© 2010 barbara.obata@gmail.com


Growing up in an area where I and my siblings were “one of a kind”,  I took it upon myself to be my own personal emissary of good will towards Americans.  So when I reached 18 I bussed, trained, and generally shuffled back and forth across the country, moving from town to town and state to state, then coast to coast, hoping to figure out what is meant here by “human”, or at least about the sauce with which it is dressed.

I made this mission through 48 of the 50 states (missing Alaska, and actually regret never having made it to Florida). You’d be surprised what people will tell you when they think you’re just passing through.  Close listening composed the drama of every day.

Since those heady days, I’ve worked in public and private sector and had many more opportunities to move around and to witness.  I’ve volunteered with the homeless, converted vacant lots to community gardens, cavorted within the cubicles of corporate culture.

In my travels I observed how our American systems cultivate and embrace a soft and quiet ignorance.  I became interested in poking that voice, the mute voice of dreams.  Through drawing experiments I’ve attempted to create the circumstance which does not require one to be “good at it”, but more urgently to take the voice and push it outward. Would you like to tell someone something today?  Will you say it in a drawing, or in words? The choice, of course, is yours.

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