Celebrating the life of Andy Williams aka DJ A_Dog in Burlington, Vermont, USA.
I heard somewhere in my travels that as a community we get sick or we get healthy together. What I witnessed Saturday August 26, 2017, was a community of people coming together in memory of Andy Williams. Skaters, DJ’s, artists, friends, and family. A community of people commemorating a Burlington icon, featuring both established and emerging talent.
For myself, it was a dream come true. Participating in this year’s event was truly an honour. Thank you to The Friends For A_Dog Foundation for approving my project and allowing me the creative freedom to create an installation that held true to my vision.
‘Timeless DJ A_Dog’ is a mixed media art installation. A medium mash-up of ceramics and printmaking. Translucent porcelain skateboards with screen printed images of DJ A_Dog. Displayed using plexiglass, wood pallets and salvaged wood. The structure and decks were illuminated by LED lights that were sound responsive to the music.
How on earth did I come up with this idea/ concept?
Yesterday, I tried to get out of bed.. I could not. My body felt like the pit of despair. Quickly, I ran through my reasons to be grateful. I read the poem my Nan gave me. It’s posted at the head of my bed.
Suddenly, my eyes became cloudy. Tears running down my cheeks. The feeling of hope and determination surfaces. I put my headphones on and listen to my morning music.. I message Kendall and my mum to tell them what’s going on. I send them my crying face photo. I talked about my feelings and then my day started like any other day.
Ceramic work and the dedication it evokes has given me a renewed sense of self-confidence. When I am at the wheel, I don't feel tired. I am not fighting off sleep. I am just innocent and me. The clay reflects back an honesty about where I am at that I am unable to see in the mirror. It teaches me self-care, patience, and humility. Without that perspective of self.. I am lost.
A normal Monday. Out to run errands with two of my favourite people #MasterGabriel and my queen Kendall Patrick. For those of you who might be new to reading my blog.
Gabriel is a 17 year old boy that Kendall and I look after. He is a saint in my book and we are very fortunate to have his youthful innocence in our lives.
After breakfast we make a plan to run errands downtown and roughly plan our meals for the week. I was waiting on the couch for Kendall and Gabriel to get ready.
And then it happened…
Kendall walked out of her room wearing shorts with a bit of her under bum showing?!
I then made the grave error of declaring an ultimatum.. If you don’t change those shorts than I am not leaving the house with you. I didn’t explain why. I became visibly upset (emotionally shutdown) and retreated to the bedroom.
Buzz buzz notification: Kendall has a new status update on Facebook. Suddenly my heart sank.. How could she broadcast our 25 second interaction already other than to portray the controlling chauvinistic boyfriend. The singer-songwriter heroine in her needed to broadcast her displeasure and revolt. Kendall has a 70 Klout score.. Which means her social media reach is extensive. Everything that she posts gets attention/ engagement. She is an indie/folk/pop star with a growing following.
Was I being a controlling pig? You might think so.. My intention was to delicately look out for my partners integrity. My part in failing to communicate with her precisely why she needed to change. Instead I gave an ultimatum and shutdown emotionally. Epic failure.
I wanted to pull the sheets over my head and hide for the rest of the day. 60 seconds later I walked out waving the white flag. I acknowledged that I failed to communicate because I was shocked and also that I didn’t want to mention that the shorts that were once baggy in the bum are now full with some under bum hanging out.
She looked at me and after a little more debate acknowledged that there has been some physical blossoming happening. She happily changed and gave me a kiss.
It’s hard to believe that a year ago a few friends and I stumbled through the screen printing process the night before Rock of the Woods music festival 2013. We were making t-shirts for Kendall Patrick and the Headless Bettys. In fact, I didn’t finish the t-shirts til a day into the festival.
A year later, I returned better organized and accompanied by a stellar support cast.
The art was top class. It challenged social norms, sparked interests and lots of conversation! Above all it brought smiles to many faces.
Spending my weekend talking to people.. It was clear that the appreciation was abundant.
