The art students at the college were putting together their summer exhibition. Paintings, photographs, furniture, ceramics and models were being prepared for display in the main hall, reception and main corridors.
In the corner of reception was a big box containing hanging materials. A bag of masonry nails, paper bags, masking tape, some old frames, glue and so on.
Thinking that the cleaners might mistake the materials for rubbish, a tutor had written the following next to the box:
One of my part time tutors was walking through the reception on his way to the canteen for lunch. He spotted the sign, stopped and got out his marker pen.
He wrote the word ‘thanks’ on a piece of paper and dropped it on the floor. Seeing the joke I decided to do the same.
By the end of the lunch hour there were a dozen ‘thanks’ on the floor written on various pieces of paper. By the end of the day there were more ‘thanks’. By the end of the week there were hundreds.
No one cleared away the pile of ‘thanks.’ After all, there was a sign that said, ‘please leave thanks.’
By the time the show opened to the public the pile of paper was two feet high, six feet wide and had become a distinctive, eye-catching piece.
I didn't take a photo at the time, although this image is quite close to how it looked.
The art tutors wanted to know which student had thought up this art piece so they could mark it and attribute the mark to the student’s final grade.
All the art students looked blank. The tutors were baffled. They marked it anyway expecting the student to come forward at a later date.
Being a creative is something you are.
It’s not just a job.