Today was the public dedication of all the murals in Aberdeen including Erik Sandgren’s Nirvana Mural which I was fortunate to be included.
I had my family there to cheer (I heard them all) and the city of Aberdeen was alive. It was great to see Sylvia and Mike from OUR ABERDEEN and to see Kathryn Cotnoir, her mother and her daughter Kate Sandgren (check out her Timberbound FB Page).
My brother Brandon Sobottka joined my daughter Courtney Taylor and my wife Jane Sobottka on the trip down (my sis in law Brandy and nephew Alaric were busy back in T-town and were with us in spirit). I am so grateful to both Jane and Courtney for their support and encouragement. They both have a strong critical eye and provide excellent feedback.
One amazing thing was several people including Davey came up to Brandon and me and asked how our father Thomas Sobottka is doing. Davey worked with Dad at Grays Harbor College.
Tyler Savin of Fir Forest Media (designer of the Nirvana Mural Website) also joined in but was in “work mode” as he was shooting video and photos of the event for inclusion on the website. He is the consummate designer and always keying into how the public might interface with a project such as the Nirvana Mural website.
Kris Noveselic (do you really need me to tell you who he is?) came out and spoke at the private and public dedication to all of Aberdeen’s new murals. He spoke of Erik Sandgren’s artwork, the mural, strength in community and the environment of Washington. In addition to his public comments he was integral to the development of the mural and his support means the world to all of us artists involved. It was an honor to see him again and to know he supported the project.
One artist was absent. Dominic Senibalidi (Print or Die fame) had to teach in the midwest and could not join us for the dedication. When I texted Erik to thoughtfully ask what I should wear (Jason don’t dress up) he said he was wearing a paper version of Dom’s head…which in fact he did…and also provided a voice over to transport Dominic to Aberdeen. It was very touching in my opinion and if he couldn’t be there in person I cannot think of a better doppelganger.
Fall is around the corner but it feels like summer just began with this project. I am so grateful to Erik Sandgren, Kathryn Cotnoir and Kate Sandgren for including me in projects such as these and to the artists Anthony James Cotham, David Wall and Dominic Senibaldi for teaching me so much during this process. Their efforts have changed my own aesthetic and I am in their debt.
To share this day with Jane, Court and Brandon made it the best day of the summer.