The American Dream in Postage Stamps

Liberty Flame

To know my immigrant story, watch Fiddler On The Roof. My ancestors, peasants in Poland, died in Auschwitz and arrived thru Ellis Island to begin again. I imagine, as their ships entered New York harbor, they wept seeing the Statue of Liberty, just like in the movies. Which is why I felt so touched when my oldest friend, Mark, visited my studio with his grandfather’s precious stamp collection.

Mark handed me a stack of baby blue notebooks, each filled with a colorful trove bearing witness to his grandfather’s lust for life. I stood mesmerized by the luminous physical beauty of these objects dating back 50 years or more. Each told a story from a faraway place. “Are you sure one of these isn’t worth a million bucks?” I asked. “Nope,” Mark said, eyes ablaze, “just turn them into a piece that represents the American immigrant experience.” And so began the most compelling commission I’ve received.

Mark’s heritage mirrors mine, a descendant of Eastern Europeans who crossed the sea to escape persecution and destruction. What’s enchanting about Mark’s grandfather is that despite the darkness in his past, he chose to attack happiness in his success and chase his wanderlust dreams to the far corners of the globe, something his own ancestors could never dream of doing. As Mark Twain said, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Sadly, today only 36% of Americans have a passport … which explains a lot. 

Mark was my college roommate, an accounting student, who unlike myself, locked himself in his room for days studying for his grueling exams. He toiled in school and when he graduated, he kept that pace at work. Thirty years later, he is self made … and now wishes to celebrate the country that allowed him to earn his own hard-fought success. A country that he (and I) love as deeply as his grandfather did. And a country now darkened by hateful, shameless scapegoating of the latest in our series of immigrant arrivals.

The very souvenirs that affirmed Mark and his grandfather’s enlightenment were now in my hands, and my mission was to assemble them to represent what was right with America, so that we all have something to aim at in our fight against what is wrong. 

Every single American is an immigrant.

Even the indigenous peoples walked here from distant lands over the Bering Straits. But what exactly is the American immigrant experience? With the notable exception of the slaves brought against their will, what ties together all American stories is hope. A yearning for a better life. An opportunity to start fresh and thrive.

Senator Jeff Flake, AZ, a conservative Republican about whom I have very mixed feelings, wrote a magnificent op-ed titled, We Need Immigrants With Skills. But Working Hard Is a Skill. In it, Flake describes Manuel, a man who works on Flake’s family farm. “All Manuel had to recommend him was his strength and his belief that America was a place where, by the labor of your hands, you could create a life for yourself. That is all, and that is everything. It is Manuel’s résumé that puts him in the company of so many of the men, women and children from all over the world who, since the beginning of the American experiment, left behind everyone and everything they knew to come to a place they had seen only in their dreams, in the desperate hope of building a life for themselves — and if not for themselves, then for their children. “

My grandfather slept on a mattress stuffed with straw on a dirt floor in a village outside Cracow. His family bought water from a water seller and ate meat once a week, a chicken for the Sabbath meal. He immigrated at sixteen, and like Manuel, his only asset was a willingness to work hard. That fundamental drive evolved into a life as a skilled carpenter and then a building contractor. He sent his sons to school. And I type these words today from a beautiful home as my young sons prepare to go to their fine school.

The American Dream is real.

Coming To America, Acrylic, Antique international stamps, inkjet prints, denim on canvas, 54x164" 2017
Coming To America, Acrylic, antique international stamps, inkjet prints, denim on canvas, 55×165″ 2017

From the Statue of Liberty flame that made my ancestors cry, Mark’s precious stamps-from-everywhere swirl out into the universe, spreading their heat and light and eventually becoming part of the glorious firmament that hovers over us all. It is in this light that we Americans, all Americans, are to be bathed and warmed and assured that one day, the promise of opportunity and democracy will come to us. A life where hard work and honesty pay off. A place where the hate songs cease. And wise men prevail over fools.

Mark – my friend since nursery school … you posed the question, what is the American immigrant experience? The answer is simple – YOU are the American immigrant experience!

Dystopia the Beautiful – My 1st London Exhibition Opens Sep 28 – Oct 13

Burnt Acrylic, American flag and collaged inkjet book cover on canvas, 35" x 19" 2017. AVAILABLE.
Burnt, Acrylic, American flag and inkjet book cover on canvas, 35″ x 19″ 2017. AVAILABLE.

