Topic: COMMUNITY INTEREST
A few weeks ago during a national meeting for a company, a new Vice President of an area was introduced. She is a woman. A woman who is attractive. As she began to share her background a female coworker, poked another in the back like a cattle dog. The woman ignored her poke. She poked again and asked, "We know you know her, what is the scoop with this woman?" What is she good at? Does she care about women?" The tone of the questioning annoyed the person who was poked as well as the question. They did not respond. The poker was not quiet about her question. Again, another poke and the same series of questions, yet at a higher decibel. The other person finally turned around and said, "Great lady, very competitive and wants to win."
The conversations over the next few weeks from other women in the company demonstrated this same level of mistrust and negativity towards the new VP. The person who was poked is a new employee at the company, it bothered them that the women acted in this manner. It is never a good thing when other women do not want to support or help other women. That is not a healthy culture. These women asked the question," Does she support women?", yet their very behavior is not of a positive sisterhood in business. Why should or would this new VP support them, when they have this attitude about her already and they do not even know her.
No one really talks about it, but one of the main issues preventing women from getting along with other women is jealousy. In the professional world, it breaks down to one of two things: jealousy over how good you are at what you do or jealousy over how good you look doing what you do.
These related but distinct problems each deserve their own explanation. I’ll start with Green Monster #1: when you’re prettier than the average woman. Many of you reading this are probably already feeling an aversion to the topic—none of us likes to admit that other people are better looking than we are or, even worse, that we resent them for it. In fact, many of us don’t admit it, not even to ourselves. Instead, we channel the jealousy into resentment and let it lurk inside of us until the object of it does something that we can interpret maliciously—and then we hate them for that reason. What I wish is that being hated for being attractive isn’t necessarily about what you look like. A lot of it is about what you do with what you look like. The most sought after person may not be the most beautiful one but rather the one who puts herself out there. Yes, I’m talking about flirting. So, while I would never suggest that an attractive woman should slum herself up so her co-workers, but one may have to for a client, I would suggest that there are things that can be done to avoid being eaten by other women by Green Monster #1, especially since, while in my experience women might be jealous of any attractive woman, they only actively hate those who inappropriately use their sexual appeal to get ahead.
In thinking about writing this article, there are three main questions with which I struggled. The first is: why are women jealous in the first place? I don’t have the answer, though perhaps women are still socialized to think that their primary task in life is to get a mate, and the main thing that mates are looking for (so it may seem) is the most attractive woman around. Other women are therefore competition, even if logically a woman can recognize that she’s in a relationship or not actually interested in dating people at the office herself or that there’s actually not a cash prize for being the best looking person in the office. Still, perhaps it’s experienced as a subtle insult to not receive attention directed at someone else, and the hurt of not being singled out finds an outlet in jealousy at the person who is singled out.
Question two: what can we, as women, do to stop the vicious cycle of women hating women? Again, I don’t know. We can all do our part by recognizing feelings of jealousy when we have them and working through our own issues instead of taking them out on other people. Though, as I discuss below, sometimes we actually aren’t jealous of the pretty girl and are rightfully pissed that flirting and sex appeal are being harnessed as professional tools to advance. If you are silent about your social life and have short hair, you are automatically labeled as the office lesbian.
Question three: what can one do now that she’s found herself the object of office jealousy (and jealousy’s BFFs, resentment and hatred)? Many of you will likely argue (with good reason) that it isn’t the persons responsibility to change anything—that the jealousy is about other people’s issues and not your fault. True, but . . . like many things in life, you can be in the right and still be professionally damaged from your moral high horse. Every person has to decide what price they’re willing to pay for any one of a million different behaviors, and using your physical assets in a professional context is no different.
