My home town has been both the making and undoing of me at times. It is a small Midwestern steel town of ever declining numbers (about 4 thousand less than when I last lived there in 1999). In the past month I have met 2 people unexpectedly in California who have familial connections to Middletown. Both were ecstatic to hear about my art practice and very encouraging. It seems as if they have appeared in my path to remind me that how I remember Middletown is different than how I can interact with the community there today.
My memory of growing up creative and sensitive in that small, homogeneous place was much different. Being an artist didn’t seem like an actual career choice and it was hard to feel unlike my peers. Lately, I have been reflecting on evolving a piece about Middletown that I started nearly 5 years ago, Dying Breed. I heard the famous performance artist Marina Abramovic speak recently. When she was asked what projects she pursues she answered, “The ones I am obsessed with.” The type of happy coincidence that happened today shapes my art practice and begins the funny loops in my head that do ultimately lead to action. The ideas that don’t let go despite my best intentions to set them free are the ones that see the light of day. We’ll see where Dying Breed leads me in the coming year.