Thursday, June 01, 2017

Connecting US HWY 20

Artist Sal Strom
Tuesday I participated in an event that was the brainchild of artist Sal Strom.

When she discovered that HWY 20 ran from her home town of Newport, Oregon all the way to Boston, Massachusetts, where she received her Master's in Fine Art, she dreamed of bringing the towns along the way together through art.

Her goal for the 3,365 mile trip was to "have fun, laugh, and remember that our connections through art and play make us stronger as a group." And that is what she did at fifteen libraries along the route in towns with populations of less than 5500.

Hwy 20 crosses through 12 states. Sal made a map of each state and using the colorful safety pins she calls "therapy" to show her route through the states, she has created works of art. Strom is a tactile artist. She uses cheesecloth, acrylic paint, and odds and ends to make her pieces. Her inspiration is creating "art as therapy" projects.

There were 5 local authors and 3 friends or library associates who participated in the event. The authors brought their books and were encouraged to decorate tubs with flowing, colorful, cheesecloth to cradle our books in the tubs. Then photos were taken. These photos will then be cropped and added to a collage Sal is making to be exhibited at Newport Visual Art Center, Runyon Gallery June 9th-July 2nd and Lincoln City Cultural Center, Chessman Gallery, Jan.13th - Feb.5th.

decorated book tubs
While the books were being photographed, we were encouraged to wrap Sal up in the remaining colorful cheesecloth and then throw the fabric around as she peeled off the layers around her. It was hard to get introvert writers to place cheesecloth on her. We were all standing back with the fabric in our hands, trying to figure out how to get it on her without bringing her into our safety bubble. It was pretty funny, I thought. LOL
Sal's art rendition of the states and HWY 20
Her partner and technology person during the trip, Lynn Moyer, has been blogging about the experience. Here is a link to his blog:



Stephanie said...

Oh, my gosh, Paty. This sounds like so much fun. I laughed out loud at the comment about your safety bubble.

Paty Jager said...

HI Stephanie, Yes, it was interesting to see, the people who weren't writers were right int here layering her up while the rest of us were standing back holding cloth trying to figure out how to put it on without getting close. LOL It was a fun and interesting afternoon.