Sunday, February 1, 2009

Second Seating: An Accounting

'Taking stock' of a project's progress is a good exercise. I've always been a big list maker - those perennial 'to do' lists keep me pushing forward, but I am finding that with 'Second Seating', acknowledging accomplishments large and small is a way of affirming real progress and frankly, a good way to keep track of it all.

Since the new year began, I've been keeping very close tabs on where and how 'Second Seating' is moving. I note accomplishments in my day timer along with the meeting dates with potential funders and contributing artists. I think it's made a difference.
Several days ago, I bought a really large desk calendar and am color coding meetings with funders and visits with contributing artists and resource people. I'll know how many calls or visits pushed 'Second Seating' forward, month by month.

It's interesting, or perhaps it is horrifying to note that until I began to write this post, I hadn't color coded time for actually making art for 'Second Seating,' though I have been very busy getting others lined up to make art.

And how does one color code the hours spent 'thinking about making the art'? On my walk today, I designed the internal structure for the Clorox chandelier. It would be interesting to make note of the hours spent 'thinking.' Are there, perhaps, better verbs to describe what goes on in one's head? Mulling? Wool gathering? Day dreaming? I sure spend a lot of time in my head, doing whatever 'it' is.
Here's what happened in January that 'moved the meter' as CK used to say:
1. 'Second Seating' was selected for grant funding from The Idea Fund, a program of Diverse Works, Aurora Picture Show and Project Row Houses that is supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation. This was very good news and a great way to begin the year.
2. I moved a lot of 'stuff' into a large studio space on Harrisburg where I can see how things are shaping up. Most of the images in this post are things I took to the new space. Sometimes, seeing them there comforts me. Other times, I panic.

3. Invited two major East End companies to become underwriters of specific chandeliers or tables. Outlook is positive.
4. Set the stage for meeting with three other companies.
5. Found an electrical contractor who will make sure that the chandeliers are properly wired and workable and will install them when the moment comes. Thank you, thank you. This means that nothing will blow up or short out.
6. Met with three artists who'll participate in 'Second Seating' by creating chandeliers and/or tables. I'll write about these terrific artists in other posts. They are each skilled and talented in different ways. Ceramics, metal work, painting, batik. It will be grand to watch how and what they produce for this installation.
7. Met with an artist friend who teaches at HCCS Southeast who asked if her two classes could participate in 'Second Seating.' They'll help make the chandelier of Clorox bottles in the weeks of late February through mid-March. June and I are now making samples of filigreed bottles and I'm wondering where I'll go to buy several hula hops for part of the structure.

8. Met Irma's architect who declared she'd been looking for resources for recycled objects to put in the new space. We're a match.
9. Drafted a first press release that I hope will generate two hundred coffee mugs from East End residents. Still must send it on its way.
9. Rewrote a grant application for Houston Arts Alliance - it took many hours of the last week of January. How I labor over words. Pushed the submit button at 4:24 p.m. last Friday.

In addition to all of this, I spent a weekend seeing as much as I could of Prospect.1 New Orleans, traveled to Brownsville with Irma to meet with Ted and Jose about the project and yes, Irma and I spent a day shopping in Progreso. A friend hosted a Sunday afternoon trunk show for me and I sold ten pieces of crochet collars and capelets (Will I ever find a fit name for this wearable art I crochet?). Throughout all of this, my siblings and I are communicating daily about Mom and Dad's increasing care needs, quality of life, meds, caregivers: there are no good solutions. We spin our wheels and try to make decent decisions. Not a bit of it is easy.

Had a cold, tachycardia overtook me twice, currently have an inflamed right eye... are these coincidences? I think not. And then there just happened to be a presidential inauguration amidst the growing financial doom that is beginning to affect every single one of us. Safe to say I absolutely loved Barack Obama's Inauguration Day and am in denial about financial doom.
So that sums up January 2009. It's February 2 now and I've had a late evening sinking spell of acute proportions and am calling in more troops to help with this whole colossal task. Am I an absolute fool or is this all doable?

1 comment:

Sharon said...

You are creating the most amazing experience. Sounds like you have covered all your bases and are putting your support team in place. And now you've blocked out time to do your own art:) From the outside, the project appears to be doable. I think any time we take on such a large project, it seems crazy in the early stages. As Tom Hanks said as the coach in the movie A League of Their Own, "It's the hard that makes it great."