I just had the pleasure of writing a LookSEE review of Emmy Bright's show at Quirk Gallery. Each day, I am surrounded by artists and art makers. I love art and collect it myself. I give my two cents (wanted or not) on art in progress every day. However, writing about an art exhibition is not something I do often.
At Studio Two Three, we are in the business of helping people find that thing they love and make it. We are in the business of connecting artists to communities, artists to each other, people to their passion and to their power to express themselves as makers, individuals, advocates and activists. We are in the nonprofit business of serving the public trust and making sure that our funds, our activities and our programs make our community, our city, and our world a better place every single day.
This business - and the corresponding responsibility and trust - is the very reason Studio Two Three exists. It is this business that makes my heart full. Because of this business - and the existence of Studio Two Three - I get to work with/alongside/in awe of people like Emmy Bright. The LookSEE review was an attempt to capture the impact of Emmy's work.
This post is an attempt to capture the magic of working alongside someone who has found that thing they love and is making it - and helping others do the same. It's an attempt to show just how very important artists and creatives are.
Emmy is the person who walks into a room - or a 13,000 square foot studio - and lights it up with her energy, production, spirit and love. Emmy is the person who fills print racks with new work and others with new drive. She is the person you try gamely to convince to "just stay here, Richmond needs you!" while knowing that she has much work to do in Detroit and that once you've connected, that connection will always be.
Emmy is the person who mails Studio Two Three a sweet note in January packaged with gummy bears from Detroit (really really good gummy bears). And those gummy bears are wrapped in a misprint as packaging. A misprint that you diligently un-crumple, flatten out and hang up so that you can can bask in the joy and angst and brilliance that is Emmy Bright.
Emmy is the person whose slightly-belated Valentine card arrives in the midst of planning anti gun violence workshops with bereaved high school students, Moms Demand Action, and Richmond Teachers for Social Justice. A well-timed reminder that in making things with our hands and saying things with our voices, we are change agents/art makers using what we have to do everything in our power to make a better world.
Emmy has found that thing she loves and is making it - and inspiring so many others to do the same.