Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Graduates


On Monday night Chloe walked across the stage at the Orpheum Theatre downtown and received her high school diploma!  I admit I got a little teary, but no one ever mentions that getting your kids through the first 12 years of school (oh yeah-13 counting kinder), feels like as much of an accomplishment as when you did it yourself! All those early mornings of dragging kids out of bed, struggling through math (or any other subject) lessons with them, dealing with bullying, finding the "right" school, ugh ... It just goes on!


The ceiling of the Orpheum is painted like a sky with stars and looks rather stunning.

The audience coming in.

Chloe onstage with the other grads.


Getting her diploma. She also received the literary arts award which was a huge honor and came with a $150 grant from her school. 


The candle light ceremony at the end.

 Mike and Chloe outside the theater afterwards.

The very next night was Phoebe's promotion/graduation from Madison #1 Middle School.

Phoebe and her friend Nina after the ceremony.


The graduation cake! Congratulations girls!!

In other news I finished my sketch for my Morocco residency....

Drawing for "Night over Tétouan"- my planned sculpture installation.  Right now I'm trying to raise the funds for myself and my family to get the rabies vaccine before we leave. It costs $250 a dose and each of us need 3 doses ... costing $3750! Anyway here's my Gofundme (that's going quite badly so far, but fingers crossed that we won't have to go and risk it!)



Friday, May 20, 2016

Naomi's off to the Grand Canyon and a life changing opportunity

Early yesterday morning we dropped Naomi off at her school at 4am and put her on a bus with 100 of her classmates....

The sixth grade class gathered at predawn to head north on a visit to the Grand Canyon.

 Naomi and Kari taking selfies on the bus!

Arriving at the canyon...
 The ranger explaining not to feed the squirrels.

 One of Naomi's perfect canyon photos...



Naomi at the canyon.

Naomi with Nathanial.

A perfect day at the canyon.

 In other news, I've been invited to an artist residency in Morocco for next summer (2017)!! It's an amazing opportunity for me and huge for my career. My project is to create a small scale cityscape of my host city, of Tétouan, Morocco, complete with glowing windows and and a massive moon and stars that hang above. The installation is called "Night over Tétouan"

Moon and stars piece.

My thumbnail of the installation. The city will be 3d not a silhouette  like in the drawing.
I'll need to get some rooftop photos to create it though.


It's an opportunity to share my art with people from very different cultures. I will be working with local high school students who come by the studios and through my installation I hope to reach out to the local community. While the residency is already partially funded and I've already covered some expenses I still need to raise more funds to cover incidentals and a bunch of vaccines needed to travel to Africa.  Anyway I just set up a Gofundme here!










Sunday, May 15, 2016

Visiting Biosphere 2



Last week was my birthday, but with Chloe's prom and many other things going on, we decided to celebrate this weekend. So I grabbed the groupon I purchased for a trip to Biosphere 2 and we all headed down there on Saturday!


Here's Mike milling around the visitor's center... If Biosphere 2 is in Oracle, Arizona where is Biosphere 1 you ask? Well you're in it, it's planet earth.


On our walk to find our tour group.

 Still looking for the door.


Looking into the rainforest section.  Biosphere 2 has a variety of habitats, the rainforest, the savannah, the desert etc.

Still looking for that door.

Hey we found the hatch to go in! And our tour group was right inside.

So now we headed to the rain forest.

On the way we past the ocean.

Looking at the ocean.

In 1991 a crew of scientists were sealed inside the Biosphere for 2 years to see if all their needs could be met, including oxygen, which turned out to be the problem. Anyway they obviously needed some frankencense, because who doesn't?


Entering the rainforest.

 

Boats in the ocean.


 Inside the rainforest (it was a bit crowded).

Staircase down to the ocean.

Out thru the window.

Walking through the savannah habitat.


Here we are entering the desert region, which unlike the desert outside was surprisingly windy and comfortable.

The octopus cactus.

Listening to the guide about the incubators in the experiment on the balcony.


This was when things got really interesting. They took us below to see the underworkings of the site. Here we are walking through the desert basement. 


Next we headed to the south lung... This journey included traversing  many, many tunnels.


Inside the tunnels.

Mike taking selfies in the tunnel.

The tunnel gets smaller.


 Mike in the smaller tunnel.

Finally at the lung!

This room was massive and VERY echoy. The lung was the massive disk attached to rubber that moved up and down with the air pressure. It was actually pretty amazing.

Finally time to exit.


Through this hatch was a blast of air to get through to the outside.

From here we walked out on the grounds.

Phoebe waiting for the tour guide.

Mike and I.

 An arabian water marker-it has a better name, but I forget what the tour guide called it.

We also had a chance to see the lunar greenhouse.

This is a prototype of what will be sent to the moon once a long term facility is established.

Naomi walking outside.


This is the kitchen for the Biosphere crew.

Chloe standing in the kitchen.


Staircase to crew quarters. They really had a great place to stay. They said that every six days each crew member had to make dinner, breakfast and lunch for everyone. Bad cooks had to learn fast because they had limited ingredients that they grew and no way to "save" lost food with seasonings.

It was a pretty amazing place and it makes me want to see that crazy movie with Paulie Shore from years ago.


 
 

 



 

"People are willing to take these extraordinary chances to become writers, musicians, or painters, and because of them, we have a culture. If this ever stops, our culture will die, because most of our culture, in fact, has been created by people that got paid nothing for it--people like Edgar Allan Poe, Vincent Van Gogh or Mozart."-Kurt Vonnegut

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