Encounter with Happy Birds

By Linda Lee, Cancer Center Administrator

I love going to outdoor art festivals. I am so amazed by the artistic creations and the overall unspoken invitation to explore, experience and find joy in the visual plane.This year, I attended the annual Fairhope Art Festival in Fairhope, Alabama. It was a full-day outing! I was strolling along one of the streets, and the art that was hanging outside one of the hundreds of booths caught my eye. I stopped, turned around, and proceeded to “study” this artwork. It was a large piece. Initially I thought it was a painting, and from a distance it looked like a large tree with beautifully colored birds on its limbs. There was a word painted in the bottom left corner: “vida,” translated from Spanish, means “life.” Upon closer inspection, I could tell the media used on the tree and birds was definitely not paint. It was polymer. Pieces of polymer that were rolled out, baked, cut, and glued to make these beautiful images. I stared at this work of art for a long time.

The tree was white with bright speckled colors. The birds were amazing! They were so colorful and happy looking and each bird had beads around its neck! I scurried in the booth to talk to the artist. I introduced myself to Debo Groover, from Tallahassee, Florida. She was so welcoming and friendly and had the coolest round rim glasses and festive hat. I spoke with her for a while, hearing about the meticulous process that she and her spouse utilize in creating each piece of art.

“One in eight women get breast cancer, and that orange one is me.”

I was so touched. Moved by her art, her heart and her generous spirit. What a wonderful chance encounter with such a special human being.