Lots has happened since my last blog in October. Since I have 3 different “jobs”, as an acupuncturist, Tai Chi and Qi Gong instructor, and artist, I am always juggling my interests as well as keeping the boat afloat. I’ll give you some of the highlights of the last 6 months.
October 2015 marked the 30th anniversary of my business, The Tai Chi Natural Health Club. I have been teaching Tai Chi at Ocean View Park for 3 decades! Ocean View Park is one of my favorite places on the planet. It sits on a cliff overlooking the Monterey Bay where the San Lorenzo River enters the bay. It also overlooks the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. I was teaching a class there in October, 1989, when the Loma Prieta earthquake hit! I watched an emerald green wave flow through the grass at the park as the earth pounded our feet from below, and the dust rose halfway up the Giant Dipper roller coaster at the Boardwalk. One summer, back in the last century, I witnessed 27 great blue herons flying in a large circle over the eucalyptus grove a half block away. It seemed as if all the relatives had come to visit the grove for a summer family picnic. I’ve never seen anything like that since. Our class spent many wonderful hours watching and listening to our beloved teacher, Chang I-Chung, demonstrate, pontificate and inspire us in our practice, and the art of living gracefully on the planet!
Some of our Tai Chi class at Ocean View Park
Back to October, 2015! I participated in Santa Cruz Open Studios, sponsored by Arts Council Santa Cruz. It is an annual art event that spans the first 3 weekends in October. It’s an opportunity for the community to visit about 300 local artists studios to see what their work environment is like and view and purchase art directly from the artist. It is LOTS of work, and exhilarating! I hadn’t participated since 2007, and it felt great to show and sell work, and meet with and talk to so many nice people.
Talking with guests in my art studio at Open Studios Art Tour
I took November and December off to regroup. I spent a lot of time making soups and nurturing myself. Santa Cruz finally got a good dose of rain to start easing the 4 year drought, so staying warm and dry was satisfying and cozy.
Beet Soup with Roasted Pumpkin Seeds and Sliced Egg
January presented an exciting opportunity. I was selected to have a solo art show at Merced College from mid January to mid February. This was a fabulous opportunity, and also very challenging. Merced is 2 1/2 hours away from home, over some very curvy, hilly, roads. I enlisted my recently retired brother Mike to help me with the task. I rented a cargo van, loaded up 12 sculptures, and headed over Hwy 129 to Hollister, where my brother lives. The morning fog was so thick as I drove through the hills with my wire sculptures, many suspended from bungee cords in the van, their heads bobbing in the rear view mirror. I was a bit (very) nervous, and set my iPhone to play Kate Vogel’s version of Hallelujah over and over again. Mike and I made it to Merced and set up the show. 2 weeks later I attended the opening reception. I was in heaven! It was so exciting to have 15 years worth of my wire art all together in a gallery. About 100 people attended the opening. I gave a 20 minute talk about my work, and then another 20 minutes of Q & A. It was a fabulous experience.
Panoramic View of “Wired and Twisted” show at Merced College
That brings me to March. Oh boy! One of my sculptures actually made it into MAD Magazine. One of the neighbor kids sells magazines every year for his school. Last year I bought a subscription to MAD. My brothers and I loved it when we were kids. I have done a few pieces of art over the years with Alfred E. Newman as a character in the work. I decided to send in a photo of my piece “The Night Rex Discovered MAD Magazine in the Garbage”, along with a Letter to the Editor. Guess What? It got published in the most recent edition of MAD! Now that’s crazy!
My Letter to the Editor, Published in the April, 2016 Edition of MAD Magazine
Okay, that catches you up to my current status. I’m excited about what’s coming next, and will continue to keep you posted.