My class is getting ready to install a showcase of projects from this semester and last. Here are the basics:

Post: A Collection of Mail and Web Projects
Including work by students in the Text & Image Arts class Art from Ephemera: Mail Art and the Internet, 2007-08

Do snails dream of electronic mail?

Students in this intermediate level multi-media studio class investigate the definition and nature of ephemeral materials while appropriating the strategies of and making connections between Mail Art and the Internet. All of the projects presented in this exhibition utilize the network distribution of the postal system or the Internet (or in some cases, both) in order to explore communication from both aesthetic and conceptual perspectives. Many of the projects are interactive, inviting you to participate in the process in some way.

Participating Artists include Haley Bishop, Brian Butler, Sheri Demchak, Erin Fili, Genevieve Johnson, Aziza Klingensmith, Tiffanie Laverty, Carmina Novoa, John Pearson, Marcel Reyes, Stefanie Vermillion, Samara Watkiss, and Melissa Yasko.

Post will be on display in the BAG Gallery at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, located at 230 The Fenway.
Show Dates: March 28 through April 6
Opening Reception: Monday, March 31st, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Image: Brian Butler

For more information about participating artists, including links to web-based projects, check out the full listing on the class blog.

Putting together a class show, even in a mediocre hallway of a gallery, is a lot of work! But it's coming together nicely (some of the wall space will be painted a lovely pink color called springtime bloom or blossom or something along those lines). If you're local, you're cordially invited to attend the opening reception next Monday, coordinated with the shows in other school galleries, so it should be a good time all-around.


a tour of Northwest porto potties...and other things

Another spring break, another long weekend visiting family and filling up on good Mexican food in Bend, Oregon. And man, was I ready for a break by about the middle of last week. This semester has been busier and a tad more stressful than I thought it'd be, with lots of visiting artists and lectures and committing myself to things I probably shouldn't have. As the semester winds down, though, I'm starting to check things off what became a pretty long to-do list and finally negotiating resolutions to some unexpectedly overwhelming situations. Combined with four days of doing very little amongst the friendly folk of central Oregon and I feel ready to tackle the final four weeks of the semester.

The weather wasn't quite as warm and sunny as it was during the same weekend last year, which I wrote about here, but we managed to do something outdoors every day (Bend is a very outdoorsy kinda town, year-round), dodging the occasional snow or rain shower throughout the long weekend. On Friday we took a tour of nearby Sunriver, stopping for lunch at Cafe Cintra, where I enjoyed a tasty bowl of their Portuguese stew. It was snowing at the time, so we decided to pass on a visit to the High Desert Museum, between Sunriver and Bend. One of the few rainy day activities in Bend, at least half of the Museum is, still, outdoors (like I just wrote, Bend is a very outdoorsy place). Instead we headed back to town, which was surprisingly snow-free, enjoyed a cup of coffee downtown, followed by an easy hike through Shevlin Park.

This covered bridge is as quaint as it appears in this photo but the bathrooms back at the trailhead were the first of several downright raunchy "facilities" I visited over the course of the weekend.

On Saturday, we tried unsuccessfully to hike to a couple of nearby waterfalls. Most of the roads leading to the trailheads were still covered in snow. Instead, we headed north past Smith Rock (where The Postman was filmed...I worked at Baja Norte at the time - now El Jimador - and made a strawberry margarita for Will Patton one night...) to the Crooked River Gorge.

The bathrooms were a little better here but they post these really morbid signs warning that many dogs have plummeted to their demise over the short wall separating the trail that runs along the gorge from a 300-foot fall, complete with a graphic of a dog flying through the air. I should've taken a picture...

Anyway, here we are standing on the old bridge, looking over at the new bridge, built just a few years ago (the bridge in the picture above is for the railroad).

It's always hard to do justice in photographs to the depth of the gorge, but I think Neal did a pretty good job in this pic, looking straight down (and I should add that Neal took all these pics).

If you don't suffer from vertigo, it's fun to look down and try to make out all the objects and things people have dropped or thrown over the edge. In addition to the occasional beer can and cowboy hat, if you look closely at the pic above, you can see what appears to be a child's bike.

