Small Spaces, big ideas. . .

Happy Sunday folks!

I hope you have all had a HAPPY day! I have! ☺

A couple of days ago, I was invited on Facebook to an event for “Small Spaces” that said it would be a street lecture and tour. For those of you that do not know what “Small Spaces” is, it is a local art project here in Lafayette (funded with grant money) where local artists create artwork in the Downtown Lafayette area on buildings where the owners give approval. Its purpose is to bring some BEAUTY and INTEREST to some otherwise boring spaces. Since I am not a journalist, I can say EXACTLY what I think! Neat, huh?

Those of you that know me, understand that I LOVE this idea and also the arts. I also believe in supporting the community and making it a better place. I also agree with spending money (aka: tax dollars) to support such ideas. WHY do I agree with this when I am normally fiscally conservative? Mainly, because I would spend my OWN money anyway to support it (and do), so I am HAPPY to see my tax dollars going to something I actually want! THANK YOU!

Okay, so let me get some pseudonyms out of the way before I continue my story. Zach Medler (ZMed) is the curator of the Small Spaces project. Aaron Bumgarner (ABum, I made that up myself) is an artist that has done A LOT of artwork downtown and we have an unusual Reese’s cup connection that ends up being quite interesting. At least to me!

So here is how the event went: ZMed said a few words and then Mayor Tony got up and said how he appreciated and supported the project. Mayor Tony was in between events and it reminded me that Mayors are really busy. This was a SUNDAY folks, and he was out doing events. We should keep that in mind.. . . So then ZMed did a brief explanation of the project and expressed that he REALLY just wanted to answer questions! This is where it got completely interesting. . .

The first person called on was one of the building owners and he wanted to know how the “maintenance” part of the project would work. His problem was that some of the art was peeling off and he and his friends didn’t particularly like what was on there. He believed that there was no cohesion between the works displayed on the wall of his building and it wasn’t what he expected. He supported the idea, but he wanted something different. ZMed did an excellent job of explaining WHY it was done that way, but agreed that this is a learning process for all of us, as this is just the beginning.

Okay, AWESOME! Now we have a discussion! Different ideas were expressed and the vision of the project was also explained by ZMed. The idea behind the whole project is to let artists express their ideas in PUBLIC and have free reign to do so. The artists know going in that people may not agree with their artwork, but they have a chance to display it, even if VERY temporarily. Then a most excellent point was brought up. This point was probably the highlight for me of the whole discussion because it introduced a challenge. This man’s point was that the negativity seen in certain pieces should be seen as an opportunity and challenge to the artists to create pieces that both get their message across and also are pleasing to the community. WHY do I find this the highlight of the discussion? Because it is hard to hate something that you love. It is an interesting challenge. . .

Believe it or not, I actually didn’t ask any questions! That should be surprising to most of you! I didn’t need to! That was the part that was AWESOME! I got to just LISTEN!

PSA before I get to the FUN part: If you really want to know what is happening with a particular issue, then attend an event. No one I invited ended up going, but every single one wanted me to give them a review. Well, here it is! In person was WAY more interesting than anything that I could ever write!

Okay! FUN part! A couple of months ago I left the bank with some extra Reese’s cups. I was headed towards the 6th Street Village Pantry when I saw someone painting on the side of the Haywood Printing building. I was running dangerously late for work and still needed a sandwich from VP. I was on 5th and could have gone straight and stopped right then. I didn’t. I turned onto Ferry and went to 6th before FINALLY deciding that I would backtrack around the block. I quickly pulled up and jumped out and gave the artist “painting energy”. I didn’t have time to talk, but told him I LOVED what they (the artists) were doing. We “officially” met today and I explained that it was just a random Reese’s “thank you” and I wasn’t stalking him or anything! Turns out, ABum gave to me first thru his signs and I didn’t even know it! Thank you ABum! ☺

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