06 August 2017

My Week(s) In Photos: 7.10.17 // 8.6.17

It's been a minute. I've been traveling. I've had friends in town. I accidentally reset my iPhone and lost most of my photos from July. Let's call this a short blog. Let's keep the ball rolling.

Magic golden garbage, made of balloons that spelled out my name and age. Remnants from my birthday, ages and ages ago.

A quick snap from the Verbal Description tour I co-led last month. We've been doing test runs of tours that include tactile opportunities (objects to touch and smell) as well as verbal descriptions of the building architecture and some objects from our collection. It's something I've been spearheading, with the support of the Education Team and the Public Programs Department, and we are honestly having such a fun time. It's forcing us to look more closely and more slowly at the works on display, and giving us the opportunity to play with words to create rich descriptions of somewhat complicated and experimental artworks. I'm so lucky to have colleagues who are just as excited as I am to bring accessible programming to the Hirshhorn!

The beginning of July I was pretty good about waking up early to do yoga. I've since dropped off the routine, but I'm hoping to jump back in during the month of August. Will check in with myself in a week or so...

Spotted on my walk through the back alley behind my building. I love this quiet bright spot of solidarity. It fills me up every time I walk past it.

I flew to my beloved Chicago for a minute. I visited my sister, slept in my brother's bed, saw Hamilton Leithauser at Pitchfork, drank good things, ate good things, stayed out entirely too late, made new friends, saw old friends, and soaked up my city. 

Before heading to Pitchfork, Mari and I made a pitstop at the new Ace hotel in the West Loop. The burgers were top notch, the cocktails were too good to remember.

Pitchfork was silly, I got leg cramps dancing. Afterwards I popped by La Sirena to see the boys of Whitney DJ a set (some old friends). It was like a Northside College Prep ten-year reunion. Old old friends who are in bands, old friends who run the beverage program at the bar, old friends who own woodworking businesses, and me, that girl who works at the museum in DC. I ended the night with the world's tiniest bar bill ($0), a sore throat from talking non-stop, and cheeks that hurt from grinning. I love nights like this.

The following morning, Moriah and I met for coffee at La Colombe, i.e. over-caffeinated power gossip. After 20 minutes of filling each other in on the good stuff, we hopped into Mo's car and ran errands. I enjoyed half of a pretzel from PQM (pictured) while she did her shopping, before we ran to McCormick Place (not pictured) so she could grab her half marathon packet. God do I love this woman.

Instead of going to Pitchfork on Saturday, Mari and I hopped on a bus with her law firm buddies and were whisked away to one of my favorite places in the world: New Buffalo, MI. I've been going every year since 2012, but know I won't be able to make it up there this year. So a day with my toes in the water and a snazzy glass of white wine satisfied my primal urge to commune with my beautiful Lake Michigan (luv u bb).

Always wear black at the beach.

Mise en place: sick selection of buffet goods. Mini lobster rolls, buckets of clams, pasta salad, endless wine, the best little raw tuna tacos, oh and a dessert bar.

Following dinner, we headed to the beach for s'mores under the setting sun. I forgot how good it can feel to sit and stare out at the water, with the sand running through your toes, and the temperature dropping. The best light show in the world happens every morning and every evening, but I haven't seen a sunset like this in years.

S'mores are actually my favorite dessert.

Selfie in a fancy powder room. At this point I was ready to power down and crawl into bed.

The next day we went to my beloved Big Star, and my friend Theo served us (<3). Margs, walking tacos, dogs, and time with Dodi all while dining outside and it not being too hot. God did I miss this place.

So maybe I got a little bit tipsy in my yellow jumpsuit before running to Penelope's and purchasing these...

What might be the most important purchase I've ever made. The world's best sunglasses.

We had fun at Pitchfork, but I think I'm officially too old for festivals. Sry guys!

The following day I met Dodi for my all-time favorite brunch at Lula Cafe. We gabbed over bagels and eggs.


After, I met up with long-time bestie, Maud. We played tourists in our own city and I insisted on have our photo taken in front of The Bean.

Rashayla Marie Brown at the Chicago Cultural Center *hands in the air emoji*. The photo on the bottom, second from the left, appeared in an exhibition I co-curated in 2015. It was a welcome surprise to see it again.