“I’m jus’ pain covered with skin.”
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

My Beautiful America …
What has come of our utopian experiment?
Our chorus of voices?

New paintings sing old songs.
Longing songs.
Shocking songs.

Each a wish.
A soft light
In a dark corner.

Easy on the eyes
Robust, complex, yet
Grieving, burnt and forlorn.

Dystopian American novels.
Shorn of novelty.

Shredded to bits.

Unleashing the hideous truth.
So that we
can make it right.
_______

The Lottery, Acrylic, American flag, inkjet book cover on wood, 12x12" 2017. SOLD.
The Lottery, Acrylic, American flag, inkjet book cover on wood, 12×12″ 2017. SOLD.

In The Lottery by Shirley Jackson, a bucolic American town gathers excitedly once a year to celebrate a longstanding tradition. On a blue-sky day in beautiful park, every man, woman and child waits as one name from the community is selected. The moment the “winner” is announced, everyone, including the family of the winner, picks up a rock and stones the winner to death. Why? Because that’s how it’s always been done. 

 

The Road, Acrylic, American flag, inkjet book cover on wood, 12x12" 2017. AVAILABLE.
The Road, Acrylic, American flag, inkjet book cover on wood, 12×12″ 2017. AVAILABLE.

Cormac McCarthy’s, The Road, is one of the truest love stories ever told between a father and son, not what one would expect from a chilling tale of a society unraveled by apocalyptic anarchy. We never really learn how things got this way, but it appears some “leaders” got a bit trigger happy with the nukes. A man walks down the road with his young boy, reduced to animals trying to find food and water while avoiding murderous, cannibalistic hoards.

 

The Man In The High Castle, Acrylic, American flag, inkjet book cover on wood, 12x12" 2017. AVAILABLE
The Man In The High Castle, Acrylic, American flag, inkjet book cover on wood, 12×12″ 2017. AVAILABLE.

Philip K Dick’s 1962 novel, The Man in the High Castle, presents America if the Axis won WWII and Nazis were in power in Washington. Hmmm.

 

Fahrenheit 451, Acrylic, American flag, inkjet book cover on wood, 12x12" 2017. AVAILABLE.
Fahrenheit 451, Acrylic, American flag, inkjet book cover on wood, 12×12″ 2017. AVAILABLE.

In Chandler’s 1953 masterpiece, Fahrenheit 451, books are illegal and firemen’s jobs are to burn them all. Information is controlled by the government, delivered via large screens in people’s homes. A Pew Research Center survey published in July 2017 revealed that 58% of Republicans believe America’s universities negatively impact the state of the union. In other words, higher education is bad. I do not even understand the question; let alone the answer. 

Fire and Fury, inkjet book cover on frying pan, 2017. AVAILABLE.
Fire and Fury, inkjet book cover on frying pan, 2017. AVAILABLE.

Bleak as the subject matter may be, I cannot overstate my excitement for this show. And am flattered by the galleries description of my practice:

Exhibiting in London is a bucket list item for me. YOU are invited to the Fitzrovia Gallery. Here is your formal invitation. The opening party is Sep 28th and my artist talk is Oct 3. Extra bonus that the show runs during the illustrious Frieze Art Fair. Please share with your friends in London; I will welcome them with open arms, as I shall be in town for a week, keen for adventure. 

“Until you have done something for humanity, you should be ashamed to die.”
Horace Mann, American Educator

When a Dream Comes True – My First Museum Gig!

Not gonna lie, my first rollout at a major museum has me walking on sunshine!!

Only took 17 years. What fills me with glee is how it’s happening … with an idea brought to life with friends and fellow dreamers. A project that celebrates excellence and fearlessness. And shines light on my birthplace, a city I ran from in my late twenties and returned to in my forties, only to find it utterly transformed – from ugly duckling to beautiful swan. So, next Thursday, June 22nd, I’m raising a glass to my town, to my collaborators and to myself, modesty be damned. Join the party live next week at the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) or watch the show on your own time right here:

Meet Your Makers, in collaboration with the rainbow unicorns at The New Tropic and PBS, spotlights the fearless, razor sharp creative minds that populate South Florida. My friendship with these fellow makers affords me a unique and intimate perspective on their practices, what they’ve done and what they’ll do next. Together, we tiptoe into the kitchen and get a lil taste of the secret sauce, as these artists share their motivations and aspirations. The latest episode features Rob Lee, founder of the wonderful open mic, Speak Fridays. Check it out next week on the big screen at PAMM or hit the link above and tell me what you think.

