March 2015

Yay! Three for three! This month I asked three people if they would accept a Nobull Peace Prize and they all accepted. They are creators of original works. Each of them shares their creativity to the benefit of other people. In my view of the world it doesn’t get better than that.

I became familiar with the work of Kathleen Crocetti long before I ever knew her name. You see I’ve walked across the middle two of the four bridges that span the San Lorenzo River in downtown Santa Cruz hundreds of times. In the bridges’ design there are cement pillars atop which light poles are affixed and between which the railings are anchored. Each of those pillars was constructed with sides that had an architectural detail of a center inset panel formed when the cement was poured.

I remember the day a few years ago when I saw a bunch of kids and a few hovering adults meticulously applying tile and glass mosaics on three sides of each of those pillars. It was amazing. The bridge suddenly went from a functional entity to being loved because of their efforts. My world was brighter. I stopped and looked at each one to appreciate the vision each of those youthful artists had expressed and their techniques. Two years later a second bridge received the same attention funded by a KickStarter campaign.

One day I was talking with a friend who happened to be acquainted with Kathleen. He told me she was a marvel of creativity in any medium that caught her fancy but more importantly she shared that gift with students at a middle school where she taught and organized members of the larger community to participate in their projects. In short she is a creative dynamo that changes peoples lives.

You can meet Kathleen here via the KickStarter page that she created to fund the mosaics on the second bridge (Soquel Bridge) that she, her students and the community permanently brightened…

I can’t begin to paint a picture of all the individual works, community installations, performances and more that are the result of her remarkable creative drive but you can see some of them at…

I love being exposed to other people’s points of view in written form, especially when they are exquisitely crafted and then so highly polished I can mirror the reflected image of their thoughts. It is close to telepathy for I am able to gain the wisdom of a lifetime without having to have lived it. John Ptacek’s writing affects me in that fashion.

It seems to me that John strives for absolute quality. Every one of his essays and pieces of poetry were gems. I came away with a new perspective from each. You could read his collection in one sitting but that would be a waste. I suggest you start with one at a time, perhaps one a day and allow the layers of meaning to become part of your own. May I suggest you start with a very short piece of perfection, Miracles. Oh yes, wait for a day when you feel like weeping with poignant sweetness before you read Eternity.

Ho ho that’s not all folks! Click on the GALLERY link on the web site. John has created a whole series of what I call graphic essays to complement his written works Take an insight, embellish it graphically and the ideas and experiences of the ‘reader’ will coalesce to create a personalized moment of illumination. That’s a graphic essay. Here’s a tease. John offers this thought. Enlightenment: don’t give it a thought. To me that’s really funny just as written but when I saw how he embellished it with an image it made me laugh out loud and his message was driven home in an RV of laughter.

For a combination of spiritual perception, wisdom and humor you should visit…

When we live creative lives we never quite know where we’re going. Part of the creative process is responding to circumstances that life presents us as well acting by intent and/or inspiration.

Gregory Kloehn is a sculptor with a fascination for living spaces. He has built a home out of a shipping container. Another extraordinary project was a dumpster home that was so well engineered it gained a great deal of public acclaim. He was working on a book about Homeless Architecture when… well let’s have Gregory tell the story…

“I wish that I could say that I set out to house the homeless, but my motivation was not so lofty. At the time, I was working on a book about Homeless Architecture and following the various structures that are created by people living on the streets. I quickly became enamored by their resourcefulness to take objects found on the street and create homes and a livelihood from them. I was inspired to take these same materials back to my shop and put them together in a more permanent fashion. After about a week of collecting and building, I had a 21st century hunter/gather home, built from the discarded fruits of the urban jungle.

This sat at my studio for a number of months, just collecting dust. One rainy night, Charlene, a homeless woman I’ve known for some 10 years, asked if I had a tarp for her. I told her I didn’t have one and I went back inside. As I walked past the home, it hit me,I should give her this. I ran back out and told her to come back tomorrow and I would have a home for her. She and her husband Oscar came back the next day, I handed them a set of keys and a bottle of champagne and watched them push it down the street. It felt so good that I started making another one that same day.”

His response to the needs of his homeless neighbors was the genesis of the Homeless Homes Project that you can find here… (be sure to click on View Gallery)

Here is an article about his micro-home creations…

You know every now and then we are lucky enough to participate in a moment of creative perfection. I see Gregory’s project in just this light. He is recycling scavenged materials. That’s ecologically important. His empathetic response to his neighbors was perfect. Perhaps my greatest enthusiasm lies in the pure creativity expressed in each of those little sculptural dwellings. Please visit Gregory here… (and donate to the Homeless Homes Project if you are so inclined)

Unknown Welles B Goodrich