I first pasted this image of Stephanie 3 years ago in December of 2010. It was at the beginning of a period I refer to as "The Time of Great Suffering." My fellow physicians were starting to leave and administratively, work was becoming less than satisfying. Three years later work remains challenging. Pasting this picture that winter gave me great joy and has served as a symbol of hope. It went on to become the iconographic image for The Painted Desert Project.
Over the years I've pasted it 3 times on J R's house. Roa painted 2 sleeping foxes and a sleeping rabbit in August of 2012. I was saddened about a year ago when I noticed that one of the doors to the house had been opened (as the house remained solidly boarded up for years). I talked with the owner (J R), who said thieves had broken in and stole household items he'd stored inside. I apologized feeling that art on the house attracted the thieves to it. He dismissed the thievery saying it was okay. He didn't think the theft occurred because his house was painted.
Then a couple months ago I noticed panels were being removed from the house. My first thought was that the art was being rejected by the community. I called J R and once again apologized for the destruction of his house and offered to make to a donation to help him recover some of his losses from the theft and the wood that was being removed. I was relieved to learn that he'd sold the house and the new owner decided to rebuild. The art wasn't being rejected out of malice. Still, I sent him a thank you check for letting me use the space to post work.
My dad was fond of saying "...Nothing stays the same forever. Things either get better or they get worse but it doesn't stay the same." This house provided me with much happiness over the past 3 years and in it's transformation it's reminding me on an ongoing lesson of this project - try to create beauty with good intention and then let go.