Reception for Inheritance

I’m not sure how one gauges the success of a reception. Is it how many people show up? How many people compliment you? How much art is purchased? How many people suggest another exhibition or commission that probably won’t come to fruition? I don’t know.

A lot of people showed up, a lot of people responded positively to the work, a lot of people loved the food, and one person bought a print. Good, I think. I worked a bit harder to promote the show and to allow other people to promote it for me. A couple people mentioned reading about it in the paper to Robert.

Thanks to my grandparents, mom, mother-in-law, and some friends the food for the reception was everything I hoped it would be — good, seasonal, and substantial vegan food for people who aren’t used to eating vegan food. I’m glad I decided to shoot for having too much food because people ate pretty much all of it. There was very little left for us to take home by the end of the night. We had:

Southern Event Regulation sweet tea
Art Show Regulation boxed wine (probably not vegan)
Husband Regulation Yuengling lager beer
Fruit jam, olive & dill, garlic, and spicy nut spreads
Chipotle, black bean, and garlic hummus
Crackers and fresh bread
Fresh fruit
BBQ pomegranate tempeh
Citrus glazed beets & sweet potato
Asparagus & heirloom tomato garlic salad
Cranberry, apple & squash quinoa
Hot black-eyed peas & kale
Sesame chard salad
Spiced pumpkin cupcakes
Maple cookies (Earth Fare)
No-bake chocolate cookies
Peanut butter rice krispy treats

It was all delicious. And I might have forgotten something or things. We managed to find some compostable plates and silverware, plus recyclable plastic cups so there ended up being one trash bag, one recycling bag, and two compost bags. I’m pretty pleased with hosting an event that was at least semi-responsible.

Instead of a guestbook, I decided to paint a rectangle on the wall and let people fill it with their comments. More like an open forum or a discussion board than a guestbook. People were a bit shy about it, but with some encouragement by the end of the night there were several comments, some of which were especially thought-provoking or validating. (And who doesn’t love feeling validated?) It seems like most people came to me directly to tell me what they think.

We ended up staying in the gallery until 11:30 because people kept coming in, and I was as proud of myself for talking to so many strangers as I was for putting together the whole damn show. Especially on three hours of sleep. More images from the reception are available at my Flickr account. I’ll take some good photos of the work itself soon. Until then, here are a few more images from the reception:

Celestial return

Paint like this reminds me of images that I used to see of galaxies, celestial bodies unnamed in my mind. They have names. Everything has at least one name. My mind just didn’t know them, similarly to how it can’t match a Honda Accord with a Honda Accord. The car was dirty silver, like an old coin found in the street. The tree had leaves like pointy elongated tears. The  fabric feels like a spider web looks. 

No one seems to have much use for knowing the names of ghosts. Or whatever they are. Ghost is a name, too. We all know that name, like names of God, only more people snicker about Ghosts.

My throat is sore, my head hurts, and my nose feels like someone has been scraping the inside of it with a serrated knife. I need to get to work, but I wanted to take a moment to think about something else, and it ended up being this picture. Then it ended up being names. I still have to title my work.

Back to it, then.

A beauty but a funny girl

Tantrums
Spiked coffee
Yoga
Damiana
Husband hugs
Dark chocolate
Really good dinners
Running
Singing

The tantrums actually ended a while ago once I felt more secure in the progression of the work. At first it was not working out at all, my hands felt awkward and jumpy. Virginal in the ways of graphite and watercolour. Has it really been that long since I tried to draw something in earnest? It’s at least been a couple months. And before that I was busy masturbating a sea of hundreds, thousands tiny little black lines. Fight or flight, a combination of both.


My hands and my eyes remember more now, and I can see the faces much better. Soon I’ll move onto the figures. They will have to be quick and ruthless. In my head, they remind me of figures in the work of Kara Walker, Wangechi Mutu, Fay Ku, Peregrine Honig, and my former classmate Kenna Kindig (who needs a website or something).

Installation begins after this weekend, then a week until the opening reception. I knew there were some things I wouldn’t begin until I could move into the gallery, such as the mysterious substance flowing in and out of the figures, so that’s not really a concern. It will work. If it doesn’t I will burn the whole building down. (Not really, Karlota.)

By the way: I still need some pictures of faces. Just an up close portrait with no makeup or glasses. Unless you have a lot of facial hair, in which case I can’t really use you, but thanks anyway. Photos of random people on the internet just don’t work as well.