Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Festivities Begin

Friday was the first official day of graduation activities for RISD. Nicholas had graduation rehearsal in the morning where he got the low-down on where to be, how to stand, and when to scream. Then his dad and little brother graciously helped him finish cleaning out his locker while his mom and I did a last minute grocery run for the Saturday festivities.
Then we were off to RISD for the Fine Arts Reception held in the Woods Gerry Gallery. The Senior Invitational show was up, and two of Nicholas' cohorts in the glass department had work there. Then President Maeda gave a little introduction...

Followed by a rousing speech by Representative Patrick Kennedy. You may remember we saw him at our hometown parade on Monday. He is a big advocate of the arts and a good public speaker, not to mention he seemed genuinely happy to be in attendance (unlike Senator Jack Reed who was a last minute addition to Commencement on Saturday).

It didn't take long for us to realize that this reception/Awards ceremony wasn't really for us. So...we headed to Pawtucket to show the Austinites Nicholas' independent thesis show filled with glass torsos. They, of course, were awed and impressed.
Afterwards, there was a little brotherly lovin'...

The Eide's met us in Warren so we could go to "India," but once we got there we found they were closed. So mini-Liz and I enjoyed the swings in the courtyard of the closed restaurant.

Mini-Nick using the menu as a "songbook."
We ended up eating at Stella Blues, a staple with yummy seafood.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The End Really is in Sight

What a week this has been! After celebrating Memorial Day with our hometown parade, Nicholas still had work to do on his thesis. He finally finished and turned it in (just in time!) on Tuesday, but still had many things to take care of at RISD. He had to clean out his locker in the glass department that was filled with clothes (from our recent cold morning/warm afternoon weather), glass tools, blow pipes, finished and unfinished work, glass supplies (color, long pyrex glass tubes he used to make bronchial tubes), and various other supplies he has amassed over the past three years. Then he had to return "borrowed" things: library books to both RISD and Brown, a tripod, and a photo light kit he used in the darkroom to make his photogram pieces. Then there were final meetings/pickups: pick up cap and gown for graduation, and attend student loan exit counseling. Let's not forget our getting ready for all the graduation celebration company! By Thursday at noon, we were both excited, tired, hungry, happy, and ready for the graduation to begin!

Nicholas' parents, Mom J and Bo, little brother, Jeremy, and friends, Derek and Bryan flew in from Austin, TX on Thursday afternoon to spend a whirlwind weekend with us! We met for lunch at Bertucci's near the airport and endured less than stellar service from our "too-busy-texting-in-the-bathroom-to-remember-to-bring-our-salad-before-our-lunch" server and way too cinnamon-y sangria. Fortunately, we were only there to spend time with each other.

After lunch, we took everyone over the the Convention Center to see the Graduate Thesis Exhibition. G-Baby spent the afternoon with us because her mommy had a sore back, but everyone loved taking turns holding her. Plus she got a little culture seeing all the RISD artwork.

Everyone was exhausted from the change to Eastern time from Central time, having to get up super early to catch flights, and the travel in general that we decided to head back to our apartment (and return G-Baby to her parents who were afraid I might not return her!). Nicholas and Derek went to the store and picked up some salmon that we grilled for dinner, which was a wonderful way to kick-off the weekend of celebration.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Thesis Celebration

Nicholas officially turned in his thesis yesterday, so we had a little celebration. We grilled dinner and sat on our teeny tiny balcony with our monogrammed champagne flutes.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day

With Nicholas at thesis completion, we were able to spend a whole day together with few worries of RISD work creeping in. He officially turned in his thesis on Tuesday, and still did a little work on Monday, but all in all it was a wonderful day.

We began the day by waking up together after going to bed at the same time--two things we haven't done in a really long time! We had eggs and cappuccinos and got ready for the day. We were meeting our friends about a mile and a half away from our apartment to watch the town Memorial Day parade. It was a cute little parade filled with local officials, little league teams, and skateboarders. That's right, skateboarding is not a crime! Hooray for small towns.
Our biggest official was Patrick Kennedy, our state representative. He told mini-Liz she was beautiful. If only he looked more like his uncle...
After the parade, we took our friends Nick and Liz up to Nicholas' independent show in Pawtucket. Then we had dinner at the Sprouts. It was lovely, until the mosquitoes came out in full force, but that allowed for some Xbox360 man-bonding. It was a wonderful day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Getting Down in Chi-Town

At the end of March, Nicholas and I took a trip to Chicago. We had free flights on Southwest that we had to use before the beginning of May. We took the weekend at the end of Nicholas' Spring Break and visited with my best friend, B. Since Chicago is one of the few places we can fly directly into out of Providence, it was the perfect weekend trip.

