Category Archives: normal history

Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change

Seeking a location for the  Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change.

I prepared an offer for the house in Hedley and posted it on FB yesterday, as I am wont to do. Someone asked me about a few things I hadn’t really considered – one of them being whether or not the house was on a flood plain. Kind of a weird idea (to me) considering how close it is to the mountains, but, lo and behold, there was an evacuation order pending in May that included “my” address! The river is right there, with a bridge over a narrow gully, but I guess with the spring run off and higher water levels everywhere, they anticipated it coming up and over the banks after which there isn’t much of a grade to prevent it from coming up towards town.

Also, there was an evacuation order pending due to the fires this past summer. It’s a bit scary right there because it’s a feeling of getting trapped if the road washes out or if there’s only the one road out if there’s fire.

Somewhat disappointing, but mostly relief that I didn’t make a mistake here. I’m glad Marcus took an interest and looked into it! Thanks! Thanks to Scott too, who, when I made the video from Hedley (above) and stated that one could build whatever they wanted on their property, he posted a comment that evidently, that’s not the case. I didn’t see the comment because I accidentally posted the video about 10 times and quickly deleted them, but Dave mentioned it. Thank you – and to everyone else taking an interest. Please chime in!

I learned so much during this whirlwind! I feel so much better equipped to follow through on future locations, whereas it was all daunting before.

I’m back to the drawing board in more ways than one. I haven’t painted for a week with all this going on. I gotta get back to work and I’ll keep looking for property. If I keep painting and try not to stress out over the for sale sign in front of my building, I’ll be adding to funds and have more choices. It’s a great feeling to know that I could have gone forward with that place and maybe I’ve energized or intrigued my FB community to take an interest. We’ll see! I don’t want to panic and take a serious misstep.

Overall, I feel more myself after becoming way too involved in my parents’ plights. I’ve created much needed distance there by putting my mind on a big project – where it should be! I actually got outta town and that was fantastic!

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IndieGogo campaign

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August 23rd I launched a 30-day IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign for $20K to go towards the outright purchase of a facility for the Free Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change where writers, painters and musicians will focus on projects that intend to change the world. The property will be bequeathed to a cultural activist group for use in perpetuity.

Accommodation for guest residents
Art studio
Rehearsal space (soundproof)
Writer’s cabin
Presentation area for workshops and collaboration

I was offering my paintings as $100 USD perks, encouraging my FB followers to buy directly from me to save the campaign fee. All the money from painting sales (almost $3000 USD) during the campaign go towards opening the Free Artist Residency.

While the campaign failed to inspire the donations (painting sales, basically) I’d hoped for, it did bring the project into the light of day. I came close to putting in an offer on a small miner’s house in an historic town 3.5 hours east of Vancouver, but, in the final analysis, it wasn’t quite right. I’ll continue to look for a place to set up. Have a look at what the campaign outlines – the video etc.

Testimonials

“Hey all, the incredibly cool and inspiring Jean Smith is finishing an indie go go campaign to fund an artist retreat AND if you buy a painting to support the fund YOU GET AN AMAZING PAINTING!!! She’s already sold 23 in the last 23 days. Below she explains the concept and what’s she’s been doing. Take a sec to look at her beautiful paintings at the link at the bottom of her pitch either way. They are very much worth viewing.” – Jenny Toomey

“Hey, I don’t know if you know this revolution that is Jean Smith from Mecca Normal, but she is raising funds to create an artist residency in the Northwest / British Columbia. Jean has more integrity than most of the free world. Take a moment and read what she has planned and support her huge effort. Seriously she is running the show, get on board.” – KH, music composer

“My comrade in sounds Jean Smith of Mecca Normal has a practical vision to establish a permanent Artist Residency for Progressive Social Change. $100 donors to this mission may select one of her amazing paintings as a bonus for contributing. Please learn more and contribute.” – Rich Jensen

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