Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Statue of Liberty

Photo by Shirley A. Blair Keller ©2009
From the Circle Line Tour Boat

Photo by Shirley A. Blair Keller ©2009
A breathtaking sight, a first for me: Ms. Statue of Liberty.
I do not know if my grandparents were greeted by her when they came from Russia before the turn of the century. Some went to Canada so may have skipped this step. But I felt as if I'd been here before. Maybe its all the movies I have watched, books I have read, about the immigrant story. Such bravery to cross an ocean in the way they had to, steerage, to suffer all they did for hope of a better life for their children. From every corner of our globe people have come. Such bravery. I cannot imagine being able to do the same. I was born here have had the kind of life those ancestor's had hoped for their children. And I thank them in my heart daily.

Setting up the bulletin board in my studio to celebrate Independence weekend, starting with 1st Saturday Three Rivers, has kicked off all this above the line thinking. Fun! Nadi is the one who inspired me to change the environment of the studio each month for no other reason than to evoke a change of view. She is so right!

1st Saturday Three Rivers - July 3rd, 2010

Steve and Kathy Diamant accepted my invitation to show their stained glass art here on Spirit Hill 1st Saturday, July 3rd, 10-5. They will set up in our living room/dining room area. I will show my stuff in the studio and carport.

As you walk into our house the first thing you see is Bruce's bike hanging on the wall, a centerpiece to his life on Spirit Hill. Steve is bringing the bicycle stained glass piece that he designed and made at Bruce's request a couple of years ago. They will install it in its permanent spot, above Bruce's bicycle. The bicycle stained glass piece has been traveling from one art show to the next over the last couple of months so we have been looking forward to seeing it placed in its permanent spot.

The theme for July 1st Saturday is Independence. For me the word LIBERTY keeps cropping up so I have designed the bulletin board with the word at the center. Various images of the Statue of Liberty that I took on my New York adventure are added. I repainted the sculpture that Marn Reich made of the Statue of Liberty with a tear flowing down her cheek. At the time Marn made the tear because we had a President that didn't think we counted as part of his country. We are not rich. We are not conservative. We are not white. Nor our we men. I wanted to paint the tear away once we had a new President, but I never got around to it. But the tear must stay. We are still in two wars. The Gulf of Mexico is being ruined as I write by an oil spill that cannot be stopped. Our financial situation in the country, although not as bad as it was, is still a worry. Too many people are out of work. Our youth, even if educated might have no place to work when they get out of school. The immigration situation isn't solved. We need their labor but many want them to work and then disappear, where I am not sure. Drugs are purchased by enough American's to make criminals kill to keep control of the market. And yet American's act like they have nothing at all to do with supporting the drug cartels. So the tear has stayed, even through the repainting.

Annie Mae was making a Father's Day card for her Dad. She asked me for a picture of him. As she was cutting and pasting it, she noticed I had a few postcards, and other pictures of Obama pinned to a board. She asked if she could have one. As she looked at the back of the card she noticed his signature. "Oh no, he signed it for you! I cannot cut it." Why do you want to have his picture Annie? "It makes Dad so happy to see him as President I just thought he'd like to see his face." So I assured her that was far more important than me keeping the card. She cut the President's face and glued it next to her father's picture, and then smiled. I could hear Martin Luther King Jr.'s voice ringing, " four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." I saw before me the truth of his words made real. The face of my brown son, and our brown President, and my grand daughters proud smile.