A Neighborhood Facelift and a Little Bit of Rest

Well, my friends, with the passing of June 21 we have officially crossed the seasoned bridge into summer, and I’m sure you all know what that means…summer porch parties! There are few things that cultivate such rich times, lively conversations, and delectable culinary creations as porch parties, and we at the Harrison Center for the Arts think these parties are something to be celebrated, both on your porch and in theory. That is precisely why, if you just so happen to find yourself northbound on Delaware Street, you might see a little neighborhood facelift as you hit 16th Street.

porch party billboard

Featured at what we would like to think is the most artistically blessed intersection in Indianapolis is a brand new City Gallery billboard showcasing the work of HCA’s very own Kyle Ragsdale! As the HCA curator, as well as an artist in his own right, Kyle has shared his talents to paint for neighborhood unity. This billboard, portraying his painting “Porch Party,” graces us with a snapshot of neighbors enjoying life together in the late Indianapolis afternoon. We see men, women, and children lovingly shaded underneath the porch awning of the hospitable homeowners. What a lovely picture of community. So lovely to all of us at HCA, in fact, that we will be hosting our very own porch party on the 4th of July before the fireworks! We are also calling all Indy residents, generous enough to share their porches, to participate in our citywide porch party event on Sunday, July 13. (See link for details: www.facebook.com/events/504642636327886)

I think though, that there is something going on beneath the surface that is worth pondering. It seems to me we live looking through the spectacles of an overwhelmingly work-based, achievement-oriented worldview. “Well, what’s wrong with that?!” some might protest, and I would simply reply, “Nothing at all.” This particular lens way of life undoubtedly has its merits, but it also seems that it is high time we learn to rest as well as we work.

I think that New York Times bestselling author, Mitch Albom, offered great perspective when he said, “I used to be a classic workaholic, and after seeing how little work and career really mean when you reach the end of your life, I put a new emphasis on things I believe count more. These things include: family, friends, being part of a community, and appreciating the little joys of the average day.”

The time has come, my friends, to sit back with a glass of iced tea (or sweet tea if that’s you thing) and spend some time enjoying the little things we so often take for granted. Invite a few friends over, crank up some mellow tunes, and enjoy the summer air. You might just find a porch party is exactly what you needed.