Wednesday, May 10, 2006

week 15 and then some

Dear Family and Friends

I got a concerned phone call because I hadn't sent out my weekly email recently. I want to assure all of you that I am fine and well. It has been extremely busy lately trying to get everything done for the end of the semester and continue with classes and prepare shows for both thesis and drawing. The good news is that I am done as of this Wednesday!!!! I've finished my art history class and drawing and I only have thesis to finish. We will have a marathon critique on Wednesday with a visiting artist, who aparantly is former faculty of the program and now works for a well known gallery in Paris. So it will be interesting to see what he has to say about my work. Thus far the public reaction has been good.

Some of the highlights in the last couple weeks have been the culminating art history project and class. I studied the church of San Lorenzo and developed a picture book from the death of the church from WWII bombings which allowed excavations to happen while it was being reconstructed that proved the location and existence of the original church that Constantine built. I actually did this all in a book I had found at the Sunday market on meaning of death and resurrection in the Catholic Church. I ended with pictures that I had taken of the present day church after the reconstructions of the bombings. I'm pretty happy with how the project ended up.

The final class was spectacular. We finally received an appointment to tour the Scavi underneath St. Peter's Basilica. For anyone that has read Dan Brown, they know which one I'm talking about. It is the third level underneath St. Peter's that was originally a Necropolis (ancient Roman pagan cemetery) that the Christians adopted later on.
The necropolis was secretly excavated around the 40's after they hit the roof of one of the family tombs in the process of digging a Pope's grave in the 2nd level under St. Peter's. The 2nd level is where most of the pope's are in a Mausoleum including the recent John Paul II. So anyways, this Necropolis, inside they found some really
interesting things, such as what is believed and now accepted (based on the archeological evidence) ST. PETER'S BONES.

Our tour guide was excellent, he allowed doubt to play a lot within his tour as well as was excellent in explaining the archeological and sociological aspects of burial habits in ancient Rome, pagan and Christian alike. He also assured us that Dan Brown was incorrect and there are no secret passageways in the bottom most layer of St. Peters. And I have to agree with the tour guide. Its cramped and small and any sort of excavations that happen down there have to be very careful because if they dig too much, it could be structurally unsafe. So being able to see part of the original constructions of St. Peter's tombs (built on top of each other) is difficult. But it was fascinating to actually see all of the layers of history literally built over one man. We ended the tour with the Lord's Prayer, which I felt extremely appropriate and moving.

PS this is actually even late from when I wrote it. My time has been consumed as a whole by the studio in the last several days. Fortunately my friends Carla and Dane were here so that I at least had to get out of the painting fumes and go meet them for dinners.

Today is the day. The Final day. Good or bad, I will be done with my first year of grad school. We have a visiting critic ( a former faculty member now working in a Paris gallery) so there will be a new perspective in the crits today. Mine is the final one so I will have to be nervous all day. But the good news is that I will be done

I will then be finishing packing my studio and my aparment and travelling for the next several weeks through Italy, Scotland, and Ireland. So emails maybe just as scarce as they have been recenlty. But please know that I can't wait to see you all and that I'm looking very forward to coming home.


I want to live my life not by the regret of "what if", but by its
possibilities. -ME

What lies behind us and what lies before us are nothing compared to
what lies within us.
Ralph Waldo Emerson