Soccer//Fusbol Ping-Pong//Table Tennis

Hello Hello Hello!

So the title of this post will make a little more sense later on in the post… it has been a busy week! Here is a sneak peak of what’s to come.

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But first, I bet the anticipation has been killing you… the long awaited blog post about the most amazing eventing I have had in Leipzig so far. Haha, well I hope that it lives up to all my self-created hype.

So a while back now, Kristan and I had just gotten back from Munich and we woke up to a cold Saturday morning. We were anxious to get the to studio after having been away, but also needed to get groceries before the market closed. When we walked to the store, we discovered that there was a street fair/festival happening right on our street, Karl-Heine! We had no idea!! We got distracted from the store and decided to walk a few blocks and check out the festival. It was a strange mix of food carts and tables selling things – people from established stores, flea-market-style tables, hand-made things and a lot of independent artists. What we thought was going to be a quick walk up a few blocks before the market turned into about an hour of window shopping and Kristan buying a beautiful, handmade ring from this Australian guy! We wanted to stay and walk the whole 6 or 7 blocks, but we also still needed to get groceries. So we quickly went to the store. When we got back, I grabbed my things for the studio and left the apartment. Abbie had already left, and Kristan was staying back to make lunch before she left.

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Walking around the festival by myself was awesome. I loved getting to look at all the art and things that people had made. Most people spoke English, so interacting was a little easier. There were live performances happening every couple of blocks – folk bands, people singing “La Bomba”, and Capoeira dancers! I got a really good bratwurst with mustard for lunch and took my time walking. My walk to the studio (which normally takes 20 minutes) turned into a really nice and relaxing 2 hours or so – the festival was even bigger than we thought! There was this huge open field that they had cleared for more vendors!

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I ended up buying this beautiful, handmade leather wallet from this really nice woman who was about my age! She offered free repairs for up to a year, even though I wont be in Leipzig that long :( My favorite part about the wallet is the screen-printed fish on the inside. I am so glad to have something to take with me that will always remind me of Leipzig, and of this perfect day.

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Finally, I got to the studio. Kirstan, Abbie and I stayed and worked for a couple of hours, but went home to make dinner and get ready for the Germany vs. Ghana game!!

So, in Germany, they call soccer fusbol, not football. I always knew the table-top soccer as fusbol, but they call that kicker here… it’s all a little wacky. But, we went off to this really wonderful beer garden on our street that is right by the canal to watch the game.

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It was the best way to watch a game. Our friends, Val and Nina, from Halle 14 came and sat with us. The crowd wasn’t too rowdy (I’m used to American sports fans), and the people we were sitting around were all wearing these all-white outfits…. I thought that they might be capoiera dancers from the festival, but during half time they all got up from the tables we were sharing with them and lined up for a performance. They were apart of this percussion group!! There were about 30 or so people in the group, separated into different parts. THEY WERE AMAZING. They had a conductor who was my age or maybe a little bit older, and it was amazing how they all worked together. It was obvious that what they were playing wasn’t an arranged piece, but the mixing and improvisation of the conductor, who led the group to be cohesive and beautiful. They played the whole halftime. Kristan, Abbie and I danced with some other people off to the side, it was a great way to spend the normally really boring half time.

Then, the game ended and the group started playing again! This time it was even more improvised and meshed together than the half-time. It also seemed like it would never stop!! At one point, the conductor had everyone yell “I like to move it, move it”, it was hilarious. Then, all of a sudden, just a few of the drummers kept playing, and the whole group started marching into this back ally behind the garden. I immediately followed – it was kind of like I was in a trance hahaha – I wanted to know where they could be going.

Following them is what led to the most amazing thing that has happened to me on this trip. It seemed like we had reached a dead end in the ally, I was kind of sad that the music and fun was going to stop. But then, the band, 30+ audience members and I squished into this tiny clothing store someone had opened up for us. Because I had been so eager to follow the group, Kirstan Abbie and I were right in the front of the audience. For the next hour (???) or so the band kept playing, and me and a ton of strangers danced our butts off. I have no idea how long we were actually in that store… it kinda felt like time had been suspended and we were all in this magical world where everyone was a stranger but no one was a stranger at the same time. All of us, the band and the audience followed the every command and request of the conductor, dancing low to the ground and then jumping up once “the beat dropped” (I feel so silly using that phrase but I cant think of anything better”; we all yelled out chants and cheers in time with the beats; we all danced without worry. There was this amazing energy I remember feeling in the room – it was the happiest, most random and serendipitous positive glow that I have ever come across. I just remember looking around the room and EVERYONE was smiling. I know I am gushing, but the synchronicity, connectedness, and joy that I felt after a random chance performance after a World Cup game was just incredible. The pictures are terrible, but you can get an idea of the store we were in.

