Thursday, January 27, 2011

Here now in Santiniketan wher Rabindranath Tagore's presence is still felt.

Am finally on a Broadband at Martin Kampschan´s computer. It`s a bit strange as he´s German and the letters are different.

Anyway, here I am, finally, in Santiniketan. Very happy to be here. Being very welcomed. I will be going to the Shantali village that Martin has been shepherding for way over 20 years and where I did a mask workshop with his "boys" in 1993. He now has 90 students and half are girls. Oftentimes they go on to college, and to the Khala Bhavan and do successful work afterwards while remaining loyal to their village. He's so enriched the lives of those villagers. I now will be doing a Secret Future Workshop there on Friday. Delighted to be doing this. It has so much more meaning here than in the States where such an event is merely one addition to a plethora of opportunities.

Got an Email from a man who is very disappointed that my presentation at the American Center in Kolkata was cancelled. He is working with orphans in Kolkata and wants to use masks to impart nutritional knowledge, and for street theater I told her to call me tomorrow and that I am now on the Fulbright Specialist Roster for South Asia so maybe I can come back to work with her group. Wouldn´t that be something!

So happy to now be in Satiniketan, the site of my Fulbright - at the art school, the Khala Bhavan. Am being so wonderfully received. Jeanne Oppenshaw met my train and stayed with me until I was settled in the Monorama Guest House. It`s perfectly fine, and where this noon I had a wonderful Thali lunch. The town is more trafficked than before, but of course a mere fraction of what it is like in Kolkata.

I visited Deepa Roy here, the woman I rented a cottage from in 1993, and again stayed as her guest here in Santiniketan in 1995. Her dear servant Shubodi recognized me immediately and I her. Deepa had a stroke three months ago and in this last week has happily made great progress in getting back her speech and mobility. I also visited her sister-in-law Munia Roy next door and tomorrow will be seeing Jogen Choudery who lives nearby and can arrange for my film being shown at the Khala Bhavan. I'll perhaps stop by the school tomorrow to look around. Of course I'm feeling a lot of sentiment as memories of my time in this town flood back to me with great vigor.

So, goats on the street, chickens housed in a cage, fresh, still flopping fish lying out in the open air on a counter for sale to passing folk. I bought two important things at the market this morning, bottled water and toilet paper. Now, I am secure. How wonderful that such small things can settle me down in no time at all.

Just called Bishu, my favorite student from the Khala Bhavan in 1992. He is now an art teacher, married and with a daughter. His wife and daughter are in town and I will lbe meeting them likely tomorrow. Bishu and I did lithography together, sometimes staying at the school until midnight. One night as I left the school, likely around midnight (having always felt perfectly safe to walk back home) I was stopped by a police van. The man next to the driver said, "What are you doing here now?" I dais I had been working at the print studio. He said, "You need the permission of the teacher." To which I replied, "I am the teacher." Then flustered the man said, "Be very careful, it is not safe on the road." And so for the first time, I walked back in fear though still with the bright stars above to light my way. When I just tole this talke to friend Jeanne Oppenshaw, she said the shop keepers (who slept behind a curtain in their shops) were likely more afraid of my footsteps than I needed to be about them. Surely, that was true. Of course I made my way very safely though nervous for the first time.One night, friend and student Mona (who I will see in Jaipur after the residency in Delhi) had me go back home from the school with her on her borther Pappan´s bicycle. It had no brakes. Miracle of miracles, there again I made my way, feeling so happy to be able to navigate on the dirt and bumpy road in a way Iäd never try in the States. These are the sorts of things that have drawn me back. Can you understand that? It´s why I sometimes have felt that I live in Ridgefield, Connecticut, USA incognito. Who there could imagine this sort of history by simplz looking look at me. I used to think I was collecting good stories to tell in my old age, and perhaps this is now happening via this blog that I can recount some of the episodes that have stayed in my heart. It is all about overcoming isn't it?

