Friday 4 December 2015
For this one I went down to the Thomas Merton Center on Penn Ave. in Garfield, a section where galleries and shops stretch for a few blocks.
Once a month this street has an open-studios event where people come to look at art, meet the artists, hear bands play, drink wine, and sneak a few moments away from the certainty of impending doom.
The Thomas Merton Center invited me to participate in the theme of “What does Wellness look like?” Several artists brought installations and work showing their take on “wellness.” For me it is self-explanatory — healthy body, surrounded by good people, and harmonized with the greater Whole in which we live. The chalk circles symbolize all this very nicely I think, and I had a great time doing it.
When I was done I went for a walk to check out the other galleries. My favorite gallery is definitely Spak Pizza but the art I liked best was the bellybutton display.
Somebody took pictures of hundreds of bellybuttons and printed them onto little circles of paper 1cm in size. The exhibit consisted of a small table with hundreds of bellybutton circles under glass. From far away it appeared to be a collection of buttons that go on shirts but nobody makes hairy buttons.
Some bellybuttons are round and some are like a slit, and some are collapsed onto themselves, and other ones just seem flat. I tried to look at my own but I had my shirt tucked in and it was cold out so I didn’t go digging.
I could talk about bellybuttons all day but back to the chalk. As usual these circles employ the Phi ratio and the best part is tracing people’s hair. Hair is so expressive. And you can forget about tracing a bellybutton, there’s just no way to do it. Might even lose a piece of chalk in there.