Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Life in New Jersey

Had the television on today in the background and I heard something disturbing, at least enough to get me to walk into the room where the tv is- a train crash and release of toxic material in southern Illinois.  I graduated from Southern Illinois University.  My apartment was only a block and a half from the tracks, the Illinois Central and Gulf line (as it was called back then), close enough that people I was on the phone with in New Jersey could sometimes hear the train whistles.  And my studio literally overlooked those same train tracks, as the school had acquired a former glove factory that had been built next to those tracks.  As it turned out, the train overturned in a town called Dupo, which I had never heard of, but a quick map check shows it was a few counties away, between Carbondale and St Louis.  Probably the same train line (how many major freight lines can there be in southern Illinois?).  Good news- no one was hurt or injured, but a lot of clean up will be required.

Then later in the day I was checking e-mails and found a request from the BAC to show work in one of the galleries.  (the BAC sits across the street from a train tracks, but that is only passenger trains these days) The organization sits in a building they have been squatting in (with town approval) for about a dozen years, and over the years much work has been done to improve and maintain it.  Several years ago, it was decided to add onto the building, and we did- a professional foundation was poured, volunteers designed and built it, and professionals were brought in to do the roof make sure it joined up.  One part became a storage area, but the biggest part was turned into a new room. Originally envisioned as a classroom space, for a while our receptionist was there (along with class space), and classes had always been there, plus the walls could be an extra gallery space- either for small shows or overflow for big shows that needed more room than the other galleries offered.  It still does that, but last year the photographers decided to no longer use it for classes, but turn it into their lounge space.  The e-mail I had been sent yesterday mentioned that it had been thought if I could do a show there (myself, maybe some of my former students), it could promote my upcoming woodcut class.  It might at that, so I replied that I was open to all possibilities.

Got two more e-mails tonight. The first said that there was another interest in the space for that time, so they were still considering what to do.  The second mail said that they wanted me to do a show on the large back wall (another show also in the room), as long as I was willing to repair and repaint it when the show ends.  I'd stop by tomorrow and see what is going on, but these days they are not open on Wednesdays.  Perhaps I can try the day after that.


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