Thursday, August 4 2011
I wasn’t the type of kid who sketched, wrote, or designed their way through childhood. I didn’t dream of art school or building a career in “the arts”. I am not even sure I knew that one could do something like that. As I peel back the layers to figure out how and when I started valuing living artfully and needing ART in my life, I am finding that these concepts have been only recently introduced through life experience and new exposures.
I grew up in a middle class Levitt home community in the 1970s and 80s. Style, design, and art were not on the minds of our working class community which was designed to promote homogenized living with only five styles of homes ranging from 1,500-2,200 square feet laid out on streets in repeat style…cape cod, ranch, three bedroom colonial, four bedroom colonial, club, cape cod, ranch, three bedroom colonial, four bedroom colonial, club. The inside of the homes was more “SAME”, same cabinets, same flooring, same bathrooms. Most families in our town were Catholic, had working fathers, and stay at home mothers…more “SAME”. It was a happy and safe place to live. As a community, most placed value on getting an education, getting a job, buying a home, and having 2.4 kids. Most I know from my childhood, have done just that.
I reflect on my community only to figure out why I didn’t have much exposure to art.
My family was different. I was one of a hand-full of kids whose parents divorced. We were not Catholic. My step-father was part of the military reserves and in my late teens built a career in satellite communications which took him all over the world. Africa, Bosnia, England, were all places that started to trickle into our home through dinner conversation and a few small treasures he would bring back. In particular, I remember the bracelets and masks from Africa and the tea cups from Russia. He would explain the origin, the meaning, and the story of how he found them. It was exciting and different and made for a good story if we had company for dinner. As I got a little older, I started making choices that pulled me away from the ideals of my hometown. I started being drawn to friends with varied backgrounds and ethnicities and I moved out of my parents home at a very young age. I worked hard to have travel money and I started traveling as much as I could. All of these experiences started to awaken a sense of wanting “something different” for my life.
It wasn’t until meeting my future husband that I started to figure out what the course could be. The first time I visited his parents home, I believe, is where my art story began.Learn More