Two Roads

What's your path?
Destination unknown…

A shift is occurring as the New Year quickly approaches.  This seems perfectly natural and normal since my fortieth Birthday is approaching in January.  How do I want to spend the next forty years (whatever higher being willing) and what path should be followed?  Might seem like big questions but maintaining clarity and moving forward positively seems like the best course of action.

In September 2013, I was the artist in residence at the de Young Museum.  After spending 3+ years working on the exhibit, it changed me forever.  Loved every moment of the experience from researching, creating, engaging with the public, and debating with artists.  As a result, I’m left searching for a more meaningful experience within my art practice and life on planet Earth.

Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken poem comes to mind:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

 

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

 

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

 

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

What’s the next step?  After taking time to reflect, I want to focus time and energy by researching and creating meaningful art.  Bottom line: love education, learning, and proud to say that “nerd” would be an appropriate label.  As a result, I would like to produce future bodies of work inspired by museums, universities, and other notable institutions.  Part of the creative process would include the investigation of collections, architecture, academics, and the uncovering of patterns that binds together an organization with its surrounding communities.  My art would become an abstraction and interruption of these findings.  The possibilities are endless and would last beyond my lifetime.

Albert Szent-Gyorgyi: “Research is to see what everybody else has seen, and to think what nobody else has thought.”  In 1937, Mr. Szent-Gyorgyi won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the ability to isolate Vitamin C and the importance of the citric acid cycle.  His meticulous ability to review data allowed him to find new discoveries.

Research comes in all forms...
Inquiry appears in many forms.

If my art could discover or produce new patterns of thinking or creation, it would be a success.  My hope is that an opportunity to explore this path will emerge.  If not, I’ll create my own.  That is what is wonderful and exciting about the future.  It can’t be predicted but with a little prodding and poking it can be shaped.

The Links:

www.jennyebalisle.com

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173536

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1937/

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