For the last week James Trainor, myself and 10 incredibly awesome Columbia MFA students have been roving around Hudson River valley and the Catskill Mountains in order to learn how America’s perception of landscape has been culturally and historically framed and defined by its art. In a bus named gymsock we have visited the homes of Washington Irving, Thomas Cole, Fredric Church as well as sites such as Kaaterskill falls, Byrdcliff Arts colony, Woodstock, the Maverick Theatre and the amazing Tilcon quarry hidden in the backside of a mountain right on the edge of the Hudson River. Also thanks to some very generous folks up at Bard our group got to stay in their dorms, and we were able to check out a few studios as well as their MFA Thesis show.
Progress on the Brooklyn home-front at A-Z East feels like it has been moving forward at a snail’s pace. I’m in my old apartment on the second floor every other month, but it seems like whenever I’m here there is a show to hang, or a bunch of meetings to make. Today we finally hung a new linen window-panel in the bathroom that has been on my to-do list for over two years…. Victory.
The absolute best thing about the hot months are summer monsoons.
For years I’ve been eyeing this head turner – a big pink building (turns out it is a former post office) – uncharacteristically stylish for its Wonder Valley digs. Why this remote and sparsely section of the desert would need such a huge and fancy post office is still a bit of a mystery – as is the reason for its decommission.
A few years ago my interest ramped up even more when pyramids and a big dome appeared scattered around the grounds. And on Sunday I finally got an up-close viewing by owners Philip and Margot who are going to open up the building and grounds as part of the HDTS driving map (the building will be open on the first Saturday of every month).
The inside of the building is even more astounding than the outside, but since the power was out I didn’t try to take photos – discovering the interior wonderment should be considered further enticement to curiosity seekers considering the trek out to Wonder Valley.
Lemons, Land ownership, and Licenses…. was the heading of Jena’s first entry in the HQ’s log. She also noted that we had seventeen visitors, made two sales and received the following: a $10 donation, a cookie and a bag of lemons. Not a bad day for the “slow season” in downtown Joshua Tree.
Check out the new tiles in the kitchen at A-Z West! This is a pattern that I designed for Arena in Mexico who will be producing and selling them…. soon.
About two and a half years ago we started a 499 square foot addition on the house. (If you add more then 500 square feet you have to bring the entire structure up to code -and as it turns out over half of my 800 square foot cabin had been built illegally with no permits) At first the structure went really quickly – but since then it has taken years to finish all of the details. Today Danny Simpson re-stuccoed the back and side of the house which were riddled with at least ten different patch jobs. Next we finish the outdoor kitchen (coming soon) and finally there will be an outside sleeping deck on top of the area that Danny is working on in this photo.