Saturday, June 27, 2009

Hydrant Hysteria: Part II

On May 20th the fates changed in my favor. I was going through the mail at the office I noticed something from the Downtown Improvement District (sponsors of this whole shebang). I immediately opened it and then ran to my co-worker/partner in design’s office to show her the good news. We then proceeded to inform every other staff member of our success.

She recommended going home to see if I’d heard about my other designs. But I come to work at 8:30 and leave at 4:30, none of this in between crap. So by the time I left for home I’d pretty much forgotten about it. And then remembering, soon found myself delighted to be have had ALL 3 of my designs selected! Whoa.

Unfortunately Jo supposedly sent in a design of her own that was not selected (she never showed it to me). So I felt a bit bad being so excited about mine. But all 3….wow that’s crazy.

There was a reception for all of the artists on June 3rd. I tried to find someone to go with me, but to no avail. I steeled myself for the awkwardness that is me at socializing type events.

This also meant that I had to drive downtown. As a general rule I don’t go downtown. The exception being for concerts. So I have my well established route down to the Forum and back home. I also occastional go to one other performing arts venue, but I park in the parking garage (and lose my car) every time.

Downtown I went. And I even found street parking! It was pretty spectacular. I procured my materials including the locations of my hydrants. One of my former co-workers was there so I stood around awkwardly for a while hoping he would finish the conversation he was in then I could talk to him. It was to avail and after a bit I determined that I’d had enough and went to leave. However he had seen me and so quickly caught up with me and we chatted a bit before I returned home.

The materials I received there gave me the locations of the hydrants.

They seemed good. I was excited.

[to be continued.....this is a long story]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hydrant Hysteria

Sometime in April I came across some publicity that my city was having what they called “Hydrant Hysteria”. There were 58 hydrants in the downtown district that would be available to be painted. Artists and community members were invited to submit design proposals for the hydrants.

I thought it would be the most awesome thing ever to paint something, in the public, that is more or less permanent. And so my idea was to make as many designs as possible and submit them thereby giving us (I sucked Jo in) a better chance of being selected.

However as a good many of my plans go, this one fell to the wayside. The deadline (May 1) approached and designs had not been made. Then in a rather last ditch effort I spent an evening making two designs.

The first was my original idea: a penguin. I have a mild obsession with penguins, but as a card carrying member of the Secret Society of Penguins, I feel this is perfectly acceptable. Also it should be noted that “we were penguins before it was cool”. This was the result:

SSO Penguin (see how I snuck in my SSOP reference)
A bit lame but it’s mostly just an inside joke with me and my h.s. friends.

Then I worked on my awesome idea that had suddenly struck me that day or the day before. I had been trying to think of something that would tie into the city itself somehow. And I noticed this picture:

Supreme Court Dome
My city is the state capitol and that is the Supreme Court Dome in the capitol building. I’m a big fan of slightly abstract repetitive patterns and so I went for it:

Supreme Cournt Dome

I loved it.

Now I was torn as to what I should submit. The penguin had significantly more personal value to me, but the dome was just a lot better looking and I liked it as well. So I decided that decisions were no fun and submitted both a day or two before the deadline.

A few weeks prior to the deadline I had mentioned to one of my co-workers about the whole thing. She had heard about it from another co-worker and the concensus was that the Symphony should submit a design. However spring is a ridiculously busy time here and so nothing ever became of it….until April 30.

That evening I once again stayed up late with my random drawing supplies and used the ideas that she and I had bounced back and forth to create a 3rd design:

Symphony Under the Stars

It turned out well. And I mailed it the next day.

All in all I was nervous. I couldn’t decide if I thought that no one would hear about it and I’d have a really good chance of being chosen or if my hurried attempts at being an artist would be in vain. Although I did have high hopes for the Symphony as the design turned out well and frankly we are a fairly major institution in this town.

Anxiously I waited for the listed May 15th deadline of when artists would be informed of success. The 15th came and went and I heard nothing. In fact that weekend I was downtown working the last concert of the season. There was a primed hydrant right outside of the venue that just sat there taunting me. I was sad.

[to be continued]

Monday, June 8, 2009


I have decided to once again attempt to revitalize this blog.

Recent things I want to post on:
Hydrant Hysteria

Wish me luck.