Tuesday, July 21, 2015

10 things I’ve learned on the Tow Path Trail

"Spike Shadows" Acrylic on canvas 12 x 25 2015
If you are a local, you know about our park system and its extensive network of trails that lead from the Lake to the River (as in Ohio River). My husband and I decided to dust off the old trail bikes and go a few miles (28 each time but who is counting) a couple of times this past month. As a walker, one sees the journey differently than one on two wheels so I have learned. Allow me to share this new perspective….literally and figuratively.

No this is not a Letterman List so there is no particular ranking of least to worst vision violations.

1.      The parks and trails have lots of rules posted. They remind you of them at most access points and break spots…most people don’t follow them. If one follows the rules and someone else does not, who is at fault when a near miss occurs? The “oh my gosh there is no room to pass bell dinging fool” or the “I don’t care, my conversation is more important bird flipper”?

2.      Bike shorts on men over 50. Don’t. Just don’t……at least not without some type of looser shorts over them…

3.      Sports Bras…..never could figure out what sport they are for, but jogging is not one of them. Even when you are on your own side of the trail, I have to time my pass so I don’t get knocked off my bike by those knockers. I also have to not run over my husband who has since fallen off his bike from the centrifugal force of his own whiplash.

4.      Turtles. There are monster turtles lurking in the canal. They sit on logs sunning themselves looking all passive and sleepy…I bet they eat little kids.

5.       Little kids. Teaching your kid to ride a bike for the first time on a busy trail is not a great idea. The wobbly little munchkins could run into a defensive middle-ager minding the trail rules. Defensive (and now wet) middle-ager can swim or at least stand up in the canal. Your kid is turtle food.

6.      Alligators. No, there are not any that I know of, but what a great prank! If I owned one of the canal side docks, I have a remote control alligator in the water, just waiting to start swimming along when someone is leisurely riding along enjoying the scenery. Gotta feed my turtles somehow!

7.      A sign that reads “no buggies on the trail” means you have gone really far! Wonder how many Amish have gone rouge and drag raced their buggies on the trail after dusk to prompt such a warning.

8.      The divided highway….sort of along the lines of biker shorts. This would be the baggy pants version of biker wear. Pull up those yoga pants ladies!

9.      Sasquatch. Another great prank. Way out in the remote sections of the trail…nobody around….a Sasquatch crosses your path in the distance, hesitating long enough for the image to register for an accurate reenactment of size for when Bobo comes to conduct a town meeting about the recent rash of Sasquatch sightings. Too bad bored kids in Amish country don’t have access to TV, or perhaps that is a good thing! Getting ambulance access to the trails for heart attacks or broken bones could be a bit dicey.

10.   Some people take this hobby way too seriously. Biker gangs (the pedal pushing kind) do occasionally terrorize the middle-agers moving along at a steady pace. “Passing on your left” comes the call, then a dozen or so spandex wearing, helmet clad, hunched over, speedsters zoom past…with one or two lagging behind just when you thought it was safe to ease on back over from the edge of turtle town. I ding my little handlebar bell in protest.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Win Win Win

Chalking the walk under the watchful eye of our sunflowers, which bloomed from seeds that fell out of  our bird-feeders!
Yes, that is what one needs to do to be a Triple Crown winner, which was the topic of our Question of the Month. “You own the next potential Triple Crown winner! What is your race horse’s name?” Even with the challenges we faced this past First Friday, our turnout was fantastic all things considered. 78 people left their mark on our chalkboard, and another hundred or more left their mark on our sidewalk and street.

The Community Participation Project was to color in a shape that was connected to other shapes in a necklace like affect around the perimeter of our building. The initial 52 were done within the first 90 minutes so we had to keep adding and adding and adding…. Though intended for adults as usual, this project quickly became a favorite of families with little kids so we let them have fun and be creative much to the delight of those who came over to the west coast.

