A sweet warm November day

A bit of the Ryerson Woods Preserve

When a show opens on Sunday, Monday feels like a weekend, especially when it also includes the ‘fall back’ aspect of daylight savings time.  I’m sitting here in the wan November light, blogging, answering e-mail, finally organizing my over-cluttered MacBook desktop and chatting to a friend in NY about mimeograph machines; nice.

Brushwood; we exhibited in two lovely rooms, the foyer, and a wide long corridor that runs the length of the house, which has curved archways dividing it.

Shawn Sheehy and I worked hard but had a fine time installing Natural Cycles last week.  One of the reasons I personally wanted to do the show was to interact with the fantastic, beautiful space in the historic Brushwood House.  It had its quirks; we couldn’t use nails or even pushpins, so we rigged up more monofilament than I’ve used in perhaps 20 years. There were absolutely delightful quirks too, like a big selection of old cased taxidermy and plant specimen dioramas from the Field Museum. We had enormous fun selecting and arranging them to form wry dialogues with the works in the show.

Part of the Reading Room, where books and ‘books’ could be handled.

Shawn and I work and play well together, and it’s always a pleasure. Seren, Julia and the rest of the Brushwood staff were fantastic. We finished installing a day early. The night before the opening, Seren learned that several large Audubon prints that had been out being restored were returned to their original places, displacing some of the works. But it only took a quick 15 minutes before the opening to adjust the show, and two of the gorgeous prints added their own sweet conversations with nearby works, making it even better. I’ll have to go back to document properly; that will be a pleasure. Since I can’t yet add to my web site, I’ll make a separate page here on the blog for the show, identifying all the works and linking to the artists who have web sites, when I do.  It’ll be soon!

Yesterday’s opening was a pleasant surprise.  I hadn’t expected many people to make the trek, but it was hugely well attended, with lots of unexpected familiar faces and a large unknown-to-me audience as well.  Everyone was completely engaged with the work and then could walk straight out into the gorgeous Ryerson Woods preserve for another direct interaction, and return. There is a working farm (the roosters, sheep and goats were out), wide meadows, nearby paths through the woods with labeled trees and plant species, and miles of trails. Though the weather was windy and brisk, it wasn’t bracing, and inside, warmth –  not just temperature –  was palpable and perfect. We capped the day by celebrating with Paul at an excellent crab house on the way home, eating, talking, laughing.  As the unsaved daylight faded, we basked in the glow of a tree covered in little blue lights.