NYPL Exhibit A Century of Art: 1926 “What London Wears,” Attributed to Mabel Thérèse Bonney


Thérèse Bonney during WWII, via Library of Congress

On Saturday, I participated in a the first of two panel discussions in support of the wonderful new exhibit at the NYPL, A Century of Art. Part of the larger centenary of the Schwarzman building on 42nd and 5th, this exhibit displays one print or photograph from the collection for each year, from 1911 to 2011. As a scholar affiliated with the Wertheim Study, I was invited to speak on one image and I chose an amazing fashion photograph from 1926. I don’t have permission to show you the picture, but I thought you might be interested in my description of it and of what it signifies. The second panel, in which five additional scholars speak for ten minutes each on five other prints or photographs will be on Friday, December 9, 2011, 2 - 3:30 p.m. It’s a lovely, friendly format, so do you’re your calendars and go!

When Jay Barksdale sent around the list of images to be included in this exhibit, I knew immediately that, if I were to speak, it would be on this image, although I didn’t see it until last week. After all, it’s an image made by a woman, about fashion, from 1926, and my current project is a textual edition of Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway, a novel about an upper class London woman who goes shopping and throws a party. But when I saw the image, I gasped with shocked delight. Not having known her work before, how could I have guessed that Thérèse Bonney had created an image that captures at once a very specific moment in women’s fashion and, at the same time, would be at home in a window at Sak’s today?

My expertise is not photography or fashion, but literature and history, and, in the brief time I have today, I want to talk about the caption, the photo, and a little bit about the photographer itself. I should say here that, as the prints department is not even 100% sure of the artist, I do not know the source or author of the caption, nor where, if anywhere, this image originally appeared. The full caption is an amazing bit of 1920s fashion writing:
What London wears—The continental way of being economical—Rubbers for legs—fold into a dainty little package and easily left in escort’s coat pocket. Ingenious way of keeping silk stockings clean.
For copywriters in the 1920s, as today, London prides itself on being glamorous, signaled here by the word “continental,” and practical. What London wears is, in fact, not from London at all, but an import from Europe. However, cautious Londoners need not fear—these rubber stocking covers are economical as well. As high fashion as the photograph is, the caption itself brings us squarely into the world of advertising. The rest of the caption flirts with sexuality. “Rubber” as slang for a condom goes back to 1913 but it has been chiefly North American slang. Still, the idea of sex, of the ways in which we clothe our bodies to conceal and reveal possibilities of intimacy, hovers throughout this silly little bit of prose. The caption contains within it the narrative of a date: these removable little stocking covers slip off and into a pocket, but not your pocket, your date’s. The image of a young woman, balancing on one leg, her hand, perhaps, on her escort’s shoulder for balance, as she unclasps the three hooks on each rubber, folds them into their “dainty little package,” and hands them to him for safekeeping would have been impossible before the war. And then, the next line, “ingenious way of keeping silk stockings clean,” implies that the same daring woman who would wear these rubbers is also one who worries about her laundry. This is a modern woman, sexy, confident, and living on her own. She is like T. S. Eliot’s typist, home at teatime, her drying combinations strewn about her flat. She is not like the protagonist of Dorothy Richardson’s 1915 novel Pilgrimage, a young boarding school teacher who worries, in a panic, about how to do her hair, for it’s still wet from having been forced to shampoo it just before dinner.
           
The idea of galoshes as dangerously contintental, as a French letter for the feet, shows up in a wonderful scene from James Joyce’s 1914 story, “The Dead”:
"O, but you'll never guess what he makes me wear now! … Galoshes!" said Mrs. Conroy. "That's the latest. Whenever it's wet underfoot I must put on my galoshes. Tonight even, he wanted me to put them on, but I wouldn't. The next thing he'll buy me will be a diving suit."Gabriel laughed nervously and patted his tie reassuringly, while Aunt Kate nearly doubled herself, so heartily did she enjoy the joke. The smile soon faded from Aunt Julia's face and her mirthless eyes were directed towards her nephew's face. After a pause she asked:"And what are goloshes, Gabriel?""Goloshes, Julia!" exclaimed her sister "Goodness me, don't you know what goloshes are? You wear them over your... over your boots, Gretta, isn't it?""Yes," said Mrs. Conroy. "Guttapercha things. We both have a pair now. Gabriel says everyone wears them on the Continent."
Gretta Conroy’s last remark—that everyone wears them on the Continent—is the beginning of an end for her husband Gabriel who, over the course of the evening, will be exposed for preferring Europe to Ireland, for being in danger of being left behind, both by his wife’s memories of a boy from the West and by his female colleague’s commitment to the Irish language and the Irish Free state. The rubbers of 1914 are not the same as the ones shown here.

