Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Verizon Why Have You Forsaken Me?

This post is a Plea to Verizon (our local phone company) to provide broadband fast internet service as well as updated phone lines to my neighborhood on Glen Rd. in Leyden, MA.

It is a DAILY struggle with slow or non-accessible internet connections because of old phone lines and lack of service. We were told by the line workers who have to come out and fix the background buzz after every rain storm that they are the oldest lines in Franklin County.

One hour of work for most people on the internet will often take me 4 hours. Frankly, I can't take it anymore!!! Not only does it take me away from the Studio where I create my work but it has taken a toll on my eyesight. What is even more frustrating is that we are actually in the 2 mile radius that Verizon says it is limited to. I am so disappointed that we were passed over!
I ask Verizon now to reconsider its position about our location and provide the service that is not only desired but is desperately needed.

Photo by Alicia Hunsicker

My Neighbor Kristin Nicholas http://getting-stitched-on-the-farm.blogspot.com/
a knitwear designer, author, and illustrator is in the same situation as me. She wrote on her blog yesterday.....

Frankly, the podcast thing is rather frustrating for me. I know it is out there - along with t.v. shows you can get over the internet and the entire world of YouTube. I spent some days at my sister's house in eastern Mass earlier last week and a friend of my niece's was totally stunned that we didn't have high speed internet service. She thought everyone in the USA did.... She couldn't fathom how we could live without it. She wondered how Julia would get through school reports without it as she gets older.

Verizon (our phone company) did come through western Massachusetts and with government money upgraded the small hilltowns to DSL service. The really frustrating part of it was they didn't get to many homes. They made such a big deal about it - that they were helping all the communities out here. Truth be told, very little of the population has been served. We are too far from their box (we are 1.9 miles) and I am giving up hope of ever getting high speed internet service unless I go for satellite and my neighbors have nothing but trouble with it. It is frustrating and challenging. I'm even thinking of writing my State Senator. Never done that before - always a first time for everything.

Thank goodness the library I visit has DSL and I have a laptop now. Honestly, this dial-up is the reason I don't answer comments or comment on anyone else's blog, much less read many of them. It's sad but true - I know there is so much out there on the web but I just don't have the patience to sit and wait for pages to load nor do I have the time to. I could be sitting at a screen all day and night and I really don't want to do that. I do have a life that needs to be lived. Does anyone else share this frustration or are my hilltown neighbors and I the only ones?

Verizon responded to Kristens post.........

Phil Santoro said...
Hi, Kristin,Just want to post a couple of corrections to your post. First, Verizon completely funded its western MA broadband expansion with its own funds. No government money was spent. You may be thinking about the $40M that the Legislature set aside for broadband expansion. The government has not yet developed its plans for that project and how to spend the money. Second, Verizon's expansion project brought broadband to an average of 70 percent of residents and businesses in 24 western MA communities where broadband had never been available. While we don't report the number, it is in the thousands. We are the only company that has stepped up to the plate and invested millions to expand broadband in western MA. I sincerely wish we could bring it to 100 percent of every community. However, the technology limits the distance to about 2 miles from our equipment. If you would like me to double-check broadband availability to your home, just send me an e-mail and I would be happy to. It's philip.g.santoro@verizon.com.

Thanks for the opportunity to respond.
Phil SantoroVerizon Media Relations

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Alicia Hunsicker's Leyden Photography chosen for article in local newspaper

This past fall (2008) I participated in an international photography project called We are Having Weather. I did 2 two week photo exchanges with partners from Latvia and Finland.

I have felt a bit isolated in my small hill town of 800 especially when it comes to arts opportunities so I decided to use my location as inspiration and a place to focus on with a positive application. I explored my neighborhood daily looking for conditions that might make an interesting photo. With all the dramatic weather we have out here and the beautiful fall color I created a really great body of work. I was pleased when I found out it would be shown in Shanghai as part of the Intrude 366 project and in Boston with the Transcultural Exchange this April.

