Creatively I’ve not been a good place the last couple months. Would working a job flipping burgers be a better job? At least I would think, burger flippers don’t bring their job home every night. The economy stinks…jobs are hard to find. But living a dream of artistic passion is more than having money to buy gasoline.
You do things because they are in your heart. The ideas have to come out, like a catepillar emerging into a butterfly and sometimes it’s a painful journey.
I have a painful artistic piece I created called “Juggling the Chances” aka “The Juggler.” He was finished in November 2006. He was created for the Alzehiemer’s Art Quilt Initiative’s (AAQI) traveling art quilt exhibit called “Alzheimer’s: Forgetting Piece by Piece.” He never made it into the cut of 52 quilts that have been traveling the US the last 3 years. Why? Because I didn’t read the guidelines. The quilt was suppose to be no larger than 60″, I read this little notation “after” the juggler was finished. Talk about feeling stupid, he’s 70″ tall.
So “The Juggler” has been hanging out with me the last few years. I wanted him to find a new home. He visited Texas for awhile, but no one wanted him to stay. So they sent him back to his mom. And so we hung out for awhile more. Usually, he stayed in my guest room visiting with the “other” quilts who are looking for new homes.
Then, about 3 months ago, I brought him to Linderella’s Quilt Works in Pinehurst, NC. I teach at Linderella’s and owner’s Linda and Carl Sullivan accepted the visiting Juggler to help advertise the Priority Art Quilt Challenge we were having at the shop.
Yesterday a lovely women from Alexandria, VA who was visiting Linderella’s asked if she could “adopt” the Juggler and take him home with her. Today, I presented her with a price and she accepted. The Juggler is now on his way to a new home. Since the Juggler was made for AAQI, the money was given directly to them for the adoption. I did not feel right accepting any commission on this piece and neither did Linderella’s.
I can tell the Juggler is loved. He has a wall waiting for him in Alexandria. I am in tears thinking of this. He was made for a purpose and it took almost 3 years to find it. I needed this right now. AAQI needs this right now. And I think his new adoptive mom needs this right now.
I have just experienced the power of “my” art. I’m re-juvenated.
48 1/2” x 70″
by Nanette Strucinski Zeller
As a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative, a program that began in January 2006 by Ami Sims from Flint, Michigan, I became very aware of the statistics related to Alzheimer’s disease. My involvement with the Initiative had me contemplating my own mortality with the disease. My parents died young, without being afflicted by Alzheimer’s, but my mother’s brother has been diagnosed with the disease. Do I have a chance of developing it too?
This quilt is a visual interpretation of a Gallup poll commissioned by the Alzheimer’s Association. The poll states that 1 in 10 Americans have a family member with Alzheimer’s (light purple ball) and 1 in 3 knew someone with the disease (dark purple balls). The silhouetted juggler represents any one of us as we face the odds of developing Alzheimer’s disease. We feel isolated as if we are entering a tunnel of darkness. The bright light of normalcy shines behind us and the darkness of the disease lies ahead. We feel caution in our movements fearful not to stumble or destroy our rhythm of activity. Will Alzheimer’s affect our lives personally and force us to move forward into the darkness? Or will our juggling act get interrupted and we find the one ball remaining belongs to someone dear to our hearts? We all juggle the chances.