Galoshes do not figure in Mrs. Dalloway, but another kind of tube for the extremities does: gloves. The original first line of Mrs. Dalloway was not “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself” but “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the gloves herself.” And the 1923 short story “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street” which began Woolf’s serious return to Clarissa Dalloway as a possible protagonist (She had been a minor character in an earlier work) contains an extended meditation on the decline of gloves since the war. In that story, Clarissa’s preoccupation with gloves is part of the sharper satire on her—she’s a much less sympathetic figure in the story than in the novel—so, she thinks “It would be intolerable if dowdy women came to her party!” and then wonders “Would one have liked Keats if he had worn red socks?” Woolf uses Keats, a great poet revered across England, as a crucial barometer: the notion that one’s opinion of a poet might alter if his socks were not quite so is as shallow to Woolf’s ears as to ours. So when, in the next paragraph, Clarissa forges a connection with the shop girl over the old gloves, “With pearl buttons… perfectly simple—how French!,” we are reminded of how a certain kind of woman still judges others’ value by the correctness of her accessories. 

For Joyce, galoshes are a way that a middle-aged husband protects his wife from a chill. For Woolf, gloves are a sign of a middle-aged wife’s continuing care for propriety. The rubbers that London wears in this 1926 photograph are something else entirely. And to turn from the ways in which Joyce and Woolf ironize the bourgeois preoccupations of the prior generation to Bonney’s photograph is to suddenly feel a breath of fresh air, to feel the breathing room that modernity opened up for women.

If the caption flirts cloyingly, the photograph itself is less shy. It is also art. We see a pair of long, slim legs, crossed just above the ankle, in medium-heeled Mary Janes, with a button strap. The strap and the opening of the shiny black shoes are piped with a thin strip of leather in a paler shade. The spat-like galoshes hook under the heel and fasten three times in the front, leaving large gaps up the shin between buttons. The rubbers hardly look like a practical solution to walking in rainy streets. Surely the splash of a mud puddle is as likely to hit the front of a leg as the back. In Woolf’s short story, Mrs. Dalloway remembers how “old Uncle William used to say” that “A lady is known by her gloves and her stockings” (26). That old saw, still current today, about the telling signs of a woman’s accessories, applies here in ways that might shock Clarissa, for the story that these rubbers tell is not about class or breeding but about modern glamour.

One of the most important facts about these rubbers is how they remind us that this London woman is no longer wearing dresses down to her ankles. Her skirts would have come down just below her knees and her legs are now on display. But the display itself participates in a distinctively twenties aesthetic. The overall effect is glamorous rather than practical. Both sexy and abstract, the rubbers create three additional pale ovals up the white leg, echoing the oval created by the strap itself. If you go to the gallery upstairs, you’ll see that next to this photograph, the Delaunay print, representing 1924, and the Man Ray photograph representing 1925 both feature studies of circles and curved forms. The designer of these rubbers, the model, and Thérèse Bonney have collaborated to create in three dimensions, on a woman’s leg, a design that echoes the clean lines and pure shapes of avant garde art of the period.

In her recent book Glamour in Six Dimensions Judith Brown argues that the world of glamour and of high modernism are not so far apart. We should not, she insists, see a divide between consumerism and art, but notice instead a shared aesthetic delight in abstract forms and clean lines. The Bonney photograph absolutely participates in the phenomenon that Brown describes and it’s an exciting reminder of how fast the world was changing in 1926: just the year before, Woolf published a novel in which Clarissa laments that her daughter doesn’t care about gloves, but now, that lament is tinged with a kind of pride. At the party, one of Clarissa’s elderly guests notes to herself how the young girls’ gowns are short, tight, and straight, a look she finds unflattering. And the very next year time, in Paris, designers are making rubbers to market to the modern Londoner so she can protect her stockings and show off her legs.

