Wednesday, February 1, 2012

she turned the page

because of my Work, last year i was asked to be the keynote speaker at an event at the rutherford county courthouse that was part of the civil war's sesquicentennial celebration. i have never been invited to speak at anything like this before... probably, i have never been close to being invited. but, things have changed, and now it is likely that something like this will happen again. it was not at all what i had in mind when i began reproducing civil war era images with paint. i am not a "civil war buff." i am extremely fascinated by the civil war, but my knowledge of the topic is limited. the imagery is my field of investigation. this woman was a large part of turning the page of my understanding of the reach that the Work can have. she was responsible for asking me if i would be interested in delivering the "keynote address." it stunned me for a moment, as i was completely unprepared for that question. although i knew that i would be interested, and i was surely flattered that they would consider me for the job, i told her that i would think about it. soon enough, i let them know that i was on board, and i began the process of form-fitting my presentation for a civil war loving crowd. you see, the first line of my original artist statement for this series reads, "This body of work is not about the Civil War." i had a lot of work to do. luckily, as an artist, i am sometimes allowed to stretch the boundaries without being too inappropriate. my mouth went dry as cotton one minute into the talk. i spoke more of spirituality than of generals, battles, dates, and facts. while speaking, i thought that the crowd was drifting; i was afraid that i had strayed too far. i didn't think that it went very well; i was told otherwise. would i do it again? yep. i may have lost that battle, i may have won... but the war wages on.

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