I finally made it to my residency at Arts Letters & Numbers. Let the four weeks of productivity begin! I borrowed Steve’s (Justine’s uncle) car and drove up on Sunday from Brooklyn. The ride was great besides the fact that the car had trouble above 45 mph. It was rumbling a bunch but eventually stopped. I’m taking this as a good sign. I’m here now. Sorry, that I didn’t get back to you in a few days. I guess I was a little embarrassed and a little shocked about my first reaction to the residency. At first, it wasn’t what I had expected. I pulled up to a massive white mansion that sat on a hill. The closer I got the more thrown off I was. I could see that the awning to the side entrance was a blue tarp draped over the original beams and their were diy tables on the deck. No one seemed to be here. I walked around for a few minutes before seeing two people emerge from the house and greeted me in. At first everyone seemed super shy and quiet which made me even more nervous. The house is nice but has this strange patchwork type quality to it. The beds are single mattresses on planks of wood. To the east of the house is the barn and workshop and to the west is the old mill which is currently closed for renovations. On the opposing south side of the street there is a huge warehouse with different businesses. The top floor is where I set my studio space up alongside three other artists. There are currently four residents, including myself, along with 5 fellows and the director occupying the house. Now that I have sunk into the groove of working and gotten a chance to get to know the others I feel really good about my decision to come here. But sadly, my feeling good doesn’t remedy my stress regarding my work. I am trying to meet with community members. I need people who don’t mind opening up to me and letting me see where they live. I want to draw my work from the locals and how they use their environments. I found a book on the geology of Albany; maybe I can find something. Hopefully I will figure something out. I was able to meet a few community members last night at Ping-Pong. Yeah I said it, “Ping-Pong.” The community plays Ping-Pong here every Monday night and moves to different houses each Monday to play it. That means that several people in this community have personal Ping-Pong tables in their houses (crazy). I have been painting a lot. I finished the first layer on a brand new painting where I am trying to turn the immigrant farm laborer into an animal and draw parallels between him and the livestock. I don’t know if my message gets across. I am also sending emails to a few artists, attempting to get studio visits with them before I leave back to San Diego. I think I will stop for now and try to give you more frequent updates within the week.
Thanks again, readers!