The game's afoot
Hear the Echoes - again!
Wonderful news on the horizon: I recently learned that the State of New Mexico will be purchasing one of my Original Collages. “Hear the Echoes” a landscape of the iconic red cliffs in northern New Mexico, is actually an homage to the poets, with the names of 39 poets embedded in the cliffside. The piece will be on permanent display in a state building in Albuquerque. The installation will be in a few months or possibly early 2023. I am very pleased to be granted this honor. I wanted to express how creativity and culture is deeply imbued in the people, so much that it becomes part of the land itself.
In 2019 the image of Hear the Echoes was featured on a poster promoting a state-wide competition for high school students in which students recite memorized poetry, following strict rules including selecting only poems in the Poetry Foundation collection. I was proud to be part of their moment, and now I am proud to have that commemorated by the state.
I have a small number of posters available for sale in my Etsy shop DECOfineartcollage, as well as a small giclée print of Hear the Echoes.
August marked the return to my hometown Chicago for the annual Fest for Beatles Fans. We fans haven’t gathered there since 2019 and being with the crowd was like celebrating a gigantic family reunion. In addition to enjoying the live bands and hearing the latest news, I did my usual job directing the activities of the Art Room, that is, managing the art contest, and presenting the awards, helped by my colleague, Marlene Weisman. We also created a colorful trippy installation that the attendees used as a photo backdrop for their selfies. Marlene is an established collage artist from Brooklyn, and together we presented a multimedia presentation on “Psychedelic Art and the Beatles” focusing on the London-based arts collectives that the Fab Four supported. Our work was augmented by a musical soundtrack compiled by the buoyant podcaster Ethan Alexanian (@fansontherun) whose knowledge was encyclopedic. We have plans to develop the presentation further for the Fest in Jersey City in March. We also are hoping to tap into utilizing the vocal talents of Laila Ortiz and Skylar Moody - give a listen to them at Apple Scruffs Podcast.
I led the Beatles Poetry Jam and co-led the Memories of Fest panel. But the highlight of the weekend was the debut of an original Role-Playing Game, which I created with my partners in the Troika, Victoria Pichla Luz and Walter Podrazik. We’ve written dramas for the Fest and this was our first venture into “something completely different”. I called it “Beatles & Bedlam: The Race to the Rooftop” – and it takes in the legendary world of the Apple Corps building at No. Savile Row in London on the fateful day of January 30, 1969. If you don’t know what the fuss was about, take a peek at Peter Jackson’s epic documentary “Get Back.” Marlene was instrumental in completing our game boards (one for each floor!) in the countdown to play time. Guided by the experienced James Ryan, Wally narrated the action as our intrepid players and denizens of Apple and beyond had comedic improv encounters. Rajah the world-famous Tiger (played by Victoria) scared the bejeezus out of players. We recruited esteemed guests and willing staff and volunteers from the audience. A special treat was having Chris Odell, who had a front row seat (so to speak) at the original rooftop concert, in our audience hooting with laughter at the depictions of some of the people she worked with. I would love to tell you who we had in the show, but I don’t want to tip our hand and reveal them because we intend to bring this Game to the Fest in Jersey City.
I made some good connections at the Fest, with friendship and camaraderie. In the last week, I have been exploring the potential of Beatles art sales in Europe and another exciting project with fan art. Fingers crossed!
Marlene and I were keen to have a participatory installation in the Fest Art Room, and we selected on a Wishing Tree, an homage to Yoko Ono’s original and ongoing installation of the same name, started in 1996. For us, this involved recruiting two members of the Fest staff to go “tree hunting” in the woods on the Des Plaines River behind the Hyatt hotel for an 8-foot-tall branching specimen. They aced the mission (thank you Josh and Catie!) and Marlene and I “planted” it in a decorated hotel trashcan and set out tags and markers nearby. The tree grew from bare to burgeoning over the weekend as people added their heartfelt hopes.
Here comes the sun
Have you ever had a day when you are worried about changes, conflicts and uncertainty? And you become distracted from what is true and essential? I did today, and I did what often helps clear my head; I went for a walk. I walked along the arroyo, following a path I haven’t taken in a while, and as I went along, sighing and breathing deeply, I saw a message written on asphalt; it stopped me in my tracks. The words were faded, but I could read them… ”Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles. Instantly I heard George’s vocals and guitar in my head, playing as if just for me – “it’s all right” and just like that…it was.
Wishing you sunny days!
Love and peace!
D E C O
Art, news and thoughts from Santa Fe, New Mexico
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November 11-13, 2022
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W Marcy St., Santa Fe
March 4 to 27, 2022
at Ghostwolf Gallery
206-1/2 San Felipe St NW
National Collage Society
Annual Juried Exhibition
Until November 15, 2021
Recycle Santa Fe