This past week I was contacted by a local newspaper. They were doing an article on the Leyden Bicentennial Celebration that was snowed out this past New Years Eve and again tonight! (we are having a snow storm as I write) Anyhow this was the "Leyden" photo that they chose to appear in the paper. It is the view from the end of my driveway looking up the hill. It was taken in late fall in the afternoon light.

Amherst College Museum of Natural History: Bones

I recently visited the the Amherst College Museum of Natural History.
It is open Tuesday through Sunday 11 to 4 pm with Free Admission.
Photos by Alicia Hunsicker
It houses outstanding collections and exhibits that include vertebrate and invertebrate paleontology, minerals and other geologic specimens, and anthropological material. The specimens have been collected since 1825 from local areas and around the world.

Some displays illustrate the evolution and ecology of major groups of animals, and others describe the geological processes which have formed the earth and local structures.
Particularly noteworthy is the world-famous dinosaur track collection from the sedimentary rocks of the Connecticut Valley.
I enjoyed taking photos of the bones and skeletons for future source material especially this rib cage of a Mammoth. My son (who is 7) had a wonderful time!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Intrude 366 Project Archive Ready for Viewing

The Eye to Eye project which was presented by Anne Laprade, Deborah Garner and Alicia Hunsicker (me) on December 18th at Shanghai's Thumb Plaza for the Zendai MoMA's Intrude Art & Life 366 program has now been archived on the Intrude 366 website.

Photos by Intrude Photographer


Friday, February 20, 2009

Acrylic Medium Image Transfer Process

I am creating this new painting on paper. I am doing several acrylic under paintings including the transfers and then I will change to oils. I originally tried a Xerox transfer process by which you place a xerox image to image on the surface you are working on and then use nail polish remover (acetone) rubbing it on the back of the image with lots of pressure to adhere the ink to the surface of your image. This did not work for me...supposedly there are certain xerox machines that work better and the faster you transfer the better as well.

What worked for me was to use acrylic matte medium (they say gloss works better but I had no real problems with matte). I painted both the surface of the paper I was working on and the xerox image as well. Then I placed them together and used the back of a wooden hair brush to burnish them together using lots of pressure. The longer I let them dry the better result I had but I didn't wait more than 4 hours to rub off the paper. What happened is that the ink on the xerox adhered to the skin created by the matte medium. I first used my fingers and water to rub off the xerox paper but eventually they really hurt so I used baby wipes (non-oil type)
and water to wet the paper and take of all the layer except for the very last where I used my fingers. I did it this way because the last layer could peel off taking the ink with it without the control you have with direct touch.

This is were I am at with the piece. It is very different than anything I have done before but I am having fun playing right now. It feels great to be in the studio again!
I hope to finish the eye transfers today and to show this work in progress to my monthly critique group which meets tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Eye painting in progress: Learning Acrylic Transfer process

Yes! I figured out a way to make my xerox-acrylic transfers work with materials I already had in the studio. The only down side is that after using my fingertips to rub off the paper ....They are hurting like a rug burn...ouch! 6 done ....122 to go.....
I think I will have to spread out this process because of finger wear and tear...but I am happy to have figured out how to do this.

I am using my own eye as background imagery in this painting about higher vision inspired by the Eye to Eye project and eye tags. I had originally thought that I would take photos of everyone I know and do each eye differently...
but I realized that sometimes easier is better....and in this case it will probablly make a stronger image with all the eyes the same.

Other News From the Studio
I had an interesting phone consultation/interview with a woman who was hired by several Franklin County Organizations to come up with a marketing plan for arts and culture in the area. I would love to see some really professional venues open up to show in close to home! Maybe we will see some movement in the arts support here in the Greenfield area. There will be some sort of community meeting in the near future for others to weigh in. I will post info when I receive it.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Finding my Groove Again: A Painting in Progress...

So I am finally finding my groove back in the studio....I felt the flow yesterday as I painted this Valentine inspired oil 10" x 16"

I still need to put a few finishing touches on it but I feel that it will be a successful painting.

