Tuesday, October 21

In addition to leading our regular drawing class, Dana had organized smaller, informal lessons for those interested in water color and egg tempera techniques. While I originally had signed up for the water color class, I ended up bailing on it in order to -- yes -- have more time to work on my own projects. I'm sure she and Layne would think that to be just fine.

At the American Academy we were given a chance to see the life of an Artist in Residence by visiting studios to see work in progress and hearing stories of life in transition similar to our own -- our Liminal States assignment, and the accompanying response, as applied to others. Through a variety of opportunities, from a few weeks as a Visiting Artist to nearly a year as a Rome Prize winner, the Academy offers several ways for artists and scholars to work and live in Rome as a means of expanding and refining their professional and personal path.

On the advice of some of the resident artists, before leaving many of us picked up tickets for the Academy's upcoming annual Halloween party. Having spent one fine Halloween in London a few years back, I know that Europeans just don't do this 'holiday' the same way Americans do, but both the Europeans and Americans seem to enjoy their role as unfamiliar host and surprising guest. Plus, we're college students after all, so having one more party would be as natural as eating more pizza and drinking more coffee.

I must now, in fairness, take this opportunity to tell you about underwhelming art amidst the overwhelming. The Lamest Fountain In All Of Rome is situated along the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, the main road between central Rome and the Vatican.
On The Lame List
While other monuments along and near this road -- the Palazzo Doria Pamphili, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona -- uphold the glory of Roman art history, this sad, small, bell-shaped (or is it egg-shaped?) object meekly drips water into a nearly empty pool (empty, save for the garbage deposited randomly by the breeze) of no regard except for the level stone surrounding it which makes a convenient place to rest one's weary legs and posterior during a long day spent visiting other, more appealing, sites around Rome. Inexplicably situated on one of Rome's busiest thoroughfares, it is passed every day by thousands of people on their way to or from some other more notable visual or historical site. We seem to pass it nearly every day on our way elsewhere, wondering if the day after will be the one in which it shows more life and substance. Its location near an exchange booth where I occasionally cash in a traveler's check for more spending lire makes it a sight I see almost as often as the Dome atop St. Peter's. Its continuously drab existence was itself enough of a lure to ensure its documentation among the rich possibilities of the city.

This evening's home entertainment system consisted of Steve's "All You Can Eat" challenge,
Banquet, Italian Style
involving Italian milk (packaged in aseptic containers without refrigeration...), more than one bottle of beer (Heineken and Black Star, if you must know), grissini (breadsticks), several units of bottled water, and (I'm recalling from memory here) 32 sugar cookies.

He ate only 17 of the cookies.

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