Archive | December 2012

Let there be light!

I love to get up in time to see the sun rise. That, apparently, is around noon these days, is it???

Sometime around 7:30ish last night I lay down on the bed to relieve my aching body so I could rise again and continue the work preparing for the Art Crawl this Friday (tomorrow!). Well now. Was I ever surprised when I opened my eyes and it was past 2 am! I was about to turn out the light and roll over when the next day’s schedule ran through my mind and I realized that if I didn’t get the brochured put together that night I wouldn’t have any other chance before the Art Crawl. Out! Out of bed! I did the mental calculations and thought, “Yeah…enough sleep…I won’t keel over…probably not.”

Time passes quickly when you’re busy concentrating ( and cursing quietly, fa la la la la). Around 5am I went to make myself a cup of coffee and reached for the decaf like I always do when it’s dark out, then glanced at the clock and thought, “What the hell? As if I’m snuggling back under the covers any time soon.”

There’s a lot to do between now and Friday, much, much more between now and the first week of the New Year changing Monkey Hill Creative Arts from a brick-and-mortar gallery to a fully functioning online enterprise, and I’m getting it all done a bit too slowly for my liking because I’m somewhat scattered from being stressed and tired, but I do dearly love Monkey Hill and what it is all about. It is a sincere privilege to be doing this. I am honoured by the people this initiative has brought into my life and the respect it brings to “Monkey’s” memory.

Yesterday, someone else working with artists with developmental disabilities told me I’d ‘made her day’, that I was ‘a Godsend to her’ just knowing that she was not alone in her work, that someone else “truly understood” and was trying to carry the message and to help. She didn’t care how successful our initiative was yet; she didn’t even ask. To me, it was like being given $100,000 to keep going.

I was thinking of that woman when I dragged myself out of bed at 2 am to work the rest of the night through to finish the informative brochures to hand out at the art gallery during the Art Crawl this Friday, December 14th.

Stephanie Kirsten Hansen


website updating

You know what is the best website building program in the WORLD?!!! The one I USED to have! (argh) I lost it when I crashed my computer way back. *sigh* The program was the original Macromedia MX so I bought the brand new Adobe CS5. Oh wow. I’ve been struggling to learn this one for…months. It is winning over me. I’m an English major. It don’t speak English!!!!!!! Not English as I know it, darlings.

The Monkey Hill Creative Arts website will be the main workhorse for the business now that the brick-and-mortar gallery is closing (and believe me, it is breaking my heart to close the door! *sniff*) Although I will be busy in my work with The Tiger Group, Monkey Hill is as much at the centre of my life and soul as our daughter was and we’re just picking up steam with the initiative.

I spoke to the wonderful director of the Creative Spirit Art Centre in Toronto today – what an angel! She is very excited to join up with Monkey Hill to promote their decades-long running initiative. Ellen has been running this Centre for 20 yrs at least and, now turning 70, she is worried about who and how the initiative will keep going when she can’t. Not thinking one whit about what is her own due! Oh no…just about making sure the work goes on. I love this woman. She *is* the Creative Spirit, I don’t doubt.

Usually these few days before an Art Crawl on James St. (which is this Friday evening) my mind is filled with getting all details taken care of…the food table, the wine, everyone’s business cards, last minute extra hung offerings hung (which means shifting existing art displays!), windows and floors washed, napkins, plates, all those things available…but I realized this is my last chance to hand out all kinds of flyers and cards to the crowds to keep them in contact with Monkey Hill when we move out of the physical eye of the public. AGH! PANIC! Suddenly, I thought the time I had to ‘renovate’ the website was moved up FAST.

Unfortunately, my mind only works just so fast. And the lines of communication. I don’t do anything without the feedback of others. It may seem so to some people, but I am not a lone voice speaking for all persons with invisible and developmental disabilities. Not at all. And so the website will have to be a placemarker for now of what is to come. It will be set up to let people know what will be filled in with the art and voices of others, as well as my own. Other artists with invisible and developmental disabililites will show their art, their faces, and relate their own thoughts and feelings about their art, and if they wish, about their lives with their particular limitations and strengths and possiblities.

I was getting myself wound up into a perfect tizzy and my body was in agony over the increasingly elaborate plans for my last big Art Crawl. I came to my senses an admitted that I’m not the very best at everything and people who will only respect me if I *am* perfect aren’t the people I really need around…none of us need that. So the food table will consist of yummy cheeses and crackers (some of the favourite Danish cheeses from my youth, as I am Danish), and chocolate covered maraschino cherries (in memory of my Gramma, I used to get a box of them for Christmas every year for years after she passed away when I was a little girl, to soothe my aching heart), some nice wine for the guests, and some yummy hot drinks for the cold night. Simple, comforting, friendly…the way I like my life to be, the way I like to treat people, the way I want to be remembered.

And since it’s easier for me to build a flyer in two days than a website, I will put onto a bunch of flyers everything the new website will entail and encourage people to look for the launch and list their names and email addresses so I can get in touch with them. Look at that…almost like I’m giving myself a break and living within my own limits. Learnin’, learnin’, learnin’…

I’ll be in touch…thanks for sticking with us.

Oh…and I am going back to using my maiden name in my art with The Tiger Group, but keeping the Kirsten (my mother loved that name, and so do I)

Stephanie Kirsten Hansen worthwriting(at), monkeyhillarts(at)