A local bank commissioned me to create a centerpiece for their new building. They believed in my vision and trusted my process of letting the work of art unfold
Easthampton Savings Bank is a wonderful local fixture, very supportive of local business and art. They had worked with a local architecture company to design and build their new loan-servicing center in 2012. As part of the process, they contacted Easthampton City Arts to initiate a call to artists, and I was one of many to submit a proposal.
The time frame was short and I was leaving for a trip, so my proposal was very simple. Several images of my work, and a sentence or two – if they liked the look and feel of my glass mosaic, I would be honored to create something for them inspired by the natural beauty of our small town.
Months later, I was called in for a meeting. I arrived at 8:00 am sharp to a dozen committee members. They rapid-fired many questions (I don’t remember what; it happened so fast!), then I had an opportunity to engage them with “Blue:Reflecting Water,” the one piece I knew everyone liked. I asked each person to tell me what it was that moved, touched or inspired them about the piece, and the qualities that came were:
“I like the wavy edge … I like the way it ripples out … I like the way it makes me feel … I like the way it expands beyond its borders yet is contained within it … I like the way the glass is so alive and as I move the way the light hits it moves also … It’s something I’ll see and enjoy every day, I’ll never get tired of it.”
I said, “Great! I’ll create something for you that has all those qualities. I can’t tell you what it will look like because it doesn’t exist yet. Creating something like this is a journey revealed through trust, patience, and perseverance. Are you OK with that?” And on a handshake, the bank president empowered me. He gave me the greatest gift: ”Eileen, I don’t want to put any limitations on your creativity, I trust you to make something awesome.”
…and I did…
The design for WaterDance developed over several months. Embodying the desired qualities, weaving in natural landmarks like the ridgeline of Mt. Tom and the Oxbow in the Connecticut River. One day, I was at the car wash vacuuming my car, when I heard a voice say, “So how’s our project coming along?” I looked up and it was the bank VP! With a smile, I mapped out the energy flow of the design on the hood of my little red Mazda Miata, savoring the sweetness of that surprise moment.