The year is 1964- 65 . I was in the 6th grade, going to Highland Elementary School in Inglewood California. In this time of my life we were moving around. In the end I would go to school in Florida, New York and California all before I was 14 years old. In that period of time I went to 10 schools. We traveled by car across America on Route 66. All together we crossed the U.S. 4 times and there was no air conditioning in cars at that time. We began travelling across America in 1960. We landed in California and we began our new life in Toluca Lake. We then moved to Inglewood, then Thousand Oaks (270 Virginia Dr.) and then back again to Inglewood. My father was working for aerospace and he was falling asleep on the road because of the long commute from Thousand Oaks into town and so again that’s why we moved back to 421 Venice Way in Inglewood. For this reason with all three states and all the schools and houses I really do not feel any one place as home. It was a wild time in my life. It has taken me a lifetime to find home.
I spent many weekend watching matinee’s at the Fox Theater
How does one explain a man that had worked 20 years to reach the pinnacle of success to be the project architect of the Frost Art Museum in Miami Florida and for it all to be lost because of a genetic disease called Scheuermann’s Kyphosis. Andrew was working for HOK Architects, one of the largest architectural firms in the world. When the moment came when I had to share with Andrew’s bosses in the privacy of our house and they were pressuring to know when he would come back, that they needed his brain, I had to tell them he wouldn’t be coming back. We then went on a journey like many, a life altering change. Andrew was left a shell of himself. He lay in bed for six months loosing himself and then we began to rebuild our life. To say that I am surprised that we are back here with his architecture and art combined brings me to my knees. I have pushed him you see for I am his greatest fan . Andrew from the moment he began creating the first greeting card for me towards public art, never having imagined 17 years later that my husband would find his way back to his true love, architecture. This alone is all about art and healing and the power of it. I hope he inspires others who lose one thing that they love to have the strength to find something new.
The very existence of this art required the intersection of time, circumstance and events beyond normal understanding. Add the needed advances in personal technology, previous education, an overwhelming medical disability, the determination of one young man to fight and create, and the love of another determined to help, that is the story of these works. And with all that, the art still overwhelms the story. Full disclosure requires stating that Andrew and Bruce are my Nephews, and that I love them.
Andrew wrote the following about his design:
I’ve been working in 3d design, reconnecting with my architecture and I designed this concept for a Hash Symbol monument. Designing this has been a healing experience for me. I’ve been in great pain. I had a serious episode of a slipped pelvis (a complication that happens to me periodically) and was laid up in bed for many days. I used this time to think about art and what I would do next when I could get up and sit again. Having designed a 3d printed sculpture of a hash symbol, with elements making it accessible for the visually impaired for an upcoming exhibition W/O Limits at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve, I began to formulate in my mind this concept for a Hash symbol monument. As I was confined mostly to bed for a week, the details came into focus and when I was able to get back to the computer, I had everything I needed to get to work and create it in 3d with two 3d programs; MOI for the 3d modeling and BLENDER for the rendering
I see it as a symbol of empowerment in our modern world of social media. It’s surrounded by 4 reflecting pools. They’re not really pools as they are only 2″ deep and would have spray fountains in them to be a cooling area to play in on super hot days; a kind of oasis in the time of climate change. The monument is elevated 18″ so that the pools are elevated. The edges at the perimeter have an infinity edge and the water would gently flow down into a channel and be pumped back, cycling the water. Gently sloping paths on axis with the openings of the hash symbols on four sides lead to a plaza where the monument rests. The plaza paving at the edge of the water is tactile for the visually impaired. The material is textured polished stainless steel. Its polished reflectivity would reflect the water and as the sun makes its arc during the day, it will continually transform as the light changes. A characteristic of the shape of the hash symbol is that it has two horizontal bars intersecting two slanted vertical bars. So that each of the sides and the top of the monument has slanted vertical bars, it is tilted 7 degrees in two directions.
An excerpt from the article reads: His husband, Bruce Baumwoll, suggested he design graphics for cards to see on his ebay business. Reach learned a little photoshop and started creating. He found a new, unexpected outlet for his creativity – making abstract artwork in digital media.
Another excerpt reads: Abstractly, his work reflects on experiences with chronic illness and physical pain. “I get to show it to the public, I get to express it, and I get to bring some joy and beauty into the world,” he says.
You can read the online version below.
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Curated by Megan Alves, marketing and program manager at AAWR and Mindy Tousley, executive director and chief curator of AAWR, this exhibition is very special to both of us because it features, including Andrew, 9 amazing artists with either chronic illness or disability: Sarah Brown, Kristi Copez, Chappelle Letman Jr., MANDEM, Meg Matko, Arabella Proffer, Nate Puppets and Kate Snow.
The following is an excerpt from the AAWR about the exhibition: This September, the Artists Archives is proud to present W/O Limits, an exhibition which exclusively features the work of artists experiencing chronic illness and/or disability. Curated by Megan Alves and Mindy Tousley, the remarkable show emphasizes accessibility and raises awareness while inspiring visitors with the art that people with chronic illnesses and disabilities create.