I got to meet Vernita Nemec today.
I worked for a tattoo artist in college. I was living in the dorms, had a meal plan. Didn’t need a car. I didn’t need much.
But I sure did like me some tattoos.
The artist, an old school Sailor Jerry type and a felon who went by the name of Scary Gary, paid me in ink for building needles.
It was pretty awesome.
He used to have this poster hanging in his shop:
Thats the Mayor of Portland, Or., by the way, when the photo was taken.
Which is the initial reason my idea of the perfect place to live has been Portland for the last fifteen years or so.
I’m getting old.
Anyhow, I never forgot that poster. I’d been one to take in art wherever and whenever I could get my hands on it, to be honest. But that poster just always popped into my head. It reminded me, like. To go out of my way to experience art.
At all times.
And I’ve just always valued an opportunity to engage with art of basically any genre and medium.
Even performance art. Which Vernita also did.
And here are some pictures.
It was fun to see kids passionate about art get to see and speak with an artist and arts activist. I remember early experiences of meeting and listening to authors brought to Clarion by faculty members.
It is for sure one of the reasons that I stuck with writing and now write for a living. You could see the kids who were totally smitten with the experience. I remember being that kid in a craft of fiction or craft of nonfiction class with an author visiting.
Your mission is now to go expose yourself to art.
But not in a way that gets charges pressed against you.
And not in a way that requires you to press against the art.