Storm Print City has taken me from Seattle to Maine, New Orleans to Chicago, and back to the west coast. I’ve learned a ton about our country’s infrastructure, made many many prints, and made some great new friends. I’ve inspired and been inspired in towns, cities, and neighborhoods across the country. It’s been about making art, telling stories, and sharing experiences.
Last year I showed my work to the public for the first time in Chicago. The event opened some new doors and relationships which have been amazing. None of those could compare to what I was about to receive from a stranger who happened to stop by the booth that day.
Her note is below:
“I’m a reading teacher in Mt. Prospect, IL, 40 minutes north of Chicago. I saw your artwork at the Ravenswood Art Festival and serendipitously saw a Newsela article about you the next day! My students read the article, made a manhole print on the playground and then wrote about it. I’ve attached a short video, similar to one of yours we saw on YouTube, along with my 2 students reading their papers. We hope you like it!”
It was difficult to watch without tearing up and thankfully I was somewhat alone in the office. There have been times when I’ve questioned the project and thought about ending the print mission I’d been on. All I had to do was watch the video, listen to their experience, and hear how much they loved it. This was, and is more satisfying that any monetary gain or fame I could ever ask for. We’ve had some correspondence and built a friendship. What they don’t know is how much impact they’ve had on this project and how much they actually inspired me.
Not only did they provide an incentive to continue, it also sparked a new dream. In order to educate people about their neighborhood, and to share the pure joy of street printing, we created StreetPrint.City – an open source community for exploring, appreciating, and revitalizing the beauty beneath our feet.
It’s not only about manhole covers and prints, it’s about connecting people through creativity and community. Our goal is to spread the joy of street printing, build relationships with like minded folks, and showcase the beautiful works of art that is created from the metal dots connecting our urban landscapes.
It’s also about inspiring and being inspired. So thanks to Mrs M. and the boys for doing just that.