Sunday, February 7, 2010

Random Notes: February

I’m finally home after my adventures in the frozen north. I flew into Burlington (VT) on JetBlue, which neglected to send my luggage on the plane, and I wasn’t reunited with it until eight hours later (the rep said it may have gotten misplaced because I got to JFK too early—of course it was my fault!). Burlington, it turns out, isn’t really a city, but a university attached to a shopping mall, or a shopping mall attached to a university, however you want to look at it. The best part was the view of frozen Lake Champlain from my hotel window:

On the other hand I loved hilly Montpelier which, with a population of 8,000 or so, is the smallest state capital in the nation. Everyone there is so sturdy, red-cheeked, open and friendly that I’d have happily moved in with any of the families I saw in the Hunger Mountain Coop that would have me. Being a “critter” (def: a visiting artist who critiques) in the low-residency MFA program of the Vermont College of Fine Arts was fun; the students, who were of all ages and came from all over the country were particularly satisfying in their willingness to grapple with new ideas. Fellow “critter” Lisa Sigal gave an artist’s talk that was refreshing in its lack of biographical justification or self-psychoanalysis—she simply talked about what she does, how she does it, and let the work speak for itself.

The entire experience was a reminder that the most important thing you can bring to the making of art—or anything—is enthusiasm.
Meanwhile I read the latest on swine flu in the Times, which said:

The data contain one anomaly officials cannot explain: For the third week in a row, the proportion of all death certificates in the country listing pneumonia as the cause of death was well above normal. A week ago, New York City officials noted the same phenomenon, and they are investigating it.

Interesting because the only person I know who has had any illness associated with swine flu is my friend Dave in Chicago, an otherwise healthy guy in his 30s, who came down with severe pneumonia three days after being vaccinated.
My feature article on the Anne Truitt survey at the Hirshhorn Museum will appear in the March issue of Art in America.


Joanne Mattera said...

"Burlington, it turns out, isn’t really a city, but a university attached to a shopping mall."

Now I know what they mean when they say ROTFLMAO

Unknown said...

I am very pleased that you and VCFA connected, always thought that would be a good match! As a loyal alum, I wish you had been there when I was.