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Showing posts from April, 2009

School at Blair Grocery has a blog!

Check it out - and Greenhills people who were in New Orleans over spring break notice how much has grown since we worked there!

upcoming workshops

I'm teaching a lot of encaustic workshops lately. There are still openings in two that are coming up in May and June.

Advanced encaustic - May 30 from 10am to 4pm at BBACThis workshop is intended for those who have either taken a previous encaustic class or encaustic workshop. It builds on prior encaustic experience focusing on big texture, mixed media, incorporating one's imagery and collage. Students are encouraged to bring drawings, prints or works on paper they would like to incorporate into this rewarding medium.

and

Encaustic Collage - June 27-28, Saturday 10-5 & Sunday 10-4 at Yourist Studio Gallery
Encaustic’s ancient Egyptian roots date back 2000 years. It is a beautiful, luminous material made from bees wax and pigment. By applying layers of wax one is able to achieve various textures and relief. It is also the collage medium par excellence. Participants will learn how to use encaustic as an element in mixed media assemblage. This two-day workshop will explore the…

New Orleans - still contemplating housing

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I'm still thinking about New Orleans and think I will never stop. I'm not naive and I've spent a fair amount of time in parts of Detroit that are also shockingly destroyed but the level of destruction and lack of reconstruction in many parts of New Orleans is truly horrifying.

street scene - 5th ward

boarded up house - 5th ward

another boarded up house

porch - can't remember exactly where

lovely tree in Garden District

row of trees - also in the Garden District.

The difference in feel in the areas that lost all their trees compared to the Garden District, which is full of magnificent huge trees, is dramatic. Most of the trees in the 9th ward and the bits of the the 5th ward I explored are gone. All other issues aside this one is very noticable and very sad. Locals tell me the lower 9th had equal numbers of gorgeous trees before Katrina. The contrast is stark and obviously makes a huge difference in the heat of the summer.

finished Make It Right House

Make it Right house b…

New Orleans - a petition

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I'm back from New Orleans and still processing all that we saw and experienced. I'll be posting more on this in the future to be sure. In the meantime, Robert Green sent me this petition. I signed it and think it's tremendously important - please sign it and share the link. Here's the text:

"On August 29th , 2005 Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. The hurricane terrorized the whole city. Many, fortunate enough to evacuate, did so in frightful haste. The many poor, were left behind to weather the storm and fend for themselves. Katrina came and with it, a storm surge 13 to 18 feet high. The remaining residents of Lower 9th Ward persevered and then…. The federally built levees broke. Over 1,300 lives were lost, 22,000 homes were destroyed, and hundreds of thousands of people were dislocated. The federal government, slow to initially respond eventually showed up, after national outrage over President Bush and FEMA’s performance. The surviving and returning re…

New Orleans - Day Ten - last day here

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Today was a day we divided up and went to a variety of places. One group went to ARNO, one group went to the St Bernard Parish Community Center and our group went to Turner's Blair Grocery School where we worked in the garden for a good chunk of the day. We built raised beds, weeded, watered, hauled vast quantities of dirt and compost and had a great time getting sweaty and dirty.

tired gardeners
A famous view we drove past most days - it was very striking to see where so many people sheltered under terrible conditions during Katrina. On a couple of occasions we drove past it when events were getting out and traffic wasn't noticably heavy. A clear sign of a terrible economy.
house in poorer neighborhood - lots of houses here are painted in wonderful colors. The older ones with lots of picked out details remind me of San Francisco.
Yet another roof in terrible shape

Beautiful big tree in the Garden District. Most of the trees in the lower 9th ward were lost during or post Katr…

New Orleans - Day Nine - back to work

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The two houses above are near each other in the lower 9th ward - they really illustrate the range of repair and lack thereof in the neighborhood - although there are many houses in worse repair than the first one.

We did more work in the 9th ward village today but I won't post those pictures just now since they're more of the same.

We went out to lunch at Willie Mae's Restaurant in the 5th Ward today. This is a place with an amazing history. Before Katrina Willie Mae the woman won a James Beard award for her wonderful food - absolutely fabulous fried chicken. She'd never heard of the award until she won it at age 89. The restaurant was badly damaged by Katrina and repaired by the neighborhood. It reopened with many famous chefs in attendance. There was a program on the restaurant on the Food Channel which Amanda Harper and I had both seen and been intrigued by and another story on NPR. Given all this history we had to try it. The food was amazing. People kept co…

New Orleans - Day Eight - Easter

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One of many street musicians. She was terrific!

Not surprisingly there were many people elegantly attired with many fabulous hats today.

Snazzy couple

float at Easter Parade - flying beads are hazardous

more parade

pretty in pink

Freaked out miniature horse at parade

float w/jazz band in parade
French Quarter architecture

Mrs Wolkoff at Jackson Square

Mr Donato joined the break dancers

Cathedral at Jackson Square

Time for café au lait and beignets at Café du Monde


Clearly a rough day with lots of hard work. More seriously today was a real glimpse of the wonderful New Orleans culture. It was also a striking sign of the lousy economy because the crowds were thin. Nice for us, not good for the local economy which depends so heavily on tourism.

tomorrow we're back to work!