Yesterday's cooler temperatures lured me out of the house to explore the area. I was curious about the parks, conservation areas and wildlife refuges along the Illinois River.Read More
Yesterday we left Omaha, drove across Iowa and arrived in Frederick, a tiny burg on the Illinois River in the western part of central Illinois. Rachel Mindrup and I are at the Farwell House for the Plank Road Artist Residency, which we were invited to do as an extension of our participation in the Midwest Artist Studios Project.
Our hosts, the Ackerman family, are a delightful, generous ensemble willing to share their home with visiting artists who spend nearly two weeks with them, exploring the area, working, meeting community members and describing their work. We're looking forward to a dinner party on Friday evening, to a night market at the HUB Arts & Cultural Center in nearby Rushville, and to opening our live/work spaces and showing what we do on Sunday afternoon.
I'm grateful to have this extended time to recharge and refocus. I expect to post images on Instagram and on my Facebook studio page, so check those out to see updates throughout my stay here. I hope to craft a few longer posts here, too.
With the Spanish vocabulary of a toddler who knows a little about food and backed by my 9-percent fluency ranking with the app DuoLingo, I'm heading south for an artist exchange and reprieve from winter. Thanks to Judith Anthony Johnston and Katrina Methot Swanson, fellow members of the Artists' Cooperative Gallery, and their multiple conversations with Costa Rican artist Elisa Morera, I get to participate in a program to show work in the Sophia Wanamaker Gallery, which is part of cultural center that links North America with Costa Rica. In June, our gallery will host several artists from Costa Rica.
I'm counting on the good will garnered with good manners -- I can easily say 'hello,' 'please' and 'thank-you' -- and the reports of numerous bilingual natives and U.S. expatriates. I expect to have at least occasional Internet access and plan to share a few photos on social media, but I'm really looking forward to sketching and writing as a way to journal about my adventures. My bags are packed, I've got colons in my wallet, and I'm hoping for a "bueno viaje" (good journey). Cheers!