Papergirl Welcome

It was great to get to say a little Welcome to Papergirl speech tonight. Here’s some of what I said.

What I love most about  this is that  it’s an international event with a local flavor – think global/act local – is always a good idea.

As Community Arts Council of Vancouver – we like seeing these projects that engage many people in many different ways – volunteers, artists, donors of food, bikers, lots and lots of people – and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Kudos to Michele and Roundhouse volunteers for initiating this last year and building on that foundation for this year. I think there’s more artists and more art (Michele nods!)

When Michele first told me that artists had trouble parting with pieces for the event, I thought: Nonsense! Generosity is a good thing. Give it away. Then as an artist, I experienced some of the emotions first hand of making art for giving to an “unsuspecting stranger”.  I was good with it being given away (generosity is a good thing) but had a hard time getting to the place of “trusting the process” that it would go to the right person.

For me, I handled that by creating a number of original sketches for a project I’m working on “Incubating Poetry” – where I’m creating nests in which a friend’s (Keith Wilkinson) haikus are “nesting” or “incubating.” I had told Michele I’d donate 3 pieces, so I made a dozen – offered some to friends and volunteers and still had 4 to donate!

I contacted Michele this year because I wanted to introduce Papergirl to some of our members and Downtown Eastside partners. It’s great to see work from Intrepid Pens, a DTES writing group, and to see Intrepid Pen folk here tonight.

I hope we’ll have even more connection next year.

Our main contribution might have been introducing our star volunteer Eryne Donahue to the project and she became the Project Coordinator this year.

Michele and Eryne are a match made in heaven. I hear they’re already cooking up a bunch of new ideas.

Here’s my conclusion: make art, give it away – at least once a year. If you get art given to you, like it or leave it – but if you leave it, pass it on – post on your fridge or your bulletin board and the first time someone looks at it and says: that’s cool – tell them it’s a gift for them with the only obligation to give it to someone else when they’re ready to pass it along!

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