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Origin Stories

The Gallery in the Square

October 1, 2023

October 31, 2023

135 NH Route 101A Amherst, NH

My origin stories of what makes me who I am. Holding onto me is my trauma demon. I never asked for that to form but it exists, is present, and something I have learned to cope with. I started playing drums when I was 6 which is why there are sticks in my sweatshirt pocket. During a hard time in my life I went to a Gojira show with my friend and they quickly became my favorite band and while I do not own that sweatshirt anymore, it was always my favorite. I like to think that is what is playing in my headphones as I toss my day job away.

Each layer tells a story of a different aspect of my being. The first represents Amanda and our dog Jake. July 23, 2004 was the origin of Amanda and my relationship and it started at a Chili’s. We grew in MA and would vacation to NH so it is no surprise that we ended up living here. We lived in Boston for years prior which is shown as a Green Line train. You can see our marriage date, 10.11.2014, within the hearts under the turtle. We got Jake shortly after. We have been to over 100 concerts so i used stubs to represent each year we have been together.

The next layer shows my relationships with my friends, mainly my closest one Sam, and all our interests. We grew up hanging with his parents, family, and friends in the unfinished basement. I have really fond memories with them there. It is my second family. The campfire seen in the top left was at that house. Sam, my friend Charlie, and I were enjoying our night and singing “The Darkness” at the top of our lungs not realizing the pizza delivery guy was standing at the edge of the lawn trying to get our attention. When we noticed, we all could not stop laughing. This is a snippet of our meaningful friendship. The brothers I never had.

Layer three is my family story. The dancing sculptures are part of the Field Gallery on Martha’s Vineyard. We went to Martha’s Vineyard for a week out of every year of my childhood until we eventually started going to NH instead. There are too many stories in this layer to list out but I will explain one of the items. When I was little my Nana brought me to feed the ducks all the time. One of the times a duck bit my finger. She flipped out and took me to a flower shop to wash my hands…. in flower water… not a sink. I drew the experience as a kid and tried my best to remember and replicate the drawing on here.

Art is the layer outside of that. I grew up going to the art studio with my Mom at the mills in Holliston, MA. I would sit with her and draw and took classes from her studio mate and friend. I really cherished it. After high school I stopped drawing. It took me 10 years to start again. I did so in 2019 because I was in a dark period in my life after some trauma resurfaced in the form of years of sexual harassment from an abuser of my youth. The pull back to art was strong. It was a survival tactic. It was my therapy before I went to real therapy. It led me to face some demons in my life and helped me transform into who I am today.

I am a musician as well. Music was another thing that helped me through some rough times. I also hadn’t played much in the 10 years after High school and started playing again during a dark period. I used the drums to destress channel my negative energy. The first instrument I learned was piano, then the drum set, French horn, and guitar. I am pretty OK at all of them but drums are my real passion.

The next layer is cooking. I grew up cooking with my Nana, mom, sisters, and grandma. I am an extremely sentimental person and cooking gives me peace because it reminds me of so many memories.

Next up is my Movie layer. The second date Amanda and I had was Chili’s AND a movie. Pretty classy. I also grew up going to movies with my friends, dad, and our close neighbor Ed. Sam and I worked at Blockbuster for years. I used to drive to Providence with my store manager Bruce to pick up comics. I also would duel the assistant manager with my master replica Luke Lightsaber against his Darth Vader lightsaber after hours. Again, i am a sentimental person and these experiences probably explain my love for Star Wars and comic book movies to this day. I loved working that job and it gave me a real love for movies. I worked at that store until it liquidated and closed.

My next retail job was at The LEGO Store at the Natick Mall. My grandparents had a box of LEGO bricks and some of my earliest memories are building with them. I collected well into my 20s then sold everything I owned when we moved from Quincy, MA to NH. That was a mistake because just like the pull back into art, there was a resurgence of my love for LEGO and I started collecting again several years ago.

The final layer is Pokémon. My cousin Will, who I greatly admired as a kid, gave me a guide to Red and Blue before I owned the games. I eventually got a copy and there was no turning back. I am still and avid Pokémon fan and play to this day. I used to replicate the drawings on the cards on poster board to try and create scenes of them. I keep a living dex which means I have one of every Pokémon in my game storage. There are currently just over 1000 in existence.

This is one of the most personal things I have ever drawn. I hope it gives you all a little insight into who I am, what I am, who I love, what I value, and what is visibly me.

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