Newsletter | Mar/Apr 2022

Retreat theme for 2022

by Rachel Slonicki

We decided to make inspiration the theme for this year’s retreat program. Alicia Rosenthal, a colleague and friend, recalled leaving the retreat where Topher Delaney was the guest speaker inspired. Discussing different possible programs, she suggested that we try to develop a program which might capture that feeling for this year’s retreat. After a couple of years of anxiety and separation, a spirit lift is in order. What inspires me? When I witness a project, or a person, with the special magic, they have “It.” Architecture with a capital A can take various forms. Once you experience a site, or hear a lecture about a particular project, you know it has spirit and the extra beauty which catapults it to an exceptional level of design and/or art.

I have experienced this feeling at the Carpenter Center at Harvard University, la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spain, at the Santiago Calatrava Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin. Recently attending a virtual meeting with the AIA, I heard Frances Kere talk about his projects around the world. Collaborating with locals in his native Gando to build beautiful schools. Hearing Meejin Yoon, and her husband talk about their monuments and projects. People can inspire you. Bill Chen, my first mentor, who patiently explained architecture to a neophyte. Listening to Margot Siegel describing attending a land grant school, the only university she could attend and study architecture. Working with Bill Dutcher, Mui Ho, and Phil Overbaugh, architects with exceptional design skill. When I paint with the SAWS group, my friend Chris Kent says, you must feed the muse. Let us celebrate our muses this year at Westerbeke Ranch.

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