Hope Always Rises – Kim Bergeron, artist
Inspired by “Hope Floats” – Garth Brooks, Harry Connick, Jr. and Sandra Bullock.
I remember sitting in a movie theater, back in 1998, entranced by Hope Floats, starring Harry Connick, Jr. and Sandra Bullock. There was something about that movie that touched something deep within my heart and soul, and to this day, it remains one of my all-time favorites.
It was the first time I had heard Garth Brooks’ song, To Make You Feel My Love, and almost immediately, it brought me to tears.
Never before had I been compelled to leave a theatre and head straight to a record store (this was back in the “olden” days, before the digital music revolution.)
I have not been compelled to do so since.
My connection to that song and the movie is but one example of the incredible power of music.
Ever notice how you can hear a certain song that, in an instant, can transport you back in time to a certain memory or milestone at which point the music and the moment fused together in such a way that you cannot separate the two?
Garth Brooks is the master storyteller, whose artistry has contributed to the soundtracks of so many lives. Certainly after Katrina, we felt the depths of If Tomorrow Never Comes, learning that it wasn’t what we had but whom we had that mattered most. And of course, we all had Friends in Low Places, which were never quite as sweet as were those first ice cold beers after the storm. Part of our post-Katrina recovery was lifting each other up and dusting each other off, one day, one song at a time. And holding those who meant the most to us closer than ever before.
Harry Connick, Jr. and Sandra Bullock brought that song and that movie to life with memorable characters with amazing depth and passion.
It was in this spirit, and the inspiration of Hope Floats that Hope Always Rises was created.
Because in the end, it’s our resilience, our inner spirits, our determination to rise above the challenges we are given to ensure a better tomorrow.
And so, as August 29 approaches, we celebrate ten years of the tomorrows that did indeed come. And we are stronger for it.
Post event note: This artwork is also the study for the large scale, mixed media “Rebirth” tree on which creation began on August 30, 2015, symbolic of putting Katrina behind us, turning over a new leaf and moving forward. In the study, the sky was created using messages of hope received after Katrina. In the new work, it is fashioned with the messages of hope we received from around the world, all of which added to our resilience and strength. The leaves have been created with the signatures received toward this effort. The resulting work will be auctioned with proceeds dedicated to East St. Tammany Habitat for Humanity.