Bringing Artsy Back

Bringing Artsy Back

 

 

 

Being a teen in the 80’s and young adult in the 90’s was a great time for me. I was an artsy girl who felt stifled in a private school setting. I was a rebel. I was Ally Sheedy in Breakfast Club: the weird girl. I didn’t, however, hide in the shadows and pick the wings off flies.

Ally Sheedy, Breakfast Club

Ally Sheedy, Breakfast Club

Yep. Just chillin' in a cemetary on top of a grave with my name on it. Normal stuff.

Yep. Just chilling’ in a cemetery on top of a grave with my name on it. Normal stuff.

Those later teen years were probably some of the most creative years of my life. St. Anne’s-Belfield School in Charlottesville, Va. was where my public-school-teacher-single-Mom sent me. She wanted something better for me, and struggled to send me to private school, although in my rebellious state of mind I just wanted to hang out with the punk rockers I knew of in public school. Alas, not my choice. So I became very involved in Art class. Apparently I was really good at it, and I even got out of having to play field hockey by taking a second Art class by myself, sort of independent study…so I basically spent half the school day upstairs in the Art Room. It was heaven. My teacher was a free-spirited ex-hippie who let me do whatever I want. I remember there was a cassette player up there and I used to play The Cure. He’s ask “What kind of garbage is this?” and we’d laugh.

Dancing with my high school Art teacher at Prom, 1987

Dancing with my high school Art teacher at Prom, 1987

At school, there was a period of two weeks where the Senior students (of which there were only about 50) were given two weeks off from school to work on a project of our own design. We had to think of something to do and when the two weeks was over we had to come back and report on it.  I decided to design a line of clothing, make all the outfits, and put on a fashion show at the school using friends as models. It. Was. Heaven…and how I anticipated college would be.

I worked feverishly for those two weeks, sewing non-stop into the wee hours of the night and producing some really innovative designs for the times. I should add, I am no seamstress, but I could handle a sewing machine enough to produce what my drawings looked like, and that made me proud. I got my friends to model the outfits and I took a photo inventory of all the designs. (I will try to find some of the pics from back then and post them when I find them.) At the end of the two weeks, I put on the fashion show for the school. (The music was the soundtrack to Liquid Sky…great androgynous/artsy film.)

Excellent 80's punk movie, Liquid Sky

Excellent 80’s punk movie, Liquid Sky

After the fashion show, teachers came up to me and the models to look at the clothes in person and I joked with them not to make fun of the two stitches I used for all the pieces. They thought it was cool. It was then that I knew that I wanted to go to Art School. My poor mother had no choice.

I remember going to tour Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va. in 1987 before I graduated high school, and driving through campus I saw a punk rocker with a neon yellow mohawk. “This is where I want to go to school!” I told my poor mother.  (Notice how many times I say “my poor mother.”)

Pretty much how I picked my college...

Pretty much how I picked my college…

Remember, I was a small town girl who had never seen kindred spirits on a regular basis, so something in me leapt for joy. I think a lot of my friends from Art School would feel the same way. There was a cultural legion at that time, surrounded by art, music, fashion, literature….we were smart, productive and going to make a statement in this world. We were artsy.

Ok, fast forward almost 30 years later. I still wear a lot of black. Not because I’m being a rebel but because it’s slimming.

Meredith and Chris (my husband) at a show

Meredith and Chris (my husband) at a show

I still color my hair….not because I want to shock anyone, but to cover the gray!

My color!

My color!

I still make art. Not because I want to be famous and have a New York art gallery doing a retrospective of my work (I wouldn’t turn it down,) but because I like to decorate my house with it. That cute, spunky, creative teenager is still inside me, but sometimes Life gets in the way of being able to making beautiful things. I am going to try to change that. The projects I work on now are generally just for me, but I’d like to share some of them with you now. Maybe I’m a little more practical these days, but I’m still bringing Artsy back.

Me with my fabulous Mother!

Me with my fabulous Mother!

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2016-10-13T16:35:19+00:00 Categories: Art, Lifestyle|0 Comments

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