2015: Divided by a Barge


It’s that time again, when I take a look back and say, what the hell happened these past 365 days?

To start things off, it is no surprise that the Isles Arts Initiative (IAI), occupied the lion’s share of my thoughts, dreams, and nightmares this year. I have never worked so hard, for so long, on something in my entire life.

(My best Mark Cuban ca. Shark Tank opening sequence pose. B+)

But I put in the time because I believed in IAI with all my little heart.

And I’m not the only one who went all-in, the islands certainly would not have happened without the blood/sweat/tears and trust of incredible artists, curators, partners, and supporters both near and far.

(Alex Hamrick post install victory photo)

Over the course of the project, I learned an immense amount about well, everything. From how to collaborate with multiple partners, the ins and outs of fundraising, how to articulate your vision to non-arts constituents, when to stand up for something and when to yield, and how exactly you take artwork from idea to island. It was an endless list of successes, hiccups, and hard truths that have already informed current undertakings and future initiatives.

Looking back at the first half of this year, it’s a bit scary remembering the cyborg I had to become in order to squeeze everything in to 24 hours. Every day was such a bizarre dance, constantly flickering between my role as a curator, employee, fundraiser, project manager, PR person, dog mom, friend, daughter, event planner..

tableau vivant:

At times it was hard to balance it all while also managing life’s inevitable curve balls, but somehow throughout this process I met new friendly faces who humored my short circuiting, reconnected with old friends, uncovered a community of fellow entrepreneurial night owls, and teamed up with folks I otherwise wouldn’t have had a chance to–so for those silver lining humans, I am eternally grateful.

And as the header of this post alludes, life felt a bit kinder and I was able to breathe easier after a barge of UHauls containing the artwork of 11 artists and collectives safely arrived on Georges Island’s shore at the beginning of the summer.

It was the definitive moment where a nebulous idea finally became a tangible reality after 2 years of work. Words cannot begin to describe how proud I felt that day and I was thrilled to usher in an era of ‘the fun part’.

I usually pride myself on being self-sufficient, but this year I needed to lean on others. So thank you for whatever way you helped, from coping cocktails to lugging equipment across an island. You were a part of this success and you are the best.

And that is that. As I mention in my other post from this morning, I’m leaving IAI in 2015, so this will be the last I’ll speak of it, but I just wanted to take this final moment to reflect and say goodbye.

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out all of the IAI images on Facebook and the permanent home for the project at www.islesartsinitiative.com

Now that the summer sun has set and I’m no longer a cyborg, I’ve slowed life down, and had a chance to take some time and appreciate things a bit more. I’ve been cooking, hiking, curling up with real live books that actually smell like libraries, and I have finally created a home that feels like a home surrounded by art from folks I love and admire.

So, while the greater world feels as though its gone mad at times, I’ve made a concerted effort to cultivate a little sanctuary of my own. And feel present-ish, for once.

..but enough about the present. Let’s talk about the FUTURE.

I’m equally excited for next year as well!

Of things already on the arts books–I have a group exhibition lined up for Fall 2016, an IAI-esque project in the works for 2017 that will be executed at a much kinder pace, and I’m headed to Switzerland (+ Iceland) this spring to investigate Basel.

According to Google,  I now have permission to drink champagne and eat ribbons of meat on top of a mountain.

As far as FLUX., I’m not sure how next year will unfold.

The yearning I once felt to write long manicured articles, has been replaced by a renewed desire to keep things casual, and returning this site to my creative outlet, even if silly and ‘derivative’ at times. I’d rather give that a go than grapple with the gridlock inside my own skull.

Keeping things light has already proven beneficial in other aspects of my ‘practice’ since the book I’ve been meaning to write for years has finally found its way out of a hell storm spreadsheet and into the beginnings of a word doc. Or at least the cursor has.

New England certainly needs more media outlets, places that regularly review exhibitions, interview talented folks, and are everywhere at once. Unfortunately, that cannot be me. But I can, and am more than happy to, share my little slice of life with you, even if that just ends up being a picture of pony henge.

Over the course of this crazy year, a beautiful narrative unfolded. It had a rewarding story arc full of wonderful characters, scenic places, and the tear your hair out moments were completely offset by tiny triumphs and causes for celebration.

And at this point, I don’t exactly know what I’m doing with my life–I can’t speak to a track that I’m on, or even have a particular future in mind for myself, but I do know that right now I’m the happiest I’ve been in quite some time. So, I think that’s pretty great. :’)

I will be so pissed if I just jinxed myself.

Anyway, thank you so much for your support this year, for reading my words and for being a part of my real life and e-life. It certainly was one for the books.

I hope you enjoy your holidays, have the happiest of new years, and I can’t wait to see what 2016 has up its sleeve for all of us.

See ya ✌ ♥

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One Response to /2015

  1. Charles Tracy says:

    Dear Liz,
    IAI–I Am Inspired–and amazed with what you did.
    Thank you, Charlie

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