The big art conservation annual conference was held this year in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Being that there is only one professional organization for American conservators, it's a pretty popular event. Everyone just calls it by the acronym for the professional organization itself: AIC (American Institute for Conservation). If you say to someone, "I'm going to AIC this year," they know you mean the conference. If you say, "AIC is such a mess... last year they listed me in the directory twice," they know you mean the organization proper.
So, with the following things in mind:
2). next year's meeting is in Indianapolis *yawn*
3). my classmate Lisa grew up in Abq, so I knew she'd be there, and if I asked nicely, I could probably stay with her family
5). PMG would hold a session of talks.
I decided to submit an abstract. My talk was accepted, Lisa was called, and in mid-May, I found myself headed to New Mexico!
Lisa, green chili burrito on her plate, on her home turf!
The conference was nice, my talk went really well, etc. I had the last slot on the last day of photo talks, which is pretty much where I've been slotted every time I've done anything at PGM. I surmise that the program chair thinks to herself, "Oh, Jessica is going to do a talk. She always says funny things. She can go at the end - it'll wake everyone up." I don't get nervous during the days before giving a talk, so I don't mind it.
I'm so used to PGM Winter Meetings, where its like 16 hours of photograph talks, that two half-days felt like a vacation. I got to hang out with a lot of old friends and (thanks to Lisa!) see a fair bit of Albuquerque.
Lisa took me and our mutual friends Katie and Saori jewelry shopping and then burrito shopping. If you ever find yourselves in Albuquerque, check out Skip Maisel's for jewelry and other southwest goodies. Lisa says they have the best stuff at the best prices, and the three of us agreed!
For burritos, we went to the Frontier Restaurant. Lisa said that it's an Abq institution, and that they make the best tortillas in the universe. I don't know much about tortillas, but these were amazing. Katie, Saori, and I each bought a dozen to take home. Lisa bought six dozen to take back to the Pacific Northwest!
Katie shows off her tortillas.
Lisa and Saori, at the Frontier Restaurant.
The restaurant was huge, and full of southwest 'art'. Saori and I counted seven portraits of John Wayne, one of which was life-sized and another of which was essentially a framed woven rug. Pictured below is the most majestic of the portraits.
Lisa also took us to the Tamarind Institute, a well-known lithography workshop and gallery.
They were so lovely: they gave us a tour! These students were busy inking things up.
A lithography stone dries under a fume extractor.
Stone storage. Some of these were massive!
We checked out a crazy antique store, which didn't have many antiques.
Bits of a ceramic baby, all creepy and affordable.
The crew of Apollo 11.
Half of the time Lisa drove a bunch of us around in like a 1983 aircraft-carrier-sized car. The other half of the time her brother chauffeured us in a 69' Mercedes (I think). It was her mom's first car, bought used in like 1971! Pretty much proof that old cars do well in the southwest.
Brother behind the wheel.
The photograph people and the paper people had a joint reception, which meant that our pooled resources would allow it to be held in a really lovely venue. Behold: Los Poblanos, where Lisa got married!
Rachel, Marion, and I (with a giant name tag) at Los Poblanos.
After the conference, I hung out for another day, just to chill out. Lisa's parents (apart from being the kindest and best of hosts) are Model T enthusiasts, and were hosting a Model T enthusiast breakfast the day after the conference. Lisa and I helped prep - some cooking, jello molding, flower arranging, and, later, some wonderful eating. It was so much fun to see all these Model T's put-put up to their house!
Her parents' Model T is still in progress, but it runs. With this teeny-tiny engine!
Lisa photographs her dad, getting it started prior to our joyride around the neighborhood!
Such a wonderful time!