Much to my dismay, staying in Sodepur upon arriving in Kolkata the previous days meant that I had to spend many hours,1 1-2 to 2 hours each way into Kolkata to see my friends. There was surely a misunderstanding as I know that Bari or Pinku didn't realize that I would be hostage to the streets of Kolkata, having to drive through every neighborhood imaginable with traffic jams all along the way. While those the streets are not without interest, day after day, it has been a bit much wth much air pollution wafting into the car. When I get back in town on the 30th, I now know to hire an air conditioned car. I'll stay with friend Shefali (met her on the first trip in 1976 and weäve stayed in touch all these years) for the overnight before then heading on to Dhaka on February 1.

Dear Shefali is as beautiful and elegant as ever, still with her wonderful sense of humor and grace. She's merely a sprinkling of white in her jet black hair. She invited several people from Jadavpur University and together we all shared memories of my time with them during the Fulbright 1992-3. She prepared a delightful lunch that included special Bengali sweets. Naturally, I now have been updated on everyone's life, heard of their amazing accomplishments and the growth of their academic careers. Seems for those who have retired, the pace of their interests and involvements goes on and on.

While at Shefali's apartment on Picnic Garden Road, there came some banging on a drum or can outside. A family that included several very young children was setting up a tight rope on the street. When that was accomplished,a girl of about 7 or 8 walked across the rope, holding on with her toes and a wooden stick for balance and some can, perhaps even with water inside was perched on her head. All part of the passing scene.

Swapna, Pinku's mom has been very gracous and helpful in Sodepur. Thanks to her, I now have a cell phone, something that is now completely necessary in India. Literally everyone has one. I would not have gotten to my destinations to Shefali's and the next day to Jashodhora's (from Women Studies at Jadavppur - and my designated Fulbright) without calling them as soon as I got into the hired car so they could give directions in Bengali to the driver.

Amazing sights here are truly impossible to impart because India is a contantly moving scene. Ernest Hemingway spoke of Spain that way in the 1930#s, but as I've been to Spain (and love it there though I waited until Franco died before setting foot in the country) and I must say that India has it all over anyplace else on Earth.

One delight has been the singing into the night (until 11PM at the least) in Sodepur. It is y first evening, we went into the Mela grounds and heard the sonorous singing of the featured guru. The Baul (holy) singers were holding forth. They are familiar to me from my time in Satiniketan where they have a large presence.

Then, at 6AMeach morning in Sodepur, I heard the sounds of OM, other beautiful chants (thinking all the time how lucky I am to be able to hear that). The chorus ends with a bout of laugher that makes me laugh as well while thinkingand of the laughing clubs of Mumbai where people gather to laugh for ten minutes a day for their good health. A great idea. Let's all that that on too.

Then, on Tuesday, at Horwah station with Swapna waiting for the Santinietan Express train here where I now am, I saw a girl, again about 7 or 8 gliding about on her bare feet, scrambling on and off the railing, all in the midst of her waiting family of women, men and children resting as they waiting for their train. They had spread a cloth onto the floor where a man was resting. The girl flitted about so gracefully. In another world, her ease of movement would dictate dancing lessons.

Wednesday evening, and amazingly so since the tale of Chitrangoda is one of my mask tales with my having made several Chitrangoda masks over the years, and having arrived in Santiniketan on the 150th anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, there were performances of his Dance Dramas for me to see. Santniniketan was where Tagore started the renowned university here, including of course the Khala Bhavan art school where I worked in 1993. A company from Delhi has been performing his dance dramas. Wednesday, I saw parts of the  Chitrangoda performance. I easily followed the event even though the language was impossible for me. The pantomime was more than enough. The stunningly attired dancers glided along the floor with their bare feet, reminding me once again of the grace of the girl at the Howrah train station. In each instance, bare feet glide along as if they are on wheels, and had they worn shoes, they would have stucks to the ground halting the flow of their movement.

