So I thought it would be fun to make a few lists of things that are important to this trip. One of the first things you notice in the studios are the “tombstones”. I’m not sure how the tradition started, but each fellow that stays in a studio is supposed to sign their name on a “tombstone" when leaving. There are 17 tombstones in my studio that date back to 1914. I spent an hour on my first night looking at all of the names. I have a list that stick out me either because I know them personally or I really respect the work that they have done. This is in chronological order.
Jules Kirschenbaum ( Jules used to visit my first studio in Des Moines, and was a professor at Drake University)
Haim Steinbach ( 2 visits to this studio)
Benny Andrews ( 2 visits to this studio)
It is important to remember that there are 20-28 names on each tombstone in my studio. Hundreds of artist, writers, poets and architects have created in this space. There are 30 studios at MacDowell, so you can only imagine how many people have come through here since they opened their doors. I have a great support group, but the energy of this place is one of the purest forms of support that an artist can get.
Yesterday I laid a ground of gesso on my tombstone, and I will sign it the day I leave.