I copied the photo here from the Brickyard page listed above. ( I am not sure, but it is probably Tim Schroll’s photo and I would like to give the proper person credit.) Please visit this page!
There is a place in Western Illinois, outside of Macomb, where I went to school. It’s a little town called Colchester. Little. You could walk this town, and once I ran from Macomb, around Lake Argyle, through Colchester and back. This place is dear to me and I would say anything I do– is due to a love of work I discovered there. I believe in not just creating art, but working for the arts.
I found out about the Brickyard through my friend Steve, who I met in drafting class 20 years ago maybe? Dev owns the Brickyard and the story is she bought it over a sandwich. Of the 5 kilns that were there I don’t know how many remain, but she preserved the four and the grounds by doing hefty work to get it on the National Historic Register. She raised the money to coat the roofs, cleared the interiors and the grounds. Many people over the years have been affected by her love for the arts. She has an intense work ethic and art that springs from everything she touches. Anything I could do when I had time, I did there. I cleared oak out of kilns in mid winter…tore a tin roof off the main building. I helped Steve with whatever he was doing, which included rolling a huge pug mill that weighed several tons–out of the factory and onto the grounds on pipe.
Of the things that were beautiful about the place were the glass blowing sessions they would have there, and the celebrations of art. Dev is a stained glass artist, and her husband Tim is an incredible photographer. She encouraged me to stop working so hard manually and sit down and MAKE art. Sketching, whatever.
She taught me something about the world by really showing me how to take time, not only to work hard, but to really appreciate the arts and my own creativity in general. I do not judge it. I just am glad we are able to do what we can while we were here.
Today, I didn’t work at the theatre, on any design, on any work related to theatre at all. Today I moved rock and mulch, and land, and plants. With the NAtional Association of Women in Construction, a fraternity, and a landscaping company, we landscaped a womans yard that has Multiple Sclerosis. She cannot tend her lawn or use a lawnmower anymore.
This work is love. Giving, for no reason, is the work we are meant here to do. I am lucky enough to do what I love, and I am so glad to just be able to have small opportunities to go out, and work to help because I can. There may come a time when I am no longer able, and that is just fine. The nature of art, at least by my definition. is to LOVE LIFE.
Brickyard work, is this. And I am a Brickyard girl thanks to Dev and The Moses King Brickyard.
Have a wonderful weekend…whoever you are, wherever you are.