Did I mention that we embarked on this adventure only 1 day after I returned from Cabo San Lucas? Theoretically, it was easy to pack, since the climates of Los Cabos and Chicago lay at opposite ends of the spectrum in March. Everything was going splendidly until our friend who gave us a ride to the airport pulled away (unknowingly) with my purse. I had set it in the back of the van with our luggage and forgot to grab it. I think I was distracted by the strollers. My purse held my phone, my money, and free drink coupons! Luckily, I had stuck my license in my back pocket, or we would not have made it to Chicago.

Nicholas and M having some sort of philosophical debate. S is making fun of them.

We enjoyed the relatively short trip to Chicago watching a movie on the laptop. We took the train from Midway to B's apartment in downtown Chicago. We spent both nights out on the town, participated in Earth Hour, visited Millennium Park, the Contemporary Art Museum, had Chicago-style pizza, walked a lot, experienced rain, sleet, and snow, and loved our time with B.

Can you find us?

In the land of 100...

I've done a lot of things 100 times. I have read 100 books since the beginning of January 2008. I have walked 100 miles in the course of a week. In the past four years, I have probably owned 100 pairs of shoes, 40 of which are currently in my closet. I have changed G-Baby's diaper 100 times. I have rented 100 movies from Netflix in the past year (and we have not had cable). Today, I spent 100 minutes working out. I have read Nicholas' thesis 100 times. I have said 'I love you' 100 different ways to my friends and family.

And now, I have written 100 blog entries.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pawtucket Thesis Show

Here are pictures of Nicholas work at his independent thesis show in Pawtucket.

Little Bunny Foo-Foo

This bunny is hiding from me, in plain site. I am also standing right in front of it. Nicholas informed me that the bunny didn't see me because the sun was behind me. I decided to test that theory. I moved around until I could see my shadow come in line with the bunny's eye. Then it scampered away. One point for Nicholas.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Pawtucket Prep

Nicholas has a critique this morning of his work in the Grad Thesis show at the Convention Center today. It went really well! He has a critique tomorrow of work in his independent thesis show in Pawtucket. We stopped by to fix the lights for his FINAL crit of grad school!

Nicholas fine tuning the lighting

This is a picture of the wall that I fixed all by myself! I didn't build it from scratch. It was already in the space, but had shotty drywall put up on both sides. Nicholas though he wanted to take the whole wall down, so we removed the drywall. As we tried to take down the from, we found it was attached to the wall we were leaving up, and needed a saw to separate them. So we left it the first night attached by the floor piece. When we were getting ready for the opening this past Saturday, I hammered, nailed, rescrewed, and secured the frame back in place, all by myself! Watch out Bob Villa!

Me and one of the beloved glass torsos of my hubby.

Oh the Pain!

Nicholas made fun of me for capturing this on film. The focus of the picture is the large splinter I successful removed from his hand. It was straight down in the flesh, not just slid under the top layer of skin.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Spring Smörgåsbord

Passing Through

Here is the postcard for Nicholas' second thesis show that opened Saturday night. I didn't take many pictures, so you'll have to wait for that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Putting It All Together

A lot of work has gone into getting ready for both of Nicholas' thesis shows. The majority of the work in the Convention Center is what Nicholas spent the semester working on.
This is a picture of the glass pieces in the Convention Center all boxed up and ready for transport from Nicholas' studio.
The work in his Pawtucket show is mostly new work that he has been working on the past month or so. It all started on a sunny Wednesday when I plastered Nicholas' torso. I would like to insert here that I am not an artist, but I am becoming rather proficient at using plaster gauze.

The fun thing about Nicholas being the subject is that he can't move!
I felt the need to adequately document my handiwork on the underarm area, which incidentally, Nicholas should have shaved prior to being plastered. It would have made the mold removing process less painful.
After we had this plaster mold completed, Nicholas made a "negative" out of plastic. That way he could continue to make as many torsos of himself as he wanted without my help. When that was finished, he repaired some areas on the plastic negative torso that showed cracks from the plaster mold.
Next, Nicholas set to work making "positives" of the plastic torsos. The ultimate purpose was to make glass torsos. Now, when glass is hot, it is the consistency of honey, so it took a little trial and error to figure out the best way to make the positive torsos. I believe the final recipe was several layers of paper mache with two layers of plaster gauze on top. Once Nicholas blew glass into the mold, the paper mache burned off, but the plaster remained to help keep the shape of the torso as Nicholas shaped the glass piece.

This is Nicholas drying the paper mache layers.

This is Nicholas in the process of making torso molds in his studio.
Once the glass torsos were made, Nicholas had to contemplate how to display them in the gallery space.

He started by making miniature models of his ideas.

Then he put some of his ideas into practice with plywood using the plastic torso as a model.

He wanted the glass to be displayed at his torso height. He was blessed to have a furniture design graduate help him on Friday night for 13 hours or so to create the 3 stands he needed for his pieces. You'll have to wait on pictures of those.
In addition to making work for the Pawtucket (pronounced "Ptucket") show, he also had to decide how to display the work in the gallery space.

The first step was getting rid of the orange half walls!

Then there was some cleaning, a little lighting installation, work installation, and viola! You have a thesis show!