DARN. I just realized that I never took a pix of the Foundry Art Centre. I was enamored of the place. It was such a delightful weekend, weather-wise, facility-wise, and most of all, people-wise. The Show-Me state showed me a really good time, beginning with the wonderful Laura Helling, who has directed this art center into a very integral and moving force in the St. Charles community in the 4 years it has been open.
My first delight was seeing Quilt National in the cloth - it was my first stop after meeting Laura and Joyce (the founder) and stashing my supplies in the classroom. Besides the Dairy Barn in Ohio, this is the only location that hosts the entire show. I have seen parts of it before at various locations so I was fortunate to see it all this time. And it looks like I'll have the same opportunity to see the next one again in 2009 as I'll be back to teach again!
Each day, after teaching, I left the art center to walk "home" along historic Main Street. This small town is quite a tourist attraction as it is steeped in history. Lewis & Clark started their westward expedition here. It is the oldest town along the Missouri River, and also the first capitol of Missouri. Main Street has been restored and has many shops, restaurants and delights, like a horse-drawn carriage, a glass conservatory dedicated to weddings and the unique little shop, Rock Paper Scissors. It was my destination after Saturday's class and Corey was still open long enough for me to do some damage to my wallet. I don't get out much, so everything in the shop was new to me. I gathered papers and goodies to work on overdue journals for my granddaughters, as well as irrestible artist papers to add to my paper stash.
All in all, it was an idyllic weekend. I felt instantly at home. New students became old friends before the first class was over. While I was minutes from St. Louis, highways, malls and traffic, spending time in this secluded little pocket along the Missouri River was the perfect refreshment for the soul that I needed. It gave me the chance to slow down and catch my breath.
I try to step into each body of water that my teaching takes me to, but the Missouri flows swiftly and its banks are muddy. I was content to watch it flow from my safe perch, enjoying the warm afternoon sun after my Sunday class ended. I'll miss the people and the place, but not for long! I'll be returning there in March to take a class with Laurie Doctor, an artist whose work I have admired for years. Months ago, when I first saw that she was teaching at the Foundry, I felt I needed to be in that class. Now that I have been there and heard what Laura has to say about Laurie, and felt the sense of renewal and friendship provided by St. Charles and the wonderful fellow artists I met this weekend, I know I have to be there.