Like other posts that honor the memory of those who have passed, this one is difficult to write. Two days I learned that international artistic icon, Jeanne-Claude had died of an aneurysm. What a tremendous loss. My thoughts are with her husband, Christo. I hope he ok. It is hard to think of one without the other. So, I shall not.
I met Christo and Jeanne-Claude about 15 years ago when I had the privilege of coordinating an art education conference in Breckenridge, Colorado. When I took the reigns, my vision for the conference was to take it to a new level by having Christo and Jeanne-Claude keynote the event. Much to my delight, they agreed to do so, and much to my satisfaction, the conference exceeded my own expectations.
I remember the experience like it was yesterday. Christo and Jeanne-Claude presented their plans for "The Gates, Project for Central Park" and the "Over the River, Project for the Arkansas River, State of Colorado." The audience was engaged and were giddy like little kids standing in line during the poster signing after the presentation. As the conference coordinator, I had the opportunity for a deeper experience.
Following the presentation and book signing, a handful of us had the chance to join Christo and Jeanne-Claude for a private dinner. This was the first of two such experiences for me which provided insights into their work. I remember Jeanne-Claude's discussion about the ability to balance the creative and business processes. I recall her quick wit and at times biting tongue. Of course, like many of their projects, I remember the color orange. For her it was her hair.
The thing I will remember the most about Jeanne-Claude is her passion for her work, her husband, her workers and those of us who cherish her accomplishments. Jeanne-Claude was an amazing brand manager. I cannot think of a better example of what it means to be a brand champion, than when I think about Jeanne-Claude. Unless of course I am thinking about Christo too. Which today I am. Peace.