For those who emerged from a cave in the past 350 or so days, today is the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Michael.
Beginning today and continuing through Saturday, a series of events have been organized to mark Michael’s arrival on Oct. 18, 2018 and the distance the community has traveled since.
Today, the anniversary, the events are focused downtown.
“Picking up the Pieces”
The Joe Center for the Arts, located at 201 Reid Ave. in downtown Port St. Joe, will host the “One Year After: Picking up the Pieces” exhibit beginning 11 a.m. ET today.
A formal reception will be held 6-8 p.m. ET Friday with food, drinks and activities.
The exhibit will run through Nov. 9, 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. ET Saturdays.
There are several layers to the exhibit.
Friday’s reception will serve as the premiere of “From Tears to Triumph” a documentary video capturing the stories of local residents and officials who survived the storm.
Interviews were performed by volunteers from The Joe and compiled and edited by Melina Elum, a St. Joe Beach resident.
The video will play throughout the exhibit.
“Picking up the Pieces” is actually two art projects wrapped together and assembled by volunteers at The Joe.
The idea for the show took shape last year after Michael rendered The Joe unusable.
“We all knew that there would have to be a show at our one-year anniversary to give the community an artistic outlet to promote recovery,” said Marcy Trahan of The Joe board.
“Picking Up the Pieces” features prose, poetry, interactive installations and works from local students and artists.
Many contributions used debris and other Michael-related items to tell a story, with folks from the community encouraged to “make their mark” on what ultimately became the Blue Tarp Quilt.
The exhibit will include a map on which visitors can mark their location at the time of Michael’s landfall.
Linda Matela of The Joe board said local students have contributed some “really amazing” two- and three-dimensional pieces to the exhibit.
“We are just stunned by how detailed and touching the student work has been,” Matela said.
“Picking Up the Pieces” will also feature a “wave wall” made from plastic water bottles like the ones that were so familiar at distribution points in the aftermath of Michael.
The final element of the arts center’s efforts will take place 3-5 p.m. ET Oct. 24, when the community is invited to create their own responses to Michael by helping to create a “Hurricane Spirograph” using full body drawing.