Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tired? Most Assuredly.

This is a photo my daughter Caroline took of me on Sunday evening after four days of family flying in and out for the opening of Second Seating and all of its attendant celebrations. It's Tuesday and I could still fall asleep on the floor given a moment or two. And I wouldn't have missed one minute of anything. Good days, all.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Second Seating on ABC 13

Harwin Drive - Couldn't Pass It Up

Friday afternoon, we all took off for Harwin Drive for a shopping fix. The girls and I wanted to get fancy little gold and silver shoes for Lulu Bell and Lauren. There are always bracelets to buy and, yesterday, we outdid ourselves with scarves and shawls too. I felt I was back in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul when I saw some of the new shawls. Lulu loved it all and found the parasols I'd bought two summers ago for the Discovery Park picnic. Yesterday I bought a few more to hang in those big pine trees where we set the picnic tables.Here's to Houston's Harwin Drive, that shopping mecca of knock off goods from China. Not politically correct, but I love the place.

Second Seating's First Day


I don't have Laurie Perez's photos yet, but I've downloaded a few more taken on my camera. The girls and I went back to Second Seating on Friday. Found that there was a steady stream of folks wandering through the space. Many said they'd seen ABC Channel 13's piece of Second Seating. Wonderful!
Now the docents kick in and I must make a schedule for the run of the show. I'm learning what duties docents will have: Windex the glass top table, feather dust the objects on the several others, straightened the wall pieces, water the bedding plants under the silver arches, keep the music playing. I need to buy a counter so we know just how may folks wander around the space each day. Aggie stopped by to wax her table tops. That may be another periodic job for docents. Must email Ted and Jose and let them know they were really missed on Thursday evening.
It's going to be a big month and a fun month. Here are a couple more photos from opening night. Can't wait to see the hundreds of photos that Laurie will bring. That's Laurie's back and she's busy photographing.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Second Seating Is Here



And what a day it was. Simply wonderful to see so many friends and business associates and benefactors. And the show is pretty terrific too. Here are a few photos. There will be many more when Laurie has hers ready.
And ABC Channel 13 broadcast live from the space this afternoon. How lucky was that?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Overt, Open Racism Going Mainstream

Call it what it is. Barak Obama is some Americans worst nightmare. He is black, has a 'strange' name, he is well educated, smart and just too big for his boots. And he's in the White House. Get that, in the 'white' house. He has no business being there. Congressman Wilson tried to take him down a notch, calling him out as a liar at the joint session of Congress. Another stir of the roiling pot that's brewing bad stuff.
Ever since attending two health care reform town hall meetings, I've felt that I was witnessing a return to overt and very ugly racism. It's fueled by fears of a black president, something some Americans never imagined and will never accept and it's coupled with the irresponsibility of media that jumps all over short term gain without counting the consequences of trumpeting sly racism day after day. Add in the GOP's maneuvering to maim everything that this new administration undertakes just for the sheer gut wrenching joys of combat and for something called 'winning.' No statesmanship, no guiding lights for the welfare of the nation, just pure and simple combat. It's easy when you roil the underbelly of folk's worst nightmares.
At those town hall meetings, I counted Americans flags held aloft in tandem with posters decrying illegal immigrants and watched folks hold posters of Obama with Hitler's moustache. I began to get the picture. Obama and his administration are the 'other'. Death panels for the elderly and infirm are smoke screens, red herrings. The folks waving American flags want to 'take our country back.'
Thank you, Maureen Dowd for calling this what it is on the op-ed page of the New York Times. Overt racism. Racism is bubbling up like hot lava, after all these years of political correctness.
Now, Jimmy Carter's weighed in and called it what it is. And folks are still sliding around, not wanting 'it' to go there. No, they say, it's about health care reform and government spending and incremental change. If that's true, why are guns and ammo being stockpiled?
Academy, our Houston based sporting good store, tells us they've sold more ammo since Obama took office than in the entire history of their company? Has Obama mentioned a word about gun control? I don't think so. These folks are scared shitless. They are battening down the hatches and listening to A.M. radio day after day.
Can we have some citizenship here? Can the press quit panderng to the worst in their audiences for quick spikes in ratings? Apparently, the fearful ones feed on, no, truly believe this mean spirited commentary that Glenn Beck's offers up every day. Are we all so downright stupid that we are letting days and weeks go by without comment? It's time for us all to call it what it is. Racism is alive and kicking, the elephant in the room. Obama is downplaying it too, probably horrified that Dowd and Carter even brought it up. Yet, there it is.
What are we going to do about it? What am I going to do? What are you going to do? About this surge of hate that spreading across America?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Very Good Day

