After living with "The Steward" for a little over two months, I said goodbye to "him" yesterday. Our short-lived relationship was just what every positive relationship should be. "He" pushed me to do things artistically that made me think and grow, made me happy, worried me, and challenged me. I am grateful for every moment, even the sleepless nights. I thank Paul-Gordon Chandler for selecting me to participate in this wonderful exhibition.
Speaking of gratitude, I want to thank the employees of Farrish Fairfax Auto Body. Upon completion, I realized that I wanted to protect the end result. Unfortunately, I had a bear of a time finding an auto body shop that was willing to take on the task of clear-coating the finished product. Fortunately, I contacted Kevin Wynn at Farrish Fairfax Auto Body. Kevin, the manager of the body shop, and George Gallahan, the assistant manager, couldn't have been more helpful. They insured that the sculpture was treated with care, and put a protective coating on the surface that is undetectable. I send them a hearty thank you. Now, "The Steward" will be able to travel to New York City in October without damage, and whoever purchases the sculpture will have a well-protected piece of art.
The finishing touches have been put on "The Steward," my piece of art for the Caravan exhibition to take place at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. The show will be on view from Sunday, August 31 until Tuesday, October 6 in Washington, DC, and then will travel to the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City.
When first asked to participate in this show, I was honored. Then, I panicked. After the panic, a concept was born. Following the initial concept decision, I wrote a statement about the work. This statement helped me to maintain my clarity regarding what I wanted to say with the piece while working. Here is the statement that expresses my idea behind the work:
Trees have been a central symbol of transcendence, immortality, and life in almost every culture. Without trees, we would no longer be able to exist, since they create the very air that we breathe. Without working together as groups and individuals, humans would no longer exist either. With this idea in mind, my figure is embracing trees and the trees are embracing the figure. This image symbolically indicates that we are stewards of the land and of one another. We are all connected, and can provide comfort in times of trouble, and joy in positive moments. Our roots may help to define us, and lead us to a better understanding of others if we so choose.
This exhibition will be fascinating to see in person, but you may see some of the work now by visiting the Caravan website at this address: http://www.oncaravan.org/ My work will be included on the site soon. Until then, here's "The Steward."