Embrace the Unexpected

By: Kathy Kelsey Foley, director on October 26th, 2016

My husband, Ernie, and I recently returned from a magical adventure in Peru. From our arrival in Lima to our departure a week later, everything we did – and ate! – exceeded expectations.


Machu Picchu

While Machu Picchu was our primary focus and destination, we encountered unexpected delights and the kindnesses of Peruvians along the way.

Among the surprises:

  • Lima is home to 8 million people, which provides a partial explanation for almost unfathomable traffic night and day.
  • The Rumi Bar at Cusco’s Palacio del Inka is so proud of its Pisco Sour that staff offers a class each evening to school attendees in the perfect ratio of Pisco, simple syrup, lime juice, and egg whites.
  • Urubamba nestled in the Sacred Valley of the Incas not only served as our gateway to Machu Picchu, but also offered opportunities to explore local arts and crafts unencumbered by crowds.

Pablo Seminario’s studio


After an extraordinary day at Machu Picchu, we embraced the underlying definition of vacation by relaxing and later wandering the markets and streets of Urubamba. Directed to the studio and ceramic workshop of Pablo Seminario, we were not deterred by the massive closed door, although we somewhat timidly rang the doorbell, which was answered by a delightful young woman who warmly invited us in. After a fascinating video introduction, we were escorted throughout the workshop and ultimately asked if we’d like to meet Señor Seminario.


Pablo Seminario in his studio


A twenty-minute conversation in the artist’s studio ensued, during which Ernie and I learned more about Pablo Seminario’s work, his travels – including many visits to the United States, and his plans for monumental sculpture projects.

We deliberated for some time about the purchase of a small Seminario Ceramic Studio piece. Decision made, we wandered back to our hotel and reflected on delightful encounters that often happen when you least expect them.


Seminario Ceramic Studio piece

I also thought about the timeliness of our immersion in Peruvian ceramics as the Woodson Art Museum looks ahead to next summer’s focus on contemporary Japanese ceramists during the June 3 through August 27, 2017 exhibition Nature, Tradition, & Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Gordon Brodfuehrer Collection.

What unexpected – and perhaps serendipitous – experiences have you had?

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