Isn't that kind of sad? I wonder how it got down there. I guess it could be worse, though (it could've been a dog!).

While all of the restaurants we ate at on the last trip were new to me, on this trip, we mostly stuck to the tried and true, having Mexican food at the downtown El Caporal on Friday night (mmm, mole enchiladas), Olde Towne Pizza on Sunday (ah, a sit-down pizza place), and burgers at Deschutes Brewery on Monday (where I was obligated to try their house-made veggie burger and deemed it quite excellent, possibly even a bit better than the veggie burger you can get at the Salt Lake City airport). On Saturday night, however, we tried a newish Thai food place in town called Typhoon, a Northwest chain. I tried the Phad See Ewe, something I always eye at Boston's Brown Sugar but have never ordered. It was pretty good so I'm eager to try something other than one of the three dishes I always order at Brown Sugar next time I go.

Anyway, where was I? On Sunday we headed north again to check out the beginning of the Metolius River, something I have fond memories of from past trips here, just like the Crooked River Gorge. The river just sort of bubbles up out of the ground, as you can see here, close to the base of Black Butte.

By Camp Sherman, just a few miles away (and home to by far the raunchiest porto potty of the weekend, complete with an emptied six-pack of Coors Light on the floor), it's a full-fledged river.

After our outing, we stopped at the Sisters Bakery, which produces the largest maple bar I've ever seen. I usually get a marionberry scone, but this trip shared a cheesy breadstick and insanely rich and sweet cream cheese frosted brownie with Neal.

For most of Monday, after enjoying breakfast at the Original Pancake House (another Bend favorite) with my Grandma, we shopped, first at the Outlet Mall, followed by a little window-shopping at the much pricier shops downtown.

We never made it to Goody's or the local Dairy Queen, where they have this really tasty chocolate macadamia nut coffee, but all in all, it was another pleasant return to the town I called home almost twelve years ago.


for wizards only

Just a couple of weeks after Chrissa's update to the Hair Diaries section of her blog, despite having misgivings about returning to the guy who's been cutting my hair since we moved to Boston (interrupted by two or three unsuccessful visits to the very salon Chrissa mentions), I decided I couldn't stand it long enough to scope out an alternative and made an appointment. In short, I left the appointment feeling disappointed, even downright upset. I get a fair number of visitors to this blog searching for this particular cuttery, so I felt compelled to add an updated comment to my one and only post about the place.

I don't have much else to say and keep meaning to post a comment to Chrissa's post. Why is it so difficult to find a good, consistent stylist who's also able to listen to feedback and - dare I suggest it - incorporate our explicit instructions every now and then? Just about every gal I know has recently left her stylist, lookin' for hair cutting love elsewhere. And most of us have been in this position before. In fact, the two or three unsuccessful detours from the latest place, as mentioned above, are the reason I returned, defeated, having given in to the one haircut I seemed destined to have, lacking the energy to continue my search. What I gained during the digression, however, was an introduction to the Davines line of hair products. During my last visit to unsuccessful salon experiment No. 2, I purchased a tub of Davines No. 10 Universal Polishing Coat for Wizards, and $28 isn't bad considering it lasted over a year. Maybe that's not bad to some, even considering how long it lasts, but I have to admit I felt pretty guilty spending that much money on one hair product, especially at that time, broke art student that I was. Anyway, obviously, it must be good stuff for me to spend that kind of money, plus, it makes my hair smell like cookies. As a concerned Claire admits to sister Catherine in the movie Proof, after asking if she's used the jojoba conditioner she gave her and unable to provide an adequate explanation of just what jojoba would do for her hair: "It makes my hair look, smell and feel good, and that is the extent of my information about it."

I'd been scraping out the last bits of goo while I came up with an alternative to returning to the salon to buy the stuff in person, risking running into my ex-stylist. I'm sure there are other salons that carry it, but in the end I opted to order it online, via this website. Now, if only I could find a good haircut online...