To Sum Up: The Year That Broke Our Hearts Into A Million Pieces And We're Still Growing

I don't know if you heard, but 2016 was one big roller coaster of heartbreak, destruction, inspiration, and creation. For me anyway.

To sum up:

• I began 2016 by leaving my first magical, brief, shiny experience in New Orleans.

• I occasionally worked as an assistant to an incredible Philly artist named Eric Goldberg, who has become a dear friend (check out his website-- which I made..)

• I finished up my work as an organizer for FCNL's Advocacy Corps (lobbying for climate action)
Check out the article I wrote for Green Philly Blog. But I'm not done with FCNL!

• I worked closely with another artist, Leslie Birch, to curate and put on a pop-up show about Climate Stories, which took place in April at Transport Cycles in Fishtown (made possible by a grant from CUSP!)

• I helped start a nomadic art collective called Nobody's Gallery. (We had a show in a Penske Truck in August)

• I spent the month of May in New Orleans as a resident artist at the Aquarium Gallery and Studios, which burned down on June 1st, just before I left (you can read the whole story here).

• I showed what was left of the work I made in New Orleans at a show in Rochester, NY, plus some overnight new work made after the fire..

• I worked non-stop to put another show together as soon as I got back to Philadelphia-- Apart From Us, which was on display at Pendle Hill's Barn Gallery in the fall. This was the first show I felt genuinely proud of.


• I cleared out of my first grown-up private studio at Alter St. in Point Breeze, and took up with a motley crew of star-shiny artists called Panorama Collective in Southwest Philly.


• I took part in a life-changing collaborative creative experience called "Going There" in which I performed with 8 other artists/performers in at a warehouse in West Philly in early October. We all really stretched ourselves as artists and humans and it was incredible.

• The second that show ended, I somehow flew back to New Orleans for a month, and made work non-stop for a benefit show to help rebuild Aquarium Studios, while helping occasionally at the site, and also selling at art markets.

• I came back to Philly in time to vote, and was devastated to watch Donald Trump and Pat Toomey be declared winners of my President and State Senator elections.

• I lobbied for Prison Reform, to end Mass Incarceration, with FCNL in DC.

• My friend Hannah and I decided to go out the Standing Rock in solidarity with Water Protectors-- but on Dec. 5 decided we could offer more effective support through our fundraising at home, rather than traveling out there where we may not be useful or wanted. We raised over $2000 for them. Please stay informed about the situation! (I follow frequent updates from the Sacred Stone Facebook Page)

• I decided at the last second (...Dec 10) to make a calendar, which went to print within 6 days of the first drawing for it.. pretty Badass, you might say ;)

• I was overwhelmed with the support and affirmation from making a calendar that celebrates badass women.

I ended up printing over 300 calendars. I still don't really comprehend it. Thank you so much, everyone who shared this project and got excited about it. (I still have about 25 left, if you want one!)

OH MY GOD, I did a lot! I didn't even include everything! I think a lot of people were affected by the deaths of some famous people-- which I think really speaks to the kinds of things being done and created in the 70s.

Time is weird. I'm 26. I did a lot, made a lot, grew a lot this past year. I feel like I'm whirring, and one goal for 2017, even in the midst of such a need for continuous action, is that I want to find a way to slow down, and learn what it feels like to be refreshed..

Is it possible??

Anyway. Can't end this post without copious gratitude for you and you and you. Thank you humans. We're in this together.

To sum up my summary, I made a lot of stuff in 2016, and I had a cool haircut.

P.S. I grabbed most of these pics from Instagram, where I post my most frequent updates. Go ahead and follow me @usandweart go ahead go ahead.