I'm currently sitting in my Brooklyn apartment, snuggled in with a cozy blanket and a warm coffee. It's one of the few mornings I've had off in the past couple weeks, and I'm basking in the deliciously slow start to the day (and the fact that I'm still in my pajamas past 8:00 a.m.)
I've started working at the Richard Avedon Foundation as an archives intern for two days a week. My work mainly entails rehousing negatives (of which he left thousands) into more archival materials and more organized systems. But I do make the morning coffee, which is more for me than any one else if we're being totally honest.
Avedon photographed extensively for five decades, and the record he left is unimaginably large, legitimately thousands and thousands of negatives. The man had almost 200 sittings per year.. It's prolific to the point of obsessive, and I find that the Avedon I thought I knew through my undergraduate history classes is a very different one than his archives hint at. And even though I've run errands and put together printers and done the menial tasks, it's all worth it to be interacting with these artifacts of his artistic process (and it doesn't hurt that the delicate negatives are of extremely famous actors, artists, writers, politicians.)
I've also started at Galleria Ca' d'Oro in Chelsea. It's a small gallery, but the artists they represent have been making big moves over the last couple decades. They're based out of Rome and largely represent Italian artists. Right now, I'm creating promotional materials for the artists and compiling lists of places for them to send their artwork to. Since they're largely public art based artists, it can be a little more complicated to find a home for their work than it is to find one for a photograph. But recently, these artists showed in Central Park and the Centre Georges Pompidou, so they're doing more than alright.
I've also begun working at a little healthy food place called Foxy Greens. They specialize in healthy smoothies, juices, salads, and sandwiches. So come on by, Brooklyn, I'm ready to serve you some incredible truffled avocado toast (or maybe a Donny Almond smoothie? How about a healthy breakfast bowl? Or overnight oats?). I also work Smorgasborg, which if you've never been to it, you should probably put it on your list. It can get a little carnival-esque and touristy, but it offers a wide range of New York's finest foods - from Ramen Burgers to the mangoes on a stick. You'll be happy once you leave, especially with the beautiful Manhattan skyline to look at while you enjoy your munch heaven.
Classes have been going well, but I don't see my peers as much as I did over the summer. Our class schedules simply don't allow for as much lunch dates and coffee runs, so we're all making efforts to visit more often. They're a great bunch, and their work is being exhibited all over the world - most recently China, New York (at Photoville!), Denmark. It's very exciting to see their careers unfold and start to blossom. It's a daily reminder to step up my game, which every creative could use and it brings me to my next part:
The frustrations of red tape.
I've been trying to gain access to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigners, to talk with them about their experiences as volunteers, and to really get to know the people that are taking hours out of every week to spend working towards an America they want. Ideally, I'd love to meet with people and photograph them in their homes, make intimate portraits with their input, and really get to know them on a deeper level.
But I've had an extremely difficult time getting access, but I'm not too discouraged! Just if you happen to know any individuals who might be open to these possibilities, please let me know, or give them my contact info! There are so many angry Facebook posts, and so few people actually working to adjust the world and make the positive changes. And I'd love to highlight the dedication of these individuals!
On a more exciting and less disheartening note - I've been making some serious lifestyle changes. As most of you know, my career in softball ended this past spring, and it forced me to bid farewell to my main source of exercise. Since then, I've started running, doing pilates, and actually cooking my own food. My Pittsburgh friends were rightly horrified with how many HelloBistro burgers I put away in a week, but now, I'm becoming a little chef, cooking all my own meals and snacking on things like carrots, grapes, and chia seed pudding. You can see a sampling of my pretty meals below, but keep in mind that there are many more where I'm simply unable to satisfy my hunger before snapping a picture, so you're missing out on some good ones. Maybe you should stop by sometime, I'll cook you a mean (and very healthy) dinner.