Berlin – Arriving in the City of Art
Being in Berlin is exhilarating! We arrived today after an eight hour flight from New York. I have known I would be taking this trip for the last six months or so. However, there had been no chance to really think about it as I was running full speed organizing Seven Minutes in Heaven. Trust me, I EARNED this trip! Why am I here now? To refresh, to get inspired and to figure out what’s next. I have been fortunate enough to visit Berlin a few times when I was in school. Now my husband is finishing up his studies and signed up for the same graduate class. What that means is a big chunk of our trip is paid for with scholarships specifically for travelling abroad. How lucky am I to get to benefit from these scholarships again, as a non student?! And since we have been on this trip before and done the required stops, we are free from the class to set our own itinerary and explore on our own.
How does a starving artist gets herself to Europe? By taking any opportunity that presents itself! I have to say, I was always impressed with the amount of opportunities I found going to a state school. I went to Germany several times while I was at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), both with the art department and the German department. I am always surprised when I talk to people who skipped that experience because they were scared. Or amazed at people who went to “better” or private schools that never took opportunities that were there. What are they waiting for?
Berlin is one of my favorite cities in Europe, so alive and vibrant! It has been considered the art capital of the world for a while now. The world-class collections combined with the number of galleries and artists makes this a fantastic center for creativity and inspiration. Travelling here has been a very important part of my development as an artist. I have always been reminded of New York, both major art cities that are very metropolitan. And it is always exciting being in another culture, exploring the unknown.
Because of the time change, we arrived around 8 am. We dropped our bags at our hotel, ate breakfast and went for a walk to explore the neighborhood. Staying awake is the only way to break yourself of jet lag, which you have to do if you want to function at all! 8 am in Berlin = 1 am in Texas.
I had never been in the Kunst Akademie (Art Academy) before, it was surprisingly close to where we were staying. There was very little art on display, but I have come to notice that is not an uncommon scene in an art building. I had first realized this when I was going to school, the art building was the only place on campus that didn’t have any purchased art on the walls. That includes the financial aid office. I assume it was to display student work, but that doesn’t happen frequently enough to actually grace the walls with art on a regular basis (and what about the caliber of the art?). Although, I will note both art buildings have an art gallery in them. The structure itself probably dated back four or five hundred years and had beautiful architecture. I think I would be inspired roaming these halls, it’s hard not to draw beauty from such a gorgeous building.
Every turn brings something unique and interesting. It is a combination of old and new, the bombings of World War II made rebuilding a necessity. The architecture is always something to take notice of, lacing the streets with beauty. Of course, there are famous structures such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Olympic Stadium, and the Victory Column. There is also the amazing Reichstag, the Parliament building, made famous by the art duo Christo and Jean-Claude, when they proceeded to wrap the entire, huge, building in material. The Wrapped Reichstag was an incredible challenge they took on. I know many of their projects took years, sometimes decades to come to fruition. Their projects normally involve a public building or structure in a foreign country and it takes several years to gain complete permission.
amazed at how many different cultures there are in Europe, or even just in Berlin. It is a melting pot, a chance to experience more of Eastern Europe than I might have otherwise. The art, the food, the architecture, the people – everything about Berlin is an adventure. Every time I have ever visited, I still find new things, have new experiences. I am excited at the prospect of what can happen this trip. I am ready for another adventure.