Artist: Sharon Webster

Title: TOM BOX

Attribution: Tom Box, 2016, Sharon Webster

Year: 2016

Materials: hand built cedar box, paper strips s of handwritten letter, photos, twine

Dimensions: 12 in x 17 in x 7 in

Image Statement: TOM BOX is inspired by my first love, Tommy Moon. His last name reflects his Native American heritage. From early high school until I left a small town in Kentucky for college, I loved this young man for his sensitive nature, his smooth caramel skin and his eyes like honeycomb. Tommy was equal parts tough and vulnerable. (He chopped his motorcycle, but puked out the car door if we had a fight.) I chose cedar for the piece because of the smell of his bedroom where we'd listen to “The Doors” sing Riders On the Storm. He wrote me long letters (as seen in this piece) when I moved up north, where he poured out his feelings and news of daily life. Reading his letters now, so much comes through between the lines. His soul and sadness. His tenderness. The loneliness of a life lived with few resources, opportunities or support. Tommy had run-ins with the law; he was a misfit. This beautiful, rebellious man came to symbolize the hardships and limitations that I was able – through random luck & a bit of privilege – to move beyond..