06 January 2013

My Favorite Creative Experiences From 2012.

Some blogs put out posts each month to review what they have previously posted about during that same month. My feeling is this: that's too close to when something really happened. I like the idea of a year in review because sometimes I forget what has even happened (again, this is why I take so many pictures!!). In keeping with my theme of favorites from 2012, I have listed my most favorite creative experiences from this past year. This was a hard list to boil down, as I have been lucky to live a creative life which means creative things are always happening. But I think you will find a wide variety of experiences below that helped make 2012 one of the most exciting and fun-filled years to date!

1.  Museum and Menagerie: As I mentioned here, the first month of 2012 had me working on Safe Haven's Museum and Menagerie event. Local photographer Allen Clark worked with the circus, photographing the animals and people behind the scenes. We hung the work and created an event around the circus theme. On the night of the event, each photograph was auctioned off and all of the proceeds went to Safe Haven. The night of the event was magical . . . For one, it snowed. It didn't snow at all that winter except on this night. And for two, I helped arrange for Fall Dance Company to perform and watching them was truly spectacular. For weeks this event generated press. It was honestly one of the best parties I've ever been too, and I got to help make it happen! Hooray for things!


2.  Making hearts with Emma: In the first year that I knew Emma, we attended Meg's Valentine craft party at Art and Invention. This was before she moved away to Medford, Wisconsin. 10 years later we found ourselves together again in Nashville. So we spent the afternoon at Meg's making wooden hearts. We got there early and stayed late. And, we had a blast! (Then I moved to Singapore. Perhaps one of these days Emma and I will live in Nashville again at the same time. Hopefully it won't take another 10 years for this to happen.)

3.  Deliciously Happy: One of the hardest and most rewarding shows I have ever put together, Deliciously Happy combined workshops taught at 4 schools in the Nashville area, video footage from each location, and my artwork. Funded in part by a successful Kickstarter campaign, Deliciously Happy proved what I knew all along: collaboration works!! I met some truly amazing people during this project and they inspired more in me than I previously thought possible. (I have 5 more Kickstarter rewards to finish up and then the project will officially be complete!)

4.  Sitting on a panel for Nashville's Arts and Business Council: Because of Deliciously Happy's successful Kickstarter campaign, I was asked to sit on a panel with other creatives who used crowdfunding as a source for making projects happen. I was floored that I was chosen to be on this panel and amazed at the graciousness of the audience. Most of the 75 person crowd personally thanked me for being there and ended up stopping by Belmont's Leu Gallery to see the show.

5.  Writing a paper about my nephew Oliver: For two semesters I attended Belmont as a graduate teaching student. Realizing the program wasn't for me, I accepted my current job in Singapore and left Belmont permanently. However during my time there, I wrote several papers. One of them was on my nephew Oliver. The full paper can be found here.

6.  Curry vegenaise: Most people know how much I loved working at The Turnip Truck. And my most favorite part of my job was working in the kitchen making things for people to eat. On the days I got to make the curry vegenaise, life was perfect! We used curry vegenaise to make the curry chicken salad that we used on sandwiches and in salads. The smell was intoxicating! And the colors and textures were amazing. Thankfully on my last day there, they let me make it one last time and I took some pictures of the process. Now my friend Corey is running the kitchen. I hope they are putting as much love and appreciation for color in their curry vegenaise as I tried to do!!

7.  My little hut with Lockeland: Over the course of 2012, I exhibited work in 8 solo and collaborative shows. One of the most interesting shows I was involved in was a collaboration with Camilla Spadafino and Lockeland Design Center Elementary School. I worked with her 2nd graders on making elements for a small hut that we then exhibited at the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (MNAC). Additionally Camilla invited me to create more elements for the show by working with the larger school community during Field Day. It was such a fun little project! And the opening reception was awesome! The MNAC had their outdoor patio set up with snacks and juice boxes, chalk and bubbles. It was so great to watch the kids playing during their opening, all while looking out over the Nashville skyline. Not a lot of the students showed up for the event though, and to this day I will not understand why. Oh well.

8.  Teaching with Emily Holt: A few weeks before I left for Singapore, I had the absolute pleasure of teaching a University School of Nashville camp with Emily Holt. We devised a food/art camp and it was hilarious! We made everything from cake robots to screen printed aprons, clay pizzas to cardboard carnival games. The kids had an absolute blast! I hope we get a chance to teach this camp again one of these days . . .

9.  CREATE 2012: The very week that I left for Singapore, I found myself teaching teachers at Middle Tennessee State University. As part of CREATE 2012, I facilitated 3 workshops based on recent projects I had completed with young people. Two of the workshops were focused on parade arts and one of the workshops was focused on teaching teens about fashion design using recyclables. The teachers who attended my parade arts workshops were so much fun! It was awesome to be able to work with adults the same way that I work with kids! And come on: the conference was titled "Stop! Collaborate and Listen". How could I not love a Vanilla Ice-themed arts conference? So looking forward to next year!!

10.  Moving to Singapore: The end.

Just kidding. But seriously! This move has probably been one of the most creative and risk-taking adventures of my whole life. It's been a colorful, creative, and tasty ride that I continue to blog about weekly. Hello-halfway-around-the-world! I'm preparing to be jet lagged for the rest of my life!

11.  Experiencing Boracay: The Philippines has been my most favorite creative experiences of the year. I'm not sure what it was that created this feeling, but I think it had to do with being the perfect combination of chaos and beauty. Seeing the sunset (and rise) over the water at Boracay was absolutely breathtaking. I have never seen anything like that. At one point I had to stop posting pictures of water and just hope that everyone understood how beautiful it was. It was an incredible experience. And like any good performance piece, I'll only get that true experience once.  

12.  Batik: Hands down the best thing I have ever made this year, perhaps even during my lifetime.  Visiting Widya in his personal studio and having him teach my friend Cheryl and I the process of batik from start to finish was unbelievable. I work in the studio all of the time and never have I seen a transformation during an artistic process like I saw with the batik process. I ended up giving my sister my batik for Christmas and she was so excited! I can't wait to visit Widya again and continue learning about this incredible process. Perhaps this is where I will apply for a Fulbright . . . We shall see!

To many more creative experiences in 2013!!

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