Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Labor Day Weekend 2008
(Click on image to enlarge. CYBER FYBER ATCs in binders.)
Labor Day weekend provided an opportunity to really "labor"...uninterrupted work time...a chance to really get some important organizational things done for CYBER FYBER. I worked on the 163 ATCs for two days, creating all the exhibition labels and the small binders. Each binder has approximately 20 plastic sleeves. Each sleeve has a page with an image of the ATC I traded and its description plus the name, country, and blog/webpage for the fiber artist who created the ATC that is also inside the plastic sleeve.
(Above: CYBER FYBER ATCs in binders. Click on image to enlarge.)
I had lots of help with CYBER FYBER! I also had lots of help with my evening embroidery! Shadow loves to be nearby for all important things. Below, Crazy Blues has progressed from quilt top to being quilted. I have no idea how others quilt; I've never had any formal instruction in this area of fibers. I use two backings instead of one because my "quilting" is done in all sorts of different threads and in a wide range of colors. Once finished, I back it again and use buttons on the reverse to "quilt" the new, "pretty", unstitched back to the piece. Thus, while "quilting", I'm still adding beads and embroidery.
Now....to change the subject entirely. I wasn't going to blog about this. In fact, I've been told not to mention this at all because there are people who fear this episode might have a negative impact on the arts community. Yet, something terrible happened to me and it's in the newspaper and the local authorities have actually received permission to list this minor's real name! So, I'm going to blog about it.
Almost two weeks ago I went to an art event in town. It was rather late because I'd taught my first class at the art museum earlier in the evening. It was "party" to celebrate an upcoming arts center, a chance for people to contribute money for this new place. It was held in the coolest, most upscale, modern loft created from a former warehouse. Cinder block exterior walls blended with custom cabinets and granite counter tops. Gallery lighting showcased the contemporary interior. I immediately thought of my son Mathias...how such a location was PERFECT for a young, artistic professional. The party was excellent. Money was being raised. A Power Point presentation featured the work to be shown in the soon-to-be-opened new art center.
Okay....the location of this loft isn't in the most desirable part of town. What chic warehouse for an artistic type is generally located in the "best" neighborhood? There's something sort of romantic, definitely bohemian, and totally "right" about an upcoming "warehouse" district! Artists have always moved into the "less" desirable parts of cities...cheap areas where crime does happen....until renovations take over, rents increase, and artists can no longer afford the location. They move on...to the next "slum". This loft is part of an exciting effort in just such a section of Columbia. Despite what happened next, if it could be worked out, I'd move our home/business to just this street!
An artist friend of mine was walking me to my car at about 10:30 PM. It was parked in front of the building beside the loft...about fifteen or twenty yards from the loft's enclosed doorway. My friend is from Buenos Aires and we were deep into a discussion about Sara Lechner, who is also from Argentina, and other artists who have found homes in other countries. We were talking under a bright city street lamp. Two youths ran up and demanded "everything we had". They both had guns. They held their weapons above their heads, pointed down, as they sort of hopped up and down gesturing like so many "gangsters" in rap videos. The only thing I had was my keys. (I'd locked my purse in my van when I'd arrived.) I didn't hand them over; they had to grab them from me. I actually tried to grab them back. The larger of the two pushed me to the ground. I scrambled to my feet moving away from the two....moving back to the loft's door, moving in ways that were meant to attract attention to us...moving even when I was told to stop...pretending to be drunk and out of my mind...waving my arms frantically. The smaller of the two demanded to know which vehicle was mine. I pointed at a car furthest away from my van....closest to the loft. "What? The Jag?" (Unless I actually see the little creature on the hood, I can't tell a Jaguar from a Honda.) "Yes," I said, "It's my husband's." Basically, this meant that the smaller, younger one then tried to open a Jaguar using my utility van keys. The bigger, larger one had taken my friend's wallet and rings. Finally, someone inside the loft either saw me or simply opened the door setting off the security light. The two ran away, up the street. I actually chased them....screaming. Of course, then there were police officers and reports made; Steve was called to come with our spare set of keys. The next morning Steve and I returned and scoured the side of the road for my keys...thinking they'd been tossed during the "escape". I inquired at the three businesses along the road. Believe it or not, someone turned in the keys later that day. Unfortunately, my friend's wallet wasn't found. We'd hoped the robbers would have just taken the cash and pitched the rest. His green card was inside. Since then, we've learned that there had been the third person involved. Someone else was in a car likely a block or two up the street. This person and the bigger, older one have been caught. Evidently, the three had been on a spree of armed robberies during the past week....in every part of Columbia...on the college campus....near the mall...and even in "better" neighborhoods. Only the younger one is still at large. Now, his name and picture appear in our newspaper. Please know, I am fine. I'm amazed at my own reaction. I was never scared. I was mad. I'm rarely ever mad...but I'm still mad. I know that I was supposed to just hand over everything....as if doing so guarenteed I'd not be shot. I'd recommend this to anyone...but it isn't what I did. I just couldn't. I'm a pacifist in every other respect. I'm never been in a fight; and yet, I couldn't just give in to this violence. I wanted to get away; I wanted to stop it. My instincts took over...and I'm amazed what my instincts told me to do! By the way, the art event was still wonderful, successful, and had nothing to do with this!
Midlands Most Wanted
Each Monday, The State will run information on a suspect wanted by authorities. Since the feature began in February 2004, 75 suspects have been taken into police custody.
• Age: 15
• Description: Chapman-Hopkins is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.
• Wanted by: Richland County Sheriff Department
• Charges: Armed robbery and aggravated assault
• Last known address: Chapman-Hopkins may be staying on Burdock Circle, Gingeroot Way or Flamingo Drive
• If you see him: CrimeStoppers at (888) CRIME-SC
Posted by Susan Lenz at 9:03 AM