Sunday, May 15, 2011
On Hatteberg's People, it's funny sometimes how a little thing, like a school assignment can change your life. That happened to Wynn Hukle, a sophomore at Wichita's Independent School. Last fall, teacher Debra Cole assigned her humanities students a journal project. It was one of those assignments that Wynn will never forget.
"The project was to create a traveling 'art' journal."
"Which we would leave somewhere in public, didn't matter where, anywhere we wanted in hopes that someone would pick it up and continue on and add to it."
Humanities teacher Debra Cole had seen a similar project by a San Francisco Artist and she was eager to try the same thing in Wichita.
"And the more I looked at it, I thought this would be perfect for our kids here. This way, they can interact with the world, take a chance, and see what comes back."
So Wynn Hukle, enthused by her teacher chose a book of Mark Twain's Wit to be the journal basis. But the big decision was...where to leave it. She chose 'The Donut Whole' on East Douglas.
"I decided to put it at the Donut Whole, because there are always a lot of creative people around. I looked around for potential places to leave it, but as I looked around I was a little bit frustrated because people were sitting at tables I thought were appropriate. So I came to the back of the room and looked around. I picked this table because no one was sitting there....and it looked right."
"I really did think it would be the last time I ever saw it because you don't expect people to contribute."
"That's part of risk, that's part of the fun, that's part of the adventure. We talked about this. We knew that putting these books out we may never see them again. So it was a little bit of a leap of faith, a little bit of here we go,” said Debra Cole.
So as the months wore on at the Independent School, and classes came and went, Wynn was beginning to believe that the book would never be returned, then a friend texted.
"And one of guys in my class, text-ed with all capital letters....'YOUR ART JOURNAL IS HERE'!
Inside, a symphony of art and words. Wynn was stunned.
Artists penned, drew or cut small pieces of their world in Wynn's journal. Art she never expected to see or touch.
"The fact that they would do something for a stranger, speaks volumes about a person."
"We thought it was cool the book coming back, but then to see the quality and the fact that someone nursed this book. Someone took this book lovingly from person to person to assure that Wynn received a quality product that was indeed a treasure that...really, I was thrilled."
One piece of art, was the paper cut into a 'lace', that was intricate and dynamic.
“I wouldn't trade this for anything."
Another person penned that he was gay.
"We've been in love for three years now and I wondered if you could not be angry about that please?"
"This is something that person obviously felt strongly about. Strong enough that they told it to someone they didn't even know."
"The more we know the more we experience, the more we connect...the more tolerant we are. That was a perfect example of that."
Even an artist from the Fisch Haus Gallery in Wichita drew a fire extinguisher...small gestures that created a huge and lasting impression on Wynn.
"It's just really special to have a stranger confide in you in such a bizarre medium. It was the first, and probably the last, but a wonderful experience none-the-less."