Wednesday, November 23, 2011

VCCA: Residency Begins

I arrived at VCCA on Monday after several days at home of trying to catch up on various other responsibilities. Since I hadn’t been writing for that period, I struggled Monday afternoon to get back into the flow. But I did get some work done, and that felt good.

One of the great things—and one of the distractions—about being here, is that a few times a week we have presentations in the evenings by some of the residents. A fellow can skip them, which I do from time to time if I’m feeling pressed, but on my first night, Monday, I wanted to attend.

Two artists presented. The first was Jenny Krasner who showed images she has created and also read from a long manuscript she’s written about a trip to India she took recently. It’s got a lot of humor and a great voice, and it was fun to see the slide show of images at the same time as she read the chapter from the book.

The second was Olive Ayhens, a painter who works in watercolor and oil, and she showed slides of her work over a long period of time, showing many influences  and styles, as well as the many locations in which she has worked—San Francisco, New York, Spain, Brittany, various National Parks, and elsewhere.

Tuesday was my first full day, and I felt like I got a lot done, but in the evening I decided to keep going. I always feel bad about missing a presentation, so I didn’t hear Jerry Weinstein read, unfortunately.

Today, Wednesday, I got even more done, so this time I stayed in the residence for presentations by composer Andrea  Clearfield, who played a work in progress based on some extensive work she’s been doing in the Tibetan region of Northern Nepal, and writer Katey Schultz who read some flash fiction and story from a collection she’s working on about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It’s all good, and we’ve got a special Thanksgiving presentation on tap for tomorrow, with a lot of people reading very short pieces.

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