That's all for now, Shamali Tan is coming over to see me and then, another concert tonight, Chandralekha, another tale for which I made a mask now owned by friends Paul and Shirl on the Cape in Massachusetts.

Will send another missive on another day. Meanwhile, sending lots of love from the land of myth and mystery,

Suzanne (please forgive any typos as the web may disappear any moment and I want to send you all something of the flavor of being here now).

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Delhi, Day 3 - will likely be offline while in Kolkata/Santiniketan after this post

    Tomorrow, I'm off to Kolkata. Pinku's mom Swapna is picking me up at the airport and has arranged for me to have a car and driver who speaks "a little" English for my going about. Hope to see Pappan on Saturday. He's Dipa Roy's son from my time in Santiniketan and now an animation film maker just as he'd wanted to become. Will be at Shefali's on Sunday. To think I met her as a young Philosophy Professor in Lucknow in 1976 on my first visit to India! She's now retired from Jadavpur University where I had my Fulbright in Kolkata. She told me on the phone, "The rest of my life is the best of my life." Great words for pushing on.
    Monday I hope to buy an Indian cell phone and maybe a shalwar kameez if my suitcase isn't already too heavy. It will get loaded up on the way back to Delhi with the new welded masks. Hmmm. It'll work out. Everything else is falling into place.Tuesday I'll beoff to Santiniketan - site of my '92-93 Fulbright. To the Kala Bhavan where I was then working. It's part of the university started by the great Indian poet, Rabindranath Tagore. I'll stay with Dipa as I've done at other times. Will see Munia who sang to me from Tagore's Dance Drama, Chitrangoda. I wished then that I'd recorded her stunning voice. She got shy after that and hasn't yet given me a repeat. I'll ask her again. Besides her beautiful voice, I remember the ardor in her expression, making her impromtu performance all the more memorable. After all, I still remember it. I'll be seeing friend Jeanne, and Shyamali who'd welcomed me to her Indian craft-filled home many times.
    This morning, alas, diarrhea already, and such distress on the way to the American Center where I thankfully got to their bathroom before my meeting. Ugh! Fortunately - and so far - nearly 8pm now, there's been no repeat. Well, it's India where everything and anything can happen.
     Took the subway there - definitely an intro into the crowded world, but as they have "a woman's car" on every train, it spared me the worst crush - only crowded. Men try and spill into those cars and women tell them to get back. It's actually a very nice respite. I saw so many beautiful faces/forms - so many different kinds of outfits, remarkable shalwar kameez's, shoes/sandals with rhinestones, etc. All food for thought for the artworks to come. 
     I'm planning on painting faces that fill the 24x18 sheets of Bristol Board I brought with me. Planning on three Portrait Boxes, three welded masks, and I'll be working on three huge sheets of Nepali paper still sitting in my suitcase, trying out the beautiful huge pastels I bought in Munich - all the right colors for India. Then, I'll be making more prints at the Atelier in Dhaka. Plans, plans, and let's see what happens.
     Don't know if the project in Chittagong is happening because Jashim has been given a time consuming job for an upcoming event that closely coincides with what we planned for me. It's fine since I've such a crowded program in Bangladesh. Actually, I'd rather come back there in two years now that I've been put on the roster as a "Fulbright Specialist"
    To backtrack to today, I saw the space for my show at the American Center. Turns out that they actually have 24 frames! After all my worry. They'd said no in earlier emails. Hmm - well, this is India. Lots of art making to do to fill the space. Luckily I've 12 monoprints here already. It's a big space to fill with work I've yet to make!
    Electricity went out briefly here at Sanscriti this evening. Fortunately, in addition to the little flashlight (buried somewhere in one of two suitcases) I bought a tiny one that I clipped onto my fanny pack. So, I'm feeling prepared.
    When I got out of the station on my way back to Sanskriti from the American Center this afternoon, I had to figure out which way to go, and did. Hooray. The poor workers I saw on the way walking "home"- many women who love making eye contact. We smile at each other. One woman saw me coming along on the way over dirt piles and half finished walkways. It was likely her mother standing near and who was working with her. She then raced towards me and picked  up her child lying on the ground (put there no doubt while she was working). The grandmother held the child towards me (cute and tiny) and the mother proudly stood looking at me - pretty woman. How they manage to look so good is a mystery with the drab drudging work they do - working on the side of the highway, laying down tiles and sweeping up.
    Bell just rang for dinner (8:30PM) so I'm off and hoping there'll be no repeat of intestinal protest.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Day 2 in glorious Sanskriti (artist residency)