The photographer is presumed to be Mabel Thérèse Bonney (limited access link, sorry) and, as I have learned in the past few days, she is very much worth more of our attention. Bonney was born in Syracuse in 1894. Educated at the University of California, and Harvard, she earned a doctorate at the Sorbonne. During the 1920s, she and her sister published a series of books about French cooking and fashion for American and English readers and this photograph looks to be part of that phase of her career as a photographer: gorgeous editorial fashion work.

She returned to New York in 1935 to become director of the new Maison Française, a gallery in Rockefeller Center dedicated to fostering better cultural understanding between France and the United States. That work sent her back to Europe and, while in Finland in November 1939 to photograph preparations for the 1940 Olympic Games, she instead became the only photojournalist at the scene of the Russian invasion of Finland. Her war photography was exhibited at the Library of Congress and published in books as War Comes to the People (1940) and Europe’s Children (1943). Her concept for a film about children displaced by war became the Academy Award- winning movie, The Search (1948). She died in France in 1978. 

Cura: A new journal of art and action



Late last spring, a group of Fordham students got together with Sarah Gambito, our Director of Creative Writing. They were frustrated that all the work they were doing on the student literary journal resulted in a pretty little booklet that sat in stacks on the radiators of our building, ignored. How could they convey their passion for art and their desire to change the world in ways that would touch other people?

Lots of brainstorming, conversations, coding, and a few visits to Zuccotti Park later, and Cura is the result. I’ve been tweeting about this for a while, but I haven’t written about it here.

Cura is going to be an online magazine, available on Kindle and with a number (how many? we’re not sure yet) of print editions. Four times a year, we’ll publish a prompt, each one related to the theme, and select the best art—fiction, poetry, photography, or any new media that can be displayed on a website—we get in response. The students write the prompt and they’re also writing the Muse, the blog that riffs on that prompt.

Our theme is Home.

Our first prompt is “What does your white picket fence keep out? And what has slipped in?”

Our first deadline is October 17th.

But that’s not all. We are committed to art and action and with the theme of home we’ll be hosting some fundraising events to benefit Covenant House, a nonprofit that benefits homeless youth. Any money we make from sales of the print journal will go to Covenant House, too.

We are so excited about this! I am super proud to play a small role as a faculty advisor. I hope that you’ll pass the call for submissions to all your friends, that you’ll submit your work, and that you’ll come back at the end of the month and read what we’ve put together.

The Art of Captivity


My friend and colleague Lenny Cassuto has curated a wonderful small exhibit on the idea of captivity. In American literature, captivity narratives have a very particular connotation: a subgenre of stories of whites who were kidnapped by (or ran off with) Native Americans and then wrote of their experiences. And, of course, in American history, the word captivity always recollects the sorry fact of slavery. This exhibit keeps its focus on the political while opening that category up, for us to think about mythology (Demeter and Persephone).  As I walk past the show up to work each morning, I find myself particularly drawn to the play on celebrity wives, looking on in poses of “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” by Karen Yama.

But that is not the only amazing image. Kara Walker never disappoints, and four of her gorgeous and disturbing silhouettes are on display. As is an amazing, Jasper Johns or Glenn Ligon-like print of the lyrics of Springsteen’s “I’m On Fire.” And then, anchoring the gallery with a stunning pop of color is Anne Sherwood Pundyk’s painting.

If you’re around Lincoln Center, pop your head into Lowenstein and ask the security guard to let you see the art. Or better, pop by tomorrow.

The show will have a formal opening receptions and artists’ panel discussion tomorrow, Tuesday, October 5th. Reception is 5:00-6:30; panel discussion is 6:30-8:00. The gallery is located on the street level of Fordham University’s Lincoln Center Campus, 113 W 60th St., just west of Columbus Circle.

Part two of the exhibition will be held at Susan Eley Fine Art (46 W 90th), beginning on October 26, 2010.



Megan Kelso’s Artichoke Tales


The Kelso girls were my good friends in high school. They had a great big house and the best parties in Seattle. I remember going over there on a Saturday night, dancing to the Psychedelic Furs, The Police and Grandmaster Flash while helping Jenny stir up a batch of chocolate chip cookies. These were the parties you dream of: really fun, really wholesome, where sometimes one of the cute boys actually asks you to dance (which, in the 80s meant jumping up and down like a pogo stick in his vicinity).

Megan was younger and smart and mysterious, with a very cool bulletin board covered with gnomic Dylan quotations.

