A few outstanding items.

More than a few things have happened since last I wrote here. One: I survived Germany. Two: one show has happened, and another is coming. Three: I’ve made some new things. These items are listed in an inverse level of importance, so let’s go from there.

So: hooray! I made things! I’ve also updated my portfolio to reflect this, so check out this link here! Holy exclamation points, Batman! In seriousness: it is rather nice to be able to update with a few items that are fusing my writing with my visual practice, so you know. Nice.

As for shows: The Meeting Waters, my department’s fall show, was pretty exquisite and a good time. Here’s a lovely write-up about it on the MCAD MFA website, in case you’re keen. For those of you in Indianapolis: 5 of my paintings from the Microaggression series are being shown at Electric Light: Fluorescent and Neon in Contemporary Art Practice at the Garfield Park Arts Center. It’s been a lovely experience working with the folks at GPAC to get my work there, and I hope to hear great things from the show even though I can’t come down! The opening will be this Saturday, November 7 from 2:00-4:00 p.m., and although it seems like there isn’t a Facebook event on the item, this page tells you where to go.

Lastly: Germany! Frankly, this write up (again, on the MCAD MFA website) says more, so why repeat myself? Besides, they made everything look so sleek and nice.

We’re at that time of year where I’ll be updating the store and the like very soon, so more as news develops. But until then – well, keep warm. November cometh.

Grüße aus Deutschland.

A week ago, I was in New York.

This seems impossible, of course, given the travel that has subsequently followed. Have you ever been on a trip that seems so spiritually distant that years have taken place within the hours that have clocked up? And yet at the same time, I can remember the ride from Brooklyn to Newark, the harrowing press of young children together as they rode to Secaucus, dressed as if they were diving head-first into Coachella. I remember other things too (I’m afraid New York didn’t treat me kindly, as generous and sweet as my hosts were), but that last glimpse of America is especially poignant. Or, at least, emblematic.

But I’m in Schwerin now, the capital of the eastern state of Mecklenberg-Vorpommern, a place that is half-Baltic and half-steeped in the shadow of the GDR. At least, this is what a lot of the guides have told me thus far on all of the tours I’ve been given; this also explains the fact that what little German I remembered from my first year at Cottey is being put to good use at present. (I am, as it goes, pathetically rusty.) But what shines more so is how beautiful this place is – Schwerin is known, from the German saying, as “The City of the Seven Seas,” which is far more poetic than the literal translation. (See, as it turns out, is German for lake.) Water is everywhere; the city center revolves around cathedrals and an actual castle, which is haunted by a ghost named Little Peter. (The German name for this spectre, Petermännchen, is weirdly adorable given that they draw the dude as if he were a gnarly gnome.) I live in an airy room in a beautiful apartment. The food is cheap and, I hear, the beer even cheaper. (Haven’t had the guts to go into a pub yet, though. I told you: mein Detusch ist sehr rough.) It looks like the makings of a very beautiful, if not eventful, month.

As I begin to settle into my routine in Schwerin, I’ll start to give impressions on what it’s like to live here, to work as someone who speaks the dominant language in a… less than satisfactory manner, and what the non-profit gallery system is like in Germany. The latter-most will probably be of largest interest to my audience here, but hey: you’re not here for “Allison’s Crash Course in German” entries. Consider this the first of many posts, in any event, this one being the “ha ha hello, I’m alive” one. That seems to be a good one to start on, at any rate.

State of the Studio

It’s spring. I haven’t written in ages. I’m refusing to make a joke about it, especially as it pertains to the long Minnesotan winter, because I’ll be real: my second semester of grad school was crazy as all get out.

Some cool things that happened after my last missive:

  • I passed Mid-Program Review! Now I can move on to my second year of study. Wowza.
  • I was made a 2015 WorkART Kunstverein Fellow by the University of Minnesota’s Center for German and European Studies. This is a fancy way of saying that I’m going to go over to Schwerin, a lovely city in Germany, to learn how the staff there run the local kunstverein (essentially, a non-profit gallery). I’m really honored, excited, and slightly nervous for my journey, which will start in late May and will end in early July.
  • I’ve also netted some time to come visit New York shortly before I leave for Europe, which is p. rad all things considered.
  • In a not-so-grudging acknowledgement that all of the above cost money, I’ve opened up a Big Cartel shop to sell wares. I’m going small right now to see what sells and what doesn’t, but if it does well, I’ll start investing in a larger inventory. Tell your friends! Tell your empty living room that’s sad and grey! Tell your pocket book!
  • I’ve documented everything I’ve done this year, so next update is “wow, I made art for a year, now check my portfolio.” You heard it here first. But up above is a sneak peek, so not bad, eh?