From what I’ve seen, more often than not if people at work dislike someone for no other reason than because that person is attractive, it’s not only because they are jealous of how pretty that person is. Why do I think that? Because there are plenty of very attractive women I’ve worked with or gone to school with who other women don’t hate. Is it that the ones who are hated are just that beautiful? No. Well, is it that the ones who are hated are just that much bitchier? No. So what is it? I’ve thought about this issue a lot, and my best analysis is that women hate women who use their physical attractiveness to their professional advantage. No one hates the Angelina Jolie twin hard at work at her desk in a turtleneck and flats (or even a professional suit like the rest of us mortals wear). Women tend to hate the Angelina Jolie twin who wears a short skirt and a low-cut blouse and smiles suggestively at the partner while asking about assignments. So, if women hate you and inside you tell yourself that it’s because they are jealous, but you actually want to get along with other women professionally, here are my suggestions:
Know that you rarely if ever make friends by talking about how pretty you are
It may depend on your audience, but I feel comfortable saying that 99% of the time, you don’t engender positive opinion about yourself when you 1) talk about an issue with another woman and attribute the conflict to the other woman being jealous of you; 2) talk about how many men are after you, the compliments you receive on how beautiful you are, how some guy crashed his car while staring at you walk down the street, how it’s so hard to be you because of all the attention, etc.; 3) talk about how guys in the office stare at you, hit on you, etc. (unless of course it’s a sexual harassment issue, and then you absolutely should talk about it, probably to your boss in the form of a formal complaint). Just remember, no one likes a braggart, and when you draw attention to an aspect of yourself repeatedly, people notice and tend to draw conclusions about you that may not be favorable.
Recognize your own self-worth.
My assumption about many women who spend a lot of time flirting or talking about the items listed above is that their main source of self-esteem is their appearance. Regardless of whether or not I’m right, I view these women as less complicated and competent than they actually are because their own internalized belief that their looks are the best thing they have to offer comes across loud and clear, and I believe it because they believe it. A lot of us have been rewarded in life for how we look, and it’s natural that a certain amount of self-esteem has become attached to our pride in our appearance. However, we’re not in high school anymore. I maintain that it’s actually professionally damaging to project ourselves as pretty faces. Why? Because we’re so much more than that. We’re smart and ambitious and competent. If we still derive pleasure and self-esteem from being physically desired, then it’s important to leave that aspect of ourselves at home because people pick up on what we project, and if you spend a lot of time priding yourself on your looks and drawing attention to your physical attractiveness and flirting at the office, then a lot of your colleagues will view you in a one-dimensional way, and you will never be truly valued for what lies under the surface. You are more than a pretty face. Step forward and embrace that truth.
Understand the broader consequences of sexualizing yourself as a professional woman
I firmly believe that it is damaging to all professional women when any professional woman chooses to use her looks to get ahead. Why do I say “chooses”? Because I do think that it is a choice. True, none of us chose how God made us, but we all make choices about what to wear to work and how to interact with our clients and colleagues. Am I… gasp…saying that women can’t wear whatever they want to? I am absolutely saying that. Am I…gasp…saying that women have to take responsibility for how people respond to their natural state of being? Yes. Why? Because our “natural states of being” are socialized. Many women get positive responses to their looks and learn (from an early age) how to keep getting those responses through subtle things like eye contact, body language, etc. Do you do things of which you’re not aware that others perceive as flirting? Why don’t you ask someone you think would be honest with you because you might be surprised by the answer you get. It is always best to not get hammered or even drink at company functions as a woman. Trust me, when you do, you are judged, attractive or not.
If you’re a pretty girl, please think about this: As much as you may enjoy getting attention for being pretty, the cost is high. The pretty will hate you, the unattractive will hate you. There will be daily judgment, daily rumors and daily injustice. When you draw attention to your looks for professional benefit, even if subconsciously, you are reduced to a lowest common denominator, you damage your relationships with other women, and you create an expectation that all women who could flirt to get ahead should, which continues a scheme of rewards for behavior that we as professional women want to leave behind us. We no longer need to battle it out to be the fairest of them all. We have a seat at the table now. We can get ahead on our own merits. We aren’t reliant on men to take care of us. Ladies, I beg you to be more than just your pretty face, and I think you’ll find that in the process, you’ll be more respected by women and men alike. I also beg you to keep your comments to yourself. The world of business is hard enough for women, we do not need other women destroying our opportunities or self esteem.