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THAT was the best day I have had on this trip. It had everything. Sleeping in, a surprise festival, bratwurst, working in the studio, World Cup, beer gardens, and dancing. The best parts were all by surprise and chance. I hope it was the first of many days like that.

The rest of this week has bee filled with watching the World Cup, working hard in the studio, and a bit of ping-pong, or as the Germans would say, table tennis. Our friend Valerie left this week, and had an open studio before she did! about 30 or so people came, it was great! We played this awesome version of table tennis where there aren’t really teams. Instead, each person runs around the table hitting the ball in turn, back and forth. If you miss it or mess up, you are out and the game keeps going until it is just two people left. Then, the two play until one of them wins a point. It is really fun, but after a while you get tired and really dizzy!!

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Also since my last post, we had studio visits with some of the artists in residence in another building on Spinnerei, and it was really motivating for my own work. The people we met are students at the New York Academy of Art and were all working on these HUGE and amazingly skillful figure paintings. It made me want to work big… so I am!! Kirstan and I split this HUGE bunch of canvas. I am not sure how big it was before we cut it up, but I couldn’t get it all in one picture.

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I am by no means done with the paintings, but here are a few picture of my work area over the past couple of busy studio days.

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For the US vs. Germany game, we went back to the beer garden. We made sure to wear whatever red, white and blue we had!

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We thought that people would be really excited for the game and got to the garden early. Turns out, we were a little too over eager. No one was there yet! While we waited, I decided to go to this baked potato place for dinner. Yes, I said “baked potato place”. It is this cute little shop on Karl-Heine that I had been wanting to try for a while. They have all these different toppings! it was really good, except that there was SO MUCH sour cream on it. I swear there is a baked potato, chicken, cheese, and veggies in there somewhere…

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We waited outside and enjoyed a really nice afternoon before we finally went in to watch the game! We didn’t get heckled at all, but were pretty sad the USA lost :(

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For the rest of the World Cup games, we met our new friends at from the New York Academy of Art at this really great bar that is about a block from our house called the Theater Bar. It was really fun for the Germany game the other night – there were a ton of people! I look kinda crazy in the picture of Kristan and I with our Deutschland facepaint on… but I was just really excited haha.

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Last night, we we to the Theater Bar to cheer on the US and wore our best facepaint.

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You can place bets on the score of the game, and Kristan and I of course bet for our team to win. The best part about the Theater Bar is that they have their own two dual-announcers commentate on the game. They are these hilarious guys that loved that we were both American, and especially thought it was funny when Kristan and I stood up for the national anthem haha. Most of the time, I have no idea what they were saying, but when I could understand them, it was really funny – it just made watching more fun! Last night, they each had wigs on – one that looked like a Belgian player, and I think one was supposed to look like the (German) US coach, Jürgen Klinsmann.

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It was a heart wrenching game, Tim Howard is a hero. At least we still have Germany to cheer for!!!

It has been a really great week or two here in Leipzig. We only have a few left!! Tomorrow, Kirstan and I are going to Amsterdam for about 4 days!!! I absolutely cannot wait. Both of my parents studied abroad there, and it is kind of the reason why they are married (they first met when someone suggested they talk about the Amsterdam study-abroad program at Wheaton. The rest is history). We have planned out each day and they are all going to so busy, there is too much to do! I also cannot wait to be in Amsterdam to watch the Netherlands play in the quarter-finals!!! AHHH!!! I will try and be good about updating the blog each day (or at least typing it all out) so that I can get a post up quick after the trip!!

Until then! xoxoxoxoxo4evr
handres

ps. Here is this awesome neon sign in the pub district of Leipzig. I’m obsessed with it.

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München Munich München

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Hello!! So.. .get ready for another long post – but the best one yet, I promise! This past week has been my favorite week of the trip, and one that is going to be pretty hard to top.

