the Morean Arts Center on Tuesday and the week has continued with the distractions of daily life that keep me from painting.

On Wednesday I went to Clearwater to investigate a space for a possible exhibition (if not for myself, perhaps for my Morean Arts Center students). Today, Thursday, I'm off to discuss the possibility of a teaching position, that of teaching art to Alzheimer patients and their caregivers. I've worked with Alzheimer patients at St Anthony's Hospital and have had some success getting folks who seemed completely incoherent to make art. It's a unique challenge, and rewarding.

Meanwhile, I continue to work on plans for my trip to India in December and the subsequent solo show, an installation based on Sanctuary, at Studio@620, scheduled for May, 2017. I'm also getting closer to firming up dates and prices for the painting retreat I'm planning for summer of next year in New Mexico.   

Detail of Sanctuary at Gallery 221, Hillsborough Community College, Dale Mabry Campus, 2014

Another detail of Sanctuary at Gallery 221, showing three of the four mixed media paintings in the exhibition

July 23 to 28, Grant-Related Activities

This week was filled, as I anticipated it would be, with the tedious task of sorting slides and scanning them. I soon realized that the scanner I'd borrowed from Eckerd College would work for family snap shots but the quality wasn't up to scanning images of my work for my web site. So...first I had to go through all the images on my computer and categorize them, then go through all the slides and decide which ones need to be scanned so I can get them professionally scanned. All this while dealing with the fact that the insurance company requires that I replace the roof on my house before the end of the summer. If not, they won't insure it. I mention this because many folks out there apparently think that artists live on "love and fresh air." Perhaps it comes as a surprise to them that we, too, have mortgages to pay and roofs that need replacing!

Once in a while, over the past week, I'd take time off from slide-sorting to read parts of Hyperallergic, an excellent art magazine that arrives in my inbox each day. An article about an Indian visual artist, writer and teacher, K. G. Subramanyan, who passed away last month, caught my imagination. I read a statement he made with which I identify. I'm taking the liberty here of quoting him but changing the gender: "In a theoretical sense, a sensitive artist can subsist and function all by herself in her private world, even if she is surrounded by apathetic and insensitive people, if she does not rue her isolation and lack of appreciation and reward. But, certainly, it is not the best of situations. No art that grows like a lonely desert flower in the midst of barrenness can survive in the long run, let alone flourish; to do so, it needs around it the presence of an art language (and, so, a wide presence of art practice and connoisseurship); this alone will nourish an artist’s total sensibility. And if she on her part can infiltrate into its various channels, as much as her talent will permit, it will not only broaden the spectrum of her sensibility but enrich the environment as well. This is not to advise any artist to make any compromises, but only to spread herself out."

There's many a time when I feel like I spread myself too thin, but Subramanyan's quote validates this tendency. Perhaps, by making art, teaching art in a variety of settings, gardening (a time-consuming activity) and by volunteering with my yoga group, I am "not only broadening the spectrum of my sensibility but enriching the environment as well." Certainly there have been many times when I felt that my art was attempting to grow "like a lonely desert flower...with lack of appreciation and reward." Once in a while, like when I learned on Friday, May 13, that I had been awarded an Individual Artist's Grant by Creative Pinellas, I feel appreciated and rewarded. Or when a student brought her eighty-one year old mother to my painting class at the Morean Arts Center (one of the locations where I teach) last Tuesday evening and the following morning I received an email, "Awesome time for Mom, a new experience for her! You are so patient and kind, an awesome teacher." 

In a letter to Subrahmanyan, a friend wrote:

...I would go so far as to say that your every critical utterance is a blessing because it holds within it a ‘way,’ a ‘corrective’ measure, the ‘possibility’ of doing something differently, ‘insights’ into approaching one’s shortcomings in a positive sense; in other words, the way forward.

My goal, as a teacher, is to approach my students' work in the same way--guiding each to find her or his unique artistic voice. At the current Members' Show at the Morean Arts Center, where several of my students' work is on display, I am delighted by the variety of styles, and media, that I see in their work. One of my students, I am delighted to report, Tricia Tierney Moses, won an award for her painting in the show.  