I am not so sure the problem I mention here is limited to just attractive women. I've seen plenty of women I wouldn't consider very attractive conduct themselves in the same manner. I can't stand such women anywhere since I think they're pandering to men instead of being themselves & it just diminishes any "attractiveness" they may have. Plus it makes it harder for every other woman to be taken seriously on the job. At this same meeting there were many women who were completely inebriated, sleeping around, cheating on their mates, dressing inappropriately or even frumpily. It was the frumpy ones who were most critical of the attractive women. This is an interesting paradym. It never ceases to amaze me that these people post the videos of their antics all over social media. During this same meeting numerous unattractive women were lap hopping, throwing judgmental glances at anyone who did not look like them or looked attractive. If someone never has a kind word to say about anyone when you are with them about others; you can guarantee when you are not in front of them, they are doing the same about you.
I don't think attractive women should be subjected to double standards as you seem to suggest; however, I do think they should conduct themselves just as professionally as anyone else & be considerate of everyone, not just men. I wouldn't dream of using my looks to get ahead since maybe some of these people wanting to resort to that should look into a career where that would be an advantage. Maybe they should also pursue jobs in environments where their preferred dress code is the norm.
A lot of it is has to do with what you look like. I worked in a group where there were only 3 other women around my level of experience. Two of them were definitely more attractive than I was (or am!). Slim, tall, perfect hair and skin and makeup, and gorgeous shoes. I'd say both were equally competent. Both wore girly jewelry and pointy shoes and took pride in their appearance.
One was universally liked by women and men in the office. The other was only liked by the men. The difference was all in attitude. I think women realize quicker than men when they're dealing with a show-off. Or maybe we're more inclined to call it for what it is because unlike the men we can't see it as a personal compliment she'd make the effort for us.
The woman in question would do things like share unsolicited advice from her hairdresser, or about her dress size, or from her boyfriend. The nice pretty woman would leave that until she was either asked, or for a more appropriate setting like a coffee break or after work. It was pretty clear which one was just a nice woman who happened to be pretty and which was a pretty woman ramming it down our throats.
I think we're all capable of having both strong friendships and strong dislike of good looking female colleagues, which goes to show it isn't about their looks in the end. It's about their attitude to us and professionalism in the office. Perhaps their beauty distorts their own perceptions but I don't think its fair to call it a cross for them to bear that they are disliked by other women.
If you're pretty as well as competent, congratulations. Remember to show everyone how competent you are by not using your looks to either curry favor with the men or put down the women. Then we will like you even if you wear size 2.
Beauty brings out the worst in people. Brains and beauty makes people hostile. If men fall over their feet at the sight of a beautiful woman who is modestly dressed and who comports herself as an equal coworker who does not flirt, it should not become the problem of the beautiful women if others are envious when this woman is getting this unwelcomed attention and just trying to do her job.
Beautiful women are seen as not being smart or nice and manipulative and must have done something to get where she is. It’s a man’s world in that respect.
If a gorgeous friendly woman smiles at a man he thinks she wants him, which is nonsense. Women need to stand up to the stereotypes and come to grips with their own perceived shortcomings.
The world needs to come to terms with themselves that there are beautiful people (born beautiful) in it who possess more than their looks who are also smart, kind, caring, creative and talented and learn to live with it or try to bring out in themselves what is good and not tear down the beautiful people of the world to make themselves feel better.
