The cost of Community Art

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There is always more cost to community art than any grant or community sponsorship covers. As grateful as artists are to those dollars, there is a heart debt that can never be repaid. To me and to the history of Route Blue( which includes Wayfinder, all the mural projects and my own art) this debt is to my family first. Every truck load of scaffolding, paint cans and messy convoy trips downtown, my family has been a lead in the crazy support. Carrying hundreds of cans of heavy paint. Wiping dripping walls in the crazy rain filled afternoons, while hours of work wash away, to the hundreds of hot coffees, meals and tears wiped away.  My children grew up part of community art installations. They themselves are brighter than any mural, and any art could ever be. The learned the value of community and hard work. It was with a full heart to see the two of them stand in front of the buoy installation amongst thousands of brushstrokes on the 3 huge murals surrounding us. The grandboys twinkling like a hue that can never be captured.  Where did this life come from. How did I get so lucky as to be able to be the story collector for so many. The appreciation I have as I remember the time my son spent helping me in the completion of the Sveva Wall. The death of my father wrapped around the last week of the mural completion. Trying to beat the snow and to bury someone who was my rudder and know the snow would not wait. My son would work along side me, with both of our hearts in pieces knowing that a great man would understand why we finished the wall. Went home for the funeral and with in days came back to wrap up the art. Those walls are a force of stories of so many, most of the stories are about the people that stopped or contributed to the building of the image. Not seen, but known in the secret spaces that hide in the thousands of brushstrokes and roller marks. I owe so much to these people. And if all non profits and art and heart places in our communities could ever put a price on the time given by so many friends and family to the building of our communities….the economics of community building would be in the trillions plus. It is the threads of a community, it can never be measured: but it is real and true and I am but a grain of sand to the love that has been shown me.


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