Thursday, July 24, 2008

Snow Farm Summer '08

So I've been home from Massachusetts for a couple of days now, and I've really just begun to process the past two weeks I've spent at the Snow Farm Summer Art Program.  Gah!  I think maybe i'll just start putting photos up and maybe some good description will follow?

The 4th of July was amazing!  I spent it sitting on top of the camp van with the rest of the doubly-amazing staff lighting sparklers, watching (somewhat disappointing) fireworks over Amherst, and making fun of the chubby trailer trash children who were running around the parking lot drinking their 4th coca-cola of the evening.  Did I say amazing?!

(The view from the porch of the Textiles studio!  Pretty!)

And then camp started in full.  The summer is broken up into 2 2-week sessions with classes in Metals, Photography, Ceramics, Drawing/Painting, Flameworking, Glass Blowing, Textiles (the first week only) and Welding (the second week only.)  The day is broken up into 4 3hr studios: a morning class, an afternoon class, and then 2 open studios.  The students (and us!) spend up to 10 hrs a day in the studio!  But they LOVE it!!  And so do I!

(I dyed a million and a half t-shirts.  This is clearly an example of the "capilary action" present when you wet fabric and soak it in dye activator.  A diagram, I say!)

So... let me say to begin that my classes last year were PACKED.  Both my morning and my afternoon class had 12 students each, so during any given open studio there were up to 24 zealous, loud, creative students vying for my attention.  But this year?  Five students total!  Two in my morning class and two in the afternoon!  I've NEVER taught a class for that few students... and I can't deny that the difference threw off my game.  The students had far far less enthusiasm and motivation and I only ever got one day ahead of my shifting syllabus.  (I tried to over-compensate for the number of students and bit off a bit more than I could chew...  it 
was stressful, let me tell you.)

Somehow, I still managed to get through my planned course; the class starts at the surface design level and goes all the way through garment construction.   I started the class out with fabric dyeing and shibori and then moved on to silkscreening repeat patterns.  Once the fabric was prepared we took the class to the Salvation Army to find garments to pattern.

(My morning class at the Salvation Army.  Can't you smell the enthusiasm?)

Then with the patterning, and the sewing and...  Voila!

(I swear I tried absolutely everything I could think of to make this photo right-side up.  I am... it seems... technologically illiterate.  But the dress is gorgeous, right?)

Ok, so those were the classes.  Awesome, but.... not quite as energizing and bolstering as last year's class.  The staff on the other hand was SO AMAZING it TOTALLY made up for it!

(Left to Right: Adam, Susan, Abigail, Stan, Me, Jenna, Genevieve, Nick, Sophia, Jess, Christine, Shawn, Mike, Susannah, Eliza, Maggie.)

There are about a million nuanced relationships and crazy adventures that I would LOVE to get into... but this seems not the time, nor the place.  Buy me a beer sometime and I'll tell you everything:  

about the great art shows at MassMOCA, 

blowing out two tires on an unmaintained road with Nick and Shawn, 

going to an ani difranco concert by myself, 

a fantastical donkey pinata that blew my mind (well, it used to be a pinata)... 

I can never seem to be able to tell people enough about summer camp.  I never have.  But it was great... I wished it would go on forever.  But, alas, at the end of the two weeks I boarded a train home to Philly and here I am.  I'm moved all my stuff (minus the garden... still gotta grab that) and I'm trying to get settled.  I've sort of hit the ground running with all the upcoming art stuff... so... at this point I'm just trying to catch my breath.  (And catch up on Dawson's Creek... my roommates finished season 3 without me!  Gah!)  All right... more to come.  :0)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Up and Coming Up!

Well, I'm in Massachusetts and as soon as I get my shit together, I'll be driving on down the road towards Snow Farm!  The Snow Farm summer arts program ( is an amazing arts-driven summer camp for high-schoolers.  The campers get to take 2 studios (ceramics, photography, glass blowing, flame-working, metals, drawing/painting, or fibers) throughout the session.  They have both classes everyday and the afternoons/evenings are devoted to open studio work.  I was lucky enough to teach the fibers program last year as well and I was AMAZED at the brilliant work that my students could produce in only two weeks!  I'm sure I will be updating my blog with stuff that they've done often over the next two weeks....  

Anyway, I also wanted to to remind everyone to submit art work to the show that Melanie Frazza and I are setting up!  It's a show about Queer and Feminist History.... and we need more work!  Now's you're chance!  Pad your resume!  Come hang out with the cool kids!  Just send us anything:  an idea, a proposal, an image of work you've already completed... ANYTHING!

To see the poster larger and in it's own window, go to: