Exit The Smelter

Soon I will be closing down my studio of the past 3 years. A lot of life has happened while I worked from here. I made a lot of great art in this space. Some of the most significant moments of my life happened in this studio. I lost and found my soul (poetic but true), was gifted with a special shade of turquoise, received a message across time from a harper that knocked the air out of me for weeks, finished writing a book, dreamed for hours at a time while losing all of my illusions. It has been a refuge and at times a home. It is more than a space to paint!

There are over 100 studios in the building – it has a long (and dark) history. Many years ago it was the Immigration and Naturalization facility. The 2nd and 3rd floors were detention facilities for people attempting to enter the country. Dipping sticks in tar made hot from the sun, the detainees wrote their names on the walls of the courtyard. They didn’t want to disappear and scratched a record of their passage with the only tools available. The people that renovated the building were wise enough to preserve the proof of life. I like the idea that artists now occupy the building. The history isn’t being erased but explored, honored, challenged and informed.

During the era that it was the INS building, the 4th floor was actually an assay office. Citizens carried their gold nuggets to the 4th floor to be weighed and exchanged for dollar bills. They rode an elevator through the detention center to arrive at the assay office. My mind swims with metaphors.

My studio space is on the 4th floor and was, at one time, the smelter room. It was the room where the gold was melted, the impurities burned off, and the raw nuggets transformed into bars. In preparing to leave I can now look back and see that I was in the perfect space. The heat of the past year burned off more than a few layers of impurity and I barely recognize the person I was when I first rented the studio. I feel thoroughly smelted.

Viktor Frankl wrote that happiness ensues. It follows. It is a decision. It is not something you pursue but something you feel after the pursuit. Gratitude is very much the same. It follows the heat. It becomes available when the heat of transformation has fired. As I transfer my studio to another place, closing down this era, I am eternally grateful for the meaning I am now able to make from my time smelter.

[907. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.]

For a humorous look at the wonderful world of innovation and new ventures, check out my new comic strip Fl!p and the gang at Fl!p Comics.

2 Responses

  1. This , is BEAUTIFUL.

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