The end is a beginning
by ELIZABETH BARENIS
As the grant period draws to a close, I look back in gratitude for the opportunities the award has brought, and I look forward in excitement to the next steps of my journey. Besides helping me to purchase art supplies and to prepare for three exhibitions, the grant also helped to fund a recent trip to explore the art scene in a different part of the country. I wanted to get a pulse on the art that is being exhibited and appreciated in a place that is often referred to as the ‘center of the art world’. Where else, but New York City.
I stayed in an Airbnb in Midtown, about three blocks from Penn Station. Because of my central location, I was able to connect to different subway lines easily, and I could walk to the Chelsea Arts District in about 15 minutes. The weather was mostly ideal, in the mid-fifties during the day and mid-forties at night. The colors of the leaves were still changing, so there was a broad range of lush green to golden to bright red to bare.
During college at Sarah Lawrence, I lived in Westchester county, just outside New York City, so I knew my way around to some extent. But in those days, I spent more time daydreaming in Central Park than taking notes at museums, so I had some catching up to do. I started my journey with a day in the Chelsea Arts District. When the cold rain moved in, I ventured to Columbus Plaza to see the first hand-painted movie, “Loving Vincent,” based on Van Gogh’s life and paintings. The next few days saw me at the Guggenheim, the MOMA, the Whitney, as well as several galleries in the Lower East Side and the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. I found myself especially fascinated by the installations and with the art that was created with a sense of humor. Some of the eye-catching moments were:
It was so fulfilling to be in the midst of the busyness; everywhere I turned there were artists and creative projects underway. On the last day there, the temperature’s high was 35. My souvenirs from the trip became new thick socks and a wide scarf to cover my face…in addition of course to the wealth of photographs, complete immersion in fall weather, and new perspectives, ideas, and relationships. Now back at home in my studio in Florida, a better-informed version of myself begins again with a blank canvas, wondering where it will take me this time.