Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I Love What Morgan Calderini Makes and Bakes

The definition of what art is, is one we all struggle with and work on to make our own. I decided ten years ago to settle with one that Milton Glaser suggests "Art is what moves the soul" And when I chose this weeks color the pale pink, Pantone 182, I immediately thought of Morgan Calderini's art form, hot air ballooning and specifically her balloon, Atlas. It moves a lot of people. The color of Atlas, her tenacity with building a balloon, learning to fly, causing children of all ages to chase her through acre long fields, is quite a story. Morgan Calderini (American, b.1985) surrounds herself with rather odd yet satisfying specialties: hot air balloon building,  printmaking, and pie baking are all things she takes very seriously. After having received her BFA in Printmaking from RISD in 2007,  Calderini chose to redefine the hierarchical printshop archetype by establishing and managing Rhode Islands only community printshop with a grant from AmeriCorps VISTA. Combining an interest in preserving a dying craft and sustaining its place in society with a pure desire to provide affordable and accessible printmaking resources, Calderini has found a home at the AS220 Community Printshop. When she's not baking killer blueberry pies or hunting for long lost litho stones that people have been using as door stops, she's learning to fly Atlas, her 70 foot, 54,000 cu. ft. hot air balloon that she built by herself when she was 22.

Can you tell me about your latest body of work? I am working on two large projects right now.  During my senior year at the RISD I built a hot air balloon as my thesis project.  From the beginning this has been an exercise in fundraising, communications, fabrication, design, and self discipline.  I am currently working on earning my pilot's licence from the FAA (federal aviation administration). 

The second project is a community Printshop that I've started with a group of other printmakers in downtown Providence at AS220, The AS220 Community Printshop.  I've been working there full time over the past two and half years with over 200 members to build a place for everyone to access equipment and knowledge.  We are moving in the fall to a space that is four times larger than our current home.    These are both part of what I  making and consider my work. 

What inspires you the most lately? The sunshine!  We are back to flying season here in Rhode Island.  I've been cooking dinner for one my balloonist friends and we get together each week to review regulations and study weather. 

What was your first memory? A hot air balloon landed down the street from our house in Colorado Springs, I was only 4 years old.

Can you describe the best thing you saw on your last walk? An amazing bakery and cheese shop on Main Street in Rosendale NY this past weekend. 

What are five things that would happen in the perfect day of work for you? The weather is perfect for a 4 am balloon ride, grab breakfast on the way to work.  The printshop is full of folks making their own art and I print along side them.  My ladyfriend and I meet for a picnic lunch outside.  Head home while the sun is still out. 

Can you describe the best pair of shoes you've ever owned? Red Justin Roper Cowboy boots. 

What are you doing this weekend? (March20-21) Rebuilding my inflator fan with my balloonist friend, Zach.  Going for a bike ride and baking a pie.

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