Pictures seen or imagined through windows can be so deliciously enticing in any season whether in small towns or in cities. Depending on the neighborhood where I set up in greater New York City, I enjoyed a remarkable variety of sights to see and savor.
Living with my two children in Manhattan’s Chelsea at General Theological Seminary, from beneath the steep, peaked roofs of our top floor walk-up we looked out over the Seminary’s Close that filled an entire Manhattan city block with tennis courts, a large playground, rambling paths lined with benches and spring tulips and the Victorian red brick faces of the chapel and the classrooms and the housing where Clement Clark Moore wrote “The Night Before Christmas” and Desmond Tutu visited from South Africa.
In Greenwich Village my studio garret windows on one side showed me neighboring interlocking courtyards. On the other side I could gaze down onto a very narrow brick-and-brownstone-lined street that led around the corner to what’s often described as the 1873 “narrowest house” in NYC where Edna St. Vincent Millay lived and wrote.
As often as I could, I ran away and took the train out to Fire Island where I set up studio in a friend’s weather-worn, Dutch Colonial barn-like clapboard. Taking breaks from my easels or my books I could look down and out to the Atlantic stretching, stretching to the horizon, the waves wafting in and out and lapping at the wooden boardwalks that laced together the houses on this foot-traversed, nature-preserved, car-less island where residents carted their supplies in little red wagons.
While situated in the Italian neighborhood of Carroll Gardens (the movie “Moonstruck” was made here with a cameo by the Cammareri bakery where I traded), I biked to lap swim at the borough’s YMCA, grabbed a carry-out lunch at a taqueria then shouldered my bicycle round and round up five flights of stairs. Here in my railroad one bedroom my salon windows gave me an excellent perspective on Staten Island and our Statue of Liberty gifted to us all by our French friends from across the pond.
How happy I am to have had these window views and so, so many others as I’ve moved about here and there—in and off our continent, city to country, wilderness to mountaintop, metropolis to small town Carthage. Of all the views I’ve seen and savored among my very favorite are those I see every day in Carthage, looking out our windows or moving over the sidewalks and streets of our beloved Camelot. Yes, that’s how several locals introduced Carthage to me when I first arrived. Camelot—a perfect descriptor for our Midwestern village and our historic downtown square anchored with our storybook castle—our towered courthouse.
Very soon our new spring festival, Art.A.Fair, will be our town’s centerpiece from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 13, 2019, generously underwritten by artCentral, Carthage Council on the Arts, Kristi Montague of Edward Jones, KOKA Art and Design, Leggett & Platt, Old Missouri Bank and Race Brothers. For this inaugural festival day our courthouse castle will be surrounded by a village of white-peaked tents—tents overflowing with talents as our town square showcases and celebrates local artists, fine art crafters, musicians, galleries, restaurants, shops and businesses.
This spring’s Art.A.Fair has been months in the making led by the inspiring Maple Leaf Festival phenom, Jeanine Poe; encouraged by the dedication of Robert Denning at the helm of the Carthage Council on the Arts; media shared by the artistry and digital wizardry of Koral Martin who created the terrific Art.A.Fair logo; and brought to life by a hard-working committee including media guru Wendi Douglas, the always can-do Doug Osborn, Hip Handmade Market coordinator Emma Bell, as well as Niki Cloud at the Carthage Convention and Visitors Bureau, Samantha McDaniel and Amanda Stone of the Joplin Globe, Teri Y. Diggs of Spellbound, Kara Hardesty of Mother Road Coffee, Neely Myers of the Carthage Chamber of Commerce and myself on behalf of artCentral.
Come brighten your window on the world with a special view of the arts in Carthage at Art.A.Fair. Let the sun shine in and watch our Camelot sparkle!