“If they say it can’t be done, it doesn’t always work out that way” – Yogi Berra
Visualizing is a wonderful tool. It is empowering to imagine a place where people are happy, healthy and prosperous. A place where community comes together to support one another through trade of goods and services, food, art, craft, music. Ideas abound in a place like this. A place easily accessible by bike, or walking. A clean and safe place where conversations happen between strangers who treat each other like old friends. Sound familiar?
We talk a lot about “peace”, but what can we do about it? We can create it in our own community. We artists understand what it means to take a vision and turn it into something. I pick up ocean tumbled stones and turn them into wearable tribal necklaces. Steve McLaren bends and pounds on pieces of scrap copper to create images of ancients Gods, nymphs, and winged creatures. Larry Shinerock picks up a weather worn chunk of driftwood and sees a lamp, a cribbage board, an abstract sculpture. Artists manifest our visions every day. Not every one is lucky enough to have the time to engage that gift we all have at our core.
Jim Young and I spent our Thursday morning talking with the City Administrator and one of the heads of City Planning. It was a constructive meeting. We are on a path that presents many obstacles which will need to be overcome. However, the vision is becoming clearer. Our mission is to help the City of Ashland and the Lithia Artisans Market foster community space that is vibrant, vital, happy, and thriving. Many of you know about the plans we have been sketching and working on. Let me thank Dimitre for his fine ability to draw what Jim and I described to him. Artists working together to bring an abstract notion into form. As we get further into the project I will post the images, not today. Too much ground work to do first.
“We shape our public spaces, thereafter, our public spaces shape us.” -Winston Churchill
Taking public space that is underutilized and transforming it into vibrant community place is the challenge in front of us. Remember that line in the song, “paved paradise and put up a parking lot.” I’d strongly urge everyone to engage your mind and turn that concept on its head. Can anyone answer the obvious question, why do we give some of the best space in our downtown to automobile parking spaces? As we make our way into the future we should ask each other if our cars are more important than our-selves? We need to look to old public squares in places like Germany, France, and our neighbor Mexico. A excellent example is the public square in our sister city, Guanajuato, GTO., Mexico.
“Where there is a will there is always a way.” – unknown
As we work to expand our opportunities, remember that our home for nearly three decades on the meandering Calle Guanajuato is beautiful. We are blessed to be able to engage wonderful folks, display our hand made creations, and support each another. Moving into an era of change we need to remain ever thankful for the blessings we already enjoy.
Music Schedule for the Weekend
Saturday, August 20
11:30 – 1:30 Rod Petrone
3:00 – 5:00 Cole Cullin and Richard Cole
Sunday, August 21
11:30 – 1:30 Dave and Gabe
3:00 – 5:00 Shaloma