Monday, October 21, 2013
How the Art Studio Cruise and On the Road: Photographer proves strangers are friends you haven't met yet are similiar.
This video on “Touching Strangers” project by Richard Renaldi aptly gives the sense of feelings generated this past week during the Art Studio Cruise. Brief encounters of sharing, engaging, feeling the connectedness between hosts and guests.
So much good energy flowed into my work space, some people will never come this way again, yet they left a positive impression. Others, we may connect again and grow the contact further. Some already known are now know to a fuller extent with deeper spirit and connection. It seems the feeling flow in both directions.
As an artist with a very private studio it was a scary and big step to open it to strangers. To allow unknowns into my sheltered place. A place that has perhaps seen 15 outsiders in three years, hosted almost 200 people in the last 3 days. All at once exhilarating and exhausting.
Many strangers coming to see, to learn, to experience AND to share. In most cases the engagement was multi-directional. Whether visitors were strangers, acquaintances, or old friends they brought with them great energy and spirit.
Some were fleeting encounters and we’ll never meet again. Some may repeat and grow over time. Some will bring reconnection or deepening. All were meaningful. Somehow helping to fill the “healthy emotional bucket” we all need as cushion to soften the blows of hard times. That was the greatest joy of the cruise experience, finding the richness and sharing of spirit that flowed many ways: stranger to stranger, visitor to visitor, visitor to artist, friend to friend...
It also got me thinking of how a third party - in this video, the photographer; in my studio a friend, vivacious and more socially skilled, facilitated the coming together of strangers. Her belief in me, my work and her openness to engaging with strangers, her ability to welcome and engage them to share about themselves created such an open atmosphere for sharing. It led to faster connections and fun experiences. Many of those, fleeting moments within a life, and yet perhaps by many of us, feelings stored which fill us up with good.
It was a very difficult decision for me to step up to apply for and then accept a spot in the Art Cruise. It was a risk well worth taking. Yes, it did allow some monetary income which was much appreciated, not just for the dollars, more for knowledge that people liked my work enough to take some home with them.
More than that, far more indeed the reward was experiencing the feeling of connectedness, the touching of lives in both directions, the sharing of feelings that enriches spirit and fuels us all.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
to all who came my way this weekend.
-to those who sailed the orange route and came to port at A Tranquil Nook, for bringing positive energy, enthusiasm and good will.
-to Kathryn for her belief, support, and facilitation.
-to Lin who brought dinner to be reheated so I did not need to cook.
-to Tammy for an orderly studio, plus last minute shine and polish.
-to Frank for taking on my usual farm duties.
-to neighbor and artist Melissa for prompting me to apply.
-to the steering committee, artists and sponsors who make the Art Cruise a yearly event.
The energy and spirit YOU shared will flow into my work.