Thursday, February 28, 2013
Self-Portraits: Getting Real on Cherokee Street
I told my friend, Marissa, last weekend that sometimes I feel like I am little bit hippie, a little bit rock and roll, and a little bit hip-hop culture appreciator. Cherokee Street encompasses all three of those aspects inside of me. It is a place that is unapologetic for who it is. You see the visual funk and flair of the artists and galleries that inhabit the residence of the streets, but you also see the reality of a neighborhood that is trying to connect its bleaker past with the colorful new pastel buildings painted by the artists. There is evidence of socio-economic struggle mixed with a growing night club and art scene in the neighborhood. That part of it doesn't hide. It blends in with the color of the street, creating this visual narrative of hope, grace, and truth on one city block.
It reminds me of the messiest and most beautiful parts of myself. The mess wants to go hide in the shadows just as Cherokee Street's darker past would want you to do. Instead, when I start to make sense of the messiest parts through the process of creating, sharing artwork, and letting trusted people into the mess, my life starts to feel more like the pastel colors of the buildings and street art on Cherokee Street: evidence of the mess, but inspired by its roots and growth.