Gotta knock a little harder
“Home is where the heart is” is an old adage. But what happens when your heart is in more than one place? How do you reconcile the pieces? What happens if you can’t? Can you really go home again? I don’t have an answer. At least, not yet.
But I do know that these questions are part of the reason for my fascination with doors- exploring the meaning of home. What is life like for the people that use these doors every day? What choices in their life led to living in that house or that building? Do they want to stay there? What would it be like if I lived in that house? Worked in that building? Would I be happy to be there?
Each of these doors, from my hometown of Nevada City, California, has a piece of my heart and identity. My Grandpa owned the Miner’s Foundry and was the last to operate it as a working foundry. After he sold the building it became an iconic cultural arts center, where my mom once played Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” and
Anna in “The King and I.” A friend used to live in the Powell House when it was a little run down and painted a hideous orange-yellow color. Nevada City Winery produces my favorite wine. I could go on and on.
What I also love about these doors is that they are a perfect reflection of Nevada City (and some of its residents)- charming, colorful, diverse, and a little off plumb; which is part of what gives the town its unique character. Nevada City has preserved its history as a gold mining town, its Victorian architecture, yet lives and thrives in the present. How do I preserve and celebrate my past but live in the present? Maybe, to quote the namesake of this exhibition, I just “gotta knock a little harder and break down the door” to find the answer.