We got a lot done today. Finally got the wall of plates 'right' with lots of bright pink checkerboard pattern along the edges in tandem with Aggie's little strips of metal cans. Suddenly, I knew I had it. It's been days, but it happened this morning.Nathan arrived to see why the big can lights aren't working and then he went off to Home Depot to buy fluorescent lights for the tracks. There simply is not enough light and he has a job ahead of him. On Monday, he may have to buy all new light bulbs for everything and reinstall.
Mark and Moises brought ever more of that green corrugated metal from behind my studio and filled the space between the metal walls and rebar on the back wall near the Bayou, Bay, Beach table and it is remarkable how good it looks. Pulls the whole back of the space together.
Early this morning I finally, at long last, drilled holes in the sheets of Plexi and got them nailed to the collage frames and then carted them to the space. We've not hung them yet because we got busy on the table top for that Bayou, Bay, Beach tableau. We are adding more 'plastic' besides plastic bottles amongst the oyster shells. Whole thing will be brocade, fishing nets and plastic. I actually need some more silver scalloped shells. I thought I had enough, but I could use more. Amazing.
Irina brought us sandwiches from Whole Foods which was a lovely thing to do. Late in the afternoon, I finished two more columns for the Clorox chandelier so that's done now and level. Also like the table top, such as it is, for the bale of compressed cans and so Moises and I put all the oil drilling pipe lights on the table 'just to see.'
This evening I looked through all of my fabrics wishing I had a very formal white linen table runner with cut work to spread over the center of this 'found' sign that is the table top. Instead I have a collection of great fabrics, including some old red velvet draperies I bought in Galveston years ago with Irina which sheds, but may be the very thing for this crazy table. Hope it works.Ended the day at El Rey with Cuban tacos. Time to shower and get into bed. Haven't even taken the NYT out of its blue plastic wrapper in two days. Simply working.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Eight More Days

Slow start today. Not out of bed until nearly 9:00. What a surprise. Then spent time catching up with emails and organizing something really nice with the Houston Dynamos and their terrific chandelier. More on that later. So I didn't get to the Second Seating space until nearly 11:00. Met Moises and Mark there and we began on too many projects at once. An exercise in futility and disorganization.Finally hit our stride late afternoon after a clarifying trip to Bohemeo's over on Telephone Rd. for lattes, espresso and fish and veggie tacos. Well caffeinated and having taken many photos (They asked, "Are you always photographing what you eat and who you are with?" The answer is "Yes."), we returned to the space and began to hang things on the walls.Aggie's things first and then my three photo montage pieces. Jesse came by and took two of his batiks to get them ready to hang. Her work is beautiful. Folks are going to go crazy for it. The tables, the wall pieces. Can hardly wait for them to see it all.
We came back to the house for some of that green corrugated sheet metal Mike Garver let me have last year for some of my studio walls and screen porch. Still some pieces left and we strapped them on the top of my car with bungees and drove them down to Chenevert. The guys inserted them piece by piece in between the rebar and all of a sudden the corner took on a whole new atmosphere. It became a 'space.'
Then we looked at how we'd hang things on the green wall. Mark and Moises took that fabric wall piece and instead of holding it out as a big square, one of them hung it by a corner and - wow, it looks great and we'll hang it that way. And there is plenty of space for my collages. The real trick is to get the Plexi on them - still not done. May go out to the studio in a few minutes and drill some holes and try to get at least one done....They went back to the house for more and I stayed and painted on the Wall of Plates shelves. Added some of Aggie's colorful cut out metal from aluminum cans. We'll see how it looks in daylight tomorrow. This is the skyline from the Second Seating space. Sunset coming on.Then we looked at how we'd hang things on the green wall and Mark and Moises took that fabric wall piece and instead of holding it out as a big square, one of them hung it by a corner and - it looks great and we'll hang it that way. And there is plenty of space for my collages. The real trick is to get the Plexi on them - still not done. May go out to the studio in a few minutes and drill some holes and try to get at least one done....or go to bed and get up early in the morning. Nathan is coming at 10:00 to check on the big stage lights. They are not turning on yet. Hope it's not a big deal to find what the problem is.
So, all is well and there is still a ton of work to be done. More than a ton. What am I doing adding all these photos to this post? When I should be out putting Plexi on painted wood frames.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Eight Days From Now

A week from tomorrow, dusk will come and night and the chandeliers will hover over our heads spreading magic and we'll have twinkling LED throwies to toss on the metal walls. All kinds of wonderful lights. The Second Seating chandeliers are certainly spelling binding at night. We were there working until nearly 10:00 p.m. and it's soul satisfying just to be near these magic sources of light.
What a day! Mark and Alex and I were busy until early afternoon bringing things into the space. Alex brought the last of the oyster shells. I wish we'd weighed them all or counted the tubs of shells he hosed and trucked down to the space. Mark and I are continually engaged in conversations about that banquet table which is really one big series of tableaus. He's very good at them and you already know, tableaus are my favorite thing. As we worked away at it today, the table that appeared so crowded at my Harrisburg studio is not so crowded in this new space. There's stuff left, but not particularly wonderful stuff. And we need more. No, I will not go to Value Village or The Guild Shop one more time. I may dig into the stuff I packed away a year ago for this occasion. We'll see.
This afternoon, Moises arrived and he and Mark and I worked on in the space until well after 9:00. Moises finished painting the wall of shelves that I'd been working on most of the day. We'll tack on some of Aggie's wonderful metal 'rick-rack' of sorts and get those plates up. We ate take-out from Kim Som on Irma's patio and wished for really cold beer.
Got home near 10:00 and wrote a draft of a letter for all the underwriters with a special invite to the opening. Modelle will help me get those out tomorrow. I'm having that beer as I write and off load some wonderful photos of Second Seating.
The chandeliers are magic at night. We need to have lots of private parties there in October. How I love installation spaces.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Que Bonita! Chandeliers Arrive

