Thursday, July 31, 2008

Today, tomorrow and Saturday are your last chances to see 9 Parts of Desire at California Stage.
Thursday, July 31st at 8:00 pm Friday, August 1st at 8:00 pm Saturday, August 2nd at 8:00 pm
Tickets are $12 general and $10 for seniors, students, SARTA members, and groups of 6 or more. Call 916-456-1600 or email beyondpro@sbcglobal.net
9 Parts of Desire is a fascinating meditation on love, loss, regret, motherhood, identity, war, and survival through the voices of nine Iraqi women as told by Iraqi-American playwright Heather Raffo.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Why all the mail art?

This one has been sent off to San Francisco for possible inclusion in a book about mail art. Won't know for at least a month if it gets in. But you've noticed the mail art frenzy I've been going through?
  • well I've been thinking about it too and it's probably because I'm trying to create a new piece of work for the Digital Art Guild Juried Show. The theme is Urban Legands and Country Tales. Which you'd think would be easy, except if you let your brain get in the way which is what I'm apparently doing
Big flying heaps o'rat dung! Just got an email that I didn't get into the Orange County Contemp show. sigh Maybe the animals were not cute enough. No one ever said that art was supposed to be just pretty.
  • Onward through the fog!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Go See 9 Parts of Desire

Beyond the Proscenium Productions, the theatre company I founded back in 1994, is extending the current production for two more weekends. Director Karen Nyland has done a stunning job as have the actors in this humourous, chilling and bittersweet look at Iraqi women.
  • Friday, July 25th at 8:00 pm Saturday, July 26th at 8:00 pm Sunday, July 27th at 2:00 pm Thursday, July 31st at 8:00 pm Friday, August 1st at 8:00 pm Saturday, August 2nd at 8:00 pm Tickets are $12 general and $10 for seniors, students, SARTA members, and groups of 6 or more. Call 916-456-1600 or email beyondpro@sbcglobal.net
9 Parts of Desire is a fascinating meditation on love, loss, regret, motherhood, identity, war, and survival through the voices of nine Iraqi women as told by Iraqi-American playwright Heather Raffo.
Iraq from a woman's point of view: featured story in The Sacramento Bee Ticket Section
"I allow the Iraqi point of view to be complex and divided. I allow the Iraqi voices to be on many sides of the issues facing Iraqis. I allow their deep and extensive history to be present in the play, even while talking about a contemporary issue. Essentially, I think audience members see in "9 Parts of Desire" the kinds of complex human stories they cannot find on TV or in the general media. And most specifically they are hearing from the women."
Read Marcus Crowder's interview with playwright Heather Raffo: http://www.sacbee.com/124/story/1059729.html
  • Sacramento News & Review

    9 Parts of Desire

    By Jeff Hudson More stories by this author...

    Playwright Heather Raffo’s harrowing script looks at life in Iraq during the past 30 years—through tyranny and war—from the perspective of multiple Iraqi women. We meet a painter, a doctor, an impish girl, a peddler selling family heirlooms and a devastated mother who lost her child when American bombs fell. We also meet two exiles and others who stayed, including some who got uncomfortably close to Saddam and his sons.

    As a writer, Raffo brings personal perspective to the task—her father is Iraqi, her mother American. Raffo originally performed this piece herself, as a solo show in Britain, New York and Los Angeles, winning several awards.

    In this mounting, by Sacramento’s ever-adventuresome Beyond the Proscenium Productions, the play is staged as an ensemble piece without intermission, featuring five or six cast members (depending on which night you attend); almost all of the segments are monologues, frequently intense.