    Ah, it's the very scent to India. I think it may be even a narcotic that brings me back. The air is gentle. Here at Sanscriti with it's beautiful grounds, huge trees with leaves gently swaying in the cool wind (it's lovely weather in the day, chilling up at night) I'm already lulled into happiness and contentment.
    I slept with many covers last night. My little pillow cushioned me to sleep. I first woke at 6AM thinking about breakfast as my body is unused to the vegetarian regimen, but then I fell back to another comfortable slumber until 11:30AM! What a wonderful way to become acclimated after barely sleeping on the 8 hr plus flight from London. Someone though told me that I still look exhausted. Oh well.
    Later this afternoon, I strolled through the pottery museum on my own, where each room highlights a specific area of India's traditional wares. I'll re-visit many times next month on my return. I've already seem works to inspire my work. Then Niriti brought me through the truly magnificent fabric museum. It's filled with the finest examples from throughout the country. Some are very old with truly amazing composition and detail. Astonishing saris are surely priceless examples. There's a section of Kanta embroidered works. I remember the Kanta embroidery exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum last year, and the beautiful red shawl I bought in Dhaka in 1995. The examples here are of the finest.
    Truly Sanskriti is a treasure house and I'm already so glad that I'll be returning after Dhaka. Large ceramic pieces dot the grounds, and everywhere there is another visual delight, a gate, wooden doors, the bridge to my room over a now dry waterway, and on. Everyone is of course friendly with the residents representing many disciplines. Last evening I spoke with Chris, originally from Boston and of Irish descent, he converted to Sikhism in the 1980's. He's a poet. I came upon a series of his poems in one of the museum rooms, likely a place for meditation. I read just one. It was so beautifully expressive and rich with references that drew on the chaotic world of now, yet his lure was to the mountains and by continuing to refer to that, the poem held the promise of peace and eternal wisdom. I wished to savor it longer and decided to read the others as another delight on my return in February-March.  
    Barbara Rothenberg corrected my yesterday post mistakes: "We went together to the Shekavati region (the other is a Japanese flute)  and I was studying Ragamala painting (as in ragas)." I can only say that my deep fatigue had rattled my brain and I'm grateful for her reply. She has one artwork in the entry way and another in the dining room. Barbara asked, "Tell me more about Kolkata (where is it?) and Dhaka.  What will you be doing ???????" So maybe there willl be more curiosity among my blog readers. I'll tell about Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) in West Bengal, and of course my work in Dhaka as events unfold - where I'll be making welded masks, printmaking, and giving a mask/story workshop, Embassy receptions, showing my film, and the like.
    Meanwhile, it's just an hour before dinner and I'll finally get to those Five Tibetan Rites (exercises) and my yoga regimen. Thankfully, there's a yoga mat here for me. Hooray!
                        Love to all,

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Three days to go before my flight.

Love, art, peace, truth, memories, sign of the goddess, offerings: these are the words I printed on the little cubes of wood, and other objects tha sat inside my 2011 Secret Future Work until last Sunday, January 2, at my going away party. Twenty Four friends came, and Meredith Gray said, Will you open it now?” I said, “No, it has to open in 2011.” And she said, “It is 2011!” I just hadn’t gotten used to it being a new year. Of course I opened it. A pic is attached, that is if I can figure out how to do it..

