“And then the Universe said let their be Art, And then there was Art. It was colorful, expansive and mind-blowing.” -anonymous-
When I begin to think about the many humbling spirits within my life, one student-teacher, artist, cyclist, artivist, repeatedly comes to mind Michelle “Moss” Wurlitzer:
In the short time that I have known of her, and known her, I have (time and time again) been blown away by her visions of the world. She is kind, caring and is one hell of a volcano of creativity. Her ability to put onto canvass (not to mention wood panels, post cards, concrete blocks, E450 bus ceilings and prayer flags) hopes and intentions for a more compassionate, Loving world is nothing like I have witnessed.
Over the course of these past few seasons, I have observed as her zest for art has left its impression on the hearts and minds of countless individuals–myself included. Within her work she evokes sentiments of nonviolence, harmony and perseverance. In short, she paints with intention.
I was amazed by her representation of Mahatma Gandhi, her visual contributions to the California Fruit Tree Tour Bus, and the endless supply of signs that she has created–“free hugs” “free tea” “Yes!” to name a few. Beyond the visual beauty there is something absolutely sacred about her approach to art/life. In short, she is an artist that creates and recreates the world around her through varied usages of color, the evocation of historical icons and a reframing of the world as it could be.
Michelle “Moss” Wurlitzer, Chico’s Artivist
Interview by Michael Ray De Los Angeles
The following dialogue was conducted via e-mail and completed 20 July 2013. Since our interview in Chico, California, Moss has featured in the Chicoer, and attended the International Rainbow Gathering in Palenque. I thank her whole heartedly for taking the time to answer several of my own questions regarding art and the current artistic climate.
Michael Ray De Los Angeles:
When did you first begin painting and what was the experience like for you
Michelle Moss Wurlitzer:
I remember painting in elementary school when guest art teachers would come for a day (about once a month) and do a lesson with our class.
I had a lot of resistance to using stamps and stencils because I wanted the freedom to draw things myself, so I would bend the rules as much as I could while following the assignment. I’ve always loved authentic expression.
Who are the your sources of inspiration, the people, places and elements that you draw upon while you create? Why?
Lately, my inspiration has come as a deep desire to relay wisdom from Spirit, as well as from conversations about what life is about with everyone I meet on my journeys. Wherever I am, whoever I’m with, whatever is currently helping me heal and make sense of the world– that is what gives birth to art.
From the development food forests in Washington to memorial pieces along the Mexican/American border art serves as a catalyst of change; in terms of Artivism, where do you see the most radical art emerging from?
I think the most radical art is coming from fully alive, breathing, feeling humans. It has got to come from the ones who care and can channel that caring into their expression.
Michael Ray De Los Angeles
Bachelors of English Literature
Humboldt State University.
Freelance Writing, Editing, & Cinematography
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