Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Travis’ Dream Rocket panel is done. Some projects are hard and – even after all these years – I can’t really predict the ones that will be.

This one was.

It helped to be reminded of all the fabulous women who are folded into this project: Amy Shapley’s special image of Travis; Jill Littlewood’s gorgeous paper; Mickey Hubbard’s sewing lessons; Lisa Keele’s design and technical support and Meredith Moody’s love. Then, of course, there is Jose.

It helped to cut every single adhesive point – and there are many – into the shape of a heart.

It helped to remember that Travis had a soaring spirit, one that was just too much for this planet. My sister – his mother – imagines this panel not only wrapping the rocket, but blasting off into space. For her – for them – I’d do anything to make that be true.

I love Jose in Colombia

I love Jose in Colombia

When I lived in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, I worked for a place called the Lane House. It was an after school arts program, but, mainly, it was a great, safe place for kids to hang out with artists and other creative adults. Centros de Desarrollo Adolescente y Juvenil Soacha is a similar place in Soacha – Cundinamarca, near Bogota, in Colombia.

I conducted an ‘I love Jose’ workshop there and this is a photograph from a lecture I gave on the paste-up part of the project. I – and others – have pasted Joses in different parts of the US and in different countries. The Jose in this photograph is the first Jose I pasted – on the 5th street wall in Pittsburg, Kansas exactly where Jose made his shadow for ‘Origin of Painting’ – the shadow image the whole ‘I love Jose’ project is based on. This image is a bridge between the two pieces, ‘I love Jose’ and ‘Origin of Painting’ and a bridge between the art of Jose’s life and that of his death.

Te extraño, mi gran amigo. Gracias por tu inspiración.

I love Jose in Finland

I love Jose in Finland

Johannes Kotkavirta is a good friend of mine. He lives in Helsinki, Finland. Three years ago, Johannes and I met in Bogota, Colombia. I was there with my ‘I love Jose’ project at Festival Ojo al Sancocho and Johannes and I pasted several Joses all around Bogota. When he returned home, I sent him several Joses to paste in Helsinki. He sent me photographs of three of them in April of 2012. Last week, he went back to one of the spots and found this Jose – still there.

Dream Rocket for Travis

Dream Rocket for Travis

This is a sample Jose for Travis’ Dream Rocket panel. I am going to do this with each Jose in the panel: sew fishing line around them to create ‘Saturn rings’. I might try to find some way to replicate the pin heads (shown in this photo) as a way to attach the fishing line. My ‘Dream Rocket for Travis’ panel will be exhibited at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, KS, February 1 – March 31, 2014. It is part of the Dream Rocket Project that will fully wrap a Saturn V Moon Rocket replica for a 60 day exhibition, scheduled for May 1 – June 30, 2015.

Travis and Jose

Travis and Jose

This is my nephew, Travis, taking a photograph of himself. On his body, he has drawn a Jose from my art project ‘I love Jose’. I have received many Jose surprises since Travis died. At his funeral, his church youth group gave me a Jose Travis had done. It is the one he wears on his heart in the memorial performance of ‘Origin of Painting’ I did for him. My sister has given me many: a Christmas tree ornament Jose; a framed Jose pasted onto a pastel drawing Travis did when he was a little kid. Today, I received this in the mail from her. The time stamp on the photograph is 3/25/2013 – three days before Travis died. He was a gift. This photo is a gift. Jose was a gift. And today, just for a minute, I can see that.

I love Jose

I love Jose

This Jose is pasted in Parque Central, Soacha, Cundinamarca in Colombia. Soacha is full of internally displaced refugees. And beautiful, beautiful kids.

“One day some men arrived. They accused us of supporting the guerrillas… They threatened my husband with a weapon in front of the children, and told us to leave by dawn. My children cried a lot. We were all very scared and so we did not take anything with us, concentrating only on leaving as fast as we could. That is why we are here.”
–An internally displaced woman living in Soacha, Colombia, tells an MSF aid worker why she fled her home.

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