What is Art? It is the response of man's creative soul to the call of the Real

said Rabindranath Tagore.

There was a massive disjoint between today and the rest of this week.

I haven't written anything about the incident at Virginia Tech aside from the piece offering tips on how to cope with things. It was sadly funny the other day at work. Someone asked me how I coped with the snow storm we had on Monday. I looked at her and had no idea what she was talking about.

Between the killing of Officer Lindsey, Virginia Tech, and the increased number of students who've either come in or been referred to us, the snowstorm that created havoc on the roads, that closed the college until 10, that closed the college until 12 though those of us who arrived for the 10 o'clock openning didn't hear about, became a non-event.

Today was a very different from the rest of the week. At least in my tiny corner of life.

First off, it was SPRING. There was even a bright yellow thing in the sky that looked vaguely familiar. And it was warm. I headed out this morning in sandals and almost felt my house keys behind in my jacket pocket.

Most importantly, it was a day of creation that came at the end of a week of destruction. And even though I didn't take part in all the creation, knowing that it exists will help me sleep better.

It started with a stop at Neptune Studio's Indie Garage Sale. It's basically a craft show, but not your mother's craft show. Unless your mom is hip, off-beat, has an attitude, and likes to recycle. There were quilted bags, altered clothes, handmade jewelry, knitted hand-warmers, melted records, handbound books, clay works, glammed boxes and I'm sure I'm forgetting other items.

Years ago, I wrote an op-ed piece offering that one of the potential saving of the Mohawk Valley was the crafters and artisans who lived and worked here. This region has a rich history in Creating and it's one that's still
alive and thriving. Neptune Studio is just one of the recent endeavors to build a arts industry here. They offer classes, studio space, opennings, and had held Friday night crafting sessions that promted me to support Coffee & Crafts 2/4 at Mojoz's when they closed their's down.

And since that time, I've learned that there are at least THREE other weekly crafting groups in the Utica area.

That's an awful lot of glue, yard and paper that's being arted up.

Tonight, Pratt at Munson-Williams held a student art show featuring Neon. Most of the display was outdoors and it was a great night for the show. Great live music, recycl
ed metals and plastics combined with light made for a magical walk on their quad.

Part of the show was inside. We rode the elevator to get to the 3rd floor. It has a mirrored ceiling. It's an art school.

I haven't yet gotten to the unseenamerica NYS project, Photos by Refugees. The unseenamerica project provides cameras to "working-class people so they can document their lives." You can see an online presentation here. The show will run through Memorial Day at the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees.

I'm taking a class in Photoshop this semester. Our second assignment was to bring in an old family picture that needed restoration. Well, my parents were the immigrants and I have virtually no old family pictures of any kind. I know there will be a day in the lives of the children of the refugees when they too will realize that they have no old family pictures. Before that day, many of them will realize that classmates will often speak of aunts, uncles, grandparents while they might only know of their own. Of them... not know them themselves. At least the Photos by Refugees project might give them a sense of history someday.

One event that I have put into my calendar is the upcoming Bagg's Square Festival of the Arts on May 5th. They kicked things off with a photography show on Friday night at the Utica Monday Night Gallery Space at 106 Genesee St, Utica. The photo show featured local photographers capturing images of Central NY.

There's a lot of pain and destruction on the planet and thanks for CNN, MSNBC, Faux News, etc. we can all relive it every minute of every day.

It's good to remind ourselves that there's a lot of health, healing and creating too.

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