On Sunday, 15 October, our home away from home, Schulhaus 139, Feutersoey, Gsteig bei Gstaad was the place to be for the one-day Berglauf-Arnensee mountain run. The popular competition was open to young and old, to run all or some of the 7km from the school to Lake Arnen.
It was a lovely sunny — and I mean sunny — day, and from the studio we could see over 200 persons in the playground (enjoying the food) and, on the other side of the schoolhouse, a good few dozen at the race start, in front of the Ladeli convenience store. That walk is on my to-do list, but not that Sunday, as I was required to be in studio, fulfilling hostess duties!
We decided to piggy-back on the event, and held an open studio day. We printed flyers, and Timo and Nelo worked on the welcome sign for the foyer, which was kept under serious guard. By day’s end, we had about 50 visitors to the studio, many 12+ who were very interested in what we were showing. I was pleased to speak with an ex-teacher of the schoolhouse, who explained that the building was no longer used as a schoolhouse because of the lack of numbers… where there used to be over 100 children for this school, now the combined figure for both villages, Gsteig and Feutersoey is about 70; not enough to keep both buildings open. Her 10-year-old grandson told me that the studio experience had changed his mind about art and that he was going to pay it more attention now. Good news!
Another surprising guest was a parachute glider, who dropped in on the event. He came upstairs to study (looked like finance) in our kitchen, while he waited for his section of the race to start. On the way downstairs, he stopped in the studio to see what we were doing. So fun! I was the ‘official’ photo-takeouter, but at one point, with over 12 persons in the studio, and me busy hostessing, there were no photos taken!
Some of my work in progress utilises recycled materials, including a Louis Vuitton shopping bag that I took from the recycling centre. Since Swiss copyright law states you need permission to use a copyrighted work – always! – as copyright protection arises automatically when the work of art is created, I had a minor qualm. But even as I reasoned that the bag was garbaged, ie abandoned, so it was okay to use as a canvas, I recalled (and confirmed) a confrontation between the Vuitton company and an individual artist for using their material without permission. Hmm, should I be worried?
By 4pm the run event was over, prizes given out, and as people left, the organisers briskly broke down tables, grill and everything in record time. It was as if the event never happened. Wow. The studio is open every day for visitors, and the next mass group is expected during our final exhibition open studio starting mid-November. Till then, we keep working!
Please join me on this journey, and receive at the end, an original made-in-Switzerland-by me artwork of your very own. Of course, along the way, you get to follow my blog (online or via email), and see progress reports. Visit my original blogpost with a Paypal link — and help yourself to an original painting made-in-Switzerland-by-me sent to you at the end of my residency. Thank you.
- USD $50 support: (acid free mixed media paper, 6×8 inches.) Still available #27
- USD $100 support: (acid free mixed media paper 9×12 inches.) Still available #16
- USD $200 support: (handmade South Indian paper A4.) Still available #5
I will also provide updates about my journey on my blog as well as a special pdf diary of works in progress and extensive studio photos. BONUS: I’ll also send select digital images from my extensive Grenada Traditional Masquerade series, direct to your email address.
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