One of the things I thought of was a message that Yehuda Berg, a Kabbalah teacher] had sent me last week on the topic of transformation. He asked, ‘Why are we here? What the hell are we all doing, running around?’ And he said that the reason we’re here is to transform. Then I started thinking of some of the miraculous transformations that I’ve witnessed from my circle of friends.” -Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers in thinking about what to discuss with Rick Rubin for a Q and A session
I had the privilege and unique opportunity to install an exhibition for a student at the school where I work. I also find time to be a librarian at this school, and in turn, they pay me for this work. This was the student’s first exhibition of his artwork and photography. He has been creating and honing his natural ability for three years thanks to the help of a mutual friend. We have both had the opportunity to watch this human being transform into a full-fledged artist right before our eyes. A talent, such as his, is rare.
Installing this show was a dream come true. For three years, or more, the school and I have supported exhibitions of artworks from artists outside our community, but now we were supporting an artist from within our community. Three years ago as I began to deck our halls with photographs, and increase the aesthetics, of the many spaces within the school. More than anything, though, I wanted to have a student show. I wanted to see our students’ creations on these walls.
Art can be an expression of community. A small piece that the school did to begin the increase in artwork around the school was to have students, staff, and faculty create a small drawing or other form of expression that represented what the school’s community meant to them. The school then quilted them together using zip ties and poles that anchored it across the top and bottom. The artist, whose exhibition I curated this week, submitted his very first work of art for this collaborative project. The flicker of a dream had become a reality three years later. A transformation had begun.
The installation of the exhibition this week fed my soul and transformed my relationship to others and the space in a special way. The room was alive, and so was I. I need creative people and spaces around me because they distract me from the seemingly linear life that I lead. Wake, work, read, TV, exercise, sleep…and wash, rinse, and repeat. When my creative and kinesthetic juices get flowing, installing these exhibitions, I am filled with joy. In installing this exhibition I looked at color, form, photography, three large canvases, video, and felt my spirit soar as I ran about the room, up and down ladders, sweating, exhilarated by the power of what surrounded me. I also felt such gratitude to be able to be of service to the artist and the students that would view the show.
At the opening reception, it was amazing to see the artist blossom and come to life, as I stood by watching, hoping to catch his eye and give him a big smile. This was such a spiritual week for me. Helping another person succeed in an area that he is passionate could not be more rewarding. Humans are so precious. Especially the students who come here to learn from books. They also come here to learn about themselves and the world around them. They come to transform.
I am blessed to be a part of this transformative experience.