You still have time to register you artCamper-wanna-be for one more week of artCamp, July 18-22! Stop in during gallery hours and see the class samples! Registration forms can be picked up in Carthage at artCentral, the Carthage Deli, the Carthage Public Library, Cherry’s Art Emporium, Guaranty Bank, Mother Road Coffee and the Old Missouri Bank and in Joplin at Spiva Center for the Arts. Forms are also available online at www.artcentralcarthage.org. The weather may be super hot but artCamp is super cool!
Though I have told this story before, for all eleven of my Missouri summers the theme still rings true!
On a compute home from Joplin, with my car windows rolled up tight and the ac cranked up high, I tried to focus on listening to the music on my radio. I tried to redirect my thoughts away from my weather-water-worries. Then as though by an act of divine timing, Bobby McFerrin came on blissfully singing “Don’t worry. Be happy.” Really? Really!
Oh how I love that 1988 video with Bobby McFerrin and Bill Irwin and Robin Williams singing and clowning and dancing their troubles away in their outlandish get ups and silly faces.
McFerrin cheerfully carries on in his heavy island accent,
“Here’s a little song I wrote.
You might want to sing it note for note.
Don’t worry, be happy.
In every life we have some trouble,
But when you worry you make it double.
Don’t worry, be happy.”
“Don’t worry. Be happy!” I was singing right along as I tapped out the beat on my steering wheel and bounced up and down in my bucket seat. “Don’t worry. Be happy!” Looking out the windshield I noticed clusters of charming little, fluffy white clouds, buoyant apparitions newly appearing like celestial angels blithely frolicking. Their undersides looked heavy and gray-laden. Surely they were carrying rain. “Don’t worry. Be happy!”
Could that possibly be a gigantic crimsoned smile I saw stretching left to right all the way across the horizon before the puffy cherub clouds? Or was I hallucinating with the joyous prospect of rain falling from those gray bellies? Perhaps I was picturing a heat mirage as a heavenly promise.
By the time I got home, I was inspired and pumped to paint that glorious promise I had just seen in the sky. I grabbed a rectangular canvas. I sketched in the clouds and the big, big smiling lips. The summer sky was painted cerulean. Textile scraps in dark green became the good earth below. Sequins were sprinkled and stitched among the wee clouds, just like the stars that burn all day even though we cannot see them. The text came last—tattooed in cursive over the lips as one simple word—“smile”. I title my heat wave painting, “Don’t Worry. Be Happy.”
Today again I am singing…“Don’t Worry. Be Happy.” This heat wave will break as they always do and here is still time for your young artist to register for artCamp and participate in the end-of-artCamp Reception and Exhibition that will be held in the Main Gallery at Hyde House on Friday, July 22, 2022, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to enjoy lemonade and cookies while viewing lots and lots of fun, colorful artCamper creations. Register your young artist today and come celebrate all our artCampers and their art!