Artscape 2002 and Beyond

This is the story of my art car's first week in public.

Artscape is the country's largest free public arts festival, held every year in Baltimore. Several city blocks are roped off for the weekend. The American Visionary Art Museum sponsors an art car parade and display, and in fact it's the largest art car event on the East Coast. In 2002 there were over 60 cars.

I'd been working on my art car, off and on, for over a year, and I was originally thinking of Artscape as a convenient deadline to motivate me to finally get the durn thing done. But then a new source of motivation arose. Art car artist/filmmaker/photographer Harrod Blank posted a message to his mailing list, saying he'd be at Artscape, and asking whether anyone could give him and his pile of camera equipment a ride up to the New York City area after Artscape. I quickly volunteered.

So now I was really fired up, and started spending every waking hour in the garage to get the car done in time. As the day grew closer and there were still big un-yarned areas to be done, my heroic girlfriend Jillian took pity on me and started helping. Unlike me, she was an experienced and natural artist, but she gamely agreed to work under my direction and avoid injecting her own creative vision. The project might well have been improved if she'd had free rein — but after all those months of working on it alone, I wouldn't have felt right if it had turned into a collaboration at the last minute. It couldn't have been easy for her to keep her creativity in check that way. I'm deeply grateful to her.


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