Details on Portland, Maine

Yesterday we went to a yarn store in town, I think it was called Knit Wit. They had this sign in their window.

The store sells a lot of yarn milled, spun or grown in Maine. I bought some natural linen for my panel in progress project at the Block Party tomorrow. I can’t wait to start working with it and see how it drapes. The place is so beautiful with so many exceptional yarns I wanted to take it all home with me, or just stay there and crochet all day. That’s what the women there do! It was inspiring to see such a beautiful shop run by people who are truly passionate about their work. When they want a break they can always walk right out the front door and look out over the Atlantic dotted with tiny islands that some people never leave. It was another example of how quality living exists in so many different corners of the world.

Last night Alex organized a dinner at Quimby. I met Nat May from SPACE Gallery, and Charlie, Karen’s “person”, and Sage from the Portland Museum. Nat asked me what my favorite art spaces were in LA and I wonder if someone else can answer that question. I was lost!

It did make me think of some of the other shows I’ve been a part of and we got into a whole conversation about the barter system. I loved the senior seminar Frances ran when we set up a table of our wares and invited people to barter. I spent that whole week working on a drawing in the gallery and it became an object of it’s own, even though it had started as just the table cover. Talking about it made me realize how much I love the idea of making art in public instead of just displaying it when it’s done. I like to involve people in the process- like we will be at this show- and inviting them to be a part of the piece and the memory I have of it. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy working alone where no one can see that my most frequent action is to undo whatever I’ve done but if I could do another mural – draw on site- exhibit- I’m there- bring it!

Of course we also talked about a lot of the smock shows we’ve done and what it was like to wear my smock for years. I always get worked up about the experience when people start asking questions. By the time I end up talking about it there is always someone in the room who is dying to try it and it’s kind of nice to tell them they can download the pattern and make one of their own. I can empathize with their excitement and I get the same feeling when I see someone’s painting and it makes me want to paint again. When we got back to the resident apartment, Karen and I made a list of all the shows and I was shocked when I realized we’d shown smocks in over a dozen cities! I hope one day we can write a book about the project with tons of pictures and comments and ideas. I think we need to document the whole journey because I don’t want to forget the blusters and triumphs along the way like the awful potato sack prototypes Andrea and I started with, the first trip I had to Dodger Stadium, the baby pulling mine right off and Andrea’s first twisted smock airplane ride. I don’t want to forget the women who cried at Pratt when they identified with the feeling of inadequacy, V in her bike smock, the wedding smocks and of course, some of the amazing- I mean truly amazing creations that smockers made.

Here’s the list of cities Karen and I came up with, I wonder if I’m missing any?

Vancouver, Baltimore, Susan Inglett New York, Pratt, Munich, Berlin, London, LA Art, Regen Projects, Young Art, Chicago, Chinatown, New Museum and now the new launch in Maine

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