Jonathan Peters – College of Fine Arts
So my five year old daughter, Naomi, hates New Mexico. She doesn’t really hate New Mexico, she just doesn’t know what else to say about it. She’s five.
We moved here from Austin, Texas, last August. I was accepted into the MFA program. She was accepted into kindergarten.
There are many things I say that I “hate”, which is why Naomi uses the word. I hate Texas. I hate Rick Perry. I hate the heat, the size, the Hill Country, the beaches, the cities, and the people. I use the word hate loosely.
So naturally, as Naomi was thrust into a new place, new people, new kids, the new… she hates New Mexico. Hell, she probably feels like she has new parents.
Do I really hate Texas? No. I loved it. Past tense. I no longer live there, no longer need to care. Do I love New Mexico? Kind of. It’s beautiful. It’s weird. It’s also really, really poor. I hate the poorness of this state. Texas is poor, but not this poor. But New Mexico doesn’t have Slick Rick. So things even out.
My art. Just drawings. Things I perceive and believe. Things I don’t believe. Drawings with color. Drawings I do with Naomi. We draw like we play: free, no hate.
University of New Mexico is my home for the next three years at least. It’s Naomi’s home as well. I hope we love it. I think we will.
Hate is a word used in conjunction with feeling anxious. Naomi doesn’t hate kindergarten…she’s anxious to make new friends, become familiar with the new. Me too. I want the new to feel old. But not Texas old.
That’s why we do art; to feel comfort, to play, to relax, to create and to connect. We are in a new place…far away from family. We hate it. We love it. We are in between. The ending of things. The beginning of new.