Three days to go before my flight NY/London/Munich and a week with Dick and Gitte. I wonder when I’m close to death I’ll think things like, only this much left in the fridge; it’ll last until I go off. Or, last laundry before the end. Wonder, wonder for such details are very important as turning points comes upon me. With all my artist journeys over my lifetime, it’s turned out that even going to the hospital was a trip too, something to organize, of course in a different way then writing to friends to invite you to visit, calling for flight information. But then, how different is it to be making appointments to doctors, having friends join you on the path of surgery, the tests, the actual being there? It too is step by step, stage by stage.
So with this impending trip, even last night, I was up until midnight checking with British Air, about getting my boarding pass, confirming my flight and not knowing the reference number. The first woman to help me gave them to me backwards with the London  Delhi number really the Delhi London number. Something inside me knew to check again until it was soon midnight with even more going over that itinerary and contact list. Then emailing Rinki in Mumbai, wanting her to meet me at the airport – have that set for every flight but that one.

Her saying her driver disappears on her. My emailing back saying - please get a taxi at my expense and her reply that she’ll give her driver for a special request, so that’s set – whew. Don’t want to arrive in an India airport and get just any taxi. It’s just 15 years since I saw her in Mumbai. She introduced me at the Performing Arts Center there when I gave a slide show/mask performance. Fifteen years at my stage of life isn’t so long for as you know, experience is very rich and seems always in the present when you conjure it up.
Just yesterday, friend John said that he remembers when we first met as if it was yesterday at a lay church retreat on Lake Winnipisakee. I remember that time well too. I performed my Sarah and Hagar story. Afterwards, when I came back onstage and sat on my Sarah mask, making the physical comment that the magical mask was just an object. I’d returned to it as a seat, ready for questions. In the midst of their questions, a bat swooped down and circled above me. Whatever impression I had made with my story, sitting absolutely still with total equanimity with the bat flapping about added greatly to the magical way I was seen by those  good folk.
I remember John well with his addressing the group with eloquence. He was a handsome tall man with a biblical demeanor. I thought I wanted to be his friend, never knowing that forty years later, we’d still be friends. We meet now just about once a year, sometimes twice with my going to Florida in the winter and his going to Maine in the summer. The time between never matters because he and I have what Esther Harding called “The golden thread,” meaning that despite long absence, we pick up as if no time has elapsed. He’s now in his early 80’s with knee problems that effect his posture and a balance issue that gives pause to his walking and balance. Dear man, still handsome in my eyes. We went to eat at Lucs and my being with him was noted by artist friend Nancy Moore for who ever sees me alone with a man? It’s a rare occasion indeed.
In Connecticut, no ones knows of my life in Florida where it much easier to have male friends, to call them the last minute and say “dinner, a movie, a walk on the beach?” People in that warm clime are not as programmed as we in the cold north. They are ready to go at quick notice. Here with John, when he gets the idea we should be seeing each other, and with me going on the trip this Sunday, he asked at my last Sunday party if I had time this week, and I said “No but for you, I will make time.” And I did. That’s what special events do to me. They get me to focus, to accomplish more quickly what might otherwise take much longer.  I did the five Tibetan Rites, yoga, made phone calls, went over yet again what I’m bringing on the trip, organizing, and organizing.

I went into the studio; what was it for? On Monday it was to open the door for Patricia, now to say “goodbye studio for now” to that blessed space of mine, and me wondering what I’ll bring back with me from these three months of being out there, unbound, and in the arms of friends.
I called Dick on Sunday after the party and because my emails were coming back. I wondered about the vitamins he’d asked for and that I’d sent priority mail (not being able to put another thing in my suitcases as was proven today when I went to UPS to weigh my suitcases. Those two pounds of vitamins would have made me overweight.  I wanted to know if he’d gotten them and so called, also to tell him about the returned emails. He said, “Not to worry Suzanne, I’ll check the flights and the weather and I’ll meet you at the airport. Then he said, “We are not helpless here.” I was relieved and I so look forward to the long talks we’ll be having when I’ll be staying with him and Gitte for a week before Delhi.