This week, I had a lot of advancements in the studio surrounding my ideas for the work I am making here. It feels really good to have found a path or a groove that I think will be both fun and interesting to push in the weeks we have left (I can’t believe we only have 3 weeks in Leipzig left!! ah!).

Besides studio work, Kristan and I took a short trip to Munich this week – it was amazing. I don’t think there was a single bad part about the trip. It was relaxing, exciting, and fun; we did the right kind of touristy things and explored some local stuff on our own; we met new people and got to really enjoy one of the coolest cities in Germany. I know, technically, I have only been to a grand total of 4 cities in Germany, but if you are ever here GO TO MUNICH! You won’t regret it.

It was a 7 hour bus ride to Munich, but it was actually the best bus ride I have ever had. The bus was very nice – it had (fake) hardwood floors, internet, a bathroom, beer and food available, and outlets! At the rest stop (which was also very nice – Germany knows how to travel comfortably), Kristan and I decided to treat ourselves to American french fries….

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Once we got to Munich, Kristan and I walked to Marienplatz, the main square, to find our way around. It was beautiful!

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We got on a subway and went to meet our couch surfing host for the next two nights. His name was Ryan, a student from the US who had been living in Germany for a year! (Another plug – if you ever want to travel and stay places for free, use couchsurfing! It was a really good experience for us. Look it up at here). It turns out that where he lived, one of the student dorm complexes, the largest student-run music festival in Europe, StuStaCulum was happening that weekend! It was such a serendipitous surprise! Here is a picture of the stage that was right outside of our room!

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So, as soon as we got there, we met a bunch of Ryan’s friends and played a German-drinking game with them called “Flusyball”. I feel like I have seen versions of it in the US… maybe involving frisbees… I’m not sure how to explain it, but it was really fun! Then, Kristan and I went to a cafe for dinner, where I had currywurst (a sausage with ketchup-curry sauce), and we watched the World Cup game! The inside of the cafe was really cool, it had a theater and little shop.

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After dinner, Kristan and went back to the music festival, ran into Ryan and some of his friends, and had a really good night!

The next morning, Kristan and I got up early to go to the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial. This was a really important part of the trip for me, and probably one of the most important experiences I will have while traveling. Dachau is about a 40 minute train/bus ride out of center city Munich. Kristan and I arrived too late to join the guided tour, but purchased audio guides and spent a lot of time in the incredibly curated museum. Dachau was built in 1933, and was the only camp to run for the entirety of the Nazi regime. We learned that it was the model for many future camps and satellite camps. The museum and audio guide detailed the history leading up to the camp’s building, the inter-workings of a typical day at the camp, the history and evolution of facilities and occurrences at Dachau, and how the site eventually became the memorial it is today. Here are some images I took.

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The memorial monument that was erected at the site in the 80′s (I think, either that or the 60′s, I’ve forgotten), was beautiful. In multiple parts, it honors and commemorates those who suffered at Dachau. The main sculpture shows abstracted figures among barbed wire, while another monument represents each group that was persecuted, represented by the colored triangle they were forced to wear. It was powerful to stand under the monument and reflect on what it represents. With my Watson year so close, it brought up a lot of what I want to focus on – how art is used in response to trauma. I am interested in an individual’s use of art, but considering what a monument or sculpture can mean or provide in response to trauma is fascinating – especially when you consider what it does for a visitor like me, who has no deep personal connection with Dachau or the Holocaust, but still feels connected through history and the human condition.

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It is a weird feeling to recall my time at the Dachau Memorial. I am not really sure if I have processed it all. Being at the physical site of such tragedy was surreal. the Holocaust is something I have learned about in Social Studies and History class basically every year of middle and high school. I “know” what happened, but being there was different. Much like learning about the Stasi in Leipzig, it was a strange feeling to be somewhere that was so historically significant yet so temporally close. Sorry for the tangents and musings, I am just very thankful I was able to visit the memorial.

After a long train and bus ride home (it was a holiday in Germany that day so the public transit was running at off hours), Kristan and I made it back to Marienplaz. We were starving at the point, so decided to go to the famous Hofbrauhaus for lunch! It is a beautiful, famous beer garden in one of the main squares of Munich. Kristan and I got liter beers, I had schnitzel and potatoes, we talked and relaxed, and had a great afternoon!

