In post-Katrina Bay St. Louis artists are finding many opportunities that will change thier lives forever. Our biggest challenge was obviously dealing with the effects of the storm, the loss of our beautiful town, and the uncertainty of the future. I am presently running around today getting ready for a trip to Little Rock where a group of 20 of us Bay St. Louis artists are going to be featured at the Clinton Presidential Library. This, I hope, is another one of those life changing opportunities that we have been granted. I'm fairly confident that it will lead to many great things, but it in itself is a fantastic experience that only comes around once.
My own mixed media work had featured found objects primarily from thrift stores and yard sales, sometimes trash piles. Usually housed inside wooden boxes I also incorporated pieces that I had constructed from clay, wood, handmade paper, and sometimes fabric. But the "meat" of the peice always relied on the fortuitous nature of the Found Object.
The last one person show that I had was entitled "Arrange Whatever Pieces Come Your Way", interestingly enough took place one month before the big storm, Katrina. We had had to postpone the reception orinially scheduled for the second Saturday in July until the next weekend because of the threat of Hurricane Dennis. At that time is was a minor inconvenience and a small joke because of having to "re-arrange" the opening. Little did we know that within 6 weeks we would have MAJOR re-arrangements and scheduling changes to deal with.
My pieces changed a bit after the storm, both in tone and content. Even though I had always used what I considered society's cast-offs, now I really had a wide range of materials to work with. Now even more precious articles than before, since people indiscriminately piled water soaked treasures along the roadside for the "giant claw" to dispose of. My friend and I like to "go shopping" whenever a new mountain of furniture, personal items, and building materials, usually sheetrock and flooring, appears in the neighborhood.
It's really sad to see these articles discarded so casually, but that's why I feel good about retrieving them from certain death at the local landfill. I hope to re-incarnate the little bits and pieces of someone's unfortunate circumstances.