By Austin Lopez (MFA 2016)
Life in Istanbul is in many ways "magical,” as so many before me have described it. It is the mixture of the roaming cats, praying voices, strolling boats with the history and landscape of the city that creates this feeling of magic.
As the renowned Turkish author, Orhan Pamuk, states from his memoir on Istanbul:
“It was in Cihangir that I first learned Istanbul was not an anonymous multitude of walled-in lives – a jungle of apartments where no one knew who was dead or who was celebrating what – but an archipelago of neighborhoods in which everyone knew each other.”
There is a strong sense of community here, it seems in every corner. Turkish people are more than welcoming to foreigners and love when we express interest in their culture. So far we have been to a few galleries, the Blue Mosque, the Asian side of Istanbul and this is only from a week living here.
The studios at our Mimar Sinan residency are awesome! I have a second floor balcony studio to myself and have already began a few drawings I hope to exhibit at the end of the residency. I am deeply inspired by Istanbul and Turkish calligraphy, so to say participating in this residency and living in Istanbul is a dream come true is an absolute understatement. This city is art and life itself to me and I am thrilled to see how I can reflect that feeling during my residency here.