Our first VAWAA Live last Saturday was a reunion of strangers. Meeting your creative brothers and sisters from around the world for the first time could pose as intimidating. The VAWAA family welcomed each other with open arms. Artists, guests, members, supporters alike came together to connect and share during the pandemic.
We began with a simple question - In one word, how are you feeling? Hopeful. Sad. Confused. Lonely. Creative. Inspired. Tired. Excited. Anxious. Curious. It goes without saying that we have all at some point felt all of these emotions during our respective quarantines. This was the first connection our family shared with each other - feeling a lot of feelings and being okay with it. This kicked us off for deeper discussion...
We heard from VAWAA Founder Geetika as she described how the unknown we are currently experiencing can be compared to the unknown we face during any creative process or our travel adventures. Helen expressed the transition into the virtual world acts as a source of travel. Johannes from Beijing described how his sculpting creative process has dealt with disruption when pieces of clay fall off, much like our usual routines. Cat stressed the importance of accepting failed plans and going with the flow (from her hammock). Candy’s current drawing project reflects her knitting sanctuary, thus using one artform to inspire a new one.
We saw a peek into two beautiful studios, Clarissa’s in Philadelphia which is filled with encaustic paintings and Gretha’s in South Africa whose paintings of the sea required silence in order to listen to the soul. “Celebrate the now” is Anastasia’s new motto. Silver linings of this situation were prompted after viewing Kerry’s “We Are One” drawing which proves that this crisis can divide while also equalize society as we are all sharing the same feelings. She used intentional creativity to work through challenges. Clare’s panoramic views of a medieval town in Italy’s rolling hills gave everyone a (virtual) breath of fresh air. Jamie spoke to creating in a makeshift space and focusing on the positive opportunity this presents. We finished up with Janine’s colorful paintings inspired by her various travels, that will soon be made into a book.
And suddenly… we were no longer strangers. Just a family full of creators and adventurers who longed for a reunion we didn’t know we needed.
While our VAWAA family had people virtually joining from the Philippines, South Africa, Italy, Spain, the U.S., Israel, China, and many other countries, there are similarities that bring us all together. We are having a shared experience of loneliness, confusion, and frustration. But amidst these feelings, they are combated with creative spirit, fresh inspiration, and forward thinking. The connectivity we experienced on Saturday is proof that our global family is fighting hard for the positive to outshine the negative and I think we are doing a pretty damn good job. :)
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