Saturday, December 31, 2011

It's The End of the World As We Know It, and I Feel Fine...

New Year's Eve, 2011. Welcome to my blogosphere! Ok, this is fairly new territory for me. I used to keep a journal as an effort to sort out my thoughts and loosen up my creativity, but in recent years I haven't really made the time. Well, one of my new year's resolutions is to get back to that... but don't worry, I won't be sharing all of my innermost feelings here (although that could be interesting)!

The real reason for this blog is about moving forward-- the new year will be a big one for me, as I am getting married to my longtime girl (the lovely Sarah) and looking forward to new opportunities-- both personally and professionally.

On that note, I'm just finishing up a "stay-cation" away from my full-time job at the Norman Rockwell Museum, where I manage the press department. I know what you're thinking... how did I end up doing that? Well, it's actually not as far a stretch as you might think. I did study illustration back in college, but the real reason I ended up at the Museum was curiosity.

My father, who passed away when I was a teenager, was a big fan of Norman Rockwell's work. When I moved to the Hudson Valley over ten years ago, I stumbled upon the nearby cultural mecca of the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, and, in turn, the Rockwell Museum. I thought it might be a kick to learn more about the artist, and learn a little more about my father's interests as a result. In addition to interning in New York City at a video post-production company, I also began working at the Museum as a docent, giving talks about Rockwell's work and such, which was a fun outlet for my performing side. Before long I was also offered a full-time job in the Museum's communications department, which was intended to utilize my background in video production and other forms of creativity.

And so, several years later I now manage the press department, and have created several videos for the Museum's exhibitions, promotions, and archives. I have been proud about what I have accomplished during my unexpected tenure in Stockbridge. One of the highlights of 2011 for me was being asked to lecture at The George Eastman House in my hometown of Rochester, NY, about my experience interviewing Norman Rockwell's models. Over the years I have actually produced a pretty extensive collection of oral histories with people Rockwell used to help bring his paintings to life. This has offered me a rather unique insight into an artist's creative process, and I can't help but think that my Dad would have been amazed to learn about my experiences.

I'll try and talk more about this work at a later date, but here's an edited podcast, containing audio (and some of the visuals I used) from my lecture at the Eastman House from last August. Certainly one of  my fondest memories of 2011:

Oops, my fiancee is reminding me of the other highlight from this past year-- getting engaged! True dat. :) I hope to also use this blog to document the equally creative steps leading up to the BIG DAY!

They say that 2012 will be the "end of the world," but for me it's just the beginning. HAPPY NEW YEAR!