Wednesday, June 9, 2021

I Am Your Neighbor Episode 9 - JBird Art

Jay Sterling, Jason Sterling, JBird...they all lead back to the same talented soul that has been decorating the streets of Milwaukee with his art and murals for 40 years, both individually and in tandem with other artists. Jay was lucky to get his start as a youngster helping established local artist Reynaldo Hernandez, learning the depth and creativity of mural painting.  

I Am Your Neighbor - JBird Art - Stacy Snyder
He's supported himself through art ever since, sometimes in corporate endeavors, but more often than not, as a working street artist. Jay's passion for creativity bleeds into humanity, as he seems not to know a stranger in Milwaukee. It makes sense, as he's partnered with small business owners, artists, and youth, to promote commerce, community, and mental health with his work.

I Am Your Neighbor - JBird Art - Stacy Snyder
I Am Your Neighbor - JBird Art - Stacy SnyderIn addition to showing us his mural depicting the 12 steps of AA in the meeting room at the MKE Alano ClubJay 
took us around the city and showed us his wares on storefronts, buildings, and even on bottles! The coolest thing about Jay is that his art depicts what's in his mind. He thinks in the same way that he draws and paints and curates, which makes for a super unique human. Check out his story in I Am Your Neighbor Episode 9 - JBird Art and view his collection on Instagram.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Get Back To Class

As I read through the email from my daughter's calculus teacher, alerting us that our teen didn't seem to be present during her 7th period calculus class each day, despite being physically logged in to the online class, as she has been each day for the full year of classes, I couldn't help but recalling the old-school riposte of No Shit Sherlock!  

Stacy Snyder - Get Back To Class

Nearing the end of her 3rd quarter as a senior in high school, she has yet to step foot into the classroom, not whispered about the cute new kid in class, nor complained about the crappy food in the cafeteria.  She has not attended a club meeting, decided whether to go to a sporting event, nor hit up the local coffee shop on the way home from school.  There's no senior memories, camaraderie or competition.  She's plum out of motivation and I'm proud of her for sticking it out as well as she has.

I sent my youngest off to school today after 1 full year at home.  While I was so stoked for her to have social interaction and eye contact and live instruction, I couldn't help but worry about my eldest, who will not be returning to school this year at all, despite being in the same school district as her little sister.  Not only will she miss out on the in-person interactivity, learning, and stimulation, but she has also lost her ONLY touchable interplay during the school day, her younger sister.

It's been a rough year for everyone, yet most detrimental to my eldest daughter in our household, not necessarily because she's been hit harder by it, but because she's of an age, 17, where she's supposed to be out there with her ride-or-die friends, annoying classmates, pain-in-the ass-teachers, random people she's never met but may, and adversaries, figuring shit out and trying to make sense of the world.  Instead of "coming of age" in color, she's doing it in black and white at home by herself; it sucks. 

But she's freakin' doing it.  She's getting the school work done, living a colorful life at work by getting the socialization she needs, and pushing her family to see and hear her.  Bit by bit, she's teaching herself how to work the system, when to stretch the boundaries and how far she can actually roam before upsetting the apple cart of life.  She's learning how to advocate for herself, push her agenda, and make herself known.  She's discovered that her presence matters; she's part of the world.

We see you girl!  We're overjoyed with your growth.  Your teacher sees you and is throwing out a life preserver.  The world sees you too and it wants you to live.  

Now get back to class!