This autoethnographic narrative retraces my four-year journey as an art commissioner for a city that is transforming beyond the stigma associated with a significant role in early nuclear weapons to a growing agritourism industry. The looming pressure for change is just like when tectonic plates push against each other until there is a quick release, causing earthquakes and eruptions. In the midst of the changing forces, I consider how the arts fold in. There are two purposes in this article that investigates the complexity between civic development and art. First, I will (re)define and (re)frame (Short & Turner, 2013) the open-nature of ever-changing possible meanings for any given narrative. Because of the links between words and images, I use poetic inquiry to reveal layers, show hidden messages (Cahnmann-Taylor, 2009), and construct new meanings (Leavy, 2015). Then, I will (re)discover and (re)confirmthe social identities realted to being an arts commissioner.