art, Ashland Oregon, c.s.ellington, csellington, performance art, photography, statue people

The Light Surely Shines

A year ago, I was in Ashland, Oregon. Highly recommending visiting this town, if you are over that way. It is a beautiful sunlit town nestled in kind of a valley. The hills to one side look like velvet in the afternoon light. The town is extraordinary. It is home of an ongoing Shakespeare Festival. An adorable yet sizeable downtown filled with a wealth of art and artful things, including artful visitors. I even found some statue people, real life living art. Their motto is: ~Live Art . Love Art~. Even written artfully. This is a town I can get lost in, even with a proficient sense of direction.
The statue people, The Real Statues, stop traffic of all kinds. I watched many pedestrians going about their business, catching a sense of something being different only to turn around in amazement and happiness. The compliments for these two come from every direction. The light surely shines on these two girls.

I was grateful for the sense of wonder they brought to my mind. They were so careful, full of care yet released from any care. It was a gift they fully gave to the people of the area, fulfilling their artistic calling and sharing this radiance with others. They worked for tips, I hope they earned well. I was travelling, not organized enough to have cash with me that day. My car had broken down, the transmission needing to be repaired. I took a breath and told myself, “Sometimes when your car breaks down, you are exactly where you are meant to be – and I smiled and added, especially if you are in Ashland, Oregon.”

I decided to make the most of the delay. It was a holiday weekend. The statues were out, I was happy to see. I would have been happy to donate to their cause, they inspired me so. My daughter, Sarah, had been inspired to create a Halloween costume, similar to their wardrobe, when we first found them late in the summer. I lingered, and it was not long before I gained the courage to approach them (statue people can be a little intimidating!) and tell them I am a portrait photographer and would like to take their pictures and send them through an email for their use. I offered that instead of the cash I did not have.

They did not speak to me and stayed true to their character. They spoke with their eyes and the most subtle movements. I was nervous to be around them but, really, they are some of the nicest people. If you are in Ashland, Oregon, I hope you get to see them. Their popularity should only increase. I have heard they were putting together products for holidays. I have heard they were working on creating a puzzle. My best wishes for all their continued success. And may all of us find an art we are comfortable with that we can share with others in our spaces and places.

Lots of love,



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