Then came the rockets! Ben loved rockets! He loved them so much that at his memorial service, his oldest brother told the most hilarious story about this giant 5 foot rocket he built that ended up landing in some fancy person's backyard. Tyler told me stories, his mother told me stories. The rockets were it! I ordered 8 of them, complete with engines. But when they came in, I was like: Wait! This is science-y! How do I put these together???!!!!
So I enlisted the help of Jason. He built rockets when he was in middle school and was totally into it . . . I helped by putting on the parachutes and fenders. Fenders? I'm pretty sure that's not the right word for the little fins at the base, but that's what I'm going to call them.
We spent two days building them, and then took them to a local high school and did some test runs. It was the most exciting thing I've ever done!! No one ever told me how much fun these things were to shoot off! And they go so high! Oh my goodness, we couldn't even see them! Or where they were going to land. It was so fun!
These were signals, you see. During the performance piece. For Ben to take notice, to know he was being celebrated . . . As strange as that might sound.
I also made a variety of costuming pieces. The rocket launchers wore the two sugar glider headpieces, above. And I made two patches for their vests. Both items I mentioned a few paragraphs back. Here's the patches coming to life, below.
I made a giant cape for my friend Patti, who was assigned to run after the rockets as they floated to the ground. I also gave her a beautiful tiara to wear. She looked stunning, and was perfect for the part!
Bruce (from one of the first images in this post) volunteered to document the entire project, so that I would have it to look back over. And so that I could have shots that were sort of all encompassing or overarching. Here he is capturing one of the rockets on video.
This is a rocket called, Big Daddy. I love this image: pink, blue, smokey orange, yellow, and green. Such goodness!
After the parade and the launching of 8 rockets, we gathered around a fire that Renee built.
Apparently it stopped burning almost at the same time that my reading stopped. I actually didn't know if it would burn at all, because the cardboard was so thick. But it went up in smoke very quickly!
After the reading, we had a few more rocket launches. Then we lost all of the rockets to the trees, so we decided it was time for S'mores.
As daylight turned into nightfall, people started to leave one-by-one. And the glow sticks and tinsel were all that remained.
We went to gallery openings . . .
But one of the best parts (and maybe the saddest part) of the summer was watching these beautiful people present their thesis work and graduate from our program. These 7 people are probably some of the nicest, most creative people you will ever meet. They made me feel like family. I will forever be grateful for their support and friendship . . .
I bought a painting from Jason. Amare is helping me plan a trip to Ethiopia. Tori and I text almost daily. Ashley just had her baby today (seriously, to-day). Patti just texted me to make sure that I knew there were some crazy things taking place on the VMAs. Mara sent me home from this summer with some amazing Jesus prints by her mother-in-law for Ben's mom. And Jean keeps everyone posted with her meal choices on FB, which are always mouth watering. She picks the best flavor combinations. I love these people!!!! XOXOXO!
And I can't wait to see them again!!
I spent a lot of time with Renee and Joke this summer, as well. Renee is on the right, above. She is the person who graciously let me borrow her yard for Ben's tribute. Joke, above and left, hula hooped in my studio daily. She's been in lots of pictures in this post! We love hanging out together . . . Below, we are getting ice cream at this place outside of Baltimore City. The ice cream is made from the cows on the property. So you can look at the cows while you are eating their ice cream. :)
Every summer, we have a Holidays in July party. This year, I gave away some of my raver gloves. Joke got them!
I received two beautiful prints of Ume's work, below. Ume is a 2nd year student. She's so great!
Here's our raver gloves in action . . .
And here we are with our mentor and art history professor, John Penny.
The graduating group being honored, above . . .
The party ended at midnight, but I didn't go to bed until 2am. Needless to say, it was not easy to get up at 4am for my flight to Nashville at 6am. Ha! Note to self for next year . . .