Chain 08

Nature’s Last Gasp
Medium: Photograph

Fall is so nostalgic for me. This photo is of summer’s end, the death and dying of a season and of a time. It has always amazed and intrigued me that just before they die, leaves light up in these amazing fiery reds, oranges and yellows as if they are having their last big hurrah before winter sets in and they have to turn brown and die away. The road in this image goes off into a potentially endless future and represents transition and the unknown and the splendor of life before it all goes away. There’s this sense of impending doom in this photo as though it might be our last chance to witness innocence and beauty.

This is taken at 7 gates down one of those long windy roads.  I wanted to get a shot of fall for my calendar shot.

Fall is so nostalgic for me.

My photo is of summer’s end, the death and dying of a season and of a time.

It’s always intrigued me that just before they die, leaves turn this amazing color.  They seem to save their best for last.  It’s almost as if by turning yellow and orange and red, leaves are having their last big hurrah before winter sets in and they brown and die away.  Then, of course there is also this sensation of hope that spring will come again and offer the cycle anew.

The road in this image goes off into this potentially endless future and represents transition and the unknown and the splendor of life before it all goes away.  There’s this sense of impending doom or our last chance to catch innocence and beauty.  These are the glory days in the cycle of the life of trees.

It’s about traveling on the road less traveled the end of summer the beginning of hibernation and our last chance to appreciate it all in it’s glory.

Peter Simon

Peter Simon is a nationally acclaimed photographer and author. Throughout his nearly 40-year career, he has covered an eclectic range of subjects, documenting everything from protest-filled 1960s, to the scenic beauty of his beloved Martha’s Vineyard. In 2008, Simon fulfilled a decade long dream and opened up his own gallery, the Simon Gallery, in Vineyard Haven. Simon’s work has been featured in many publications, including Time, Newsweek, People, The New York Times, and Rolling Stone.

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By Jennifer Nettles
Medium: Song

The first thing that stood out in this photo were the fiery, bright and brilliant colors which evoked so much passion and vibrancy. Then I noticed the nostalgic road trailing off into the distance. I sat down at the piano and these lyrics just leapt forth “I stood out on the road and watched as you were leaving. Leaves were dancing oranges and reds” and I thought Yep, I know this girl and I love her! I imagined her standing there, watching her lover leaving down this road with the wind blowing and all the leaves flying around her and I wrote “they circled all around me like confetti on fire.” I could feel the fire she felt for this man. In this song, my character is looking back at this scene from her life and owning her passion and her vulnerability. The bridge of the song is special for me ‘cause it reconciles my character’s childhood feelings about passion and fire being ‘unforgivable’ and her adult compassion for that child: “I went down to the church. I offered my confession. I swore I’d never do it again. I swore I learned my lesson. But every year the leaves appear, your memory comes sweet and clear. I never will forget you and I never did regret you.” I love her ownership of her past, her fire, her passion and the consequences of all of it.

Jennifer Nettles

Born in Douglas, Georgia, on September 12, 1974, Jennifer Nettles performed with Soul Miner’s Daughter and The Jennifer Nettles Band before forming Sugarland in 2003, with Kristen Hall and Kristian Bush. Nettles and Bush went on to considerable success, winning the 2009 Grammy Award for best country song and the Vocal Duo of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music.

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Medium: Painting

Listening to the song the first thing that came to me were colors and the changing of the seasons. The song was about memories associated with first love, the excitement and joy and also the pain when that love goes away. I titled my painting Metamorphosis. Thinking of the change from one stage of life to the next, a girl and her innocence growing into a mature woman, a butterfly. The image of a young woman standing alone on a road, watching her love walk away was what came to me. The colors represent the changing of a time. I put the young girl in black to acknowledge that she has transformed into a woman.

Ruth Shively

Ruth Shively grew up in Nebraska, receiving her BFA from University of Nebraska- Lincoln. With a curiosity to see beyond the plains of the Midwest, she ventured to Europe where she lived and worked in Paris. She moved back to the states and settled in New York City. While in New York, she worked in the illustration industry. Over the years, painting became more appealing in her life. Strongly attracted to the human form and facial features, she has concentrated on portraits. Ruth has exhibited her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and has recently settled in Portland, OR.

