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Creating a Scene

My photograph, "Weird Walkers" had been juried into a show this month for Barnstorm 2018 in Ellensburg, Washington. I had never been in that area of Washington before and I thought this would be a great opportunity to participate in an art show outside of my usual locales and experience a new adventure. It's easy to become comfortable in your local scene. You know the artists, the art, the crowd and the type of response you will receive for your art. The town of Ellensburg has approximately 20,000 residents and their art walk was amazing. The galleries were full of people supporting the artists. Every venue also had live music with very accomplished musicians and people were listening to the various types of music being presented. I visited the venue where my piece would be hanging as my last stop. I was a little nervous as I made my way through the crowd to enter the large venue that a few days earlier had been an abandoned building. As soon as I entered, I felt as if I had been transported to a different dimension. There were video projections and a space set up as a small theater to sit and watch videos. There were prints on the walls that included mine! All of the work had an edge to it and some of it could be considered outsider art. The demographic of ages was mostly a younger crowd but all ages were represented. There was a performance artist there standing in a very worn bridal gown. She would slowly and methodically tear off pieces of what represented her skin and pin it on the wall. My senses were overwhelmed and my heart was full as I experienced something so complete and fulfilling as an artist and as a patron. I really looked at all of the art being represented and could see that these artists weren't merely capturing a moment in their art but saying something from their hearts and souls. They dug down deep enough and excavated the things that are often left buried or hidden in the shadows of our busy lives. I always question myself with my art. I ask if I have dug deep enough. Did I get there? Am I being honest and did this come from my heart? Am I merely pandering to an audience because someone may purchase the art? My objective is not to please everyone or even have everyone understand the message with each piece. It's about self-expression and my way of looking at the world in hopes that others may be able to see themselves as well. The Barnstorm 2018 exhibit will run through the month of June and if you're lucky enough to spend some time in this lovely town, take the opportunity to possibly find a new way of looking at the world. http://punchprojects.org/portfolio/barnstorm2018/

I had a wonderful opportunity to participate in the Barnstorm 2018 juried exhibition in Ellensburg, Washington by having "Weird Walkers" accepted into this show.

I decided it would give me a reason to go explore an area that I had never gone to before and I wanted to check out the local downtown and art scene for this town of 20,0000 residents. I needed to have a change of scene to find inspiration for myself as well as for possibilities for my community.

As soon as I went downtown I was struck by how beautiful the old restored buildings looked as well as by how many people were walking downtown. The restaurants were packed and music was coming from speakers placed on the outside of the buildings as well as the individual breweries, restaurants and galleries.

I saw lots of contemporary, abstract, outsider, and traditional art in pottery, glass, encaustic, fabric, painting and photography as I made my way to the venue that was showing my piece. I observed the support of the community for this vibrant art scene. Each gallery was packed with people looking at art, visiting with the artists and purchases were being made.

I walked to the once vacant building that housed the exhibition and there were people crowding around the entrance as I made my way through to enter. My senses were filled with sounds of music, people talking, art was hanging on the walls, being projected on screens and a small theater room was set aside so people could sit and watch the videos selected for this exhibition. There was a young woman dressed in a worn wedding gown that was symbolically tearing skin from herself and pinning it on the wall in front of her.

I felt as if I had been transported to another dimension. Performance art, punk rock music, dancing, art everywhere and people of all ages absorbing and moving together as one entity. Everyone was a participant.

I felt as if I had witnessed and participated in something very special. There was an energy, a creative vibe that was so palpable I had to return to a gallery the day after. The vibe was still there.

I witnessed artists truly expressing themselves through their art and the community becoming a part of it themselves. I came home feeling inspired to push myself more as an artist by experimenting and experiencing other practices. I came home inspired to be a part of building an arts community.


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