Word Tattoo

I invite you to join me on a journey to explore memories of the future.

a blog by john-michael korpal

Third Estate Art


I wanted to share with you an organization that I am proud to be part of and one that is very true to my heart and creative practice.


Third Estate Art has achieved some amazing things this year. I am asking if you would be willing to donate on this day of #GivingTuesday to help us continue to create the magic!


In less than a year, Third Estate Art has:

1. Completed two large-scale outdoor installations (The Birds Project) spanning the entirety of Rogers Park to remember victims of gun violence.
2. Hosted free bird making workshops to help neighbors heal from gun violence and participate in the Birds Project.
3. Launched an installation at The Glenwood to call attention to the places and things we’re losing to climate change.
4. Hosted a Pride-themed craft at the Artists of the Wall festival.
5. Painted faces at a “Night Out in the Parks” screening of Black Panther.
6. Built a haunted house with the Pottawattomie Park Advisory Council for neighborhood kids.
7. Painted masks with kids at Pottawattomie Park’s Trunk or Treat.
8. Provided childcare and crafts at an early voting event.


We also worked very hard behind the scenes to write bylaws, file for and achieve NFP status, file for and achieve 501(c)3 status, and build relationships with other neighborhood groups that make our work possible.


Currently, we’re working with the Rogers Park Stitchers to provide handmade winter gear for folx out in the cold this winter. Next year, we’ll host our very first salon-style event with the theme “Access to Care.” We also have big plans to host mosaic making workshops, make some artistic improvements to the Pottawattomie Park field house.


So as you can see, we’re very tired! Please consider us on this Giving Tuesday. We’re small and mighty, and we’re good at stretching every dollar. Your donations are tax deductible and go directly toward necessities, like project supplies and web hosting.

Click the image to donate today.



Random Pop-Up Gallery

Late Thursday evening, I was walking back to the Studio and I came across a random selection of paintings of portraits propped up against a fence.


No one was around, just 10 paintings ~  a random Pop-Up Gallery was before me.



I sat on the ground and spent some time with each one. These were not signed or any indication of who might have painted them or the subjects … or any clues as to their relationship to the painter.


I drifted into a place of stories and dreams of people and places that more than likely have never existed.


…and then I continued onward to the Studio leaving the gallery as I found it.


But carried these stories back with me.


I became more focused on one of the paintings… and really wanted it included in my personal collection. The idea of taking the painting seemed disrespectful and morally wrong for my karma as a fellow artists.


So after hours of pondering in the Studio I was able to make sense of the situation…. I did not feel it was approbate for me to take the painting, but I could trade it with one of my pieces of art.


That created the warm and fuzzy feeling, I needed.


That next afternoon I went back to the painting that I had fallen in love with and replaced it with one of the handmade cards I created, and a little sign in calligraphy saying, “Thank You”, returning to the Studio with a new addition for my collection.


I went back last night to check and see if anything remained; all but two paintings and the card with Thank You were gone.



Below is the painting that I now own.


Thank You to the mystery artist for the sharing their generosity of magic. Creating an opportunity for me to re-create a history and new story of the artist, the subject and me.










The Fallen Leaves

Took an afternoon walk in the park .


I needed to get out of the studio and see the world around me; to experience the smells and colors that are everywhere this fall.


Collecting a few of my favorite leaves and brought back into the Studio.


Excited to see what magic they held within.

Combined with found cardboard and oil paint ~ provided the opportunity to explore without being concerned of the final outcome.


Everything makes a full circle in the end…