In this project, I am mining the capacity for the visual arts to rejuvenate communities. However, rejuvenation only happens in communities where so many complex factors jumble together is when everyone agrees in the necessity for change.
But how do we get people to agree? When we are honest about our intentions, about our experiences, about our fears. Rejuvenation can only happen when we are honest with one another, when we can trust one another, and to do that we must be willing to be open and vulnerable.
The requisite raw vulnerability is not easy — we must slough off defenses and barriers which we have built out of fear of rejection and past hurts. However, when we can open ourselves up enough to share the most hidden personal experiences, we reveal the most innately universal themes.
During these last few months of preparation before I embark on this emotionally-draining, physically-exhausting, and perspective-changing expedition, I am actively stripping away my defenses and assumptions. Writing constantly, sketching constantly, talking to other creative thinkers to broaden my perspective.
To keep this process in the forefront of my mind, I have been marinating in the work of other artists whom I admire for their commitment to honesty and vulnerability.
Joan Didion – The Year of Magical Thinking
Alice Walker – In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens
bell hooks – Wounds of Passion
Jean Grae – My Story
Macklemore – Otherside, Starting Over, Thin Line
Brother Ali – All You Need, Babygirl, Rain Water
Joni Mitchell – The Last Time I Saw Richard
Adele – He Won’t Go