I can't believe it's the middle of April.....time sure has flown by !! I have really enjoyed this little town of Red Lodge and I am meeting some great people and enjoying the 'western/small town' culture. Here are some pics from the last month that will provide you a window into my time and experiences here in Montana.
This first gallery has some images of the workshop I conducted with members of the community. It was a free workshop open to all who were interested in making tiles that reflect the community of Red Lodge. It was a lot of fun and I had the opportunity to meet a lot of wonderfully people who live here. I learned that Red Lodge is a great, tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone, most folks don't lock their doors and everyone talked about how much support there is for one another. The energy was great and people in this town really love clay and the Red Lodge Clay Center. The tiles made will be on display at a local cafe called 'Honeys', everyone is very excited and it will be unveiled on May 2 during the First Friday Art Walk of Red Lodge. Pics below.......
I have been in the studio everyday! It has been great to have the time to work, since I am in the middle of working not much to say...but lots to view...here are some images of works in progress....also for the $100 Kickstarter backers, here is a foreshadowing of the tiles you will soon receive......
Billings - Adventure in the 'big' city!!!
So Red Lodge is small. The grocery store closes at 8pm. So, when you need supplies...ya gotta go to Billings. Billing is the most populated city in Montana - yup, more people than the capital of Helena. I have explored Billings and found that it has some hidden gems and well...activity! When I first arrived in Red Lodge I went into Billings with a fellow short-term resident Undine.....and we found an interesting place - a convenience store that also functions as a ceramic hobby shop. This little get up is run by Betty....and there is ample supply of Betty Boop in her shop. When you go to Betty's shop you can get yourself a pop, some cigarettes or cans and oh, guess what! you can take classes in slip casting!!! That's right, you can buy some glaze, cast some porcelain molds and stock up on underglazes and other ceramic supplies - Betty is the bomb! and her dog is named Cinnamon, who was sweet doggy.....Watch for the cigarette Betty is smoking.....real old school...and check out her coat, love it, oh and Undine and I almost choked to death with the cigarette smoke and clay dust, but we were polite and didn't cough until we left....here are the photos......
Here are a few photos of the casinos I promised. Gambling is big out here...casinos are everywhere! I guess that's one thing to do during the winter......I have also included some of the great neon signs here in Montana, I'm told that Montana has history of great neon signs....the slideshow below are signs from Billings...I will do a post of Red Lodge and its signs soon! I hope you enjoyed this post...I can't believe the time will be over soon..I am so grateful for this time and thank you all for your support! Love -Chotsani :-)
Red Lodge, Montana....I am here!!!....yes I have been here and the appearance of my blog has been delayed cuz.......I'm out of BREATH. The altitude is NO joke!!! Plus, I had the obligatory computer problems and had to work with Apple over the phone for several days....I had a corrupted user, applications were working properly, blah blah technical blah computer blah blah. All that is now past and I am settled into Mountain Life in Red Lodge, where it 'seems like it will never stop snowing' Montana. I know, its Montana, that's what it does here....SNOW, apparently into JULY from what I have been told. No further comment. ;-)
But snow aside, I am really happy to be here and can I just say Montana is BIG, the trucks are big, the sky is big, the mountains are big, the snowflakes are big, the parking spaces are big, the cowboy hats are big...need I go on? I have been busy in the studio working and getting adjusted to having THAT be all I have to do, tough times I tell yah! So that definitely calls for a HUGE THANK YOU!! to ALL the KICKSTARTER supporters, your support helped make this time happen!......I have sent out the $50.00 donor level tiles to all, and I am gearing up to make the tiles for the $100.00 donor level supporters and I am camera ready to get the best photos of 'Big Sky Country' for the reward postcards for the $25.00 donor level supporters (remember..I upgraded the $10.00 donor level supporters to the $25.00 level as the goal surpassed the campaign amount!!!)
Ok, as I am typing this the same family of deer who come by everyday are hanging in the front yard....apparently they aren't afraid of people, when I went to the door to take pictures, one of em thought it was an invitation to come in and walked in about 20 feet from the porch thinking I had something for it to eat.....oh deer! Its like the cows in Varanasi, they just wander among the people as though they too are people.......
Here are some more animal moments in Montana.......cute doggie alert warning!!!
Here are the horses that live near the studio.........when I walked up to them to take their picture they were all facing away from me, but slowly they all turned and faced me....cooperative models they were for the photo shoot......slideshow below.....
So I have been working in the studio, making clay, slip and glaze and getting my space all set up.....here are some pics so far.........(slide show below)
I glad I finally made a blog post to get you all caught up! I am gonna work really hard to make more posts to keep you all updated, so please check in often, feel free to leave a comment and like the blog!
hugs to you all from snowy, mountainy Montana!!!!
