Saturday, January 10, 2015

A year 2014

A year has past, and a new one is beginning.  
2014 was full of changes, challenges, had work, and a lot of fun.  
The beginning of 2014 I continued my research looking at graduate schools globally, nationally, and in the Pacific Northwest. I was accepted into the Hallie Ford School of Graduate Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland Oergon in Visual Studies. I was happy to say yes. 
Construction continued on the street reconfiguration and removal of buildings around Contempo Designs on West Main St in West Kelso. The construction project was a challenge for our clients and our selves. The revitalization project has not had a positive outcome after its completion for any of the businesses of West Kelso. 
In May, I was one of the judges for the Rose Festival Star Light Parade. Then Phena and I flew to Berkeley for four days and got a suite at the Shattuck Plaza. We had a great time going to the Berkeley Art Museum, local restaurants, movies, and visiting his niece. We took BART into San Francisco and went to the famed Imperial Palace for Dim Sum. I picked up a copy of "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg at the renowned City Lights bookstore. Phena and I toured on foot North Beach and Little Italy. We made a pit stop to look at the murals by graffiti artist Banksy and ended our walk with a beverage at Westfield Center.
In June my hair salon Contempo moved to Vandercook Avenue in Longview and in August Phena and I got an apartment in Portland close to the Sunset Station MAX light rail stop. In the middle of August I met my peers in the Visual Studies Graduate Program at PNCA and we all moved into our art studios. Classes started at the end of August.
Taking 18 credits and working on the weekends has kept me busy with very little time for anything else. Phena has been very encouraging and supportive of my nights of typing and reading. Mom reads my papers for spelling errors. This has paid off with straight A's this semester. Can't beat that! This past year I presented my art at Gallery 6 PDX, "Small Sculpture", Guardino Gallery Day of the Dead Show, "Perfect, Not so perfect" a pop up show at Hotel Monaco, and at Lodge Gallery, "Altered Ground", at Allied Works Portland. 
I retired from hair styling December 31, 2014 after 17 years. You can read the letter here.
It has been a amazing year making new friends, and enjoying old ones. I savored great meals, going to movies, art, performances, lectures, reading, and writing. I could not have done it without the support of my family and friends. You make the going easer. Thank you. Here's to all the best in 2015. 
Jason Berlin :O) 

Your hair stylist

The past seventeen and half years of working as your hair stylist / barber have flown by. Your patronage and friendship has been invaluable to me in so many different ways. Your support and flexibility with my schedule has aloud me to travel and continue my education. Your words of wisdom, encouragement, and personal stories have helped shape me and inspired me. For some of you, the first time I did your hair was on your mothers lap. I have done hair at your weddings. We have been through celebrations, marriage, graduations, sometimes divorce, cancer, recovery, job promotions, getting fired, new homes, new babies, and lots, and I mean lots, of laughter! 

It is now time for me to continue to travel down the path of academia professionally.
I will be retiring from hair styling / barbering December 31, 2014. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for allowing me to be your hair stylist and part of your life. 
I have enjoyed working with you over the past seventeen years. I am looking forward to new adventures, but will sorely miss you. If I can be of any assistance during the next month please don't hesitate to contact me.
With warmness in my heart, 
Jason Berlin Thomas.

Chemical ___________________Stylist reference_________________________