A few weeks ago, I made the trip to my birth state of Wisconsin. When leaving for graduate school as young “puppy”, the future was unknown. Looking back, how would an older Jenny advise a younger one?
Stepping off the plane in Milwaukee started to compare and contrast the similarities and differences between this world and California. The light, sky, and smells are familiar while both have heart and soul. These connections lure one back into the folds of the Great Lakes across the Rocky Mountains towards the shores of the Pacific Ocean and back. Again.
A few nights were spent in downtown Madison with vistas of Lake Monona and a cityscape dotted with lush trees. For the first time, I was able to investigate the state capital and its beauty. A passerby inquired about my sketching, audio and video recordings. Valuable aesthetic information was gathered here.
A tour of the public library with a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point alumni reaped surprising rewards. It is a newly built temple of knowledge and history. Across the street is the Madison Museum of Contemporary showcasing regional sensibilities to Andy Warhol prints.
Northwards, had a chance to visit my undergraduate school. Professor Robert Stolzer, graciously extended an invite to draw with his class and engage with students. Could I be meeting the next art star? Maybe. Location doesn’t dictate dreams: only one’s will and determination.
Daniel Chester French created the statue for the Lincoln Memorial and the stoic woman perched on top of the capitol dome in Wisconsin. It is symbol of the state’s motto of “forward.” While filming video of its grandeur, a policeman politely questioned my intentions. Sometimes going back means progress. Ask my older self.