The ever changing landscape of the digital realm, is the main reason my blog from India is no longer live on the internet….the software I was using to create and manage my blog during my Fulbright grant time in India no longer 'works', whatever that means right….so I had to get a whole new website situation going and learn a whole new set of technological tools and if you can believe it... there was no way to just magically transfer the information into the new website software! Whaaa! One would think at this advanced stage in our digital age that this would be no problem…that someone, somewhere would have invented an app or some control + alt + delete combo to use and WHA-LAH the information transfers from one thingamajig website to another. Nope…..and I guess it should be a relief in such a digital age that as a human, I have an important role to play in making the 'tech stuff' work……..
A gallery of images from Krishnamurti……..
Now that I have found a reasonable comfort level with this new website and being all hooked into the social media platforms that seem to be the new way we communicate and share our lives with the world..….I must confess, I feel a bit rusty at blogging…I'm going to repost some of my blogs from my Fulbright grant time in India with some new thoughts now that I have been back home for some time……there are some days I can't believe I was in India! The difference in living is really hard to explain….the way we live here in America and our cultureal relationship to time really shapes and impacts memory and notions of place and priority…not better or worse….just extremely different.
thanks for reading…….
In this post I will recall my time at the Krishnamurti/Raj Ghat school. I spent a week at the Krishnmurti school as a visiting artist for their 'Cultural Week'. There were artists, dancers, traditional craftsman from various parts of India at the school to present workshops to the students at the school. My workshop was to create a mixed media mural with the 6th and 7th grade students. They students were so wonderful to work with and I really enjoyed my time with them…..here are some memories of my week at Krishnamurti/Raj Ghat……...
Also, I am working to rebuild my blogging muscles in preparation for blogging the experience and adventure of my residency at Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana during March and April!
Keep checking in…...
I am thrilled to announce that my Kickstarter campaign has been successful - and BEFORE the deadline!!!!
I am so grateful for all the support I have received and even more so excited to get the donor rewards created and sent out!!!
BIG BIG thanks to all of the 54 backers who found my project and art worth the investment and support. YOU ALL HELPED TO MAKE THIS POSSIBLE!! What a great feeling to see so many support the arts! I am very excited for this residency at Red Lodge Clay Center and getting to work visually and creatively on my Fulbright grant experience!!!
I will be documenting the lead up to and full experience of the residency for you all to see…..especially for those of you who followed my India blog….I hope to make this blog even better!!!!!
Chotsani Elaine Dean
A big thank you to all current donors of my Kickstarter campaign - THANK YOU!!!
I cannot begin to describe how grateful and appreciative I am of all the donations and support that have come in so far! I have some tremendous friends!!
However, I still have a LONG ways to go to reach my goal AND I need to make my goal by December 13, 2013 at 8:20pm or else I don't get any of the funding of my Kickstarter campaign. Currently, I am at 46% of my goal with 26 backers…I hope I can increase these numbers!!!
Please check out my Kickstarter project page click here -http://kck.st/1cW9XaW
The deadline for making a contribution to my Kickstarter campaign is December 13, 2013 at 8:20pm.
PLEASE HELP SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!!!
THANK YOU!!!!!!!!! -Chotsani
CHECK OUT THE REWARDS BELOW! You do get something for your donation!!!
$10.00 - a beautiful postcard with an image of Assam as seen in my Kickstarter Video, with a message stating your support of my project along with a handwritten thank you note!
$25.00 - A set of 6/six beautiful postcards - 3/three images of the landscape of tea plantations in Assam taken by me and 3/three images of the beautiful landscape of Montana taken by me during my residency along with a handwritten thank you note!
$100.00 - 2/two ceramic tiles (5"x5") made by me during the residency at Red Lodge Clay Center!!!
$150.00 - 1/one tea cup and saucer with a personal message of thanks on the saucer made by me during the residency at Red Lodge Clay Center.
$300.00 - 1/one tea cup and saucer with a personal message of thanks on the saucer along with a ceramic tile (5" x 5") made by me during the residency and a handwritten thank you note!
$500.00 - 2/two tea cup and saucer set along with 2/two ceramic tiles (5"x5") made by me during the residency - with a personal message of thanks on the saucer and a handwritten thank you note!
$1000.00 - 1/one teapot, 4/four tea cups/saucer set, 2/two ceramic tiles (5"x5") made by me during the residency, a personal message of thanks written on the saucer, a set of $25.00 donor level postcards and a handwritten thank you note!