That Wednesday in Munich is the fabled night at the opera, Verdi, Louisa Miller never heard of it). My friend Moriah who is something of a psychic told me a few years ago  that she envisioned me at the opera with a man in the background. So funny that Bernhard appeared last Xmas season after a hiatus of 35 years totell me that he had season tickets for the Munich opera. Of course I’ll pay for my own ticket since I said we could go together. Now it’s Gitte and Dick, and Bernhard and Inge, and me.

I’ve thought long and hard about what to wear with suitcases that only allow for few clothes between my ton of art supplies. No matter, I’ve le tit go, will wear the kurta I bought with Janet at Sharma’s Indian shop on Lexington avenue in the city. With it, my blackpants and the pin I bought for Gitte. If she says she likes it, I’ll surely give it to her. Don’t even want any jewelry with me on the trip. Surely I’ll be picking up things along the way.

It’s the details that take my focus, just as with going into surgery. Know that I always bring a pillow. What a help that was when I broke my ankle years back and had to wait three hours before the doctor arrived at Norwalk hospital. What pain I would have felt if I didn’t have that soft pillow to cushion the break. Now I’m bringing a smaller pillow, for being allergic to feathers, I take care of myself that way. These little details are what help me to feel at home.

I told John today that I had no worry about making the art, no worry about the workshops I’ll be leading, no worry that I won’t have enough good art for the show at the American Center in Delhi in March, but I worried about the weight of my suitcases.

The detail of the pillow sent me months back going to Calico Corners fabric upholstery and drapery store for I knew that they had the kind of pillow I could sleep on even though it would be far smaller that what I wrap my head around at home. Going to sleep at home these last days, I luxuriate in my king size bed, wrap myself with the quilt, keep the velour robe nearby so that when I get up in the chilly morning, it will be at hand to comfort my body until the heat rises.

Tending to these details are what make me feel at home wherever I am, the robe that weighs nothing to fit in my carry on; its, floral design will comfort me with its bit of beauty along the way. The wrap around cotton skirt with its Indian pattern, and my knit shirts to go with it, will be a resourceful way to get through the variability of weather. I’ll layer, layer, layer, and if need be in Munich, will borrow a sweater from Gitte, but the art making, that’ll be pure joy. I’ve no need to worry for I took weeks selecting each piece of art material and lo I expect it will be enough, be sufficient or that whatever comes out is made all the more marvelous by the limits of what is at hand. That’s part of the joy, part of the challenge and I welcome it.