Keep running at your dreams. But remember to stay hydrated … because it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Other ONGOING Exhibitions – Hit me up for a private tour:

America’s Moral Dilemma – thru June 2017 – Downtown Miami – Historic Dupont Bldg lobby

 

Best Books Ever Written – thru September 2017 – Northern Trust Bank – Aventura, FL

Artist March June 14th

We each have a song inside. We just need a bit of courage to sing it.

I co-founded the Worldwide Artist March because, in our so-called post-truth society, talk is cheap (read worthless). So how do we penetrate the minds of the masses and move the needle toward our common decency? Enter the creatives! 

Believe it or not, that means YOU.

On June 14th, Flag Day and Trump’s birthday, we’re asking you to perform any small action – make a poster, write a poem, song, dance, etc.

Take a photo/video, tag it #artistmarch and post it. Bonus points if you Tweet @realDonaldTrump. Let the world know what you want from your leaders and your country. Be clever or serious or both. Just be real. Spit your truth.

You can also join one of the many actual marches taking place across America (Miami, Boston, Kansas City, etc).

We even have a march at Mar-a-Lago. Let’s make enough noise that the powers that be cannot avoid hearing it. Info at artistmarch.org and artistmarch@gmail.com. 

I just returned from an exhibition in Berlin, where I showed new flag paintings and the installation, How Was School Today (which debuted at Macaya Gallery last Fall). In this reflection on the Sandy Hook shooting massacre, I obliterated twenty first-grade chairs with an AR-15 and set them up as a normal classroom, complete with a video and spent bullet casing littering the floor. My aim was to fly under the radar of politics and reach people in their hearts.

Even the local monks were engaged.

A few things struck me about the hundreds of German responses I witnessed:

  1. Unlike we weapon-crazy Americans, gun violence is extremely rare in Germany. Despite the WWII caricatures, most had never held a bullet, let alone known anyone ever shot. The idea of this classroom shooting was simply not in their realm of possibility. And they rightly viewed our culture of ongoing mass shootings as utterly barbaric.
  2. Germans are not only well educated (everyone spoke superb English) but also well-informed about events outside their borders. Every single person expressed shock, dismay and disappointment at America’s current choices. Trump is considered a classless joke. Nobody there understands what we are doing and why re the environment, institutional racism, healthcare and on and on. And this was before Trump’s dumbfounding Twitter tirade against Merkel this past weekend.
  3. The country which propagated one of the most malignant and inhuman propaganda narratives in history now owns their dark past without reservation. Monuments to the Holocaust and other atrocities are central. By being forthright about their mistakes, this once hyper-militant nation has evolved into a peace-loving and humane society willing to tackle intractable issues like immigration like dignified adults. Which begs the question – When are we Americans going to again be the leaders the world wants us to be?
The Success of the Voter Fraud Myth, 96x96" 2016
The Success of the Voter Fraud Myth, 96×96″ 2016

Let’s oil the rusty levers of our democracy!

It starts with our votes and voices and actions. So PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stand up and say something on June 14th. Do something. Be something that means something. And keep it going beyond that day.

Part of my Berlin installation included pre-addressed postcards to US Senators. I asked the enthusiastic audience to write something thoughtful and actionable to US leaders. A great many European voices will be heard in the halls of the US Senate, each offering heartfelt advice on how to actually make America great again.

Germany evolved from fascism and Nazism to the leading democracy on Earth in 75 years.

Let’s hope it doesn’t take us that long to reclaim that title. 

 

 

Go Find Yourself, Go Fund Yourself

My father at my Bay Area opening 2015. Standing before the piece he inspired - BEST BOOKS EVER WRITTEN - THANK YOU DAD, acrylic, inkjet book covers, paper, oil crayon on canvas, 60"x136", 2015
My father before the Best Books Ever Written piece he inspired – Thank You Dad, acrylic, book covers, paper, oil crayon on canvas, 60″x136″, 2015

My dad represents what is right about America. Born to immigrant parents, he grew up poor in Miami, attended state college for a pittance, served in the Army, then started his climb up the professional mountain. He eventually started his own construction company, Florida Fill, and made a decent living until Florida’s whipsaw economy got the better of him. But it was this “failure” that exposed what I consider one of his great successes. As he shuttered his business, he faced a difficult choice: make his final payroll or tell all his people who’d been with him forever and who’d toiled to earn that check, sorry, but the till is empty (which it was). Though he had no legal obligation to do so, my father cashed in his own retirement to make that final payroll, leaving him with very little as he faced a dark and uncertain future. He searched his soul and found himself … in lieu of funding himself. 