Today was a wonderful day. Second Seating is 'becoming.' Tony Mejia and his crew of three came today to install a dozen chandeliers. And install they did with very tall ladders and a roll of chain that Modelle bought for them. Tony and his crew were very efficient. I'd planned well and the electricians had done their work, so there were no major problems. It was all about moving things a foot to the left or on to the beam on the right.
Mark Ellis is working with me and we make a great team. He has a good eye and we see when things can be better if moved that 'inch to the left' or lower or higher. He tends to like chandeliers lower and I end to like them higher, but we work it out.
Victor Rodriguez arrived mid-afternoon with his parrot pinatas and son Victor. The parrots are fantastic. We were all getting on so well together that Tony and crew even stayed on a bit after they'd finished their work so that Victor could continue using one of their ladders. Everyone there was engaged and I think part of it all is because this is a fun and unusual project. I mean, who has chandeliers like these?Just after 4:00, Irma's cooks and kitchen staff came in for a look before leaving for the day. They entered so slowly and carefully, as if they were coming into a strange new land. I'd say they were transfixed and I heard, "Que bonita" more than once. The warehouse has always been so grey and filled with odd bits of furniture. We are transforming the place day by day. And it's really fun.
I arrived home at 5:30 and just after 6:00 was in bed and then soundly asleep for three hours. Quite a day.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Always the Day is About Second Seating

Raining in Houston. Haven't had a day like this in months. It's also the anniversary of the arrival of Hurricane Ike and time to remember 9/11. Rather a solemn day, this.
I kept on with Second Seating. What else. This afternoon I reassembled the Clorox bottle chandelier and it look quite ethereal.
Mark sent me photos of the Second Seating display that he installed in one of the kiosks at the City Hall Vistor's Center. I am delighted to have a kiosk devoted to the exhibition, especially as the City of Houston is underwriting a portion of Second Seating through the Houston Arts Alliance. All good stuff.This evening Catarina and I sewed on the Bayou, Bay, Beach chandelier. Getting it ready for Gonzo247 to cover it all with watery, oystery aerosol art. I hope it's a knock-out.
So off to bed and on with it all again tomorrow when I hope to drill holes in the sheets of plexi I bought today to cover the collages. Will also pick up framed work from Art Supply.
And then there is text. Always text to finish. I sure would like to get all of that out of the way. And now I think I need signage for each of the big pieces in the show so people know what they are looking at. Ouch! That's a job for A&E, I think.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

What Is This About?

How I found this Michael Jackson video is a mystery. I was watching my grandkids feed elk from a slowly moving car. Then there was Michael, King of Pop. In a very strange video. Very strange. More than a little like Berlin in the late 1930s. A Fascist empire in the service of a celebrity? Scenes alternate between those filled with ecstatic white people calling and weeping for Michael and those with rows of military troops, clicking heir heels and marching for Michael, shouting commands in a language that is clearly not English. Weird, very weird.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Assemblage to Wear

What a wonderful Labor Day. I've decided what I will wear to the opening of Second Seating, no small matter. Yesterday, I tore through my closet, my bed covered with rejects. Nothing was working. I even put together another vest like the one I made with the Hurricane Ike salvaged fabrics in April for the trip to Turkey and then another to Seattle. That one was fine and I love it. The one I assembled yesterday left a lot to be desired.
Then late last night, I wrapped a patchwork wall hanging I'd made from those Hurricane Ike salvaged fabrics and suddenly it came together. I just needed a top. This morning I pulled out a brick red sleeveless knit and called Sally to see if she'd pin the patchwork to the top while I held on to it. It does work. Added a couple of roses I picked up in a cemetery in Aruba over twenty years ago. It's still working.
And after trying on one linen thing after another, I finally went back to the vest I made yesterday, took it in on the side seams, added the felt ball necklaces I bought in Istanbul and it's there.

Also looks good with a shawl from the Grand Bazaar and it will rock with Raphaele's necklace that has a rusty spatula as its centerpiece. I think I'll be recycled enough for the evening. Now just have to sew. Again. What is it with all this Second Seating sewing on chandeliers and patchwork table cloths? Who knew?