    The names and faces onstage bespeak American diversity, but that doesn’t become a problem. Most segments manage to put you in the shoes of these Iraqi women, raised in a country with an ancient history, known at one time for literacy and medicine, now largely wrecked by mismanagement, military invasion and internal conflict. It’s a haunting, eye-opening evening.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Speaking of Mail Art

I had almost forgot about the work that I sent off to International Biennial of the Small Format in Venezuela or Bienal internacional del pequeno formato-Venezuela in Spanish. You can see this mail art here: http://bienalvenezuela.blogspot.com/search/label/u.s.a

Monday, July 21, 2008

Mail Art to Hungary

Did you know that Hungary was in the midst of a Renaissance? Neither did I until my friend Cherie forwarded me a call for mail art from Hungary. Seems it's been 550 years since their good King Matthias sat on the throne. I originally created this for an animals show in Orange County and then thought that I had to send some other work instead.
  • This piece is entitled Guarding Ancient Secrets and is based on a photograph I took while in London, a fractal and my old friend the broken angel.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Traveling to Colorado and Back, part 2

Were did we leave you last Gentle Reader? Ah yes, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, where we almost left the electric cord. That day we were determined to cross the Continental Divide at Monument Pass then onward to Cascade and then Colorado Springs. This is the view from the top of Monarch Pass, elevation 11,312 feet. My vertigo was so getting to me that we decided it was better to have me drive than sit in the passenger seat whining and moaning and having an anxiety attack. Thanks for being patient with me sweet Hubby!
  • After getting over the pass, it was on to Hwy 285 north and then up to Hwy 24 east to Cascade where we stopped to visit our friends Bud and Teresa. Then on to Colorado Springs where a clean motel bed awaited us for the next 2 days while visiting Me Brudder, his lovely wife Lisa and their tall and talented son Tristan. They had a cookout for us and even though we had rumblings of thunder and even a few rain drops, the storm moved further east and I caught this shot.
Our stay in the Springs was only 2 nights, then it was on to Denver to visit our friends Riki Matthews and Glen and Maryann Wolfel. We lunched with Riki and dinnered with Glen and Maryann. Next morning, we needed to be off so we could get home so I'd have a day to pant before heading up to Reno for the Nada Motel show. We had decided that we'd take I-80 on the way back, but both Me Brudder and Glen opined that we might be better off going Hwy 40 into Salt Lake City and picking up 80 there instead of driving all the way north to Cheyenne and then driving all the way through Wyoming.
  • After a quick check of the map, we realized they were right. So we took I-70 out of Denver over to Hwy 40 - which to my mind is almost as lonely as Hwy 50! And besides we'd go through Dinosaur National Monument and who knows what kind of "Beware of" signs we'd see there! We didn't see any beware signs, but check out the Flickr site for more photos of Dinosaur country. At one point we pulled over for a "beagle break" for Crash and I realized once more than he'd never be a desert dog!
He loves rolling in the grass too much! Once we hit I-80 in Salt Lake, I'd like to say that it was a breeze, but I'd be more honest to say that it was a gusty experience. And here we are in a 9 foot tall van, wheeeeee. After our stay in Salt Lake, we made it to Reno the next day and were almost tempted to try to push it home, but we both were pooped and Crash doesn't have a drivers license never mind an opposable thumb. So we stayed at the worst place to stay with a dog - please see previous post - and hit the road early the next day.
  • Wow, what a trip all in 9 days. We decided that one night each place didn't really give us much time to explore the areas where we were, but I was on a mission. You can see the rest of the photos at:
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/ann_tracy/
Now, all I have to do is process the photos from Nada Motel, which was great! I actually sold some work.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Hwy 50 to Colorado Springs... part 1

