Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The new Normal (IL)...

Normal Illinois was recently voted one of the top ten happiest (small) cities in America. I am not sure how credible this is and what sound research has been done, though, I think it is spot on. Thinking back to my time living in Normal IL, attending Illinois State University, always brings a smile to face. It is the right mix of small town feel with cafes, hip venues, farmers market, and one-way streets. But not too small. There are universities peppered between Bloomington and Normal. They are not too large, but not too small. It makes for a nice ratio of college students to “townies.” It has been nice to come back and spend a little time in this area of the world. It has proved to be incredibly productive (art wise) and very energizing.

The other night I reconnected with one of my favorite professors, Sarah Smelser and her master printer husband Johnathan Higgins. She teaches Intaglio at Illinois State University and has a beautiful family. She was a fantastic resource and supporter of my early (angsty) career at ISU. She also gave me a D- on my first artist statement…I am better now for that D- .

These are Sarah and Johnathan's (AKA Higgins/Smelser clan) children L-R Ruby, Delilah, and the most fashionable Fin. 

Young Finn Higgins working his photography chops. 

Received this souvenir/art work from the Higgins children. "Matt is weird," Crayon on paper, 2014

Saturday morning farmers market with my host Pete Steadman. My little head almost popped off. I wanted one of everything! 

Pickled jalapeños! I just had to! These little puppies were only 2 for 25 cents at the Saturday farmers market. In Australia I can pay upwards of 19 dollars a kilo. There are not many Mexicans down under :(

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