Monday, February 14, 2011
The thing I love about Rome is that there is always something interesting or fun to do. Actually, come the weekend, there is usually too much to choose from. There are of course movies, plays and exhibitions. Restaurants to try, dinner parties to go to.
And since Rome is a mecca for creative types, there are always readings to go to or artists studios to visit. I'm very involved with the American Academy, (I started Friends of the Academy three years ago) and am often there, for lectures, shows, concerts and studio visits.
Last Sunday was the first of a new series of artistic events that my friend James Barron is organizing this year in Rome. Rather than do something on a grand or public level, he decided to develop something much more personal and intimate. He had the extremely clever idea of starting a program he is calling “Conversations.” James is a private art dealer, who has been living in Rome for the last 8 years or so. He’s decided to start a sort of mini-fellowship program, where he invites an artist to come and stay in Rome for 6 weeks, and work. At the end of the period he hosts a salon, giving us all a chance to see what the artist has been up to. The “Conversation” refers not only to the conversation that the artist has with Rome - and the resulting works - but also a more formal Conversation that James has with the artist, during the salon as well as the conversations that we are able to engage in with the artist.
The first artist was Dawn Clements. I’d been an admirer of her work for a while, ever since I’d seen two of her drawings in James’s apartment. During her stay here she worked on two drawings, both of which were on display.
Dawn’s drawings are huge, taking up a good portion of the wall. But she actually makes them in small sections, either folding the paper as she goes, or assembling them after she is finished.
In fact, the drawing that I loved was done in black ink, over a period of six weeks. She painted hyacinths as they bloomed, and drew only a small square section each day. Only when they were all completely finished, did she tape them together and hang them on the wall to see her final work for the first time.
James Barron Art