These are strange times, We are all doing what we can to get through this. I know I can help others by sparking art.
I realized that people around the world are experiencing feelings of disappointment all at the same time. All events with family and friends are cancelled. I think it could be the first time there has been such a universal feeling.
Sharing your sadness and the ways of dealing with all the changes can be helpful. I am launching a new art project, Keys to Coping. People of all ages can join in this project with a postcard created on paper or created digitally.
What are you missing and how are you coping?
Share your disappointments or your strategies.
Please add you challenges, disappointments, strategies or ideas for coping. Participation guidelines for creating cards or digital cards are on this website. I am happy to mail you some postcards for the project, just send me your address and how many cards you would like.
Add your name for regular updates. Contact me with questions.
We had planned to be home by the first day of Spring. We never anticipated the circumstances. I will be getting out the last email post of the trip very soon. We were in LA on the day when the national closures started. We had planned to leave our van in California with friends, fly back to Massachusetts, briefly and then fly back to CA and travel for another two months. We drove home instead... 9-10 hours a day, we drove for five days. As we adjust to the new normal, we are glad to be home.
Add your name for regular updates.
I will be adding to the website soon and I'll catch up with emails as best I can.
Also, I have an idea! Coming soon.
Live music is a constant in Nashville. As we walked downtown on a Monday afternoon, we heard live music from every venue on the street. Nights, there are live bands on every floor. We always like a nice Hop On Hop Off tour of the city. Our driver, Tony, like so many people, work their jobs that support their ambition. You move to Nashville for the music, weekends Tony plays guitar in the Tim Thurman Band.
The Main branch of the Nashville Public Library is a busy place, it was voted National Library of Year in 2017 for its community programming which attracts people of all ages throughout the day. Shout out to all the middle school students and all the adults who shared important thoughts
Memphis is home to the National Civil Rights Museum, located in part in the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony outside room #306. This museum was incredibly powerful as it traced the ongoing struggle for civil rights. We visiting Graceland, who new that Elvis was twin whose brother was stillborn?
So a funny thing happened. We were expecting our absentee ballots and checked the mail at our AirBnb in Memphis only to find a flyer announcing a community potluck the following night. I contacted the host who invited us to come along and bring The Key Idea. Thank you Deborah and Mark, we had great conversations with your neighbors. And Steve, thank you for going home and getting some used keys to inspire others. We so enjoyed you all.
I am awed by the diversity of this country and we are just getting started. I think Baltimore is one of my new favorite places. The American Visionary Art Museum is a place I must return to. The amazing work throughout the museum was all created by individuals who do not self describe as artists. From the silly to the deeply profound, there is something to enchant everyone.
Next stop Williamsburg where we visited my sister Lisa and her husband Bob. Mom lives in a Brookdale facility nearby. We were able to offer The Keys to Our American Dreams to the residents who have important ideas to share. So pleased that mom is there, it's a wonderful place with interesting people.
Leaving VA, Diane and I headed out to parts unknown. Neither of us had yet been to Asheville, NC Cam MacQueen hosted a wonderful event at THE BLOCK off biltmore a vegan, social justice bar. If we lived here, we'd be regulars.
We stayed in a mountaintop cottage with a steep and curved ascent, amazing views and delicious water.
What a week! Nice to head south especially when it is snowing. Our art adventure began with a visit to family in New Jersey, didn't take enough photos. We will try to be better about that! Global Citizen planned an amazing event with hundreds of volunteer opportunities for children and adults at the MLK National Day of Service. The people of Philadelphia shared their ideas about racism, gun control, empowerment and most of all love. We were interviewed by the Philadelphia Inquirer, but our quotes did not make the paper. We both caught a bug and were really dragging by the end of the day, but warmed by the what people shared.
We toured Philadelphia on Tuesday, saw the room where democracy began and my favorite symbol of freedom, The Liberty Bell. Enjoyed some shenanigans with statues, then headed to our next adventure, staying at a working Amish farm. The Stoltzfus family warmlly welcomed us, although they were surprised that two women would head out on a trip of this sort. No men? Next stop Baltimore.
The car decals have arrived! I have pictured a van wrapped for The Key Idea for years now. I have drawn pictures of it on several vision boards, in art journals and just for fun. Today is a beautiful sunny day, we'll wash the van and transform it into an ArtMobile. Meanwhile, I am preparing project materials for 3000!
There is something about KeyStones that I really love. They are rubbings of keys, done on rice paper and attached to stones with matte medium. I saw this idea in the Martha Stewart magazine years ago. I like making them, it's relaxing, what I imagine adult coloring does for people. I like putting them out in places, hiding them in plain sight for people to find and enjoy. It's like an unexpected gift that I can leave for others. In 2016-2017 lots of people checked into the website and wrote about a dream for themselves, the community or the world. Then for some reason, people stopped checking in. Not sure why. People still picked them up, sometimes I even saw them get excited to find it but then they don't take it to the next step. A suggestion was to place a QR code on the back. Trying that now but I need to use a tile rather than a rock for the code to be read. What do you think...old style? which prompt? new style with QR code. I appreciate your help to figure this out.
Thank you to Bev Fuller of Jon Fuller Locksmith in Orleans for this box of keys to inspire art. I am grateful to you for this box as well as to all the many others who have donated their used keys to this project. Did you know that most people want to keep their keys after they create their KeyStory? It becomes a symbol of their dream or goal.
In the past five years, I must have given away over 5000 used keys! Before they were donated to this project, these keys were carried around in pockets and purses and opened countless homes and businesses, boxes and safes, garages and sheds. The keys have started cars, trucks and lawnmowers. Some opened small boxes, private diaries, secret drawers or padlocks.
It's funny, when both adults and children choose their key to draw, they often exclaim, "this key feels good". Are they picking up on the energy from the former owner? Some keys, no matter how ordinary, seem to contain good mojo.
So many people are intimidated by white paper. They worry that they will wreck it. So The Key Idea "wrecks" the paper in advance with random sprinkles of ink. We want the project to be accessible to all, especially those who do not self describe as artists. Our project tour, The Keys to Our American dreams is less than two months away. Better get some paper made.
Lenore Lyons is passionate about igniting the spark that happens when people think creatively and get big ideas. There is something about riffling through a large tray of keys that encourages people of all ages to think about possibilities for their life and their loved ones.