– “Our Studios” –
„In Heaven“: Photo: Studio and Gallery “Heaven”, Gracemont, Oklahoma
Here in Oklahoma, we had been in the middle of the reservation.
The little place Gracemont (in Oklahoma) has a place core with two churches, a school, a post office and a Sheriff. The outer ring around Gracemont consists of countries, fields or nature. Occasionally, there are (but scattered very far) residential buildings which nevertheless are part of Gracemont.
Here in the center the aim lay, to which (coming from this outer ring) we should be taken: The car had been parked at a little street. And we looked at the house row which can be above seen on the photo.
The house in front on the right in the picture is standing out by its attractive façade: Metal stamped with decoration in a silver gleam completes the frontage with an integrated gutter in front of the flat roof. The lower part of the wall once had got laid with green tiles, while the undermost approx. 50 cm appear in reddish brown color. The black sun tarpaulin, protecting against the sun, also can be seen.
We learned that Carol Whitney had recently bought this house.
She had fulfilled herself “her desire probably cherished for a long time” to have a studio of one’s own and a gallery of one’s own!
Behind this lavish and tidy façade, we found ourselves in the midst of an extreme chaos of all sorts of things: Chair, armchair, table, utensils of every kind piled themselves up about each other, were scattered so that this way they filled out the big room inside.
Above all chaos, two gigantic metal pieces from the ceiling up to the ground hung down ghostly. These two pieces had been part of the former ceiling paneling which had already partly broken loose from their fastening.
About this “interior” we had been very astonished because we had not expected that.
But, what did this house tell?
Those houses of Gracemont had been left hastily in the twenties of the last century when the great finance crash had happened! – The destinies which hid behind the left things and the place to stay deserted penetrated in their sad charisma into us, without betraying details to us!
After having sufficiently “admired” the chaos, we had been led to a wall to which a large sheet of paper had been fastened.
We could not miss at all the heading in German language „Der Stundenplan“(“the timetable”):
The sequence of numbers ordered vertically on the left stood for the number of days of our stay while all the described points had referred to particular days. Therefore, a gigantic program expected us!
“Der Stundenplan” (the timetable) had been a mischievous reference to our mode of operation and our planning – like our guests had felt it by us in Bremen (Germany) – though without an announcement with such a poster…
At the end of our encounter, there should exactly be three exhibitions also in Oklahoma as in the case of us last year (in Bremen).
And this newly acquired house had been provided for one of the three places of exhibition.
For, here in Oklahoma, our hosts wanted “to spread the red earth in front of us” then! – And with it, to familiarize us with the “Indian Time” as they called it.
In order to work here, all of us could find a suitable place by “shoveling it free”. This had been no problem. The house purchase had been so new that there had not been any time for tidying yet.
Carol Whitney had given her gallery the name “Heaven”!
This gigantic interior stamped by the sad contemporary witnesses (the left objects) should become “the Heaven” now!
Carol Whitney had expressed a great “cloud filled with longing” with this naming as I think:
Creativity, self-expression and a positive mood to mankind are increasing there where artist are working together. A wave of very frequenting vibrations is building up this way, and fulfills the room! – All of us had felt this condition of bliss in the community!
In fact we had been in the middle of this longing cloud!
With her enormous energy and drive Carol Whitney radiated, she had been catching all of us!
In the course of time always could be found occasions to tidy up and to get clearance into the interior of the gallery and of letting disappearing chaos! …
„The Studio out in the Open“
Furthermore there had been still this “Studio out in the Open”. On the topmost photo (below) the torso of a shop-window-doll can be seen in front of the red clinker bricks of a house wall. This is the house wall of the building in which we, the guests, could live – like we had similarly organized it in Bremen and Rotenburg (Germany) in the then last year.
This torso had given to the environment belonging to the house at once the atmosphere of a “studio”!
On the next photo under this, are to be seen Ronald Anderson (with hat) together with Heinz Hugel while making a stretcher.
Here, all of us had had the possibility to work spontaneously without being dependent on a drive.
Photos above: “The studio out in the open”, Gracemont, Oklahoma
To the construction of three teepees had come: Sherman Chaddlesone and his wife Adeline (Allie), Sherman Chaddlesone’s sister, as well as his friend Marc (also an artist). Ronald Anderson had been anyway daily with us as it also had been the case at Carol Whitney.
The following two photos show two stages during the teepee-construction. On the photos after that the observer can imagine the new atmosphere arisen now…
The Studio-Teepees; Photos: Two construction-situations (above); working atmosphere with the Teepees (below), Gracemont, Oklahoma . . . Renate Hugel
Remark: The contributions under “Art Touches Art” refer in part 1 (“Art Touches Art – 1 to 28”) to the symposium “Attempt of an Encounter – Five Native American Artists meet five European Artists”. This had taken place in Bremen (Germany), in the year 2000. Whoever would like to ask about the genesis of the symposium can scroll back till „Art Touches Art – 1“, then continue scrolling back till Information about ‚Art Touches Art‘; after that you find then the „Chronology of the Past History“.
In part 2 (as of „Art Touches Art – 29“) the contributions refer to the return visit in Oklahoma (USA) in the year 2001. . . . Renate Hugel