outflows and inflows of creativity

Sunday, October 28, 2007

One Neighborhood, One River

I am winding down from the busiest month I have ever had in my memory. I am currently catching up on things neglected - housework, yardwork, family, friends . . . slowly but surely.

This past month was exciting, and very rewarding in many ways. One of the rewarding parts was a film that was shown as a part of the Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers, Third Ward TX, Directed by Andrew Garrison, produced by Nancy Bless and Noland Walker. I was able to see the showing at our local art museum, the IP Stanback Museum & Planetarium, on the campus of our South Carolina State University, as well as meet Andrew Garrison.

To recap - Third Ward Tx is about a group of artists who remodel a neighborhood's row houses, or "shotgun" houses from the local vernacular (so named because you could shoot a shotgun through the front door and the pellets would go straight out the back door without hitting any walls) . They cleaned up the houses and yards through the generosity of corporate and individual sponsors. Single mothers were allowed to live there rent free for up to two years, as long as they were enrolled in college. The artists used a few of the houses to have exhibitions of their work bi-annually, and community response was enthusiastic and warm.

Seeing this film ignited a great hope in me, and set my mind on fire with possibilities. Artists are the impetus for change, change for the betterment of people. Artists can affect that change, can get the ball rolling, by using their unique ability to see. Artists can and do make the mundane and common beautiful, and can use these powers to translate, to help others see the beauty that is in all things, in all people. As artist John Biggers aptly said, "Art is life".

Another example, on a personal level, is my friend and fellow artist Janet Kozachek. Janet heard about "Environmental Blog Day", where bloggers were encouraged to write a blog along an environmental theme, or "go green" for a day. Well, Janet went one step further; she decided in order to write about the environment, she needed first hand experience. So she went to our local river and picked up trash. She got the attention of a local environmental group, as well as the Mayor, and last Saturday a group of volunteers showed up and cleaned a good portion of the river. Janet uncovered the beauty, allowed others to see, and our community is that much richer because of it.

Be proud, Artists! We can make our world a better place; one neighborhood, one river at a time.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

DiverseArt Success!

Our DiverseArt exhibition for 2007 is now in the annals of history. We had about 150 or so people come and view the art, mingle and generally have a good time. There was a lot of good food, wine, and peach iced tea. There was a lot of laughter, and renewed appreciation for the dedicated artists and their creations that we are fortunate to have in this area. New friendships were begun, and older friendships renewed. It was, as Merriam-Webster would say, "a favorable or desired outcome" . . . the definition of success.

Friday, October 12, 2007

DiverseArt Loosed

OK, it's crunch time! We artists who are showing in DiverseArt are tying up loose ends, finalizing plans. Most of the art has been hung, and the art that will reside on tables will be ready to display early next week. We have been interviewed in our local paper, planned the menu, sent out the invitations. All that remains is for us to show up and showcase our work.

It's exciting to see us come together, working to promote not only our own work, but each of the other's as well. I'm glad to be right here, right now.

It hasn't always been thus. There were times when I'd rather live anywhere but here. But I suppose we all have feelings of doubt and at one time or another are disenchanted with where we happen to be. I haven't had the opportunity to live outside my small geographic area, but I have had the privilege to know many who have. I am amazed at the artists who reside around me, and how varied their backgrounds and perspectives are. I am so thankful to be here and to know so many of them. They have all enriched my life in ways that are as colorful, dynamic and thoughtful as their work.

So, if you are anywhere nearby, please plan to come to the Orangeburg Arts Center Thursday October 18 from 6-8, and meet these fantastic artists (and me!!) and hear their stories. It will be a night and an experience to remember.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Title Trauma

I'm aching to get back to my easel! I have been away from it for far too long.

I started a new painting weeks ago, and really got into the groove; the lose- yourself-in-the-paint, drop-away from-the-world trance you get into when and if you're lucky. Unfortunately I got called away from it and am trying to clear up other obligations so I can get back to it. Here's my progress so far. I have a title that popped in my head as I was working, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with it, but it's at such an early stage I may change up. Titles ooze out of me as I'm working and experiencing the emotions it takes to create a piece. I think they are important, an intimate look into the state of mind of the artist that serves to enhance the connection between artist and viewer.

What do you think? I'm open to ideas. What should this work in progress be called? And nobody better say "Chairs"!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

DiverseArt Launch

Had a super day - got to install art at our local Arts Center in preparation of our upcoming exhibition, DiverseArt, this month. DiverseArt was conceived last year after a group of us had a disappointing time trying to sell art at a local festival. It was disappointing trying to sell, it was not disappointing in the camaraderie we experienced. We began talking about how we could get the arts going in our small town. We not only wanted that for ourselves, but we wanted to include other artists in our area, showcase the incredible gold mine of talent and celebrate their diverse perspectives. That brainstorming session led to DiverseArt, which is a group show that exists to give artists a venue and an opportunity to market their work as they speed along on their artistic journey.

We are planning for 300 people to show up for the wine and cheese reception, Thursday October 18 at 6 PM, and we have a fantastic musician on tap, Capers Bull, who will play some "Come On And Buy Some Art" type music on the piano. There will be much laughter, and maybe some singing and dancing. . . one never knows!

We are honored to have, in alphabetical order, Elsie Lewis Fogle, Alice French, Rajas Londhe, George McDaniel, Pennie Sifly, Jo Wyrosdick, and Ellen Zisholtz.

I've been very busy planning, cajoling, exulting, typing, organizing, fretting, crying, laughing . . . and it's not over yet. Oh, no, it's just begun!!