Saturday, December 6, 2014

That Special Gift

One of our creative Stick Figure Challenge entries! "Stick Ohio"

Our December “Leave your Mark” question of the month proved to be a rather emotional one. I had not intended that to be the case but when people are faced with thinking back to childhood memories, sometimes the eyes get a bit misty. Our demographic last night was on the older side due to Light Up Night being a day before which drew away the younger folks.

I have compiled the answers which filled our main board and one extra side panel this time as people are now coming (after only three months) specifically to answer our question. It is going to be a challenge to come up with a new one each month that is not a “yes or no” answer or a tally of any kind. I want to draw out one’s thoughts and feelings with a question that requires some personal perspective or investment. If you think you have such a question, please pass it along. I want this monthly inquiry to be a regular First Friday feature along with our community participation project. The Stick Figure challenge was just that, a bit of a challenge to get people to even agree to do that basic of a pen on paper commitment, but I am not to be deterred. We shall preserver at asking viewers of art to become participants in the process, even just a little bit. We as artists and gallery folks and business owners are not here just for entertainment on a Friday night, we want you to be a part of what we do and who we are. Just as patrons eat the food of a chef, or tap their feet and hum along to our guest musicians, so too do we want you to connect with us. See you on January 2nd. Until then, the board and one panel of the challenge will remain up in Snarky Art so participation is still encouraged. The Sticks will be recorded and compiled for final presentation at our summer sidewalk art show.

I have organized the answers into categories so they do not appear below in the same order as written on the board.

The question: What was the most memorable, precious, wanted or special gift you received as a child?

Toys: Powderpuff Girls backpack, Stretch Armstrong, anything Barbie, a doll and crib, teddy bear, doll house, Lazy Dazy Doll, Barbie Playhouse, Rock’m Sock’m Robots, American Girl Doll (2 listings), Madam Alexander doll, Barbie Hair Salon, dump truck, Baby Alive doll, Brix Blocks (Lego knock off), Legos, a Barbie, Lite Brite, Laser Tag, hobby horse, doll house, High School Musical dance mat, easel and box of paints, Etch-a-Sketch, Easy Bake Oven, seat belt pet

Music related: tambourine, Chord organ, Magnus Chord organ, Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge over Troubled Water album, 40 records

Personal items: pair of shoes that fit, make-up, fuzzy sweater, a dog

Mechanical things: spring loaded rocket ship, Erector set, Radio Shack Electronic kit, cash register, Camera 1966, Mr. Machine, Robot, a microscope, a chemistry set, 22 cal rifle

Sports oriented: snowboard, Sears Victory bike, ice skates, Snow sled – white cloud, Schwinn bike (2 listings), my 1st bike, pogo stick, baseball bat, Honda 3 wheeler, Largent jersey

Books: The Secret Garden

Reading over this list makes one wonder what the answers will be in 20 to 30 years from now. How many of them will consist of name brands and numbers of electronic devices rather than toys or sports equipment. Not sports played on a hand held, but a real ball glove or a sled. Do our kids today even know what a sled does? How about a pogo stick….no wonder we have a problem with obesity. Many people really had to debate which one thing they wanted to include. I offered the option to list several, but no, they wanted to remember that ONE thing, and choices seemed very personal. A few people wanted to discuss with me which one to write and others wanted to justify their selection. What a wonderful and dynamic way to interact with strangers, many who are become friends… thank you.

Thank you to all who came through the doors of Snarky Art or Journey Art Gallery on a rainy evening. Special thanks to the Pal Mission for sharing their wonderful and moving exhibit by homeless young adults, many of our visitors came especially to see the photographic works and read the stories.

PS - Snarky Art now has note card packets available featuring images of some of my most popular paintings. I will be releasing sets of 4 images every few months. Find them on the rounder in my studio. 

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