Last Sunday, headed upisland on the way home from the ferry, after being Away for a day, I passed the Tashmoo overlook, said “What????” to myself, and immediately turned around and went back, for another overlook.
There was a police car in the turnout. A poor, gobsmacked cop was calling his boss, wondering what the heck to do about this thing that had suddenly appeared on Town land. He was worried that kids might run into the it when they came to go sledding next winter. But he kinda liked it.
“Look how much I adore you”, the sign proclaimed.
Wow, did I ever adore. The sign was on three-quarter inch thick medium density 2-sided overlaid plywood. The work on the front face was computer-printed on matte white vinyl. The back was unpainted, indicating that the sign was going to be temporary. The edges were painted black, but voids were not filled, another sign of “temporary”. The posts were 6×6, which said “don’t steal me”. Where the sign had been nailed onto the post, small squares of white vinyl covered the nailheads. A careful and artistic touch.
There is exactly one person on Martha’s Vineyard who could have made a sign like this. Since I taught her the sign trade, and recognized her style, I called her up. When she answered the phone, I said, “Look how much I adore you….”. Once she realized what I’d said, and who was calling, she asked if I wanted to know now or later. (Now, of course!)
The story was…the sign, and ten other installations with positive “you” themes, were the brainchild of a local psychotherapist and artist, Julia Kidd, who had been working on the project, with my friend M., for a few years. A la Christo, she had spent much of that time going to Town Selectmen and Sign Committees, getting permission to install these works, which will be up for the next two weeks. Only one Town, Oak Bluffs, refused permission. Their reason? “If we allow something like this, everyone will do it….”.
For the final image of this sign, I got down on my knees, and pointed the camera towards the sky.
The damp of the ground seeped into my knees. Being in that position was like worshipping.
How worshipfully wonderful that there are people who make such things as these.