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With full stomachs, Kristan and I decided it would be a good idea to walk around parts of the city we hadn’t seen yet – we had a bike tour through the city that started at 7:30 that evening, so we didn’t want to be too full! We walked to the open air market, but because it was a holiday, none of the shops were open. Still, there was an area with picnic tables and we decided to sit. As we were chatting, I noticed a girl with a large backpacking pack on, walking alone, with a beer in hand. She sat down a few tables in front of us and I said to Kristan, “Look! That is going to be me in a few months”! A few minutes later, she walked over and asked me about the “i <3 nj" shirt I was wearing. Turns out she was from Montclair!! I tried to remember who I knew from Montclair, and I remembered Dan! He transfered to UPS the same year I did, and plays in a band with Kristan's boyfriend. Brit (the traveler from Montclair) knew him!! It was one of those the-world-is-really-small kind of things. I loved it!

We had to say goodbye to Brit because we had our bike tour! This was the most touristy thing we did in Munich, but I am so glad we did. We used Mike’s Bike Tours (plug: they were great!), and did the “Twilight” tour that went from 7:30-11:30pm, during twilight, obviously. The tour was small, just Kirstan, two guys from NYC (Joe and Harry), the tour guide, Bobby, and me! We rode all over the city and learned a lot more history that Kristan and I could have by ourselves.

First, we saw some of the ornate and elaborate architecture from when Munich was apart of the Bavarian Monarchy. The gold-plated details and designs were absolutely gorgeous. In a lot of the sculptures we saw, a goddess-like figure was the main focus, or featured somewhere prominent. We learned that she represents the female personification of the Bavarian empire, beautiful, regal, and powerful.

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We continued our ride to the English Gardens, this huge park that runs through all of Munich. I is the largest park within a city in the world! The grounds were originally the sport-hunting grounds for the Bavarian royalty, but were transformed into a park.

20140624-153640-56200526.jpg In order to keep the grounds beautiful, part of a river was diverted so that it runs through most of the gardens. At the beginning of the divergence, you can surf!! It was sooo cool and so surprising! Apparently, the run off used to be very gross and foamy. Then, in the 1960′s, some guy from California (figures) was in Munich and saw the river. Being a surfer and an engineer, he was able to control the water so that it became a continuous, large wave that people have surfed on ever since. It was amazing and hilarious to see wetsuits and surfboards in the middle of the city! The best surfer there could have only been 13 or so… I tried to take some pictures of the tricks they were doing! When the fell, they would just bail, swim to the bank, get out and wait their turn again.

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After we left the surfers, we made our way to the 2nd largest beer garden in the world, the Chinesischer Turm, which is in the center of the English Gardens. Kristan and I were still very full, so we just had a beer and pretzels. It was great to sit, relax, and get to talk with the people that were on the tour with us! Plus, the sun was going down and it was beautiful!

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Next, we continued our ride and got to see a lot more of the city, seeing The Residency, a building where each Bavarian King lived. Each king would add on a section, and it is now a museum. The Residency is so big, that if you spent one minute at each exhibit in the museum, you would spend 36 days inside…or at least that’s what our tour guide told us! We saw big open squares, and buildings that were the original Nazi headquarters, before they were moved. Riding around the city at night was the best thing ever. it was gorgeous, we didn’t have to worry about knowing where we were going, it wasn’t crowded at all, and we got to see amazing buildings and learn a lot – it was a dream.

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This was one of my favorite parts about the tour: what our guide called the “selfie fountain”. You can’t really tell because the image is dark, but each one of the figures surrounding the fountain is holding a fish, in the way that you hold a phone or camera to take a selfie. When you notice it and look at it that way, it’s hilarious!

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Eventually, the tour ended and Kristan and I headed back up to where we were staying. The festival was going strong, but we were quite tired from our long day, so we decided to stay in and go to bed. It had been such a good day!

The next morning, we got up early, left Ryan, and headed back into the center of Munich. We decided to walk around without our map, now that we had a little better handling of the city. We wanted to see a lot of what we had passed on bike, just during the day when we could see it better! Here are some pictures of The Residency. One of them, of the outside of the building shows its history. The building, much like many buildings in Munich, were destroyed during the war. Because it was so expensive to rebuild so much of the city, the building is painted to look like what it had before it was damaged! You can see where the original and re-built parts are.

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We decided to go inside of the Theatin Church, which we had only seen from the outside on our tour. It was built in celebration of one of the Bavarian kings having a son (things people will do to have a heir…). It was the most ornate and breathtaking interior church space I have ever seen. All of it in white!

