"One masterpiece is the work of ten thousand rough drafts." -Emily Freeman
I never met Emily Freeman, but I bet she was one dedicated artist. The woman must have scrapped literally thousands of beginnings, middles, and endings of pieces I'm sure she considered giving up on entirely.
I've never considered myself an "artist."
In high school I began dabbling in stick figure art on the back of my homework and on tests I knew I was going to fail, but that didn't count.
I did theater, choir, and later in college I took up improv and stand-up comedy. For some reason I didn't think that counted either.
Then I wrote a book.
Two actually. And a third on the way (not pregnant, Mom...just ready to POP with ideas)
And oddly, nope. Still not an artist.
It's not that anyone told me I wasn't, I was just conditioned by society to believe that art was done by professional people in impossibly clean galleries and with things I wasn't allowed to touch.
Many years ago I was in an art gallery in Boulder, bopping around a lot of obscure statues when I swung around and nearly knocked an octopus-shaped vase off of a stand. In that moment I knew I was out of place.
I was a reckless child in an adult's quiet room.
But doesn't anyone else think this kind of "art" is a little weird? That you're just supposed to stare at this thing on the wall with no context, no investment, and no permission to interact with it?
Art is messy. Art is frustrating. Art is years and years of wanting to throw everything you've ever created or touched into a fire and watch it burn to the ground and become one with the Earth because it's absolute shit.
Back in October I got real drunk. So I did what I normally do and I wrote a bunch of weird shit down.
Among the gems were:
- Make Periods Funny Again
- I like my Kombucha like I like my cocaine...extremely overpriced and I do it to make me skinny
- Hang book from the ceiling
From the items above, it appears that the last one on the list is a joke. And a drunk one at that. But a few weeks later I stumbled upon the list and told my friend Kristen about it.
This is a really stupid (and drunk) idea...but what if I hung pages of my book from clipboards from the ceiling of an art gallery and gave people pens and they could mark it up? It would be like an art piece PLUS imagine how much I'll save on editing this stupid thing!
I sent the email thinking that would be the end of it...but no. Oh no. Nononononono. Kristen Jorden is one serious motherfucker.
She told me it was not only a great idea, but possibly the best I'd ever had. She suggested expanding the show (it was a thing now) to multiple artists. She said we could make it interactive. She fucking emailed me everyday for a month.
And so it was. The birth of a monster. A beautiful, beautiful monster.
And best of all, the mission was revolutionary.
"Art is for everyone," she said.
I'll never forget the first time anyone called me an artist. And it's true. Every human being possesses art within them, just waiting for us to be courageous enough to let it out.
Not everyone believes this.
On our hunt for the perfect gallery for our art show, Kristen and I met her.
Her was a petite French woman who owned a gallery in the art district that we stumbled into on our search. We started asking her questions, telling her about our show, and inquiring about galleries in the area.
Le Petite French was not interested in our inventive art show. LPF couldn't give one fuck, really.
"Art is not for the poor," she said as I bent down to the floor to pick up my jaw. "It is something that is not to be given to the public. It is not theirs."
Not even her lovely French accident could save her from my strong hands throwing her out the stained-glass window.
Okay, so I didn't throw her out a stained-glass window. But I fucking wanted to.
Kristen and I left offended and with bleeding ears for LPF had talked them off, leaving not even a nook or cranny of room for us to try to explain to her that WE were poor and WE were artists and WE were amazing.
This show, ROUGH, means even more to me now than ever before. It contains 14 artists; painters, photographers, architects, quilters, writers, and ceramicists. It contains risk-takers, rough drafts, and the microcosms of art in-progress.
This show is put on by artists and for everyone, for we are all artists.
Please join us for this amazing opportunity to interact with live art in the works and give feedback to each artist on the direction of their pieces. They are counting on you to ask questions, suggest revisions, and play with their masterpieces that are yet to be fully realized.
And if you have a little snooty French artist friend, bring her too because we're going to knock her socks off all the way back to Paris.
Click here to check out our event page on Facebook! See you there!
Date: Friday, February 24th, 2017
Price: Free, Donations Accepted
Location: ReCreative Denver
765 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, Colorado 80204