Traveling Man, Dallas

I’ve yet to find the secret to becoming the world traveler I dream of one day, but what I have noticed is that in the times that I feel most accomplished in that area of my life is when I see small details coming together. The result of extreme planning, culminating into many moving parts that produce flashes of joy and achievement that far outweigh the effort exerted to obtain them.

When I think of other similar or related metaphors that could apply, the air travel industry always comes to mind. Literally, crews of people work toward making the itineraries planned happen. Much of the time they achieve their goals without fail, but in some cases, with delays, cancellations, or obstacles at best. I am sure you periodically have a newsfeed of friends sending mean tweets to airlines with lost luggage, extra fees, cramped seating; I can’t be the only one. Ultimately, those issues get resolved, even if unceremoniously, and everyone goes about their day. We all find a way to keep it moving.

When I first graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree, I applied for a Major (unnamed DFW based) Airline internship to hopefully kick off my career in Communications with a company that might pay off in also getting to see more of the world. It’s brand, marketing strategy and corporate culture were always something I admired and wanted to be a part of. Plus, hopefully being able to hop a flight every month or so would totally be a fringe benefit that maybe I am only imagining, though quite fondly.

Houston is a hub city for that airline, but ultimately, trips to Dallas would have most definitely been required. While I wasn’t selected as a candidate and that specific opportunity is long passed, I like keeping my eyes and ears to the street to see if there is something new I can bring to their team.

Dallas also plays home to Brad Oldham’s “Traveling Man” sculpture in the Deep Ellum district. It’s a phenomenal and memorable piece that serves as a rich beacon for the area comprised of more artisan businesses than I would have imagined in my travels.

I recently attended the Bayou City Art Festival in Houston and found a really great rendition of Oldham’s “Traveling Man” in the art of Erin Curry. You can find a link to her work here. The link will take you in a new window to a piece for purchase, but I would encourage you to dig a little deeper into other pieces as well.

What I find compelling about Oldham’s work that is perfectly transcribed in Curry’s is a feeling of approachability. I grew up thinking that in many ways, the way that we respect art is by viewing from afar in reverence to interpretation. As I grow older, I appreciate art that is interactive. The kind of art that may bring a smile to your face and start a conversation. It doesn’t have to always sit in a silenced gallery to be appreciated.

It really felt like coincidence when I found Curry’s “Traveling Man” rendition at Bayou City Art Fest. She was busy with another customer at the time, but I overheard part of a conversation about another piece finding it’s way into the right person’s home. Erin is Deep Ellum based, so if you are local, be sure to check her out.

The track this week is The Silver Connection’s “Fly, Robin, Fly”. I can easily imagine this robot appreciating the bird perched on it’s arm, but ultimately allowing it to go about it’s day as well. The 1975 uptempo disco track registers the same way, which is the kind of kitsch I appreciate about deep 45 bin finds, as this was. I took a shot on a track, and was so happy to spin this one when I got home.

Growing up, primarily raised by a single Mother, I remember her always saying the phrase “Roots and Wings”. Of the things that she hoped to provide for me, this was a way that she would know that she had been an effective parent. Roots to know where I have come from and a place to always land, and wings to be able to find and reach the dreams that I had set for myself. I don’t think this was strictly her phrase, but Oldham’s approachable art conjures up that memory for me. The metal structure is completely juxtaposed to the organic phrase I remember from my childhood, but the expression and imagination are as present as ever. And at 33, I don’t know if it’s too early to call it, but I think I might have had that balance provided as I plot out the next adventures in my personal and professional lives.

So Hello, World. I love it when a plan comes together.

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