As I painted this piece (its not my typical style) I reflected on my other work hoping to see some thread....and there is.
In the shape, colors, contrast, and most of all that which I am more and more driven to paint ~ Luminosity~.
Oh the Glow.....I love it!
So with this fun success in the studio I would like to mention that there was also a failure. I am working on an eye painting which has some repetitive griding in it. I know what I want and how It will basically look when finished but I am not having any luck with the new processes I am learning for my desired effect. I tried a Xerox transfer approach, which would be ideal.....but its not transfering...so I will have to try next the acrylic transfer process. If that doesn't work the only other thing I can think of right now would be an archival printing process that I will have to collage onto the work on paper.
All in all its good to be painting again and to feel free to try new things.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Hearts on Fire: A Rare Valentine's Day Astrological Alignment for the Universal Heart

This is a wonderful post about the astrological alignment for the Universal heart on Valentine's day.
Originally posted by a Tribe friend and artist Carl Youri...... Read on for inspiration!
Dear Friends,

In mid February a rare astrological concentration brings together a number of planets together with the North Node - denoting higher purpose - in Aquarius that energizes and inspires the possibility for transcendental breakthrough in some perhaps seemingly intransigent situations.

We measure our global sense of both space (latitude and longitude) and time (universal time - UT or GMT) from the prime meridian located at Greenwich, England. So we can perceive the collective influence of this momentous astrological event by looking at the alignment from this globally 'centered' perspective. When we do something extraordinary and exquisite emerges.

At dawn on 14th February the day dedicated to St Valentine, the patron saint of Love, the Moon in Libra enters the seventh house of relationships. And Jupiter and Mars are aligned in Aquarius in the twelfth house of spiritual transformation. Forty years ago, the intuitive words of a song called Aquarius, brought the dawning of the new age into our collective awareness: When the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars. Then love will rule the planets and peace will steer the stars At dawn on 14th February the Cosmos actually embodies this perfect alignment to support our collective manifestation of love and peace and dawning of the Age of Aquarius.

The Aquarian chart of 14th February reveals an incredible concentration of cosmic influences blending with the energies of Aquarius in the twelfth house. Expansive Jupiter and energetic Mars are aligned with the higher purpose of the North Node.

The presence of Chiron the wounded healer offers us the opportunity to heal the schisms that have separated us for so long. Neptune emphasizes collective humanitarian movements and the co-creation of social justice. And the presence of the radiant Sun enlightens the entire alignment. Mercury also in the twelfth house but just beyond the cusp in Capricorn, allies with transformational Pluto to communicate and anchor the Shift throughout our global structures and institutions.

The Moon in Libra in the seventh house emphasizes harmonious real –ationships. Venus in Aries in the first house energizes and empowers dynamic co-creativity. And whilst Saturn the great task master in opposition to Uranus the unexpected awakener is suggesting an ongoing confrontation as the dregs of the unsustainable old paradigm reluctantly give way to the untested hope of the new, their placements in Virgo and Pisces brings practical altruism and visionary inspiration to the transition.

At 7.25am on 14th February – and for the 18 minutes of the alignment, I invite you, in the universal heart, to add your own intention for love and peace and to co-create the dawning of the Age of Aquarius to that of the Cosmos. In whatever way feels appropriate for you, you may choose to align with7.25am (UT) or 7.25am local time energizing a wave of intention that will surge around the Earth.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Planting Future Seeds

I spent much of January recovering from jet lag, strep throat, and a sinus infection. Needless to say I didn't get much painting done, However I did do other things that artists do which are sometimes just as important as doing the art. I have been working on marketing through mailing, internet, and my blogs.
The Eye to Eye blog is coming along but I still have so much more to add which requires going through the 1000's of pictures I took in China. So keep checking back!

I have also been doing lots of Internet searching for shows, exhibitions, residencies and grants that I can apply my current body of work to. I have found 4 or 5 that I am interested in and am in the process of gathering application materials and sending them out. I finished one today to be sent tomorrow morning.

