Some of my favorite memories from 798 ICAF in Beijing were the times we spent with our ICAF hosts, Hattie, Sasha, and Mariana and the 9 other invited artists.
We had many opportunities to hang together at lunch, coffee breaks, took each other’s workshop when possible, and shared fun night time excursions with Hattie, Sasha, and Mariana, our ICAF hosts.
Jovanka Djorovic is a painter, urban planner and architect from Serbia, currently living and working in Beijing. She and musician, vocalist and performance artist, Geraldine McEwan from England were our favorite coffee buddies.
Geraldine and Ellen and I would also continue exploring the 798 Art District after our workshops ended and before the galleries closed. Jovanka did mixed media constructions with the children, and Geraldine’s sound mapping workshops were held next to our Butterfly Kisses Workshops; two very different art activities (think John Cage meets Mary Poppins, ok not quite, but sort of.)
Artists Arturo Muela, a printmaker, sculptor and architect from Mexico did clay skulls and other figures, Nina Griffee, a make up and body painting artist originally from England gave the children an opportunity to paint wonderful imaginative designs on their arms and faces are also currently living and working in Beijing. As is Kyle Skor, an American from Minnesota whose collaborative ongoing installation with the children and their families was a joy to experience as it grew and changed from day to day.
Amol Saraf, an artist, designer, portrait artist, calligrapher, and mural artist among many things, and his wife Alpana Saini flew in from India and led very popular workshops in Sand Painting.
Amol, Alpana, Geraldine, Ellen and I spent a great deal of time together as we were all staying at Yitel Hotel across the street from the 798 Art District.
We got on fabulously from our morning breakfast buffets, art chats with Alpana’s Indian Chai tea parties in the hotel late at night and all the wonderful evening jaunts exploring Beijing.