Day 1 in DElhi - flight from Munich/London (long walk to gate)/Delhi

Hi Luv (daughter Janet),
    Safe and sound. Naturally, being in India started with someone dying on the plane (in 1st class I believe) so we had to wait in the plane a good while after it landing in the airport in Delhi until the police arrived. I finally fell asleep wile waiting - barely did on the flight. Then there was an interminable wait for my baggage - was getting dizzy watching the bags go by and by and by. And, of course the driver wasn't there when I got out of the airport- had to call Sanskriti. My IPhone said there was no such number and I had to go back inside to make the call. A woman gave me five rupees for the call but it ended up costing 220. Was I overcharged? Oh well. After one guard refused to let me back in to make the call, another let me in. The driver showed up - finally with a neatly typed piece of paper with my name on it, and lo we drove through  the streets of mix and match with him honking the whole way. I got here! Everyone is very gracious and helpful. They got me on line and now I'm settling in.
     Beautiful grounds as I remembered, but my studio/living is a bit more primitif than I'd imagined. Oh well. I'm here in India and already the magic in the air is suffusing my spirit. Dinner isn't until 8:30 and I'm very hungry. It's vegetarian and I hope I don't suffer from the overdose of carbs.
    Barely slept on the plane. A heavy set woman sat beside me and was too chatty. Watched the film Breakfast at Tiffany's - really stupid on the replay. What ever charmed me about it before? Still, Audrey Hepburn was gorgeous with her long neck and child-like figure. Started on Mamma Mia - even more stupid, but then again Meryl Streep is always great to look at with her little elegantly pursed lips, and yes, she has a great neck too.
    Tomorrow I'll go through my stuff to organize the suitcase I'm taking to Kolkata and Dhaka on Friday, and what I'll leave behind (my warm coat, etc.). Thursday, I meet with the US Embassy person about my show in March. I have a great idea spurred by the show I saw in Munich by Marlene Dumas - faces that fill up the page. Well, doesn't that make sense for me? Of course and mine will be mine, no where like hers. She just tacked them on the wall, and even some seemed to be pasted on. Well, let's see what the American Center is open to.
    Barbara Rothenberg came here in 1993 at the tail end of her Fulbright. Remember that she and I traveled to Jaipur along the Shakuhachi Trail (??? - know I've got the spelling wrong) - we meditated in the desert and slept in a castle, etc. More funny stories but I won't recount them here except to say that our driver got drunk every night, and we went along with some guy who was a hotelier in the States (we got ac heaper rate through him). He'd gone to Bennington College with Barbara. I found him officious and difficult - making unilateral decisions. We dumped him in Jaipur where Barbara stayed on after I left. She did a study of the Ramalama paintings (?? - Barbara - please correct me) - Indian miniatures with musical references.
    I gave people here greetings from Barbara and they not only remember her, but still enjoy the wonderful artworks (2) she left here. They are in the dining room and fit in perfectly.
    So, this is day 1. I hope to get a good night's sleep on the rock hard bed. I brought a half-size pillow - a very smart idea. At least my head will have something soft to lie upon.
    All's well. I've a heater in the studio (getting chilly as it does in Delhi on January nights). Was pleasant in the day - shining sun and of course friendly resident artists.
    Luv u - and I'm going to put this on my blog if I can figure out how.
        Hugs and all,
        Mama Suzanne
Photos will come later. Computer is sluggish.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Intro to journey

Here I am, starting out with a Blog. Will be using this venue during my journey this winter to South Asia, to India and Bangladesh. I’ll be a working/traveling artist once again, leading workshops, making art, having many events including showing my film, “Masks as a Portal to the World” from my May 2009 talk at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Elizabeth Sackler Center. I’m scheduled to have an art exhibit at the American Center in New Delhi, India, opening on March 4. Will be a resident artist at Sanscriti outside of New Delhi for a month, leading a welding mask workshop at the University of Dhaka in February, and also in Kolkata, and giving printmaking demos along the way. Definitely a chock full three months. Also, and especially will be seeing and visiting friends throughout the journey.

Three month artist journey

Suzanne Benton is a native New Yorker who has shared her many-faceted art for over 30 years and in 29 countries. A trans-culturalist and feminist pioneer based in the States, her venues stretch from New York City to villages in remote parts of Africa, India, and Nepal, and to philosophy and education portals from Calcutta to Cambridge. A former Fulbright Scholar (India), and recipient of many grants and artist residencies including a Thanks be to Grandmother Winifred Grantee (East Africa) and many hostings by the cultural arm US Embassies, she’s traveled worldwide since 1976, sharing her work in Bali, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Denmark, Egypt, England, Germany, Greece, Holland, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Spain, Switzerland, Tanzania, Tunisia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. Beyond exhibiting widely (150 solo shows and representation in museum and private collections worldwide), she’s a highly recognized metal mask maker and mask performance artist, lecturer, and workshop leader. Author of The Art of Welded Sculpture and numerous articles, she is and has been listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in American Art, International Who’s Who of Business and Professional Women, and Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975, Edited by Barbara Love, 2006.