Do Your Chores, Love Dad – The 52 Project 2016
This is a companion piece to an art exhibit of the same title. It appeared as part of a two month summer series of mini-exhibitions at the Riverside Art Museum, consisting of nearly three dozen “newish” artists. This is my first book of poetry and my first creation to appear in a museum. This project captures one father’s low-tech effort to communicate with his sons. The plywood and copy paper collage, as well as the poetry chapbook’s design, are influenced by the primary raw materials used in this exhibit: spiral bound notebooks. Seven notebooks of messages and doodles were copied, cut, and reordered to illustrate how people make-up family bonds and roles using complex communication systems. Fear was the catalyst. Fear I was losing my connection to my children. Fear they would be harmed by my divorce. Fear that an identity and worldview honed over two decades of marriage was gone and I had no idea how to fill that hole. So I started writing notes to them. These were mostly reminders about chores, dinner plans, and where I could be found. We added doodles, then more detailed drawings and puns, as a way to entertain each other. The project is proof that the power to destroy and create anything worthwhile is in our hands.
About Larry Burns (Inland Empire, California Author)
Larry Burns is a writer, artist, and teacher who draws inspiration and ideas from the heady mixture of sights, sounds, peoples, and places of his hometown, Riverside CA. A SoCal native, Larry enjoys writing that employs simple themes and language, allowing the reader to participate by establishing for themselves what the writing means. Living and creating from this part of the world has it’s pros and cons - “As a lifelong resident of the Inland Empire, sometimes my lungs seize from the diesel fumes and my eyes tell me there are no mountains to the north. But beneath the dirt lies treasure. And that treasure is mine, mine all mine!”
For over two decades, Larry Burns has been an active community leader, booster, and all around fan of the recreation and art hidden across the (82-square mile) small town he calls home. He holds leadership positions with the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, and was a founding member of the Inlandia Institute, a non-profit publishing house. He teaches writing and humanities courses as an adjunct professor at Riverside City College and University of Phoenix. Most days you can find him in Riverside CA, chasing his daughter along Main Street or keeping her on the trail up Mt. Rubidoux.