Curator's Note: As part of extending the "Looking for Loci" exhibit, I'm gathering additional stories from the participants, and putting them online.
Alan Disparte is a professional artist who participated in Looking for Loci. A potent influence in his work is his childhood home from Southern California. It’s been represented in his paintings (see below) and was the inspiration for his Looking for Loci piece.
Looking for Loci, By Alan Disparte
I was surprised at how easy and fun it was to recall the areas or energies that embody my personal “Genius Loci” two primary triggers are Orange Blossoms and Crows, these sounds and fragrances transport me back to my childhood citrus farm in Southern California. These memories for me are special in that Disparte Ranch is still standing and my 86 yr. old mom still tends to her chickens, goats, geese, and garden:
Unfortunately the groves that surrounded our home have been torn out and replaced with tract homes, strip malls and parking lots. My childhood home is now a living 3 acre island in a sea of urban / suburban development:
Surprisingly the crows still hang out there and although their favorite 100 year old Deodar Cedar trees have been recently removed to widen our street and accommodate the busy traffic which now runs along the once dirt road in front of our house, the crows still find refuge in the trees that surround my mothers home. Through out the years the crows have demonstrated tremendous resiliency and like my mother who has fought very hard to keep her ranch they have truly made the best of what could have been a devastating situation.
The other great thing about the Looking for Loci project was having the opportunity of showing in the same venue as my niece Marielle Butters (my niece lives in Colorado) and since the first part of this project began in Denver and because Marielle is a great artist I had a feeling that she would make an excellent participant. The other interesting thing is that both our Loci pieces used birds as the central character and symbolic icon.
Detail from Marielle's box:
I’m glad we were able to participate, it was great fun. - Alan Disparte