In the spring, I contributed to this Kickstarter for a traveling art project called The Trading Tortoise, created by Souther Salazar and Monica Choy. They were raising money to make a trading post shaped like a tortoise and travel around the country with it, trading things with people. Watch this video for more info:
Today, the Trading Tortoise was at Giant Robot 2, an art gallery in Los Angeles, and I went to check it out. I brought this robot painting, because it was the first potentially trade-able thing that popped into my head.
I arrived a little early, so I got to watch them set up the tortoise. It was made of all sorts of crafty stuff, so I loved it right away.
They handed out tags for people to fill out about the items we wanted to trade. Somehow I ended up being the VERY FIRST person to trade with Souther and Monica at this stop. (I was excited and a tiny bit nervous.) Here they are, ready to trade with me:
I figured each trade would be pretty quick, but they took time to talk with me about my item and the kinds of stuff I like. I made the little painting I brought after watching the movie Short Circuit, and they recommended that I rewatch Batteries Not Included, since I haven’t seen it since I was a kid.
Then they brought out three potential items to trade with me. From left to right in the photo below, the items were: A woman’s first-ever attempt at embroidery, which included a little embroidered fly (very cute), a book of Japanese postcards with bunnies on them (I was tempted), and a piece of two-sided art that someone bought at a garage sale in Portland. The painting showed a dog swimming, and since I love dogs AND swimming, I figured I had to choose that one.
Here’s a closer look at the item I chose:
Here’s what the back looks like, and what it says on the tags:
When I got home, I googled Marshall Leggett, and it turns out he’s an artist, too, and I love his art. (He didn’t make this, though — he got it at a garage sale.)
I HIGHLY recommend visiting the Trading Tortoise if it comes to your town. Here’s the schedule of future stops.