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Medium: Film

For me the song was about Memory, Nostalgia, Heartache, Regret, Reminiscence, time lost, relationships and the difficulty of moving on. If I had to sum it up in one word I’d say bruised. I thought in moody colors. Deep purples. Crimson. The images the lyric evoked for me were expansive landscapes with a lot of movement. But the song as a whole: The piano. The singer’s vocal performance. The tempo. The tone. These ignited images indoors. Contained. Close up. A woman, remembering. I kept getting this image of a young woman, coming in and out of focus, remembering a past relationship. And looking in the mirror. I set my narrative at Christmas (which has always been a nostalgic time for me) and decided that one of my character’s most prized possessions is an ornament she was given by this boy (her first love). Her mind is especially on him at this time of year. At the end of the film she wraps a present… either for herself or for him. The recipient is purposefully ambiguous. Each object has a little meaning assigned to it, but I wouldn’t want to spell it all out for the viewer.

Jasmine McGlade

Jasmine McGlade is an award-winning filmmaker who lives in Venice, CA and Colorado Springs, CO. She graduated Harvard in 2007 where she produced the critically acclaimed feature film “Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench,” (one of the New York Times best films of the year) written and directed by Damien Chazelle. Jasmine’s directorial debut, “Maria My Love,” starring Karen Black, premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival to rave reviews. To learn more about Jasmine, please visit

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Medium: Tea

The red & blue brought to mind the aroma & taste of berries. I was impressed initially by the bold colors & the minimal, even starkness of the painting with prominent blocks of color (red, blue, black) interrupted sporadically by short dabs of a golden hue & a figure of a fair, young woman facing forward, gazing outwards. The painting depicted a captured moment in the woman’s creative process. It appeared to me as though the figure was the artist actually transforming into her work. I see what look like brushes in her right hand & her left hand is actually already melding with the colors of the piece, as is the left side of her face & hairline suggesting that this is a portrait of the artist herself in the process of becoming her art….an evolution. With this in mind I felt that my tea blend should not only be colorful (representing the visual palette of the piece) but that it should also incorporate the process of evolving. I attempted to layer flavors of varying intensities so that the blend would evolve in the cup & in the mouth….certain flavors would reveal themselves at different times, others would linger a bit……so the imbiber would contemplate the process. The Black Tea I selected as a base was used to represent the Black presence in the painting & like the black in the painting it provided an anchor, a firm foundation for the colors & the fruits.

Linda Villano

Linda Villano co-founded SerendipiTea in 1995 with Tomislav Podreka. With a passion for all things Tea, she oversees all aspects of the business; including client consulting, concept & design, staff training, sourcing & product development (recipe creations). Having grown up in a family of restaurateurs and chefs, she considers her role as a purveyor of premium teas & tisanes a natural continuation of her family’s culinary tradition. Linda is a published illustrator & writer. Her illustrations appear in Tomislav Podreka’s book, SerendipiTea: a guide to the varieties, origins and rituals of tea, & she writes articles about tea for trade publications.

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Medium: Sculpture

The film, and specifically the accompanying music, suggests melancholy and a nostalgic story about first love. All that comes after influences the memory of first love. When I thought of what I’d create in response, I imagined an installation with tons of shelves filled with artifacts I’d made from clay that looked like they’d come out of the bottom of the ocean – out of a past experience. I thought about objects that are signifiers of the past that take on new meaning over time. The objects on the shelves represent collections, collecting, and memories that people hang on to. Placing a number of these objects in relationship to each other impacts their meaning and interpretation. The objects converse and share their stories. The pedestals, on which the artifacts are presented, invite the viewer to question what reflects and resonates as truth and which is more valuable: the artifacts or the display. These shelves are surrounded by ethereal prints on rice paper that mirror the sculptural forms and reinforce the suggestion of memory and the magic of those experiences that form us and shape that we become throughout our lives.

Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper’s paintings and sculptures made with wood and fiberglass pieces, layered with rice paper, paint, silk-screens, and varying images and patterns, explore dualities of culture and meaning. Cooper is best-known for his large scale museum and gallery installations as well as large scale public art made with individuals of all ages includingchildren, hospital patients, and students for such institutions as The Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston College Museum, and Capital Children’s Museum in Washington, DC. He received his MFA from Tufts University/SMFA, and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Practice at Boston College and Faculty SMFA. Cooper’s work is in several major museums, as well as corporate and private collections.

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Medium: Spacial Design

I found these really interesting overlaps between the pieces, mostly around particular colors (reds, blues, blacks) and a sense of memory and loss. I tried to create a space where some of those memories might have been created, with a feel of an attic or secret room where kids might have played together and made things.

John J King
  • John J King is part Texan and part Tyrannosaur. He lives in Boston where he makes plays | art | music, and scares little children who thought dinosaurs were dead. He has a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Boondocks and an accent from his mama. Goals include recording a great dance tune, making impossible things from cardboard, and singing in a girl group.

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