Known for his creative and childlike artistic approach, Brian Andreas is an American author and sculptor who works with a variety of combined mediums in his art. Andreas best known for his “StoryPeople” collection, which is made from pieces of discarded wood. After decorating the wood with a simple yet delicate amorphous figure, Andreas writes a short story on the wood in the space surrounding the figure. The most fascinating element of the StoryPeople is the source of the stories themselves. These little snippets of prose are actually the memories of real people. During the early development of the StoryPeople project, Andreas asked a wide and random sampling of people to reflect on and record their experience of living and their perception of being alive. Andreas has since gathered more that 4,000 stories from around the world, and StoryPeople is an ongoing project that is continually being added to. Along with the original wooden slabs that kickstarted the project, Andreas has also added postcards, books, prints and much more to the StoryPeople collection, and you can check all of his imaginative creations here.
Andrea’s work is so profound because he’s essentially modernized journaling, and he does this in several ways. Firstly, Andreas has transformed journal entry into a physical art. Everything from the large wooden pieces to the small postcards is evidence of this. Furthermore, Andreas has taken journaling into the public sphere. By displaying these memories and moments in time, Andreas invites the outside audience to view thoughts and events that are traditionally kept private. And lastly, Andreas has turned this type of journaling into a kind of combination between a biography and an autobiography. Andreas’ work is autobiographical in that he employs the life experience of others, in their own words, in his art. Yet because Andreas arranges and decorates the words and figures in his own style, his work is also biographical; those who submit their stories entrust Andreas with telling their story through his art.
Andreas’ imaginative and innovative approach is a great model for what activity instructors do at Rockbrook. There are endless ways to recreate and reinvent camp activities and events, and collaborating between different activities can lead to an amazing project. As the summer approaches, think of ways that you can restructure your activity that would lead to not only a cool new undertaking, but also a meaningful experience for the campers.