5.25.13: Art Is All Around

Yesterday’s thundershowers have given way to bright sunshine and blue skies: a perfect day for an opening at the museum. Naomi, Libertad and I hop on the old Polish one-speeds and hightail it into town. We’re just in time to hear Museum Director Vlad Chabanuk welcome the crowd of babushki, school children, university students, scholars and village friends to the exhibition of colorful folk dolls by Olga Sobkovich and then the fun begins:  the kids make dolls, Yura plays music, everyone wants a picture with Libertad, the Babushki gossip while munching on cookies and candy, the young folks dance and even the goats are invited inside to join the celebration. And then, suddenly, everyone climbs into mini-buses and leaves and that’s it for the opening.

After stopping to pick up some coffee at the village store (and being chastised by the clerk for whistling inside: “It’s bad luck! No one will spend any money in here today!”),  Naomi, Libertad, Yura and I pedal over to Yura’s place for a glorious afternoon of painting, napping, music and snacking, interspersed with visits from the various local Babushki who are constantly dropping in with gifts of eggs, flowers and dirty jokes.

Riding home in the cool midnight air, empty roads illuminated with the glow of an almost-full moon, I can honestly say it’s been a perfect day.

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Paolo Davanzo and Lisa Marr travel the world, sharing movies and music with the masses. At home in Los Angeles, they facilitate community screenings and workshops at the Echo Park Film Center, a non-profit media arts organization.

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