I have been treating my website much like I have been treating cleaning the upstairs of our house, namely not looking at it and being afraid of it. This is not really an adequate approach to either problem.
The last four months taught me some lessons about how much is too much. This situation was not planned, and I can’t say conclusively that it won’t happen again, but it was a little nuts. Things began stacking up like dominoes in January and by the middle of February I was breaking out in a cold sweat when I dared to look at the whole picture. I realized quickly both that the only way out of it all was to plow through it, and also that there was nothing to be gained by looking at anything other than what was immediately next on the list.
There was a solo show at the Alaska Humanities Forum in Anchorage, a great place to show work. There was a project with two preschools. There was a wonderful ten day winter residency through National Park Service in Denali Park. Two finalist proposals for 1% projects popped up unexpectedly in the middle of it all (I did not get either job, but damn am I proud of one of my proposals.) There was the bird-in-the-hand 1% project for Kenai Peninsula College to finish for a May installation. There were three weeks of printmaking with Pearl Creek Elementary in Fairbanks. There were grant proposals and exhibition applications to submit. There’s an ongoing collaborative project with scientists and other artists that continues through next February. I did a lot of work that did not land the specific fish I was trying to catch, but none of it was wasted time.
There was also skijoring, ski classes and good trail exploration. In a generally well behaved winter and spring there was one night of spectacular margarita-related fun. It was mostly work, but not all work.
Photo by Amanda Byrd
I’m now doing two weeks of teaching in Port Heiden. After this peaceful residency at a very small and remote school I fly home, repack, and drive 200 miles to Tanacross for another week of teaching. Then we head to Kenai to install art. On June 1, I take a deep breath and head to Cleveland for two months at Zygote Press.
I know we are all supposed to be keeping everything moving forward on all fronts, be ready for all opportunities and be ever vigilant on the electronic scene. This stretch of time felt a bit more like triage, and I pretty quickly realized I had to choose either the making of the art OR the activity around the making of the art. I guess we know which one won.
However, much like the housekeeping, I need to break this side of things down and get it back in order. There will be more from Port Heiden in a couple of days, and some additions and subtractions to the website will be coming soon. It is good to be looking at the last three big things that have to happen before I go to Zygote, the shining light at the end of the tunnel. I can at least begin the online chores. The dust bunnies under the bed may just have to grow until August.