Women are women’s worst enemies, unfortunately, especially professionally, and it is worse in southern states where the concept that women are in competition for men is most acute (because many women in these parts are powerless, uneducated, and really do need a man to survive). The problem with women being jealous of other women and working hard to try to bring them down must be discussed and exposed. It is unfair for some women to be subjected to constant harassment as a result of other women’s jealousy or relative professional inferiority. If nothing else, someone should create a website, a forum in which women can express their various experiences with this, and how it harms them professionally and otherwise (such as emotionally). There is no excuse for pretty women having to deal with other women’s (and sometimes men’s) insecurities in the form of harassment, attempts to undermine credibility, and even slander. It has been observed, women quitting their jobs and losing benefits instead of dealing with the constant unfair professional accusations resulting from other women’s jealousy. Ridiculous. This stuff needs to be exposed, and the perpetrators should be named, exposed, and held accountable. Most men have no idea what we are talking about - although some savvy men get it. Women need to stick together and to empower one another thereby. This issue has been silent far too long.
Every Fiber of My Being is curated by the Arts Council’s 2016 Spring Anne Reeves Artist-in-Residence, Diana Weymar. Growing up in the wilderness of British Columbia, Diana learned the importance and practical value of a vivid imagination. In her artwork, she is interested in how to interact with existing materials – photographs, clothing, text – to address issues of storytelling, identity, narrative, and documentation.
Maira Kalman is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker Magazine and is well known for her collaboration with Rick Meyerowitz on the New Yorkistan cover in 2001 and The New York City Sub-Culinary Map. Maira is currently creating an illustrated column for The New Yorker based on travels to museums and libraries.
Amy Meissner's textile art combines traditional handwork and contemporary imagery to explore themes of the body, fear and loss. Her materials are vintage, discarded or found, with cumulative histories that shape the narrative of each piece.
The aim of Cassie Jones’ felt pieces is to create a “pleasurable conundrum.” She explains, “I like work that is both painterly and sculptural, familiar yet strange, representational, but abstract, knowable but un-nameable all at once.
Caroline Lathan-Stiefel’s piece, Wider Than the Sky, was inspired in part by Emily Dickinson’s poem of the same name, which addresses the brain’s capability to contain immeasurable vastness and creativity.
Danielle Hogan is a maker, educator, and practice-led researcher. Her research embraces the fields of craft in contemporary art and the feminist possibilities of/and feminist theory regarding craft media and their processes.
Katie Truk’s pieces are a marriage of sensual malleability of pantyhose and the rigidity of wire. Thread binds and extends the aggression and vulnerability, echoing life’s twists, turns, and pulling within our rigorous regulations and expectations.
Every Fiber of My Being will be on view in the Arts Council’s Taplin Gallery from March 5 throughApril 17, with an Opening Reception on Saturday, March 5 from 3-5pm and an Artist Talk onSunday, March 6 at 1pm. Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ. Parking is available in the Spring and Hulfish Street Garages and at metered parking spots along Witherspoon Street and Paul Robeson Place.
The Arts Council of Princeton, founded in 1967, is a non-profit organization with a mission of Building Community through the Arts. Housed in the landmark Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, designed by architect Michael Graves, the ACP fulfills its mission by presenting a wide range of programs including exhibitions, performances, free community cultural events, and studio-based classes and workshops in a wide range of media. Arts Council of Princeton programs are designed to be high-quality, engaging, affordable and accessible for the diverse population of the greater Princeton region.
Malan Breton: Fall Winter 2016 Collections
at Gotham Hall
On February 11th at Gotham Hall in NYC, , Taiwanese-born American designer Malan Breton based in New York City showed us effortless, classics. Breton launched his namesake label "Malan Breton" in 2005. The label is associated with menswear, womenswear, outerwear, accessories, and bridal.
If there is one fashion icon through the ages that men have aspired to look like, it is undoubtedly James Bond, agent 007, super spy, super stud, super stylish and the most fashionable. The 60s look is everywhere now and nobody carries it better than the models on Malan Breton's runway.