America's Moral Dilemma, Mixed media site-specific installation, currently on display in Miami's Historic Dupont Building lobby, 2017.
America’s Moral Dilemma, 2017, Mixed media site-specific installation, currently on display in Miami’s Historic Dupont Building lobby. Come to the opening Monday, March 13, 5-7pm. Email me for details. 

In my most recent site-specific installation, America’s Moral Dilemma, stacks of literary criticism text books invite us to spend some time pondering how our nation’s story shifted so drastically, to one of profit at any cost.

IMG_3371Just last week, the new regime at the EPA voted to relax clean water standards. This is not a liberal or conservative issue; dumping industrial poison into our drinking sources is a basic human health issue. I’m all for minimizing bureaucracy and maximizing profits, but let’s not commit suicide in the process. Back in the 80s, I was actually there, as part of the Wall Street guys selling his casino bonds, when our current president used every trick in the bankruptcy book to get out from under his bad business decisions. All of it was legal. But was it right? What would my dad do? What would you do?

On a lighter note, it’s been a busy week. In collaboration with my good friends at The New Tropic, my series, Meet Your Makers, debuted on PBS as a segment in the show Art Loft. This episode features my soul brother and art beast, Typoe. Check it out above and tell me what you think.

One of the new flag works debuting at my opening this week at the Miami Beach JCC. The Artful Activist The Artful Activist is a blog where artists, activists and gallerists can express their views on social and environmental issues. Articles/story ideas can be submitted to theartfulactivist@gmail.com or the Submit link. His work is making resistance irresistible. AN INTERVIEW WITH MIAMI ARTIST & WRITER STUART SHELDON 3.6.17 | By Melanie Oliva I first stepped into Stuart Sheldon’s “whorled” world at Fancy Nasty two years ago during Art Basel. Stuart and his collaborators transformed a soon-to-be-demolished house in Morningside into a gold-gilded art installation. image My husband and I talked about it for days. It was one of those experiences that made an impact on how I viewed art, collaboration and their limitless potential when combined. I didn’t expect my path to cross with Stuart’s again, but thankfully it did. The winding road I traveled when forming The Artful Activist was complete with signs telling me where to go. I know enough now to follow them without resisting. Funny that this path of least resistance led me to Stuart and others whose work is most about resistance. One sign on my journey was so large it was a billboard. Through a mutual connection, I was led to artist Michele Pred, who created a powerful set of thought-provoking billboards last November. They were sponsored by For Freedoms, the first artist-run super-PAC. Several weeks later, while walking through Wynwood on a solo stroll, I found myself in front of Stuart’s mural, also sponsored by For Freedoms. Finally after ending up in Macaya Gallery’s space at SCOPE, where his I’m With The Banned series was featured, I decided to connect with Stuart. I’m so glad I did. image It’s not only Stuart Sheldon’s work that is so inspiring, but also his work ethic. He seems incredibly driven to expose the truths that many cannot see, via his artwork and eloquence. Many communities are lucky to benefit from Stuart’s generous, collaborative spirit, including The Artful Activist. ***** How do you describe yourself & what you do? Metaphorically, I’m a chef who finds deep pleasure in the cooking and even greater satisfaction knowing others find meaning, provocation and nourishment in the eating. What inspired you to get involved in political art? What was your journey like? My friend, the poet Aja Monet, said it best recently, “It is the duty of artists to make revolution irresistible.” My art has always been intention-based, aimed at manifesting specific outcomes in my personal journey. Early on I painted to find a soul mate, then to have a child. Now, the pitiful state of humanity weighs so deeply on my heart and mind, that I no longer feel compelled to save myself as much as to save the world. What specific issues do you address with your artwork? My issues are truth and fairness. My fight is to perfect democracy so that equality becomes implicit. My recent exhibition, I’m With The Banned, focused on the corrosive power of false narratives in political discourse, specifically relating to: The Myth of Voter Fraud – which has been used to disenfranchise millions, and though statistically non-existent, is believed to be a problem by 40% of Americans Censorship – books have changed my life and when we ban profound works of literature, we stunted progress and wisdom in our society Gun Sense Laws – how do we dispel the baffling notion that any safety-driven restriction of access, no matter how reasonable, is