One of the benefits of being a Raleigh PR agency is that when we need creative inspiration, all we have to do is walk out our door and rely on our highly innovative, imaginative and artistic community. From places such as Artspace (which I’m happy to support as a new board member) to regular events like First Fridays and annual happenings such as SparkCon, there’s no shortage of thought-provoking visuals and activities.
In addition to hearing Mayor McFarlane speak during PechaKucha night, attending the worldwide book release of “Man v. Liver” at the Mahler Fine Art Gallery, checking out a Civil Rights photo exhibition and getting a front row seat to the creation of some pretty awesome sidewalk art, our team attempted to answer the question “What Are Your Roots,” an exhibition at CAM.
I think their answers demonstrate the whole point of why we regularly push our chairs away from our desks, silence our mobile devices and get out there and allow our community to open our minds and motivate us to see things in a different light.
An exploration of the cotton growth cycle and the roots of the community, the What Are Your Roots? SPARKcon art exhibit at CAM Raleigh, asked viewers to pause and answer that exact question: What are your roots? From pictures of states and people to witty poems, sayings and drawings, the people that participated in this exhibit showed just why Raleigh is so great – we are a diverse and creative and thoughtful and, most importantly (to me, at least), fun community.
At first sight, the starkness of the mural left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. While the seven cotton-plant sculptures were impressive, the surrounding scribbles were reminiscent of a middle school bathroom stall. Though some had bulleted lists of cities, schools and memories alongside envy-inducing artistic sketches, others had all but graffitied the wall with profane words and drawings.
It took a moment for my thoughts to settle before my golf pencil scribbled down its own answer. Rooted in neighborhood cookouts; “swimmers, take your mark;” camp songs; concerts and laughter. Backing away, I once again tried to piece together a coherent opinion of the mural, and my thoughts returned to how gutsy Christina Preher and Kilara Le were to allow others to take over their work, particularly when many seemed to have not taken their “what are your roots?” question seriously.
But maybe that was the point. To lose control. After all, creativity doesn’t come in cookie-cutter form, nor does it have to take things seriously. So, just as a person’s roots stem from a person’s sense of belonging in a community or place, this wall became the place where anyone’s answer would belong. And there’s inarguable beauty in that.
Where will you find inspiration this week?
3 thoughts on “Sparking Creative Thought and New Ideas”
As a relative newcomer to Raleigh, I’ve been excited to see the amazing art museums, galleries and installations across the city. My still growing list of ones I’ve visited has included the N.C. Museum of Art, CAM (where you all went to see “What Are Your Roots?”), Artspace and various galleries I stopped in during First Friday earlier this month. My visit to CAM was one of my favorites so far. At the time, the main exhibit was titled “The Stars Are Not Wanted Now” and featured photographer Melanie Schiff. The exhibit that you all went to sounds really interesting. As a transplant from the D.C. area to the Triangle for college, I’ve spent much time thinking about my roots. Although I have a strong connection to where I grew up, I also feel a sense of belonging here in North Carolina. I’m so glad to hear that you all enjoyed reflecting upon your roots and exploring Raleigh’s art offerings.
I really enjoyed this post! While I was unable to see the “What Are Your Roots” exhibit in person, I too feel a bit underwhelmed when looking at the images of this exhibit. However, I really appreciate the concept of free expression that many artists like Preher and Le are adopting. In today’s society, art can come in so many different forms and some of the best types of art are those that engage the public to participate. Places like the free expression tunnel on NC State’s campus allow students to express themselves and interact with one another without being afraid of what others will think. The “What Are Your Roots” exhibit really focuses on these same aspects: free expression and a sense of belonging.
Thanks for sharing Dana and team! I like to take Block Walks. These allow me to not only stretch my legs and get some fresh air it also introduces me to new surroundings that recharge my creativity. Checking out new bands in person and on Spotify, also provide inspiration whenever I’m feeling stuck in the same routine.
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