…That was my last public outing and like many of you, we were waiting to ride this thing out, doing our part to help in any way we could. Amid this global tragedy, I feel lucky to live where I do, in a community of responsible neighbors, with my studio at hand. Also like you, we have all adjusted our daily routines: socially distanced outdoor visits with friends and more efficient shopping habits. We found pleasure in a simpler way of life, bike rides on a near-empty campus, walks in town, along the board walk, in local parks, photographing along the way. We were nourished by our favorite local restaurants who adapted their offerings to delicious take-out boxed meals.

On warm summer nights we searched the sky for the comet Neowise and the International Space Station, passing overhead several times some nights. It was amazing to think of the team of astronauts doing their research. Then on a couple frigid December nights we found the ‘Great’ Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn; it had been some 800 years since an alignment this close had occurred at night.

We all became proficient at family meetings over Zoom and FaceTime, and we found new venues for cultural enrichment. I really enjoyed how musicians adapted their performances for the on-line audience and gave us front row seats at numerous musical events. Some of the memorable events we subscribed to: Taj Mahal, Patty Smith, Richard Thompson, Los Lobos, Lyle Lovett and Elvis Costello, Yo La Tengo, and New Orleans’ New Year’s Eve celebration in a variety of venues. Discovering new talent is always exciting, musicians like Jackie Venson come to mind. We also took advantage of our media sources to revisit several binge worthy series (Twin Peaks from start to finish) and current productions. We subscribed to the French animation series sponsored by FIAF – Alliance Francais in New York; the series featured full length films, shorts, and live stream interviews. The series was so invigorating that we became annual members.

Many gallery and museum openings were cancelled, put on hold, or extended until re-opening was feasible, as well as numerous live events. There were some breathtaking productions available via streaming during the year: London’s National Theater at Home: Frankenstein; dance performances from Douglas Dunn + Dance from his archive on Vimeo and YouTube. Dunn was scheduled for a special performance, lecture, and book signing at MAB.  A beautiful hardcover book was produced in a limited edition to commemorate this event; Corner is still available on their website. While the performance could not take place during the pandemic, the book is a lasting celebration of his esthetic and gives much pleasure when leafing through the sequence of images.

St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn streamed “Seminal Moments in St. Ann’s and Rock Music History Captured on Film: Lou Reed’s Berlin and John Cale and Lou Reed’s Song for ‘Drella,” which blended music, collaboration, and stagecraft to create exhilarating, thought-provoking art. Laurie Anderson presented a six part video series sponsored by the Norton Lecture series at Harvard; and her Party in the Bardo radio show was another compelling series.  The first 3 of the Norton lectures are being re-broadcast right now, and the next 3 start airing on Oct. 6.

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EMERGENCE – Notes from Life during the Pandemic

With this first post after many months, I want to report that we are well. For the past 18 months we have self-isolated and paid attention to recommended guidelines for staying safe and healthy. We are so fortunate and thankful that we have not lost any family or close friends because of the pandemic.

Many of my posts on this website are about art, exhibitions, and art and architectural travels. This series of 5 posts (Emergence A – E) is more diaristic and shares some of what we did and how we participated in cultural events during this time of “stay-at-home.”

On the eve of the pandemic, we were visiting family east of Seattle on the day the first cases were announced in Kirkland and broadcast on the evening and national news. On our way home, as we were waiting at the stoplight to enter the freeway, we looked up and saw that we were at the very hospital where the first Covid-19 patients were being cared for.

The following week, on March 6, 2020, I went to what would become the last public event I would attend for the next 15 months. Even as the news of the pandemic was becoming widespread with some public events being cancelled, the Portland Art Museum was still open. I went to the opening of  APEX  – Ed Bereal comprised of selected works from his recent retrospective at The Whatcom Museum in Bellingham. The exhibition featured a selection of earlier and more recent works for context, which built up to the powerful mixed media installation “Exxon-Five Horsemen of the Apocalypse” which dominated the main gallery. It is a major work, beautiful in execution (exquisite drawing and mark making) and complex in fabrication (mixed-media sculptural components and installation). As beautiful as his work is, one thing Ed has always said is that it is not so much about the artworks as objects, but that he hopes they create a dialog amongst the audience. In my opinion, Ed’s art has always worked in both ways, stimulating dialog via ambitious, beautiful artworks. Hyperallergic published an in depth article about Ed and his work.

Ed was introduced by the curator and gave a talk about the work and the trajectory of his development as an artist. It was great to see Ed and his wife, painter Barbara Sternberger. It was also good to see other old friends, artist Susan Bennerstrom from Bellingham, and musicians Margot Hanson and Chuck Israels, now living in Portland.

That was my last public outing…


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CoVid-19 Vaccination

Happy to report, I got mine; and I continue to mask up and follow CDC health guidelines.

Two doses, and two weeks have passed since the second dose. Confirm too, no side effects. Looking forward to when we call all meet again.

This link takes you to the CDC for current information  CoVid-19 Tracker


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Honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Honoring RBG

On September 29th, Olympia Indivisible sponsored a peaceful rally to honor the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Friends and neighbors masked up and social distanced on Fourth Avenue in downtown Olympia. Our signs said RUTH SENT US:

To Protect the Supreme Court
To Flip the Senate
To Win the White House
To Phone Bank, Text, and Donate
To Save Democracy
And Vote Early! Use Ballot Boxes
Learn How: OlympiaIndivisible.org

A set of photographs on my Flickr account document some of the rallies of the past three years as well as this group.



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Under the Summer Sky

The comet Neowise and the Big Dipper

Have been able to locate and see the comet Neowise several nights during July and track its location as it moves further from us. The sky has been brighter recently making it more difficult to see, and the window of opportunity from this location is diminished and it will soon be obscured by the trees.

The NASA app has been very helpful with when, and where to see the ISS and how long it is visible.

Additional photos from the series can be seen on my Flickr album Night Sky

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