How great to wind up my last days working in Sporting Club as well as my life in Spain with the Biannual event known as RussafArt. More than 50 artists and their studios opened for a long weekend art walk. Look for me and several photos of Sporting Club in this great slide show of RussafArt published by Valencia Plaza magazine.
Events at our studio included a dance/performance piece about a tormented artist and his muse. She danced in his “studio” while he brooded over a cigarette. Then he started sculpting her not knowing weather to paint her or love her. Oh, how we artists are so tortured! Not usually being a fan of most performance art, I have to admit this was a beautiful piece with expressive dancing and a wonderful interaction between the actors on stage. The audience loved it too and it was a great way to kick off the feeling of being in an art studio for the three day event:
The last evening of the art walk the organizers of RussafArt asked all the participating artists present to come on stage together to acknowledge our participation and hard work. Then we were all treated to live Cuban music which closed the event with a bang. Everyone got up from their seats and started dancing. It was amazing.
Since this was my last month in residence in Sporting Club Russafa, I have decided to profile my fellow artists as a tribute and a thank-you for welcoming me into the studio we all shared.
Josie was the first friend and artist I met in Valencia. She introduced me to Sporting Club and we became fast friends. I love the stage in this portrait she is working on which shows how painterly the work is on its way to becoming photo realistic. We discussed the possibility of a future painting at this scale to have some elements hyper-rendered and to leave others more loosely painted. She liked the idea and said it would allow the viewer to realize that her work was in fact a painting and not a photograph.
José was my studio mate in Sporting Club Russafa. I will miss his ever present smile and ingenious problem solving. Never too busy to help any studio mate, José would put down his own brush to help me or anyone else in the collective. Here he is in front of a mural he just completed for an exhibition at the Museu Colon Vidal in Catalonia. Click here to see a slide show of the mural in progress.
Curro was the father of the space. More than just the exhibition curator, Curro would help prepare the walls and hung all the group exhibitions. He was also the only original member of the collective still working in Sporting Club. His witty and ironic sculptures never ceased to make me smile.
Ana is one of the few member of Sporting who makes a living entirely from her work. In addition to her jewelry business, Ana is also a sculptor and a performance artists. I’m glad to be returning to LA with several of her pieces.
Elena has been an honorary member of Sporting Club for many years but only just recently moved into a space in the warehouse. I love the work she makes with tree bark; painstakingly removing certain hues and meticulously cutting them into tiny squares. She then re-assembles the bark onto panels like the piece behind her in the photo above.
Rodrigo just moved into Sporting during my last month so I didn’t have a chance to get to know him very well. But he did help me usher out a very weird visitor during RussafArt by claiming I was not in the studio; the whole time I was but a few feet away. Josie was very pleased when I relayed the story to her and exclaimed that every studio needs a Rodrigo.
It is amazing how easily we slid into our new lives here in Spain. During the opening for the group show at my studio last month, My husband and I both remarked how we will miss our community of good friends, adopted family, and compañeros. Getting over the homesickness, learning a new language, and taking our children away from their home and friends was a challenge. But all that finally gave way to a wonderful adventure for all of us. How can I possibly thank my adopted city and friends? I feel thankful that now I will always have them. So this is not goodbye but only ¡Hasta luego! Having friends in many countries just makes the world feel a little smaller. I thank you and I feel loved.
This month’s Music:
In the months leading up to our move to Spain, the radio (by radio I of course mean KCRW) was playing the song Valencia by Josh Rouse. We hadn’t made a final decision to move yet but one day while we were discussing the idea, the song came on again and I finally relented to my husband to make the move that friends and family later called brave. I call it a great adventure.
During the last six months or so, having to wind down our lives in Valencia have been difficult and hearing songs like Jamestown Revival’s California “Cast Iron Soul” have tried to nudge me back the reality of our departure. Returning to Los Angeles might prove to be the bravest move yet.