Hope springs eternal at Building 54!

For many years now we have been working on projects that incorporate a little history, offer a present day view of things and that will hopefully leave participants with a sense of direction…possibility for new ideas…

Going to conferences and seminars where the same old scenarios are worked over by people from the same ‘old’ demographic almost always leads to the same results.  Where are the next generation of leaders?  Not just the ones with concerns and issues to bring forward…but ones with some answers or ideas on what next?!

As we work in the arts we get to talk with a lot of interesting people – with different ideas.  Some based on reality and feasibility…others not so.  BUT this year we have met some amazing ‘Gen X’ers’ – all who have left us with this overwhelming optimism that things are gonna be alright!  Fresh minds with direction…

Like Julie McMath, Joel Cooper and Ryan McQuaig.

Julie appeared early in 2009 at Building 54 – almost the ‘if you build it they will come’ kind of appearance.  We had two old pottery wheels salvaged from an ailing pottery club and as soon as we set them up Julie found them – added her own wheel to the group, got a business license for Dish Pottery and took over the space with energy and ideas…

Joel Cooper and Ryan McQuaig are two of the trio that make up the Art of Street Studio down the hall from Julie.  First contact with these artists is almost unfair.  (here is where my age shows)  If you chance into their studio with the music on and see them spray painting you could be mislead as to their sincerity and talent.

As with many artists they have other jobs…Ryan cooks at one of the town’s more notable establishments.  Joel, while between seasonal jobs, keeps busy at promoting Art of Street’s unique capacity for working the arts into community.  Like?  Like his moonlit trek about town during a recent snow storm building snowmen that greeted us all the next morning as we made our way to the post office or the cafes…

So if you had asked me 12 months ago what I thought of the future of Gen X or even Gen Y – I would have expressed my concern that they are less ‘verbal’ than I would hope.  But as we crest a new year I can see that perhaps they are going to show us a new future vs get involved in our ‘talking’ about it.  And coming from a visual storytelling background…that suits me just fine.

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