Monday, October 4, 2010

Not Constantinople...

Close to 20 years ago, when I was tracing the origins of religion in college, I wanted to go to Anatolia to visit archeological sites.  But I never went.  Then, when I was a member of Raqs Halim Middle Eastern dance troupe, performing with a live band to predominately Turkish music, I mingled with many people from Turkey and talked about saving for a trip to the region.  But I didn't.  Now, as a mosaic artist, I have even more reason to visit Turkey. The place is full of ancient mosaics, intricate tiles and incredible architecture.  Istanbul is enjoying great success, with a thriving arts community, and there are many prominent mosaic artists living and working there.

In March, at the Society of American Mosaic Artists conference in Chicago, I happened to sit at a table with one other person.  He introduced himself as Suha Semerci from Istanbul, and we muddled through polite conversation in very simple words because he was just learning English.  During the rest of the conference, we touched bases occasionally, and we have kept in touch by email and facebook over the past 6 months.

Mike and I have planned a trip to Istanbul, in detail, in the past, but we never saved enough money to go.  We finally scraped together a small chunk, along with two no-interest credit card offers, and we are going for it.  I was very excited to have a personal contact in Istanbul, and Suha has been very generous about offering suggestions and looking for information to help us plan.  But more connections keep developing, and it looks like I will have a busy social calendar while I'm there.  At every turn, something else falls into place, and it promises to be a very rich experience.
Here's Suha at work.

When I get back, I'll definitely post some of the highlights of the trip.  We will visit beautiful mosques, take a ferry down the Bosphorus, see the mosaic museum, have tea with colleagues, meet many new friends, and ride camels in Goreme.
We'll stay in a cave hotel in Cappadocia, among the "fairy chimneys."

We leave on the 15th of October, and will be there for two weeks.  As you can imagine, we are getting very excited!  I feel like this trip is a culmination of many interests, and it is sure to be very inspirational.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like this trip will be so cool! Going to Turkey is one of my dreams, too - I can't wait to hear about your experience there as a mosaic artist & see your pics. Thanks for sharing!