Last Friday evening, I took a brief  break from my slide-sorting task to attend Ya La'Ford's opening at the Chihuly Collection on Beach Drive. The small gallery was so crowded that it was difficult to see the art and I promised myself that I would return before the show ends. Although I couldn't see much of Ya's art, I was treated to a private tour of the Chihuly Collection--on this, my first visit to the Beach Drive location! I was enormously impressed by the professionalism of the displays and the way they worked in perfect harmony with the beautifully designed contemporary building. My hope is that when the Chihuly Collection moves closer to the Morean Arts Center   in October, the displays will be every bit as stunning. Meanwhile, the current venue will close at the end of this month, so this weekend is the last opportunity to see both Ya La'Ford's show and the Chihuly Collection on Beach Drive.          

July 15 to 22, Grant-Related Activities

This week I prepared for the Creative Pinellas site visit: I spruced up my garden, home/gallery and studio. I also laid a path of paving stones from my studio door to the outdoor faucet so my students and I can get water and wash our paint brushes without standing in a mud puddle. The site visit lasted about an hour-and-a-half and went well, I thought.

During the week I continued to plan a trip to India in December and a painting retreat in New Mexico next summer. I also fulfilled my teaching obligations, teaching painting at the Morean Arts Center and at my St Pete studio, as well as at St Anthony's Hospital and All Children's Hospital. This was a sad week in this regard as the funding has run out on Creative Care, Creative Clay's  arts in healthcare program. It was with a heavy heart that I bade farewell to children and their parents as well as the nurses and Child Life staff. I started working with Creative Care shortly after the program was established in 2009 and I have grown to know and love several of the patients who come regularly to the Out-Patient Infusion room for monthly treatments that last many hours. Their eyes would light up when they saw me coming knowing that for a short while, at least, the tedium of sitting still with an IV attached to their body would be broken by art-making. Quite often a nurse would come up to me to let me know that a patient was eagerly awaiting me. Often the art-making distracted them during a painful procedure. I learned how quickly a child can switch from tears to laughter with the right distraction at the right time. I will sorely miss those brave youngsters!

Tomorrow, instead of heading to All Children's Hospital as I normally do on Friday mornings, I will head to Eckerd College to borrow a slide scanner and, throughout the weekend, I'll be scanning slides and storing the digital images on my computer.  I anticipate a long and arduous task as I go through my stacks of slides. But I'm anticipating that I'll also make some interesting discoveries-- finding images of works that have sold over the years, or finding documentation of works in earlier phases of their existence because I often take months to complete my works, adding layer after layer.  A fitting metaphor for my life.

 photo: Tom Kramer  Read about the "Magical Tree Project," a collaboration at All Children's Hospital with Paula Kramer on my  blog .

photo: Tom Kramer

Read about the "Magical Tree Project," a collaboration at All Children's Hospital with Paula Kramer on my blog.

July 7 to July 13, Grant-Related Activities

This week, inspired by my recent home office renovation, I decided to make some improvements to my studio. Several years ago I received a Professional Development Individual Artist's Grant from Pinellas County Cultural Affairs Department to assist with the conversion of my garage into a studio. I put in insulation, sheetrock walls (painted white), track lights, storage bins and shelving, a ceiling fan and air conditioning and I removed the garage doors, replacing them with glass doors. That was completed in 2008. Over the years my studio has become cluttered--a major decluttering and face lift was needed. I started with the exterior: trimming the overgrown creeper and repotting the  cacti that outgrew their pots many months ago. Slowly I'm tackling the interior, dealing with things like a large stack of slides (remember those?) and books that I'll never read again, while continuing to work periodically on the Terra Firma series of mixed media paintings.

Plans for my trip to India's Sanskriti Foundation in December are coalescing. I was delighted to learn that I've saved up almost enough miles on my credit card to fly me from Tampa to Mumbai, from Mumbai to Delhi and back to Tampa. I've continued to communicate with friends of friends in India who are in a position to assist me with various aspects of my residency and research. I'm also exploring the possibility of applying for a Fulbright to India next year so I can continue work on my evolving Sanctuary installation. (I've been warned that time has a different meaning in India than in the U.S. and I fear that in two weeks I may only scratch the surface of the concepts I'm working with: water pollution East and West, specifically water pollution as it relates to Florida's springs and New Delhi's Yamuna River.) 

As for my regular teaching schedule, that was lighter this past week since the Morean Arts Center schedules a week off between each six-week course in the event of inclement weather causing a class cancellation in which case a make-up class would be necessary. So no Tuesday evening class, however, I made art, as usual, with young patients at All Children's Hospital and older patients at St Anthony's Hospital and on Thursday morning I taught a painting class in my studio. 

The painting retreat that I'm planning to lead at Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu, New Mexico, next summer is coming together a lot more slowly than my trip to India. Sometimes it feels like New Mexico is on another planet, not simply another time zone. When I lived there we joked that the New Mexican mantra was "mañana, mañana."  However, I'm still optimistic that it will happen.

It was a joy, on Saturday evening, to see the work of several of my loyal students at the Morean Arts Center during the opening of the Members' Show.  I too have a piece, from the Terra Firma  series, in the show. I was delighted to learn that one of my students, Tricia Tierney Moses, won Honorable Mention for a painting created in my class. Visit me on FaceBook to see images of our work: http://www.facebook.com/rosemarieprins 

Another of my students, Barbara Poore, wrote the following for her recent class reunion: "Imagine yourself in a studio filled with twenty talented painters all working diligently at their easels as jazz plays softly in the background. You've been in the zone all evening, painting a large watercolor, not thinking of the wrinkles in your neck, or the fact that you are seventy and have leaped into the unknown by taking this class. The paint flows unconsciously from your brush, guided by some external creative power. Suddenly your instructor is hovering beside you. Despite her tiny size and her stylish dark bob she is formidable, immigrating from South Africa to make huge abstract paintings that evoke the dark days of apartheid, using wood, metal, soil, scraps of paper, paints and hot wax. She regards your painting, 'Hmmmmmm.' Very gently she points out that the part you've spent all evening working on is much more saturated with color than other parts of the painting. It clashes. Oh no! You've ruined the painting! Watercolor is such an exacting medium because it dries instantly. 'Take it to the sink,' she says. 'Let the water run over the whole area and scrub it off...' You're horrified, but it works..."  

But, I digress, back to St Petersburg's Second Saturday Art Walk. After leaving the Morean I headed, together with another of my students, to the Studio@620 for the closing reception of their Members Only Art Show, 2016, in which I also had a piece, this time a collage entitled Winter's Dance. From there we headed to Creative Clay on Central Avenue. Creative Clay, an arts organization that works with people with disabilities, is the umbrella organization for Creative Care, the arts in healthcare program that I have worked with since 2009. As usual, there was some enchanting art on their walls, very reasonably priced (one of my companions was delighted with her purchase). From Creative Clay we moved on to ARTicles gallery to view the intriguing wall sculptures, made primarily with found wood and plaster, of Justin Rabideau.

Also, this past week, I went with an Eckerd College colleague to see the exhibition Phantom Bodies, at the Ringling Museum in Sarasota. We spent hours exploring the exhibition, carefully reading and then discussing the wall text next to each work, glad that we read the text for Bill Viola's compelling video after we had seen the work. Reading the wall text first would have eliminated the crucial surprise element. It is an exhibition well worth seeing. Photography is not allowed, so we had to content ourselves with taking photographs in the Ringling Museum grounds.  

Over the past week I continued submitting proposals to several curators and gallerists, still seeking a broader audience for my work.  This seems to happen in spurts--at times I've had work in several galleries in various states within a short period, at others there's a dry spell--a time for regrouping and reassessing.  And to keep on keeping on making art.

Sadly for me my assistant Amanda Staunko-- a real trooper--left for Seattle this past week. So now I am in search of another part-time office and studio assistant.

 

June 30 to July 6, 2016, Grant-Related Activities

While maintaining my weekly teaching schedule (with the exception of St Anthony's Hospital) and working in my studio on a piece in the Terra Firma series, my main activity this week was a visit to Vero Beach to pick up a mixed media piece that was on loan and to visit the Vero Beach Museum of Art.  

As for my trip to India, I did some research on obtaining a visa and have made a new contact in India in preparation for my retreat at the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi.

I also continued working on the Homeland, Lost and Found collaborative installation mailing.

