June has come and once again the artists-in-residence at La Muse share their artistic goals and inspiration over breakfast. While savoring the crepes prepared by John, and toasts of bread slapped with dandelion jam, we heard from our seven residents: -
Victoria Nechodomu writes fiction and hails from Kasigluk, a Yup’ik village in Alaska. She plans to work on short stories that feature her heartwarming and brilliant teaching experience in Kasigluk and travel stories in China, Mongolia and etc.. The books she brought for La Muse include Qayaqs & Canoes, Native Ways of Knowing presented by the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and Monica Wood’s The Pocket Muse, a picture book with writing prompts.
A daring New Yorker, Jennifer Murray quitted her daytime job as a lawyer to write fiction. She is currently working on the first few chapters of her novel, Mother of Exiles, set during the Nazi occupation of France. Her novel spans different historical periods under the thematic element of escape and exile. She is also working on a short story incorporating Dissociative Fugue, a type of amnesia in which the traveler forgets his/her journey. She brought in Colum McCann’s Let the Great World Spin and The Paris Review Interviews, Volume 1.
Nandi Szabo is a creative arts therapist from Sacramento, California and has been an artist resident at La Muse in the previous year. She dances, paints and writes and is interested in the healing potential of art and a multidisciplinary approach between performance and literature. She is a charming sweetheart, bringing to La Muse her youthful energy and generosity. The books she brought were Soiled Doves, Prostitution in the Early West by Anne Seagraves and The Art of Breathing by Nancy Zi.
Vicki Jean de Kay is also from Sacramento, California and has been a nurse and consultant for the state health department. She loves country dancing and is currently taking art therapy workshops with Nandi. True to her warm and racy sense of humor, she brought in Ladies’ Home Erotica by the Kensington Ladies’ Erotica Society as well as Where I was From by Joan Didion.
Tiziana Stupia left England for the Himalayas on an inner journey of healing and discovery. She has been a resident since May and is currently in the fourth draft of her book on travel in India and Pakistan. From her fire rituals to meditation practices, she refreshes our idea of an artistic retreat. Her books are Glastonbury, Avalon of the Heart by Dion Fortune and Tantrika, Travelling the Road of Divine Love by Asra Q. Nomani.
Nicholas Wong, a Malaysian poet based in New York City, is here on a barter fellowship to read and write about Cathar history, troubadour verse and Occitan culture. He brought Dialogues in Paradise, a short story collection by Can Xue, China’s heir to magical realism. The other book is Louis Couperus’s The Hidden Force, a novel with its own dose of Malay magic and the scary forces that threaten Dutch imperialism in the East Indies.
Nicole Mayhew, a sculptor and painter from New York City, has been here on barter fellowship since May. Her portraits show the hand of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt, and she loves Southern France. The books she brought are Calvin Tomkin’s Off the Wall, a book featuring the New York arts scene in the 80s, significant for uniting the art of painting and sculpting, as well as Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins.