Friday, October 17, 2008

Day 1

The following posts for the next week will be my journal entries from the installation week at PNC...

| Day one |

I arrived to PNC later than I wanted, but had an easy drive and was greeted with a big smile from Steve as I pulled up to the maintenance shed: AKA, my studio for the week. After greeting Jaci and Fisher, I was immediately approached by Steve to go and check out the one of the sites they had built for me. It was perfect! I could tell he was really proud of it and it will make a perfect resting place for Cutoff for the next year.

When I returned, Judi and Liz welcomed me. These ladies are the muscles behind the scenes. Judi is directly responsible for bringing the Odyssey show together each year and she is supported by Liz who heads up special events. Their fine attention to detail was nice to work work in the planning and development stages. They let me get to work, but made me promise to call if there were any good photo opportunities. Judi gave me some meal tickets so I didn’t have to pay for lunch…I felt pampered already!

Then back at the "studio" I got right to work. The steel pieces hadn’t budged since I dropped them off a few weeks ago and the rain had knocked off some of the dirt, so that was great. I got out my grinder, put on the wire cup wheel and started erasing a perfectly good coating for the metal – rust. Thanks to whoever invented the wire cup brush and power tools! they have been saving me time since at least 1999. When I gave my wrists a break, I couldn’t help but notice the red maple (I think) that was right next to the parking lot that boasted the autumn colors of purples and oranges. The rusty oranges and browns next the purple were exactly what I was going for. I decided then to leave the edges rusty and paint the surfaces a lighter eggplant color.

After some time, I received a call from Liz letting me know that and her and Judi wanted to have lunch with me. I felt like I was being interviewed about my life's story. They were very interested in where I came from and what I doing.

After lunch, I went back to work and Steve found me to show the other site for Bration. How lucky am I that I didn’t have to dig the hole myself! It was 2' deep and 5' squared wide with a 6" circular hole in the center (for the supporting pipe to go through) that extended down 2 more feet. I suggested they put some gravel in it to help level it, but other that, it was spot on! PNC’s crew has already proven to be so helpful in this installation process.

Shortly after, Terry arrived with the welder. I told him it was the sexiest welder I had seen all week. And it was! The gasoline powered, portable Trailblazer worked like charm and now I want my own! I have a Miller Shopmaster in my studio in Chicago, but it is not so easy to move. I could get to work putting Cutoff together at any time now, THANK YOU Terry!

Now, this is a symposium of sorts, so we are helping each other through the week if someone needed a hand. Tom had the curator's bird's eye view of how the install was going and he came over and decided it would be wise for us all to rally and help Fisher get his piece, Seduction, set. He still had one other piece to set up that day as well and he is a professor at Bradley University and needed to get back for classes on Tuesday. His piece had first been seen by the public 10 or more years ago at the Navy Pier Walk. It had been in storage since. It was cool to see it take on some new clothes (it was repainted new colors gold and black for Purdue) and for it to have new chance to be experienced in a totally different setting. It made me wonder about the lives of the pieces I create...

Afterward, we had dinner with Judy and her husband, Mark, at Swingbelly’s. It was a nice end to the day – good lively conversation and small town food.

Back at Tom’s we had some drinks, listened to Lake Michigan, told stories and hit the hay. It was hard to fall asleep. I was waiting in anticipation to work with the crane and get some welding out of the way!

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