in rochester for art exhibition opening

what a fabulous day! art and life talk with two brilliant artist friends with whom i had coffee and then iranian food, long convos about arabic and urdu poetry and iraqi mannasama (“manna from heaven”) with a family i love, some spicy vegetable soup and a tour of her new home with another dear friend, and finally late night catching up over hot chocolate with two beautiful women i love and admire. heaven <3

i was in rochester from march 30-april 2nd. more pictures and details on instagram @mara__ahmed

rochester visit coming up soon

rochester fam! i will be in town, in snowy rochester, feb 11-14. going to art exhibitions evening of feb 4 but pls let me know if u wanna meet earlier that day or on the 5th. coming back on the 6th. i know covid is insane right now, but thought i’d ask anyway. maybe a cup of coffee or a walk?

#comingbackhome #rochesterny #artexhibitions #connectingwithfriends


back in montauk after some 20 years. it’s the eastern most tip of long island (a very long island indeed). a beautiful, beachy town with an iconic lighthouse, clam shacks, and ice cream parlors. we chose to eat at la fin, a wonderful french restaurant on the harbor. downtown east hampton has a manolo blahnik store btw, for those who are into that kinda thing, and lots of tanned people in spiffy clothes. with its grist mills, gorgeous beaches, and wind mills, this area is a lot like cape cod, but a notch fancier. remember the great gatsby? it was more than 80 F in the afternoon so decided to skip the hike in shadmoor state park. maybe next time. although the bottlenecks and slow traffic around east hampton did not appeal to the husband.

owners of the earth at ICA

also at ICA’s watershed:

“Boston-based artist Stephen Hamilton highlights the generations-long tradition of indigo dyeing in West Africa too often ignored in the accounting of early American history. Included is Hamilton’s painting Owners of the Earth (2020), a richly layered mixed-media work that refers to traditional artforms and philosophies from the Yoruba people in West Africa. The work is accompanied by a description of the unrecognized historical contributions of West Africa to indigo use in the Americas and educational materials depicting indigo dyeing techniques that the artist adopted during his research in southwestern Nigeria. Hamilton brings these histories—referenced in Firelei Baez’s monumental Watershed installation—to life through words, images, and textiles.”

institute of contemporary art in boston

it rained today so spent the entire day at ICA (the institute of contemporary art in boston). took the ferry to the north side of the boston harbor to visit ICA’s watershed – a wonderful gallery space. right now it is housing the work of dominican american artist firelei báez:

“In her largest sculptural installation to date, the artist reimagines the archeological ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace in Haiti as though they were revealed in East Boston after the sea receded from the Watershed floor. The Watershed’s location—in a working shipyard and as a trade site and point of entry and home for immigrants over decades—provides a pivotal point of reference. Báez embeds Sans-Souci within the geological layers of Boston, where histories of revolution and independence are integral to the city’s identity. This site-specific installation will invite visitors to traverse passageways and travel through time, engaging with streams of influence and interconnectedness. The work’s intricately painted architectural surfaces include symbols of healing and resistance, patterning drawn from West African indigo printing traditions (later used in the American South), and sea growths native to Caribbean waters. Báez’s sculpture points to the centuries-long exchanges of ideas and influence between Europe, the African continent, and the Americas.”

plymouth breakwater

today walked along plymouth breakwater (it protects plymouth sound/anchorages). not interested in plymouth rock, settler colonial myths, or all the pilgrim museums/statues but enjoyed walking along jenney pond all the way to the grist mill. this area is beautiful no doubt, but the blue lives matter flags are disturbing. the arrival of the colonizers is commemorated endlessly with no mention of the indigenous peoples who lived/live here and own this magnificent land. this historical narrative needs to be corrected. we know better.