Untitled, In the Realm of Aphrodite series, found objects on paper mounted on panel, 15 x 12 inches

Untitled, Terra Firma series, oil stick, acrylic, river sand and Rhoplex on canvas, 24 x 48 inches

Detail of Untitled, Terra Firma series

Scene from Vero Beach Museum of Art

Scene from Vero Beach Museum of Art

Scene from Vero Beach Museum of Art with "security guard" sculpture

Scene from Vero Beach Museum of Art

Scene from Vero Beach Museum of Art

Scene from Vero Beach Museum of Art, Annie Leibovitz photograph

Scene from Vero Beach Museum of Art, Plensa sculpture

Scene from Vero Beach Museum of Art

Vero Beach scene

Vero Beach scene

Vero Beach scene

June 23 to 29, 2016, Grant-Related Activities

  • I maintained my current work schedule at All Children's Hospital, St. Anthony's Hospital, the Morean Arts Center and my studio.
  • I sent an email regarding the Creative Pinellas grant award, Sanskriti Foundation (India) residency and upcoming shows to San Francisco Art Institute, Goddard College, San Francisco State University and the Union Institute and University, where I got my teaching certification and degrees.
  • I ordered a passport in preparation for my trip to India and my residency at the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi.
  • I continued to work on organizing the painting retreat I’m planning on leading in Santa Fe and at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, next summer.
  • I made plans to visit art galleries and museums on Florida’s East Coast over the July 4 long weekend; also to visit the new show at the Ringling Museum of Art as well as art galleries in Sarasota later in July.
  • I delivered a painting to the Morean Arts Center for the Members’ Show opening on Saturday, July 9, in conjunction with Art Walk in St Petersburg. The closing reception for the Members’ Show at Studio@620 (in which I have a collage) will be the same evening. 
  • I continued work on a mailing to art galleries and museums throughout the country with the goal of showing Homeland Lost and Found to a broader audience.
  • I continued work on a new painting in the Terra Firma series. So far I'm very happy with it.
  • I completed the task of reorganizing my office.

Photographs of my newly renovated home office. Paper-free desk. Yeah!

There's even a nook for my cat!

I'm loving all my new storage.

More storage! I love that everything's tucked away behind closed doors finally, and dust free!

June 16 to 22, 2016, Grant-Related Activities

Participating in a critique at a recent retreat at Rainbow Rivers Center, led by Linn Sennott and me.

  • I continued to work on my new painting in the Terra Firma series.
  • I had three meetings with curators and gallery directors resulting in solo shows planned for 2017 and 2018, dates to be decided. We talked about the possibility of me putting some of the grant money towards a catalog at one of them--a non-profit gallery.
  • I communicated again with a Ghost Ranch employee about a retreat I plan to lead there next summer.
  • I bought a much-needed cabinet and shelving for my home office and completely reorganized my office.
  • I sent a follow-up email to Sanjoy Roy of Salaam Balaak Trust in New Delhi about working with children during my residency at Sanskriti Foundation in December. I plan to incorporate the children's work in my solo exhibition at Studio@620 next year that will have educational and interactive components and will relate to the pollution of Florida's springs and India's Yamuna River.
  • I publicized my painting classes at the Morean Art Center and at my studio on Facebook and LinkedIn. I also maintained my regular teaching schedule at four different locations.
  • I contacted Pankaj Vir Gupta, an architect who studied at the University of Virginia and now has a practice in New Delhi, regarding my project relating to the Yumana River in India.
  • I followed up on a mailing to out-of-state art galleries with emails.
  • I contacted galleries about selling the greeting card with an image of my artwork on the front that I recently had printed.
  • I attended the Studio@620 birthday party. The work for the Members' Only Art Show (in which I have a mixed media collage) is now up. The artists' reception is scheduled for Saturday, July 9.
  • I updated my blog.

Invitation to the Members Only Art Show at Studio@620.

June 1 to 15, 2016, Grant-Related Activities

  • I sent thank you emails to those who wrote letters of recommendation as well as to others who contributed to my receiving a Creative Pinellas Individual Artist’s grant.
  • I sent two email blasts to different mailing lists announcing the award. I also posted an announcement on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • I upgraded my iPhone so I can be more efficient.
  • I signed up with lynda.com to take a course on how to use my Canon camera to document my work more effectively.
  • I framed my work for the Members’ shows at Studio@620 and the Morean Arts Center and delivered my collage to Studio@620. The opening of the latter exhibition is scheduled for Saturday, June 18, to coincide with Studio@620’s twelfth birthday celebration.
  • I made appointments with two gallerists and two curators with the intention of exhibiting my work in the near furture. 
  • I contacted the Dr. Navina Jafa, who lives in New Delhi, about working with a group of children to make art as part of my proposed project during my Sanskriti Foundation residency in New Delhi, December 23, 2016 - January 6, 2017. I will be working on an elaboration of Sanctuary that was exhibited at HCC, Dale Mabry, in 2014, and that addresses the issue of Florida's springs that are becoming polluted and depleted. In India the polluted Yamuna River will be the focus.
  • Dr. Jafa recommended I contact a couple of people, one of whom is Sanjoy Roy of Salaam Baalak Trust that works in underserved inner city communities in collaboration with TEAMWORK. We are currently in communication about the details of my project.
  • I started work on a new painting as part of the Terra Firma series. One of the pieces from this series will be in the Morean Arts Center’s Members’ exhibition opening on Saturday, July 9.

