Archives for category: Travels

Twenty years ago, I studied abroad in England–curious to learn something new. When I arrived, I took a train into London for a welcome orientation weekend, before heading north to Lancaster University. Moments after checking into a nondescript, student-friendly hotel, I met Mel.

Our connection was instantaneous; it felt timeless, as if we had always been and would forever be.

Mel was destined for the University of Sussex. And nobody–not even baby dykes–started a long-distance relationship on the first day of study abroad, back when prepaid phone cards were the only option.

We became friends and eventually partners. The only anniversary we cared to celebrate was the day we met.

For our 20th, we went back to London. We found our hotel, piecing together fragments from my journal, her scrapbook, my photographic memory, her pigeon-like sense of direction. It was still a hotel. And London was still London; so the rain started to fall as we gazed up at the third-floor window of the bunkbed room we first shared.

Mel and I ducked into the lobby and were kindly offered a cup of tea. We waited out the passing shower.

“This is where we met,” we kept repeating.

Tracey Emin I want my time with you 2018

Tracey Emin, I want my time with you, 2018

Serendipitously, one of my favorite artists, Tracey Emin, also had a public art piece on view at the St Pancras International station.

I Want My Time With You stretched 20 meters, over 65-feet, across wrought iron and glass roof. The nearby Champagne Bar by Searcys offered a stunner view.

We rang for Champagne but learned there was an English sparkling on the menu we decided to give a go.

Mel and I toasted to our time–and to wanting more.

Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay, Co-founders of Bow & Arrow Brewing Co.

Last fall my partner and I were vacationing in Albuquerque, NM and had the pleasure of finding our way to the Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. By my second  Wild Sumac, described in the beer menu as an earthy lemonade with a desert sparkle, I knew I was going to have to share the news.

ICYMI: There’s something brewing in Albuquerque.

The craft beer movement is thriving way out west and nowhere more refreshing than at Bow & Arrow. Co-founders Shyla Sheppard and Missy Begay, partners in business and in life, are fostering a beer-lovers community at their Native-owned brewery and taproom in the heart of the American Southwest.

They opened their taproom in the adobe desert city near the pink Sandia Mountains. There, they serve wild, sour, and barrel-aged beers that are brewed onsite. In collaboration with their Head Brewer, Ted O’Hanlan, they strive to integrate local ingredients that are adventurous and unique to the area.

“There is a long history in the Southwest of cultures melding together,” Begay says, when we connected for an interview for Curve magazine. “The indigenous culinary tradition here is very strong.”

“Having a strong connection to the land is based on our upbringing,” Begay continues. She was born in Albuquerque and raised on the Diné Nation. Sheppard grew up on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota, where she is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes.

“From a young age, we were taught that the land has its own spirit. And in my tribe, Mother Earth is our mother,” Begay says. “The land provides water, earth, plants—everything you need to brew great beer. We’re conscientious of where our ingredients come from and we take great care in selecting them.”

Curve Magazine, Feb/March, 2018

The full review (rave) about Bow & Arrow is in the February/March digital issue of Curve magazine. Support women-run queer media by subscribing.

In addition to brew magic, “The Land of Enchantment” also features Sheppard and Begay’s motivation for leadership that’s inspired by their belief in The Seventh Generation.

“Speaking out and being visible is really important for future generations so they can freely aspire to do what they want to do whether they are gay or indigenous or whatever.”

 

Innominate means not named or classified. The word has been used to describe human arteries, veins, bones, and currently an exhibition about healing. Heather Bradley’s innominate at form & concept is a body of works, including a collection of Arterial, Spinal, and Handheld clay pieces, as well as text art.

Amy Deneson Heather Bradley innominate

“innominate” by Heather Bradley at form & concept on 9.23.17

Dozens of black, white, and red pieces cover a 30-foot wall. Circular red pods, symbolizing blood droplets and reminiscent of traditional seed jars, dot. Vessels with tall necks take on the look and feel of vertebra, some with glaze scraped bare. Black-and-white porcelain pages, transcribed from her diary, tell a story of seeking. Text art spells out:

pain

wound

circulatory

Heather explains that her work is representative of whatever she is presently going through in life. When she created innominate, she was learning to be a massage therapist and recovering from a spinal injury (severe enough that she was advised to stop throwing pottery).

Amy Deneson Heather Bradley bonessacral

pressure

choose

She kept creating and learning to heal with her hands. The clay began to take the form of her spine—readjusting—and her body flowing—spinning beneath—transformative touch.

I love this expression of clay. I appreciate how physical it is–how, literally, to the core the work goes. As a potter and a writer, I empathize with the story Heather’s sharing, and this collection deeply moved me. I’m so glad to have caught the exhibition during a day trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Since, this collection has become something else. I learned during my visit that innominate would be transformed on the following Monday.

Amy Deneson Heather Bradley clay flowwrite

clay

erase

flow

 

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