I have been in Eskisehir for almost a week and it has been a wonderful whirlwind. I arrived from Istanbul after a delayed 5+ hour bus ride. I was not sure what to expect, except for all the good things I had heard from others that have been here. I can say my experience exceeds expectation. The website for the city of 650,000 people states, “Eskisehir stands closer to the level of developed European cities with its two universities, cultural and art works infrastructure, aviation center, well planned industry, underground treasures and social life choices.”
I have been getting settled in my apartment in a campus guest house, across the street from the main gate of campus and on a main road to campus. Everything is very convenient and comfortable. At Anadolu University, I already have an office with my name next to the door. I have been so well treated by the Dean of the Fine Arts Faculty and the other administrators, I feel so welcome. I have slowly been meeting my colleagues in Ceramics and Glass. I look forward to working with them. I will be teaching a 3rd year elective course in handbuilding I am very excited about.
I was fortunate to arrive during the 7th Annual Terra Cotta Symposium, a two week event of both Turkish and international artists invited to come and make a public art piece. This symposium has placed over 70 pieces in public spaces all over the city. There is a festival around the event and it is held at what was a brick factory. An exhibit, sale of work, commercial exhibitors, music, raku firings and other events have been taking place. I have had the opportunity to sit around a fire (the weather is cooler here than Florida!) and get to know many colleagues and students. Last night was the closing ceremony, a festive event hosted by the city and corporate sponsors.
Today, I went to see the installation by the American artists, Alexis Gregg and Tanner Coleman. Their whimsical piece is in a lovely park along the river.
I could write pages on all the amazing people, places and things about my first week. I will leave it at this with some pictures to tell the story.