Same goes for Cheryl Pope's pennants in the entryway. I've long loved this project.

And I finally got to see Aram Han Sifientes' Protest Banner Lending Library, a Project I've been following via social media for months. Aram and I met up last month in DC while she was here on a brief fellowship. It's an incredible project, something I keep thinking about given our current political climate and where I currently live. If we give folks the tools, see what they can make with them? This project / space gives voices visibility, and people can actually borrow these banners to use in protest. It is a living, usable, activist archive in the making.

Makers hard at work.

Chicago, you flirty babe.

Before bouncing to return to DC, Mari and I split snacks and happy hour cocktails at Fulton Market Kitchen. I snapped a selfie with one of the Third Man's wall murals.

Then... I lost a bunch of my photos! So here's a garbled version of the last few weeks :)

I'm partial to hanging out in bathrooms with friends now. Don't ask.

This is my pal Sean, in a very strange bathroom at his art opening at Space Camp in Baltimore. 

A very satisfying French meal with Brady in Brooklyn. Ran into Molly Soda too.

I took a very quick trip up to New York (see steaks above) to visit my friends. But also to do a studio visit with the artist Jason Lazarus while he was in residence at the Hunter East Harlem Gallery. He's been running a community-oriented open studio / open gallery program called A CENTURY OF DISSENT!. Since June, there have been open gallery hours where anyone can drop in and comb through his archive of protest signs, all from protests that took place in Harlem or related to Harlem in some way over the course of the last 100 years. After picking a sign that inspires or speaks to them, the visitor is then invited to recreate the sign using materials in the studio, or purchased in a store in the neighborhood. I wanted to recreate a sign that had lines from Langston Hughes "A Dream Deferred" painted onto a windshield reflector, and wound up spending an hour walking 3rd Avenue in Harlem popping into store after store to no avail. I settled on a sign that was written in ink so thick and so wet, that the words bled through and could be read in the inverse. A very conceptual response to the overall image and project. My hours spent in the studio with Jason were some of the best I've had all summer. Between acquainting myself with the businesses in a neighborhood in New York I've never spent much time in, and getting to catch up with Jason while tracing the letters WE'RE NOT OKAY WITH THIS over and over again, I found myself calmed and happy by the entire experience.

The set up.

Other responses.

My sign.

My sign in reverse.

The proud artist / goober. Photo by Jason Lazarus.

My source material. Photo by Jason Lazarus.

Later that night I met up with longtime pals for drinks. We wound up watching music videos until 5 am. Good humans.

Mary of Guadalupe in Harlem, taken for my mother and grandmother.

The ever changing landscape nearby the Megabus pickup.

And then swiftly back to work. This is a mockup for the title wall in the next exhibition that is opening at the Hirshhorn. It's the exhibition that was assigned to me my FIRST week of work, and it is opening a year after (to-the-week) of me starting there. That's my writing on the wall, as is the rest of the writing appearing in the exhibition! So excited to share more when it opens in September.

Taken outside of the Planned Parenthood near Union Market. Support local business y'all. Especially when they're under threat to be closed!

Taken while wandering around Meridian Hill Park with my friend Alex.

Summer dinners are actually my favorite. Been rocking peach salads (Virginia peaches!) with mozzarella, and a French dijon dressing, as well as fancy tomato toast with multigrain bread and ricotta cheese instead of mayo.

I've been painting and writing more in recent days. It feels really good to have a creative output again.

I've been traveling a lot lately. These quiet mornings in my apartment mean the world to me.

Which leads me to today. Andy Warhol's birthday. I spent my morning on a mad hunt for a copy of the New York Times Magazine (dated November 23, 1986). We need a copy of it for an exhibition I'm working on, because inside of this issue is an advertisement in which Andy Warhol appears. It ran six short months before his untimely death. And I have reached a point of near-obsession trying to track this thing down. I think Andy would approve of my dedication, my devotion, the urgency with which I am searching for this piece of him to include in the show. Happy birthday pal, it's the least I could do. (The above photo was snapped at the National Portrait Gallery, the only Warhol we could locate in the building on our visit today).

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