Monday, July 15, 2013

OK, so now school is over....

I have to say, it is quite a let down to be done with school. Mostly, I miss my fellow artists and teachers. The campus was my community for the last four years. I feel like a ship with no mooring. I spoke to my cooperating teacher last week and she said Milwaukee Public Schools is WAY behind in their hiring. That's good news - at least I have a good shot at a job there. Keeping my fingers and toes crossed.

The main question I am asking myself, is what should the theme of my blog be? I had intended to document my experience going back to school, but there were not enough hours in the day to do it justice. Now I have the time, but not much to write about. LOL! Live life, or write about it? Any suggestions would be much welcomed.

Between job hunting I have been doing some drawing for my new Russian "cousin" from Germany. It is a challenge corresponding with someone, when neither of us speaks a common language. But a fun one indeed. I never realized how much slang I use. Or humor. Neither translates very well. But the drawing is of our oldest known ancestor Johann Adam Wagner.  Neither my cousin Arthur or I know what Johann looked like, so we are collaborating long distance, creating an image. What fun! And it is managing to keep me out of trouble :->

But some of the ancestry research is quite sobering. We are both descended from Germans who settled in Russia along the Volga River. Arthur sent me an email yesterday. "In the Fall of 1941, the Communists-Bolsheviks expelled about 2,000,000 Germans from Russia to Siberia, Kazakhstan, Ural, Uzbekistan. The end of 1941, beginning of 1942, 1.5 million men, women and children were rounded up as slaves in concentration camps. Half of them were killed. 09/28/1941 was the day the German colony along the Volga disappeared from the map."

Getting that email made me think of Maya Lin, who conceptualized the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. "The Wall" was funded entirely through private contributions from corporations, foundations, unions, veterans and civic organizations and more than 275,000 individual Americans. No Federal funds were needed. Wouldn't it be fantastic to do such a thing to memorialize the German Russian tragedy? Everyone remembers the Holocaust, not many people I know are aware of this bit of history. What, I thought, would be a powerful visual statement? The sheer numbers of people taken is staggering.   Since the German Russians were farmers, something to remember their agrarian heritage seems appropriate. Perhaps a public sculpture depicting one stalk of wheat for every person lost? Or something else. Did they even  grow wheat? But where would it be located? Where would one start to make this idea reality? And most important, does the world care to remember?

As usual, more questions than answers. Maybe I need to change this blog to the German Russian Memorial Art Project......

Monday, July 8, 2013

Gallery Night in July at Elaine Erickson Gallery

Good news - my artwork is currently in the Elaine Erickson Gallery in the Third Ward. Elaine is having a 3D show for Gallery Night at the end of July.I am kiddy-korner from my colleague Mike Ware, who is currently showing at Katie Gingrass Gallery. I also have been getting positive feedback from the Creative Souls network online and they have suggested doing a feature story on me....WOOT!

Still looking for that perfect art teaching position. If you know of any people I should contact, please feel free to jot me a note. In between job hunting, I am once again renewing my family ancestry search. Family is bothering me to print something out already, but I keep turning up interesting tidbits, so it will have to wait for now. So terribly fascinating to actually be corresponding with people from Germany and Russia. I have been thinking of ways I could incorporate some of this into my teaching in the Fall....