So Long...

This is our final post on the "Rapid Returns" blog website. As part of the Fellowship Grant award agreement, Fellows were required to contribute to the blog, posting updates on our projects or events that might interest viewers. The Creative Pinellas "Rapid Returns" Fellowship Award period (June 1st-September 15th) has come to an end.

Prior to Peter receiving the Fellowship we had discussed ways the public could learn about Automata as an art form, the process in making, and mechanizing, three-dimensional figures; and to show how an animated figure's movements are used to tell a story or convey emotion. We use our website and Facebook page to present our artwork online, and recently started a YouTube channel [Chomick Meder] to showcase our automata and document the technical aspects of what we do, but quite honestly had not considered a blog.

Now We're Hooked!

Never thought blogging would be such a rewarding experience! The last few months, Chris has been in the process of redesigning our website and (inspired by Creative Pinellas) has added a blog page to include our previous posts from the "Rapid Returns" blog and continue new posts on our updated website (coming soon). Now we are looking for topics and projects to share (don't worry, you will not see photos of our lunch) and are very excited with this new venue.

Final Report

Another important requirement of the Fellowship Award is the Final Report, which details how the "Rapid Returns" Grant funds benefited us personally, creatively and professionally during the grant period.

A month into the Fellowship Program, Peter suffered an ischemic stroke affecting his left side, the outcome could have been very dire if a series of fortunate events had not been in place. We live a few blocks from a Hospital that specializes in Heart and Stroke so he was able to receive immediate treatment and today shows no signs of physical impairment. The first month of recuperation was difficult as he tired easily but was able to move about for short periods of time. What kept him going was focusing on projects that had previously been "thought experiments" but now, because of the funds from the "Rapid Returns" Grant, we could continue and complete. This gave Peter purpose, he looked forward to receiving (almost daily) packages filled with materials, tools and supplies for projects to resume and others to begin when he was well. His stamina has steadily increased over the months, mainly due to the excitement and energy from the current works in progress and the ones waiting in the wings. We are still receiving packages of goodies with more on the wish list to fulfill (Peter is keeping the US Post very busy).

Thank you, Creative Pinellas!

We are very grateful to Creative Pinellas for pushing us into blogging – a path we may not have taken -- and for putting together the "Rapid Returns" Individual Artist Fellowship Program. It has given us creative freedom to take chances with unexplored materials and methods, we no longer worry about rationing our stash of supplies that have been too costly to replace, or stifling an idea because it could affect our household funds. We have so many options now, anything is possible, so we can leave behind the days of cannibalizing past projects to create new.

The bonus (on top of receiving Grant funds) was a public meeting with the other Fellows for a panel discussion, an inspiring group of artists representing a cross section of artistic disciplines – visual art, theater, choreography, literature and music composition. It was insightful to discover the concerns from artists outside of our own discipline (visual arts) and have the opportunity to learn their perspective on the local art scene and how the arts benefit the community.

Great appreciation and accolades to the incredible people working behind the scenes at Creative Pinellas who made this possible: Engagement Director Elizabeth Brincklow, Board Member Carlen Petersen, Executive Director Barbara St. Clair, ARTICULATE Editor Danny Olda, and Marketing Manager Mason Gehring. We financially benefited due to your dedication to the arts community, creative vision and drive to make the Individual Artist Fellowship Program a reality. We thoroughly enjoyed the journey, it has been a pleasure.

“So long, and thanks for all the fish."
Peter Meder and Chris Chomick