LITTLE BOXES AT HYDE HOUSE AND ON THE SQUARE
The big excitement of Maple Leaf parade day is winding down. Streets are swept. Vendor tents have disappeared. Port-a-potties are back in storage. Still, our Maple Leaf Festival continues throughout October.
While autumn breezes pick up and our nights become more chill, consider making a list of all the best Carthage places to continue celebrating this vibrant season. Write at the top a visit to artCentral’s gracious Hyde House and the expansive campus growing more autumnally radiant every day.
Entering through artCentral’s cheerful green door, prepare to be amazed by the simple elegance of this foursquare farm house given by Katherine Hyde to the City of Carthage for the exhibiting and fostering of fine arts. Breathe in the serenity and feast on the art.
Michael Steddum’s exhibition: “unleashed! DOG SHOW” continues through November 12, 2017, generously underwritten by HOMETOWN BANK. Paintings in oil and watercolor, as well as prints and note cards are available for purchase. Gallery hours: Fridays & Saturdays 12:00-5:00, Sundays 1:00-5:00. All other days call (417) 358-4404 to schedule a visit. Admission is free. Donations are welcome in our support box.
When you next make your way to the square, see if you can find four little boxes recently updated.
David and I arrive early the last Friday morning we paint a hydrant on the square. We spread out our drop cloths, paints and brushes. We set up our canopy for shade from the sun. While I begin to apply colors to the hydrant-of-the-day, David departs for his library gig intending to return late afternoon to help me with last details.
I’ve been painting less than an hour when, halfway down the street, I notice the old, red, not-so-attractive citation box for depositing parking ticket payments. I remember the topic of the citation boxes came up some time back when I attended a meeting with Wendi Douglas, Carthage Convention Bureau’s executive director. The plan under discussion then revolved around giving the boxes a new look with art.
An idea pops: “Don’t delay. Paint the citation boxes today!” I feel an overwhelming urge to paint the little boxes and make them as pretty as the newly painted fire hydrants. As sometimes happens when unexpected inspiration strikes, I follow the impulse immediately.
I pick up my brushes and paints and walk over to the little citation box in front of City Hall. I apply the first coat of blue background which needs to dry before I can add leaves and clouds like those decorating the fire hydrants.
Back at the hydrant to be finished, blissfully painting away, I ponder: “I just altered city property. Maybe I should ask permission or at least forgiveness.” I do. I ask permission after the fact of the deed begun. I text Wendi Douglas inquiring, “Do you think it’s okay to paint the citation boxes while we’re finishing up the hydrants?” Quickly she replies, “I don’t know. I’ll have to ask Chief Dagnan. We’re both really busy with all the details of today’s Food Truck Friday. I don’t know when I’ll be able get back to you.”
Oops! I’ve gotten ahead of protocol. I’ll just have to bear the discomfort of waiting to know how much trouble I’m in. Then a miracle happens. Wendi immediately texts back, “Chief Dagnan says, ‘Tell those artists to knock themselves painting boxes!’” Whew. I’m off the hook.
Now all I have to do is tell David what I’ve done. We always consult each other before making decisions about how we’ll spend our collaborative art time. After our already investing sixty hours painting fire hydrants, I have to confess I’ve taken on more work without consulting him.
When David makes his afternoon return I tell him what I’ve done, because I want folks to be happy and smile, if they need to put their parking ticket dollars in one of the little citation boxes. He smiles, forgives my faux pas and pitches in painting.
Won’t you smile, too, please, when you see the cheery little citation boxes on the square?