DREAMS COME TRUE| Part 1 of 3

The linchpin of my life to all further action towards creativity and all other pursuits begins with the Plain White T's


HOW IT ALL BEGAN...

An ongoing passion project of mine first took to fruition in the Summer of 2011. Inspired by a string of serendipitous events that led me to blindly fly to Chicago, Illinois to attempt to meet the Plain White T's, I wanted to create something sparked from that adventure that would not only reciprocate the sentiments of that journey, which was all about dreams coming true, but would serve as a grand gesture to say thank you to the band that helped me to realized my dreams. For a long time I struggled with pursuing creativity, because the message that I'd grown to believe was that from a financial standpoint, there was no real future in that. My perspective didn't waver, however, until I happened to see the Plain White T's perform one night in Charleston, SC in 2010. They were on tour with their album, Wonders of the Younger- an album that I connected with right away not only because the sound of the entire album was so far and so different from their 2006 hit, Hey There Delilah,  but because the message of the album delivered tones of reconnecting with your youth and all the hopes and dreams you have and hope to fulfill as a kid. I met the band briefly after their set that night to tell them how great I thought they were, but left for home without expressing to them how inspired I was by their new album. I had a strong inkling to ask them if I could photograph them the next time they happened to be in Charleston. 

I looked up when their next show was. Threw out all hope of really ever seeing them again because flying to Chicago to ask the band a question seemed a little ridiculous. But the more I sat on it and thought about it- the more desire I had to go. In the weeks that followed, there were a few things that I came across that gave me the courage and push to go find out what would come of it. There was a fortune cookie- and I swear, this is the only time one of these has ever done anything for me- it read: a horoscope that read: Strategize and play it safe. There is plenty of opportunity to  if you make the right decisions. A birthday card: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Hearing the song Irrational Anthem through, I went to church for the first time in a little over two years and the sermon was about following your dreams, because: "the absence of a dream is the most dangerous thing". I remember just starting my first semester at the College of Charleston around this time and was concerned that I would be missing some class time to fly to Chicago on a lark. So I sat at the airport, and get a voicemail from the college expressing that classes had been cancelled because Hurricane Irene was passing through around that time- seriously?!?

Everything happens for a reason- I'm a firm believer in this. And though, there is no telling whether I would have chosen a creative path on my own, I will say that the next few years of my life would not have been nearly as interesting as its played out to be, because I really do credit all the events that happened post Chicago (including the cycling tour itself and all the magic that came with it) to be because I took a leap of faith into the unknown. 

 
Let your mind go anywhere it whats to
Make your wildest wish and watch it come true
Some how somewhere we forgot
Cowboys Indians astronauts
All the dreams we could not hold on to...


Pledge of allegiance everybody stand up
This is a Irrational Anthem
We don’t care if they don’t understand us ...
— "irrational Anthem" by The Plain White T's
 First solo trip to Illinois to try to meet the Plain White T's. Self portrait at Millineum Park, Chicago, Il - August 2010

First solo trip to Illinois to try to meet the Plain White T's. Self portrait at Millineum Park, Chicago, Il - August 2010


DREAMS COME TRUE| Part 2 of 3

Where's Murray: A way to say thank-you

 All participating artists for the event were asked to wear Zissou costumes. Artist identification cards themed after the Life Aquatic. 

All participating artists for the event were asked to wear Zissou costumes. Artist identification cards themed after the Life Aquatic. 

 Muralist, Crosby Jack, paints a live mural of Bill Murray in a submarine during the art show for Where's Murray.

Muralist, Crosby Jack, paints a live mural of Bill Murray in a submarine during the art show for Where's Murray.

 The submarine on display at Where's Murray art show in Charleston, SC.

The submarine on display at Where's Murray art show in Charleston, SC.

 The construction of the submarine from The Life Aquatic. Chicken wire frame, paper mache, spray foam, plaster, paint.

The construction of the submarine from The Life Aquatic. Chicken wire frame, paper mache, spray foam, plaster, paint.


DREAMS COME TRUE| Part 3 of 3

The Summer of Bill: A second shot at fulfilling a dream


Detail 2

I never imagined that I would have another opportunity to host a second production of the "Where's Murray" art show. The first installation was only made possible with the help of King Dusko, who not only graciously donated their venue, they allowed me complete creative freedom with what I wanted to do with the space. Since the venues closure, there was neither the space nor funds to have another art show, so the thought of "Where's Murray" ever having the chance to make a second appearance didn't seem likely. Three years later, however,  sometime after I had returned from cycling across the country, I was contacted by the Creative Director of The Charleston Music Hall, Charles Carmody, who was interested in collaborating. His idea was to spend three months over the course of the Summer of 2017 to premier four classic Bill Murray films: The Life Aquatic, Caddy Shack, Ghostbusters, and Lost in Translation. It wasn't until Murray himself was contacted, that the selected screenings expanded to include some of Murray's box office failures upon his request: Rushmore, Broken Flowers, and Razor's Edge. Knowing that I had put together the "Where's Murray" art show a few years back, Carmody got in touch because he thought that incorporating some of the elements from the first production would be a suiting fit for the film series that he had planned for the Summer.

My job was to brainstorm and develop a concept for the visual space of the venue while working under a budget, draft artist submission guidelines and regulations for submitting art work for the show, and maintain communication with the Creative Director to maintain clarity throughout the production process. It was a relief to have the thought of promotion, marketing, and sales off my plate entirely for this show so that the focus of what I was aiming to contribute could solely be invested in the creative components of the event. There was a lot that I learned and took away from with having organized the first Murray art show back in 2014- adding the submission guidelines was a crucial and significant part of the addition. So with the launch of this show, I not only saw it as an opportunity to put into effect everything that I learned from planning Where's Murray, but to also, perhaps, attempt to fulfill a dream that I had started with Where's Murray- The Plain White T's and Bill had to come to the show!

Getting Tom (Plain White T's frontman) to commit to show was pretty easy. I was more concerned with the unpredictable nature of Bill Murray all I could do was  

 

 

 Approximately six feet in length, the Jaguar Shark from  The Life Aquatic  is crafted from a chicken wire frame, yellow and white material, cotton batting, yarn, and felt for the Summer of Bill film screening at the Charleston Music Hall. 

Approximately six feet in length, the Jaguar Shark from The Life Aquatic is crafted from a chicken wire frame, yellow and white material, cotton batting, yarn, and felt for the Summer of Bill film screening at the Charleston Music Hall. 

 Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation". 24x36 Oil on Canvas. 

Bill Murray in "Lost in Translation". 24x36 Oil on Canvas. 

 The entryway to the art gallery for the Summer of Bill features a 24ft hand dyed canvas backdrop with images of an aquatic scene hand painted to fit the theme of  The Life Aquatic . The floating letters, crafted from foam core, spray paint, and chicken wire, hang just in front of the the canvas to add to the visual theme.   

The entryway to the art gallery for the Summer of Bill features a 24ft hand dyed canvas backdrop with images of an aquatic scene hand painted to fit the theme of The Life Aquatic. The floating letters, crafted from foam core, spray paint, and chicken wire, hang just in front of the the canvas to add to the visual theme.   

 Tom Higgenson, frontman of the Plain White T's made a special appearance for the second run of the Bill Murray art show at the Charleston Music Hall.- August, 2017

Tom Higgenson, frontman of the Plain White T's made a special appearance for the second run of the Bill Murray art show at the Charleston Music Hall.- August, 2017

Tom was stoked hear that a second production was in the works and made the time to fly out to Charleston to catch the last show at the Music Hall.