Taratories Blog

Journey: Wales Residency

For three months I have been planning and anticipating this artist residency in Wales.  There was so much to get ready for this trip and I was exhausted before I ever began!  So many mixed emotions were swirling around in my head... excitement, sadness, nervousness, questioning the unknowns, etc.  It was hard to say goodbye, but I knew deep down that it would all be worth it in the end.  

When I got to my gate in Newark, I saw the sign at my gate, "Birmingham, England" it said.  All of a sudden, I got an unexpected lump in my throat and I started to realize that this was really happening- I was going back home!  As I sat down in the plane a conversation started up immediately with the two sweet women next to me.  When the words, "rubbish, jumper, and wellies" came out of their mouths i could just taste how close I was getting to England.  I told them that I hadn't been to Great Britain for 28 years.  We were in the same kind of situation because they hadn't been to the States for over 20 years and they were just returning. I found myself wanting to let my English accent surface as they were speaking which was unexpected for me!

I landed safely but then had a little situation soon after.  I went to exchange money at the airport and found that they couldn't take any of my bank cards because they didn't have chips in them.  Europe has gone to all chip cards.  My husband ended up sending money to me through Western Union and saved the day!  Needless to say I was in a panic and almost missed my train.  I then boarded a train for Machynlleth, Wales.  As we left Birmingham, England and drew closer to Wales, the hills became higher and the sheep grew in number, and I grew in excitement!

Two and a half hours later I arrived.  I had just enough time to stop at a local pub to get some fish and chips and pick up some groceries before I had to catch the bus.  The pub was everything you would ever picture to be in Wales.  Low ceilings with wood beams, a big stone fireplace, and the sounds of chatter at the bar in unique English and Welsh accents.  I had a little time to pick up a few snacks at a local shop which included cadbury's chocolate and crumpets of course.  By this time my luggage was really starting to feel unbearable to carry.  I had an entire suitcase filled with art supplies, a HUGE hiking backpack filled with shoes, clothes, and other things, and a backpack I used as my purse.  I was sweating, shaking, beginning to feel like I couldn't make it another step.  But I was so close I had to keep going!!  I arrived at the clock in the center of town and waited to board my bus.

The bus took me 5 miles down the road to a little town called Corris where I would be staying.  I was dropped off at the top of a big hill and made my descent like a mule in Mexico.  At last I spotted it, "Stiwdio Maelor" and knocked on the door.  A sweet volunteer, Yuki, greeted me and took me for a tour of the place.  I wound up the twisty staircase until I got to my room and attached studio.  The views from the windows were amazing, all I ever imagined.  The stone houses with the slate roofs and flower boxes, the forests above and the wet ground below.  

After I loaded all of my luggage in my room, I flopped on my bed in exhaustion... and cried.  The fatigue from losing a night of sleep and all the travel left me in a strange place.  I didn't know what to do next.  My body didn't want to move.  I was processing everything and was in a weird place of transition.  I unpacked and put on some music.  Then I grabbed a cup of hot tea, nutella crumpet, a hot shower and a warm robe.  As I stood looking at my neatly organized table of art supplies, I dreamed of what the next day would hold...

Art Trumps Football

Yesterday my husband and I spent the afternoon on a date at the Akron Art Museum.  I wanted to see the new exhibit called Beauty Reigns:  A Baroque Sensibility in Recent Painting.  

"Beauty Reigns features the work of 13 emerging and mid-career abstract painters, working in studios across the United States. The exhibition celebrates the exoticism, exuberance and optimism found in the artists’ work. Among the characteristics these artists share are high-key color, layered surface imagery, use of overall and repeated patterns, stylized motifs and a tension between melancholy and the sublime."

There were a lot of interesting pieces, but my favorite ones were done by the artist, Christopher Pekoc.  He is a mixed media artist who makes photographically-based assemblages where the surfaces are machine stitched together.  These are a few of my favorite pieces...

I love the program that went with this show. I love that it was filled with pictures straight from the artists studios with photos of them working to show their processes.  I have always loved visiting artists studios and I think this excerpt from the program says it all...

Here are a few artists featured...

Not only did we enjoy the fruits of these artists' labor, we made the front page of the newspaper today!  What a surprise to see my face on the front page of the Akron Beacon Journal today and an article inside entitled "Art trumps football for some fans"!  This article says it all.  My husband and I are so different in our interests, but I am thankful that he takes the time to step into my world of art now and then.  I wish I could say that I step into the world of sports now and then, but I don't.  A Super Bowl game would be a torturous few hours for me considering I don't even understand how the game is played!  Brad and I can laugh about how different we are and we still find a way to mesh well together despite our differences. 

Here is an excerpt from the article in the paper:  

Akronites Tara and Brad Deetscreek said they were split on the importance of the game. While Brad was gaining points by taking his wife to the museum, he knew he would be home long before the game began. 

Tara, a mixed-media artist who picked the itinerary for the couple’s “date day,” said the Super Bowl competitors weren’t on her radar.

“I have no idea, nor do I care,” said the mother of four boys who she said share her disdain of the game.

“He’ll hibernate up in his room,” Tara said of her husband.

Brad Deetscreek, who professed to “love football,” said he was fine with that arrangement. He just wanted his bride to be happy and thought there would be fewer people visiting the museum on a snowy day.

“We’ve been married 16 years and I want to keep it that way,” he explained.

CLICK HERE for the full article and photographs of me and Brad at the museum.