The first look traveled us back in time to the world of bell bottoms. These were utterly fantastic. These Beauties have been specifically designed for the flare wearer. We think Breton hit this look spot on with the addition of an extra long shirt beneath a super sleek jacket.
This model below, with his super fit body, defined muscles and slim lapels, slim trousers worn with another extra long shirt, slim tie and a gold embellishment on his breast pocket. It is thoroughly classic tailoring .... the jacket is tight through the body and sleeves , and it is short like the current men's fashion trends (it doesn’t completely cover the buttocks while traditionally a men's jacket should be covering his rear and we loved that!). The leather jacket has padded shoulders, a 2-button front, with narrow lapels that roll gently over the top button. The jacket with its two buttons, with the last button left open, double dart in the front, flapped pockets and double vent in the back. In traditional Breton fashion, he uses a flat-front trouser which are also super slim fit and have a very low rise. All in all, a very modern fashionable fit. Just remember : if you wear a 3 button front jacket ... just do the middle button only ... and never button the last button in your jacket cuff.
These looks on the runway were effortlessly stylish, whether the models were going to be street jumping in a suit or gunning for the enemy in a gillet.
A man should never look shabby, he should always be perfectly groomed. The male models in the show clearly were definitely having some 007 moments. Men often dress immaculately but then forget about the grooming, the look is lost. If you don’t attend to details like that that then it won’t matter how well you’re dressed, Breton nailed it in this show. So many shows I attend miss this.
So, clean-shaven good looks aside, what is the key to Breton's success? It’s not only about the clothes themselves but the effect they have on the wearer. A person may say to themselves, I would never wear that extra long shirt with my jacket or these colors." Yet, it creates a whole new look, a persona that is edgy that everyone will envy. The Breton style is so attractive because he always creates clothes that make the wearer feel confident. It's that confidence, that’s so attractive. As a woman I would wear every one of those male looks. Every one! They are the epitome of classic style with an edge. LOVE IT!
A suit – not a good suit but a very good suit – is the one garment a man can wear that can make him feel like he owns the world. The man looking to make an investment in a suit should stick to a classic cut and going bespoke. I prefer a simple, single breasted suit because you can always dress it up or down. Double breasted ones always look shabby when opened. Tailored isn’t just better for the fit but for function too. When a suit fits like a second skin you can do so much more in them.
Clothes should never dress the man or overpower him. Breton has created a lovely balance in this collection, no one is overpowered. You should see the man first and the clothes second, which is why Breton's collection allows the wearers personality to shine through.
I quite like gloves but many probably never spend more than about 45 seconds trying a pair on before making a purchase. I want to see more gloves on men that fit them beautifully. The days of wearing oven mitts on men should become a thing of the past, something we all revolution to ban. Adding gloves to some of these looks would take them to another level of sophistication. They should look beautiful but nobody should really know why – they should just be part of you.
The accessories in the show were exquisite. They should be there but never too obvious and they were not too obvious in the show. Little details – things like amazing cufflinks, pins, belts – are so important when it comes to dressing. They should say something about the man or woman you are and have a history behind them.
But whilst details matter, they should never dominate an outfit. If you’re nervous about accessories, paring things right back to a pocket square. You can say so much with something as a simple a pocket square. It’s a specific and precise detail which always adds a touch of understated elegance. To make sure it’s on point I suggest wearing it straight, allowing exactly 1.4 of an inch to show above the pocket. It's always better for a man to take something off rather than to add something to their outfit.
Breton is a man who has created his own style - one that’s outside fashion. This is why his looks always are timeless. Key to this elegance is choosing classics, using great fabrics, and paring things back and keeping things simple. That applies to causal wear too. Stick to classics like roll necks – in cashmere because a man’s clothing should always feel soft and luxurious to the touch – and polo shirts in neutral colors and you will always look elegant. Bravo Malan! Thank you for another lovely runway.
