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.