a violation of our 2nd Amendment rights? image image Have you witnessed your work change or open minds? I’m With The Banned opened purposely two weeks before the 2016 election – lot of good that did. I do believe my work fuels respectful conversation. The challenge now is getting it out of the echo chamber of my reality and in front of those who do NOT share my worldview. That’s when the work can move the needle and hopefully build bridges. You’re extremely prolific and determined. What keeps you going? I revel in the making process, watching something evolve from a revelation to a sketch to an actual thing with layers of meaning. I feel privileged to wake each day able to explore my thoughts in a variety of media, be it painting, installation, magazine columns, my blog. I slogged it out for a long time, as a sales guy and an aspiring artist, so now that people are actually paying attention, my appreciation level is red-lining. I just installed a site-specific work in the lobby of the Dupont Building in downtown Miami. I’m eager to do more of this type of work, that responds to events in real time. My newest project is a TV series called Meet Your Makers coming out this month on PBS. Watch for it on the show Art Loft. image image Who have you collaborated with (individuals, collectives and/or organizations)? Harry Truman really nailed it when he said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” My practice has always been rooted in sharing strengths. I love the genius unicorns at The New Tropic who are my co-conspirators on Meet Your Makers. I was honored when For Freedoms, America’s only artist-run Super-PAC, invited me to join their 100-foot mural activation in Wynwood for the election. I had a blast making Fancy Nasty with my good friends at Primary Projects and The Fountainhead. I’m off to Berlin in May to join forces with a group of cutting-edge digital philosophers called re:publica to present my gun-sense installation and video, “How Was School Today.” And the pipeline for some yet-to-be-announced collaborations is full. Tell us about your experience with finding gallery representation. It’s easy. Just toil in obscurity for fifteen years. And the moment you stop giving a shit, and your work matures, galleries start calling you. What advice do you have for artists? Activists? Gallerists? The only advice I have for a creative person is to be true to what lies in the deepest part of you. THAT is your truth and that is the most interesting, inspired and inspiring thing you have to say. Say it loud and unapologetically. What is your biggest fear about the next four years? How do you respond to that fear & what would you like to tell people who may also be fearful? Life in America is Orwellian right now. Up is down. Black is white. Just this week, the new regime at the EPA voted to relax clean water standards. This is not a liberal or conservative issue; it’s a basic human health issue. And it’s emblematic of the wave of false narratives gutting the soul of America, in this case that “regulations” are inherently bad and profitability trumps poisonous water. I’m all for minimizing bureaucracy, but let’s not commit suicide in the process. Let’s be clear, I am afraid … that our country has been hijacked by bad actors who lack compassion and have mastered the game of messaging. Whoever controls the message controls the future. image image Tell us about your show opening this Thursday, March 9th. What do you want viewers to take away from it? Who do you most hope it reaches? In the work I’m exploring right now, I cut American flags to shreds, deconstruct and then reconstruct them into beautiful new forms. This is both a call to folks to take action, any action, which makes them part of the solution to our current crises. And my wish for our country – that we survive these dark times and come out the other side with an even brighter future. In addition to these flag works, select pieces from both my recent series, I’m with The Banned and The Best Books Ever Written, will be displayed. So you get a juicy taste of what I’ve been cooking up the past two years. The exhibition opens March 9th, 7:30-10pm and runs through March 30th - Miami Beach JCC, 4221 Pine Tree Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140. For more info, contact gallery director Karen Sepsenwol karen@mbjcc.org, 305.534.3206 x214.
One of the new flag works debuting at my Miami Beach opening Thur, March 9th, 7:30-10p! Thru March 31th – Miami Beach JCC, 4221 Pine Tree Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33140. For more info, contact gallery director Karen Sepsenwol karen@mbjcc.org, 305.534.3206 x214.

I also have a solo show opening tonite (March 9th) in Miami Beach. It features American flags cut to shreds, deconstructed and then reconstructed into beautiful new forms. This is my wish for our country – that we survive these dark times and come out the other side with an even brighter future. 

