It's well known that artists are often gifted with seeing the world in a unique way. Then, if they are lucky, they can find a way to successfully share their unique vision. Others characterize good art by stating that the artist has provided a new way of seeing the world. Perhaps they are both the same and it's just a matter of perspective, one from the artist and the other from the viewer.

Which brings a question to mind, kind of a digression, but what do artists call the people who appreciate their art? And what do they do? With some of the arts, it's easier to classify. You listen to music. You watch a movie. You watch a dance. If it's performance art, then clearly you watch it, you many even interact with it. So you look at art? You can experience them all, so that can't be used "just" for art. So if people look at art, do we call them lookers?

It's said that everything happens for a reason. I stumble over that truism, more often than not. Imagine throwing concepts like destiny, free will, spirits, demons, God's will, the devil, karma, and reincarnation into a pot and stirring them together. It's like when you mix a bunch of different colors together, you end up with a million different shades of brownish-black. In the end, it all becomes clear as mud.

I think it's more likely that some things happen and there is no reason, it just happens. Yet, there are some things that seem to lend themselves to clearer conclusions. I think that part of being an artist is using your environment and experiences to find meaning. Lately I've been collecting a lot of materials that I can immediately see their uniqueness. Projects based on those materials instantly pop into my head, so I pick them up. Recently, I mentioned some hardened polyurethane foam, that I found at a deconstruction site. Wouldn't you know it, yesterday I scored several sheets of ¼ plywood from the same site. The plywood is EXACTLY what I'm going to need to start mounting the foam. So I've been really lucky.

But the other day I really struck gold, when you're into found art, you've almost always got to have an eye out for something interesting. Well as I was picking up the kids from school the other day, when I saw something that looked like some old cabinets in the trash of a church near their school. On the way back home, I stopped to grab the cabinet.

However, what I found was a big surprise. When I bent over to pick it up, it turned out to be an old keyboard. Apparently the church had broken apart an old organ, and they couldn't force themselves to smash the keyboard apart. This keyboard is quite old and is extremely unique. I've been rolling thoughts around my head in how to include it into a piece that honors it's spirituality.

Well, I got my answer last tonight when I attended my nieces 8th grade graduation. She went to a school based in Baptist church formed here in Puerto Rico by some ex-pats back in 1983. It's hard to describe this ceremony, but during many different momemnts, I could have sworn that I had dropped a couple hits of acid. The whole experience was sooooooooooo surreal, that at times I had to contain my laughter or astonishment. I had been enterntaining myself by sketching some ideas on the back of the program when a few feelings and observations crystallized. I suddenly knew what I wanted to do with the keyboard.

So as I've trying to explain, through my unique way of experiencing this event, I found meaning for my keyboard. Now my challenge is combining my interpretations of this evangelical school graduation ceremony and my respect for the soul of my keyboard. There's a deep connection between the history of this keyboard and the rigid ceremony I have just witnessed. Now I've got to study, how to convert ( get it?) my imagination into something which tells the story of this connection.

Ultimately what I discovered is that the history of the Spanish inquisition and the spread of Catholicism during the inquisition and conquering of Puerto Rico were similar to the way the leaders of this church and school perceive the world. The human drive to dominate, convert, and control people through religion linked my experience with the history of this piano, so instead of the graduation merely being an extremely uncomfortable experience, I found out why I found the piano. Either that or it's all just a coincidence. Perhaps only time and inspiration will tell.