(This selection of previously unpublished work was created for an exhibition at the Rochester Museum of Fine Arts in August, 2021.)
We were often in some body of water—the bay, the pond, the lake—or in motion between. Hair dripping, rushing back to reality in salt-stained clothes.
We were a patchwork family, briefly occupying an actual family’s home. I was the stand-in for the daughter, renting a room with a bed too short for my legs and pink sheets, crayon drawings on the walls. We were overworked teachers, sweating, swearing and underpaid. And if not dying in the classroom, then briefly lazing in the yard or driving toward the sea, where we traded stories while wandering the coast, the dusk-light and fireflies faded into stars.
A stream of fellow artists filtered through the door, bringing beer and conversation, or pulling us off on some new adventure. They all seemed equipped with equally hearty laughs—perhaps to ward off the exhaustion or the fact that we were all going broke. And each one left a mark: an idea or a feeling or some piece of themselves that I still carry.
At the end of the summer, Polaroids lay strewn across the dash or heaped upon the kitchen table. Others remained clamped between the pages of books, collecting dust and imperfections. Each one holding some trace of our story.