Finding Joy in the Journey

So sorry for the extended amount of silence and lack of updates with the project! Not only is Flo in the shop but now my car is in the shop getting an extensive amount of work done because when it rains it pours with car troubles it seems! The journey with Flo the VW has just begun and man it has already been a wild ride. She is still in the shop but that is not reflection of the amount of work she needs. The shop owner was gracious enough to let us have her delivered to his lot and sit there until he could get a chance to look at what’s going on. I stopped by the other day and he said that this week he’s planning on looking at her.

I’ve realized that gratitude is one of the themes of this new journey. I am already overwhelmed by the amount of generosity people have shown me and really cannot thank everyone enough for their support in both monetary support and well wishes. The previous owner of Flo has shown an incredible amount of generosity from the start and I truly believe she is a soul sister of mine. She wrote me a beautiful letter that she sent with the guy who picked up Flo and brought her up to NJ and I just want to share part of it. She wrote, “There are so many special memories from my life engrained in the walls of this bus and I know all you are going to do is just breathe more life into it. With that being said, I wanted to pass my tradition on to you. I have always made a halo of flowers to hang around the rearview mirrors of my buses. For me it is a reminder to keep peace in my life, look for the natural beauty in situations and to keep serene even when barreling towards whatever unnerving event I was heading towards. It helped me keep my headspace clear in many situations and hopefully it will lend peace to you! I made you a halo and put it in place for you! Always look ahead with a curious heart and an open mind, and NEVER look back, because that’s not where you are headed.” These words meant so much to me when i read them two weeks ago but now as the journey is continuing, I’m even more thankful for them. I am working on a new piece that is inspired by this gesture and I will be sharing that sometime next week.

In the mean time here is how you can support Art Across Borders. Due to my current car situation and the need to put money into my daily driver, I have decided to have 100% of the profits from these two prints go towards Flo’s impending maintenance costs. Originally the sales were going to be split between the savings for Art Across Borders and Flo’s upkeep since I had savings set aside for mechanical bills to get her running but now have to use some of that for my car. I am waiting to hear what the final cost is for the work that needs to be done to get her on the road but anything will help. These two are both 5z7 in size and can be found in the Etsy shop in the links below. image1 (18).JPG

Black Linoleum print 5×7:

 https://www.etsy.com/listing/294617541/5×7-art-bus-print-black?ref=shop_home_active_1

Water Color:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/294045209/5×7-go-with-the-flo?ref=related-1

https://www.etsy.com/listing/294047735/8×10-go-with-the-flo?ref=related-1

       I have found joy in this journey already. I struggle with having patience but I am at peace with the current situation and know that my timing is never really accurate or what’s best anyway so I have to let go of that and truly embrace “Go with the Flo.” Sometimes the journey is tough and seemingly filled with obstacles, but I am excited to find joy even in the hard times. I am watching dear friends of mine go through incredibly heart wrenching situations and am so encouraged by their ability to find joy even in their darkest of nights. I will be better at posting updates and ways you can be involved and again thank everyone for their support and excitement!

#gowith_theflo

Art Across Borders is Going Mobile!

It is with great excitement and joy that I introduce the newest member of the family, Florence aka “Flo” the 1977 VW Transporter. It has been a long term dream of mine to own my own bus and someday have a mobile art studio so I am ecstatic that my dream is becoming a reality. My family used to own a VW bus named Monro (I will share his story soon) and ever since we tragically lost him in a fire we have always dreamed of someday owning another. When I interned for the Art Feeds in Joplin, Missouri  (artfeeds.org) two summers ago I had the privilege of serving along side Van Gogh (https://vimeo.com/79296270) and loved how he brought Joplin and the surrounding communities together through art. Van Gogh is  a very important team member in the Art Feeds family and I have a deep admiration for everything that AF does for the communities that they serve. I am honored to call them family and am looking forward to putting to practice all the things I learned through interning and working for them.

      After I interned for Art Feeds  life went on, I graduated college, moved home, started construction on our house, and my family bought a tow behind camper so owning a  VW bus didn’t seem to be a possibility. A few weeks ago however the inspiration lightbulb turned on, well, it more like went off like fireworks, when my stepdad was sent a listing for a VW bus on craigslist. I pleaded with him to buy the bus, which turned into let me help pay for the bus, which turned into wait…I want to buy the bus. That particular one sold but that night I started scribbling down my ideas and dreams for a VW bus that was a mobile art studio that served a purpose. Weeks of searching for the right bus at the right cost was exhausting but I knew that there was a bus out there for me. Through an extreme and unimaginable amount of generosity from friends and family combined with my savings I had a decent budget to work with. The morning of the day that I was going to see a bus that I was 99% positive I was going to buy, my stepdad sent me a text telling me that he received a notification from a bus group he is a part of on FB stating that one of the members put their bus up for sale. He sent me a picture and immediately I loved it because her color is my all time favorite color (if I had to pick just one). He spoke with the current owner over the phone for me while I was at work and found out that she  and I were pretty much soul sisters (it’s insane how much Dana and I have in common, I will share more details of that soon) and this bus was meant to be mine. I spoke with her later on and solidified the deal and after the longest most anxious week and a half of my life (okay maybe not life but I am so excited) Flo is here in Jersey and she is just about mine (just have to finish some paperwork, register her, all that real owning a car stuff)! She needs a tune up and a few things worked on to make her road ready again but that shouldn’t take too long.

Over a year ago when I was putting together my senior exhibition I decided to title the show “Art Across Borders” because it was a visual representation of the development of my passion for creative outlets for kids. After the show was over I hoped to sell some of the work and donate a portion of the funds to the different art programs that I represented in the exhibition but plans have changed a bit and expanded! With Flo’s help I hope to take  Art Across Borders beyond my Etsy shop and occasional craft shows. I will be sharing Flo’s journey and involvement in the community and future plans as they become more clear here on this blog. Her purpose is multifaceted but ultimately I want her to be a resource to the kids in my local community as a space where their creativity has no boundaries, no borders, and they are free to let their imagination run wild. I plan to create a business with her that also offers different art parties brought right to people’s homes, parks, etc. and intend to donate  a portion of the income to the art programs that I am in contact with both state side and overseas. The Etsy shop will be updated today and this week with exciting new pieces that Flo has inspired and that mark the new adventure that Art Across Borders is starting. Thank you so much to everyone who has already supported me in this incredibly wonderful new journey and I can’t wait to share with you all the ways you can be involved with this new chapter!

“There is nothing like a dream to create the future.” -Victor Hugo

#gowith_theFlo #ArtAcrossBorders