Now, she’s all grown up and coming back out to New York (there were some Brooklyn years in there) from Seattle to celebrate her new graphic novel, Artichoke Tales. I loved her girlhero comic books so much! The ‘zines were sized just like comics and came with paperdolls to cut out on the back. They were masterpieces of 90s girlpower. Then, I gave them to a newly out dyke friend of mine and never saw them again: they are just the kind of books that a feminist covets and wants to keep. Megan writes about strong, independent women, gay and straight, navigating the landmines of war and family strife. It’s deep, powerful, political, and beautiful. Don’t look away. Run toward it.

She is giving a slideshow & booktalk at the Strand this Thursday, June 24, at 7:00 with Kim Deitch. She will also be speaking at Desert Island on Friday at 7:00. I so wish I could go. You should!!!




Gertrude Stein’s Honey Cakes

I’m reading Stein for the first time in ages. I still am not sure that I love it, but she has her moments. I’m also back on WeightWatchers and a little bit hungry. (You have to be a little bit hungry, alas, otherwise, you’re not, ahem!, losing the weight.) I’m sure that my hunger and the mental image of the wonderfully upholstered Stein made this even better, so get into your hungriest frame of mind for this, from The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, which made me laugh out loud:
They told Vollard that they wanted to buy a Cezanne portrait. In those days practically no big Cezanne portraits had been sold. Vollard owned almost all of them. … There were about eight to choose from and the decision was difficult. They had often to go and refresh themselves with honey cakes at Fouquet’s.
Fantastic, isn’t it? The language of need in the realm of wonderful luxury. Oh, so hard is the decision of which Cezanne to buy! Oh, so badly do I need more cake! Shall we buy the one of the man? I’m not sure, Leo, let’s go get another piece of honey cake…

The Met and the vet

Even when it’s a school holiday, I usually forge ahead. Especially since having kids, I feel all the more sure that time is slipping past, writing is not getting done, and every three-day weekend needs to be seized as a chance to write a bit more, to catch up (with what? sometimes I wonder).

I don’t quite know why I decided, against my workaholic ways, to take today off. It’s true that I am tired beyond tired, so tired that the tears were flowing down my cheeks the other day and I was powerless to stop them.

In any case, I did the supremely indulgent thing of sending the toddler off to daycare and taking the kindergartener into the Met. We had a spiral notebook and a mesh bag of colored pencils for her. We quickly suss each gallery for a place to draw. She chooses a work of art—preferring three- to two-dimensions—and begins sketching. I have time to read and study every work of art at great leisure before she’s done with a single sketch. We walk quickly through a few rooms and then it’s time to sketch again.

I haven’t had such a leisurely visit to the Met in years. We caught the last day of “Art and Love in the Renaissance,” lingering over cradles and birth bowls, moving more quickly through the room devoted to courtesans (although a majolica platter featuring a head made of a collage of penises did make us both giggle); some Impressionist paintings (including Degas’ sculpture of the 14-year-old dancer); the shark in a tank (which she found terrifying and puzzling “why would you want to make art that upsets people mommy?”); Egyptian art, including, of course, the Temple of Dendur.

By then, it was time for lunch. After all this sophistication, all our chat about the jubilant brushstrokes of Monet and how this or that painting looked slightly pointillist, she chose the taxicab: a dozen chicken nuggets, a bag of Lay’s, and a juice box served in a cardboard box that looks like a taxicab. She drove it around the table, making “stops” to pick up nuggets and chips, in spite of my pleas that the table might have germs on it. She is still six, after all.

We had a totally amazingly fun day. It is so immensely great to have such a companion: I feel overwhelmingly lucky and also sheepish to take such pleasure in my own child.

And lest I feel any pang of guilt over playing hooky, I remind myself that the day began cleaning up after a sick dog and ended at the vet’s office, getting medicine for same. She is fine. One of the most amazing and hard things about adulthood is the sheer relentlessness of life: even on a day dedicated to art and ease, there is a load of laundry to cycle through, ditto for the dishwasher, and a sick dog to clean up after.

Happy President’s Day!

HOW party Thursday

My friends have started a literary magazine that is also a charity.

H.O.W. publishes literature & art and also sends money to an orphanage for children affected by the AIDs pandemic.

