Thursday, July 10, 2008

Studio Visit: Heather L. Veneziano

While Heather L. Veneziano is not a grad student, she is a very crucial part of the fibers department, she is the tech and basically keeps everything running, and she keeps us grads company in the dungeon. I had to make a presentation of my art and the research I did all last semester and Heather did one as well to introduce herself to the department, after a whole semester of working. Her art is pretty interesting, we both make art rooted in family and history.

She studied in Edinburgh (pronounced "Edinboro"), Scotland for graduate school and went to UArts for undergrad, both in fiber departments. I asked her some questions and she provided me with pictures of her new studio in South Philly. Its also her birthday today, her age, well thats a mystery, but it is her birthday.

the studio

What are you working on?
Right now I have a few things going at once. The main project that I am working on is embroidering a mattress with hair. But because of the tediousness of that project I am also trying to work on some drawings and a couple of things that might be considered sculptures that I have been planning on making for awhile now. It is strange how the first major project that I started since getting my job here in the Fiber Area is so fiber related when most of my previous work hasn’t been. I plan on it being an ongoing project though because it is extremely labor intensive and I have to break it up a bit with projects that require me to make a mess to keep me happy.

the mattresses and hair to sew

What are you excited about right now?
The possibility of change.

Also, getting my studio completed. The working space is finished for the most part but the communal spaces still need some work. We are planning on participating in the P.O.S.T. (Philadelphia Open Studio Tours) in the fall so you should all check it out.

What are your favorite restaurants to eat-

Breakfast: This is by far the easiest one to answer, The Morning Glory Diner on 10th and Fitzwater. They make their own O.J. and ketchup and serve coffee out of metal cups. It is kind of difficult to get a table now though, too many people have found out about it.

Lunch/Dinner: Lunch and Dinner are more difficult choices. Erin chose to ask me these questions because I have lived in Philly so long that she hoped I would be able to provide some insight into some of the culinary gems of the city. Sadly, I must confess I am a pretty picky eater and this has probably limited the amount of places that I have tried. Nevertheless instead of choosing just one place I will list a few that I would recommend because aside from being a picky eater I am quite indecisive and can not choose a favorite. So, here they are, places that I have been and would recommend.

South Philadelphia Tap Room (which is first and foremost a bar but they serve great food and play for the most part great tunes)

The White Dog Café

Beau Monde

This Ethiopian Restaurant in West Philly that I went to once with a friend of mine it was upstairs in some building, the food was great. I should do some research into what the name of it was.

The Golden Empress (They have a ton of vegetarian options)

Marra’s (In my opinion South Philly’s best brick oven pizza)

Little Pete’s (One of the best real Diner’s in the city)

Also, what is your favorite coffee shop?
I would not call myself a coffee drinker. I do drink it and enjoy it but I don’t need it and only have it on occasion. This has led me to feel quite out of place in coffee shops especially those that have sprung up throughout the city where there is a regular crowd and people sit all day and talk about things to which I am unaware. So, because of this I would have to list diner’s as my favorite place to get a cup of coffee. It doesn’t taste great but there is something quite lovely in the knowledge that you have unlimited refills and that the waitress calls you “hun” and means it even through her sullen demeanor.

found record player

the desk shot (crucial to any studio visit post)

found, found, found, Heather is always acquiring stuff. She is really good at finding the good things too.

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