June at Elsewhere

Today's the last day of a great June residency at Elsewhere. Carolyn Porras continued her residency from May, and Sarah Coates and I (Alicia Toldi) arrived at the beginning of the month, while Felipe Campuzano arrived halfway through to begin his stay in the new basement living space/studio. It's been a busy month, with a lot of art-making in our shared studio space as well as endless irresistible warm-weather activities (rafting, learning to paraglide, sleeping under the stars...) Paonia is absolutely beautiful, and its people are among the most wonderful, welcoming individuals I've ever met. Right now, the community is coming together to rebuild the wall around Elsewhere as part of the Village Building Convergence, creating structure with a variety of techniques, including straw bales, cob, and wooden pallets. The walls will have 3-d designs, and will be outfitted with little windows and cubbies, a bench, and the strings of a piano. It's been great to spend my last days here creatively working with my hands, even when my work in the studio is mostly done. I can't wait to see it done when I return.

Studio-wise, though: I came here thinking I would focus on detailed drawings of grand, infinite nature. Instead, surrounded by this nature, I decided to focus more on the things we use and see every day that aren't infinite or really noticed, things that are temporary and perhaps already past their prime. My series of drawings is called "Everything Must Go," and consists of drawings of things I have come across such as an old Victorian house, a stack of empty plates, and a symmetrical motel room, all drawn meticulously on yellowing paper from an old photo album. I was also given a huge bag of expired film by some photographers who came through for a bit, and have been taking photos of many of my experiences, not really knowing how the age of the film will affect the picture but hoping for something strange and beautiful.

It's been a wonderful month! Colorado has the best clouds, and the brightest stars. Thanks, Paonia!

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