Exploring my own “Berlin”. Wish you were here. Will call when I return.
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I like the wisdom that comes with getting older, but not the aging process itself. Both my parents died way before their due, so I feel like I am constantly traversing through time and space on moments that are borrowed. September 4th brings me both reflection and melancholy in a way the rest of the 364 don’t. So last year on my birthday I decided to make an event (albeit a small one) on my “special” day. Using social media to connect to others, I made a public declaration (in my Facebook status) for whomever was online, right at that moment, to make homemade art by the stroke of midnight on September 4th. I was half kidding and I was not sure if anyone was awake or even around, but I put my words out there. I thought that it might be neat to see what people came up with on a moments notice and who might actually respond. I love art and have a lot of talented and creative friends and colleagues. I gave the participants little parameters, the only stipulation was a 4 minute time frame to complete the work. The person didn’t have to be an artist by trade or hobby, just passionate about absolutely anything. I wanted to see something; a simple statement on the day; a nice love letter to September 4th: A very ordinary day. I closed by asking them to post a pic of their homemade art on their FB walls (before midnight) and tag me in the post.
Last year’s experiment heeded some brilliant results — FB BIRTHDAY ART, 2010 — so I decided that this year I would make homemade, spontaneous art an annual event. I cheated a bit and made my declaration a few days prior. I wanted to make a few more folks aware of the impromptu art gallery. In doing that, I don’t think many stayed within the 4 minute parameter but some brilliant art was to be had.
Here are this year’s results — FB BIRTHDAY ART, 2011.
And here are the two songs that were written in my honor:
Tomorrow I will reveal the art I created for this project. Stay tuned!!!!!!!
A Thursday afternoon lesson in randomness, detours, and the contrasting forces of nature.
Amongst the myriad of different things I had on my “to do” list, one particular item of note was that I needed to trek from Pittsburgh to Latrobe to pick up the Isaac Rullo images that were selected and juried at Westmoreland Arts and Heritage Festival over the July 4th holiday.
Equipped with my favorite travel companion: my son, Jack, camera and liquid refreshments in tow, we headed out… and nature stepped in.
About 40 minutes into our hour-long journey to Twin Lakes Park, the weather began to change, quickly. At that moment, I had never seen clouds roll in that fast, nor had I ever seen a bolt of lightning with such force and precision so live and in person. Sparks burst and flew all over the sky and all over Route 30 (Happy 4th of July indeed). The transformer box that was attached to a utility pole on the side of the road took the shear brunt force of the bolt. It was in that particular type of slow motion that is over in an instant. It was beautiful, it was startling, and in that moment, I wished I had captured this “something” on my camera.
Visibility was becoming less and less apparent and Jack was getting more and more quiet. The road no longer seemed a safe place to be.
The massive drops of rain and wind forced us into a nearby parking lot. There were a few cars that followed my lead but not the mass exodus to safety I had expected. I guess the hearty eastbound venturers are more used to random inclement weather than this city dweller.
We sat in the parking lot listening to the rain strike the outside objects and tap feverishly on the roof of our car. I asked Jack if he was nervous. Through the rear view mirror I saw him silently mouth the word “yes”. I dug into the annals of random useless knowledge archive and explained to him the safety of being in a car during a storm as it was explained to me many years ago. Our conversation drifted from rubber tires to raindrop patterns to other wonderfully mediocre things. Those lovely “eureka” moments of saying exactly the right things to turn fear and anxiety into exploration and humor are my most precious with Jack. The clouds finally, slowly, started moving away from our little hideout.
Do we venture towards the storm, or do we head back and make this journey all over again tomorrow? We were more than half way there and it appeared the storm was drifting and dissipating in varying directions. We took a risk and ended up at our destination in a little over ten minutes.
The art was picked up and placed in my car. The sky was still fluctuating between grey matter and blue skies. I was getting ready to suggest a walk to check out the beauty of this park, but Jack had already began to run with delight towards the water. Nature did a 180, and just like that I began to run as well.
All photos by Kim Rullo (unless otherwise noted).