Tomorrow night, for a $10 cover, you can do good and feed your literary soul. The festivities are at Housing Works, the source of much goodness, and kick of at 6:30. It's a launch party for issue #3 which is a beauty.

Jonathan Lethem and Barry Youngrau are reading.

See you there?

(Housing Works is at 126 Crosby St., btw. Prince & Houston. email info@howjournal.com for more info.)

Youme Landowne & Anthony Horton

I am busy. Beyond busy. Busy like never before in my life. Two more weeks of this and then things should settle back into the regular level of chaos. But for now, I'm at a stage where I have unopened emails from a week ago.

Still, once in a while, I do open and read. And then I look on in wonder.

My little local independent bookstore, the Imagine Atrium, is hosting Youme Landowne on Friday, 10/17 and I'm so excited. I hope I can go. If you're in Jersey City, do go.

Landowne writes children's books and her Selavi, about Haiti's restaveks is really beautiful. The restaveks are the poorest of the poor children in Haiti, children whose parents farm them out to "reste-avec," or stay with, less poor families who promise to feed, clothe and educate them. In reality, the restaveks are often little better than slaves. Landowne's picture book, which she wrote and illustrated, tells the true story of some restaveks who made a little family which then turned into a real home. It's the kind of children's book I love: it tells are hopeful story about a really, really dark, real thing. I can share it with my children and they learn about the bad things in the world without learning too much about evil (a delicate balance, but I lean toward realistic pollyannism, the audacity of hope, and all that).

This new book is a collaboration with Anthony Horton, a homeless subway artist. The challenge? Here's what the Imagine Atrium post says:
How do you tell the story of a life that starts something like this?
I was born to people who didn’t want me and so they gave me away. But I guess the people they gave me to didn’t want me either. No one wanted me. That’s why I ended up on the streets alone and uneducated. I couldn’t read or write. I didn’t know anything and the whole world knew it.
This is the voice of Anthony Horton. Born in 1968, Anthony is a homeless artist who lived underneath New York City. If you want to see his work, you’ll have to walk along the tunnel walls in the darkest parts of the transit system.

The drawings look lovely and I already know that Youme's work is cool, so I have high hopes for this one. Check it out.

I love Lynda Barry

Oh, she makes me so happy! She was the main reason to read The Rocket back in the day before The Stranger overtook it as Seattle's best free weekly.

Once, I was visiting a friend. I was 20; my friend, 30ish. A woman came across the street and they started an urgent chat about husbands, babies, pregnancy--all very intimate and fascinating and beyond me. The woman, the neighbor, apologized for interrupting our tea, and left.

It was Lynda Barry.

I still rue my shyness, my uncertainty that it really was her.

Anyway, the NYT slideshow, showcasing her new writing book is very exciting: just the kind of writing workbook to inspire. And she sounds very kind.

Magnificent Obsession

I went to an author talk last week (the event that prevented me from attending the Boxcar Reading), that’s worthy of a write-up in “The Talk of the Town.” To explain how I ended up at the Sean Kelly Galley on West 29th in the wilds of West Chelsea (the roar of the West Side Highway and the twinkling lights of Jersey just visible, audible), I need to go back about fifteen years. When I was in graduate school, I worked as an editor on a journal that brought law students and graduate students together. Our weekly meetings were a highlight of my life then and I made several friends with whom I’m still in touch.

One friend, a law student, was coming off one of those high-powered banking jobs. He had done his two years and needed an advanced degree to secure the next promotion. But banking wasn’t really his interest. And he certainly didn’t want to get an M.B.A. His goal was to learn about finance so that, one day, he could start a publishing house dedicated to promoting contemporary art.

I still reel back a bit at the ambition and the incredible sense of orderliness to the plan: so much deferred gratification, such a clear sense of the process.

All that work and care has come to pass. Gregory R. Miller & Co. is now a publisher and last week I went to an author talk and booksigning in honor of one of Greg’s books: Michael Sheridan’s The Furniture of Poul Kjoerholm: Catalogue Raisonné.

If Greg’s journey to publish the book is a tale of dedication and resolve, so, too, is that of Michael Sheridan’s coming to write it. Sheridan, an architect, had on a formal and spiffy suit. He has a high-domed head and a confident air. He spoke, without notes, to a group of twenty or so enthusiasts of Danish modern furniture--and that is one of the lovely and amazing things about Manhattan, that we can gather such a group, that such a group exists. He described his admiration for Kjoerholm (you can see some samples here) and how he came to organize an exhibit in Denmark and then to write this book and organize the exhibits (at two Manhattan galleries) of his work.

