It’s been a minute, well, several. I’m sitting here a little wide-eyed and out of breath, five days into a summer where (for the first time in my life!) the next few years are wide open. Wide open for me to dream, to meet new people, and to make big plans and continue to make make make. My learning will no longer happen in a structured environment, and I will no longer be enclosed within and committed to a few square blocks of intense academic and social stress. I am also grieving the loss of the gift of closeness to people that I don’t have to explain myself to, and that speak the familiar language of a close-knit community.
These past few months, my senior community art cohort has been meeting with community artists from all over Chicago and its suburbs: from pastors to art league directors to community organizers: people who live loudly, softly, confidently, humbly.
We’ve met muralists and sketchbook drawers and people that wouldn’t consider themselves artists at all; they just simply love spending time with other people.
People with all different kinds of personalities, the only thing they share in common, really, being their belief that art making matters to our well-being.
These past few months, I have been thinking a lot about the discipline and integrity behind good art-making: of continuing to put in hours when the inspiration is long gone, of loving and listening to the materials, of deciding that the details matter, even when no one else will notice them.
The more I explore art-making, the more I am convinced that as artists we have the responsibility (and privilege!) of being truth tellers: of protesting cynicism, of helping each other see ourselves clearly, of noticing beauty and slowing down long enough to pay careful attention to it.
After spending the past few months in New Hampshire, I am exhausted and shaken up in the best way possible: I am more whole, more here, and more honest. I have asked for, and received, a lot. I have experienced God answering prayer. And I have met dear friends that I may never see again.
I’m spending the summer in New Hampshire as an intern for a program for young adults struggling with life-controlling issues – from alcohol and drug abuse to depression and anxiety. And being here has stirred up a lot.
May is the oddest kind of inbetween-ness. I don’t really know how to be here, with half of my mind back in the semester that just ended and the other half already in the months ahead that I’ll be spending in New Hampshire. Continue reading “Here we go again”→
January and February were busy, and cold, at some points impossible and some points wonderful, with everything seeming to crescendo into each other all at once. Here are a few insights into the projects I’ve been working on lately: Continue reading “January and February projects”→