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  • sammack1126

Sunshine Street

On my walk to my contemporary art class this afternoon, I came across this sweet ride parked on Abercorn and just had to stop and snap a picture. As I paused on the sidewalk, a little self-conscious about pulling out my phone for a picture (I'm weird like that), a voice called from across the street, "THE OTHER SIDE IS COOLER!!" As I walked over and checked out the brilliant butterflies on the driver's side, the artist herself walked over, continuing, "it's not finished yet!" When I asked, she enthusiastically paused for this lovely photo before hopping into her car and driving off. Though I didn't catch her name, I hope we meet again, and I'm glad that this new route from my parking spot to class proved so serendipitous.

I've had so many great encounters like this in the few days since I've moved to Savannah; the city is chock full of artists who are excited to share the things they're working on and thinking about, and the ideas they share are consistently mind-blowing. There's always a payoff to opening up in this city, and as a textbook introvert, I've been making a concerted effort to break out of my cocoon and talk to the other sunshine painters of the world.

My grandfather, "Pap Pap," is a sunshine painter in his own right, with a mind for the mechanical. He's worked on cars his whole life, taught me how to drive, and built and painted this Pontiac Sunbird Convertible from scratch. I've had the joy of driving it through the park with the top down back home in Pittsburgh, and being behind the wheel of it really gives you the sense of cars as elegant yet heavy duty machinery - the weight of the gear shift, the hand crank windows, and the heavy doors all feel wonderfully kinetic. I've always loved the bright colors he chose, and cruising around in this thing always elicited the greatest compliments ("Your car is badass," a road worker once told me as I passed through a construction zone on a summer joy ride). I've always been inspired by other makers in my family, even those who don't necessarily call themselves artists. I feel so lucky to share the joy of making with other people in my life, and can only hope to do justice to the creative lessons they've passed on to me.

My brother and I in front of Pap Pap's built-from-scratch Pontiac Sunbird Convertible

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