Fulbright: Two Months In

I’ve just passed the halfway point on this Fulbright fellowship and the time in Edmonton is flying by, as I knew it would. We’ve had several more inches of snow recently so we’re still in the thick of winter, even when on some days there are hints of spring through the changing light.

I’m continuing a daily practice of walking-as-listening. I’ve had a great variety of walking partners, who open new paths and offer me a chance to listen differently. The snowshoe hares have been more present in my evening walks recently, bounding across the land, and coyotes have made appearances, too. I have the opportunity to give a talk later in the month for the University’s Sound Studies Institute lecture series, and I’m looking forward to getting feedback on some ideas there.

I continue doing a variety of daily drawings, some in the form of accordion books, and by this point there is quite an accumulation of material. I’ve been working more in the print studio the past few weeks, continuing work on letterpress prints for a portfolio. University courses returned to in-person at the beginning of March so suddenly there is more activity on campus. This past week I had the opportunity to participate in midterm critiques for the MFA students, as well as another pre-defense for a soon-to-complete MFA, and I’ve appreciated the chance to see such a variety of work and help push students through their thinking as well.

Here’s my current reading pile. We finished our book study on Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More than Human Worlds at the end of last month. After many emails, I finally got access to hard-copy books from the university library and am taking full advantage of that.

Last weekend some friends and I attended an outdoor festival, which was just an amazing winter wonderland. Canoe Volant is an annual festival held at Campus Saint-Jean, the francophone campus of the university, and it’s a celebration of Metis and French-Canadian heritage. While it was apparently much scaled down due to COVID, I thought it was wonderful and it felt like a treat to get a glimpse of this part of Edmonton, especially after nearly two months of COVID caution.

This coming week, I’m heading to Toronto as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar to OCAD University, to meet with students and faculty and do some studio visits with Toronto artists. And, the best part, to meet up with some of my family!

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