August 25, 2006
wishes & fishes
by gl. at 10:35 pm
on wednesday we hosted the Fabulous End-of-Summer August Art Swap! i wanted people to give & get "new" art supplies for free. i figured people would be able to find good homes for the things that no longer inspire them and discover new treasures at the same time. i had it brewing in the back of my head for a while, but finally decided that if i waited until i figured out all the details, it would never happen, so i took the opportunity of our early august canadian trip and the upcoming artist's way creative clusters to create a new, fun, unusual event for us.
anyway, it was great! the studio swelled with art supplies and generous hearts. we got some new attendees out to the studio for this event, too! there were some amazing finds representing a wide range of arts, and i tucked homegrown tomatoes from the studio garden fairies into leftover gift bags i had been hoarding for years. i also managed to pass out flyers for the artist's way creative clusters and the general events flyer. we even had pizza!
since this was the first art swap i've ever held, the timing was a little off and i could have used even more space for people to swarm the goods when the time came. but i got a couple of details really right:
i created little tags for people to fill out for the items that had stories attached to them or that had non-obvious functions. this gave people something to do when coming in and really made the items more personable during the swap. "what is it? why is it here?"
but the biggest success was born from my main concern for this event, which was "how am i going to keep people in the studio for longer than 30 minutes?" i mean, how long does it take to drop stuff off and sort through a table of odds & ends?
i've been watching the TEDtalks and am inspired by the presenters who have been granted a TEDprize. more specifically, i'm fascinated by the concept of granting someone a "wish" which everyone listening promises to help make come true by donating time, resources, money, expertise, or connections to make it possible. later i realized i've probably also been influenced by wishcraft & dayna's description of wishweavers.
but the TED concept is what prompted the major activity of the evening, which is choosing a wish to share with others. as artists, these are the kinds of conversations we should be having! we don't know who among us will be able to help, but someone will if we wish loudly enough & often enough. but first you have to wish so people can hear it. :) so while waiting for everyone to arrive, i asked people to create nametages that also included an "implausible wish or desire" --- and then talk with each other about them, each person having a chance to wish and listen. this turned out even better than i hoped because it gave us a reason to talk about what we want rather than the typical small talk about what we do. at 8 p.m. we paused before the swap to introduce ourselves and our wishes so that everyone would have a chance to hear them. there was so much good feedback we went longer than i expected, but it was an amazing bonding experience.
so these are some of the wishes people had. can you help make any of one of them come true?
grand & ephemeral
L surprised herself by wanting to be a philanthropist: she wants to inspire & support artists. does anyone know of a grant that needs managing, or a way to break into fundraising or art support funds?
A wants to ride the Orient Express! does anyone know of a way to make that happen? is there a job she could do or a contest she could win or become the guest of someone planning on taking a trip? is there an art magazine that would pay her to write an article or publish an art journal based on the trip?
J wants to travel around in an Airstream RV. does anyone know where she could pick up one of these for $4000 or less?
T wants abundant energy to drive her music, lit & photography passions. does anyone know of massage therapists or alternative healers that could help with this sort of thing?
places & spaces
CH is looking for an affordable ranch house in inner SE by October. she currently lives in NE, but her husband is disabled and her daughter is in a SE language school. is anyone selling something like this, or knows of a good real estate agent who would work with them?
i'm looking for a piece of green/wilderness property i could access to create an Andy Goldsworthy-like workshop (or a place to set up our labyrinth!). i'd consider a retreat space, but i'm wondering if anyone has a good chunk of backyard or property somewhere they'd be willing to let me borrow ocassionally.
B is looking for a commercial/residential mixed space in SE for about $400,000. does anyone know of a space like this or a real-estate agent she could work with?
jobs & such
Linda Womack wants to make all of her income from art (encaustics & teaching). i invited her to teach a workshop at the studio, but you can help make her wish come true by buying her art, visiting her during the Open Studios tour, or taking one of her classes at collage.
M wants to start a center for healing & art therapy (and publish a book). she's looking for a group of dedicated people to create a board with a potential committment of 2 years. (i volunteered for this.)
C wants to illustrate & publish a children's book. does anyone know publishers in this market, or has anyone published a children's book that could act as a mentor?
JB is an art therapist looking for private clients. i invited her to teach a workshop at the studio, but does anyone want to try art therapy, or need a coach on the road to certification?
B wants to quit her job at the flower shop in Salem and design webpages instead. does anyone have small, simple sites she can set up for creative people?
and sven wants to work on Coraline at Laika. :) grace & leopoldo have done wonders so far, but is there anyone with a direct line to the armature head who can be sven's advocate?
this was a wonderful way to wrap up summer and look forward to fall. the studio can't absorb the remainders from another art swap for at least a year (though collage fairies shouldn't be shy about intermittent donations!), but i'm going to check in w/ wednesday's dreamers in three months and see what we've done to make each other's dreams come true.
while not everything was totally perfect, i really thought it went pretty well. though there are always improvments & tweaks to be made for next time, my only regret is that i didn't get that many pictures, and the ones I did get were thanks to sven (thanks, sven!). so if you want to see a few pictures, they're at the meetup site.
now to begin promotion for the artist's way creative clusters that begin sept12! (and if i had a second wish, it would be that both the tuesday night & wednesday morning clusters would have enough participants to run this term! so pass along that link to anyone you think would benefit from a dedicated creative group like this. :)