Street Artists: Students and Teachers of Irvine, California.
For inspiration some artist visit gallery’s, museums, lectures, listen to live music… some even purchase little plastic baggies full of herbs and fungus on the corner of 5th and Martin Luther King Blvd…. Yes, all you ear-cutting Van Goghs out there buying drugs will quickly inspire your art work and will escalate you into “Starving Artist” Status real fast… HUGS! NOT DRUGS! HUGS!
For inspiration this D.A.R.E. graduate likes to go running. I was once on a morning run in San Francisco and was totally blown away by the variety of trees up North. Down here in So Cal we have two types of trees “Palm trees” and “Trees” ;) But, up North there is a variety that is represented quite similar to the variety of culture the city of San Francisco offers. From Chinese, Mexican, WASP, European, Atheist, Muslim and Christian… all walks of life are represented. While on my run I got an idea to write a children’s book about tree’s in different parts of the world. I wanted to also feature a person from that part of the world. I wanted to teach children about the beauty in diversity that comes in different packages (and trees.)
That was about 5 years ago. I haven’t gotten around to writing that little book, but besides the possibility of being a New York Times Best Selling Children’s Book Author, I have always valued that run in San Fran. I think because it was a pivotal time in my life. At that time I was starting to feel quite confident in myself as an artist and taking steps to honor the gifts I'd been given. I believe that being an artist is a privilege one doesn’t take lightly and when you are given visions to create something you can either use them for “good” or for “bad.” I haven’t written the “little tree book” eventually I will, but “WRITE” now I got Rewrite Beautiful on the books… and a couple of weeks ago we took a little bit of that vision and welcomed a Tree into our Rewrite Beautiful Street Art Gallery.
We were hosting “Urban Arts Week” at the Irvine Fine Arts Center and one of my fellow teachers, Miss. Ivy had a great idea… she suggested we bring Rewrite Beautiful to the Arts Center and have the kids tell each other and their families what makes them BEAUTIFUL and STRONG on a piece of paper and then hang that piece of paper from a tree. We took old Trader Joe’s bags (Go Green!), cut them into 3 x 9 rectangles, hole punched them and strung them with yarn and voila… Rewrite Beautiful hits a tree in Irvine, California!
I got the privilege of a front row seat to see the surprised smiles on the faces of the kids when they read what the other kids and teachers wrote about them. I don’t wanna get all emo on you (but I will….cause I can) but it was really bittersweet. Bitter, because I’m an adult ( Yes, it’s true… I was informed the other day by my mentee, a 13 year old that I am in fact an ADULT) and as an “adult” I have had a variety of 20 something plus years of life experience.
I have learned that from small to tall everyone wants to be (you think I’m gonna say “LOVED” huh…. You’re wrong! But, you’re still cool! Everyone wants to be…) ACCEPTED… not loved. Because we all know that LOVE comes from a few people who know us deeply and truly. But, ACCEPTANCE… why is it so hard to accept the little boy who dresses funny and has buck teeth? And why is it hard to be patient with the little girl who is overweight with frizzy hair and Autism? Exactly how do buck teeth get in the way of playing soccer? And exactly why can’t you be patient at the age of 8 with a little girl who stutters her words? Where exactly are you in a rush to go? Can’t you Tivo Miley? And why as ADULTS is it so hard to ACCEPT ourselves… buck teeth…stuttering… Autism and all? It’s funny how we let other people give us our worth isn’t it? Even as ADULTS… we’re supposed to know better, we’re supposed to act better, but we fall into those same ugly traps. We have bad goggles that need replacing.
But, then there is the “sweet side” of the “bitter side” … the sweet side always blows me away… You know this if you have ever bathed a sandy, dirty, sweaty gross kid… you’re removing sand from under their arm pits and you’re like, “Dude, Storm Trooper! Where was I during the sand avalanche?” And then half a bottle of Johnson & Johnson later your kid is back. It’s amazing what pure water and soap can do… It can wash away all the sand, dirt and sweat and beneath all of the grime and gunk is your kid… that kid is the same kid that went into the tub: a GOOD kid, just minus the mess. When I see kids Rewrite Beautiful I see them taking a bath (in a totally non-creepy way… I have been finger printed…. You can request copies on the contact page) Rewrite Beautiful cleans up these kids minds of what BEAUTIFUL and STRONG really are. They step away different. I can see it in their eyes, in their smiles and in their posture.
I think Rewrite Beautiful and the tree did a great deal of washing and cleaning during Urban Art Week and I must say… on the sweet side of things… things are lookin’ GOOD people…things are lookin’ really GOOD!