Meditation on Planet Earth, triptych, acrylic, oil, Rhoplex on canvas, 10" x 34"

  • I have worked, over the past year or so, on a mailing promoting a collaborative installation, Homeland, Lost and Found. In the past couple of weeks I sent the mailing about the possibility of exhibiting Homeland, Lost and Found to twelve galleries and curators in other states, and am following up with emails.
  • I maintained my teaching schedule at the Morean Arts Center, my studio, All Children’s Hospital and St. Anthony’s Hospital. I met with Sister Mary McNally, the Vice-President of St. Anthony’s Hospital, about adding more hours to my schedule there.
  • I was interviewed by Natalie Velez of Bella Unica. In the interview I mention the Creative Pinellas Grant and my planned trip to India. I also added an update to my blog at www.rosemarieprins.com about the interview.
  • I ordered blank greeting cards with an image of Winter's Dance on the front and my web address on the back.
  • I initiated a discussion with my painting students about facilitating a painting retreat at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, next summer. It will be similar to, but of a longer duration than, the one Linn Sennott and I conducted at the Rainbow River Center last month.

Winter's Dance, Sumi ink, wax medium, collage, watercolor on paper, 25" x 20"

Photo: Natalie Velez, Bella Unica

Rose Marie Prins

My proposed project to be executed at my residency at the Sanskriti Foundation, New Delhi, India, is an expansion of the installation Sanctuary described in the paragraph below. It addresses the pollution and depletion of Florida’s springs and was exhibited at HCC, Dale Mabry Campus, in 2014.

On a bed of river sand on the floor is a container with industrial debris configured to resemble a dying tree. On the walls behind the container are large paintings evocative of water. Suspended from the ceiling are numerous abstract bird- and insect-like objects looking down on their depleted habitat. (These, made from animal bones and handmade paper, move slowly in the breeze of a small, hidden fan.) Each viewer leaves their footprints in the sand, thus becoming a part of the piece. The sound of trickling water completes the installation. 

Included is a space with writing materials for viewers to express their concerns about the bodies of water we are addressing: in this case the Yamuna River in India. One of my goals during my Sanskriti residency is to work with local students and professional artists to create drawings and paintings that present solutions—no matter how far fetched—to the problem of our polluted waterways. I once heard a scientist point out to a science-fiction writer that it is the imaginary scenarios that inspire practical solutions. I look forward to a collaborative exploration of solutions to the problem of water pollution both East and West. 

I hope to exhibit the completed installation in New Delhi and Pinellas County, as well as other locations in the United Sates and India.

BIOGRAPHY
Rose Marie Prins’ mixed-media paintings and sculptures have been featured in solo and group exhibitions in museums, cultural centers and galleries throughout the United States, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland, Florida; the Gulf Coast Museum in Largo, Florida; the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe; the Bridge for Emerging Contemporary Art Gallery in New Orleans; Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art in Newark, New Jersey; the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Sweet Briar; the Erector Square Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut; the Courtyard Gallery in Alameda, California; the Merlin Gallery in San Francisco; the Woman’s Building
in Los Angeles and at the Chautauqua Institution, New York.

Her work is in public, corporate, and private collections in the United States, Canada and Europe including the Jonson Gallery at the University of New Mexico; Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Alfonso Architects in Tampa, Perconti Data Systems in St. Petersburg and Creative Network, Toronto.

She is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most recently the Creative Pinellas Individual Artist’s Fellowship, as well as residency fellowships at the Mary Anderson Center for the Arts in Louisville, Kentucky, the Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences in Raybun Gap, Georgia, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, India, where she
will be in residence in December 2016.

Rose Marie Prins received a PhD in Studio Art from The Union Institute and University, an MA in Art from Goddard College, and a BFA in Painting from the San Francisco Art Institute.