The day started out early as usual. I'm generally a morning person but the combination of jetlag and breakfast at the Guest House are just additional motivations for getting up early.
The mornings are great since Sissy or Kelli are always around whenever I get up. I move from my room to the formal dining room and set up my computer and grab coffee, granola and yogurt. If I'm feeling like a deserve a treat (which has been everyday for no real reason except because I'm back at Davidson which obviously warrants a treat) I grab a slice of the zucchini breakfast bread. Sissy informed me that the zucchini comes from Davidson's newly acquired organic farm and the bread is made down at Vail Commons (the main dining area on campus) and delivered to the guest house.
Over breakfast I review the images from the previous day's progress and determine which section of the mural requires more work or which section to focus on for the day. Afterwards, I grab my camera and laptop and I'm off.
I headed to the union around 8:30 since I was determined to correct some details on President Spencer's portrait before Isabel arrived. A few minutes after I set out the materials for the day Bill Giduz, Davidson College's Director of Media Relations, and a fellow, Robert, arrived to inform me he'd sent a note to local news publications about the project and several had been in contact with him as they were interested in running pieces on the mural and my progress to date. But he also described that he wanted to send them a photo of me with the mural that "needed to be taken in the next 20 minutes," as he was in between appointments.
Bill and Robert quickly set up lights and posed me using "Isabel's ladder," as a prop. Do you remember when you had to take high school year book photos and every time they told you to smile, it was as if you'd forgotten how to. Rather than smiling an awkward grimace spread across your face and you were suddenly blatantly conscious that your awkwardness would somehow be captured on camera. That never happened to you? Well, it did to me in high school and it happened again over the next 20 minutes. However, by the end of it we were having fun, though Robert looked a bit bored by us all as he realized Isabel and I could go on for hours :)
After they left, I began to work on the "First Portraits." This would be a series of six portraits representing the various significant firsts at the college such as the first international student, the first African American student, first woman to graduate Davidson and so on. All of these firsts represent a significant milestone in the college's history and path towards embracing diversity and inclusion on campus. Today, I began on the portrait of Leslie Brown who was the first African American student to integrate at Davidson when previously the college had only admitted white Americans to attend. I hope that I have a chance to meet Leslie, who recently visited the college, before heading back to London.
As a tribute, I "photobombed" the time-lapse camera that is set up to document our progress with a picture of Leslie's college portrait (see below).
My soror and best friend, Ebony Harley, paid me a visit while we were painting. I've such an amazing time talking to everyone who has come by to see the mural and chat. I will post the invite to the official Meet & Greet scheduled for July 8th from 12pm- 1pm. Hope to see you there :)