Art has a (personal) voice

“Tom Rocks City Council” was Regina Schaffer’s subject line in her email out to Woman’s Will Board Members late last night. We left Oakland’s City Hall after 10:00 p.m. last night with the meeting still in session. The question of cutting funding for Oakland’s Cultural Arts and Marketing Department was the matter at hand and Oakland’s art community – at least 300 supporters and 200 speakers at the podium – came out in full force. It was an exciting place to be.

I initially signed a petition on the matter and with Tom’s help and inspiration wrote a letter to Jean Quan, Oakland’s District 4 Council Member. Tom volunteered to go and speak at the City Council meeting last night on behalf of Woman’s Will. With only a minute to speak, he got some laughs and acknowledgment from council members, an anomaly in the Bay Area’s all-female Shakespeare company. He related the art community to a tapestry that the government has a choice to weave together or unravel. It was very poetic. I feel very lucky to be a part of this man’s life and to witness his support and passion.

Taking part in politics like this at a city level can be really exciting, and it definitely helps when your view is in the majority. I’m proud to be a part of Oakland’s art scene. It feels very personal.

Visit here and here for more information on the details of Oakland’s budget.

Various Musings

The ART door leading to my studio! Thanks to Tom for installing the letters.

Lots of stuff on my mind… I’m excited and have really good energy. It’s 12:52 p.m. (luntime when I wrote this) I’m thinking that’s a bit important because I was bummed last night and I knew it would pass. Needed sleep. My mood can be all over the place. Right now it’s up and I’m very grateful. I blogged a while back about getting trees from the City of Oakland and this morning they were digging up concrete in front of our house. I’m so excited. I’m hoping for PINK crepe myrtles. Fingers crossed. We get four trees! Our lot so needs some color badly!

I’m so proud of my friend Hedy Peterson who makes beautiful leather handbags. She has her work on etsy.com. Check it out. I have three! One she designed especially for me. Actually two. I first met her years ago when I was referred to her and she made a custom bag for my portfolio. Her bio is great.

I’m teaching my Artist Business Circle and overall I’ll say it’s going really well. I have three incredible students. I’m inspired by how they all want to help each other. It’s so enjoyable to witness. I feel privileged. Lots of things are coming up for me in this process. Stuff about myself that I don’t like, but also stuff I do. Lots of new ideas, thinking bigger. I work to change the things I don’t like. It’s a powerful place for me to be. I’m creating something that’s bigger than me and exposing myself at the same time. A vulnerable place but I’m very grateful for the growth and chance to be here.

I’m noticing with self-promotion how important it is to express what you do. I believe that people have a desire to help others succeed. I believe this in the biggest sense. Not everyone is going to give you what you want but they may be taking care of themselves. By them showing you this example, they may be giving you what you need.

Side tangent there. Anyway, I’m a collector and I love color and great design. Claudia gave me this great bottle. I think it’s fascinating that she thought of me. Part of why she gave it to me was because I expressed my interest. Cheryl and Stephanie give me aluminum cans. Karen saves empty wine bottles for us for our garden. My friend Sarah sent me, among others, a great map of Oakland art galleries. My mom has come to all of my art shows and purchased my art. Tom has also come to all of my shows and encouraged me (multiple times in fact) to first exhibit at FBCA. It’s so important to me to honor these people who contribute to who I am. When you express your passion and love for something, people want to connect with you. I think that when one witnesses passion in others, it connects them to their own passion. My own thoughts on why it’s so important to express your passion. You’re actually helping other people as well as yourself!

Labor Day Weekend Insights

So much it seems! It’s all good. I have a great cup of coffee this morning that Tom made and I’m up early. We went to a free CORE Training (Citizens of Oakland Respond to Emergencies) last night in our neigborhood. Feels good to be part of the community and to be getting prepared.

My mom told me about the coach Dave Ellis. Very inspiring.

Tom and I cleaned the gutters this weekend. I didn’t realize how much fun that could be. I enjoy the physical exertion. For some reason when I work really hard outside, my sleep is so much better and I wake up without an alarm the next day. Such a great benefit.

Trees in Oakland

Ever since we moved into our place I’ve been hoping to remove all of the extra concrete that surrounds us. I figure it’ll happen eventually… but I found out that the City of Oakland has a tree planting program where they’ll plant sidewalk trees for you and cut your concrete. Wow, who knew?

Here are more links: Jane Brunner and an article.