In the summer, my mom and I would go swimming and in the winter, we would skate on the pool. After our noses, ears, and fingertips were pink, we would go inside. The heater and the hot chocolate would warm us.
When I say this to my mom, she tells me to stop. She tells me to wake up. She tells me it’s reckless. She tells me to get a job.
She wants to get out of the shelter. She hates being homeless. I hate it too. I hate it when I go to school in dirty clothes and scruffy shoes. That’s why I wish for a wishing fountain.
In the wishing fountain I imagine my coin drops, the water shimmers and a gold figure emerges. The figure asks for my wish.
I wish for a house. The image of the house ripples in front of me. As I try to grab it, the image turns to water and falls back into the fountain.
The figure comforts me. It tells me everything leaks sometimes.
Jimin, age 12, from the IYWP summer camp Image+Word
Jane Gilmor is an intermedia artist and Emerita Professor of Art at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She has a B.S. from Iowa State University, an M.A.T. and M.F.A. from the University of Iowa and additional graduate work at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. In 2012 A.I.R. Gallery in New York published her career monograph, Jane Gilmor: I’ll Be Back for the Cat, by art historian Joy Sperling. She has exhibited nationally and internationally for the past 35 years and was one of five artists nationally honored with a 2011 with a Tanne Foundation Award. She has also received two NEA Visual Artist Fellowships, a McKnight Fellowship, and residency fellowships in Ireland, Italy, London, and at The MacDowell Colony. In 2003 she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in Evora, Portugal and has returned to Portugal annually since then. Solo exhibitions include (Un)Seen Work at the Faulconer Gallery, Grinnell, Iowa in 2010, The Architecture of Migration: I’ll be back for the Cat at Long Island University, Brooklyn in 2009, and Blind at A.I.R. Gallery in New York in 2005. In 2010 she completed a year-long community based project and major installation, Un (Seen) Work, funded by an NEA grant to Grinnell College for the exhibition Culturing Community curated by Lesley Wright.