|Ann Starr, Self-Portrait in the City, 2001|
acrylic on tracing paper
painted at Virginia Center for Creative Arts
I experience both of these now that Starr Review is a year old. At the end of August, 2011, I thought, "Why don't I write about art the way I'd really like to?" The immediate comparison was to writing for print news media, with limitations on frequency, low word counts, and single photos in black and white. I had few opportunities to write like a lover—to reflect the artists' excellencies back to them; to detail and recommend the particular virtues of the the work to others in non-technical language, enticing them, too, to look closely, even if from afar; and to communicate the many dimensions of delight, idea, solace, and growth I find in routine, self-directed encounter with art. I don't get paid anymore, but I am richer.
Art—when I've been present for it, made it, written about it, puzzled my way into new forms—has always been the most fertile medium for my life; the greenest pasture whenever the fence hasn't been too high for me to get to it.
So, I am happy indeed that I've received the great gift of a month's free residency in September, in the company of four other artists at the Anderson Center at Tower View in Red Wing, Minnesota. I'll spend my time on a book manuscript, a memoir about the leading role art has played for me, though one more often submerged than declamatory.
I have one more review in the works, which I'm looking forward to posting first thing in September. Beyond that, I'm not certain that I'll do anything else in Starr Review until October. The chance to devote myself to my other project is a rare gift, not to mention that the Center has only one internet connection on the grounds. This is another gift of the place (and of other colonies where I've worked): It keeps one as far as possible from distractions of the world, of which the Internet is undoubtedly the greatest.
Thank you for your readership and for your interest in the subjects I've chosen for the Review. I hope we'll find many a mutually enjoyable experience in the year to come!