This reflection post is written by Alix Refshauge, longtime Director of the Artists-in-Residence Program until Feb. 2011.
I’ve been thinking about writing on the HubBlog for a while now and I’m glad that Kari asked me to say a few words about the year. Ever since leaving in February, I’ve put a lot of thought into my time at HUB-BUB, the experiences that I had and the people I now know. My life is so different here in San Diego and I find myself trying to gain some perspective on the changes and the events of the last few years.
WARNING: this blog entry may start to sound like a diary entry…
What a great year 2010-11 was with all the good people who make up HubCulture. Corinne, Ian, Kerri, and Ron all rolled into Spartanburg in June to start the crazy adventure that a year at HUB-BUB guarantees. As fate would have it, they were all born in 1983. Imagine that! Someone asked me if it had been a requirement this year. No. But it sure made for a fun inaugural night of karaoke at the Tap Room. What a great tradition Wednesday nights became. I remember a lot of long distance karaoke phone calls were made last summer. Just thinking about it makes me want to call up the HUB-BUB office right now and belt out an out-of-tune anthem of love for all you guys. Lucky for you, happy hour hasn’t hit on the West Coast yet. Traditions are a big part of the HUB-BUB routine and the Monday morning meeting is one of those that changes every year and takes on the character of the folks living upstairs. This years group moved from the couches to the round table in the office and ended every meeting with a Youtube video. Thanks to those sessions, when someone says “Double Rainbow,” I get it. I have a better understanding of German forklift safety procedures, a base knowledge of Lady Gaga, and have seen more acrobatic cat videos than I care to admit. We even made a Youtube video of our own. It’s a gem of a production that captures the first (and maybe only) official office Saltine Challenge; I’m surprised it hasn’t gone viral. Have you seen it? Stephen is dressed in a green cape with bugeye sunglasses, he and Kerri keep their cool and do really well during the competition. Ian stuffs 7 crackers in his mouth at once and has to spit them out before they turn to concrete. My cheating is caught on film. I hope to always work in a place that encourages such antics! There were lots of fun moments and good memories with the AiRs throughout the year. Like painting with Kerri on the Cottonwood Trail, meals with Ron, yoga classes, robot costumes, Swedish Fish, pickling okra with Corinne (and then throwing the whole batch away out of a fear of botulism), Ron’s Ron Burgundy quotes, a trip to the Fair with the whole gang, and many more.
It was a big year for the staff too. Betsy left the HUB-BUB office and opened a bookstore that, along with the coffee bar and bake shop, have created a happenin’ place for people to gather throughout the day downtown. I like to call it: The Great Masonic Temple Trifecta. When she left, we painted the office a sky blue and hung paintings. It was a big change for us and a transition that we knew we had to make. Stephen continued to work his tail off in an effort to bring cool events to downtown like flash mobs and drum circles, opportunities for high school students, and Snapshot Spartanburg. Celia joined the team as our new fearless leader and amidst all the craziness that happens all the time, we took on even bigger projects like the Emerging Carolinas Juried Show and the 2nd Annual Hub City Empty Bowls Project. While all this was happening with HubCulture, I was in the middle of a long distance relationship that ultimately took me to San Diego.
Now, there are a few things that I’ve written here but have decided to delete. I feel like anything that makes me start to cry should be omitted as no one wants to read a sad reflective mess. So, instead of doing that to you, my dear HUB-BUB, I’ll just say thank you. It was a wild ride while it lasted.
And a brief update on the last three months for me, they’ve been jam packed but in a different way. I got married in Joshua Tree, packed up my house, and drove cross country in four days with my husband and a drugged doggie. Bocci broke through a fence in Austin, Texas but was otherwise sufficiently sedated to make the trip. I’ve been to Houston for a wedding and Vegas as a wife at a conference with her husband. I’ve begun to find a daily rhythm that includes lots of cooking, maintaining a nice little veggie garden and making art again. We’ve been exploring San Diego and trying to take advantage of the neighborhoods, bars, restaurants and beaches that are just minutes away. The Vespa is up and running and will soon be my primary source of transportation. Bocci has stopped face-humping other dogs. It’s been a big three months.
That’s it for now. Looking forward to the 5 Year Celebration and keeping up with all the goodness in Spartanburg. We’ll see you in June!