Phew, glad that’s over. I survived another art show opening reception. I both love and hate them. I love them, because it’s all about ME!!! And I love things that are about me. Really, this blog should be called, LIKE ME LIKE ME LIKE ME. But that’s really the only thing I like about them. You stand around and your feet hurt (I was wise enough not to wear heels this time) and find yourself repeating the story of how the paintings came to be, and while it’s new to each person you’re telling it to, I feel redundant and unoriginal because I know I’ve said the same thing at least eleventy-two times before. They’re awkward as all hell. How do you introduce yourself to strangers that might have questions or be interested in buying? You can’t just walk up and say, “Hi, I’m the artist,” because what if they don’t have questions? I feel like I’m walking up and saying, “Hi, I’m the artist. Now stroke my ego and tell me how amazing my art is.” See? Awkward. New rule: I’m going to wear a hat with flashing lights and arrows pointing at me with “ARTIST” written loud and proud. Then people can come to me. If I’m feeling subtle, maybe I’ll go with a name tag. That’d probably be better. I don’t want them to know that I want it to be all about me.
Last night’s opening happened very last minute, so I sent out a desperate Facebook message to my local friends begging them to come so I wouldn’t stand there looking all sad and pathetic by myself. And they came. And they were awesome. And they regularly kicked me out of the nest to go talk to strangers and do the whole awkward hi-I’m-the-artist thing. And I actually met some pretty cool people. Whoddathunk it? I met a poet whose dad also has dementia and has a blog, so we traded info. And a woman came up to me and gave me a hug, and I had a moment of panic trying to figure out how I knew her, but then I realized she was just hugging me because she felt she’d found a kindred spirit.
But what was super extra cool, is that the pastor from my grandparents’ church in Chicago saw my Facebook begging and told a couple who actually knew my grandparents from Chicago but now live in the Raleigh area. And they came. And they were awesome. And it made me miss my grandparents (both of whom have died) a little, but I had fun telling stories about them and I was grateful that I had stories to tell. The show itself was from my dancer series, which I started because I was paying homage to my grandmother and great aunt from the other side of the family, and I love that I ended up feeling like I had both sets of grandparents there with me.
So all in all, while it was kind of torture, it was good torture, and I feel well loved.