As I am now concluding my 3rd summer here in Nephi. Lamenting the passage of more time spent here. I just need to vent!
Salt Lake City friends ask me all the time still... "Why Nephi?"
Moving to Nephi was escape from the hustle and the game of the city. I wanted endless landscapes and big skies. Where by heart and mind could be free.
I wanted to hear the magic in the rain and revel in the silence that snow brings. I wanted to play with animals and bring Art to people who lack exposure. I wanted to experience life and the passage of time through leaves, flowers, the glorious moon and the inches my children grew. If I could have found my own Walden Pond I would have retreated and never looked back. I wanted to make art in solitude away from judgment and constricting social norms of Utah LDS culture.
Of course I also feel hard and fast for this late 1800's colonial. It stole my heart with all it's sweet details. Like the hardware and wallpaper and faux painted wooden doors. Ooozing with character this old beauty was to delicious to resist. despite the homes lack of endless pastoral fields I truly believed I could make it work. Boy have I tried
When I first moved down here I immediately. Set up for Art Class. Buying tables and chairs. Copious amounts of art supplies. Passing out fliers and offering a killer deal for classes. Making Art easier to access in this rural community. I joined the fine arts council down here. Volunteered at the fair. Worked hard on their Christmas festival and kicked off a gingerbread completion. Also headed up Art in the Park. Bringing in wonderful folk musicians from the city and acquiring a sponsorships from another non profit. I campaigned for a Chalk Art Festival. Going and speaking to the Jr. High and High Schools as well as the business commission. In an effort to bolster involvement. Without a doubt I was investing myself in Nephi. In the wonderful community I was hopping to find here.
To say all my efforts have been in vain is an understatement. The Art in the Park was a flop. The Musicians got on to play and the entire crowd got up and left. What the hell Nephi!? How utterly rude can you be? Did no one teach you any manners? No one signed up for the chalk festival. It was pretty much just me, the Artists I brought in from SLC, The high school Art teacher and another woman from the council. My Class sizes have drastically reduce. It really isn't even worth my time to be teaching down here. It is a joke. My friends husband teaches Art at the elementary here and in Mona. He told me they where looking for an Art assistant and that he thought I should apply. So I did. I sent in my resume, application and letters of reference. I am more than qualified for the position and frankly have so much to offer not only the children of the community but also Nephi as a whole. I did not hear one peep from them. Not even a friendly rejection letter. Apparently I am "TOOO URBAN" to be teaching the young minds of Juab county the color wheel!
Brad's bakery is finishing up a complete remodel. He and the store manger were talking about the new bread racks, they are about to put in. The old racks have chalk board signs above them. I have been complaining to Brad about the piss poor job done on them since he took the job. The new racks have chalk board also. Brad says to his manager,. "This is my bakery, These are my racks. If another artist is paid to come in and chalk these signs and not my wife, I will be mad. She will be mad. We will be mad." The Manager response something along the lines of. "What is she going to paint naked people?"
Agh! Idiots. Small minded idiots, So no job at the school. Why because I'm too urban? what does that mean? The Store doesn't want me painting their signs, because I might throw a penis or nipple in there? My class sizes started going down when I announced my project "The Human Form". SO naked people that's the problem?! Painting Human bodies makes me Urban? Guess what Nephi we all have bodies that are naturally NAKED!
The Juab School District could use a bit of urban. Perhaps all their students wouldn't have a perpetual sense of a life without opportunity. Perhaps they could acquire some urban teachers that actually spoke proper English, instead of indoctrinating my children with the dreaded... "I Done" and so many other rural Nephi phrases that have the same effect as nails on a chalk board. Perhaps if they found some urbanites, they would also bring in some woke ass fucking people. People who don't stand for bulling or racism. Both of which are extremely prevalent. There is a strong divide in the haves and have not in Nephi. You know what cures poverty? Education. The districts educational choices are clearly lacking. If the millennial generation in Nephi is grossly underemployed, unemployed and baring a heavy, heavy drug problem, when compared statistically to other suburban and urban communities, there is a problem. Brad employs this High schooler. Who until this past spring didn't know so much basic sex-ed. let alone any resources. It is no surprise that so many kids in the very conservative Mormon community are striving to go to BYU. My feelings are that the young girls being sent off there are not prepared and do not have enough education about Life, to be attending one of the most unsafe universities in the county for women. Everything about this town is backwards. The people complain and complain about lack of businesses, things to do and opportunities in town. However when a business moves in or and opportunity presents itself the entire community will shun it. The "Old" families in this town literally get away with everything. The move in are told things like. "No one hires move ins" Braking laws as long as it is innocent fun is ignored. I can't tell you how many times I have been driving in town and seen a young child driving a car. Like 10 years old young! Your right that 10 yr old hasn't hurt anyone yet but what happens when that child hits another child playing in the road because they cant even see over the steering wheel!? Do you really want to find out Nephi? Boy Scouts playing with guns Pointing them at each others faces! Vandalism! So much vandalism and theft! This summer we had two fugitives at separate times loose in our town.... Who were never caught. So many things. There are positives of living here but they are far out weighted by all the bad. It's a damn shame. Nephi you could do better you just choose not to. I look around and I don't see anyone actively caring or taking action against these things. I have and will continue to do so for the remainder of my time here. When I do speak up or take action I am more often than not chastised and harassed. No Surprise. At this point, I would expect nothing less from the community here. *News Flash* People of Nephi you are not creating a better world for your holy posterity.
This isn't home and defiantly will never be. Nephi has made that loud and clear. The few friends I do have here don't want me to go. I can't blame them. I am Awesome as Shit and one of the few things Nephi has going for it. But really considering everything can you blame me? This isn't the place. At least not for a talented, free thinking, artist, who isn't afraid of real conversation, the human body or standing up for herself and what she believes,
So where to next and when? I don't know but I am working on it.
May your heart be light, your hands never idle and your mind inspired