Friday, March 24, 2006

Creative Connections

March 25 , 8am
"Lucky me." That's what I'm thinking as I feel the creative energy sparking throughout the house and front lawn. Artists unpack their new work and set up their spaces. As we pop around to see each other's displays, I feel a palpable joy in the connective power of the creative process. We share this need to create. Each in our own way. And for our own reasons. And as each box is unpacked and the pieces set in place, they represent an engaging diary of what consumes us...what moves us to action. Pieces to the puzzle.

9:00 am
A beautiful clear day. The large flag that my friend Terry and I had assembled from collaged plastic shopping bags does welcome waves in the light breeze. The kitchen table is layered with homemade granola, fresh fruit and juice, boxes of Starbucks coffee and trays of bagels and pastries. iPod is set to spin an assortment of Carl's favorite music. Art. People. Food. Fun. Music. It's all stacked and arranged and ready and waiting.

10:00 am
People begin to arrive. Early birds looking for their favorite worms. They move in circles from artist to artist, some with questions, some with silent appreciation. The sounds: laughter, earnest conversation, Tom Waits singing "I don't want to grow up." While eyeing a buffet of visual treats, attendees dip their fingers into the bowl. Some pluck out a favorite piece to have wrapped in brown paper or a colorful silk pouch...to carry under their arms and into their homes....to wear right now like we did as children when we got new shoes. Inside, they congregate in the kitchen, as people like to do, tilting out a cup of coffee, looking at the "My Name is Rose" painting on the turquoise wall, maybe wondering about the life of an artist? Something about being in the home of an artist...a little glimpse into another world? The same but different. A cuisinart juxtaposed with a Spam can clock.

12 pm
Time to change out the food. Out come the spiral wraps, the hummus and pita bread, the giant bowl of apples, fresh vegetables, jalapeno artichoke dip? Lots of water. Back to my area shared with Katrin Wiese. I listen as she answers the questions of a young reporter from the local paper. She talks about the serendipitous nature of the materials she works with. Digital cameras flash, customers line up to try on clothes. My goodness. This is fun.

2 pm
My 83 year old father, who ususally finds not much to interest him in the way of art and craft, talks with Richard Salley about the genesis of his found object jewelry. Amid bike chains, specimen bottles and watch gears, two men connected on a common ground of life experiences. Ryan Kempf's mother flies in from Reno to enjoy her son's first public art sale. His lampworked glass reflect the maturing process of a young man serious about his art....a re-connection that brought joy to both. Friends embrace and laugh. I see someone from the back who I usually only see in workout clothes and don't recognize her until she turns my way.

3pm
A young woman and her two friends arrive...seemingly out of breath from a non-stop drive from Phoenix. (A former art student of Penny McElroy who will be setting up her own show at the Poetic Palette gallery.) She and Penny embrace....excitement about the show...about seeing Penny's work today. The sun moves behind a cloud. Still...people continue to come and go. Lots of younger people- early 20's-- this is a good omen. Visible tatoos. Maybe this creative circle will continue to grow.

5 pm
Time to pack it up. As I make the rounds to say my thank yous to everyone who participated, I am humbled by the number of friends that I have in my life. By how happy I am to be able to do what I love with who I love. "Lucky me."

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