Sula and her incredibly German-looking son Juri met me at the train station in Stuttgart, and Sula is just the coolest. After stopping back at the apartment and having a snack, we went for a walk pushing Juri in the kinderwagen (he was quickly snoozing) and she showed me all these interesting art communities around town. Firstly, there are these old train cars that people have converted into flats, and sometimes they have concerts in them and there is a little cafe. Then we went to this place where she used to live where artists can rent studios and apartments in an old converted warehouse. It’s a great way to use the space, and a really interesting place! The friends of hers that we met there seemed really cool, and were all making very good art. It actually reminded me a lot of COA! They also have concerts and a little cafe in there, and she said that it was a great place to go in the summer.
Then we lugged the sleeping Juri up a big hill and we visited the Kunst Academie (the State Art Academy), which seemed like a really cool school. Sula had friends where ever we went, and one of them offered to show me around a little if she had time in the next few days. Then we came back to the apartment, where I got to meet one of Sula’s friends over tea and cake, and their kids played. It was a really great day! That night Sula and I chatted and she showed me some videos by her boyfriend Phillip (who was away working on a short film project in Berlin), which were very good, and then the two of us were pooped and went to bed!
On Wednesday, I finally made the mandatory pilgrimage to Würzburg, and saw the amazing frescoes there by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, a Venetian artist from the Baroque period. As a disciple of Ernie McMullen, this was the equivalent of making a trip to Mecca. These frescoes were really incredible though, and I’m so glad that I finally got to see them, after hearing about them in nearly every meeting with my advisor for the past three years! I will also write a paper on them for my art history class, and they really are one of the best works of art, basically ever. Anyone passing through southern Germany should really stop by the Residenz and take a good long look at them, and then find a friend to give you a neck rub because it might be a bit sore after staring up at them all day! Then I spent another fun evening with Sula and Juri, after getting to play Phillip’s guitar for a few hours, which was great. We looked at all these great photography books that Sula and Phillip have, and we talked about stage design, and it was a good time.
Thursday I went back to the Kunst Academie, looked around some more and got to talk to some of the students there and ask them about the program (it would be a pretty great place to go for grad school!). That was cool, and then I looked in the library for books on Tiepolo, but found none in English. Then, I went into town to take a look around and go to the Staatgalerie.
Stuttgart is a pretty city, and there are all these gardens in the middle of town because that’s where the Schloss is. The Staatgalerie is not too far from there, so I walked over and got to see a very nice exhibit on Edward Burne-Jones, an English artist from the 19th century (who’s drawings are gorgeous, by the way), and then looked around the rest of the museum, which was also very good. A bit more manageable than the Louvre, this place had some good surrealist and cubist pieces in the permanent collection, and funnily enough, an oil sketch of Tiepolo’s staircase fresco at Würzburg. I think he is stalking me.
Then I managed to locate a grocery store, and bought some ingredients to cook dinner for Sula and Phillip that night. Sula requested burritos, so that’s what they got (and they were pretty yummy, too). Phillip arrived back from Berlin just as they were finished, and we had a really nice dinner together. Unfortunately I didn’t get to know him very well, since he was pretty tired from his trip and went to bed. Sula showed me some of her videos that night, and they were very imaginative and clever. It was really nice to be hosted by and spend time with such creative people!
The next morning I had to arise early once more, and was seen off to the train station by Sula and Juri. The train ride back to Salzburg seemed like it took forever, and I was kind of sad that this fun trip was over! Getting to meet all these wonderful people made it a really great experience, and I wish that I had more time to spend with them. But, when I arrived back in Salzburg, I realize how totally exhausted I was. I then unpacked, got some food, took a long nap, watched the third Harry Potter movie in German on TV and then went straight to bed. I was quite right to think that I would need some recovery time! The rest of the weekend will be spent starting my final projects and papers, getting rest and exercise, and petting the fluffy cat, Beguira.