As you may or may not have known, my team has been conducting interviews in various places to ask people their definition of art. I find their responses to be interesting, but the conversation that stems from that question is amazing. To me, I thought we would just walk up to people to ask them our questions, they would respond for maybe five minutes tops, and then we'd go on our merry way. To my surprise, people are very eager to talk about more than respond to our question.
Our first extensive interview was at the National Gallery. We interviewed a security gaurd and he went on about his response. That was fine because it is a pleasure to have an interview with some one who has a lot to say. However, this interview turned into him telling us about works of art in our immediate area that he found "inspiring" and also artists that he thought made an impact in a certain decade or art movement. I would say our conversation with him went on for about 20-25 minutes. As soon as I thought we were done, we thanked him and went our separate ways only to have him come after us again for a fact that he forgot to mention before. I thought that was pretty funny.
We did about five interviews at the National Gallery. The next set of interviews we conducted were right by the Corcoran. We stopped in front of the Renwick and interviewed two seperate people. The first interview Farolyn has already blogged about--the two women sitting on a bench. I was really surprised by the "fiesty woman's" personality. She was so outgoing and telling us--complete strangers--all about her life and poetry. She even got pretty smart with us and bossed me around at one point! She told me to stand in front of her (I was standing off to the side. My feet were starting to swell and I was getting tired. lol.) We spent another 20 minutes with these women and they made me laugh. I could tell that they had been friends for quite some time cause all they did was laugh with each other. They were very comfortable with each other.
The last interview that took me by surprise was an older gentleman who was sitting on a bench across the street from the Renwick. We asked him our standard question and after he responded he went on to tell us about his day...how he lost his wallet, and more information on his background. He asked us information about us and even wanted to see images of Farolyn's work. I believe we spoke with him for about 20-25 minutes.
Morale of the story, I am surprised at how much people are willing to talk. I watch people standing on the corner of streets trying to get people's signatures/money for various organizations and people just ignore them on the street. I thought our interview process would be just as painful, that we would be struggling to get people to talk to us. Infact, it was hard to get people to STOP talking to us. haha. Who knew that art could be such a great starting point to conversations? Or maybe people will just talk when three lovely girls are listening. :)