1. In a general sense, a large town; a large number of houses and inhabitants, established on one place.
2. The collective body of citizens, or the inhabitants of a city; as when we say, the city voted to establish a market, and the city repealed the vote.
(From the American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828)
I have gone through different seasons of painting my city. When I came back to Grand Rapids after graduate school in 1987 I did a number of small paintings and drawings on site around the city as a way to re-aclamait myself to my home. I began the City As Muse project last January which concluded with ArtPrize '14. Now I am working on a new painting of the city along the river beside the Fulton Street bridge. The more I do these works, the deeper I feel connected to this place. It is as if the city itself has a soul, like a person has a soul. I feel like the city is much more than brick and mortar, concrete and asphalt. There is something within that pulses with life, a dynamic living thing, always changing, rising and falling. And even when a city like Detroit looks like it may be dying, there is always the potential of a rebirth out of the ashes.
I remain captivated by our city as I draw and paint it. Painting and drawing the place where I live makes me care about it more and at the same time feeds my sense of belonging to this particular place at this present time.