Sunday, March 6, 2011

Ragdale Revisited: Day Nine & Ten

This is a double header for yesterday and today. Saturday is kind of like a day off because we are on our own for dinner. I worked ALL day with a break for lunch. On the refrigerator was a note from Stevie. (Her book is an excellent read if you are interested - Broken for You By Stephanie Kallos.) The note said, “I can’t fight the need to sautee onions and garlic any longer. I will be making a chicken, mushroom, and rice soup over in the Shaw House. There will be crusty bread, cheese, and wine. Join me for dinner.

So most of the residents showed up at 6:00 pm, we sat around the old kitchen (vs the one in the Barnhouse where we have dinner,) drank wine, told storied. We spent dinner in the dining room (pictures will be posted tonight or tomorrow.) Afterward we retired to the living room, built a fire, and poured more wine. Very talkative group of artists we. Finally the party broke up around 10:00 and I headed home to bed.

It was wonderful spending time in the original house which not only has the same wonderful vibrating walls energy as the Barnhouse but also has the spirits of the past and the Shaw Family who are actively involved in the creativity that goes on there as they peek over your shoulder and sometimes evoke what is known as the “Ragdale Magic.”

Woke up early this morning (before 8:00,) was pleased that I was up so early, rolled over, and fell back to sleep until 10:00. So much for an early start. Worked all morning. Found out about a grant from the Illinois Arts Council (due date February 1) and worked on that for 2 more hours. Amazing to me that I had most of what the grant called for already done so I just had to put it into the format that they wanted. The grant application included an artist’s statement, work samples, resume, etc. There was an online submission section and the other items will be FedExed tomorrow so I will meet the deadline.

In the afternoon, I spent a couple of hours over at the 1987 Howard Van Doren Shaw Arts and Crafts house documenting the house as well as taking “Art Photos.” They will be posted to the gallery soon. 

This evening was the “Novel Idea” fundraiser thank you party. approximately 40 Board Members, staff, us residents, hosts of the fundraiser, and friends of Ragdale were there for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. That’s what the invitation actually said, “Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres.” I haven’t heard those terms in years! I got to visit with these people who were very interested in my experiences here at Ragdale and had lots of questions about my work. I had to work hard at bringing them into the conversation with questions about them (because they wanted to know so much about me!) Gregory taught me the importance of “bringing their interests into the picture.”

Dinner: One platter with all the artfully laid out makings for a Salad Nicoise - lettuce, tomatoes, onions, black olives, potatoes, green beans, hard boiled egg. She also had a Chicken Gravy to spoon over homemade buttermilk buiscuits, was like Chicken Pot Pies. Dessert - Strawberry Cheesecake Squares.

We sat around the table afterwards making plans for sharing our work on Monday and Tuesday. As a group, we will visit the out building studios to see the visual artist’s work and then after dinner convene in the Shaw home in front of the fire place for the writers to do readings of selections of their work. 

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