In Gaia's Womb, 30" x 40", oil on canvas, Alicia Hunsicker

After all this seed planting comes the waiting...(that is when I can paint!)

It is interesting to me that when I am in these periods of work that require seed planting, I struggle with feelings of non-movement....only to see at some point that it was work well done and I can appreciate the new movement the "other" work has created.

Sometimes this is a fast process and sometimes it comes to fruition years later and sometimes not at all. I will have to say though that each year I do this the response gets quicker and better.
Today for example I received some good news for my birthday!
I applied this week to Art and Poetry Journal and was happy to find out that my work had quickly been accepted. It will come out in the spring/Summer. I will say more when the details are solidified.

Best of all (through the mailing and raffle) I sold several paintings which found homes locally and in Colorado. (not including the 2 pieces that found homes directly from the raffle)

Well that's whats been going on in the studio this past month.......I will hopefully have more good news to come in the near future! Including some new paintings in progress that have been waiting to come out of me......until then......
Keep on planting those seeds ...ya never know where they might sprout!

Susan Miller's AstrologyZone: Aquarius Horoscope

Today is my birthday! I thought it would be fun to post my horoscope for this month. I love the FREE horoscopes you can get from Susan Miller at AstrologyZone.

I have no plans but to have a nice and relaxing day.......and maybe to take a break from marketing, research, and applications to do a little painting.

Alicia Hunsicker Photo taken at the Shanghai, Museum

For those of you who are Aquarius, Enjoy this Summary!

For others......go to the website and get your forecast for February.

Marcia Wise.....Happy birthday to you too! ______________________________________________________________

Aquarius Horoscope for February 2009
By Susan Miller

Summary (go to the website for the detailed horoscope..... to large to post)

This is your month, dear Aquarius, and you've waited a very long time for this. February could be your very best month of 2009, for all sorts of new developments will begin now to set you off on a new and more secure direction. All the hard work you've been doing, professionally and even personally, that you thought was simply being poured into a black hole and not seen or appreciated by anyone will now bring a wonderful payoff.
You have many heavenly bodies in your sign: the Sun, Jupiter (gifts and luck), Mars (as of February 4), Neptune, and Mercury (as of February 14). The fact that Mars will be part of the gang of planets in Aquarius is very fortunate, for Mars attests to the fact that you have a great deal of control over your life and that others will be willing to help you succeed. Mars is the planet of action! Of course, having Jupiter, the great benefic, in your corner is the best of all, and now Mars will be your booster rocket to get you to where you need to be.
Last month's eclipse in Aquarius, January 26, was a key signal that things were about to change for the better for you.
Now a full moon lunar eclipse will come by on February 9 and put the spotlight on your closest alliance. Are you happy? If so, this eclipse will draw you closer, even if you are already committed.
Valentine's Day could prove to be a magnificent moment, not only because you have Jupiter so close to your Sun, but also because of a string of three configurations due February 16, 17, and 18, respectively: Jupiter signaling Venus, Mars conjunct Jupiter in Aquarius, and finally Mars and Venus in sweet, flirtatious angles. You may decide to travel over Valentine's Day (or during one or more of these three dates mentioned). Other parts of your life will be on fire, too - all to your delight.
If you are not happy in your relationship, the universe will ask you to find out why and to do something about it - to fix your alliance, or if you are beyond that, to leave. This could be felt in a business or romantic alliance, so see what happens. Eclipses bring certain truths to light, and in your case, you may get conflicting messages at this eclipse, so take time to get to the bottom of things.
Even if you do break up with your partner now, you're in such a strong position that I can only say it is most likely for the best. You don't want to be tied to anyone who does not value you, not in this dazzling, made-for-Aquarius year. If you hope to meet someone new who is truly right for you, 2009 is the year for that - absolutely!
If you are already committed, this would be a great year to have a baby - consider it! If you have your children already or don't want children, the upcoming aspects engender wonderful aspects for creative efforts, something you will start to see in full force by May.
By time you get to the new moon in Pisces, February 24, you will see an upturn in your finances. You may see a business or financial action begin at this time, so look for opportunity. New moons are times to plant seeds. It may take you up to six months to realize the full flowering of the situation (or it may be much shorter), but the point is to start something because the universe will be on your side!
Dates to note:
Planets in Aquarius will create such a commotion in early February that put you front and center of any important endeavor, personal or professional. It's a time to take risks, voice your needs and vision, and get your new life launched.
You'll make a key decision about a partner at the lunar eclipse February 9. A partner may inspire you or invoke horror, but it's unlikely that you'll have any result that falls in between.
Traveling a short distance over Valentine's Day sounds divine. Can't go then? A trip taken February 16-18 would produce perfection. Travel boosts romance, too.
More money can be yours if you're quick on the draw after the new moon, February 24 and the days that follow. It's a great time to ask for a raise. Pluto's position suggests you've got awesome behind-the-scenes support from VIPs.
Most romantic dates: February 4, 7, 12, 14, 16-18, 21-22, 27, and 28.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Transcultural Exchange International Opportunities in the Arts Conference hosted by Mary Sherman