Fish Can Be Chic
Sauðárkrókur, a utilitarian town that overlooks Iceland’s beautiful Skagafjörður, doesn’t immediately scream high fashion. But Gucci, Prada, Dior, Jimmy Choo and Nike are just a few of the names to have sent orders to this chilly corner of north-west Iceland for one of the quieter luxe trends of recent years: fish leather.
Since 1991, the family-run Loðskinn tannery has been perfecting a formula for turning fishskin into leather – a substance said to be seven times stronger than cow leather. It’s entirely sustainable, and some of the salmon leather is even machine-washable. Loðskinn is Europe’s only fish tannery, tanning around a tonne of fishskin every month, 98 per cent of which is exported and turned into luxe shoes, jackets, iPhone cases and more.
“When our technicians started trying fish leather, it would just turn into soup,” says Steinunn Gunnsteinsdottir, who works for the Tannery Visitor Centre and runs tours. The tannery is part-owned by her parents, and has employed her grandmother, uncle and brothers. “It’s an incredibly delicate, complicated process, and it took skilled technicians three years to find the right formula to create such high-quality leather. There aren’t many people who know how to do this, and we’re very protective of our method.”
The Loðskinn tannery was originally founded in 1969 to produce decorative long-hair lambskins from the many Icelandic lambs whose skin was just being discarded. One of its earliest clients was the Danish Dam company, which used dyed Icelandic lamb hair for the hair of its iconic troll dolls.
Things were going fine until 1991, when sheepskin from the new Russia flooded the market, causing prices to plummet – and forcing the tannery to look at new ways to make money. “It was a case of looking at what we have and diversifying,” says Gunnsteinsdottir.
So, in 1995, with the secret fish-leather formula perfected, Atlantic Leather was formed as a sister company to Loðskinn, with the two companies merging last year. Today, Atlantic Leather still produces around 2,000 lambskins a month at the tannery, with longer and clipped hair, as well as reindeer skins, all of which are sold at the tannery’s shop along with their fishskin products.
“We’ve always used products that would otherwise go to waste,” says Gunnsteinsdottir. “Nothing is ever killed for the sole purpose of collecting the hide, and we only use geothermal energy while tanning the skins, making the process very eco-friendly.”
The tannery, set in a huge warehouse, is all steam and heavy machinery. The livestock tanning – which usually takes 3-4 weeks – takes up most of the space, but one section of the factory is dominated by small strips of tactile fish leather. Some skins, such as cod, are scaly, while others have a velvety smoothness. Some are dyed in piercing blues and pinks. These slivers of leather might come from Norwegian salmon, with an almost suede-like consistency, or perch from the Nile.
In Iceland, fish leather dates back to the 1700s, when a volcanic eruption wiped out much of the country’s livestock. Shoe designer Salvatore Ferragamo used it during World War II, when other supplies were scarce. Today, 150 million tonnes of fish are processed annually, so turning an abundant waste product into high fashion makes perfect sense. The problem is that only the very best specialist tanners can create beautiful leather rather than fish soup – and they’re not sharing the secret.
SOLO FLIGHTS FESTIVAL RETURNS TO PASSAGE THEATRE
In honor of Passage Theatre’s 30th Anniversary, the popular Solo Flights Festival has returned by popular demand to the Mill Hill Playhouse. The festival was retired 5 years ago in favor of selected single artist events.
The Solo Flights Festival features a variety of 6 one-person plays written and performed by 6 artists.
This season’s line-up brings to the stage in rotating repertory:
· An adaptation of Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land, by Joseph Edwards, directed by Wynn Handman, March 3, 5, and 6. In this coming-of-age story, young Claude struggles to find his identity and keep his sanity to overcome social ills and turn his life around. The play explores themes of education, the power of choice, and self-awareness.
· Panther Hollow, written and performed by David Lee White, directed by John Augustine, performs March 4, 12 and 18 and is a comedy describing life at 25 years upon encountering two dead bodies, a Jacobean tragedy, drugs, Satanists, skinheads, Elizabeth Wurtzel, and Nordic death metal. Coming of age in the Midwest can be tough.
