Endings and New Things

Even with an abbreviated list of applications, I’m on my third straight day of writing, with no end in sight.  So, how am I taking a break?  By tossing off a Blahg.  I never promised to make sense…though I am ensconced in my warm upstairs studio on my very comfortable drafting chair for the duration, rather than sitting in my cold office on a very cheap desk chair (something I should rectify, come to think of it).

Things coming up this weekend: Friday, the reception for Retrospect at Vespine gallery.  It is also a farewell party.  After seven years, Vespine is closing its doors, which makes me sad for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that Chicago needs what Vespine is, an independent, artist-run venue strongly dedicated to book and paper arts – with ‘independent’ and the unique, personalized collective vision that’s made the gallery so popular being the keywords. Retrospect features small works from a great many of the folks who have exhibited with Vespine over time; I’m showing the Solstice book.  Read their farewell via the link, and if you’re in town, please come out from 7-10 pm, to see the work, toast Jamie, Shawn, Leah and Doug, and help celebrate seven great years.

On Sunday, driving weather permitting (if not, perhaps the Metra train) I plan to venture out to the Illinois State Museum at Lockport, for Doug Stapleton’s final curator’s tour of The Leaf and The Page.  Originally opening at the Thompson Center in Chicago in the fall of 2008, after a 16-month run in three Illinois State Museum locations, this excellent show closes on January 29.  Last chance to see it, if you are anywhere near!  For me, the closing will necessitate a cold day in the storage space, carefully tucking away a fair number of works, until they all venture out again later this year to new upcoming shows.

Now (sigh) back to the writing.  The entire first day was spent on clearing off a huge pile of recommendation letters for a lot o’ good folks who want to continue their graduate educations; currently I’m working on some excellent (so, a bit enjoyably tough) e-mail interview questions for a forthcoming article, some way overdue class descriptions and, yeah…a few job applications, too; then, on to the pared-down residency list. Almost all of the residencies I’ve decided to try for are brand-new for me: wish me luck, OK?