Read the blog and listen to the program below ...
Listen to program
Perfect days are rare. But painter and MacArthur fellow Anna Schuleit and I live on the
same street. Rare is no never, though we'd been trying to meet her for months. I was on the
road, she was on the road. She was running, I was running. I really thought I'd like her.
Her paintings reminded me of my favorite painter Cy Twombly, only more female, even more
visceral. Her installation pieces filled abandoned mental institutions with classical music and
flowers. I had a sense of a person of such compassion, seriousness and joy.
Rare and perfect day. Anna sends me her address and it is one block down my street. She
greets me at the door in striped stockings with a big hug. Infectiously, she tells me of her
passion for world travel, the 10 to 12 hours a day she spends alone in her studio, the deep
care she brings to her work, the joy she takes in making things. I keep thinking to myself, in
near disbelief, that we live on the same street. We are the same age. She says inspiring
things as easily as someone might sharpen a pencil. We talk with ease and laughter, even
after the microphone is off. I wonder aloud if she'd ever make an album cover. She suggests
we take a train across Russia together. Of course.
Strange to find yourself a grown up working artist and then bump into someone who is also a
grown up working artist on the same street, some bright shadow of yourself in their eye. That
is what I always wanted to do when I grew up.
Here are some pictures of Anna's work: