Monday, February 18, 2008

Art That Goes "Boing"

Or, more specifically, Art That Goes "Boing" in Public.

The finished Underground Artists anniversary helmets, complete with a "boingy" bead at the top, were delivered to our "between-the-meetings" art meeting. This is a more informal get-together that we recently started doing, because meeting every two weeks is just TOO LONG a time to go without connecting with each other in person. Instead of getting together in my art studio, we meet at a local coffee house for a caffeine/sugar/support fix. Instead of focusing on art issues, we talk about "whatever". It helps.

Anyhoo, I brought the art helmets to Friday's group, and lucky for me, Kristen (aka "Scary") and Barbara (aka "Muddy") immediately put them on and wore them the entire time. (This is why I love these women.)

Reactions from other people in the cafe varied: I went up to the counter for something (okay, it was a cookie) and the young and humorless counter person pretended I was NOT wearing anything unusual. (Actually, I'm sure she sees alot of odd things in her job; maybe she's just jaded.) But other people looked over at us and smiled. One nice older gentleman came over and started talking to us, but by that time, I was ready to go and had on my Elmer Fudd hat (excellent for snowblowing!) and I think he commented on that first; but he did ask about the helmets. I loved that he was curious and open enough to start a conversation.

The intention was not to attract attention; the meeting was just the best way to deliver the art. But once we were there, and it became clear that we were going to WEAR them, it became an interesting experiment in people's reactions to my art.
What would your reaction have been?


Kristen Schwartz said...

You know, it never once occurred to me not to wear the helmet. It seemed so natural to put it on and leave it there. We would have missed a lot if we hadn't been the type to wear them. How sad!

melissa lanitis gregory said...

I think it would be sad too! These were made for wearing, although I'm not sure about the helmet series in general.

I remember when I saw a group of women at The Cantina, years ago, who were all wearing pins, I think it was, with lips (ala Rolling Stones logo) and when I asked one of the women about it, I was told that they met every year for an adventure in a different place. And I thought that was so cool. This felt kind of like that, in a way; we're in on something, together, that we've created.

ccmhats said...

I might have asked you where you got them, hat-lover that I am!

Melissa, I have been meaning to pass along this little story:

About a month ago, when my exquisite paper earrings were brand new, I wore them over to visit my neighbor. Her eldest child, Seth (2 years old), was sitting on the couch next to me, gazing at my ears.

"Do you like my new earrings?" I asked.

"YES!" he replied emphatically. Looking intently into my face, he added, "NICE!" and nodded vigorously with a huge smile on his face.

So there... you've won over at least one toddler in New Hampshire with your paper madness!

Can't hope for much higher praise, as I see it, so Kudos!

melissa lanitis gregory said...

Wow, Carrie. I don't know quite what to say! In order to promote my work better, I'm supposed to define my, toddlers, is it? That's going to be a challenge!
But I'm glad to hear I've got a tiny fan in New Hampshire.

ccmhats said...

Better say, "A BIG fan in a tiny body!"

melissa lanitis gregory said...

Does he have pierced ears? :)