This past weekend I was happy to be part of an art & community event here in Waltham at the Lincoln Arts Project on Moody Street. It was a SERC, a social emergency response center, a one-day popup event to bring the community together to collaborate and heal as we discuss climate change and how it affects us.
I created a zine, called “Many Drops – An Ocean,” especially for this event, and set up a zine-making station at the SERC to show people how to assemble a zine, and encourage them to conversation about what they read in the zine and what information they found useful or helpful.
As the event took place, the pages about self-care and dealing with climate change-related anxiety resonated the most with attendees, which was interesting to me especially as those were the ones I enjoyed making the most. It did seem very telling that people who self-identify as worried about climate change aren’t looking (necessarily) for more information on personal actions they can take to be more green, but rather how they can keep up their stamina to maintain their efforts. A lot of food for thought for me in that realization, especially as I consider future projects.
We distributed the zine for free at this event thanks to a very generous local sponsor (our Waltham main street UPS Store!) who donated the copies for the event, and we did have some leftovers that we’ll have at future events around Waltham.
I’ve now twice worked on artwork for healing. My first time was teaching a friend on how to use acrylic paints to convey something she wanted to make: A picture visualizing her body and her chemotherapy and immune system battling the cancer inside her. The second time I worked on a commission visualizing a friend fighting a part of her body that was causing her pain and was to be surgically removed.
I couldn’t help but reflect that this kind of artwork is so sacred to me. Just as Orthodox iconographers pray and fast when creating their icons to the Saints, these healing artworks were made as a supplication to the doctors, medicines and the fates that hold our health in their hands. A manifestation of our deepest fears, of our bodies working against us, and our non-body selves in conflict with that, trying to vanquish pain, frailty.
I’m really excited to announce that I have a new art studio, and it’s in the fantastic Mad Oyster Studios in awesome Somerville, MA. I used to live in Somerville (back in the day) and it has a very active art scene, so I’m excited to be officially a part of it.
I just moved in last week, so I’m still setting up my space, but here’s a little preview of what it’s like:
After my initial move-in, I turned off most of the lights so my husband could nap on the couch. It’s not really that dark in here! (Though admittedly I do like to work in a cave-like place… can’t be good for my eyes though.)
Since my walls are mostly masonry (great for fire-proofing, not so good for nailing stuff up), I rigged up a not-very-elegant-but-very-useful pine board rig to hang up frequently used tools, as well as a mirror for checking expressions and all that.
Here’s me looking terrible and exhausted after finishing moving in! It’s pretty much the worst photo… why did I post this picture again…?