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]

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