MiamiBchJCCInvite

My friend, the poet Aja Monet, recently said, “It is the duty of artists to make revolution irresistible.” I must admit I am angst-ridden trying to figure how to do this – to Find Myself AND Fund Myself simultaneously. To build bridges … and light a fire under others to do likewise. For starters, a percentage of my art sales this month will be donated to the ACLU and Anti-Defamation League. Hopefully, that still leaves money for me to enjoy the fruits of my labors.

While that alone is clearly not enough, I believe that’s what my dad would do.

All-star year?

Friday Night Lights

Friday Night Lights

In the Emmy-winning series, Friday Night Lights, actress Connie Britton slays as a smart woman in a dumb town. In Dillon, TX, where high school football is religion, she’s the sexy school principal working to be seen as more than the coach’s wife. The been-there-done-that parent managing a hormone-charged teen girl. The rock of her family. In other words, she’s the person we all hope to be. We’ve been binge-watching for weeks.   

2002 Breast Cancer Event w Connie Brtitton
Fighting breast cancer w Connie Britton, DJ Shissla and friends, 2002

Rewind to 2002, long before Britton’s Hollywood A-List onslaught, when she was just starting to get her acting mojo and was the guest of honor at a San Francisco charity event supporting breast cancer. My friend, Janice, the event producer and a breast cancer survivor, invited me to donate a work of art to the silent auction. I offered this yellow NOW painting.

NOW - Big Bam, Acrylic on canvas, 40x30" 2002
NOW – Big Bam, Acrylic on canvas, 40×30″ 2002

I’d shown my work very little at this point. This series of silhouettes, my shout-out to the universe for a soul mate and the first serious body of work I’d ever made, was just coming into its own. The piece stood on an easel, on a roof deck, beneath a brisk, starry NorCal sky. Music played. Hors d’oeuvres passed. Britton mingled.

Britton w Ed Burns in The Brothers McMullen 1995
Britton w Ed Burns in The Brothers McMullen 1995

With just five minutes left in the auction, I noticed several people had bid for my piece, including Britton, whose $500 topped the list. She walked over to the bid table with Janice, a few paces from where I stood chatting with a collector couple who’d purchased the very first piece I ever sold, a few months earlier.

Connie scanned the bids, looked at her watch and said in a hushed yet firm voice to Janice, “Just make sure I get that painting.” My friends and I exchanged raised eyebrows, each recognizing this small, sidebar moment as notable. A single yet bright light affirming that I was moving in the right direction down the dark street of life as a creative. If the co-star of the quiet masterpiece, The Brothers McMullen, just gave me props, perhaps the life choices I made to get here weren’t ridiculous after all. My collector friends silently high-fived me, pleased by their own recent decision to acquire my work. 

ConnieBrittonEmmy

Connie did indeed get that yellow painting. And I heard later that she hung it over her bed. This deepened my soul satisfaction further, because:

1) One’s bed is sacred ground, an indisputable place of honor for any artwork.

2) Britton’s party date and boyfriend at the time was Christopher Lawford, son of actor Peter Lawford. Peter Lawford was not only a member of Sinatra’s Ratpack but was JFK’s brother-in-law, having been married to the president’s sister, Patricia Kennedy. I found secret pleasure in the notion that this ravishing strawberry-haired thespian and a bona fide Kennedy were making what Shakespeare called “the beast with two backs” neath the soulful gaze of my aspirant silhouette.

God Bless America!

America's Moral Dilemma, Books, Shelves, Acrylic paint, found objects. Dimensions Variable, 2017. Current Site-specific installation in Downtown Miami's historic Dupont Building lobby
America’s Moral Dilemma, 2017. Current Site-specific installation in Downtown Miami’s historic Dupont Building lobby

“Just make sure I get that painting.”

Those seven words still fill me up. One tiny sentence. One massively telling instance. 

Most of us enjoy far too few of these. And when they do happen, we don’t acknowledge or even recognize them for what they are – split atoms … releasing the nuclear capability we all have inside. So, the next time you enjoy a small success, an affirmation, a clear-pitched moment, stop and pat yourself on the back. Let the light shimmer in the depth of your stomach and outward through your skin. Because you work hard! And we’ll all need that light when the street darkens again. 

Connie Britton
Britton starring in the huge recent TV hit, Nashville

Connie, I haven’t seen you since that evening 15 years ago, but if you get this message, Thanks for the vote of confidence when I needed it. Love your work too! Please keep it coming.