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.


Princess Haiku said...

I would love to see what artists could do with a long row of houses.

harriett said...

Artists are miracle workers - check out the links to see some examples

cooper said...

A very busy month for you.
Hope you get some time to recover, it sound like a good life to me.

The links are great. I'm going to sift through them as well.