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Reflections of October

Kelly Tuttle's avatar Kelly Tuttle

Everyone experiences loss in their lives. Death is a subject most of us try not to discuss. When we lose a loved one, it takes our breath away, the tears start to flow, our heart breaks, and we fall to our knees. Through the darkness of our loss, we try and escape to find the "light." We celebrate a life that was lived, memories that were made, and how that person touched our lives. We give our thanks to God for the time we shared with them, and we turn to him to ask for continued strength. On October 30th, 2016, my mother's life was tragically taken when she was walking in a parking lot to her car, and struck accidentally by a vehicle that did not see her. Through the tragedy of her death, I can find peace in creating this art installation in her memory. Having grown up in Northern Minnesota, when I was a little girl, my father was a logger and he would take my brother, my mother, and I with him into the woods, as he loaded his logging truck. My mother would spend hours in the woods with my brother and I walking around and exploring. We would pick up sticks, collect treasures, draw on pieces of birch bark that had fallen on the ground, and collect hundreds of beautiful leaves in the fall. My mother inspired my creativity from a very young age and was always my biggest encouragement. One of my mother's favorite past times was to go on Fall Color Tours. My parents would load us kids up in the car and we would drive for hours looking at the leaves during Fall Peak Season. Having lived in Michigan now for the past 16 years, my husband and I took our own girls on a Fall Color Tour of Northern Michigan last October, the week before my mother's death. I took several photographs of Fall trees. After her passing, I began to look at those photographs and reflect on the bittersweet memories of the October Peak Fall Season, as I started to paint from my photographs. It is by every stroke of my palette knife, where I painted approximately 25,500 leaves (approximately 1,500 each panel) to celebrate the 25,500 ways she shaped and blessed my life. As the light shines through these paintings, during the day, and creates a beautiful display of color in the Post Office lobby, I am surrounded by her spirit and reminded of her love. Even when night falls, and the lobby lights stay on all night, the light will shine through the leaves as you walk or drive by, and you can enjoy a breathtaking Fall Color Tour on Michigan Avenue.

Entry Details
  • Art form: Installation
  • Depth: 4ft
  • Medium: acrylic/glass paint
  • Width: 60ft
  • Year created: 2017
  • Height: 10ft