About optimystic1

Artist, photographer and optimist. Life is short. Make as much love as you can.

September 3, Noon – 6:00 PM

A small, spontaneous memorial that was created at the site where ODU student Christopher Cummings was killed in June first inspired this work. Nearby the flowers and cards left by mourners, a small, stone peace symbol made of green painted stones was placed on the ground, with a sign asking people passing by to choose peace, and make one move in affirmation of that goal by placing an unpainted stone within the circle. Although the memorial was removed in less than a week, nearly 100 stones were placed within it, and a tea-light candle was placed in the center. The works exhibited here are an extension of that memorial, and also a response to the call made to everyone in our community to come forward with creative ideas to create a safer and more united campus.

A work in the backyard entitled “Choose Peace” is a larger iteration of that peace sign memorial explained above; please see the link above for more information about this piece.

Inside the studio, a full-room installation entitled “Paradigm Shifting” asks for ideas and suggestions from anyone and everyone about additional solutions to the issue of safety on our campus.  This blog has been created to put all the given ideas online, in one place, and an ongoing collective dialogue is encouraged to take place here.

Additionally, two additional site-specific works are being shown in this project. The first piece, “pathless path”, is shown in between the unkempt yet lovely yards of the two studios; participants are asked to walk over the makeshift bridge slowly and with attention to each step; it is a visual metaphor, asking viewers to be conscious of each step they take while they are here, now. The larger work, entitled “Indigenous”, is an installation that transforms the outdoor property of the Melrose studio into a communal aesthetic space, simply asking viewers to be present with the indigenous sights and sounds of the existing garden, and the found objects and many wind chimes placed within the work.

This artwork and blog are communal works in progress.


The web is already woven.

Above, this blog displayed on the first day of the installation.

The new header is a shot of the ODU CCM students who came back in to contribute their thoughts (please see it on the  “living poem” link above.)  They were among the first writers of this living poem.

Students reading the installation statement.