Tag: Artist Residency

It's not easy to move an artist and five cats.

Fabulous Five
Drawing by BZTAT

As I shared in a previous post, I was offered an Artist Residency that truly lives up to its name. I am to “reside” in a neighborhood in Canton to engage other residents in creative projects that enhance their community. The neighborhood is called The Boulevards, and I have been moving into a house there for a couple of weeks now.

I will be sharing a lot about those creative projects in this space as the year goes on. At the moment, though, it is a bit difficult to focus on the meta aspects of the program’s future goals. That’s because I am up to my eyeballs in the micro details of moving.

I can’t be in two places at once, so I am closing the Creative Ohio Gallery (where I had my studio) at the same time as I am moving my home. That means I have had to move twice as much stuff, and I am still working at it.

I have moved many times in my life and it is never easy, but as you grow older it is much more difficult. First of all, your body is not as well equipped for the rigors of carrying stuff up and down stairs as it once was. Second, you seem to have accumulated a lot more stuff to move over time. And third, you seem to have accumulated more cats than you ever planned to have.

The first two are pretty self explanatory. It’s just plain grueling and physically taxing to move when you are older. But why does the number of cats matter?

All cats have adjustment issues when they move, just like people do. But mine push it to the limit. Especially Okey, who tends to be fearful and skittish anyway.

Okey has had a tough time, requiring that I keep her in the bedroom to help her feel safe. She’s coming along and will be venturing out of her “safe space” soon, but it has been a slow process for her.

Noah has been hiding a lot and only coming out when he knows I’m done moving, unpacking and rearranging things. Slick has had moments where she gets a bit befuddled, as her age has left her eyesight and hearing somewhat impaired. Brewskie and Who seemed to have adjusted the best, although they have their moments too.

We will all adjust soon, I am certain. It is a challenging time for all of us, but I think we are all going to enjoy our new home once we get settled in.

I hope to be creating fun stuff in my new studio and sharing stories of the Boulevards projects soon. In the meantime, we’ll take it one day at a time as we forge ahead with the process of creating a new home in our new neighborhood. Life certainly is an adventure!

Resident Artist BZTAT – Neighborhood Development through the Arts

House Drawing by BZTAT
Art by BZTAT

It is a simple house. Not that much to it – your basic Rust Belt city neighborhood house.

Don’t be fooled, though. It is about to become the hub of extraordinary activity.

It is about to become my home and studio, and also a place to inspire creativity in others.

For two years, I have been working with the Community Building Partnership of Stark County, Inc., creating projects for their Art in Neighborhoods program. The program is designed to revitalize neighborhoods by encouraging community and involvement through the arts.

The program has been so successful, they are taking it to a new level with an Artist Residency program. Artists will receive a stipend enabling them to live in designated neighborhoods in exchange for monthly art programming with residents designed to create “image-building end-use art projects”.

Today they announced that I will be their first Resident Artist! I am thrilled!

Boulevards neighborhood public art by BZTAT

Over the next couple of weeks, I will be moving from my apartment in the Canton Arts District into a house in the northeast Canton Boulevards neighborhood.

It is the same neighborhood in which I have been working for the last two years on public art projects.

I moved to the Canton Arts District 7 years ago with a similar mission – to help revitalize the downtown area through the arts. There is still much to be accomplished with that mission, but it seems like a good time for me to move on to something new and exciting.

I plan to develop a studio space in my new home where I can invite neighbors in to create and learn and enjoy each others’ company as we find ways to make our neighborhood a wonderful place to live. It is already a great neighborhood with people who care about their homes and look out for each other. I look forward to working with my new neighbors to make it the envy of other Canton neighborhoods!

I hope that you will follow along with me as my cats and I embark on this new adventure. Stay tuned for many fun stories ahead!