How to Begin

October 19, 2016 by Jess

I have now lived in Concord for three weeks, and I am still overwhelmed by many things. Firstly, the sheer beauty of this very warm and colorful October. I have made a habit of walking to the Sleepy Hollow Burial Ground, up on the hill over Monument Square, to sit and read amongst the falling yellow leaves and the weathered tombstones. I look forward to strolling onto Main Street when the snow falls, and I imagine the stillness that I have come to associate with New England winter.

Secondly, I am overwhelmed by the kindness of the community at the Umbrella. Everyone I have met has been incredibly welcoming. It is surreal for complete strangers to introduce themselves and say, “I love your work”, when just a few months ago my entire audience consisted of just my classmates and my parents. I can’t wait to hear more stories from these artists, students, and administrators; people who believe in the importance of the arts just as much as I do.

I am overwhelmed by my new freedom, having just completed my undergraduate education in May. Without professors to prompt me, my art making seems limitless, to a fault. I have infinite ideas and images streaming though my head at all times. It becomes more difficult to see one artwork through to completion when my brain has already begun another. I can’t wait to focus on a new series that will consume my creative thoughts and help me focus on fully experiencing my time in this community.

Finally, I am completely overcome with gratitude. I could never have dreamed of being so lucky. I am presented with an opportunity to live and work in a beautiful town, among a creative and inspiring community of artists. I plan to spend my year here at the Umbrella celebrating this community in my artwork, because after only a few weeks, I can tell that this place is truly, truly special.  

written by Meghan Murray, 2016-2017 Artist-in-Residence

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