"AMERICAN BEAUTY"
 55.5” x 24” x 11”
 Mixed Media

The food tasted bland with anticipation. After finally being excused from the dinner table with the last rays of summer light lingering in the sky, we ran outside as the old screen door slammed a noisy goodbye. With sweaty hands, we grabbed our wagons and headed up the steep hill in front of the house. As we reached the top with burning legs and heart pounding courage, we sat down, feet splayed out on each side for balance (and an emergency brake if needed) and leaned forward to launch our trusty rockets into flight.

There were big wagons, small wagons, old wagons, new wagons, some were steered with a rope, while others had bent handle intact, but with wide eyed blistering speed we all had one thing in common; we flew back down towards the house bouncing up and down as the wheels careened over and around rocks, trusting our very lives to a friend to yell out directions and guide us so we didn’t hit a parked car or two in the driveway as we steered carefully and confidently to a final stop. We knew that if we didn’t listen and trust each other at those top speeds, a trip to the emergency room (or the dentist) would be imminent. But despite those scary risks, we kept climbing right back up that hill and kept doing it again and again, laughing with each other, trusting each other, caring for each other, and even riding in each others wagons until the sunlight faded on the horizon and our parents voices called us in for the night.

American Beauty represents lessons of courage, trust, balance, and most importantly, freedom. Despite our differences, we must continue to navigate ‘over and around’ those obstacles that discourage us from working together, trusting each other, and finding happiness, as the wheels of time roll forward towards a better tomorrow.

AMERICAN BEAUTY  is comprised of wood, string, concrete, paint, and steel.