Blog / 2024 / Reflecting in Community (Or What Getting Press on Did for Me)

April 10, 2024

Obviously, it’s always a joy to get press about your art—or almost always—and, especially when you don’t use Instagram or TikTok for self-promotion, it’s vital. In fact, press is something I spend a lot of time seeking out now that I quit all of corporate social media.

But, sometimes, press is more than a joy. Sometimes it teaches you to be a better artist.

interview by Tris McCall on
screenshot of

This interview with Tris McCall for about my unauthorized public art installation did just that. Over the course of our conversation, you can watch Tris push me for an answer that I hadn’t fully formed. He took me from “this was horrible so I did something about it” to “not all self-expression is art and I can tell you why.” No small feat for one short conversation.

Lamerbtville rainbow bridge in its current iteration, reflected on the canal
rainbow reflections, photo by Gwenn

A few hours after my exchange with Tris, a local artist took me aside to preachify about how he would have done an apolitical design to cover the Trumper vandalism, something like dragonflies. When I asked him why he hadn’t, he told me he takes longer to reflect before he acts. In other words, I’d moved too quickly and taken up the space before he could. I responded by reminding him that the hateful vandalism was ongoing for almost a year before I did anything. As you might imagine, this guy’s grip on his own version of reality remained strong, even in the face of facts.

Initially, I decided to share this anecdote with you because the back-to-back timing of the very thoughtful conversation and the thoroughly idiotic one was too funny not to mention. But, after editing the story in and out of this post multiple times, I’ve realized that I also want to give you some idea of the difficulties with this sort of project.

For the most part, I’ve digested the negativity I’ve received from locals about my artistic intervention in private, because there isn’t that much of it and because it seemed more important to focus on the overwhelmingly positive response. But, like any public art, the rainbow bridge has prompted people to reveal who they truly are, and, while that’s helpful in the long run, it isn’t always pleasant.

Still, introspective exchanges like the one I had with Tris ultimately make it all worth it, even as, unfortunately, the bridge continues to be attacked by a vandal who seems set on wearing down the park authorities.

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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