read recently of the impending opening of the Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden. I recognized immediately the launch of a kindred institution, and I hope to visit it one day. ArtYard will be one year old on September 4th, 2017. We are really pleased with what we have been able to accomplish in so short a time. Besides acquiring, renovating and occupying our unfolding campus, we produced a festival of birds, installed a series of original art exhibitions, tested a residency program, launched a film series with visiting filmmakers and musicians, produced a collaborative installation representing a human brain, and held a valentine making experiment aiming to extend kindness and compassion beyond the obvious intimate circles.
From left to right: Our temporary theater built by Chris Langhart and his helpers, group photo with (left to right) Magda, Kearney, Nora, Elsa, Flannery, Jill, and Juanita prior to ArtYard’s hatching, visitors during the opening of Bedlam and Balance, Filmyard event with Gary Sherman (left), Bill Horberg (center), and Brett Berns (right), Eliot Bassett-Cann testing our Rashomon Machine, and experimental valentine workshop with members of the local community.
We have developed a poetry on demand event with our own Poetry Confessional from which anonymous poets produce works for supplicants in need of absolution or a tribute to a beloved dog. We scheduled a premiere of an original operetta written by a Frenchtown composer. Almost every project we have undertaken is a first, and as a result, we have also compiled an impressive collection of errors.
I’m proud of what we have managed in such a short time, but in some way I am prouder of our mistakes. I thought it might be instructive to give a peek behind the curtain at ArtYard. It’s messy back here. Murphy’s Law reigns.
Card of red sewing thread from the 1950s.
I have shared only a very small partial list of our errors here at ArtYard. I have left out some choice ones to save them for another tale. But there would be no art anywhere and certainly no ArtYard without these misadventures. Most of the artists I know are dyslexic and had to fail their way out of a conventional education into an inventive life. Creativity comes from an openness to failure, a willingness to risk embarrassment, an impulse to graft unlikely things together, and a desire to mend the broken state of things.
From left to right: Executive Director Jill Kearney, Artistic Director Elsa Mora, and Managing Director and Mission Keeper Geraldine Dougherty.