Wednesday Lemonade

April 8, 2020

Welcome to the first official issue of Wednesday Lemonade, our new community newsletter focused on keeping VCCA Fellows, staff, and supporters connected.

A heartfelt thank s to everyone who tuned in last week for a special Facebook Live event at Mt. San Angelo. It was the perfect kickoff to this new project. Sheila says, "It was so amazing to feel the presence of so many people in that virtual realm. We were together!" If you missed it, here's a link to watch .

We'll host another Facebook Live video gathering this time next week. Executive Director Kevin O'Halloran will be the one raising a virtual glass of lemonade.

While we won't have a live event every week, you can expect this newsletter to arrive in your inbox each Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. ET. We'll keep you up to date on what's happening at VCCA in Virginia and France and post messages from Fellows and other members of the VCCA community.

We worry about the toll this virus is taking on our world, but we are particularly concerned about our Fellows in NYC. Ove r 20% of VCCA Fellows hail from New York. Please stay home, stay safe, and stay well.

Thank you for being here.
Join Virtual VCCA
We're trying out a new platform to foster a more connected online community, and you're invited to join us .

Powered by Mighty Networks, this virtual gathering space offers members the ability to create profiles, start discussions, share events, form groups, chat with other members, and more. We admit we're figuring this out as we go, so come help us experiment and explore as we mold "Virtual VCCA" into a space for artistic camaraderie and meaningful exchanges.
Bonjour de France
VCCA's residency season at the Moulin Ă  Nef in Auvillar, France, was supposed to start this week with the arrival of the first Fellows beginning April 6.

From Resident Director Cheryl Fortier:
"Our warm hellos to those of you who have been to le Moulin Ă  Nef in past years and those of you who were scheduled to discover this magical place during the 2020 season. We want you to know that we are thinking of you. We hope that you are well, in safe havens, adjusting to the surreal nature of these times, and able to escape into your creative selves. We are fine, confining ourselves to our respective homes and staying in touch with smiles and waves from a safe distance, with phone calls and texts. John and I are grateful to be confined on the beautiful grounds of the Moulin Ă  Nef. The sun has been shining, temperatures rising and nature exploding."
Cheryl, Fatiha, Issam, Sabine, John
Below are just a few of the many lovely responses we've collected so far. Keep them coming! And keep an eye out for more message from Fellows elsewhere.
Judith Baumel
"I published an essay in The Common magazine online that talks about what it's been like to be in self-isolation for three weeks. Good news is that my daughter, a doctor working in COVID wards in NYC right now, finally today got proper PPE. On Dantedì, a few writer friends in Italy and in the U.S. formed a Zoom book club to read Dante and Boccaccio together. I recommend my husband's down-to-earth and helpful COVID-19 blog posts for The American Scholar . He's an infectious disease epidemiologist and the author of the book Dread: How Fear and Fantasy Have Fueled Epidemics From the Black Death to Avian Flu. "
Dan Jian
"For this summer, I had made a plan and applied for a grant to see ancient caves and Tang Dynasty mural paintings in Dunhuang, China. Now I can only stare at the exhibition catalogs from the Getty museum. Like many of us, I, too, have a hard time locating myself in the studio though I keep trying. I think the best approach is not to fight our anxiety; everyone is affected by this, although at a different level... I look at an artist like Dawn Clements and admire how she finds a way to have her art mirroring what surrounding her life - in a very non-assuming and honest kind of way. I seek the same quality in my current work. I believe in the context of a pandemic, any sensitive and humble gesture is, at the same time, a radical one. Now, it might be more relevant to record and to make, and they can be the same thing at the end anyway."

Two of Dan's national group shows, one local solo show, and one international solo show (in China) are postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Jack Curtis Dubowsky
"During my time in isolation, I've been cutting videos to promote my choral compositions. These 'read along' videos really help sales of sheet music to the choral community. In these times, sometimes we don't feel like being 'creative' in our usual ways. This was something I had been meaning to do, and finally found time to do it, without it creating a huge mental strain. I'm also practicing piano much more. I've also been working on my second book a bit, on easy listening under contract to Routledge. I don't really have any 'strategies' to suggest. But I think it's good to work on what you want to work on, and allow yourself to not work on things that you are not really feeling at the moment."
I'd like to share links to three choral music videos I've cut during isolation:
Helène Aylon
The VCCA community mourns the loss of Helène Aylon to COVID-19 on April 6, 2020, in New York City. Helène was a ten-time VCCA Fellow, most recently in the summer of 2016. She was a passionate artist whose work focused on social and spiritual issues, as well as themes of feminism and environmentalism. Undeterred by mobility issues, she was working on a large installation piece during her most recent residency at Mt. San Angelo. Helène was a generous and gentle soul who was always willing to share her work and to talk with other Fellows about their work. Her memoir,  Whatever Is Contained Must Be Released: My Jewish Orthodox Girlhood, My Life as a Feminist Artist,  was published in 2012 by The Feminist Press at CUNY.  You can read more about Helène here.
Helène Aylon at WORK Fine Arts, 2015; Garlands Adrift: Mixed media and coffee on canvas, 48" x 116" from exhibition at WORK Fine Arts; Photos by Craig Pleasants
From the Alliance of Artist Communities
Many organizations have been working diligently to pool together resources to help artists during this pandemic. Today, we'd like to share this list from the Alliance of Artist Communities, of which VCCA is a founding member:
Keep in Touch
🧡 Stay safe, and be well.