Inspired by the storm: Creative places and spaces

Hurricane Matthew was a doozy. He knocked trees down, blew the power out, and added new words to our vocabulary like "evacu-cation" and "evacu-shaming". Matthew stole lives during his trip through the islands and up towards the Northeast - many of which never even knew he was coming until it was too late. 

While I've only been around shy of 27 years I've unfortunately seen a good bit of tragedy. Something that always hits me after a horrible event is the outpour of support in the community. The spray painted sign stapled to the tree on Coleman Blvd reading "Thank You First Responders"... The handshakes and helping hands I've seen my neighbors give each other as they're cleaning up their shared disaster zones... The line-up of people donating extra mattresses to those who lost theirs in the low-lying east side of Charleston. These acts of kindness are forever moving. If only they were more common in normal times. 

With all that being said, as I was driving over the bridge today and zipped off my exit, I noticed something. Against the absurdly crisp, blue sky stood a structure that I had seen many times before, but this time it made me feel. I was aware. My senses heightened. I became curious. Why had the city decided to paint this retired bridge pier a variety of earthy colors? How could I have forgotten the effect of street art on the human brain? I had studied it in school and became borderline obsessive with the thought of it's impact on society as a whole. How did that escape me and why do we not regularly celebrate this free-to-experience art form in our city? 

Vincent van Gogh was a pretty wacky dude, but one of his quotes that always stuck out to me was, "There is peace even in the storm". Feel free to interpret that any way you please. To me I've found that in tumultuous times I rest assured that at the end of it all there is a clarity we will find, if only temporarily. 

If you want to get out and think, here are a few good places to start: 

Bridge pier on East Bay Street painted by Jim Weinberg. image: ABC News 4

Bridge pier on East Bay Street painted by Jim Weinberg. image: ABC News 4

Artwork by Douglas Panzone on James Island behind Buffalo Exchange. 

Artwork by Douglas Panzone on James Island behind Buffalo Exchange. 

"House of the Future" by David Hammons and Albert Alston, Reid and America Streets. 

"House of the Future" by David Hammons and Albert Alston, Reid and America Streets. 

The Charleston Hat Man at Church and Broad Streets. image: Panoramio

The Charleston Hat Man at Church and Broad Streets. image: Panoramio

What Will Save America? East Side, Charleston, SC. by David Hammons 

What Will Save America? East Side, Charleston, SC. by David Hammons 

Mural by David Boatwright at GrowFood on Morrison Dr. image: The City Paper

Mural by David Boatwright at GrowFood on Morrison Dr. image: The City Paper