First, kids. Tomorrow is my last day at University Park Elementary, and I have a crack team of friends and parent volunteers called in to help grout. It’s been a fun project, nice school, excellent coordinators and teachers. As often happens with these projects I contracted Kid Crud and have been hacking and snorting for the last few days.
Can we grout 500 mosaics in six hours? Probably not. But we’ll try.
We displayed all the individual pieces that were finished last Wednesday at an open house, and I love the way they look arranged together.
In a moment of insight last year I realized that kindergarteners and stickers works far better than kindergarteners and glue. How about these Avery Label masterpieces?
In the above and beyond expectations department, look at this 5th grader’s cut paper peacock. Beautiful.
So that’s what happened at school. Also, it rained (Fairbanks, January, remember) and school was cancelled due to crazy ice. Last time I was at a Fairbanks school in January it was hovering between -40 and -50, and aside from indoor recess, all proceeded as normal. Strange times.
At home, I was working on a somewhat secret project. I was commissioned to make an edition of ten prints for the Governor’s Awards for the Arts and Humanities, as well as a larger one-off print for the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award in Arts and Humanities, former UAF art professor Ron Senungetuk. It was a surprise request, and really an honor for me to make work for this group. (A bit stressful, too. Commissioned work can be very hard work. Many versions.)
I never had any intentions of being at the awards ceremony in Juneau due to the expense of travel and other commitments. This ended up being wise as several of the awardees, including Ron, were stranded due to bad landing conditions in Juneau. (So was my friend Megan – which would have made being stranded pretty fun. . . ) I did watch some of it online and it was a bit surreal to watch my prints march across the stage with Governor Parnell.
The mid-winter rain turned our gorgeous snow into rock-hard crust, and skiers and skijorers have been struggling with difficult trail conditions. Brandon and I hiked out to Tolovana Hot Springs for a couple of days of cabin time and didn’t bother bringing our skis. The two dogs who came along ran, and ran, and ran, and Pablo unearthed a moose treasure from the snowbanks.
Feels like we’ll make it through the next stretch of winter. Once I close the book on this school project, I’ve got six fairly uninterrupted weeks of studio time to make tracks on my Rasmuson Foundation project and prints for my August show in Oregon. It’s hard time to come by, and I’m looking forward to it.