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Then, we walked to the contemporary art museum, Haus der Kunst. During the war, this building was covered in camouflage netting, so that it looked like it was apart of the English Gardens that sit just behind it. Because of the camouflage, it wasn’t damaged or destroyed at all. It is an amazing space with the tallest ceilings and beautiful old doors. One of the exhibitions, you could walk into and sit around in it! Kristan and I took a break from walking…

20140624-155828-57508236.jpg All of the exhibitions were really interesting and HUGE, but I really responded to the retrospective of Ellen Gallagher’s work. She had these amazing paintings and drawings that were so detailed and so simple at the same time. In her earlier work, she would cut her paper to put even more detail into the image – it was amazing to see! You should look through some of here stuff here.
After the museum, we were pretty tired and hungry. Missing the US a little bit… we went to the Hard Rock Cafe…. Ugh I know, I kind of hate the fact that we did that, and I understand if you do too, but the food was so good and it was nice to have a one-hour “vacation” back in what felt like the US.

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After lunch, we had to head towards the bus station to catch our bus back to Leipzig. Here are some pictures from our walk.

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We walked through the open-air market, then headed out of the city!

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It was such an amazing trip, I am so glad that we went.

BUT, the best part of my week happened in Leipzig when we got back…. this post is already too long, so you will just have to wait for the next update to hear about the most amazing experience I have had so far!!

As always, thanks so much for reading. Miss you all terribly.
xohmaxo

From Bach to Bauhaus

Every day I am here, I learn something new. Some days it is just a little factoid about a building or event that happened in Leipzig, others it’s a new word in German (it’s still pretty hard!!). Some days, there is so much to learn and see, so much history that Germany, and Leipzig specifically has to offer, I can’t believe it! I love it.

Growing up, my family always took vacations somewhere in the US, where we would inevitably learn something while we were there (sneaky parents). One summer we rode on a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail and slept in a teepee. Before I went to school near Seattle, we went on the underground tour of the sewer system there. We couldn’t just go to the Busch Gardens amusement park, we also had to go to Colonial Williamsburg….

I guess after all that learning on vacation growing up, I can’t help but seek it out when I am in a new place. The past week, I explored and learned a lot when I wasn’t in the studio.

First, I just walked all over and did every toursity thing there was in the City Center of Leipzig.

I went to the Coffe Baum – the Coffee Museum and Cafe where Bach once (supposedly) visited!

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Speaking of Bach, this week is Bachfest here in Leipzig. Bach was the organist at two historical churches in town, St. Thomas and St. Nicholas. There have been free concerts in the park and a lot of tourists visiting old Bach’s stomping ground. Here are some pictures from outside of St. Thomas. They have a statue of Bach by the main door!

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The inside of St. Thomas Church is just as beautiful and after WWII, is where Bach’s remains were moved permanently! When I stopped by, there was a vocal duet and string orchestra practicing for a concert. I normally don’t really like classical music, but hearing it in that kind of setting was amazing!

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The other church where Bach played the organ is St. Nicholas Church. The inside is much different from St. Thomas, but beautiful in its own way. On Sunday, I went to a special service they were having for Bachfest, which included additional music. It was such a cool experience to hear a German service and the songs, in such an old and historically important church! Here are some photos from inside – I was blown away by the details!

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Other thank being historically important because Bach played there, St. Nicholas Church is incredibly important to more recent German history. The demonstrations and protests that eventually lead to the beginning of the Peaceful Revolution, the end of the GDR, and the fall of the Berlin Wall, were started and held at St. Nicholas Church. The meetings, held each monday, began in January of 1989 with sometimes only ten or so demonstrators. On October 9th, 20,000 demonstrators met outside of St. Nicholas church, protesting against the GDR. One month later, on November 9th, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down.I had no idea that Leipzig was the birthplace of the Peaceful Revolution and the end of East and West Germany.

I visited the Gedenkstatte Museum in der “Runden Ecke”, or the Stasi Museum to learn more about the Peaceful Revolution. The Stasi were the state police of the GDR. There were thousands of employed members and hundreds of unofficial civilian members, who monitored and suppressed any form of opposition to the GDR in East Germany. Their headquarters was in the building known as the Runden Ecke, which is now preserved as a museum. Because the it was a Peaceful Revolution, so many records and artifacts were preserved. I saw things from the offices of police, to disguise materials the Stasi used, to clumps of paper pulp that were destroyed documents! It was really incredible to dive into a history I really knew very little about beforehand.

