Friday, June 29, 2007

American Women Ambassadors

A billion thanks to Ambassador Rowe, the United States Ambassador to the Solomon Islands, for recommending Ann Miller Morin's book An Oral Hisotry of American Women Ambassadors.

Also worthy of note, I attended a performance and a master dance class with Urban Bush Women and Jant-Bi. The experience was extraordinary. Urban Bush Woman dancer Nora Chipaumire, herself an exile from Zimbabwe, will be a MANCC artist-in-residence this coming school year, one of MANCC's administrative staff thought there might be room for her and I to collaborate. We'll see if it happens naturally.

I am forever grateful to the ambassadors who have sent me letters for my project. I realize that they have hectic schedules. Thanks again.

More soon on Ann Miller Morin's book...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Flyover + the American Outback

After having professors insist that I not go to a small town for fear that I was committing art career suicide, I found it comforting to find praise for Flyover, a blog that collectively covers strong small town art scenes. The site led me to Jennifer Smith's coverage of the Wisconsin Triennial and commentary on the work of Stephanie Liner. With my own tendency to combining women's bodies and domestic objects, the work appealed to my sensibilities. Check out her website at

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

bell hooks

Now reading bell hooks' book Art on My Mind: Visual Politics. In a chapter, titled "Women Artitsts: The Creative Process," she writes about the need for a room of one's own (see also Virginia Woolf's 1929 extended essay). I flashback to my days overseas: with the excitement of travel and the desire to take advantage of the experience, I made little time for reflection. my Female Expat Project was originally created to encourage expatriated women to do so. From hooks' chapter:

I think often and deeply about women and work, about what it means to have the luxury of time-time spent collecting one's thoughts, time to work undisturbed. This time is space for contemplation and reverie. It enhances our capacity to create. Work for women artists is never just the moment when we write, or do other art, like painting, photography, paste-up, or mixed media. In the fullest sense, it is also the time spent in contemplation and preparation. This solitary space is sometimes a place where dreams and visions enter and sometimes a place where nothing happens. Yet it is as necessary to active work as water is to growing things.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Jill Ker Conway

I just finished Jill Ker Conway's memoir True North, and after my first year of full-time university teaching, it was the perfect summer read. Particularly refreshing were moments when Conway finds a core group of female friends at Harvard or later when she realizes what an important role model she became when she took lead administrative roles. I'd recommend True North to anyone.