Artists want to show their work. Last Sunday several hundred people stopped by my booth at the art show.
This week the work of former Grove artist, Ward Shelley, was seen by millions all over the world. He hit the publicity jackpot when the Associated Press did a story on his latest performance and sent it out to the entire planet. The piece begins like this,
Ever feel like you're on a big hamster wheel and you can't get off?
Ward Shelley and Alex Schweder know that feeling all too well. The two performance artists are spending 10 days living, eating and sleeping on a giant hamster wheel to make a larger point: We all have to work together to get through the daily grind.
That's pretty much it. Alex lives on the inside and Ward, on the outside. Yesterday the CBS Morning News showed up to film them (and they were in the Miami Herald as well).
Today I called him and asked, "Is it lonely at the top?". He said it was, even though there were 150
onlookers in the gallery below. Every ten minutes they walk a bit, in opposite directions, to make the wheel turn. "I think that's what they came here to see", added Ward.
Alex and him have done these things before. They two have lived on a seesaw, inside an "ant farm" (a house 3-feet wide), and in small tunnels. This is the first time the world took notice.
Last summer we visited our friend in New York. He didn't say anything about his plans to take up the hamster life.
He took us to Grand Central Station's 100th birthday.
Ward has spent most of his life in Miami and, for many years, was my South Grove neighbor. We wish him and Alex the very best when they descend from orbit and encounter their new-found fame.