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The American imagination has always had a sticky friend in travel. Movement from place to place has defined humanity for as long as we can recount, and travel–justifiably–has occupied our minds not just as a necessary pursuit, but also as a pleasure. Travel is known for many of its finer qualities from education and exposure to promise and prosperity. Travel speaks to the romanticism, adventure, and new sight that many artists have promised their viewers, and it has, likewise, given new eyes to those looking for larger answers in a world we have consistently and systematically made pitifully small. In the words of one American author:
“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.”
― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
This week Garreth and Cody sit down to tell stories of a trip that shaped them. From unexpected journeys to planned trips with unplanned surprises, these journeys are not just personal experiences, but are moments of exposure to visual, emotional, and experiential knowledge that shapes the way we see the world and show the world to others. After a few years of closed doors and sheltering in place, it is time for artists and designers to lead the world in traveling so we can once again be a part of the tradition that makes something of the world.
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Stream our documentary The Builder!
For a limited time, our documentary The Builder is available to stream on Vimeo! The film centers on the art scene in Richmond, Virginia, with a focus on Oregon Hill native and contractor Don Childress, who–to the surprise of many–has an incredible contemporary art collection. This collection includes work from Francisco Clemente, Ron Johnson, and Bill Fisher to name just a few. Check out more at The Builder’s website.