The Jeweled Vision of a Life Started Anew

The Jeweled Vision of a Life Started Anew

A few days ago, I received an email from our web designer gently reminding me that I hadn’t posted a new entry to our blogger page in almost a year.  The radio silence was not due to a lack of things to say or share - quite the contrary.  So much has happened between these two points that when I go back and think on the chronology of events, it is difficult not to get caught up in the trauma of the struggle that brought me to where things are today.  And while the word “trauma” may sound a bit dramatic to describe the development of a commercial property, I can think of no word more fitting, and in the spirit of recovery there is a narrative that needs to see the light of day.  But not today.

New paint and pretty landscaping....

Before it all started

“Not today” for a variety of reasons.  Most immediately, I’ve been left both mentally and emotionally exhausted by the construction process and any recollection requires more than a simple blog entry.  More importantly, it seems appropriate to start on a positive note and reflect on what has been accomplished and the promise of things to come.

Zack Bellanger and David Morrison assessing the future event space and contemplating acoustics

When people ask me about the Highpoint, it is easiest to relate them to the structure of the building, the mural of Bernie, or the old “Sea Dream Leather Building” across from Channel 6 news.   But the way I’ve always thought about it is in terms of the people.  Having our tenants finally in the building makes everything come to life.  Over the past couple of months watching everyone carve out their own space and personalize it with their unique styles and uses has given soul to the plain walls and hallways.  Listening to people talk with excitement about what they plan to do and how they love the building brings me back to the origins of this journey, back when we were over at the old building at Highpoint and Moore.  People come out of their respective boxes and say “hello” to one another and chat for a bit, sharing stories and time away from the grind.  They are curious about what others are doing and genuinely engage in the type of conversations where people really listen and no one is just waiting for the next moment to speak.

  Rhea Calpeno, Miranda Anderson, Erek Jones, and friends gather in the Photosynthesis studio space

Margo Millure discussing her portrait photography with friend at the open house

The vision of the Highpoint was never architectural.  Don’t get me wrong, we needed a building and I love where we landed.  But the Highpoint was always about community and all the magic that happens when people come together - the hardships and struggles, the triumphs and joys, the moments that become memories, and the stories that follow.  Perhaps one of the things that I will remember most is when someone renting our music practice room took a tour of the building and said (I’m paraphrasing here), “This is the place where I’ve always wanted to be and I never knew existed.”

People gathered to chat in the East Wing sitting area during our September 1st open house

During the coming months, we have a host of events that will showcase both the building and the community.  We’ve already had our open house and our first craft show went well.  In the coming weeks, we will launch the inaugural opening of our quarterly gallery shows and finish the month with a farmers market and a block party in our courtyard, featuring live music and more arts and crafts.  Yes, the lights are on and we are finally home.

All the vendors and friends from our first craft show in the new space

 Friends gather for a toast after the open house

My hope is that people will come out and experience what we are building and start to dream of something more.  We need to expect more from the world we live in, but more importantly we have to give more to a vision of what can be and not patronize what is.  At first blush and even as I read these words this is a grandiose call to arms, one that might seem almost too monumental and perhaps even a bit delusional, but can we really sit back and wait for others to provoke the change we long for?

In memory of our friend Jack.


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