McDonnell, Ashley E
The original idea for this work came from a period of self-reflection, specifically during this past summer where life as we knew it shifted dramatically. I have had a passion for the arts, in all forms, for as long as I can remember, all as a direct impact that my grandfather had on me. Charlie had always loved art, specifically dance and theater, and was a constant supporter of the arts. At a young age, he began taking me to the New York City Ballet to see The Nutcracker, and seeing how I fell in love with dance, he made it his mission to provide me with as much inspiration and access to the arts, as possible. He took me to see shows whenever he had the chance, up until the day that he died. This constant support and access is what drove me to pursue a career in the arts and has shaped me into the person that I am today. After his death, I truly realized how much of an impact that he made on me and how I feel as though I took his life for granted. I’ve realized that this is one of my major flaws, and I want to spend more time reflecting and suspending in the substance of each moment. I want to start appreciating what I have when I have it, instead of turning a blind eye to the treasures that fill each day. I keep a card on my desk that reads “Gratitude in advance is the most powerful creative force in the universe” and this principle is what I wanted the focus of this piece to be about. I felt as though it would be selfish to not create a piece that also reflects the dramatic change in life that has happened this year. Life can change so quickly and so we need to be grateful for what we have while we have it and truly appreciate this beautiful life.
East Carolina University