Next month my project is back indoors for the first step of a two phase project so be sure to stop in! Which brings me to the point I wish to make with this essay. The concept of the trifecta….how all of us can win with what we have been doing for, and with, the community these last 7 months or so. If you are an artist, you know that we are constantly asked to “donate” for “exposure” to what seems like endless charities and parties and events. Yes, I have commented on this numerous times, others have posted Facebook links to articles that address this issue and it is a touchy one for sure. However, let me keep this logical and local by proposing the following. 

The Journey Classroom is currently offering for sale our community projects. These are framed or mounted works made by the people of Canton. These are original works of art, one of a kind, made with love and offered for sale to benefit a scholarship fund for artists and to be able to offer more projects (supplies cost money) for the community. Several non-profit organizations have recently asked for donations of artwork, 3 in the past 4 weeks alone. On the horizon are requests by even more. This is no common core math problem, a simple solution is easily achieved.  What if…..someone came in and bought one of our works of community art (win for the scholarship and future projects), then that person donated it to the organization requesting art (win for the donor who gets a full retail tax write off) and the organization can then auction it off (win for the organization) and a fourth win for the people of Canton whose work is acknowledged! If one wishes to truly and genuinely support the arts...then buy some art.

The Stick Figures would be perfect for the waiting room of a pediatrician, or a dentist, or any other medical office as they are cute, entertaining and non-offensive. The Hearts could go in a cardiologist office waiting area or a children’s center, or anyplace that needs a little more love and a lot less big box landscapes. Our Fusion project is very contemporary and totally non-objective, perfect for a law office perhaps or a trendy restaurant. The Great Square Inches of Art, same deal, add some glass over the top and you have the perfect original work and the ability to brag that your organization supports the local arts scene and the local community. I will even toss in the photo of people working on your purchase. If one is going to talk the talk about being a supporter of Canton and of the Arts…well walk the walk down 4th street and put your money to a good cause. Don’t just give dollars to these non-profits, give a piece of your own community back to the community it will benefit.

The Jelly-wish could go in a place where people may want to make a wish….lobby of a medical facility or a specialty department? Our Pollock Pieces are available in a variety of sizes and who doesn’t love a little splatter art? Perfect for a lobby, waiting room, public hallway….your personal office…..don’t like my titles, feel free to find your own images hidden within. Have I made my point? Only one more month to shop for original community works!!  Journey Art Gallery, open 12 – 6 Tues – Sat!!

Now on to the Question of the Month:  “You own the next potential Triple Crown winner! What is your race horse’s name?”  (Sorry if I cannot read your handwriting and got it wrong, some are pretty odd!)

Rorg                          Light-Foot                    Not Dog Food
Stolen From Pasture                                       Turtle
Buddy                      Olaf                                Dunk Tripper
Its in the Lead                                                 Neapolitan
Billy Bob                 Falcon                            Glue
Dank Meme             Ruin                               Eshter
Doc Antoon            Calvary’s Secrets            Lady on a Ten
Dreams Come True                                        Sky Wave
Childhood Dreams                                          Alien
Frau Blucher           Pretzel                             Lucky Seeker
Given’in                  Legally Wed                   Bowling for Dollars
Bawarrior                Shampoo Dream             Hoof Hearted
Off Da Charts         Justin Timberlake            Ziggy
Running $$$           Sigh Kick                         Rufus
Cheat the Glue        Factory                            Eat My Dust
Good as Gold          Refuse to Lose                 Medic
‘bout Time              Diva Days                       Fleet A’Foot
Furry                        Diva Dash                       Naked Boot Leg
Hit the Hay             CoopCal                          Magnificent
Lord Castner          Bootie                              Millennium Falcon
Bob The Erd           Horatio                            Cost-A-Lot
PBAIOT                 Skyler                              Treble Cleff
Run Toto Run         Around the Bend             Luna
Run Like the Wind                                          Dash
American Pharao Deuce                                Thunderbolt
Yesterday’s Tomorrow                                   Dunk my Donut
Glue Factory          Run Forest Run               Electric
Stud-ly                   1-HPWR                          4 Rent
Amazing Grace                                               Old Time Hoofer

Again, thank you to everyone who came out to play!