· Remembrance Day, written and performed by June Ballinger, directed by Janice Goldberg, performs March 10 and 20 and follows the memories of an 80-year-old former British code breaker attending a Remembrance Day service in England. She looks back on her life and the secrets about her work and identity that she has held for over 50 years.
· Playwright and performer Leslie Ayvazian reads from her collection of storiesMention My Beauty on March 11 and 19, centered on growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s, a time of rebellion and action and indignation. Although she joined organizations like VISTA…her attention was elsewhere.
· Etty, crafted solely from Etty Hillesum’s writings during the Holocaust, is an unconventional theatre experience written and performed by Susan Stein that brings the audience into Etty’s thinking as she wrestles to write the life she is living – her loves, her work, her wry sense of humor and her knowledge of self in this moment in history, all whilst confronting God. March 13 and 14.
· Improviser and storyteller Alex Clothier tries to tell us what happened when Grandma was hit by a train in Everything’s Fine!, through an exploration of family and memory an intimate night full of secrets, laughter, and food. March 17.
“This has been a long popular type of storytelling with audiences internationally and has the benefit of providing each theatre artist control of their own artistry and career,” Artistic Director June Ballinger explains. “And it affords Passage the opportunity to curate a wildly eclectic month of theatre with a variety of stories, theatrical forms and generations. There is truly something for everyone, though oddly enough a common theme is pondering the ‘coming of age’…whether 25 or 85! People were dismayed to see us stop the festival a few years ago, but we decided we needed a change. But we are back!”
Passage Theatre has been committed to original new work with an emphasis on socially responsible themes for 30 years. The professional (Actors Equity Association) company performs in the historic Mill Hill Playhouse in Trenton.
Date: Mar 3 - Mar 20, 2016
Address: The Mill Hill Playhouse, 205 East Front Street, Trenton, NJ (Secure Parking)
Time: 8 pm Thursdays-Saturdays; 3 pm Sundays
Tickets: $25. Discounts for seniors, groups and students
Purchase at www.passagetheatre.org or 609-392-0766
Passage Theatre’s mainstage supporters are: N.J. State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the NEA; Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation; The City of Trenton; WIMG 1300; The Curtis McGraw Foundation; The James Kerney Foundation; PNC Bank; The Garfield Foundation; Princeton Area Community Foundation; The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey; The Shubert Foundation; New Jersey Manufacturers; Church & Dwight; Mary G. Roebling Foundation; Anonymous; and Fidelity Savings Bank.
By Tammy Duffy
If you love art, the Ice Hotel is definitely a place you need to experience. The Ice Hotel is situated more than 200 kilometers above the Arctic in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden. This little village lies alongside of the Torne River is home to 900 people and 1,000 dogs. In the winter, the temperatures in this area can get below -40 degrees Celsius, yet the magical kaamos and northern lights create panoramic light shows across the winter sky. The ICEHOTEL was founded in 1989 and is the world's first hotel made of ice and snow.
Every year there is a new ICEHOTEL erected created from the ice of the Torne River. When the first snow has fallen, artists from all over the world come together in the village to take part in creating this incredibly unique livable art exhibition.
"The ICEHOTEL is an art symposium in a class of its own. The energy released there when creative people from a wide variety of backgrounds and places meet the ice is tangible, says Arne Bergh, partner and sculptor who has been part of the ICEHOTEL since the start 26 years ago.
The artfulness of the ICEHOTEL is a direct result of the extreme creativity of several artists. This year there were 42 artists who participated in this project in Jukkasjarvi. The notion that the work would take several weeks to months to complete is a bittersweet feeling for some.
