Sunday, March 23, 2008


If there is one thing that is constant in our world, it's change.

This post is an excerpt of a recent email from Jeff Hengst, owner and founder of both the Little Red Studio and the Little Red Day Spa. I found it exciting and settling and thought you might enjoy a peek into the driving force behind the spa.

There are some rhythms worth noting. One year ago we moved into our new home on Harrison Street. After a long search and nearly crazy making wheeling and dealing, we found our current location, got financing together and signed papers. In early February we had a magical "blessing of the space" ceremony. I can still hear Nan's shamanic screams as we wound our way through the cavernous, gray empty dirty space we would soon call "home." "Our new home." Rose pedals were tossed in all directions and incense was thick. We even attempted to bring a bit of Jack, the "ghost" that lives in the upper studio at Franklin, to come to the new home. (It doesn't seem to
have worked.) The place was filthy and dark but seemed to be full of potential. And the presence of our group seemed to fill it with hope and possibility right from the start.

Three years ago I was able to cobble together enough financing to commit myself for the month of February and March to design and paint the large triptych painting that then went to SEAF (Seattle Erotic art Festival) in early April and then hung in the lower studio, aka the Spa, at Franklin since then. Some of my fondest memories of our last year or so of LRS at the old space are of seeing Mishabae and Bev and sometimes others doing performance yoga in the near dark in front of the painting, the audience all crowded around and sitting on the floor looking for all the world like the whole scene had just spilled out of the painting.

(And people wonder why I don't get excited about having my art in gallery shows!)

Well, the painting has been in the lower studio (now devoted almost exclusively to the spa) until this past winter solstice when it moved to the Fremont's annual winter solstice feast. After that it moved to the Harrison Street space. It sat, propped against a side wall since then. Today, Alex, Kim and I installed it on the main north wall where I will finish it at last. It is only about 75% finished. And of course we will fashion a cover for it so that it does not have to be on view except when it is intended to be so. For the meantime it will be covered with a big curtain.

Admittedly these paragraphs and this already lengthy e-mail don't really address any of the important business of what is going on at LRS. And believe me, there is much going on! However, I wanted to share these thoughts with you because they get closer to a truth about how I am running LRS and what you might expect from me than a report with bullet points. (Don't worry, I will get around to that too.) Instead, what I am hoping you will abstract from these thoughts is that I move fast at the same time that I move slow. There are different wavelengths for different aspects of LRS. It took a long time to find the building and get the financing together, but once we had it we moved fast. We were in our new home and doing shows within three weeks. In a couple of months we were settling in. In one year we are fine tuning. And all of this on a tiny budget. And with the painting, I designed and painted all of what is there in two months, but I have patiently waited three years to have it situated in a place where I could properly finish it.

Some things may appear to take forever at LRS. While others may seem to be going so fast you can not keep up. You are probably right about both sensations. I imagine that this must be frustrating at times. I appreciate how well you as individuals and as a troupe have come to deal with this potentially maddening combination of wave lengths. And while we are at it, I might as well say it, this is not going to change anytime soon.

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