Friday, August 27

Friend Friday!

Hey, that's a lot of Friends!
(photo: Dainis Roman)
An enormous crowd of Philadelphia's red-hot talented artists showed up at Camphill Special School on Saturday August 7. What was going on? Plein Air for Camphill. The artists gathered to do their art thing, but of course the day included socializing and feasting (people were treated to three gourmet meals featuring school-grown and otherwise locally raised food:yum!) I am the creator of this fun and unique plein air event which raises money for my son Henry's wonderful school. In particular its program for 18-21 year olds (an under-served segment of the special needs population.)

The actual money-raising part of the event comes later...when we hold an exhibition of the work at Rosenfeld Gallery in Old City, Philadelphia. Save the date: Tuesday, October 5, 5:30-8:30 pm. Food, drinks, live music and live artists too! ;-) Last year the event was a succès fou (here is a video that shows the huge, happy, crowd!)

This is the second year of what looks to be an annual event. Last year it was called Plein Air at Beaver Farm, but as Beaver Farm (part of Camphill Special School) is undergoing construction this year (expanding so that more 18-21 year olds can be served) we couldn't hold the big art day there! Stymied by our own success in fund-raising! So, as the event was moved temporarily to Camphill Special School's main campus, we decided to change the name to the more all-purpose Plein Air for Camphill. This will enable us to hold the event at any number of different locations in future, but clearly explains the beneficiary of the effort, wherever it is located! I hope this is clear (and not as mud!)

So, why is this plein air event unique? Because I invite all manner of different excellent artists, not just traditional plein air artists (outdoor landscape painters.) This year I believe PAC was absolutely groundbreaking in having Dale Roberts doing en plein air encaustic painting (complete with hot plate and hair dryer and lots of heavy duty extension cords) and Amy Kann and Stephen Layne doing plein air clay sculpture! Now THAT is some seriously heavy lifting! It was also a thrill to have cartoonist Tony Auth and book artist David Wiesner joing in the fun this year. Back again this year was Fay Stanford drawing directly onto the wooden boards which she will carve into woodcut blocks, and Aina Roman taking photos which she will turn into video collages. This kind of eclecticism would have a regular plein air event organizer scratching their head, but this exciting, innovative mix is exactly what I love and want.

I am so grateful for all the time, energy and enthusiasm shown by the 57 artists participating this year. I'm also thankful for the gallery directors, the Camphill community and all the other friends who are helping and supporting me (you know who you are!) Too numerous to name everyone here, but their names are written on my heart.

Some random shots of the day:

Wednesday, August 18

Tomato Taste Test

And the winner is...

undecided! Paul and I had some gardening friends over for dinner and a homegrown tomato taste test last weekend. On the table were these varieties: Black Krim, Green Zebra, Cherokee Purple, Aunt Ruby's German Green, Red Brandywine, Amish Paste, San Marzano, Speckled Roma, Coyote and Sun Gold. One friend brought Italian bread, fresh mozzarella and a homemade cheese-less pesto (because another of the friends is a vegan) to go with the tomatoes. After a while (and enough glasses of wine) all I could really taste was the incredibly delicious pesto, punctuated by slightly different degrees of acidity and sweetness from the various tomatoes. NOT the best way to conduct a tomato tasting! (Fun though)

We've agreed to hold it again in early September and try to be more scientific about it. Any suggestions?

Monday, August 16

Henry and Me (an hour ago)

Happy pink moment-
after the storm sunset beams
on my smiling boy

photo credit: Paul Downs