When the cold arrives to the Arctic, the river also slows down and the landscape changes shape. Huge blocks of ice, weighing two tons apiece, are harvested from the river in the late winter of the prior year. It is then stored for the next years hotel. With this material they are able to cast the building "snice" (mixture of ice made of water from the river). The snice is sprayed onto molds, which are removed once the structure has consolidated. It's then up to the creative process to develop the hotel.
Room after room is an exquisite, romantic interlude of snow and ice. There is an extra dimension added to the experience with customized, challenging light effects. There is a presence of traditional Sami art, heavy chandeliers made of ice (weighing 250kg), 50 rooms for guests, an ice bar, a sauna and much more.
This years ICEBAR at the ICEHOTEL was named Tribute. It was so named as a tribute and celebration for all the artists, creative types and builders who have contributed to the ICEHOTEL for the past 26 years. It was also a tribute to the actors, musicians, and artists throughout the world who spread joy and happiness through their creativity.
The ARTSUITES, leave their guests mesmerized with wonder. I was blessed with the ability to stay in the suite, Don't Say Don't Cry, created by artists Urs Koller and Petri Tuominen. I told my travel agent I wanted an elephant in my room when I made my reservation. At that time they were just beginning to build the hotel for this year. This was a trip for my 50th birthday. When I arrived my breath was taken away by the room. I literally shed a tear. I slept very well in the suite. The reindeer skins are incredibly comfortable. The arctic blanket supplied by the hotel was so warm that you never once felt cold.
Your stay at the ICEHOTEL is something you will never forget. The surroundings were so quiet and cool, you will get the best sleep of you life. There is a survival course taught to you before you enter the suite. The course provides you with what to wear to bed and how to use the sleeping bags. There is a warm building where you keep you luggage and personal belongings. If you are planning a wedding, there is a chapel also made completely of ice to perform your nuptials.
In the morning, you are waken by a hot mug of lingonberry tea before you head off to the sauna to refresh yourself for the day. There is a delicious breakfast buffet included with high tech juice and water machines that make you feel like you are in an episode of the Jetson's.
As of next year, the plan is to make a hotel, bar and art gallery of ice, open to visitors every day of the year. The new building will be combined with traditional methods and modern, sustainable energy.
PHOTOS BY DUFFY Copy link below into your browser.
VIDEO of DOGSLED RIDE THROUGH WOODS: (We apologize for the thumb in the video, we lost our connector for the GOPRO on the trip)
TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO ICE HOTEL:
1. Fly SAS. Their pilots now how to take off and land in the snow effortlessly.
2. Use Vaseline as your moisturizer for face and lips. You need the oil on your skin. 99% of moistuizers have their first ingredient as water. Water on your skin is not your friend in the arctic.
3. Do not go out into the cold for two hours after you shower. This allows for the natural oils to replenish on your skin
4. Take lots of batteries. The cold will eat up the battery life very quickly. Nikon only guarantees proper function of any SLR up to -10 degrees. Be careful for condensation on the lens or camera and permanent destroy the camera. Keep your exra batteries warm as well. If they get cold, they will not work either. You your hand warmers in your bag to keep them warm.
5. Do not wear your good watch. The battery will be eaten up the first day. This happened to my Ebel. But you are on vacation so who cares what time it is.
6. Keep you cameras inside your coat. Take a backup camera in case one does not work as well in the cold. I used Nikon my DSLR with AA batteries adapter. I took my 30-80mm analog lens that work on my DSLR for my Nikon. I also used my Nikon Coolpix. The DSLR(d90)was more sensitive to the cold (but was not as rigorous about putting it in my coat). The Coolpix worked great all day as long as it was in my coat.
7. Dress warm in layers. Wear mositure wicking thermals
8. Merlino wool is your best friend, socks and thermal wear.
9. Schedule excursions with companies that supply you with boots, gloves, hats and snowsuits. This will help with what you do not have to pack for your trip. The excursions are wonderful and let you experience the cultural of Sami life. Highly recommend you do as many as you can.
10. Take one bag for all your belongings for your trip. Pack light.