There is a monthly event here in Scranton called First Fridays. The first Friday of every month, downtown Scranton, in the evening, comes alive with art, music, food and people. This time of year, it has been less active, due to cold and snow keeping some of us away. However, spring is right around the corner, and after that, SUMMER. And, in honor of the summertime and the commitment to local art, First Fridays is sponsoring a contest to Paint a Peach.
The premise is this: Take a peach that they give you, made of some substance, and already a neutral color, and make it your own. Decorate it in any way that fancies you, and then, a series of judges will decide which ones are what they are looking for. And, the peaches get displayed all over the city, in a chosen location or one of your own.
The idea both excited and intrigued me.
Excited me, because I have been finding that I am opening more and more, to various types of expression of my artistic self. Whether it is through singing that I have been doing more of recently; drawing; writing; and most recently, a new idea for a photography series, I am excited at any new opportunity to be expressive and to find new outlets for that. So, I believe that I will submit my own version of a peach.
What intrigues me about it, is that it is such a great way to show, in a very practical way, the ideas of universality, and uniqueness among humans. As humans, we have this preconceived idea of what a peach is supposed to look like, as we have this preconceived notion of what a human, or a certain grouping of humans, should look like, act like, BE like. I know that I still do it on occasion, I have a belief system about a person just because they are a member of a certain “food” group. So, in creating our own version, we challenge those beliefs in ourselves, of what we believe a peach is supposed to look like.
The other part that equates with humanity to me, is that we can create what best reflects us, so, I can create a peach that is a true reflection of me. And, at the same time, I can be reminded of how Universal we all are. Underneath, each of these painted peaches will have started out just the same way. Hence, as humans, we all have blood running through our veins, we all have hopes, dreams, disappointments, tragedies and joys. What I enjoy so much about this life, is continuing to learn how to celebrate who I am as an individual; and, at the same time, see how deeply I can and want to connect with those around me.