LEXINGTON, Ky (9/5/2013)—Local artist Stacey Chinn believes that the best way to get through a break-up is with humor.
The Lexington Art League asked Chinn to contribute 50 pieces of her artwork for the Community Supported Art (CSA(rt)) program they did this summer, and that’s when she decided that she wanted all of her pieces to relate somehow.
“I struggled on what 50 things that I was going to turn in,” said Chinn. “I had a budget and a time limit.”
Then a coworker jokingly suggested ’50 Ways To Leave Your Lover.’
“It was like an eureka moment,” Chinn said laughing, “I have a lot of experience with leaving lovers, I’m actually going through a divorce right now.”
Once word got out to the public about the project she was working on, people were eager to help and suggest different things that she should add to the list.
“I think everyone has had experience with this in their life,” said Chinn. “There were kids in my neighborhood that were five and six years old bringing me materials and ideas for the project.”
Chinn ended up making 52 pieces instead of 50 because of the excitement. An oven mitt with a middle finger raised, a plaster casting of her own hand as a hitchhikers thumb, a gasoline can with beer written on the side, and a knitted aviator cap with a wooden propeller on the top of it are just a few of the pieces in the collection.
“Each piece has a title, but those usually came after I was finished with it,” Chinn said. “I purchased the materials from flea markets, used things that I already had, and items were given to me by people. It was just a bunch of ideas, objects, and a lot of thinking put into one ending product.”
Chinn admitted that she has a tendency to use art as a way to get through things, and she thinks a little sense of humor can take you a long way.
“I laughed through the entire thing, I think I find myself kind of funny,” Chinn said. “I don’t know if anyone else does, but I certainly do.”
You can find some of Chinn’s other artwork being showcased all over Kentucky, but her favorite experience as an artist came from this project.
“I honestly found the humor in goodbye,” said Chinn. “It was therapeutic and to me it’s successful because everyone ended up loving it. It was funny, and I think I have done something that people will remember.”
The LAL put up an entire installation of the ’50 Ways To Leave Your Lover’ series and the night that the CSA(rt) crates were given out, the share holders were able to come up and pick out which piece they liked the most.
“That was fun to watch,” said Chinn. “They would walk up to the installation, go through and look at the pieces, laugh, then pick up the one that in some way or another affected them the most. It was all just so memorable.”
Chinn has decided that in the near future she will be coming up with ’50 More Ways To Leave Your Lover’ since the first 50 were such a big hit in Lexington.
“I just had so many ideas after the first 50 and this time around I will have a lot more time to be able to put into the project,” said Chinn.
If you weren’t able to see the first 52 ways, don’t worry. Chinn has decided that she is going to make a funny book to show the pieces and their titles.
“I think I’ll stop at 102 ways,” Chinn said laughing, “we will see.”
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