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Word Art: A Brief Message to the Class of 2010

At 2011 Bolton Road, in the northwest part of Atlanta, there is a relatively new commercial building that lacks tenants in its upper floor.  The owner is amenable to letting artists use the space while nobody else is, and thus I’m now participating in my second art show there.  The first show was the Upper West Side Folk Art Market, where I made my first sale in the midst of a snowstorm.  The second is the Upper West Side Fringe Festival (which is still open from noon to six through May 21, 2010, if you’d like to drop by) which was where, indirectly, I made my first commission.

Since the space is intended as commercial space rather than a gallery, the lighting is not exactly amenable to an art show.  My brother graciously donated some lighting equipment that he’d had in storage and I spent the Monday before the show unpacking these large boxes and cataloging everything.  While I was there I met Ernest, my first proper art patron, and his sister, Margaret.  Margaret was impressed with my work and when I mentioned I did custom work as well, she offered to commission a piece as a gift for her niece, Ernest’s daughter Candace.  Ernest showed me the pictures he carried in his wallet of Candace–a pretty girl with a radiant smile, dressed in graduation robes.  We decided on the size (the equivalent of Fire Meets Water–seven square inches) and Margaret specified that she wanted the white space to be “2010” and the color to be burgundy, to match Candace’s class colors.

I pondered what to write for a day or two, drafted a few notions in my notebook and then began:

A Brief Message to the Class of 2010

A Brief Message to the Class of 2010

You have emerged from the classroom into the world.

Whatever you choose to do from this point forward, even if you re-read these words years from now, know that the best life is the life of one who never stops learning.

These new ways to learn might not test you in a paper way, but you will still be made to prove what has been taught to you.

But if the proof does not come all at once you will know where to look to find out.

You were born in the 20th century but you come of age in the 21st.

How blessed you are, to witness and to shape amazing time such as this!

As you can see, so many things were at one time thought impossible and are now surrounding us.

Remember this–with courage and persistence “Impossible” becomes “not just yet” becomes “very soon” becomes “now.”

I presented the result at the opening of Fringe Fest and both Margaret and Ernest were quite pleased.  I hope Candace will like it.

Prints of this work are available here.

The original has been purchased.

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