Hello from San Francisco! In the space of just four hours I found myself transported from 2ft of snow in Chicago to the warmth of the west coast of America. I feel that the climate here in California suits me much better.
Yesterday, Monday, I checked into the hotel and immediately wanted to go out and walk in the sun. The Chicago weather had meant that I could not just wander from place to place, so the pull of the coast meant that I was in and out of my hotel within an hour.
The draw of my English accent really came to the fore when, on the way back from a walking for a couple of hours along the coast, a woman, hearing my accent, came and sat next to me on the bus. She also had a British accent, was originally from London, and had come to San Francisco to visit her husband, who was working here temporarily, and never left. That was over 3 decades ago.
I had to get off at the next stop, so in typical friendly San Francisco style, she got off with me and we spent the next 2 hours in a café talking about the arts here in SF, and about how she had started playing football at forty, a pursuit which continued for over 20 years, until her achilles tendon ruptured and put a stop to her semi-professional career.
It was such a lovely, unexpected first afternoon here! We’re meeting on my last day, Sunday afternoon, for a leaving ice-cream in sunny San Francisco.
Today, Tuesday, I’m in SF MOMA looking at the Robert Rauschenberg exhibition. I’ve always been intrigued by his work, and of course his links with Agnes Martin. They lived in the same studio down on the Slip that I visited in New York earlier in my trip. I think this exhibition has travelled from Tate?
I’ve requested a meeting with a curator here to talk about Outsider Art within the MOMA collection. Trina, the amazing MOMA information assistant, is going to pass my request to the right person, so hopefully that will happen, if not today, then at some other point during my stay.
On Wednesday, I’m spending Valentine’s day at Creativity Explored, which I’m really looking forward to.
‘Creativity Explored exists to provide people with developmental disabilities the opportunity to express themselves through the creation of art. Additionally, we provide studio artists the opportunity to earn income from the sale of their artwork and to pursue a livelihood as a visual artist to the fullest extent possible.
A key focus of Creativity Explored’s services is to support those individuals with developmental disabilities who wish to become self-employed artists in creating and operating fully viable and profitable businesses.’
On Thursday, I’ll be travelling a little further afield to Oakland to spend the day with Sarah Galender Meyer, the Gallery and Exhibitions Manager and her team at the Creative Growth Arts Centre.
‘Creative Growth Art Center is a non-profit that serves artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities, providing a professional studio environment for artistic development, gallery exhibition and representation and a social atmosphere among peers.’ (www.creativegrowth.org)
I’m meeting artist Lisa Sebastian on Friday, but I’ve also tried to keep some time free in case I get the opportunity to meet with someone from MOMA.
Saturday and Sunday will be spent exploring, but also putting final preparations in place for the flight to Tokyo and making sure that all the appointments and meeting arrangements are in place for the final leg of my trip!