Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Teaching Residency: Monotype in the DR

Monday, July 14th

After sipping a questionable but needed cup of coffee, while easing into Spanish by eavesdropping at my Miami airport layover… I am on a skinny jet flying over the ocean. The water seems to turn more the color of sea glass as we fly south.  There are little solitary worlds of jewel-like coral reef islands below and from the plane I feel I can see all the way to the bottom of the sea.  I am on my way to the Dominican Republic for a whole month to teach Monotype printmaking to the summer students at La Escuela de Diseño Altos de Chavón.  I do not know what to expect once I get there.  But I did not hesitate and was grateful when I received an email from my former professor at the New York Academy of Art asking me if I was free and interested in a last minute adventure.  Nearing La Romana, I see miles and miles of green cut fields, farmland stretching out, and fading into the hazy blue mountains of the distance.  A sprinkling of houses with zigzags of trees indicating rivers below. At the tiniest airport that I have been to yet in life, I breeze through customs with my giant duffle, aka portable print shop full of plexiglass, paper, and bottles of liquids cautiously labeled for TSA. 

I got in late, early evening and wandered around in the fading light and quiet.  I found myself in a place far from medieval, built in the late 70’s and conceived by a former movie set designer, but a place magically strange all the same.   Removed from my world, up on a hill that looks down on a river is a village made of coral stone and covered in bougainvillea.  I found the local bar and ate and drank a white frosted bottle of Presidente, “vestida de novia". Walking back in the dark, looking up at the trees, I ran into Carmen, my hard working host who makes this place run.  I crawled into bed sprayed from head to toe with mosquito repellant, and looking up at the high lofted wooden ceiling I closed my eyes under the cool of the fan.

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