Coming to the event from the outside, it was charming, amazing, daffy, and a little inspiring to hear Sheridan pronounce with great confidence that he has no doubt that 100 years from now people will still be manufacturing some of Kjoerholm’s pieces, that they will still be collecting, talking about, and learning from his designs.

As for the furniture itself. Well, it’s beautiful and very plain Danish modern furniture. I love it, but it doesn’t keep me in the gallery for long.

It was great to see Greg--whom I hadn’t seen since my wedding in 1999--and to meet his sister-in-law and her daughter. While Greg hosted the gathering, the three of us wandered the gallery together, talking about Fordham (where I teach, where the sister went to law school), Webkinz (those stuffed animals with websites that Greg’s niece and my daughter like), and furniture.

The book is truly beautiful. And, I’m told, it’s a first: Greg and Sheridan have given the design world the kind of complete treatment of an important artist that the fine art world has long had. I admit--as you can hear--that I am far from understanding what I think of all of this, but I always admire passion, dedication, hard work, and the efforts to fulfill a dream. And there is something even more touching about seeing that first hand when the dream--whether to make the furniture, write about it, or publish the book-- is something far out of my ken.

A Riot of Color: Flowers at the Getty

It’s little wonder Los Angeles became such a city of glamour. The flowers here call out for their close-ups. In the taxi from LAX to UCLA, a little poem ran through my head,
bougainvillea, jacaranda, Clytemnestra, penicillin
. Somehow, these double spondees (BOUgainVILLea) with their lovely assertive melodies seem right for the plump, fleshy, swollen flowers that create little pops of color in the beige and sage coastal desert landscape. The flowers are loud here. The purples are neon bright; the yellows are canaries; the oranges scream danger. Everything is either prickly or tuberous. This is not a subtle seduction. It’s a sexy and glamourous floralscape.

My plane landed at noon and by 1:30 I was at the Getty Museum. It was more breathtaking than I’d expected. I was pleasantly surprised to see Tim Hawkinson’s crazy giant organ, an odd, silly, and happy piece that I’d seen at MassMoCA last year. There was a lovely small exhibit of paintings of animals by Oudry, including a haunting life-sized portrait of Clara the rhinoceros and an even more glorious and smaller show of illuminated manuscripts depicting animals. The decorative arts collection was incredible but, when I got there, fatigue and jetlag had set in. And, finally, for all that was moving about the art, it was, as I had been told to expect, the architecture, the garden, and the views that really dazzled. What a lovely, grand welcome! Hurrah!

Back Home Again

I’m in Los Angeles for the first time in my life, but it feels like coming home again. Here I am in a gray coastal city, misty and a little cold for the time of year, going on a hilly jog through a lovely neighborhood full of gorgeous homes with even prettier gardens. Rhododendrons and roses are in bloom everywhere and the trees, even on the planting strips of the neighborhood across Hilgard from the UCLA campus, seem primeval in their height and girth.

How is this not the Seattle of my girlhood?

True, I don’t ever remember seeing Variety lying in the driveways of the upper middle class. But I’m surprised at how much is familiar. And, after years of feeling intimidated to visit this other great city, all that anxiety about how I probably wouldn’t like L.A., how I was not pretty enough to be in L.A., how L.A. was not for me, seems pretty silly.

Strangest of all is this: the art in my hotel (the lovely and affordable UCLA Guest House), was done by a family friend. It may have even been done, in part by me!

That’s right. In college I worked in the art studio of our neighbor hand-coloring silk-screened prints with chalk. The artist, Susan Singleton, sold these prints in bulk to a gallery in a Design Center. The large editions were often purchased by hotels. The UCLA Guest House clearly purchased some and the lithograph outside my door is by Sue. Further down the hall is a triptych from her Clouds series, a series I vividly remember coloring. I would sit at a drafting table in her loft South of Pioneer Square, and color with pastels alongside 3 or 4 other artists. We listened to the Talking Heads, took breaks to dance, and practiced chalking and smearing. Only Sue and Nani, her best assistant, were allowed to make the trademark red squiggle at the end.

Uncanny. And very welcoming.