Tiles above are selections made by current $50.00 level donors from my current body of work!!! A limited number are still available from my current body of work….HOWEVER - $100.00 donor level gets you a pair of NEW tiles that I will make during the residency at Red Lodge Clay Center!!!!!!!!
Hey all - I just wanted to post and update of my KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN for Red Lodge Clay Center.
I am 35% funded towards my goal with 16 DAYS TO GO!!! I
Currently I have 18 backers who have donated to support my project at Red Lodge Clay Center and I am so very thankful for their support…..
I still have a ways to go to reach my goal! I am raising funds for roundtrip travel to Red Lodge Montana, materials costs for my project, exhibition costs, lodging and shipping!
I have some great donor rewards for all levels of donation!!!!
I HAVE ADDED 10 MORE DONOR REWARDS FOR THE $50.00 LEVEL AS THEY HAVE ALREADY SOLD OUT!!!!
If you haven't had a chance - PLEASE CHECK OUT MY KICKSTARTER PROJECT PAGE!!!
This residency at Red Lodge Clay Center is really important as it is the opportunity for me to visually materialize the research and experiences of my Fulbright grant in India as well as the mission for Red Lodge Clay Center to promote social and community engaging projects.
I hope you find my project compelling and meaningful as my current backers have an support me in making my project and the mission of the MJ DO GOOD residency at Red Lodge possible!!!……..because I AM NOT A SELF-MADE ARTIST…..
I have officially launched a Kickstarter campaign to support my upcoming residency at Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana!
THE DEADLINE TO RAISE MY GOAL OF $4,500 IS DECEMBER 13, 2013 AT 8PM!!!!!!!
CURRENTLY I HAVE 5 BACKERS AND A TOTAL OF $360.00 RAISED - WILL YOU BE THE NEXT BACKER???? HOPE SO!!!!
I am raising funds to cover the cost of roundtrip transportation, materials, lodging and shipping of work directly related to the residency and exhibition.
I have created a special video to highlight the focus of the residency on my Kickstarter page to view and learn more about the project and how you can participate in supporting my project.
I have also made some nice donor rewards…..so when you get a chance, check out my Kickstarter page and video and hopefully you will be inspired to support!!!!!
CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO VIEW MY KICKSTARTER PROJECT PAGE / VIDEO!
Thanks!!! MONTANA OR BUST!!!!!
I am very excited to post the news that I will be heading to Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, Montana next year!!!! I have been selected as the Inaugural short term resident of the MJ Wood Do Good Memorial Residency in March and April 2014. This residency focuses on providing artists the opportunity to begin a new body of work with a strong social focus and community engagement. This residency will allow me to materialize the research and experiences of my Fulbright. Click on the image to view the announcement and see more about the project proposal and residency.
This time last year, I was on a flight to India to begin my Fulbright Fellowship! I remember each moment clearly. My flight details were changed at the last minute by the airline.....I was leaving 6 hours earlier than expected, I cried at the airport as I said good-bye to my parents, cried on the plane, had to fly out of the way to Minneapolis instead of New York, only to then fly over New York again to Paris, 10 hours. My 3 hour layover in Charles DeGaulle airport gave me time to brush the rust off my high school and college french and 8 1/2 hours later I Ianded in the New Delhi airport. I couldn't believe I was in India and had no idea what lie ahead of me. I spent 4 days in New Delhi before I boarded a plane and headed to Varanasi, my host city. My nine-months in India was extraordinary and life changing. I did a ton of travel, met wonderful people and most of all learned so much about myself, as cliche as that may sound - its true.
I have been home for the last three months. Although I have long unpacked my luggage, everyday since returning I continue to unpack the experiential elements of my time in India. In India, an hour could be like a day, a day could be like a minute and a minute could feel like an hour. I was learning and doing at the same time. India moves fast and slow at the same time, anyone who has been there, knows exactly what I am talking about. This is especially true of the city of Varanasi. The full spectrum of life is the pulse of this city. The past, present and future coexist in this ancient city and sets before oneself questions, challenges and lessons that have are forever imprinted in my memory.....in a good way. I will never forget this time in my life, I will never see things the same ever again.........
Those of you who followed my blog will see that I have a new website and format, the Apple application, iWeb that I used to blog while I was in India is no longer supported by Apple. So, I had to find a new website program. Unfortunately, I couldn't transfer the old blog into this new website, but I will try and revisit and include elements of the old blog for old times sake.
I am happy to be home and excited about the future.
So, on the anniversary of my departure to India, I begin a new post-India/Fulbright blog here at home. I hope my posts are half as exciting as my India blog posts now that I am back in the comforts of home..........