During their time with us, we were able to show them some of our successful “Chester Made” projects and share dialogue around what is working in making Chester, Chester.
After spending a day together, the Fellows expressed that Chester felt like “home” to them.
But sometimes, you don’t need a map to point you in the right direction.
For me, “Chester Made” is an affirmation of what has been my lifelong dedication to the city that has formed who I am as an artist and entrepreneur.
If something is not considered “of value,” then it doesn’t attract the investment necessary to increase its worth over time.
It’s true of artwork and it’s true of communities that have suffered from the kind of neglect that creates a spiral of decline from which few places can recover. We see a future where resiliency and resourcefulness will ultimately win the day.Giving people access to data most often leaves them feeling overwhelmed and disconnected, not empowered and poised for action. Art does not show people what to do, yet engaging with a good work of art can connect you to your senses, body, and mind. And this felt feeling may spur thinking, engagement, and even action.As an artist I have travelled to many countries around the world over the past 20 years.When we are touched, we are moved; we are transported to a new place that is, nevertheless, strongly rooted in a physical experience, in our bodies.We become aware of a feeling that may not be unfamiliar to us but which we did not actively focus on before.By doing this, art can mitigate the numbing effect created by the glut of information we are faced with today, and motivate people to turn thinking into doing. The arts and culture represent one of the few areas in our society where people can come together to share an experience even if they see the world in radically different ways.The important thing is not that we agree about the experience that we share, but that we consider it worthwhile sharing an experience at all.On one day I may stand in front of an audience of global leaders or exchange thoughts with a foreign minister and discuss the construction of an artwork or exhibition with local craftsmen the next.Working as an artist has brought me into contact with a wealth of outlooks on the world and introduced me to a vast range of truly differing perceptions, felt ideas, and knowledge.And what we all know is that there’s no place like home…when you make your home like no other place.And we’re proud to know that there’s no place like Chester.