*This is the second of three writings exploring a teacher residency at the Cleveland Institute of Art. The experience explores the creative spirit between father and daughter. Summer celebrates the gift of time.
As the teacher residency at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) starts, studio organization and routine is very important. Details such as outlets to plug in electronics and having a large supply of caffeine are key to success. The CIA offers a seamless program responsive to the needs of residents. A slice of heaven exists in Cleveland.
The twelve-day residency comes with a packed schedule. The greatest hits included artist supplies, studio time, critiques, field trips, and catered lunches. Some positive interludes featured a group visit to Spaces gallery and the Cleveland Museum of Art. No excuses or procrastination needed, everything is provided for this impressive cohort of artist educators from across the country.
Now that everything was perfect, time to work. The Poems For A Gentle Person residency concept explores the rhythmic patterns of my father’s spoken word and poetry. The final project is to be a series of abstract animations and drawings.
The residency drawings are based on my father’s poem:
the tips of trees
In quiet commotion
It took almost 6 hours to make a final decision on the white space/border for the drawings. Next step is to carefully measure and grid a precise rectangle with 1/4 inch markers. The first 48 hours is a challenge: how to limit overworked patterns, accept failures, and push past boundaries.
The animation process is similar but different. After a poem selection, a storyboard is created while repeating my father’s spoken word audio. As abstract imagery develops so does purpose. A 30 second animation takes 12-15 hours to complete. Time is of the essence.
The first animation is based on my father’s poem:
may the crows forget we are here
so a fawn will move in alfalfa before us
flanks of blizzards and spring orchards
let the sumacs shake
and a doe be on that open edge
of dusk and popple
i want to tell
the artist behind
the forty acres of plantation pine
when her daughter laughs in the swings
the doe raises its head
then resumes feeding
As the first week concluded, my father flew to Cleveland from Madison. The visit would be for four days sharing inspirations, limitations, and goals. We worked together with a common vision. Deadlines were quickly approaching with an exhibition opening only a few days away. Onwards!