I had a super fun collaboration last month with Lisa and Berry, the owners of the new Gamelandia store now open at 290 California Avenue in Palo Alto. Berry is turning his passion for meeting up with friends to play strategy games into a full-time operation. They both worked in creative fields previously, and Berry’s enthusiasm to include a nod to all the greatest hits in the mural art was tempered by Lisa’s curatorial wisdom, and love of quirky simplicity.
I hired artist Zoey Brenner to spend two full days splattering every square inch of the wall with fluorescent and glow-in-the-dark stars. When the lights go down in this windowless room, the walls light up in the black light. It would be the perfect room for kids – or adult- birthday parties who are ready to lose their bearings on the humdrum of the everyday.
There were so many highlights of this project. Top of the list was the obvious enthusiasm the partners had for their endeavor, which I observed while watching them unpack the shipments of fun and games that arrived each day (literally, and how cool is that?) and responding to the overly-curious pedestrians who peeked their head in to see what was going on. I felt like I was watching the plot of my new favorite sitcom unfold in real time. Berry generously shared with me his favorite playlist, and the whole endeavor -the artmaking and unpacking – was undertaken in a spirit of play. I decided to bike to the job site each day, stopping at the park to swing on my way home, to keep top of mind that play might be the point of life. I was living out my best-imagined life while they lived out theirs.
A sense of play also infused the artwork including Yoda catching a Cheeto, using two Meeples as stand-ins for the Gemini constellation, and a turtle randomly swimming through the sky. I also snuck cameos of the owners into a vintage rocket ship. Silly me.
I encourage you to pop in if you are on California Ave in Palo Alto and say hello, discover which quirky T-shirt Berry is wearing that day, and pick up your hobby supplies for every age. They also have an online store at www.gamelandia.fun. (Right?!?)
Thank you for following the creative adventures of a woman with a paintbrush, reaching for her dreams, and this month helping two other playful souls create the right space for theirs. I hope it inspires you to continue to reach out toward your own dreams!