Mari’s Teenage Room

It was only natural for my students at Starting Artists to be curious about my teenage self. They often asked about what I was like when I was their age. When **Athena**, **Corrina**, **Ian** and others were creating an incredible decoupage coffee table during the Summer Art Intensive I was reminded of my teenage room where the walls were plastered with images. While preparing to hit the road once again I was looking through a box of old photos from storage and I stumbled upon images of my teenage room.

As you can see, I was fascinated by black & white photos, postcards, Polaroids, and making collages. In particular, I used to go to a vintage poster store on Newbury Street in Boston that sold old 8″ x 10″ glossies of stars and starlets from the 1950s & 1960s. If you look closely you’ll see James Dean, JFK, Marilyn, “An American Girl in Itlay” by Ruth Orkin, and more Guess campaigns than you can count. I used to subscribe to Rolling Stone (back in the over-sized staple-binding days) as well as YM (I admit it!) and I would cut out many images from those magazines among others.

What you can’t see is the JFK poster with the quotation, “A new generation of leadership is needed…for there is a new world to be won,” which was part of my inspiration for joining the Peace Corps. It’s across from the mirror. You can see the corner of the JFK calendar I had next to my bed (my parents got it for me) and clips from Nike ads that I liked. They had a whole series targeted to women with poetry and awesome images of idols like Mia Hamm. One of the Nike ads had this poem about soccer with an image of Mia Hamm, which I loved:

Dancer

When you were a child your mother thought,
As mothers sometimes do,
That you were strong enough
And sure enough
To someday be a dancer.
But when you were five
Or was it six or was it nine
You didn’t want to dance,
You couldn’t bear to dance
Unless you were dancing in the grass,
And dancing in the mud
As children often do
As children often do.
And then your father kicked you a ball.
And the ball was the shape of the whole wide world to you. 
And now if you see green you can only think of one thing to do. 
And the world slips away from your feet. 
And the sky slips down into your arms.
And you are free you are free 
you are absolutely free
To be who you want.
To go where you can.
To be wild to be loud 
to fly in the mud 
and run in the rain.
Strong enough 
Sure enough 
Like a dancer.
*

Although I have described the room many times, as they say—a picture is worth a thousand words (how many words is a room full of pictures worth?).

Enjoy, Mari

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  1. Ecuador Inspiration: Color | Partners for Peace - May 20, 2013

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