A week ago today was the Artist's Reception at Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell. A few weeks before the big November 6th opening, the 70 local artists involved (each with a guest) gathered at this beautiful hospital. We broke up in small groups and took a tour of the facility to look at the artwork. The hospital is a million square feet, so even a small tour is a big one. The artwork was amazing.
The thought behind it and the cohesive outcome leaves me speechless. As we walk by my work our guide says, "and here is one of our major installations." Pinch me! I wished that everyone who had helped me over the past two years had been right beside me at that moment. I would have had a crowd.
What a journey! Here I am on site when the walls went up. I took so many measurements over many visits.
There were numerous trips to collect replaced business signs from Future Signs in Trenton. Sometimes I had to borrow trucks that would fit my cargo to bring them to get cut.
Here is an old sign being repurposed for my install.
Then back to my studio to be sanded.
Each piece then came back inside my studio to be painted and embellished.
And this process just keep repeating itself over and over for the past year.
Here I am on one of my final installation days. I am exhausted but so happy.
I had the support of so many people when I undertook this huge project. I just want to say thank you to a few. This could take a minute. I am glad I am not being timed.
Thank you to the visionaries at Capital Health Medical Center, who believe that art can heal and sooth. Through you came Lin Swensson, the art consultant who saw something special in my work. Together you showed me a 90-foot space filled with possibility and asked me the most wonderful question, "what do you see?".
Thank you Lin Swensson for showing up monthly at my studio to check in on my progress and offer support. I look forward to knowing you forever and I am so grateful you loved the colors of my art. This was a huge project and you knew I could do it. Thank you!
Thank you Rich and Kim at Future Signs in Trenton for saving every sign for me for almost two years. I could not have done this project without you. Every time you replaced or took down a sign you thought of me and put it aside in a special place. Your shop is the neatest workspace I have ever been in. Your location was perfect because I was able to reuse signs from local businesses in the area, right next to where Capital Health had a 120 year history.
Thank you John, Eric, Amy and Mike at Central Art. John and Eric, thank you for sitting patiently with me many times and sharing your knowledge. It was like taking a crash course in plastics. You are so smart, innovative and skilled and because of that, you have a very busy business and high profile clients. But you always made time to answer my many questions, even when I asked them more than once. Amy, thank you for noticing there was a tool to make my work easier. Mike, thank you for cutting all those small pieces with such precision.
I have to single you out Eric and say a huge thank you for helping me install this sprawling artwork. You are an amazing person. You do things thoughtfully and correctly simply because that is the only way you work. Installing this project side by side was an eye opening experience for me. I learned so much from you about the installation process and a whole bunch more. When I was on my own at the end, I kept thinking "what would Eric do?". You are meticulous. Thank you too for always being true to my green business philosophy and for taking the time to find a scrap piece of plastic for me when it would be much easier to just grab a new piece. I could not have done this installation without you.
Thank you Rick and Bonnie at Cunningham Hardware, my favorite art supply store. I love how you do business. You know everyone by name who comes in and answer all their questions as if you are doing the project they are asking about. For years of help, thank you.
Thank you Fred, Wendy, Anne and Mike for being my caravan to the hospital on install day. I am grateful to each of you and to every blanket and quilt you brought with you to wrap up my artwork safely that morning.
Thank you to my friends who are artists who were there when I needed them. To Heather, my newest and "how did I ever live without you" friend. You popped in to assure me the colors were looking good, keep saying "repeat, repeat, repeat" just when I needed to hear it, helped me load huge pieces and take them to the hospital mid way to see if I was on track, brought over homemade energy bars to my studio when I had no sleep scheduled, and you came onsite during installation to help me hang. What did I ever do without you? I have no idea. I just hope I can be as good a friend.
Thank you to Maggy, my dear friend and wood maker. You were always there to cut up an old sign into odd shapes whenever I called. Your studio is amazing and I thank you for sharing it with me. Thank you too for cleaning all those plastic shavings up after I left even though I offered to to it. I appreciate the times you watched me work and suggested an easier way to go about it.
Thank you Anne, for your painterly wisdom and all your last minute guidance just when I needed it. My stairs look like you can run down them, "glazing" was exactly what I needed to hear and your studio lighting helped me work through the night. And thank you for checking in on me that very same night to make sure all was okay. You are a good friend and I am grateful.
Thank you Cynthia, for being a mentor and muse. I never did color inside the lines and you never asked me too. I discovered plastic and Oops! paint in your company. Thank you for all the inspiration.
Thank you Karen for years of encouragement with my art, for not making too much fun of me when I resole my shoes and patch my pants 16 times in an effort to keep them, for telling all your California friends about the colors of my art, for feeding my children when I was locked in my studio, for coming to my studio at night when I could not come to you, for your sweet card and bag of candy bars at the final hour and for helping me install late at night in a huge empty hospital and looking at me like I was a contractor. For all that and more, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you Sharon, my only sister and closest friend, who flew in during my installation, cooked, cleaned and organized my house, stocked my cabinets with food (the same ones that held pots but now logically hold food). You realized the magnitude of what I was doing and made sure those closest to me did too. Thank you too for planning magic getaways to faraway places. You are simply the best sister anyone could have.
Thank you my sweet mother-in-law. You and Dad are always there when I need you. Thank you for relieving my sister when she returned to her life, feeding my family and doing massive amounts of wash for years. Seriously, mountains of wash. For all your support and time spent folding, I thank you and love you.
Thank you Wyatt and Paige, for letting me work so hard on this project and taking care of yourselves when I was in my studio after school. You did your homework, helped me with my project whenever I asked you to and were not too harsh when I came home with paint all over my face and hands. When you saw my installation, you looked at me with amazement for a second that I did it. I loved that reaction, and love you both, so much.
Thank you Michael, my very best friend, biggest supporter, husband and partner in crime. You know I will do whatever is needed to get something done, even if that means no sleep and no food. Still you made sure I ate and encouraged me to sleep. Thank you for all the times you brought dinner to my studio, hung out with me when I painted, cut, sanded, glazed or painted yourself, made sure the kids were fed and told me I was amazing when I had paint on my face and needed a shower. You give me wings. I adore you.
Lastly, a big thank you to my mom, who is no longer here. She told me I could do anything. I believed her.