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I also stumbled upon the University of Leipzig’s Library this week! It is soo big and beautiful… I wish this is what Collins was like!

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Lastly for this post, I visited Weimar with my friend Valerie! She is another artist in residence at Halle 14, from Scotland! We both discovered that we had a love for Bauhaus, so we went to Weimar, where the Bauhaus school was founded and there is a museum! For those of you reading this who don’t know what Bauhaus is, it was an art, architecture and design school started in the early 1900′s after the First World War. Its original philosophy (from what I understand from the museum) was to educate and enhance the whole person – mind, body, and soul – through the return to artistic craft. Later, under new leadership, the school moved to emphasize the unity between technology and art. Master artists like Klee, Kandinsky, and (my personal favorite) Albers, were all teachers at the school. The Bauhaus University is still a school today! Valerie and I had a great day! We saw the museum, had crepes for lunch and saw Goethe’s summer home (Goethe was a writer and philosopher who studied at the University of Leipzig! He drew the first circular color wheel! — such an art geek thing to be excited about, but soooo cool!).

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Sorry for such a long post! I told you that I learned a lot this week! Tomorrow Kristan and I are going to Munich for a few days! I’ll write another post when we get back – there should be a lot to tell about!

xoxo hma

P.S. Here are some extra pictures from the week! Random things here and there and some sneak previews of sketches I have been doing in the studio!

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Apartment!

We moved into our apartment today!! We were woken up to one of the loudest thunderstorms I have ever seen! We must have been right in the center of it, because the lighting was big, and the thunder came often and loudly. After the rain passed, it was a long walk across town with our bags, but well worth the trip. The apartment is SO BIG and so nice. It is about a 20 minute walk to the studio, which will be a nice “break” before and after working. We are living a block or two off Karl-Heine Straße, which is one of the busiest streets in our neighborhood. It is perfect! Our street is quiet, but we can walk to the grocery store, out to dinner, or to a pub for an evening drink! We are living like queens!

The best two parts about the apartment is the cute little breakfast nook and the balcony – I lucked out that the balcony is right off of my room!

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After moving in, we walked to the market and I treated myself to a zuckerbrezel and the best erdbeerens I have had in a long time.

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The weirdest part about this apartment is the painting hanging in our living room… it is a reproduction of a painting of the Portland Head Lighthouse in Portland, Maine. I recognized the lighthouse before I even read what the painting was called. Spending every summer of my life (until college) in Maine, I have visited this lighthouse many times before. It is a funny little way the universe is bringing me a piece of home and comfort, thousands of miles away.

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More soon.
xo

Leipzig- The First Week

Today marks the official one full week spent in Germany!

Get ready for a loong post… it has been a really fun first week. We have gotten our footing around our neighborhood, explored on our own, gone to gallery openings, and watched the goth festival in center city!

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Abbie and Kristan when we went out for Vietnamese food!

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Spinnerei’s cafe and beer garden.

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Sunday night outdoor movies on Spinnerei.

Living in our studio has been a funny way to start out our time here. We have a mini-fridge and a stove to cook meals on – and we have become pretty creative with our meals, given the limited counter space!!

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Living in the studio has also been a great way to get to know some of the other artists who have studios or a residency at Halle 14. Just as I was writing this post, two other artists popped their heads in our door to say hi and introduce themselves! Valerie (from Scotland) and Nina (from the Netherlands) have studios down the hall and have become some of our good friends! We all played table tennis (ping pong – germans seem to be very fond of this game) one night in the hallway outside our studios!

This weekend was the opening for f/stop, the annual photography festival put on by Halle 14. It is really awesome because there are about 5 HUGE galleries apart of the show, and they are all in our building! We went to the opening reception on Friday night, there was a pizza truck outside and a ton of people. At 10:00pm, a party for the reception started in the basement under our studio. We didn’t go because the cover was expensive (and we were tired), but we could hear the music until 6:15am!! It was insane how long it went on!! Anyway, it is awesome that there is such as supportive culture surrounding the arts here. Mostly everyone who we see around Halle 14 is young, but there are people of all ages that we have seen at gallery openings this week. The gallery spaces are also so much bigger compared to ones I have seen in the US, and there is just this general buzz around the arts in this city. I love it.

In addition to f/stop, the Gothic Pogo Festival has been happening in Leipzig’s city center. Like I mentioned before, it is the largest international wave gothic festival!! We decided to make a day of it, go to city center and do some serious people watching. Who knew there were so many kinds of goths? People had some serious outfits on… We also had really great Indian food and rode a Ferris wheel so that we could see Leipzig from above. It was such a fun day at city center!

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I wore my fanny pack to make my mom proud.

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Someone put a beer in the monument’s hand!!

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Modern meets Gothic architecture at the University of Leipzig.

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Leipzig’s major concert hall.

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Ferris Wheel!

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View from the top!

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Selfie…

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Kristan and Abbie.

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Awesome tile work in the city.

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A huge mural by the train station.

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Me at dinner, enjoying a nice cold bier!

Now for the goths… We discovered there are a lot of different kinds. Period goths who dress like they are from the 16th century, babydoll goths, cybergoths with weird fake dreads and often wear a lot more color, I guess you could say “classic” goths, and whatever it is when you are a marionette………

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Today, we went to a Flea Market, it was amazing! It was in a park about 35 minutes away and the weather was gorgeous.

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There were so many people and so many cute little stands with antiques and trinket. I took a lot of pictures on my camera, but when I tried to upload them, it said it was not compatable with my iPad! Whoops! From now on I’ll have to keep using my phone… Here are the things that I got! Some cute little metal dishes, figurines, a ring, and this charm of a deer tied up by its legs…

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This place has already inspired and intrigued me – I am so thankful to have the privilege to live here for the summer. Walking around, I can’t get over the architecture all over the city – from the apartments in Plagwitz (our neighborhood), to the old buildings and churches in City Center – the detail and uniquely ornate designs are amazing. While I’ve become slightly obsessed with architectural and decorative patterns, I am even more interested in how the graffiti interferes, or rather integrates with and overlays on top of those patterns and details – adding another layer of intrigue and depth. I am thinking and looking a lot at these patterns, using them as inspiration and a springboard for my work here!

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This week we move to our apartment!! We are all very excited to move in, settle down, and to have clean feet!! (Our studio floor is very dusty…) More to come soon!

Germany!!

After many planes, trains, and automobiles, I have arrived in Leipzig, Germany! I will be living here and working as an artist in residence at Halle 14, a non-profit arts center in the Plagwitz neighborhood. Halle 14 has an amazing library, gallery space, and multiple floors of studios for local and international artists. Here is a picture of the Spinnereistraße where the studios are located!

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All of the buildings on Spinnereistraße, including Halle 14 were apart of an old cotton mill complex. THe windows are all huge, and the ceilings so high!

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Yesterday, we got settled into our 1,500 sq.ft. studio (Studio 7). For the next ten days, we will also be living in Studio 7 as well! We have arrived in Leipzig during “festival time”, where a lot of people travel to Leipzig for various festivals. This first and biggest? GOTHIC POGO – the only international goth festival. People at Halle 14 told us we should go to the train station next week to watch everyone arrived. Who knew there were so many types of goth!?! With all these festivals, it was hard to arrange apartment housing until next week. For now, we are living and working here… I love it! Here are a few pictures from inside the studio.

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The space we walk down to get to our studio.

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Last night we walked to eat some dinner and did some exploring. the city is really beautiful. Leipzig wasn’t ever bombed, so the buildings are super old and amazing. There is also graffiti EVERYWHERE. It’s gorgeous. I will have to spend a whole day walking around, taking pictures of some!

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The Halle 14 staff left us some wine for our first night, but none of us had an opener! We made due with a knife, but things got a little messy… a little cork never hurt anyone, right?

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Today, we walked around the city a little more and went grocery shopping. Tomorrow we have a meeting with all of the artists who have residencies at Halle 14, so that we can all meet!

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This week, we are planning on doing more toursity things around the city center before we focus on our work!

Until then!
xo Haley

Before I Left…

Before my year+ abroad, I had two weeks (more like 10 days) at Leaving Tacoma and being at home. Here are a few things I did!
Graduated college at the rainiest, and most fun graduation I could have ever imagined.

Moved across the country.
Got to see Jackson play lacrosse and go to prom.
Hung out with friends and family as I prepared to travel.

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It was a whirlwind leading up to taking of for Germany, but I am so glad I got to spend so much time at home!