Ox-Bow: Day 4

After a week-and-a-half long journey from Santa Barbara to Seattle to the Washington Coast (surfing!) to Idaho to Chicago and to New Buffalo, I finally arrived at Ox-Bow this past Sunday. After checking in, I was first shown to my cabin. It is titled simply “The Red,” and was built in 1890:

My room is on the bottom right:

I woke up on Monday morning at around 6 am to an ominous, off-in-the-distance rumbling. It was reminiscent of a scene from Jurassic Park where the T-Rex is getting closer with every pounding step. Fortunately for me, it wasn’t T-Rex; it was just the worst lightning storm that Chicago had seen in 13 years (or so I heard), and it was coming straight for us. After breakfast and in anticipation of the storm, I went back to sleep for a bit. An hour or so into my nap, the shutters in my room blew open, knocking the fan off the desk and shattering a glass I had just bought at the Sunday Tent Sale from the printmaking technician Lauren Anderson that reads “Houston Spaced Out.” Hopefully it’s not a bad omen, and hopefully it will be a good one-liner of an art-work.

While the power was out for the rest of the day, I took a hike to a scenic overlook called the Crow’s Nest and then back down to the lagoon, where I hopped into a canoe and paddled to another trail that took me over some sand dunes to the shore of Lake Michigan. I collected a bunch of colorful beach junk, though I haven’t really figured out what to do with it yet.

My proposal for this residency was pretty open ended, and I am approaching it as a challenge to make something meaningful and site specific to Ox-Bow. Though I have a few ideas that I’ll be developing while I’m here, in anticipation of a studio visit tomorrow with Jim Drain I decided to get to work on an idea I had during one of my flights regarding STS-135, the final mission of NASA’s retiring Space Shuttle fleet.

We are also having open studios on Friday prior to the weekly and 100 year-old traditional costume/dance party. This week’s theme is “cave rave,” and I’ve got to come up with a costume soon. Ox-Bow is an amazing environment, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself. It’s really nice to be in a relatively non-academic art environment with talented artists in all stages of their careers coming from around the country.

I’ll report back soon, hopefully with a small body of work regarding STS-135 and the above mentioned piece that I just just finished.

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