Saturday 23 August
The selection committee was punctual at the studio on Saturday morning. Three images from each artist were chosen – one for the final exhibition, and the other two for the art camp sponsors. This one from me, Untitled (Jab Rising) was chosen for the final exhibition on Sunday afternoon.
After all the push and worry, and work once the committee passed my station, I all but collapsed into my chair. Next thing to cross off my to-do list: photograph all the works I have created here, and then mail out thank-you paintings from my Emergence exhibition to my donors, which I trust they will like. My economy ticket restricts the weight I can carry on the plane, so a lot of the items I have left in the collection of the Inter-Art Aiud Foundation. Over 20 of my Jab paintings are on marble fragments, and another 8 are on heavy card. Time to clean up, pack up, but I am interrupted by artists wanting to trade works. This tradition is a great way for artists to show respect for each others’ work and to stay in touch.
Sunday 24 August
The last exhibition was the highlight of the camp. Everyone was relaxed, and happy. The work looked great on the walls of the subterranean galleries of Inter-Art. We received certificates of participation and camera flashes was going off almost as brightly as the many many smiles. I tell you, we did not miss the red carpet. A late buffet supper at the hotel Victoria, followed by champagne and cake to celebrate a wedding anniversary and two birthdays, were an excellent way to bring to an end 2 weeks of companionship and production. I so want to do this next year, when the Inter-Art Foundation celebrates 20 years of promoting the creative arts in Romania and the world.
Monday 25 August
At 130am the taxi arrives, and Jelena Jovancov and I head for Cluj-Napoca airport…. The late partiers wave us off, with lots of hugs, kisses, and some discreet tears. Jelena is from Montenegro, one of the oldest European states. During the drive, we talked about similarities facing artists in both countries. She said they are 450 professional academic artists there, graduates of the University of Montenegro Faculty of Fine Arts. Many teach at the university or at the schools. By contrast, Grenada probably has maybe 10, defined as professional because that is how they make their living, not necessarily due to their academic status. Note to self. Go visit Jelena in Montenegro.
At 3am, energised by an expresso, I am standing in line to check in… and I get the expected funny look… both my passport and my name cause pause. Happened in Italy and in Spain as well. A phone call to verify there is such as place as GrEnada, and I’m on my way through to the plane, and on to Rome! Flight was smooth, save for a young male child with the lungs of a bull elephant.
Fortunately, the elder gentleman next to me lived in Rome, and suggested that for my 4 hours there, I should take the train into the city and do the city bus tour. I did, and took lots of photos, from the top of the double-decker bus. It was great advice and a good way to preview the city. I wanted to do the bus tour twice – it is only 90 minutes, and my 20Euro ticket is good for 24 hours – but I did not want to miss the flight to Spain. Turned out I really should’ve done the tour circuit again, as my flight was delayed 2 hours… and this after I get back in time, and clear security, and arrive at the gate, and wait… But, what can you do? Arriving in Barcelona, I knew I would miss my connection to Madrid, which was due to leave in 20 minutes. Nutz. But if you don’t ask a question… so I did and the Vueling official said to me run! Two gates down, am out of breath, but I am on the plane. Slept most of that flight, and was surprised to hear that we were landing. Madrid, finally!
Insert irony here. My bag was tagged from Rome to Madrid. I arrived. It has not, as yet. Am hopeful that I shall not have to wear the same ‘I love Trini Jazz’ tshirt, much as I adore it, for another 36 hours…
Just after 10pm I arrived at my hostel in Madrid. Seems like I’ve been flying forever. Supper in Aiud Romania Sunday night, then breakfast in Rome Italy on Monday morning, and supper in Madrid Spain. Tomorrow?