Visual artists deserve exposure but usually it’s the musicians that get all the applause! This year Rock of the Woods showcased some of Vancouver Islands emerging visual artists as well as top musical acts. I believe it was a success.
The artists featured were all
Vancouver Island Students and recent graduates. They all worked incredibly hard and I am very proud of that.
29 year old male from Nanaimo BC recently found with garage packed with used pottery and screen printing equipment.
In the most recent purchase, the 3rd kiln to add to the arsenal. His accomplice was seen wheeling the kiln on a dolly back to their respective street in the middle of the night. Ciro (29 year old male) was seen driving home comfortably as his accomplice (Robert F) was labouring the kiln back to their street.
In the span of a few months I have acquired 4 pottery wheels, 3 kilns, and a 4 colour screen printing press. It’s all very strange. Slowly my garage/studio is becoming more efficient. Thanks to my friend Robert F. (accomplice) I am able to fire my kiln at his house down the street. Robert also brought to my attention that it is impossible to use more than one wheel at a time. Kendall believes I am slipping into hoarding tendencies.
Right now, I am working on various glaze test batches. Trying to develop my own glaze colour palette. It will take time and lots of research.
What I love about the ceramic medium is it’s versatility. It can be used for function, art, or both.
“Look to combine beauty and function in a pot.” – Bernard Leach
I woke up after the spring semester was over feeling lost. My objective was over.. no goals, no drive, and simply just exhausted. I was instructed to lighten up, relax , and for heavens sake get some sleep.
Easier said then done for me. So what did I do? I talked to professors about jobs and future plans. What I learned was the only certainty that university could offer me was if I got an accounting degree. Then I would most likely have a job. That was not music to my ears. Then I heard something that would resonate with me. The kind marketing professor said well there is another school of thought. You could carve your own niche, somewhere between entrepreneurship and digital marketing. He challenged me to spend my summer surrounding myself with people I find interesting and to also not turn a job down, even if it means working for free. The reasoning being that eventually these people will provide lucrative opportunities or introduce you to someone that will.
So I am paying my dues. It’s better than relaxing. I submitted a proposal to Rock of the Woods Music Festival for a Visual Art display. I am now a proud member of the staff. My title: Art Director. This allowed me to also give back to my fellow Art & Design club members.
Providing them with discount tickets and exposure for their work. 11 days til the music festival.
I witnessed an amazing spectacle at the new Showroom location in Duncan, BC! I was witnessing something fresh. A change had taken place. Kendall Patrick and the Headless Bettys were not only entertaining the crowd but captivating it. Instead of the normal on stage banter, there was improvisational theatrics. They played new tunes and demonstrated how talented they all were. Taking turns dazzling the audience individually and as a group.
As their manager, I was shocked. I threw down the gauntlet to them last week and said: I want new songs and I want you to have fun with it. They did that and more.
Most days in our private life I am three roles constantly interchanging between the lover, manager, and very dramatic premadonna artist.
When I am working on the pottery wheel I convince myself this mug might just save the world.. It’s like an artistic god complex.
I find it very hard to be objective of my own work when that creative mojo is pulsating through me. It feels sacred.
On nights like June 3rd I don’t question my purpose or direction in life. It’s clear to me that I am right where I am supposed to be.
At the encore of last nights performance an older gentleman went up to the stage and whispered something to Kendall. I could see in her face that she didn’t know what to do.. The gentleman who I had never seen before requested a slow song as the encore. Kendall did her best to handle the situation and almost turned down the request. Without hesitation I yelled… You better take that man’s request! She played her singer/ songwriter heart right out. The whole crowd appeared to be holding their breath. The man that had made the request was now glowing. He was now a solidified true fan. It could have gone a different way.
My mother would always refer to the customers at the ristorante needing to be fulfilled and leave feeling special. They might then tell one or two of their friends. If they left mad or unsatisfied you could guarantee they would tell at least 5 people and might not ever comeback. The customer is not always right, but they deserve to feel as though they are. It’s a rotten business in that sense.. No room for excuses or alibis.