This is a great opportunity for regional artists to get a look at international art residencies and to connect/network with other artists from all over the world. I would really like to participate! Although my work will be attending in the We are Having Weather installation at the conference, I am not sure if I can pull together all that is necessary to attend in person ..rides/places to stay/conference and other fees etc.....

SO... I am putting it out there now to you and the Universe........I want to go to this.
I call on the Universe now to line up those manifestation energies and make it happen........
I surrender :-)
If it is meant to be it will be......

April 3 - 5, 2009 at Boston’s Omni Parker House The 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts

TransCultural Exchange is pleased to announce the 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts, which will take place April 3-5, 2009 at Boston’s Omni Parker House Hotel. Join more than 60 representatives from around the world to learn about long- and short-term residency opportunities for artists, international art fairs and other global exhibition possibilities. Come to Boston to meet, network and have your work seen by the conference’s distinguished curators, critics and panelists. Don’t miss this chance to directly interact with some of the key players in the global arts arena.

An ideal Professional Development Opportunity.

Registration Costs (for a full weekend of panels and workshops):
$185 Early Registration (due by 5 pm EST, December 31, 2008)
$265 after December 31, 2008

The 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts’ schedule, registration forms and scholarship applications will be available at TransCultural Exchange’s website April 2008.
A schedule of events, photos and quotes from the last conference is available here.
TransCultural Exchange would like to thank its generous sponsors for ensuring the success of the 2007 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts; and its growing sponsors for the 2009 Conference, including Col. Henry Hamby III, the Délégation du Québec à Boston and the Turkish Cultural Foundation. For more information on Corporate, Foundation and Individual Sponsorship for the 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts, please contact Mary Sherman at msherman(at)transculturalexchange.org. Thank you.

Stay Tuned: Don't miss TransCultural Exchange's upcoming e-mailings to find out about new, upcoming exhibition possibilities.

About the 2009 Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts
The Conference on International Opportunities in the Arts is the only forum that brings artists directly into contact with renowned international critics, curators and artist-in-residency directors to meet, network, share their work and hear about a vast array of programs for interacting with the world’s diverse cultures. The Conference’s goal is to help artists expand their vision and experiences beyond their studio confines into the world at large, resulting in a new found understanding that utilizes the one thing that transcends all boundaries to unite us all – the arts.

About TransCultural Exchange
TransCultural Exchange is a 501c3 non-profit organization, whose mission is to foster a greater understanding of world cultures through high quality and innovative art exhibits, artist exchanges and related educational programming. Among U.S. arts organizations, TransCultural Exchange is unique. For two decades TransCultural Exchange has been working directly with artists, arts organizations, foundations, museums and cultural centers in more than 60 countries staging award winning, critically acclaimed projects
Alicia Hunsicker's art is undeniably beautiful. She is an expert at extracting the highly-detailed textures and fibers of the human body, bringing them from darkness, into the light, with a technical precision that rivals any modern-day master.
David Aquino, Brattleboro Reformer