It was time to take a trip back to Colorado to visit me brudder and his family and friends of ours in Colorado Springs and up in Denver, some of whom we had not seen in about 20 years! We lived in Denver when I was first working in radio news (1977) then moved to Milwaukee so that the dear Hubby could learn mold design (die cast die and plastic) from his Dad who had an office in Hubby's old bedroom. We lived there for five years before moving out to California, but I digress!
  • This was more recent history as we left Sacca-tomatoes on June 16th and set out on what is alleged be one of American's "loneliest roads", Highway 50, whose fortune was eclipsed by the building of the interstate system in the late 1950s.
We didn't see many cars on the road as we ventured into Nevada. We were in the camper van with Crash! the dog. (If only I could think of a way to write his story as a musical.)
  • But we saw a lot of these signs
Apparently warning us of wild bulls or steer or cows - can you tell I'm more of a city girl? The drive through Nevada was, in a word, boring. Although we did go through some scenic little towns like Eureka, an old mining town that looks as if it's hanging in there.
  • We stopped for the night at this little State Park where there was a reservoir and green for that part of arid Nevada. Next morning brought us to Ely for breakfast at a funny little casino, very western and mom and pop in a way. I actually won $20 on a wheel of fortune machine on my way back from the ladies room! Wahooo. You'll see couple of great shots on the Flickr site including why artists should NOT move to Ely.
We then drove through the last part of Nevada and into Utah. But we did stop at a little state park that had petroglyphs, which will resurface in some art in another year or so I bet. Here's one and you'll find more on that Flickr site.
  • We had high hopes of making it to Green River, Utah before nightfall so we could make camp. The hubby had scoped out another state park that looked like it was right near the river, which was very appealing because it was incredibly hot out that day.
But before we left Nevada, we passed by this arch near a ranch that had been completely covered by old bones and antlers. The hubby was driving and realized that I wanted a photo so he pulled over so I could get this shot. It reminds me of the big bone arch that was up at the Burning Man Festival the first year I went in 1996.
  • It's tough to post many photos to this blog because they always end up at the top and you have to drag them down, so look for fantastic shots of driving into Utah on the Flickr site.
We pulled over in a little town for lunch - sandwiches that I made in the camper - when I spied one of those kitchsy fake deer that people put out on their lawns, except they had made it even better, by wiring real antlers to it! Ya gotta see it, you know where!
  • When we finally arrived in Green River, Utah, I don't know who was happier, me or Crash. Both of us for the same reason actually, the green grass at the campsites at another great little state park. Can you tell I'm a fan of state parks? They're so much nicer than those "RV Parks", where everyone is crowded in cheek to jowl. And I don't care if we don't have electric hook ups because that's not the reason we're camping.
And I finally remembered to have the hubby take a photo of me with the Webist sign. Thanks Ingrid for sending me the high resolution version of the sign. and thanks to all the Webist artists who are joining in solidarity all over the world!
  • The next morning it was off to Colorado and to a national park called Black Canyon of the Gunnison, which is a river (and a college town nearby) that runs through this incredibly tall, but narrow canyon. The Park website puts it better than I can:

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring down through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

  • There were three camping loops at the south rim, one of which actually had electric hook ups! By this time my camera battery was getting low so this was a good thing. It seems that they want to ban generators, which is all well and good in my book, but also offer the park to camping wienies such as myself, who don't want to backpack in and sleep on the ground.
And at the elevation that we were at there - over 8,000 - it was blessedly cooler than it had been the previous days. We took a drive around the park where I rediscovered my vertigo! but Crash was a happy dog getting in and out of the van with us to see the sights there. And except for forgetting the electric cord and driving away without it, the camping there was uneventful. The dear hubby noticed it when we stopped for a bathroom break before we were even out of the park, so no harm, no foul!
  • Then we were on our way first to Cascade to visit our friend Bud and his new bride Teresa and then onto Colorado Springs for a couple of days with the one and only Atomic Elroy aka me brudder, his wonderful wife Lisa and his getting very tall son Tristan. Join me for part two once I get those photos processed maybe by week's end.
Go here to see more photos on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/ann_tracy/

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Art Reception at Luna's

My sweet Hubby took this photo of me by one of the art pieces I have currently on display at Luna's Cafe in Sacramento until the end of July. I'm processing the Colorado photos for the web right now and hope to have a post by tomorrow. But it will probably be a 2 or 3 parter!