Part of the art

I had the opportunity to be a part of art on Saturday, and I must say it was quite a hoot.
I attended the third annual ArtsLIVE People Project with the idea that I would take a few pictures, chat with a couple people and head back home. I ended up being part of the project.

The idea of the project was for people to stand on the ice in the shape of something. For 2010, a cardinal was chosen.

When I first arrived at the lot to catch the shuttle bus, people were already laughing and teasing and commenting on their per-sonal choices of red clothing items. Participants had been asked to wear red, and most took it pretty seriously.

When we arrived at Iowa Lakes Laboratory, Jane Shuttleworth, the education coordinator, was there to greet us. She was very nice and very informative. An incredibly upbeat lady.

As people (including me) headed down to the ice, we could see the cardinal design in the snow on the lake. A design had been cre-ated by artist Chad Branham, and he and some helpers had moved that design onto an open area. When I asked him how, he said it involved math. Now, math is not my strong point, but apparently it has something to do with triangulation and other complicated words. And little green cones. According to Chad, the cones were important.

First I have to tell you how we got down to the ice. It was way cool. And all downhill. There was a mess hall at the top of the bank, and to get people down the icy slope we were herded in a big Z. Well, zig-zag. It was so neat to see all of those red coats against the white snow in a ziggy-zaggy pattern down the bank to the lake.

And everyone was laughing and talking and teasing and giggling. A merrier group I’ve not seen in a long time. Granted, I normally cover crime and court and misery and stuff, so I don’t see a lot of gaiety in my job, but seriously. These people were all in great moods.

I ended up on the ice close to the tail feathers of the bird and by a group of people who had walked across the ice to join in the fun. I asked one woman where she was from, and explained that I was writing a story for the Daily Globe. Within moments, I had people all around me shouting out where they were from.

We waved at the airplane overhead that was carrying the photographer, we talked and laughed and chatted.

When we were dismissed, we shuffled off the ice. The group that had been standing next to me decided they wanted a group photo, so they gathered in one spot.

“Hey, Globe girl!” I heard. Now, I have been called a lot of things in my time, but Globe girl is new.

Turns out they wanted me to take the photo. They all started handing me cameras, and pretty soon I had point and shoots in my pockets and hanging off my arms.

Anyway, the whole thing was so much fun. The weather was beautiful, the sun was shining, and I got a cup of hot cocoa after the photo shoot. I met some very kind people on the shuttle bus ride back to the parking lot, too.

OK, look at the photo. See the dark spot near the tail feather? That’s me. I wasn’t wearing red, but they mixed me in with the red group.