Cheryl Godin Artist

Artist's Statement

I began my creative journey chronicling what I saw as a quickly disappearing piece of our American history.

My focus has been on the New Mexico portion of Route 66, “The Mother Road” here in Albuquerque, because the signs were starting to quickly disappear. The few fortunate ones have been adopted, repaired and hung in a museum. The less fortunate lying on their side in some alley stripped of their neon elements and lying out for the elements to eventually bring them down to an unrecognizable pile of rust.

I have also discovered many little towns away from Route 66 that are unique, but crumbling visions of the past. The neon signs, motels, small businesses and diners that were once bustling with the cross country travelers are now long forgotten.

I find beauty in the abandoned relics, empty shells smothered with tumbleweeds, trees and grasses or in many cases just skeletal ruins. Even though they reside alone with nothing around them for miles they still hold a certain ghostly presence of life.

The followers of my work share, in depth, their personal experiences and connections to my subject matter. They clearly remember their journeys and tell me their stories. Nostalgia has taken the place of what were once negative comments of these aged remnants on our historical Route 66. I see a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for the simpler times and for a period or place with happy personal experiences in these unsettled, unsure, turbulent times in America.